End Date: March 29, 1985
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 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
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)
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.
- Panther heads in drum-kit
- Fire breathing
- KISS Logo
- 2 Animalize inspired stages
- Flash pots
- Paul smashing guitar
- Flying ramp
- Paul trapeze stunt
- - KISS & Tour - -