How KISS ended up playing in Hammond Indiana on Easter Sunday is a part of KISStory they may have conveniently forgotten given the protests outside by local preachers that night and the light attendance, but it’s a show I’ll never forget.
My and my bro Rich and a rock & roll buddy Matt, who was mainly an ACDC fan but open to a KISS baptism on Easter apparently, were there early for the general admission show and ended up in the 3rd row!.
I had snuck a small camera into the venue and was talking to my bro about how we were going to get some great shots as I had a full roll of film (haha).
Out of nowhere a guy in the row in front of us turned around and said “you wanna get some really good photos?”
I thought he was showing off because of his pro camera but then he handed me a laminated ‘Photo Pass’ for the show… a KISS Asylum Photo Pass saying ‘”go for it dude, have a blast!”.
I grabbed the pass and was let in behind the barricade stage left but soon found out I could not actually go backstage but was free to roam around the stage area. I got Paul’s guitar tech to snap a shot of me in front of Paul’s Asylum Tour array of BC Rich axes and, before I knew it, the house lights went down and I saw the band emerge from the dressing room to walk to the stage. I had seen Paul through the backstage door briefly when it opened once: he was sitting down and his left leg was bopping up and down as fast as a bee’s knee with pre-show jitters.
When they cleared the ramp, complete with the ABC Eye Witness News Team camera lights rolling, I ran around the front of the stage and awaited the famous ‘You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best” intro and snapped a few frantic and blurry shots as the band, immersed in smoke, as hopped off Eric Carr’s drum riser the hit the first G chord of “Detroit Rock City”.
After the 2nd tune a big dude with a beard in the Kiss crew said, looking at my pass with a flashlight and leaning forward to yell in my ear, “that’s all you get, it’s only for the first couple tunes” and, no bullshit, then he and another roadie hoisted me over the stage wall into the first row! As I came over my bro and buddy Matt saw me and we’re pointing at me laughing in the mayhem as some of the Kiss Army’s finest in the front row, called into rock & roll duty, helped let me down to the floor and I climbed through my way back to our seats. Asylum, nuff said.
PS – King Cobra sucked, like their name.