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KISS‘s longtime manager Doc McGhee says that he doesn’t know exactly when the final concert of the band’s “End Of The Road” tour will take place.
KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“End Of The Road” was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but has since been extended to 2022. The trek was announced in September 2018 following a KISS performance of the band’s classic song “Detroit Rock City” on “America’s Got Talent”.
“We were supposed to end this year — actually, in July — but because of the COVID stopping us from doing the touring, it set us back a year and a half,” McGhee told Talking Metal in a new interview (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “So it looks like the last show of KISS as you know it, with Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley], will be some time at the end of next year. We don’t have a locked in date yet. Because of what’s going on, it’s very difficult for people to hold dates because we don’t even know if we’re gonna be able to play. So we’re trying to hold dates. But it will be next year.
“We wanna get through what we said,” Doc continued. “The guys wanted to play to everybody. It meant we’ll go to your town, big or small. We’re not the red-carpet band that you have to come out. We’ve always been the people’s band in the sense that the KISS Army that supported us for all these years, we go to all the little towns to play.”
KISS‘s current lineup consists of original members Stanley and Simmons, alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first “farewell” tour in 2000, the last to feature the group’s original lineup.
Two years ago, McGhee said during a question-and-answer session on the ninth annual “Kiss Kruise” that KISS was open to reuniting with all former members at the final gig. “We want to include everybody that played with KISS to celebrate the 45 years of KISS,” he said. “And everybody — Vinnie Vincent and everybody else — that [has] played with KISS is part of this whole celebration of 45 years. So, we’re still looking at what we’re gonna do on the final show of KISS.”
According to McGhee, Frehley and Criss have both “been talked to” about participating in some form. But, he acknowledged, “It’s pretty difficult. When people say, ‘Oh, you should bring Ace and Peter up.’ How do you do that when you have two Catmen and two Spacemen? So you say, ‘Okay. You don’t wear makeup and you wear makeup.’ And then they [Ace and Peter] go, ‘Well, that was my makeup.’ I don’t know. So it’s real hard to do, but we’ll figure it out because they’re very much a part of the heritage of KISS. And they’re acknowledged by Gene and Paul and everybody in this room as the founding members… So. it’s important to you guys [and] it’s important to us. It’s just a matter of the balance and we can bring it where it works for everybody and everybody is having a great time.”
In early 2019, Stanley told Australia’s “Sunday Night” that “Rock And Roll All Nite” “has to be” the song that KISS performs as the last encore at the final concert of the “End Of The Road” tour. “That is the rock anthem that connects the world,” he explained. “It was the start of other people coming up with anthems. They really didn’t exist, per se. So, ‘Rock And Roll All Nite And Party Every Day’, that’s a song that just connects with people on all different levels.”
Simmons concurred, telling BUILD Series: “How do you not end with ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’? We will have played that song, probably without exception, more than any other song we’ve ever been involved with. You might say, ‘Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing that?’ But I will tell you the roar of the crowd, the smell of the grease paint, there ain’t nothing like it. When you hear everybody getting jazzed about that and you get off the stage… [it’s] like the fire in the belly. You’re dog-tired; you’ve just done a big show; and you get up on that stage, when you see the joy in everybody’s face… We’ve seen it all. We’ve been around for generations, but when you see a little 5-year-old kid in KISS makeup on his dad’s shoulders who’s wearing KISS makeup, next to his father… we’re badass kind of guys — nothing affects us much — but that stuff will put a lump in your throat. You have to turn around for a second. It gets me. Yes, it’s music, but it’s generational, and it brings families together instead of separates [sic] them.”