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June 24, 2016

Rare and Intimate Photos Give Us a Peek Into KISS' Backstage, and See How They Applied Makeup Before Concerts From Their Early Years

In the early 1970s, two members of New York rock band Wicked Lester, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, struck out to start a new group. They recruited drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley, and by early 1973 had settled on a name — KISS.

From their early days, KISS took to the stage with striking black and white makeup. Each man’s makeup reflected a character and personality: Stanley’s heady romantic “Starchild,” Simmons’ twisted and cynical “Demon,” Criss’ nine-lived “Catman,” and Frehley’s extraterrestrial “Space Ace.”

Waring Abbott is one of the music industry’s premier photographers. He worked closely with KISS for eight years. These candid photographs were taken by Abbott in circa 1975 show how KISS applied makeup before concerts.

(Images: Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, via Mashable/Retronaut)


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