Paul Stanley recalled the time he tried a different mask before returning to his classic Starchild makeup after less than a month.
That Kiss co-founder is known to have appeared as a character known as the Bandit on three occasions, the first in December. 31, 1973, and the last Jan. 26, 1974. In a recent interview with Yahoohe explained that the change had come about after a discussion with Neil Bogart, the band’s first record company manager, after they sign a deal with Casablanca Records in November 1973.
“When he signed us, he wanted us to take the makeup off,” Stanley said. “When Neil heard us before he ever saw us – ‘Strutter’ and ‘Deuce’ and ‘Watching You’ and ‘She’ I think were on the demo – he wanted to sign us. And then he saw us and that was like, ‘Whoop, whoop, whoop,’ you know?
“And it was like, ‘Well, that’s us.’ It’s who we are. It’s either you take it or leave it. It’s our way or the highway’. … At one point, when it came down to ‘I’ll sign you if you take the makeup off,’ [we said]’Well then you won’t sign us.’
You can watch the interview below.
Stanley added that he felt he had to “be a sport and try” to respond to two of Bogart’s criticisms: first, the Starchild character was “kind of swishy… kind of effeminate” and second, he had to be ” more macho” on stage. This led to the bandit appearing at three public events.
“I just came up with this Lone Ranger Bandit thing, as it became known, and it lasted maybe a month,” he said. “But I just said, ‘You know what? My concert, my face, my makeup.’ And I went right back to [the Starchild]. … Many people think so [the Bandit] came first, but actually didn’t.”
When asked if the Starchild makeup is the easiest of the Kiss characters to apply, Stanley noted, “It’s not quite that simple because you’re painting a flat object on a 3-D face. … It’s a transformation , not just in terms of looks, but in terms of how you think. So to sit in a chair and have someone do my makeup – no way. It’s a part of me and I want it done by me.”
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