John 5 recently revealed that he’s the proud owner of the KISS drum head, which he got in Michigan, and told the crazy story behind how he bumped into it.
The album ‘Alive!’ by KISS is their first live album and was released in 1975. The album is known as the band’s breakthrough and a pioneer of live albums. Because KISS was known for their improvisational stage performances and entertainment, people loved coming to their shows, but they wouldn’t get their albums.
Therefore, their commercial success began with their first live album instead of their previous three studio albums. This album was very important for the band and their fans. Its cover featured the band members in their usual face makeup and costumes on stage with a lot of colorful smoke in the air. The drum head reads ‘KISS,’ and as it turns out, it now belongs to the guitarist John 5.
Here is how the drum head ended up in his hands:
“I have some KISS broken guitars. Paul would break some guitars on stage. But I don’t have any guitars that they were played or anything like that. But you know what I just got? This is a really interesting story, I don’t know if you guys will find this interesting, but on the cover of ‘Alive,’ there’s Peter Criss and his drum head, and it says ‘KISS.’ Maybe one of the most famous live albums of all time.
So they took that picture at the Michigan Palace in Michigan, obviously, and then they took off that drum head, and then they did a video for ‘Rock and Roll All Nite.’ And they wanted more of a new-looking drum head so it would really pop the logo ‘KISS.’
Anyway, to make this story longer, my brother-in-law calls me, who lives in Michigan, and he said, ‘Hey, there’s this guy that has some KISS stuff, and they’re cleaning out this locker.’ He’s this old guy, and he said he’s got this drum head. And this drum head was used from 1974 to mid-’75, and it’s been on hundreds and thousands of pictures and shows. And the guy was like, ‘Yeah, I got this bass drum head.’
And so it was just sitting in storage right after they took the picture for ‘Alive,’ and they took it off, and threw it, whatever. And the guys at the Michigan Palace are just cleaning up as they do every night, and they put some stuff in storage to see if anybody’s going to come back for it, and almost 50 years later.
So yeah, I got that, it’s going to be showing up pretty much any time. This is really recent, and that’s why I’m sitting by the driveway, so I don’t miss the Fed-Ex guy.”
You can watch the interview below.