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Will final Kiss show feature all living members?

Photo © Ben Vogelsang / Idea Machine Productions for KSHE 95
Photo © Ben Vogelsang / Idea Machine Productions for KSHE 95

It seems as though there just may be more than four members of Kiss onstage for the band’s final show. Ultimate Classic Rock reported Kiss manager Doc McGhee shed some light on the plans for the band’s farewell gig on July 17th, 2021 at a venue TBA in its hometown of New York City.

During a formal chat with fans on board the Kiss Kruise, McGhee revealed, “Ace (Frehley) and Peter (Criss) will be and have been invited to come and play with us at anytime. . . Like I always say, people in New York would love to see Joe Namath still play football for the Jets. Unfortunately, he can’t. We want to include everybody that played with Kiss to celebrate the 45 years of Kiss.”

Of the nine official members of Kiss, only two have passed on. Drummer Eric Carr — best known to fans ass “The Fox” — replaced Peter Criss behind the drums on the road in 1980. Illness forced Carr to step down from the band in 1990, and he died at age 41 from complications from a rare form of heart cancer on November 24th, 1991 — the same day as Freddie Mercury.

Vinnie Vincent’s replacement, Mark St. John, played on the Animalize album and only performed two full shows with the band, before leaving in 1984 when he was replaced by Bruce Kulick. St. John died on April 5th, 2007, due to a brain hemorrhage brought on by an accidental overdose of methamphetamines.

Regarding co-founders Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, and the band’s second lead guitarist Vinnie Vincent, McGhee said, “We’re still looking at what we’re going to do on the final show of Kiss. . . and, yes, they’ve all been talked to about it, so I can see us doing something. It’s very difficult, though, when people say, ‘Oh, you should bring Ace and Peter up.’ I mean, how do you do that when you have two Catmen and two Spacemen?’ So you say, ‘Okay, you don’t wear makeup, and you wear makeup.’ And then they go, ‘Well, that was my makeup.’ I don’t know.”

He added, “(It’s) real hard to do. . . but we’ll figure it out because they’re very much a part of the heritage of Kiss. They’re acknowledged by Gene (Simmons) and Paul (Stanley) and everybody in this room as being founding members and some of the reasons why we’re sitting here. So, it’s important to you guys, it’s important to us. It’s just a matter of the balance. We bring it where it works for everybody, and everybody is having a great time.”

McGhee went on to say he agreed with Paul Stanley’s take on Frehley and Criss, reiterating: “They could not have done what they’d done without Ace and Peter. . . and they couldn’t do what they’re doing now with Ace and Peter.”

Kiss kicks off its next string of shows on November 16th in Perth, Australia.

Side Notes:

Out now is the latest career-spanning Kiss compilation, titled Kissworld – The Best Of Kiss. The 20-track collection features such iconic ’70s staples as “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” “Detroit Rock City,” and “Shout It Out Loud,” alongside the band’s ’80s classics “Lick It Up,” “Crazy Crazy Nights,” “Heaven’s On Fire,” and the recent favorites “Modern Day Delilah” and “Hell Or Hallelujah,” among others.

The track listing to Kissworld – The Best Of Kiss is: “Crazy Crazy Nights,” “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll To You II,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Beth,” “Lick It Up,” “Heaven’s On Fire,” “Tears Are Falling,” “Unholy,” ‘Hard Luck Woman,” “Psycho Circus,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Calling Dr. Love,” “Christine Sixteen,” “Love Gun,” “Shandi,” “I’m A Legend Tonight,” “Modern Day Delilah,” “and “Hell Or Hallelujah.”