Andrew Jacobs here,
Pictured above is Chad Sanford, who I’ve been friends with since January of 1995. And coincidentally (or maybe not), he and I met because of KISS.
Sometime in January of 1995, I went with a friend to The Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood to see a KISS tribute band called Parasite that I’d seen a year before in Orange County. I had become somewhat friendly with the guy who played Gene in that band (having gotten in touch with him via one of the many ’90s KISS fanzines), so I got to hang out backstage with the band while they put their KISS makeup on and got into character. He even asked me to yell out the “you wanted the best” line to kick off the show. Needless to say, I happily obliged.
When the show was over, my friend and I hung out outside of the club and shot the shit with one or two of the patrons as well as the guy who played Geezer Butler in a Black Sabbath tribute band that had also played that night. Shortly afterwards, a heated but civil argument ensued between the Geezer guy and one of the patrons as to whether Sabbath was better with Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio singing. The Geezer guy was firmly Team Ozzy (NATCH) while the patron was firmly Team Dio. I hadn’t seen an argument like this before in my life and I had also not become a diehard Sabbath fan at this point and I didn’t know very much about them either, so needless to say, I was enthralled to say the very least.
At some point, both guys agreed to disagree, shook hands and parted ways, at which point my friend and I struck up a conversation with the Team Dio patron about KISS. The patron’s name was Chad Sanford. I told him that I’d like to hang out with him sometime. We exchanged phone numbers and my friend and I drove back to O.C.
Almost 18 years later, Chad and I are not only still friends but best friends. Although he now lives in Tennessee (where he’s originally from) and is no longer a KISS fan (which is a whole other story for another time), our friendship is stronger than ever.
And I have KISS to thank for it. Thank you, KISS.