Top 5 early experimental looks of the rock band KISS
The band KISS is known for its look as much as the music they have been playing for decades. But like their songs, it would take a few appearances for the members to get their looks right. So why not crank up a bit of KISS Alive as we look at the Top 5 Early Experiments with the KISS Look.
KISS Looks – First concerts
This picture was taken at the first concerts of the band in January 1973 at the Popcorn Club in New York. As you can see they did some experimenting with their facepaint. Ace didn’t have the white base under his space-inspired eye makeup and Paul didn’t go for any of the designs he would later be known for and just went with some glam style eyeliner in his earliest days. Even with all those changes yet to come, it is very evident by these pictures that they had a vision of a look that would become more iconic than their music. The bald guy in the front of the picture is presumed to be a fan who got a picture with the group before they hit it really big.
KISS Looks – The Original
This picture was from 1973 after they had figured out that their face paint designs worked better over a layer of white paint. They hadn’t yet figured out the final designs of their look as Paul didn’t have any lipstick on yet in this picture. This was during a time period when they were working out their paint and their outfits as much as they were working on the music they would be playing for decades to come.
Paul would go through several designs in his early years and during late 1973 while the other 3 members were also perfecting their looks. Paul Stanley for a brief period of time changed his look to this bandit style design. It is said that he wore it for only a couple of concerts and one photoshoot where this picture came from. Ultimately it was not a look he used very much outside of a couple of pictures like this and he went back to the Starchild look soon afterwards.
In 1980, KISS hired a new drummer, letting go of Peter Criss and hiring Eric Carr to bang the drums for the band. They didn’t have a lot of time after they hired Eric as they planned to go to Australia with him for the next series of concerts. It is said that the original idea for Eric was to look like a Hawk. However, in the full suit, with yellow and black colors and large feathers comprising much to the shirt, he is said to have looked more like Big Bird and the Hawk get up wasn’t used.
After the Hawk idea didn’t go over well, Eric himself drew up an idea. After some sketching he came up with the Fox character. This outfit and face paint was used at first in his debut at a KISS live show in New York at the Palladium. The outfit was changed a little bit with a slightly different pattern on his face paint but not before the outfit made the cover of People magazine. Many years later, an action figure was made in that outfit.