Los Angeles Forum
August 23, 1996
This is the first of a five part series I am doing this week on Classic Reunions. Each day I will add a new photo of a featured artist and that band’s classic reunion.
Around the mid 1980’s, KISS took off their make up and kept it off for more than ten years. During that time, tensions within the band erupted. Contract disputes and other personal problems caused drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley to leave the band. During this time, KISS went through several line-up changes, and they seemed to become less relevant each year. They had gone from being one of the most original, influential bands of all-time, to coming off as grunge wannabes. Seeing them in paisley shirts and beanies just never felt like the real KISS. Then, in 1996, the four original members announced that they would be reuniting – in full make up. This was the rock and roll reunion that everyone had been waiting for. I was very fortunate to have photographed all three of the Los Angeles Reunion shows as well as the KROQ Weenie Roast warm up gig just a few months prior. To make these L.A. shows even more exciting was the rumor that a reunited Van Halen with David Lee Roth would open the final show in L.A. – as a way to payback Gene Simmons for funding the original Van Halen demos. Unfortunately, the double VH, Kiss reunion never happened. I shot this photo of Gene during their final encore – Rock & Roll All Night. He had spit blood all over my camera case earlier in the show and now all of the confetti that was falling from the rafters was being glued to the sticky stage blood on my case. Once the show was over, my camera case was unrecognizable. I took a photo of my blood and confetti covered camera case the next morning…I gotta’ dig that up