that is a KISS fan is probably a KISS collector
in one way or another. When I was young, there were
dolls, trash cans, record players, and almost anything
you could think of that has a KISS image on it.
It didn't really appeal to me then, because it was
just that, a product with a sticker or decal on
it. The dolls were the only cool thing back then,
I thought well, when I had gotten back 'into' KISS
after being heavily into Jimi Hendrix, (and owning
some of his clothing and handwriting), I had new
ideas for what I wanted in my KISS collection. In
1990 at the New York KISS Convention, I met Al B.
Romano and he was carrying around Ace's Washburn
guitar looking to sell it. That became the first
piece in my collection and I also made a friend.
Al invited me up the next day to meet Ace as they
were good friends. Well, Ace also was a Hendrix
fan and we hit it off. I offered to make him some
audio and video tapes from my collection and gave
him my number. He called me the very next morning
and asked, 'Did you make my tapes yet?' Our friendship
began. I was selling off much of my Hendrix collection,
and told him that I wanted to collect Kiss memorabilia.
I was buying some cool items, but did he have anything
he could sell me.
Over the next 5 years that I knew him, he sold or
traded to me for guitar and amp work some of the
most unique and incredible items I have ever seen.
The Love Gun costume, The Destroyer costume, guitars,
t-shirts, boots, you name it. In 1992 I set up my
first display in the Kiss Convention museum and
it grew every year until Gene and Paul wanted to
confiscate it just like they did to Al Munson. (See
the film "Kiss Loves You" for the story
and clips of it happening. Check out http://www.8thgradefilms.com)
That year I was warned that they were after my stuff,
so I set up a Ace 'solo career' museum and there
were no KISS items for them to take.
last display was in 1995 at the Detroit Kiss Convention.
It was also the last time I hung out with Ace and
since then I haven't set up another display. I began
selling and trading things off as I started to collect
Elvis memorabilia. What was once the world's largest
collection is now scattered all over the world.
I still have some sentimental items that may come
out again someday, but for now are just put away.
I feel lucky that I had that direct connection to
Ace, and I would tell him about the historical value
of the items. 'Just like something that Elvis wore
on stage is valuable, so is something that you wore'.
I would tell him. Now there is so much KISS stuff
out there, it is unbelievable. But I don't think
a coffin or talking dolls will ever be as valuable
as a guitar used by them, or a costume worn by them.
I still like to collect unique items today, as they
are fun and a good investment. Maybe you have something
unique that there is only one of? Well, take care
of it, and be proud to own it.
Thank You for looking at what used to be my collection!