KISS’ Canadian Label Manager Remembers First “Seeing GENE SIMMONS On The Cover Of NME” In March 1974; Final Canadian Dates Begin Tonight
November 8, 2023, 3 weeks ago
In anticipation of KISS' Canadian dates on the End Of The Road farewell world tour, Universal Music Canada has offered a special reflection from long-time KISS Fan and V.P. of Catalogue Marketing, Ivar Hamilton.
“With KISS doing their final run in the Great White North on their End Of The Road Tour we wanted to look back and look forward to what you can expect before the band retire from 50 years of live performances around the world.
“If you were a high school student in the '70s and a fan of rock music, there were plenty of options to choose from. Stones, Beatles, Sabbath, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Rush, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Yes, Genesis, BTO, the list goes on.
“When KISS emerged in 1974 it had immediate impact with rock music fans. My first encounter was seeing Gene Simmons on the cover of NME in March of 74, I was very curious to check these guys out!
“Little did I know that they had already played their first show outside of the U.S. in Canada on Feb 5th of the same year at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
“It wasn't until KISS Alive; their fourth album came out in September '75 that the band busted wide open in North America moving to arena and stadium shows. All of a sudden, those good rock songs from the previous studio albums sprung to life, 'Cold Gin,' 'Firehouse,' 'Strutter,' 'Deuce,' 'Rock and Roll All Nite' and more were now truly iconic rock songs that became coming of age party anthems for the '70s. Live, KISS set the standard for live shows with pyro, fire breathing, acrobatics, light shows and the best rock and roll show in existence. Something they still do to this day.
“KISS were one of the few acts that went full on right across Canada from the start of their careers to the present day. If you were lucky enough to see the band in 1975 when ticket prices averaged $4.50 - $5.50 - $6.50 and got there early the support act was likely to be Rush!
“The two bands bonded very well in the early days and have a friendship that has lasted to this day. KISS were the pranksters, Rush were the book worms, they had a hell of a lot of fun back then!
“Along the way, KISS offered the opportunity to many future superstars acts to get in front of a large arena audience during the early part of their careers as opening acts. These included...
Blue Oyster Cult in 1976
Scorpions in 1976
Ted Nugent in 1976-1977
Sammy Hagar in 1977
AC/DC in 1977-1978
Judas Priest in 1979
Iron Maiden in 1980
Motley Crüe in 1983
Bon Jovi in 1984
Anthrax in 1987-1988
Guns N' Roses in 1987 -1988
Alice In Chains in 1996-1997
Rage Against the Machine 1996-1997
Rammstein in 1999
Crown Lands in 2023
“Over the years, besides touring every corner of this country, the band have spent considerable time here. The KISS convention came to Toronto in 1995 to great success. It may not be a well-known fact but Toronto served as a double for Detroit in the filming of Detroit Rock City. Exhibition Stadium was the front COBO hall, the 407 highway was shut down to film scenes for the cast on their way to a KISS concert. Copp's Coliseum served also as Cobo Hall for the live performance scenes in the movie, with hundreds of Hamiltonians becoming extras for a fictional 1970's show. Paul Stanley took it outside of KISS and performed an entire season of Phantom of The Opera here. Gene also brought his famous 'Family Jewels' show on the road and filmed an episode of the program in the board room at Universal Music Canada, it was a marketing meeting like no other!
“Now, that the band are on their final run across Canada (dates below), millions of the Canadian KISS Army fans want to express their gratitude for the decades of the world's greatest rock and roll. We salute Eric Singer, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer!”
End Of The Road Canada dates:
8 – Vancouver – Rogers Arena
10 – Edmonton – Rogers Place
12 – Calgary – Saddledome
13 – Saskatoon – Sasktel Centre
15 – Winnipeg – Canada Life Centre
18 – Montreal – Bell Centre
19 – Quebec City – Centre Videotron
21 – Ottawa – Canadian Tire Centre
22 – Toronto – Scotia Bank Arena
For KISS' complete End Of The Road tour schedule, head to KISSOnline.com.