Frontman – On farewell tour: Paul Stanley turns 70

New York (AP) – Only Corona could temporarily stop Kiss. After both frontman Paul Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons tested positive for the corona virus in the summer, the band canceled some concerts in the USA.

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He only had comparatively mild symptoms, but the illness still took a toll on him, commented Stanley, who turns 70 this Thursday (January 20). Shortly thereafter, however, the “End Of The Road” tour continued, and concerts have already been announced for this year in Australia and Europe, among other places.

Heavy costumes

It should be the last world tour of the hard rockers, known for their spectacular stage shows with hits like “Shout It Loud”, “Calling Dr. Love”, “God of Thunder”, “Cold Gin” or “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”. and her black and white makeup are famous. “We can’t do this forever, it’s physically impossible,” said Stanley, who wears “Starchild” make-up on stage with a chalky white face, bright red lips and a black star around his right eye, recently to the German Press Agency . “If we were on stage in sneakers and jeans, we could still be rock ‘n’ roll when we were 90. But try putting on a 50-pound costume and running around in it and making it look easy.”

Whether and how it could continue after the end of the tour? “Hard to say.” Kiss went on a “Farewell Tour” before – in 2000 in the original line-up with guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss – and yet they continued. “That was short-sighted and, surprisingly, a mistake on our part,” says Stanley today. Kiss have released around 20 albums to date, selling more than 100 million of them and enjoying success around the world.

Again and again Zoff

However, the band also made headlines again and again with their disputes. Of the original Kiss line-up, which started in 1973, only singer and bassist Simmons is there besides Stanley. With Frehley and Criss and also several successors, Stanley and Simmons always made headlines – and things don’t always go harmoniously with each other either. “I actually don’t like him at all,” Stanley once said of Simmons. “There are days when he annoys me. He’s the guy that everyone always sees as the brains behind Kiss, when he’s actually the mouthpiece. I always tell people he lives two minutes away from me, but I can see his ego from my house.”

Stanley, on the other hand, was rather shy even as a child. Born in Manhattan in 1952 as the son of a German who had fled the National Socialists and a Pole, the boy’s right ear was deformed from birth and he could only hear poorly. That made him a “lonely child” who found it difficult to come into contact with people, especially women, and also struggled at school, Stanley later recalled.

Sworn fan base to this day

His mother’s story also fueled reservations about Germany in him, which he was only able to break down over time. “I didn’t necessarily have positive feelings about Germany,” he told the German Press Agency. “I first had to go there and spend time there to realize that my impression of Germany didn’t fit with today’s generation of Germans. I made a lot of good friends there and met wonderful people.”

Stanley has been conquering the world with guitar and music for decades now. Suddenly “women ran after him, men envied me and we sold millions of albums,” Stanley recalls at the beginning of the Kiss career – and the band still has a committed fan base.

The early years of Kiss were a “very ambitious time”. “I wanted to compensate and feel more valuable by achieving things,” says Stanley, who is married twice and has four children. “Now my successes are my wife and children. But it took a long time to get there.”