Heart Problem Forces Kiss to be a Trio in San Jacinto
Even with their lead singer and co-founding member Paul Stanley flat on his back with doctors temporarily stopping his heart to rectify a ticker pulsing at 190+ beats-per-minute, rock group KISS went on with the show Friday in San Jacinto.
Performing as a trio for the first time ever in their storied 33-year career, Gene Simmons led Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer through more than a dozen classic Kiss tunes at the Soboba Casino just a few hours after their starry-eyed singer fought for his life.
During sound check yesterday, my heart spontaneously jumped to 190 plus beats per minute where it stayed for over an hour necessitating paramedics to start an IV and give me a shot to momentarily stop my heart and get it into a normal pattern. Not knowing if this episode was life threatening made it even more exhausting. After consulting with both the paramedics and a cardiologist at Cedar Sinai, they confirmed my worst fear. They said that I would put myself at risk if I tried to do the show. I’m very proud of Gene, Tommy and Eric for carrying on without me. I apologize to anyone I disappointed and I’ll make it up to you when I see you again.
KISS Manager Doc McGhee then took the stage to announce to the crowd that Paul was sick and unable to perform but that Gene wanted to speak with the fans. Gene asked the audience if they wanted him, Tommy & Eric to perform. The crowd responded with a defeaning chant of yes, yes, yes. With that, Gene announced that the concert (If they could pull it off), was a tribute to “The Greatest Voice in Rock and Roll - Rock God Paul Stanley”. With Paul en route to the hospital - Gene, Tommy and Eric played their hearts out in honor of their stricken leader! The set list evolved as the night progressed and KISS blasted their way into the hot night air - valiantly trying to hold it together minus the band’s heart & soul. In an emotionally charged moment, Gene told the crowd that he was an only child, but nevertheless had a brother – Paul Stanley! ‘Christine Sixteen' brought 11 invited fans onto the stage to help perform the song, and added a bit of lighthearted fun to the pensive night.