“End of the Road”: KISS to tour for one last time


Photo: CBS News

Ana Gonzalez, Culture Editor

KISS are hanging up their boots, their guitars, and their mics, as they have officially announced that they are saying goodbye after 45 years in the music industry.

The hard rock band, whose members consist of vocalists Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer, and drummer Eric Singer, announced the news on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, following a performance of their world-famous song “Detroit Rock City”. The band wanted to bring out a “final blowout” to their beloved fans by touring one last time.

“All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who’ve filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years,” Paul Stanley said in a news conference. “This will be the ultimate celebration for those who’ve seen us. And if you haven’t seen us yet. This will be your last chance.”

The band is well known for many classic songs that most of them have made it on well-known movies such as “Detroit Rock City”, a 1999 movie that tells the tale of a KISS cover band going on a trip to Detroit to see their idols in person. Other songs do include “Rock N’ Roll All Nite”, “Love Doctor,” and “Black Diamond”.

This isn’t their first “farewell” tour, however. They did one in 2000, but it was not intended to tell their fans that they were retiring. Original members such as original drummer Peter Criss, and original guitarist Ace Frehley joined KISS along with newly joined members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. After the tour in 2001, they took a short hiatus, returning to tour with Aerosmith, plus a few other shows from 2004 to 2008.

Stanley shrugged when he remembered the Farewell tour that happened almost 19 years ago. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he felt he and his members were unhappy with where the band was going at the time. Original members Criss and Frehley were the main reasons why the band was about to crash.

“The farewell tour was at the end of the time that we had brought back the two original members [Criss and Frehley],” he said, “and it was such drudgery and so difficult and so unhappy that it just seemed like ‘let’s put the horse down.’”

Once the band decided not to renew both contracts, Stanley felt that he did not want to say goodbye to the band after all.

“I wanted to say goodbye to two members. So that was the differences. We’ve had 19 years of the band [at the time]. The band has never been better, happier… But with all that in mind, it’s time to think about an end,” he added.

Stanley also confirmed that original band member appearances such as Criss and Frehley, as well as other former band members Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick, are not guaranteed, but cannot make any promises about them. The tour is currently in its early planning stages, and Stanley wants the tour to be a “celebration of KISS”.

Fans didn’t want to believe that KISS will be saying goodbye. Other than Stanley and Simmons having to revisit their difficult chapters back in the first farewell tour, they feel that they reached a perfect time to “retire”. The band members are in their 60s with the exception of Tommy Thayer who is in his 50s.

KISS had released over 20 studio albums during their 45-year music career. They also released eight live albums, and over 60 singles. Their most recent studio album was Monster, released in 2012.

Tour dates for the final run have not been announced yet, as well as which songs are more likely going to be performed in the show.

However, KISS promises that this will be a tour for fans to remember.

“KISS Army, we are saying good on our final tour with our biggest show yet,” Simmons said on America’s Got Talent, “we’ll go out the same way we came in: unapologetically, and unstoppable.”

More information on the band’s final world tour, plus subscribing for tour date announcements, visit KISSONLINE.com and subscribe to their email newsletter.