Paul Stanley is famous to millions around the world as the KISS Starchild, the band's enigmatic lead singer who has served as the yin to the yang of the Demon, Gene Simmons, for more than 40 years.
Stanley opened up to Forbes in a new interview over the weekend, and the singer shared an inspirational musical moment from his youth that many might not expect: seeing soul legend Otis Redding live in concert.
"I was fortunate, as a kid I saw Otis Redding, which he was magic," Stanley revealed when asked about the first song that changed his life. "And you hopefully know the difference when you're in the presence of greatness as opposed to just an entertainer. I was also very fortunate I saw the Yardbirds with Jimmy Page and that was something really, really monumental for me. And of course I saw Zeppelin in '69 and that was transformative. As I would put it that was god's work. When you see a band that are so tied to each other and the synergy within the band and not only the music, but the sexuality of the band. Everything was so potent and so perfect that was a transformative moment for me. Probably more than any other was seeing Zeppelin live really when I believe they were at their peak."
Stanley went on to further elaborate on both Page and Redding later on in the interview: "To hear 'Respect,' 'Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song),' you gotta write it down like that, 'Try A Little Tenderness,' Otis was a big man and he commanded that stage and even if you see Monterey Pop or some of these other concert films and you see Otis, I can only imagine what he would have gone on to do had he not met a tragic end. So Otis was amazing and seeing Jimmy play some of Jeff Beck's riffs after Jeff had left the Yardbirds was something we talked about. And I think Zeppelin, for me, are the ultimate in a band that was pretty much capable of anything."
When it was mentioned that a popular debate in the mid-'70s was which band was better live, KISS or Led Zeppelin, Stanley kept it real: "And I of course would go Zeppelin."
Stanley will be walking it like he talks it next year when he drops the long-awaited debut album from his R&B band, Soul Station.
KISS is set to end the year with a record-breaking "KISS 2020 Goodbye" show in Dubai:
" We are rehearsing here in Los Angeles under very, very strict COVID regulations. We're tested almost daily, each one of us. We go home and after that there's no masked socializing and there's only three people in the rehearsal room and they are tested and masked. And the room is sanitized daily. So we take this seriously. People maybe I think perhaps overjoyed a little early. Yes we have a vaccine, but the vaccine means nothing unless you're vaccinated. So we still need to maintain our distance and all the suggestions that will keep us safe until we can be vaccinated. As far as the concert there will be about 500 people who are on the crew and they too are being tested and the precautions are strict. And let's face it, this has been an awful year to one degree or another for everybody. So if we can kick it in the rear end I'll do it in eight-inch heels. And in the meantime we'll be also having some fun. We'll play all the songs people expect to hear. We're going to break numerous hopefully Guinness world records. We will have an absolutely enormous, enormous stage and other than that we have about a million and half dollars worth of pyro. So if you aren't tuning in, you'll probably be hearing us anyway."