‘At one point, I was experimenting’: Kiss’ Paul Stanley wasn’t always made up as Starchild

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Paul Stanley’s iconic star-themed make up is as much a part of his persona with Kiss as original songs like “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Shout It Out Loud.” But it wasn’t always like that.

Stanley actually changed his look for a new concert in mid-1973, switching to a character known as the Bandit that bore more than a passing resemblence to the Lone Ranger. It wasn’t the only time Stanley considered another option, either.

“At one point, I was experimenting,” Stanley tells KLOS in Los Angeles. “I thought about a ring around my eye — like Petey, the dog from the Little Rascals. But, as much of a dog as I was, I felt more like a star.”

And so it has been for decades now, save for a period beginning in September of 1983 when the group performed unmasked through February 1996 — when Stanley resumed his role as the Starchild, one he hasn’t relinquished since.

Even having had that time away from the elaborate on-stage getups, Stanley says he’s never resenting going back to the familiar makeup.

“Never,” he says. “We had, what was it? 14 or 15 years without the makeup? But if you win the lottery, you don’t complain about taxes. If that was what got us to where we were, how could we complain about it? It makes people happy, it makes me happy. I’m proud of the legacy we have.”

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