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Animalize Tour: 1984 - '85

Start Date: September 30, 1984

End Date: March 29, 1985

Shows: 119

Countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, U.S.A, West Germany.

Opening Acts: Bon Jovi, Dokken, Krokus, Queensryche, Sentinel, Steelover, W.A.S.P

Average Attendance: 6,209

Line Up: Paul Stanley, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick, Gene Simmons,Eric Carr

 

After the short lived relationship with Vinnie Vincent ended the band was in need of another lead guitar player, Paul sought the advice of renowned guitar luthier Grover Jackson, who suggested a guitar teacher from Orange Country, California as the ideal candidate for the job. Enter Mark St. John,

Mark was not experienced at all when it came to playing in a huge band, he also did not liked the way he was treated during the recording of the Animalize album. A excerpt from a interview with Mark St. John from 1999:

 


"I woke up one morning in California with the inflammation in my hand. It started all there. I don't know what it was. I think it was the stress, I really do. I never had arthritis in anywhere in my family. I was playing violin concertos on the guitar before KISS, you know? I think it was just the stress of the whole thing. And people only see the tip of the iceberg. "Oh he's in the band, he's the fourth member. They all get the same, everything is equal." There was nothing equal about it at all. I was a hired hand. Period. Think everybody got a piece of the pie? I got maybe some crumbs off a piece! That's all bull. My work is all over that album, but I don't get credit or paid for it. No type of royalties at all."

 Read more from this interview over at KISSasylum.com

 Animalize eventually would turn out KISS's most successful album from the 80's, it topped high in the charts and enjoyed the longest run in the charts of any KISS album since Rock And Roll Over from 1976. It reached Platinum on December 12, 1984.

Mark St. John's problems with his hand became a bigger problem that already started during the Animalize tour rehearsals in New York City, He was eventually diagnosed with a arthritic syndrome called Reiter's Syndrome, Bruce Kulick was hired as a temporary replacement but Mark still travelled with the band and when his condition eventually improved he eventually played in 3 shows on the tour. On December 7, 1984, Mark St. John was send home and Bruce Kulick was named KISS's official lead guitar replacement the following day in Detroit.

Mark St. John eventually had some mild success with his new glam metal band White Tiger, in 1990 he made a demo tape with Peter Criss but these demo's were never good enough for a record. Mark St. John sadly passed away on April 5, 2007 from a cerebral hemorrhage.

  

Mark St. John (left) and Bruce Kulick (right).

 The stage for the Animalize tour consisted of two stages, the European leg of the tour got a refurbished Unmasked tour stage but heavily padded with animal prints (leopard spots, zebra stripes and tiger stripes) like the Animalize album cover.

When KISS returned back to America, their album was a big hit and a bigger stage was created, it contained two large metal ramps left and right of the drum kit, a big platform in the middle if of the stage was used as a lighting platform for Eric during his drum solo and at the end of Black Diamond, Paul, Gene and Bruce took position on the platform and it rose above the crowd. The lighting rig also could be used to walk over and they did this as well, it was lowered down and they could get enter it like stairs.

Eric also got a nice addition at his drum kit for the European stage and that was two large black panther heads in his bass drums.Paul also got a little stage trick added seeing he never had a real one next to his guitar smashing, he would swing onto the stage just before smashing his guitar like a trapeze artiest. It was also rumored he would also jump through a flaming circle like in the end of the music video from Heaven's On Fire.

When the show started, the band would be lifted from behind the drum kit, it's clearly seen in the concert video KISS Animalize Live Uncensored.

 

Two views from the European stage (click for larger size) 

   

The American stage

 For the shows pyrotechnics were also back bigger than used during the Lick It Up tour, including flamethrowers and bigger bombs. The band had allot of open space on the American stage as seen on video footage of the tour, with the band members running up and down on the ramps. but Bruce did not like the metal ramps, if you fell you could have hurt yourself really bad seeing these were made from metal, and Bruce witnessed this first hand a couple of times!

The European (left) and American (right) tour book

  
  
   Click on the Youtube logo to watch the video on Youtube.


 
 Special Shows / Happenings:
 
- Scheveningen, The Netherlands. October 21, 1984 -
KISS performed a lip-synced performance on the beach of Scheveningen in The Netherlands for the Dutch TV Show'Veronica's Strand Race  (Veronica's Beach race)  (video can be seen at Video's). This very day KISS also had a show in Norway, so they were rushed to the airport quickly after the performance.
 
- Hovet, Johanneshov (Stockholm), Sweden,  October 26, 1984 -
Paul fell twice during the beginning of the show, Gene briefly took over the lead vocals. While in Sweden for their three shows. KISS appeared on a local TV show called Gladgehurs to lip-sync 'Heaven's On Fire'. (video above, first from the left on the top)
 
- Ijsselhallen. Zwolle, The Netherlands, November 4, 1984 -
Gene and Paul briefly played drum during the show for fun. KISS made their first appearance on a Dutch KISS convention, which was held by the Dutch KISS Army within the venue on the floor above the concert hall.

 
 
- Le Zenith, Paris, France, November 5, 1984 -
This was the last show of the European tour, Bon Jovi dropped some 2,000 ping pong balls on KISS while on stage, it started out with one or two and than everything came down like a wall of white.
 
- Baltimore Civic Center, Baltimore, ML, November 27, 1984 -
This was Mark St. John's first performance with KISS. Bruce Kulick played the first third of the show and Paul introduced Mark St. John to come up and play Under The Gun. At the end all the members including Mark took a bow together.
 
 
 
   

- Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, November 28, 1984 -
Mark St. John played the entire show.
 
- Broome Co. Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY, November 29, 1984 -
This was Mark St. John's third and final show and he played through the entire show again.
 
- Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI, December 8, 1984 -
Bruce Kulick was made a official KISS member and the entire concert was recorded by MTV and is the only  video (bootleg) concert show from KISS from 1984. As a publicity stunt, Radio station WLLZ, who also aired the show, arranged that Bruce Redoute and Lee Neaves, the two teens featured on the back cover of Alive! from 1975 to reunite with KISS. Gene and Paul went out to dinner with them after the show. The pair would regularly meet with them again in the following years. Mark St. John was also send home this day.
 
- The Coliseum Theatre, Richfield (Cleveland), OH, December 14, 1984 -
  Audience shots for the 'Thrills In The Night' music video were filmed in Richfield. Some shots ended up on Paul's 'Rockers Against Drugs'  public service announcement. Gene 's first theatrical film, Runaway, opened nationwide, he had to cut his hair short for the part so for the Animalize  tour he had to wear a wig.
 
- Commonwealth Convention Center,Louisville, KY, December 15, 1984 -
All close up shots and conceptual footage for the 'Thrills In The Night' music video were filmed here. The director originally wanted to include conceptual footage of the band in various roles, such as Eric portraying a office manager, the footage was considered to hokey and to this day has never seen the light of day.
 
 - Greenville Memorial Auditorium,Greenville, SC, January 3, 1985 -
For the first time ever someone lost his life on the KISS stage, a local lighting tech, John Addington fell to his death from the lighting rig during the changeover between acts.
 
 
The band with Mark during one of the very few shows he played with KISS.
 
 
Stage props:

- Panther heads in drum-kit
- Fire breathing
- KISS Logo
- Smoke
- 2 Animalize inspired stages
- Pyrotechnics
- Flamethrowers
- Fireworks
- Bombs
- Flash pots
- Paul smashing guitar
- Flying ramp
- Paul trapeze stunt

 

 




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