BACKSTAGE WITH KISS

JANUARY 22, 1988

by Ham

I recently found an old notebook of mine from the 80s where I used to write concert reviews and other random nonsense. I thought it would be interesting to post one of those reviews word for word, just to see how odd I was back then (as opposed to how odd I am now, I guess). Speaking of parentheses, I also used to have separate "characters" in this notebook. They weren't given proper names or anything, but I would tend to argue with myself in the form of parentheses, the "Editor", and sometimes SFX (Sound Effects) would rear it's ugly head.

Anyway, this particular entry was about the time where my friend Jeff and I got backstage at a KISS show in Utica, NY on January 22, 1988. I used to trade KISS videos (and became friends) with someone who had a "KISS Platinum Card", which gave the user tickets and backstage passes to any KISS show in the United States. He was nice enough to use his card for me for this show. This person has since went on to become a semi-famous person in the KISS World. I lost touch with him shortly after this show, basically due to my own stupidity.

So, here is the complete "review" in all of it's ridiculousness. I will also include all of the photos that Jeff took from that day, and try to add them where they occur in the story. Any notes that I add today will be in red.

Hello. And welcome to Sun., January 24, 1918 1988. I'm 15 and not only is this the last sheet of original paper, the definate greatest night of my life happened Friday. (Let me guess - we're gonna hear about it) Right, gonzo. It started off like any normal fascist school Friday until I got home. Mother Mother? called Utica and my name wasn't on list yet and the b*tch said "No passes come with tickets". Right, b*tch. Apparently I was very upset with this girl so she became "b*tch" So, thanks to her I waste $18.75!!! $18.75? Damn, I'd be happy to pay that much for a show now. Also, good thing I know what I was writing about because this would make no sense at all if someone just picked up this page and read it. But I guess that's nothing compared to what was gonna happen. I had a large Celeste, Pizza that is, thanks for the dinner details we drove to Jeff's. Seating chart - Back: Jeff, Gregg, Tina, Chris (the latter 2 switched on way back) and Front: Me, Mother, Father. Again with the meaningless details. By the way, Chris was Jeff's brother, Tina was his girlfriend or "friend" or whatever, and I have no memory of who Gregg was Left around 4:30 and listened to Lick It Up and 1st LP (side 1) on way up.

Got there approx. 5:30 and waited in line not too long. Jeff + myself went to left side of line and got in like - SFX: SNAPPING FINGER NOIZE - that. Went to rt. side of whatever and asked b*tch for passes. must've been the same person who answered the phone earlier Damn b*tch moved her mouth but no words came out!! I have no idea what this means Finally Jeff spotted name on list and had to show the b*tch. Ugh! "B*tch" must've been a word I just learned or something. We also used to call each other "b*tch" all the time, so it wasn't a gender specific insult. And then the moment of truth. The moment where nothing else mattered. The moment to end all moments. Ok, we get it! Inside the window were two purple guest passes and 2 tickets. Damn, I'd be a good book writer. What?! Chris was waiting for us inside the glass doors and I did thumbs up because he was waiting to give Jeff the camera because Jeff was chicken s**t to bring it in. Surprising I didn't call him a "b*tch" I grabbed both passes + tickets and I gave one pass to Jeff. We walked through the turnstyles happier than a -crossed out for some reason- . We went down to where Tina was and got the camera. Jeff quote; "You did good this time, (your name)." We went to rt. side of stage and idiot said we couldn't go back til after show. So we went to left side and asked 30 1/2 people in stupid shirts where to go. Finally we found out it was left side of stage (level w/ stage). We just had to walk left after walking in!

It was a nice carpeted room w/ a huge mirror on one side and a table and many-a-chair. That must've been a common saying, enough so that I would use hyphens An entrance way to something was on other side of room. If I could do it over, I would have gone in there. Anyway, approx. 10 people were in there then a load of about 70 more came in. Some idiot said they would be here 9:00 - 9:20 and we would be lined up in a U shape and band would walk around. There would be no photos w/ band but photos of band are allright (?) Everyone left except me, Jeff + 2 males. Then big fat idiot infamous John Harte came in and demanded our passes. Took other 2 out cause they didn't have them and demanded we put our's on. The writing here is just spectacular Up yours fatty! I left and got a toi piss, then a tourbook, then a soda. Idiot told us to stand outside door. We did for min. + 1/2 and he let us back in (?) We went out again after a little while and I got shirt. Jeff made fairly good aquaintance with 1/2 a man in a wheelchair. What the hell does this mean? I made a few aquaintances myself. After the Stooge meaning Ted Nugent was over about 90 1/2 people were there and the idiots moved us downstairs to the catering room. It had a bunch of lunch tap tables and round cooking do-hickies. ugh, the details are killing me! Cause we were they there 1st we had to be in the back. Jeff got out camera. some of these sentences read like the were written by an Asian person who hasn't yet learned English very well We were told no photos. Jeff put away camera. Guy said he would probably get in trouble for it but he allowed pictures. Then it happened. After a long grueling wait it happened. We stood up and Eric + Bruce walked out!!!!! S**T!!! Eric had on New York Dolls sleeveless - like one from Musicade on. Bruce had B.K. gray or Black Shirt on. BK - British Knights or Bruce Kulick?? yes, very clever. I'm sure no one else ever thought of that We tried shoving our way thru but it didn't work. Now, get this, Paul + Gene came out!!

Gene had on "demon" jacket and Paul had on a bandana the size of a mango. I finally got my way through and Jeff was no where to be found. Paul was 1st to sign my record and the only one you can read clearly. ...
I'll cut some stuff out by using ..., this is getting longer than I thought  It was that time I saw Bruce refer to his shirt and call himself either "Superman" or "SuperBruce". ... WHERE THE HELL IS JEFF AND THE CAMERA?!! Bruce says "I thought I already got this one." And, you'll never guess what I said. (What?) I said; "no". I was then looking around bewildered for Eric. Where the hell is Eric?! Where the hell is Jeff?! Where the hell is the camera?! I know this sounds insane, but it was real frustrating to get to finally meet KISS and then to not be able to get any pictures with them I found out later Eric left as soon as Paul + Gene got there and Bruce walked over to the side when they got there. I pushed my way over to Gene and handed him my record. He says "I haven't got a pen." or words to the effect.

I was going to give him my silver one and I wish the idiot behind him gave me a chance to before he gave him his that didn't write. Without knowing that I still had the silver pen in my hand, I put it out for a handshake and Gene says "What are you going to give me." I say, "Uh, a handshake." And do so, thus dropping the pen. Nice move, slick Check it out, I SHOOK GENE'S HAND!! It was then I spotted Jeff's face pressed flat against the glass on the door looking in. I motioned with my hand for him to come in and he made a stupid face. I walked over to the other side where Bruce was again and, surprisingly there was hardly anyone around him. Which means, I could have talked to him but like a goofball goofball? I just said; "Can you sign the front of this?" meaning my Crazy Nights LP He said "Sure." I said "Thanks a lot man" and stook out my hand - with no pen in it! GOD DAMN!! ... I SHOOK BRUCE'S HAND!! I WISH I COULD HAVE CAPTURED THAT ON A PHOTO!!! settle down, Beavis Some idiot was counting down how much longer we had back there so I left and bitched at Jeff. I realized later it wasn't his fault that he left with the camera, he kind of got shoved thru everyone and out the door They must've went right from that room to the stage....

I then continued to "review" the show, but this is getting way too long as it is. Maybe I'll post the show "review" in another post some other time. I'll just post the rest of the photos that Jeff took, and he did get some great ones! You can even see my squirrelly head in the back of this first one. I labeled myself with a trendy purple arrow.

You can see the previously mentioned John Harte in the back of this one:

So, that was my lovely tale of meeting KISS for the first time, told from my 15 year old point of view. I have other show reviews in this notebook that are pretty funny that I'll probably post at some point.


(Posted 12/2006)

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