Happy Thursday to you! I should say Friday Eve, but I like to say “Throwback Thursday” today! So I am going back only 4 years today. September 2010. It was KISS in concert. But first, the story behind the story…
I grew up a massive KISS fan. My first 45 record I bought was “Calling Dr. Love” and the first album I bought was “Rock ‘N Roll Over”. I had the magazines, I had the posters, I dressed up like them for Halloween, I was in the KISS ARMY, you name it. BUT, I never saw them perform live in concert. EVER. I was never really a big concert kid growing up. I lived out in the country, the sticks they called it. Surrounded by farm fields and two lane roads. Going to the city to see shows was slim to none.
Now the year is 1996…I was working in San Antonio for a radio station called KTFM. KISS was going back on tour again! Their first tour with the original line-up since 1979! Full make-up and everything! Are you kidding me? This was my chance to finally see them in concert! I asked a representative from the record label for KISS if it was at all possible to go and see the show. He said no problem, we’ll make some tickets available for you. July 7, 1996…here I am, with my tickets in hand and my wife Sandra going with me. She was not the biggest fan. Her brother had KISS posters in his room when she was growing up and they scared her. She went with me to live out a childhood dream, even though she was not that excited. (I love her!) We get to the show, and my ticket says section “whatever” row 1. That could be anywhere. So we walk in to the Alamodome and approach an usher and ask where the seats are. He says “Down there!”. SO we walk “down there” and find another usher and ask him…”We were sent down here by that usher up there, can you tell me where these seats are?” He says “Row 1…dude, you’re in the front row!” I almost pooped my pants! Now we were in seats 35 and 36 or something like that and those could be on the far corner right in front of a speaker. NOPE…these seats were front row and CENTER of stage. One seat to the left or right and we are not I the middle. OMG! Are you kidding me? So the show is starting…. “you wanted the best and you got the best…the hottest band I the world….KISS!” BLAM!! Fireworks go off, the curtain drops, and I am 10 years old screaming my face off! Forever remembered.
Now it’s 2010. KISS is coming to Phoenix, the “Hottest Show On Earth” tour, and the show is on September 24th. I am working here with our sister stations KMLE Country 108 and 101.5. Our Program Director for KMLE at the time is great friends with a man named Doc McGhee who is the manager for Darius Rucker and has been the manager for KISS for years. In fact I remember seeing him in some of the magazines from back in the day. Long story short, he gets Doc to put me on the guest list to go backstage and meet the band. Oh yeah! This is the final piece of the KISS puzzle for me. There is not much more after this that I can do other than hang out with them! Which leads me to my throwback Thursday pictures.
I meet Doc backstage and he puts us into the meet-n-greet tent. OMG, this is happening! No autographs. Just stand in front of the band and smile. The pictures will be sent to you…then get out of the way for the next set of fans! OK, no problem. I even had Jason, our station photographer with me. He could not take pictures though. Bummer! So here is the picture. I am a little kid again (middle) and Jason is on the right holding his camera that he could not use. On the left, my wife Sandra. Gene liked her. He even pinched her cheek. How KOOL is that? My KISS concert life is about complete. So worth it.
Memories for a lifetime. Sealed with KISS.