KISS co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley go all the way back to the beginning in a preview clip of the upcoming A&E Biography: Kisstory special, which will air in two parts on June 27 and 28 (9-11 p.m. ET). In the exclusive preview shared with Billboard, the greasepaint rockers take a field trip to the famed Electric Lady Studios in New York’s Greenwich Village to reminisce about their first attempts to make music together.
“From the beginning, Gene felt more like a relative … I felt real fortunate to have met him,” guitarist-singer Stanley, 69, says of his musical partner of half a century, bassist-singer Simmons, 71. “In spite of him driving me crazy a lot of times.”
Simmons, a notorious keeper of the KISS flame, recalls the band being in an adjacent studio at the Jimi Hendrix-commissioned recording mecca when Stevie Wonder was recording his iconic 1972 hit “Superstition.”
“Paul and I, the chemistry worked,” says Simmons in the definitive chronicle of the band directed by D.J. Viola (Terror in the Woods). “But it didn’t start that way.” The lone remaining original members of the group known for their bombastic, pyro-filled shows and signature painted faces sit down with their guitars at the studio for a strum down memory lane.
Simmons says he’d never met another songwriter before he was introduced to Stanley by a friend, which leads to archival tape of a jammy rocker called “Sunday Driver,” eventually released as “Let Me Know” on the band’s self-titled 1974 debut album. The typically hard to impress Simmons recalls thinking, “Wow, that’s a good song!”
The special will also feature appearances from current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, as well as superfans Dave Grohl, and Tom Morello.