W.A.S.P. leader Blackie Lawless paid tribute to KISS on the eve of the legendary rockers' final-ever concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
On Saturday (December 2),Lawless took to his social media to share an early KISS promotional photo, and he included the following message: "Next March will mark 50 years since I saw KISS for the first time. No one yet knew who they were but their magnetism was infectious. The live show was good and their energy was better, but I was far more impressed by them as people. Their stoic determinism and unflinching belief in themselves was abundantly apparent from the very start.
"When I would be in a room with them you could cut all that electricity with a knife. I don't know if they even understood the effect they had on others. Not so much as individuals, but as a group there was a camaraderie that was unbreakable, and although they were constantly being made fun of by other industry professionals they saw the true effect they were having on the audiences. That was the magic glue that held them together and allowed them to go on to achieve unmatched success despite overwhelming odds.
"Congratulations to the current lineup, but especially the original band. What that band was in the beginning was astonishing, frightening, bombastic, reckless and the true unrelenting 'Spirit of Rock N' Roll' in its purest form that is impossible to duplicate ever again!"
A couple of years ago, Lawless described original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley as "a longtime friend, since we were kids." He told Classic Rock magazine: "Ace taught me how to show up backstage before a show and help the roadies, to get into concerts. He got to see [Jimi] Hendrix that way. A short while later I got to see KISS being born."
As for Gene Simmons, Blackie said: "Gene was one of my earliest mentors. KISS was on the road, they were doing their first tour, and I called Ace up one night. He wasn't there, and Gene just happened to answer the phone and we just started talking. Gene asked me what I was doing with this band I was in. I told him that I've had a bellyful and had enough. He goes: 'Let me tell you something. You've got that 'it' thing. Don't quit. Those guys you're playing with? They're all losers. Get rid of 'em. When I got off the phone, I felt energized and thought, 'Maybe I can do this.'"
KISS's final concert at Madison Square Garden lasted two hours and 15 minutes and saw the legendary rockers perform to 20,000 fans at the second show of a two-night stand. After the set-closing "Rock And Roll All Nite", a message was displayed on the video screens, "A new KISS era starts now", and digital avatars of the four members of KISS appeared, playing the band's anthem "God Gave Rock And Roll To You".
The KISS avatars were created by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and were financed and produced by the Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment, which is behind the successful "ABBA Voyage" show in London.
Next March will mark 50 years since I saw Kiss for the first time. No one yet knew who they were but their magnetism...
Posted by W.A.S.P. Nation (Official) on Saturday, December 2, 2023