KISS - 45 years ago today in Anchorage - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, December 16, 2019
HomeThe SocialKISS — 45 years ago today in Anchorage

KISS — 45 years ago today in Anchorage

On June 2, 1974, KISS played its first Alaska concert with Savoy Brown at the Sundowner Drive-In Theatre in Anchorage. It would be the band’s only tour of Alaska until they returned in 2000. (Photographer unknown.)

KISS made note of the anniversary on its Facebook page today.

Did you attend the concert? Leave your memories in the comment section below.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I was there

      • If you can remember…

  • Woah, wait……is Suzanne a secret KISS groupie?

    I should have known…..just a rock ‘n roll babe at heart–turned freedom fighting journalist!

    Amazing that KISS brought their show to Alaska in ’74.

    No doubt money man Gene Simmons wanted to tap into some of that 1970’s pipeline economy cash.

    • I mean, she’s a Republican groupie. There’s a reason why a group like KISS is worth commemorating to her. So inconsistent with her purported values.

  • Never cared for the music or the aesthetics but one of my favorite interviews of all time is Gene Simmons by Terry Gross: https://archive.org/details/TerryGrossInterviewWithGeneSimmons

  • That concert was my first, being too busy making a living. I didn’t live in Anchorage but I made a special trip to see Savoy Brown, being a fan. The venue for concert goers was the drive in theater parking lot, sitting in the warm weather on the asphalt, waiting for Savoy Brown. We waited and waited, about two hours, for Savoy Brown. They never showed up. Story was, they never made it past Chilkoots, on the way to the concert. Finally, on stage, came a strangely made up band, the back up to Savoy. They were introduced as “Kiss”. Having never been a fan of “heavy metal”, at first, I didn’t care for Kiss, but they started to grow on me about halfway through their performance. By the time the concert was over, Savoy Brown having never shown up, I was starting to like Kiss. Still, most of the Savoy Brown fans were somewhat upset, as Savoy was the reason most went. No refunds. Savoy Brown was removed from my personal list of “favorites”. I never forgot Kiss.

  • Yep, I was there…started out ok, but clouds rolled in with strong gusts of wind that blew the blue tarps to shreds that hung from the stage perimeter…Kiss kept on playing. My buddy with me passed out from the wine we had and sat by a car-speaker pole on the ground the entire concert.

  • We set up some scaffolding that was laying around and hung out all over it and partied our asses off

  • It wasn’t Savoy Brown its was the Boogie Brothers featuring Kim Simmons of Savoy Brown. Simmons was so drunk he was falling down and couldn’t play. Then this weird band with makeup ? played. I thought they’ll never make this ridiculous….. I guess I was wrong

    • Dominic,
      The concert was advertised as “Savoy Brown” being the namesake and lead band. That’s why I went. There was no mention of a “partial” group of Savoy Brown or I wouldn’t have gone.

  • A kiss fan and a staunch conservative! I shoulda married Suzanne!

  • As I recall, it was the second time KISS had played before a live audience. I will never forget Gene Simmons coming out onto the stage with the intro song – I was six feet from him – in his “jacked up” boots he looked ten feet tall. I thought I was seeing the devil playing bass guitar I loved the show!

  • I kinda remember the Sundowner. A few times I would walk up to that second-floor balcony across the street and watch the movie. I lived right down the street from Barrie White 30+ years ago and talked with him occasionally. I never asked him about the Anchorage Sports Arena, despite the fact that I was working at the time for various promoters running events at the Sullivan Arena. I do know that the Sports Arena was in business in 1974 as I recently researched an event there that year. Any reason why the concert wasn’t held there? The passage in Johnny’s Girl about the Fats Domino concert offers a hint that it may have been a financially risky proposition.

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