GENE SIMMONS Looks Back On KISS' First Ever UK Tour In 1976 - "I Was Nervous To Set Foot On Holy Ground"

May 14, 2015, 8 years ago

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GENE SIMMONS Looks Back On KISS' First Ever UK Tour In 1976 - "I Was Nervous To Set Foot On Holy Ground"

KISS have posted another KISStory lesson on their official Facebook page, looking back to May 13th, 1976 ‪when the band played their first ever UK show at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. The sold out show a (over 2500 people) was the beginning of KISS' first European tour.

In addition to shows in England, KISS performed in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Germany where the Scorpions were the opening act. KISS wrapped up the tour with a final show on June 6th at Ontmoetingscentrum in Harelbeke, Belgium.

Gene Simmons recalls KISS' first visit to England:

"On the way over to our first English tour, I was struck by the notion that this was the Land Of The Beatles. To me, the English Kings and Queens never meant anything. I have always looked at it as an archaic and rather silly posturing about past glories. But as cultural oddities, I suppose it had its own innocence.

Still, I was nervous to set foot on Holy Ground. We got off the jet in full makeup and the fotogs were waiting for us. We came through customs and jumped on street cars at the airport for photo ops. I was aware it was drizzly and grey. I was hoping that would change in the next few days to sunshine. It didn't.

We had a female chaperone/record company person with us. And, she showed us the sites. I thought the least I could do was return the favor. I did.

We visited the Palace and posed with street Bobbies (the English police) and were soon to hit the stage in front of an English audience. Would they like us? Truth was, we never thought much about it. We had a job to do and that was to punish the audience. They had, for too long, stood still for sub par live bands.

It was our job to show them that there was at least one band who had the balls to introduce themselves with: YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST...THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE LAND, KISS."

The setlist for the Manchester show was as follows:


"Flaming Youth" 

"Hotter Than Hell" 



"Nothin' To Lose" 

"Shout It Out Loud" 

"100,000 Years" 

"Black Diamond" 

"Detroit Rock City" 

"Rock And Roll All Nite" 

"Let Me Go, Rock And Roll"

Below is some great footage from the British TV show So It Goes covering KISS while they were touring Europe for the first time in 1976:

According to IGN, Stern Pinball Inc. has announced their next pinball machine will be based on hard rock legends KISS, reflecting the vintage '78 game in its layout, featuring the same pop bumpers and KISS light grid of its predecessor. To maintain the vintage effect, Kevin O’Connor, the original artist behind the hand-drawn art of the 1978 machine, returned to do original hand-drawn art for the new machine.

10 KISS classics play while you play: “Deuce”, “Hotter Than Hell”, “Lick It Up”, “Shout It Our Loud”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Calling Dr. Love”, “Rock & Roll All Night”, “Love Gun”, “Love It Loud” and “Black Diamond”. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons hit the studio to provide custom call-outs as well.  

KISS will be released in several models. The Limited Edition and Premium versions will have more features than the more streamlined Pro version, including aforementioned magnetic Paul Stanley feature, additional color-changing LEDs, and an additional bank of classic drop targets.

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