The rock and roll superheroes of KISS make their screen acting debut in the hard to find KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.
What follows can only be described as a glam, fantasy, horror version of “A Hard Day’s Night”
It was all around 1977 or so. Back then, I was in Mrs. Crouse’s combination 2nd and 3rd grade class at Margaret A. Edmonston Elementary in Laurel, MD, and the whole bunch of us worshiped KISS. Between me and my brother, Mike, I think we had every one of their albums.
I remember my favorite was “Dressed To Kill,” where they were all wearing their trademark makeup, but they all had suits on, too. Real 70’s chic.
But I wasn’t like your average KISS fan. Most of the kids were into Gene Simmons, since he was the front man. And some liked Paul Stanley for his cool makeup, or Ace Frehley, because he played guitar. Not me. No, I wanted to be Peter Criss.
And then, one day this window of opportunity flew open. I was having some grilled cheese and tomato soup in the cafeteria when I saw a sign for try outs for the talent show. Now, I couldn’t dance or tell jokes or anything, but I did have my own special talent that I constantly rehearsed in my bedroom.
I could lip sync the one hit that Peter Criss sang for KISS, “Beth.”
So I went off to the tryouts with my “Beth” 45 rpm record, and my Peter Criss costume from Halloween. When I got in there and the first words came along on the record, I started my lip sync.
The only problem was that the mask covered my face, and I didn’t think to prepare too much choreography. That was my beginning and end as a performer.
KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park is hard to find, but they have some old copies on VHS and DVD, as well as posters, on Amazon.