Kiss: Backstage Alive II
Those of you that have just begun to follow us will discover what our 'Elk herd already knows; There are no limits to the lengths we will go to in order to get a story for the 'Elk Nation. If there is a guitar show in a Quick- Trip in Des Moines, Iowa, Ray and I will be there. Looking for the backstage scoop of your favorite rock star? We got you covered. If you're from the North and need a Southern translator, we can handle that as well. From rock star's guitars to the tattoos on Mick Mars, we are all encompassing.
Photo 1: As we met this beautiful young lady backstage at the Kiss show, Ray and I introduced ourselves and then asked her if she would pose for a photo. She gladly obliged our request and as we parted, it dawned on me that we never got her name. As I turned around to asked for her name and apologize for my lack of manners, I quickly realized that she had disappeared into the backstage sea of humanity. I later found out that the young ladies name was Erin. Hey, isn't Paul's wife's name Erin Sutton.....?
Those of you who know your Kisstory will recall Paul's first Mirror Ball Ibanez Iceman in the 70's. Paul enlisted the head luthier at Ibanez, Jeff Hasselberger to do the work for him.
Paul while visiting the factory told Jeff of his idea to have
a mirrored guitar, so when the lights hit the face it would radiate light. Obviously it was the 70's and Paul spent more than a few nights in a disco tech or a roller rink, with Paul who knows. Paul went on to tell Jeff that he wants a mirrored guitar that looks like it got hit right between the pickups with a hammer. As the story grows, this concept gave Jeff fits.
How was he going to fit this mirror on the front of Paul's guitar and if he did succeed at that. How was he going to seal the fragments, where as it wouldn't cut Paul to pieces?
Jeff took Paul's advice and cut apiece of mirror out in the shape of the face of the Iceman. He pulled out a hammer and then struck the silhouette, and surprise,surprise. It shattered all over the place. Jeff then hand cut the pieces and glued them right on the face. The problem was, that when he applied the glue, the glue clouded up the finish of the mirror.
As with all things, the answer to Jeff's riddle was in the mistake itself. When Jeff stripped the glue of the mirrored surface, the glue adhered to the cracks and that my friends, was the answer to the riddle.
In 1978, the world was entrenched in an unprecedented global unemployment meltdown. Gold was $200.00 an ounce. David Berkowitz, aka the "Son of Sam" was sentenced for his grizzly murders in the worst serial killings to date in New York.
Space invaders was the big game at your local arcade and the world's first test tube baby, Louise Brown was born. At the movies, "Grease" was the top box- office draw and on TV, "Happy Days" ruled the airwaves. As for me, I was 14 and looking back now, I feel sorry for my parents. At the time, I didn't understand why my father worked from sunup to sundown. The only thing I was concerned about was getting a glimpse of my heroes in their new movie, "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park". Like those who witnessed the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show would always remember where they where on that historic night, it was the same for us kids in the 70's on Oct 28,1978. The Friday of the 27th, my school was abuzz with excitement. If you're asking why the history lesson, just look at the sign. "Starchild". Remember when Gene Simmons said that word to Paul as the members of Kiss walked down the stairway? God, it still gives me goosebumps to this day.....
In those photo, you'll see the lyrics to the song, "Detroit Rock City". Are they getting to old to remember the lyrics of this legendary hit from "Destroyer"? You will also notice the set- list for that night's activities. Note the absence of "God of Thunder".
Have you ever wondered where Led Zeppelin got the inspiration for "Stairway to Heaven"? If so, then I think I have found the answer at the rear staging era of the Kiss show. These are the steps that the Masked Men walk up to get on stage.
These photos are on the immediate right of the "Stairway to Heaven". This is where Paul's and Tommy's amps and guitars reside
under the main stage. Man, everything in me wanted to pick up Paul's Washburn and play "Come On and Love Me", but one of Paul's roadies, who was 6'8" tall might share that very sentiment with me if I tried to touch one of those beauties.
The last photo in the trio is not a picture of the Enterprise.
It's actually a Digital recording station that Kiss uses to record every live show. How would you like to have that job?
Every night, it's Kiss "Alive" for some lucky engineer.
Here we see Peter Criss in one of the many bars underneath the arena. We ask Peter how things have been since leaving Kiss and why he was dressed up as the Catman. He went on to tell us that Kiss has him on retainer in case Eric gets sick or mouthy.
Now that's a case of Life imitating art if I ever saw it.
I don't normally include pictures of my immediate family, but in the spirit of Rock-n-Roll and because he is such a handsome man,
let me introduce you to my brother, Glenn T. Jackson and the "T"
stands for titanic. Glenn has bore witness to ever major Rock, Country and Polka act of any significance around the world since 1975. When the Rock-n-Roll hall of fame is in doubt about the induction of a performer or an event, they call on Glenn to straighten the matter out. Next to my brother is Ms. Laurie Sellers, aka "The Blonde One". She is the real estate broker to the stars down here in Georgia and is the very person Donald Trump calls when he is in the market to buy an entire city block.
When I ask them how their night was going, they both flashed me the devil horns and grinned. I guess you could say that a Kiss show is a family affair because Glenn and I have been in attendance for ever "make- up" appearance since 1979. Now that, my friends is what it's all about, so, let's Rock-n-Roll all night and party everyday....