Back in 73 Gene already knew that KISS was not a band but a business and that the stage personas and music were just the product produced and has talked about that pretty openly. As the other original founder, Paul has always had significant input as to the bands direction but Gene was the business minded member. Gene understood merchandising and was the force behind producing most if not all of the products that have been marketed with their name. Somewhere along the line I remember seeing him speaking about knowing at the beginning that the makeup and merchandising was also a tool that would allow them to become a multi-generational band that wouldnt just disappear like so many bands have. Even today they still appear in various animated shows to continue to appeal to the next generation. Regardless of what one thinks of their music, as a business man Gene really should command respect and really has few equals. How many others would have had the foresight to use a bass as a hammer to forge a billion dollar empire?
As to the patriotism, thats not new either. Going back to some point at least to the 80s theyve done the national anthem, and have stopped the show to give patriotic and/or anti-drug commentary. Not at every show, not all those in any one show but, its been there in the shows.
All of this really surprises me, but I’m really glad about it. Redemption at work.
He’s an interesting man. I saw him recently on Fox News. He’s quite different than he appeared back in the day. He also looks the size of an NFL player.