Kiss frontman Paul “Star Child” Stanley once said of the band: “I think we represent freedom, expression of your fantasies – we’re like a dream.”
For Australia’s Kiss fans, the dream run is over. We think. For now. Sort of. Having cancelled its End of the Road Australian tour, which was scheduled to start this week, because Stanley has a virus, the band will still be playing one show, on Monday, on a yacht some miles off Port Lincoln, with the stated goal of drawing sharks. Eight very lucky fans will marvel from a neighbouring vessel. Then they’ll head below to marvel at sharks. The sharks, no doubt, will marvel at Kiss. This dreamlike occasion is an exotic pet project of marketers at Airbnb. Stick with me.
Forty years ago scores of Australian kids fell in love with Kiss. We fell in love with the silver-flash get-ups and Kabuki vampire schlock and the shock of animal magnetism. We trampled the couch declaring: “You showed me things they never told me at school.” Whirling tennis-racket guitars, warping strings with one-cent coins for picks, we howled and harmonised.
What a spell we fell under. We embellished rumours about Gene Simmons’ tongue (part human, part cow) and which planets Ace Frehley frequented (all of them). We craved the musky swap cards and stood under lurid posters in thrall.