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Convention Tour: 1995


Start Date: February, 1995

End Date: December 12, 1995

Shows: 32

Countries: Australia, Canada, U.S.A

Opening Acts/Tribute Bands: Alive!, Black Diamond, Cold Gin, Desstroyer. Dynissty, Gene's Addiction, Hotter Than Hell, Karissma, Rock 'n' Roll Over, Strutter, Unmasked, Wicked Lester.

Average Attendance: Unknown

Line Up: Paul Stanley, Bruce Kulick, Gene Simmons,Eric Singer, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley. (Including Mtv Unplugged)

In 1995 KISS took notice of the KISS conventions being held all around the world, Gene and Paul, woulden't be Gene and Paul to let KISS take some action in on those events (and make some nice amount of money from it, tickets would cost a whopping $100 bucks!). The KISS conventions were mostly held at hotels or convention centers, the day long events were a must see for KISS fans, with a KISS museum with allot of KISS memorabilia including Eric Carr's abandoned costume for his Hawk persona and many other old KISS costumes. Also present at the conventions was allot of merchandise, Gene and Paul took their opportunity once again and signed a deal with Sony Signatures to handle all their merchandising. In the main room of the convention video's and slide shows were being showcased. Eric and Bruce even were giving drum and guitar clinics. After this the KISS tribute bands would perform.

Before the main performance KISS would hold a Q&A with fans asking all kind of questions, but the best part were the acoustic sessions, even though Gene did use a electric bass, Paul and Bruce used electro-acoustic guitars. A small part of the songs were rehearsed but most of the songs requested by the audience were unrehearsed, and it was entertaining watching the band members trying to remember all the old classic KISS songs, especially Gene who never was a genius when it came to remembering lyrics. After the session the band would do lengthy meet and greets, singing autographs and just have a normal conversation with their fans. These conventions were a rare piece of KISStory only to be happen again when the KISS Kruise was invented!

The band taking requests at the Nashville convention (Picture courtesy of Hunter Goatley)

But what made the convention tour even better, was that MTV wanted to do a KISS MTV Unplugged session, Peter Criss planned to visit the Burbank, June 17 convention together with his daughter Jenilee, to show her how big of a rock star her father was in the 70's (Peter was already in contact with Gene and Paul as they sold merchandise with Peter on it and he got a cut from it), Peter eventually got offered a limousine ride to the convention from Gene and Peter held a Q&A with Gerri Miller from Metal Edge, than Peter came on stage with the band to sing "Hard Luck Woman" and "Nothin' Too Lose", seeing the reaction of the crowd, it was more than obvious to Gene to invite Peter for the MTV Unplugged session and with Ace as well. 

But things did not really were going smoothly for the MTV Unplugged sessions came together seeing both Peter and Ace's lawyers set demands made by their clients so they would get a even share from the whole thing, eventually the whole thing would pass through and MTV Unplugged was a go, it turned into a unique piece of KISStory and saw a glimpse of the original band coming together once again.

Rehearsals for the MTV Unplugged session started on August 9, a week after the Convention tour ended, after both Ace and Peter performed their songs, Bruce and Eric were welcomed back to the stage so all the members were participate on the final song Rock And Roll All Nite, strangely enough they were met with boos from the audience, this in the eyes of Gene was clearly a sign that the fans were ready for a reunion of the original band...

The convention tour even had a tour book, notice the date of 1996, so they had plans for more conventions around the world



Instead of the old style tickets, visitors to the conventions were given a laminated pass, this was the brainstorm idea of now current KISS member Tommy Thayer, who once opened for KISS during the Asylum tour with his band Black "N Blue and later on played in the KISS tribute band Cold Gin, Tommy eventually got noticed by Gene and got hired to be his assistant, co-wrote on some songs for Hot In The Shade and he eventually would climb up to be a jack-of-all-trades for the band, helped Ace remember to play old KISS songs when he returned to the band, than tour manager during KISS's reunion and than eventually he became a KISS member himself.

Tommy Thayer with KISS tribute band Cold Gin member and also someone who has been working behind the scenes for KISS for a long time by now is Spiro Papadatos, who now is Gene's assistant and has many more jobs in KISS.Ltd (graphic designer and such).

Special Shows / Happenings:

 
- Adelaide, Australia. February 5, 1995 -
On the first two conventions and the band and management were still working on various issues with the hotels in terms of noise and liquor licensing,
after the first 2 shows when drunk fans would none-stop be screaming "Gene, Gene, Gene" and "We love you guys!!" they made the conventions a none alcohol event.

- West Hollywood, CA, June 16, 1993 -
A special promotion event where the band announced the North American leg of the Convention tour,
they also performed 3 songs acoustic, 'Hard Luck Woman', 'Domino' and 'Every Time I Look At You'.

- Burbank, CA, June 17, 1995 -
The convention where Peter sang along with the band for two songs and gave a Q&A.

- Las Vegas, NV, June 24, 1995 -
Paul brought his infant son Evan out on stage at one moment, after the MTV Unplugged session, the band would turn on their next album, Carnival Of Souls, Paul would write "I Will Be There" for Evan.

- Indianapolis, IN, July 13, 1995 -
KISS Army founder Bill Starkey attended the event, making it his first KISS concert since 1978, he also was a surprise guest speaker and
briefly joined the band on the stage during the Q&A session.

- Cleveland, OH, July 23, 1995 -
For the first time a KISS wedding took place at a convention, Gene even gave away the bride.

- New York, NY, August 4, 1995 -
KISS performed  two songs for their appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Conan always was and still is a big KISS fan and even introduced
the band when they held their reunion press conference on board of the USS Intrepid in 1996!


- New York, NY, August 9, 1995 -
The taping of MTV KISS Unplugged, the performance is still one of the most successful MTV unplugged sessions.

All the members of KISS back in 1995 on the stage for MTV Unplugged

Stage props:

- Giant KISS logo curtain


 MTV KISS Unplugged:

- Big KISS Logo

- Big Rock And Roll Over rug

- Mannequins with KISS costumes

- KISS inspired pylons

- Confetti