Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Paul Stanley
The Fillmore, San Francisco
November 13, 2006

KISS is like my first junior high girlfriend; an important part of my salad days, but something that has not had any relevance in my life, aside from perhaps squandered nostalgia, since the Carter Administration.

Having said that, I will admit that the recent Kissology 1974-1977 DVD reminded me why I was a fan back when I was 4,380 days old. How can you not smile when you hear 'The Paul Lynde Halloween Special - 1976'? Great stuff... and you can easily score the 3 DVD set for less than $20. Good value, man.

Anyway, I attended the Starchild show for "work business" otherwise I would not have been there. However, once I knew I was going to the gig, I told myself that I would try not to be cynical and jaded about it; let's just have fun, 'kay?

A long line of KISS geeks stood in the rain outside The Fillmore 2 hours before the doors opened. Thanks to my "work business" I didn't have to suffer in the rain... I entered The Fillmore via the backstage door at around 5:00PM and watched Starchild's soundcheck, which I have to admit was fun.

Seeing Starchild up close and personal in an empty auditorium running through 'Got To Choose' had my inner 12-year old worked up. It was a loose soundcheck, with Starchild singing snippets from the Grateful Dead's 'Casey Jones' (I assume as a homage to The Fillmore), Hendrix's 'The Wind Cries Mary', and a medley of Led Zeppelin bits ('Dazed And Confused', 'What Is And What Should Never Be', and 'You Shook Me'). He and the band also ran through his new single 'Live To Win', which I only knew because it was featured in South Park's recent 'Warcraft' episode (which was hi-larious!).

Last up was a test run of 'Love Gun' and my inner 12-year old enjoyed it. There were around 30 people watching the soundcheck and during the song Starchild flicked guitar picks at as many of us as possible; a couple landed at my feet.

After soundcheck, Starchild spent time signing autographs and posing for pictures. As I shook his hand I couldn't help but hear a voice inside my head say "When you're down in the dumps and you need something to bring you up there's only one thing that's gonna do it the way you want it.. What's that?? I can't hear you! COLD GIN!!"

My inner 12-year old was pretty happy, but I was starving so my colleagues and I joined part of the Starchild entourage for dinner at an eatery down the street.

Fast forward and Starchild hit the stage right at 9:00PM to the squeals of the KISS geeks. Besides new songs, he played some old KISS classics ("Strutter!"), tunes from his 1978 solo album, and some rare tracks from the various less-than-classic KISS albums that got the fanboys and girls all sweaty.

Since I stopped buying KISS albums after Alive II I didn't know most of the songs, but obviously alot of the fanboys and girls had bought Dynasty, Lick It Up, and Hot In The Shade because they sang along to everything.... but I'm positive nothing off The Elder was played.

To his credit, Starchild was affable onstage; cracking jokes and interacting with the crowd. His band was the house band from that t.v. show Rock Star, which I didn't watch but heard alot of Americans enjoyed. The dudes were obviously studio pros who are not slouches on their instruments, but only 1 of them had long hair. Despite that, I was having an alright time eventhough most of the songs were testing my patience (the post-1978 tunes to be specific)... but then I reminded myself: Let's just have fun, 'kay?

Then I got busted.

I was sitting up in the balcony with my colleagues and our guests when I casually took some pictures of the crowd and stage with my Canon SD600 (Note: The SD600 is a SNAPSHOT camera NOT a 500mm zoom lens professional photography device). After taking maybe 5-6 souvenir shots, a hand grabbed my shoulder. It was a Fillmore security guy. He demanded my camera and said "COME WITH ME!!"


As we walked downstairs he lectured me about "No Photography blah blah blah" and I responded with "I wasn't aware of that blah blah blah". I also explained that I was there for "work business" with Starchild blah blah blah. Despite my explanation (which could have been easily verified) his response was "Why should I care?" Nice.

Rock Cop ("RC") walked me to the coat check and made me delete all the photos I had taken and then I had to leave the camera to claim later. It wasn't worth getting into an argument over because RC was obviously looking for any reason to put me in a headlock and drag me out to Fillmore Street. Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

No offense to the Concert Security community, but I wonder if there aren't more important things to do than going LAPD on someone taking souvenir snapshots (NOT photographs. SNAPSHOTS..).. OR at least how about a simple "Hey dude, no pictures" verbal warning instead of using the heavy hand immediately. Why do you have to harsh the mellow, man?? Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Anyway, me being a sneaky Oriental, I didn't delete all of my pics, so I'll subtitle this one appropriately:

Starchild Soundcheck: Middle Finger to Rock Cop

Up until that moment I had avoided being cynical about the show, but my RC encounter quickly changed that. I stuck around until Starchild played the KISS klassik 'Do You Love Me?' and then I split for home before the encores. I'd had enough of "work business"; my day in "the office" had basically lasted 14 hours. Lock 'N Loll.

People dressed as Starchild with full makeup and costume = 2. If you bought one of every Starchild merch item you would have paid around $350 (I think). On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. To quote Starchild from KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park: "You're looking for someone, but it's not KISS..."

Yes I am.