Kiss The Story Of The KISS ARMY & Terra Haute, Indiana

  • By cvbizz
  • October 20, 2020
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What is going on my fellow rock n’ rollers. Don’t orget to hit the bell notification icon to be notified everytime i put out a new video on my channel. Few fan clubs are as notorious as the Kiss Army, but the idea for the fan club didn’t come from the band themsleves or their manager or even record label, People can thanks two loyal teenage fans from the midwest. How did this happen stay tuned to find out.

The story of the Kiss army began with two teenage fans from Indiana. They were named Bill Starkey and Jay Evans and they lived in the Indiana City of Terre Haute

Starkey came from a family who supported his love of rock n’ roll taking him to KiSS’s conerts in 1974 and his father also worked at a warehouse as an expeditor for Columbia Records. His father gave Bill his first Kiss record, their self titled debut album from February of 1974. Starkey’s father liked Kiss, but he would tease his son about what he saw as a band without a future telling his son, ‘Your band isn’t doing it,’. ” ‘They’re playing shows, but the sales are bad. We’re not shipping anything.’ he’d say He wasn’t far off from the truth The band’s first three albums — Kiss, Hotter Than Hell and Dressed to Kill —didn’t dominate the rock charts initially.
It didn’t matter to Starkey who still followed his favourite band and his friend Jay Evans made bootleg copies of Kiss albums, which he shared with the people with people at school.
Starkey and Evans worked at a place called Wayne’s World fashion, where they would decide Starkey would become the commander-in-chief of the Kiss Army, while Evans would take the title of field marshal. And you’re maybe wondering why did they call it the Kiss Army and not just the Kiss fan club? According to Evans he would say “it sounded too wimpy.”
Prior to the band getting any airplay on radio, Starkey and Evans would be teased mercilessly by their school mates over being kiss fans. Evans would remember
“We all showed up at school in our Kiss T-shirts and got taunted. Still, it didn’t really dampen our enthusiasm. Usually, in high school, anything you get taunted for, you want to shy away from. But we just didn’t.” According to Starkey the kids would say to the them “Kiss? Kiss my ass. Starkey, if they’re so good, why aren’t they on the radio?” Starkey for his part couldn’t come up with a good response and he wondered yeah why aren’t they on the radio.

in January of 1975 Starkey and Evans wanted to get their favorite band Kiss played on the local radio so they started calling the radio station WVTS, but the program director Rich Dickerson ignored their request referring to Kiss as a and i quote “mediocre Bachman Turner Overdrive” Rather than give up they called back into the radio station claiming to be the KISS Army. They would continue to badger the station going as far as sending in letters threatening to blow up the station unless they complied with their request. Their perseverance seemed to pay off as by the summer of 1975 the local radio station started playing KISS’ music often referring to the Kiss army live on the air. Also helping things was that Kiss’ live album Alive was released around this time and the band was scheduled to play the City that fall. And it wasn’t long before the radio station was inundated with calls from people asking how they could enlist in the Kiss army.

When WVTS decided to play KISS on their station, they had to reach out to Starkey to bring in his recordings from the band as the station had previously thrown out their singles for Rock N’ Roll All Nite and Strutter.

Soon enough the program director who initially ignored the teens would team up to help promote an upcoming Kiss concert in Terra Haute. Soon enough Kiss’ publicist would reach out to Starkey and Evans to discuss the Kiss Army which wasn’t an official fan club just yet. The teens found themselves going live on WVTS to recruit as many members as possible ahead of their scheduled show.. Abd Kiss would perform in Terra Haute on November 21, 1975 and to recognize the efforts of Starkey, he met the band at the airport, was brought on stage that night and given an honorary plaque as well as ate dinner with the band at a chinese restaurant following the show and had breakfast with them the following morning. Starkey initially thought that he would continue to run the Kiss army from his home in Indiana

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