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Daily Record
Daily Record
Rick Fulton

Paul Stanley of Kiss preparing to shed tear at last ever UK gig in Scotland

Paul Stanley is preparing to shed a tear when he plays the last ever British Kiss show – in Scotland.

It’s been 50 years since the formation of the glam rockers – known for their outrageous make-up and costumes – and 40 years since they debuted in Scotland.

But on July 8 the group say their live farewell to the UK at the OVO Hydro Glasgow.

Paul, 71, said: “It’s a special place to say goodbye. Together, we will make it momentous and bombastic.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a tear or two shed – and that will be me.”

Paul and Gene Simmons, 73, formed Kiss in 1973 from the ashes of their previous New York bands Rainbow and Wicked Lester.

Going further than other glam rock bands of the 70s, they created characters with make-up and costumes. Paul was Starchild and Gene was the Demon. Original members Ace Frehley was the Spaceman and drummer Peter Criss was the Catman. Since 1991 Eric Singer has been drummer and Catman and in 2002 Tommy Thayer became lead guitarist and the new Spaceman.

The band announced their farewell End of the Road World Tour in 2018 with the Covid pandemic postponing the last leg until 2023. After Glasgow there are just three more gigs – two in Sweden and one in Norway. There are rumours they’ll do one final gig in their New York hometown.

While the group – who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and have sold 100million records around the world – are at their best live, there is no chance they will change their minds.

Speaking from his LA home, Paul said: “It’s gruelling to do what we do. If I could go out on stage in my jeans and a T-shirt, we could do another 10 or 15 years but we have to be athletes. We are running around stage with 30 or 40 pounds of gear and 8in platform heels.

“It will reach a point where it will be impossible, so when it’s still possible we would like to be able to bow out.”

And while you’d also think he’d be happy to stop having to paint his face and wear platforms, especially given he’s had two hip replacements, Paul is proud of putting on the “uniform”.

He said: “I’ve never thought of what we do as work or something we toil at. To put on our uniform is an honour.”

In June, the band arrive in the UK to play six final dates ending on these shores in Glasgow.

Paul is thrilled it’s Scotland where they can say goodbye.

Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons pose in January 1975 in Los Angeles (Getty)

He said: “Scotland has always been so warm and so gracious to us.

“They are also some of the most demonstrative people in the world.

“I do believe everyone realising that this is the last show in the UK is going to bring out the best in the audience and then the best in us.

“We bring the cake but the icing is what we will do together.

“I think it being in Scotland and being the last ever show in the UK will elevate the gig to another level. Knowing we won’t be back is monumental.”

Kiss’ Scottish debut show was at the legendary Apollo in Glasgow in 1983 after an earlier show in 1980 at the Royal Highland Show outside Edinburgh was cancelled. They played the Apollo again in 1984 before the venue closed a year later.

Paul has fond memories of the Glasgow venue.

He said: “The stage seemed to be up at the balcony level and I remember trying to make sure I didn’t fall off the stage with my heels.

“It was an amazing experience to feel that close to our audience who were incredible. I’m not going to take anything away from arenas or stadiums but there’s something about theatres, especially the Apollo.”

Musically, Kiss have their roots in Scotland – namechecking The Sweet who were fronted by Hamilton-born Brian Connolly and Forfar-born Bon Scott-era AC/DC.

Paul said: “Brian was terrific. We loved their songs like Ballroom Blitz and Fox on the Run. And Bon from AC/DC – what a frontman.”

Paul, born Stanley Eisen, can’t wait to play Scotland but he won’t be changing his Starchild facepaint to Mel Gibson’s Braveheart blue or wearing a kilt. He said: “My legs only look good in tights.”

He will be hoping to stretch those legs and will be looking for inspiration from Scotland for his other love – painting.

Paul, who has sold millions of dollars of his artwork, said: “I’m sure I’m going to find inspiration for my art in Scotland.

“Coming back to Scotland is something that will be ingested and breathed in as precious.”

Gene Simmons of KISS performs live on stage as part of their Monster Tour with Motley Crue and Thin Lizzy at Perth Arena (Getty Images)

Kiss has given Paul an incredible life and the one constant has been Gene. Paul joined Gene Klein’s band Rainbow in the early 70s which turned into Wicked Lester and then, with Stanley and Gene – now Gene Simmons – they became Kiss.

And while other bands from Pink Floyd to Oasis fell out, Kiss have endured.

Paul, who has four kids – Evan, 28 from his previous marriage and three with his attorney wife Erin – said: “Gene and I have been together since we lived at home with our parents.

“Time has brought us closer. Gene is my brother. It’s just that simple.

“Our families are intertwined. The first person in the room after my first son Evan was born was Gene.”

Despite their fame, Kiss have always felt like outsiders and see their final shows as a “victory lap” and a last chance for their fans, Kiss Army, to say goodbye.

Paul said: “Our victory is also the victory of our fans. We couldn’t have done it without them. Our last night in Scotland will be a celebration of what we all created together.”

Kiss play Glasgow OVO Hydro on July 8. Tickets at

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