WAILEA, MAUI » Paul Stanley is sipping chicken soup and chatting about high cholesterol and hip replacement surgery.
It’s not exactly the kind of conversation you’d expect to have with a founding member of KISS, which after 40 years is still one of the most successful rock bands in the world.
At 62, Stanley — whose KISS persona is “Starchild” — still exudes a youthful aura, dressing in jeans, a gauzy western-style shirt, heavy silver neck chains and shoulder-length, black hair. As he dipped his spoon into a large bowl of soup while sitting inside Ko restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Stanley explained that he brings his own food with him when he travels.
It’s one of the ways he stays trim and healthy in order to keep up with his incredibly crazy schedule that in recent weeks had him strutting the catwalk at the John Varvatos fashion show in Milan, Italy, performing at an NHL game in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and hosting a reception in tiny Paia town on Maui for the soon-to-open Rock & Brews restaurant.
Stanley and fellow KISS band member Gene Simmons are partners in the chain, along with Michael Zislis of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and rock industry veterans Dell and Dave Furano. (The family-friendly Maui restaurant is expected to open Thursday, Feb. 6, serving American classics — wings, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and salads — and an impressive collection of craft beer.)
Despite their rock-god status, both Stanley and Simmons were down-to-earth, friendly and funny during our brief chat on Jan. 27. The interviews took place the day after the Grammy Awards.
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