Do you remember what people used to think KISS stood for?
Knights in Satan’s Service. Preachers and community leaders were told and actually believed that the band was trying to put teenagers under the thrall of Satan.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Paul Stanley came up with KISS and it was never meant to be anything other than a cool name. As Peter Criss explained it, “”It really means a lot. It’s the first thing you do to a chick or anybody. It could also be the kiss of death. It’s a strong word. It’s easy to remember.”
Still, the members of KISS didn’t hesitate to play up their dangerous image. Gene Simmons may have been a self-described “nice Jewish boy from Long Island,” but when he was on stage, he became the blood-drinking Demon. (When Marvel published a KISS comic book in 1977, the red ink was said to contain drops of the band’s blood.)
What’s funny to me about old school KISS is that they would come out on stage, made-up to look like hardcore demons and monsters. Fires would burn as they performed. Blood would pour out of Gene Simmons’s mouth. KISS went out of their way to look evil but their music was so radio friendly that it could probably be played at a church retreat. The idea that anyone believed that they were “knights in Satan’s service” seems ludicrous today.
Rock and Roll All Nite was written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Their goal in writing the song was to come up with an anthem for their fans and no one can deny that they succeeded. This video was a promo video that was released, along with the song, in 1975. Like most music videos that were produced in the pre-MTV days, the video keeps things simple and focuses on KISS performing in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
Decades later, a second video would be released for Rock and Roll All Nite. However, that video features KISS without their makeup and that just feels wrong.