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By Chris Epting

1975.  I’m 13 years old and I open my copy of “Kiss Alive!”  I drop the vinyl on my small turntable, place the needle down and within seconds I am transported to Cobo Arena in Detroit Rock City. Thus it begins, my adolescent love affair with the musical and visual output of four guys from New York City named Kiss.  soon I would start growing up, my Kiss Army membership would lapse and I’d move on to other bands. But a part of me never grew up. The Kiss fan will always exist within me and it’s why I keep going back. But back in 1975 I never dreamed I’d find myself backstage at a Kiss show, just moments  before they headed for the stage. Yet here I was the other night at the Los Angeles Forum as the 2014 model of the band made the last-minute adjustments. Rushing out to my seat so that I would not miss what I was sure would be a grand and spectacular introduction, I passed Paul’s dressing room. Pausing for a moment, I could hear  chatter on the other side of the curtain. Someone said “Two minutes, Paul,”  and I knew I had to go.  But in that second, several decades of gratitude and emotion welled up inside of me. There is nothing like growing up with the band that always seems to know what you want, and then just goes out and does it. I knew in a few minutes  I would be in my seat and Kiss would be transporting me just like they always do. But being within the inner sanctum in those tense but exciting moments just before the curtain goes up is something that will stick with me, I know. when I look at this picture, I don’t just see a dressing room. I see 40 years of hard work, hard play and triumphant accomplishment. Back in 1975, I wanted the best and I got the best. And things are still  the same here in 2014.

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1975 - KISS
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