You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best…The Hottest Band In The World…KISS!

The legendary series of special articles by Sakis Nikas is back by public demand! More than 35 interviews with band-related figures that were first published back in… 2008!

Take a minute to think about it… How many KISS fans had been given chills down their spine by the sheer listening to this famous intro, only seconds before their favorite band hits the stage and gives a performance that would be permanently engraved to their memory? On the 30th of January, 2008 KISS celebrated 35 years of constant presence and decided that it was the right time for… not just another special article. You see, it would be too easy to put down on paper (or more likely on word processor) some milestones in KISS’ career.

However, we wanted to give to the entire KISS Army a gift to remember and cherish! More than 35 noteworthy KISS-related figures that have been connected at a point in their lives with KISS turn back the hands of time and remember their KISS experience. We will be adding the recollection of a different KISS-related figure, like Jim Vallance, Bob Gruen, Robert Fleischman, Jay Messina etc. Sit back, relax and enjoy this Rocket Ride…

Ed Kanon PeterCriss Ed, you were Peter Criss’ drum technician for many years. Would you like to tell us how did you two guys meet?

Ed Kanon: Well, it was by chance actually. I went into Guitar Center in LA. I was buying some sticks or something. My friend was working there, and was on the phone with someone. He motioned for me to come over, and asked if I wanted to go setup a studio kit for Peter Criss. They were going to be recording, and wanted to do some pre production rehearsals. I said yes. Peter and I hit it off great. I got to play a few little this and that’s on his record. Then it came time to go out on tour, and he asked if I was interested. Of course, I said yes, not ever being on tour before. It sounded really fun. You were in the very distinguished place –back in the April of 1997- to replace Peter behind the drums for the KISS concert in Columbus. Describe to us the whole experience and especially your feelings after the end of “Deuce”…

Ed Kanon: Well, it went really fast. We (the crew) were all set up, ready for the band to do sound check, and we noticed they weren’t even in the building yet. We waited, and waited, and waited. Then the vans pull in. The band gets out, and heads to the dressing rooms. I notice there was no Peter. HHHHMMMMMM??????????  Doc (McGhee) walks up to me and says “Nice Goatee, SHAVE IT!!!!!!”. Then says “Come on, we have to go to the dressing room” The first thing I thought was “Is Peter ok?” I got kind of scared. We walk into the dressing room. Paul is sitting there and says “We have good news, and bad news. Bad news is, Peter can’t do the show. Good news is, you are.” I remember at that moment, I could have freaked out, and probably ruined the whole thing, or don’t even think about it until later, and just do it. I chose the later. I said ok. I thought about the beginnings and endings of all of the songs. I seemed to be ok with everything. I shaved, and started getting into costume. I remember Ace being really pissed off about it. But he ended up playing anyway. Tommy put my makeup on. I knew it would be alright, because I had played with them in sound checks, and a few rehearsals here and there, but never in a show setting with everything happening. Gene was nervous; I could see it on his face. I was cracking jokes with him to lighten the mood a bit. Paul seemed to be confident, or at least did a great job acting like he was. He seemed to be in good spirits. So, we are ready to hit the stage. Next, I remember right before the show. We are on the stage. The rumbling is happening. I’m looking down at the 3 of them, looking at me, in makeup. Looking and my hands and arms, that are covered in jewels from Peters outfit, and thinking, “WOW, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??????” “Well, here we go.” Deuce started, the concussion hit scared the shit out of me, and we’re off to the races. I fucked up the beginning of “Let me Go”, started it WAY to fast. But it was ok. We picked it right up. Next thing I know is we are most of the way through the show. I haven’t played that long of a set in a long time. My arms were really tired. So, doing some arm yoga, I was able to loosen up and not hit so hard, and the adrenaline was wearing off. Next thing I know. It’s “Rock and Roll all night”, and it’s the end of the show. It went that fast. Then Doc said “You’re gonna look really stupid up there tearing your drums down in the make up.”  Doc is got a great sense of humor. They all do actually. It was a surreal experience to say the least. Was there ever a time when you were close to replace Peter in another occasion?

Ed Kanon: No, Peter NEVER missed a show. I remember before he got back together with KISS….He played the day his father died. How heavy is that? They all are warriors. One thing I realized is how much energy these guys are putting out during these shows. It is amazing. They are older guys doing this stuff that kids half their age can’t pull off the way they do. Amazing. How was the situation among the KISS members backstage during those 5 years after the reunion?

Ed Kanon: There was everything. Great times, crazy times, silent times, hostile times. If they were smart they would have made a show out of that stuff. That would have been a hit. You think Gene’s life is interesting. Try ALL of them, all in one. WOW!! Have you kept in touch with Peter?

Ed Kanon: Peter and I have lost touch. We have been involved in other things. After the KISS/AEROSMITH tour, I was done. I wanted to just walk away from the whole thing. I wasn’t really in a good place with the whole thing mentally. It wears on you. There is a lot of weird, psychological things going on out there. Touring is it’s own universe. The people you deal with everyday. On that level of production, is an interesting head space to be in. Doing it for that long, it was just time for a change in my life. I do look forward to catching up with him someday, and shooting the breeze from our different places now. I had a son almost two years ago, and it changed a lot of things for me, and how I see life. I wish him and Gigi the best. They are good people.