They played their first-ever show on January 30, 1973, in a New York club, after Stanley and Gene Simmons decided to move on from previous band Wicked Lester. They were paid $50 for the appearance in front of an audience of less than 10 people.
The bassist says: “Wicked Lester had just finished its album. Though we had a real recording contract with a major label, and though we had finished an entire album, we were depressed – it just wasn’t what we had envisioned.
“We tried firing the other three guys but some wouldn’t leave. So we quit. We started again with a vision: ‘Let’s put together the band we never saw on stage.”
He recalls their first manager, on hearing the “newborn baby” that was Kiss, though it was “the worst crap he had ever heard.” That left the band without representation; so Simmons created a press kit while Stanley had promotional material printed by a friend.
“I made a phone call, cold, to a place called Popcorn in Queens, New York,” the bassist says. “We got the gig: three nights, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, for the sum of $150. That was the beginning.”
In a personal message to the Kiss Army he described Stanley as someone “without whom I would never have been able to achieve my dreams.” He adds thanks to “the band, past and present, for continuing to treat the stage as holy ground and the fans as our bosses.”
Stanley comments: “My dream from the start was five years of glory with Kiss. Every band member who has stood with me at some point during these decades has played an essential part in turning that five-year dream into a phenomenal 40-year reality. Humble thanks.”