43 Years Ago: Kiss Conquer Australia


Kiss‘ following in the USA had declined drastically by the point Unmasked arrived in 1980.

Trying again, it is surprising to suppose that simply two years earlier Kiss seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut that may be raking in large crowds (and {dollars}) perpetually. However Unmasked – like its predecessor, 1979’s Dynasty – was a extra polished and poppier report than the gritty rock ‘n’ roll basis on which the band had constructed its repute. The cultural winds have been additionally shifting within the wake of punk and disco.

However, the demand for Kiss remained brisk, even rabid, in different components of the world – most notably Australia, the place the band kicked off their four-night debut on Nov. 8, 1980 on the since-demolished Perth Leisure Centre.

Kiss sparked a protest consisting of just one person, in keeping with native information studies. General, nonetheless, collective anticipation for Kiss’ first Down Underneath exhibits was excessive, fueled partially by the Australian success of the sugary-pop ballad “Shandi” from Unmasked. Quite a few clips from the interval underscore how media from all through the nation started to buzz effectively earlier than the band’s go to.

The passion of the crowds made it doable for Kiss to placed on a courageous face and bask within the sea of cheers they have been met with each night time, however the armor have been beginning to crack in earnest by this level. Issues would solely worsen.

Watch Information Protection of Kiss’ 1980 Journey to Australia

Kiss had introduced the departure of drummer Peter Criss earlier in 1980. A number of years later, they publicly disclosed that he hadn’t truly performed on Dynasty or Unmasked (aside from the Dynasty observe “Soiled Livin'”). His substitute, Eric Carr, joined one of many world’s greatest acts simply as its fortunes have been sinking.

Tellingly, Kiss did not tour the U.S. in help of Unmasked. In the meantime, tensions between founding guitarist Ace Frehley and bandleaders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons got here to a head the next yr, through the making of the follow-up to Unmasked – 1981’s disastrously poor-selling (Music from) The Elder.

Australian followers could not detect any of those simmering troubles by way of the din of fireworks, energy chords and screams of pleasure. Kiss’ 1980 tour of Australia and New Zealand marked a excessive level that, on reflection, appears surprisingly contradictory to the troubled waters the band discovered itself in on the daybreak of the brand new decade.

In a single information clip the place the band – seemingly in good spirits – says goodbye to their Australian followers, Frehley concludes “We’ll be back next yee-ah.” It was to not be. The ten exhibits Kiss performed within the South Pacific truly marked the finish of the road for the short-lived Frehley-Carr lineup as a stay entity, and it would not be for much longer earlier than Kiss have been compelled to radically re-think how – or if – they have been going to remain viable.

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Counting down solo albums launched by varied members of Kiss.

Gallery Credit score: Matthew Wilkening

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