Finally unearthing my 1990 late night KISStory dinner chat with Paul Stanley as “End Of The Road” KISS goodbye comes to Baltimore

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Nestor Aparicio wanted the best and he got the best! As a kid who worshiped all things KISS in the 1970s musical coming of age, he interviewed Paul Stanley twice as a music critic – once at The News American as a 16-year old in 1985 and again in a late-night, by-invite personal sit down with the legendary leader of the hottest band in the world at a makeup free 1990 chat on the “Hot In The Shade” tour. It was a great chat when the groupies weren’t beating on Stanley’s hotel room at the Dulles Hyatt.

(Big thanks to our pal Gregg Landry of Towson Transfers for helping us better restore this wobbly cassette tape recording and bringing it back to better life.)


band, songs, people, talk, album, real, leave, kiss, wanted, years, solo, rejoining, peter, desmond, self indulgent, canceled, money, makeup, putting, cut


Paul Stanley, Nestor Aparicio

Paul Stanley  00:05

Working. Working yesterday, it’s working. So how do you

Nestor Aparicio  00:12

deal with this? As far as running around? I mean, I guess you’re used to it by now. But like being out on the road, and being alone in a hotel at night, or while

Paul Stanley  00:21

being alone is my choice. You know, you may not always have the company that you would want, ideally, but being alone is never. That’s your choice. I mean, a company is never a problem. It’s whether or not you want it.

Nestor Aparicio  00:36

Or you getting to all the company every night and running around party.

Paul Stanley  00:40

I would, I would hope that something you never want to see reporters in general, you know, I would hope that women and have good time. Go well into my golden years, or whatever we want. I’m far from golden years. I only use on the new the platinum one.

Nestor Aparicio  01:10

As far as the show goes. You talked about a two and a half hour show before the thing to get to I guess in Lubbock, it wasn’t two and a half hours.

Paul Stanley  01:17

A couple of things I was in question last week. So when we cancelled one show, and this shows, you know, I mean, quite honestly, it’s kind of difficult to do. So because I mean, I walked out of this car was amazing. I was highway accident last week, what happened. I was coming from Massachusetts after show I wanted to be in New York for July 4 to sit in the back of a car and I was driving. And I think they went across a couple of lanes to try to get to an exit that they were missing

Nestor Aparicio  01:49

price be actions.

Paul Stanley  01:52

And other costs get in when headfirst into the side of our car. And then we lost control for 200 feet and knocked down a highway light and then went into headfirst into granite granite wall and went flying over the backseat and underneath the dashboard. So

Nestor Aparicio  02:13

everybody walked straight there. You just real

Paul Stanley  02:17

inwardly I couldn’t I couldn’t run around I want to do anything. It was classics night was was very, very difficult. I mean, tonight was I just got a call from a discussion. That was really, really hard. So

Nestor Aparicio  02:34

how, why not cut a few songs? Well, it’s

Paul Stanley  02:37

not even a matter of cutting songs. You know, you’re trying to you try to do the performance people expect from you. And when you can’t, you know, you don’t make excuses. I mean, cutting saws wouldn’t be the answer. Well, yeah, I mean, it does go along. Although there’s still a chance some sales may have canceled

Nestor Aparicio  03:13

right. I talked to a former about two and a half an hour. It’s not Well,

Paul Stanley  03:23

I think the show will be The show runs probably about that tonight. There’s a Trump solo show. Probably. I think it runs somewhere around 210 I don’t know what it ran. Oh, god. Yeah. We’re doing like 1516 No, we weren’t doing Christine but we were doing God. I can’t wait to get something that hurt. Let me think what did we cut? We’d cut Hello. Hi, water. We cut Come on. Love me. Come on. Fabulous. Yeah. Yeah, come on. We sound fabulous. The thing is, out of diplomacy, you know, when you start dropping songs to cut. I think unfortunately, you can get too much of a good thing. Right. And the show was running to

Nestor Aparicio  04:24

the reason liver?

Paul Stanley  04:25

No, no. We did a little Caesar. We were doing I think we dropped probably about fourth. Okay. And the show was just too long. And

Nestor Aparicio  04:38

reactive. So yeah, the

Paul Stanley  04:41

truth is, you know, you’re trying to build something and find that delicate balance where it’s enough but not too much. And we felt there was too much. So we tried a couple of songs and some People thought we should drop. Come on in love man. I figured well, what the hell? You know? You

Nestor Aparicio  05:05

did all like I didn’t know it was like towards the end and said for a recent album, throw I didn’t know there was a freak. I was a kid. Yeah.

Paul Stanley  05:13

See what

Nestor Aparicio  05:15

the last three hours I’m sure. I don’t know, whatever. Putting this album together in the studio, did you know forever was going to be hit? I mean did you know?

Paul Stanley  05:29

I know it was a great song. But truthfully, there are a lot of great songs that sometimes don’t seem to become hit. And that’s because of politics and because of things outside of your control. So I thought it was a great fun. Was it going to become a hit? I would, I hope so. But it’s out of my hands. Right?

Nestor Aparicio  05:51

So when you were Michael put that together? Is that like a strictly a guitar PC today? Oh, it was

Paul Stanley  05:56

just you guys. Yeah. You know, it’s one of those situations where you talk a lot and talk and say, Hey, we got to write one of these days, and you never do. And we were sitting at the hotel in LA, that we both stay. Sitting outside eating, and it was the same. Oh, we got to write one of these days. I live in a hotel. When I’m in LA. Yeah, I had a house for a while. But this time, I wrote all the songs in a hotel for less time. That doesn’t tell his

Nestor Aparicio  06:25

story has never been written down. Nobody knows what it looks like. And he’s probably the richest man in America.

Paul Stanley  06:30

I wish there was just a magazine with a picture of you read it? Yeah, sure. I mean, why not? Desmond is a real obviously, he’s very talented. I’ve known him forever, forever. He’s very talented. We don’t work together all that much anymore. But he’s more than proven himself is a great songwriter. And a great producer. turns to gold. I mean, yeah, I mean, I remember when I first met Desmond, he had this great band called Desmond, child and Rouge. And these two play clubs, little clubs in New York, three girls singers, and Desmond and a great band, and they were the hottest band I saw in years.

Nestor Aparicio  07:22

From one day, I’m gonna find out how I find

Paul Stanley  07:26


really easily using

Nestor Aparicio  07:31

one or more collaborations.

Paul Stanley  07:34

That’s really, the truth about that, is that there’s really a misconception. It’s a fallacy when people believe that we did a lot of writing together, because we never really have some of the early stuff has our names on it, but not much of it.

Nestor Aparicio  07:54

If you want to perception you guys when you’re struggling in poor New York, of writing the strutters in Black Diamond.

Paul Stanley  08:02

Truth is I don’t know. I mean, if you asked me which phones have both our names on it, I couldn’t tell you strutter I know does BlackDiamond I don’t think does because my phone but that’s what I mean I can’t even tell you what your time so long ago but when you’re working together it’s collaborative in the sense that everybody brings in ideas to the song but the song is usually written Rock and Roll all night was a collaboration shout out loud was but they weren’t really haven’t been that many luck on a collaboration No. Was Detroit Rock City? was you know, I mean, a lot of them really weren’t. I have nothing to do with Dr. Love.

Nestor Aparicio  08:54

Back to the show. Why the greatest disappointment? Why are you bringing all these songs out of the closet now, when my buddy who’s a kid freaking me who used to be a kid’s freak wanted to hear the night before last time I thought I went and I gotta I gotta struggle or Detroit Rock City, but it was mostly like it off and it was mostly animalized Crazy Nights. Because

Paul Stanley  09:14

this time we wanted to do a kid’s show that no other band can. Any band can light or fireworks on. Any band can play 23 hours worth of songs. We felt like you were the first and we felt at this point. Let’s do a real big and big not only in the sense of staging, but let’s do a big show, in the sense that we’ll do all the materials are a bit of all the different periods. And there’s a lot of great material that for some reason, we stopped doing because we felt that way out there. I don’t know that people wanted to hear the more recent stuff or

Nestor Aparicio  10:05

I don’t know suddenly felt that way, or did you feel like you want to perform the recent stuff? Well retired to do this. No.

Paul Stanley  10:12

It’s hard to say but sometimes you, you second guess, the audience. And you can be wrong. The truth is that even the fans that have only gotten into the last four or five albums, know shouted out loud, they know, rock and roll and night, they know all those songs. So we also had a problem before and that we always did like, an hour and a half show. And in that hour and a half, everybody got a solo. I think for the most part, solos are bullshit. I mean, they’re a waste of time. They’re stroking your own ego, at the expense of the audience. We want to hear songs. And

Nestor Aparicio  10:58

I couldn’t convince anybody that anyone’s like, mediocre, you know,

Paul Stanley  11:02

what’s like, the self indulgent kind of crap. And I’m totally against all those unless you can show me something really worth thing. I mean,

Nestor Aparicio  11:13

last week, and I was so desperate to show the body of the night, fine, but don’t give me You know, I don’t want to explain guitarist doing, you know,

Paul Stanley  11:21

I mean, you may want to hear Steve Vai do a solo, but you don’t want to Joe Schmo? You know, who’s the bass player? And then, you know, John Doe, the other guitar player, and then it just turns into a jerking off, you know, or how should we put that manual manipulation thought that we were always kind of like, confined by the fact that we were doing an hour and a half. Everybody wanted to go into the spotlight. And in essence yell mee, mee, mee. And we just kept on talking. Well, you think you’re so important that you’re actually doing something, all you’re doing is being a ham. And kiss wasn’t about him? Well, I think, you know, like a lot of other bands that got a little overboard. Not that was anything. The whole idea of everybody to solos is just boring, self indulgent waste of time, and it would be better spent playing more songs. So once we did away with the solos, we had room for more songs. But then we kept adding more and more songs, and the show just got longer and longer. So I think now we’re doing 23 songs. That’s a pretty hefty show.

Nestor Aparicio  12:48

I get back to ace I talked to a spa four months ago, and gave this big spiel about how you guys were considering before the album came out, you’re considering reunion, it might happen. It could happen next year, all the way I’d do it as if I went back with makeup. Was this to your knowledge? Or what would happen if the doubt came out? So point two copies, like preachers and minor doesn’t matter?

Paul Stanley  13:12

The the I think eighth considered rejoining the band every day of his life. He can’t Bruce and Eric are vested. Absolutely. You know, Mickey Mantle isn’t rejoining the Yankees, you know. The the idea of

Nestor Aparicio  13:33

a Reggie Jackson

Paul Stanley  13:37

is that the idea that somebody who was either asked to leave or left because things weren’t working, would suddenly find their way back in totally negates why it didn’t work in the first place. Why would you want to go back to a situation that wasn’t working? Except money? And that doesn’t interest me at all. That enough of it? Well, whatever, whatever my financial situation is, or isn’t, you know, it’s, I mean, that’s, that’s irrelevant. You don’t you do things because they’re fun at this point. I can’t imagine. It’s very unappealing to me, to sort of, at the sight of getting together with the original guys in the band. There’s no point. It’s like, what are we going to do together? The whole, the whole idea that by putting four people who once played together, together again, you’ll have the same band is absurd. You know, it’s absurd, because everybody grows in different directions and everybody finds different things that they like, and to think that because you put the same four people together who were together 15 years ago, you have the same band is ridiculous. And that’s not even taking into count whether or not those people can still play. There was no talk of a reunion. And I hear it all the time. But the only talk of the reunion comes from people who would like to be in this band. So, you know, I mean, I don’t want to dwell on it, but, um, I ran into ace, which was about six months ago. He was very, he was very insistent on the idea of a reunion. And I was really happy to see Mrs. Jones within the club. And I said, I said, with a smile, I said, No and not interested. He said, Yes. I said, No. Yes. And then I just, I think I hugged him and left.

Nestor Aparicio  15:47

What about Peter? Do you see? No, never? No.

Paul Stanley  15:51

Peter has, virtually as far as I’m concerned, disappeared. I think Jean has spoken to him. He worked on his album a little bit

Nestor Aparicio  16:02

within a quiet life, and just want to say, I haven’t if you want to quit in 1980, like Peter did, there wouldn’t be. Did you have enough money at that point to just stop and just go live in a country or do your thing you have to realize that?

Paul Stanley  16:18

You know, in the 70s, we were certainly between merchandisers, playing stadiums, and doing what we were doing. There was no shortage of money, but the money.

Nestor Aparicio  16:29

The money was never the issue. Is it possible for that kind of money to dry off? That’s all I’m saying.

Paul Stanley  16:33

It’s possible to say as Donald Trump

Nestor Aparicio  16:38

is a safe money, here’s this real? Well. I’m just saying what would motivate Peter to see the kind of guy that you saw disappearing from the planet for 10 years?

Paul Stanley  16:50

I think it’s well documented that some of the guys in the band had some problems. And maybe it’s better for them, and it saved their lives to not be a part of this anymore. Because kiss can kill you. I don’t know if the circus it may be like a kamikaze squad. We’re done. I mean, I wish I really wish those guys the best. But um, there is an audience out there. Who wouldn’t know Peter, Chris, if

Nestor Aparicio  17:23

he bit them. Nobody looks like I wouldn’t be putting in the lineup.

Paul Stanley  17:27

And there’s a lot of people who don’t know who Ace Frehley is. And that’s not to slide him. But kiss. Kiss is Bruce and Eric and Mean Gene. And the idea of like, changing that, to bring back situations that were not working. You weren’t happy, they weren’t happy, we were all unhappy. You know, one person left one person was asked to leave. And I would want to go back to that everybody will see it the way they want. And if they left because of not being able to do things their way. It’s always interesting when people leave kids, or asked to leave, they always leave under the delusion that the band is holding them back from being the genius that they are. Well, I’ve yet to see anybody leaves this band who takes the world by storm

Nestor Aparicio  18:40

couple of hours in sweltering

Paul Stanley  18:42

water is, is is banned. I mean, so.

Nestor Aparicio  18:47

So it is my kids.

Paul Stanley  18:51

I don’t you know, I don’t want to rag on people. I really don’t. I’m trying to be diplomatic about this. I wish everybody was been in the band the best. But um, people tend to leave thinking that they are the geniuses of the band with the force behind the band. And somehow the band never crumbles when they leave and they never attain the success that they think they’re capable of. So I’m real happy, you know, this band. This band is everything that I would like it to be. And the challenge for us and what’s left for us to do is to continue and disappoint you

Nestor Aparicio  19:25

at some point. But the crowd is smaller tonight and smaller place when you know you’ve conquered bigger Martin, I’m not talking. I’m talking conference places four or five years ago, well across overhead, but it’s

Paul Stanley  19:38

interesting because there’s no rhyme or reason right now. Some of the cities this tour has been for the most part. Real real good. There are some areas that have been very soft. It’s strange when in one city you have 17,000 people and then 100 miles away. You are five or six. There’s no rhyme or reason for it. But um, I also keep in mind, I mean that there’s other bands, like Whitesnake, who just canceled it tour and went home

Nestor Aparicio  20:17

Three nights ago just finished

Paul Stanley  20:24

so, I, you know, you can’t, you can’t always maintain the level of success you have it for peak. And your peak isn’t always one time.

Nestor Aparicio  20:43

When he once told me before that if it’s good, it’ll come back.

Paul Stanley  20:47

I mean, I don’t turn up. It doesn’t. So it doesn’t matter whether tonight is 6000 or 16,000. We win by surviving. We’re the winners, because we’re still around George Foreman. I think we have a little less lamp and he does. But um, I remember, you know, before the who started with there, were breaking up tours. Those guys couldn’t sell tickets. And then the other side of the coin is is the stones, who can play stadiums and usually can’t sell albums. So, I mean, it’s not always what it appears to be. The dentists have same problem. And there’s a dead who are phenomenal in terms of fan devotion, and playing stadiums, and don’t sell records. So I you know, my point is only that being big, and being legends, or being thought of highly or whatever, isn’t always because of the same things. It goes way beyond how many people you have per night, or how many records and that’s why people on the street know the name kiss, and probably don’t know a lot of the bands that are selling a lot more records right now.

Nestor Aparicio  22:29

Certainly in the 70s forever. Well, how was it a cartoon image?

Paul Stanley  22:35

I think you

Nestor Aparicio  22:36

want Paul, you weren’t sitting here talking. You were the star and that you were?

Paul Stanley  22:41

I don’t think that was great, I think was fine. And it was good for that time. But everything changes. And as people and we are people. People change. Comic books don’t. So Superman, and the comic can be the same as he was 30 years ago. But since those comments were based on us, we changed. And we felt it was time to let that stuff go. Real proud of it. But

Nestor Aparicio  23:09

I’m watching the video.

Paul Stanley  23:12

Because the video is acknowledging our past. That’s something we’re real proud of cartoons and comic books. That’s not the same thing. I mean, I we did all that. And we did dolls and all that stuff, because our fans wanted it. We’re not doing that now. Because there’s no reason to do it. We’re a band with a history we’re real proud of. And in rise to it putting on the makeup was really a way for us to show the fans that there really is no separation between kiss yesterday and kiss today. It’s a continuing, epic continuing saga. It’s like this what story they just keep going. And what we wanted to show is that when we started in the, in the, in the early days, we used to sit around and talk about whether or not we could take off the makeup or what it would be like in the future. And it’s the same band today that it was. So we’re real proud. I would have a real problem with putting on makeup and recreating the past as a way to sell tickets or do a show. I have no I have no desire to do an oldy show in the sense that we recreate who we once were. And the makeup in the video was kind of like a flashback. It’s not today. And for us to put on that makeup and go on to a tour would be to me

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