Saturday, April 9, 2011

KISS Army Largest Social Network On The Planet

Ray Shasho/Bradenton Classic Rock Music Examiner

If there were ever a plan devised to take over the world, I believe it could be implemented and achieved through the KISS Army network. KISS Army is not just a fan club- it’s a way of life.

After publishing an article about EX-KISS guitarist Ace Frehley’s concert following a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game, I decided to create a Facebook site to post my classic rock music articles and share a relentless infatuation for rock & roll with other enthusiasts.

The first person to take notice of the Ace Frehley article on the examiner website was Mali Naoko Frehley. Mali was a girl from Japan adorned in KISS makeup and garb in honor of her idol Ace Frehley. I thought it would be really cool to have a girl who mimicked ‘Space Ace’ on my new site. After all she was a true fan that would surely appreciate the story that I had written about him. Mali became my first Facebook friend. And she joined my site not long after the tsunami hit Japan. But I was glad for her, that she could channel her thoughts in a positive way after such a horrendous disaster.

Soon, there would be many KISS Army friends finding their way into my Facebook site after reading the Ace Frehley article. Almost all of my new Facebook friends had a profile photo embellished in full KISS makeup and they identified themselves with the surname of their favorite KISS band member. Some of the profile pictures looked better than the actual group itself and maybe so because of the hundreds upon hundreds of KISS tribute bands that performs around the world.

When I did a Google search to see if the Ace Frehley Tampa show article was creating any kind of cyberbuzz, I immediately found my story posted on the front page of KISS Army websites around the globe including Japan and Sweden. I was amazed how quickly the news had traveled. I had never seen such a devotion to one band in my entire life. And I’ve been around the block a few hundred times too.

I was actually the first person at my high school back in 1974 to boast about an innovative new rock band that painted their faces and called themslves simply KISS. I was also one of the first KISS fans in my town to attend one of their first shows. It was only their second appearance in Washington DC- at the 1490 capacity GW Lisner Auditorium with RUSH as their supporting act. I’ve been a KISS admirer for years but admit I somewhat jumped off the bandwagon when Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss departed. But even with major personnel changes, the KISS Army marches on. And they continue to pay homage to past members as if they never left the band.

The KISS Army began on November 21st 1975. According to KISS-legend, Bill Starkey and his friend Jay Evans founded the KISS Army after local radio station WVTS in Terre Haute Indiana refused to play KISS music. The 35th Anniversary of the KISS Army was recently celebrated in 2010.

The Global influence of the KISS Army is unparalleled and their networking skills are beyond hypersonic. I posted a simple question on my Facebook website recently and asked my new KISS Army friends to respond.

“Why do you think KISS fans are the greatest fans on the planet?” Here were a few responses.
“Wow. I could go on and on…KISS fans are so awesome, they all band together, it’s like a family,we all have opinions, likes and dislikes but WE all LOVE the music!!! And we are always growing…little ones to older ones. KISS music has a lot of meaning to each and all!”…Caleigha Starchild Stanley- Passaic, New Jersey.
“We are the greatest fans because they are the greatest leaders…” Lynn Horton- KISS Army Nebraska Division.
“We Love the Music. We Love the Show. We Love the Members. But I think the most important thing is KISS created Super Hero Characters that Fans Identify With.”…David Robinson- KISS Army Australia.
“The fans love the band not only for the music but what the band does for children and people in need- or even people that have been there supporting them ever since they started. I am a member of the KISS Army and I am also one of their numerous biggest fans.”…Chris Mangum- Farmington, New Mexico.
“I love KISS not just because of their music, I love KISS because it’s a way of life” …Danny Black- Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I truly believe that the KISS Army could do a better job sustaining peace around the world than the United Nations. As a matter of fact former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became a KISS Army member in 2008.

And when the day finally transpires when KISS is no longer able to Rock and Roll All Night, I’m almost certain that the KISS Army will continue to Party Every Day.