If you aren’t a fan of KISS then this post isn’t for you. You’ve, no doubt, mocked even the high points of this legendary band’s career so just move along. However, if you are a dyed-in-the-wool KISS fan, prepare to simultaneously watch the the greatest and lamest thing you’ve ever seen in your life as a fan of the Hottest Band in the Land.
The KISS My Boots podcast has premiered a long-shelved video from KISS‘ 1981 headscratcher of an album ‘Music from the Elder.’ The music video for the single “I” was shot on Halloween in 1981 on a soundstage that resembled Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. According to KISS fan lore, due to a combination of the album tanking and a cringeworthy post-production viewing by the band and record company (Casablanca), it was deemed a bad idea to release to the general public. After you view this, I think you’ll agree that was a wise decision.
Regardless of how this writer feels about ‘The Elder‘ (I’m not a big fan yet fascinated by it’s era), there’s no doubt that this music video for “I” has become a bit of a holy grail for KISS fans. Knowing that it was shot and never released only helped fuel the fan base’s desire to see it.
Speaking of fuel, the first inkling of the “I” video being a tangible reality (outside of a few photos from the shoot) came in the form of an auction that popped up last year and turned into a circus of sorts in and of itself. The auction was being held by Curt Gooch, an author and super collector that had come into ownership of the only existing U-Matic tape that contained the “I” video as well as the previously released ‘A World Without Heroes‘ video. Gooch promoted the tape auction on some podcasts and KISS message boards to attempt to acquire his eBay Buy-It-Now price of $25000.00 that he was seeking. Fans, while certainly interested, were repulsed by the sky-high price for the tape. After quite a bit of online mocking, Gooch actually threatened to burn the tape in a fire if he didn’t earn the $25000.00 treasure he was seeking. This led to more mocking and meme-creation. He’d later claim that he wasn’t being serious about the “fire” sale and wound up auctioning the tape to KISSFAQ website/podcast owner and author Julian Gill for a more reasonable sum.
With the tape in Gill‘s hands, it led to speculation that the “I” video would somehow be tied into the production of the then-unreleased Odyssey book that Gill and co-author Tim McPhate were compiling. It would, in fact, be used in limited scale for online commercials for the book but most of the video still remained a mystery. Gill would, reportedly, screen the video, in full, at a KISS Expo overseas a few months ago and, most recently, screened a clip for attendees at the LA KISS Expo.
Last week, surprisingly, Gill put the U-Matic tape for “I” back on the auction block on eBay. In a thread on his KISSFAQ message board Gill, when questioned why he was selling the tape, responded “I had hoped to leverage it, I failed miserably. Therefore I have no further use for it and hopefully it’ll find a home with a collector who will enjoy having it.” Yesterday, the auction had been pulled down.
That brings us to today. The KISS My Boots podcast released the “I” video in full (with watermarks) for fans to view. There’s commentary before and after the video by hosts Jason Herndon and Andrew Sgambati but no firm details about how it came into their possession. Regardless of the circumstances, KISS fans everywhere should be thanking these guys for unearthing something from KISS‘ history that many thought would never be seen.
As for the video, it truly speaks for itself but I, personally, totally get why the band realized releasing a video that looks like it was shot on the set of Ice Pirates with KISS in new-romantic outfits performing in front of what looks like Kool & the Gang‘s audience would be a bad idea. We hope you enjoy the “I” video and SHARE this post with a friend! (or enemy).