Paul Stanley of Kiss' 20 Best Onstage Quotes - Rolling Stone
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Paul Stanley of Kiss’ 20 Best Onstage Quotes

The choicest lines from the king of concert banter

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Paul Stanley is many things: Singer-guitarist in Kiss, painter, philanthropist, musical theater adeptauthor. He’s also, indisputably, one of the all-time masters of rock & roll stage banter. By turns rousing, hilarious and non-sensical (and always entertaining), Stanley knows exactly how to keep the concert energy high even when the band is between songs. In honor of our new cover story (online in full here now!), here are 20 of his most delirious declarations taken from the viral bootleg collection Let Me Get This Off My ChestBy Melissa Horn

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“You lick me, I lick you”

On Chest, Paul introduces "Lick It Up" with a question: "How many of you girls like to get licked?" The crowd roars. Then, naturally, he asks, "Guys? How many of you guys like to get licked?" The crowd roars again. Thus emboldened, Paul proposes some reciprocal slobbering: "You lick me, I lick you." It's only right now.

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“I. Love. Glögg”

So audience-specific is Stanley's banter that he even thought to reference a Swedish holiday tipple while performing in Stockholm. Hearing him pronounce the word's umlauted "ö" in his Noo Yawk accent is an auditory delight all its own. 

Fin Costello/Redferns

“There is one city in America that opened up your arms and opened up your legs to us”

As an early outpost of the KISS Army and one of the recording spots for the career-making Alive! album, Detroit played an important role in KISStory, and Stanley took a moment to acknowledge the city's, um, embrace of the band. 

Peter Pakvis/Redferns

“I don’t have anything green on!”

Another quick-witted riff from the consummate verbal improviser. Here, Paul makes a punning joke on Toad's Place, the name of the Connecticut club at which he was playing.

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“Is this, or is this not, the rock’n’roll capital of Virginia?”

Stanley asked this seemingly rhetorical question to an audience in Richmond, which is either damning with faint praise or a real eff-you to Roanoke. 

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“I know this isn’t the dairy state, but you grow ’em big here!”

Usually strong on city-specific stage banter, Stanley also occasionally likes to drop in a geographical near-non sequitur, as is the case here, when he tells an audience in San Antonio, Texas, "I know this isn't the dairy state, but you grow 'em big here!" There's good value too in the way he drawls the line with the playful tone sof a drag show MC.

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“We’ve got meters”

Paul informs an audience that he's been measuring their volume levels throughout the show. But to what end? Who crunches these numbers? Are there three decades' worth of decibel charts sitting in Paul's garage? One can only hope.

Fin Costello/Redferns

“It’s getting a little cool out tonight”

Paul turns idle small talk about the weather into a segue for "Hotter Than Hell." 

Neil Lupin/Redferns

“Rock’n’roll pneumonia!”

More weather-related banter, as Stanley notes that a dip in temperature might lead to "a little rock'n'roll pneumonia," and then the band detonates "Doctor Love."


Fin Costello/Redferns

“I’m packin’ my pistol”

In this pre-"Love Gun" riff, Paul lets loose a volley of double entendres, introducing his "pistol," his "six-shooter of sex," his "uzi of ooze." You know what he's talking about, Pittsburgh! 

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“Tony Byrd, in charge of guitars, keyboards and Kool-Aid”

Tony Byrd is a famous guitar tech, and according to Stanley, also pretty good with Kool-Aid.

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“Here’s one that’s easy to remember”

This was Paul's pointed introduction to a performance of "Shout It Out Loud" — and an unintentional synopsis of the band's entire musical oeuvre and secret to its success.

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“Let’s call that rehearsal!”

Undaunted by a less-than-perfect performance from an Atlantic City audience during a sing-a-long, Paul graciously granted his fans a second chance. They nailed it. 

Fin Costello/Redferns

“What’s the biggest part of my body?”

"It's my heart," he wisecracks. It doesn't get much cornier than that Borscht Belt-style bait-and-switch, but some classic Starchild enthusiasm helps this line get over. 

Peter Pakvis/Redferns

“This is what is known as the Melbourne Symphony Ensemble under the direction of Mr. David Campbell”

The best part about this is that it actually happened. The Kiss collaboration with the orchestra resulted in a live album called Kiss Symphony: Alive IV. Truly a contender for the line with the least likely odds of ever being uttered by a member of the band when they got together back in 1973. 

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“Doesn’t mean you can’t be the loudest!”

Paul gives a humbly-sized audience — "the smallest crowd we played for" — a strangely endearing pep talk before launching into "Lick It Up." 

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“It will not make the blind man see! It will not make the cripple walk!”

Paul Stanley believes rock'n'roll can do a lot of things, but he's also not making any false promises.

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“You can win an election, you can lose an election, it’s up to you”

No clue what election in particular Stanley was talking about, but he added, "if we win, we get to rock'n'roll all night and party every day!" Which is platform to believe in. 

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