Although you usually won’t hear about their names, managers played a crucial role in the development of rock ‘n’ roll. Whether we like to admit it or not, it’s actually due to their decisions that we ended up loving some of our favorite bands and artists. And this especially goes for Kiss.
One of the managers who worked for Kiss was Larry Mazer, also known for managing glam metal act Cinderella. Getting together with Kiss in 1989, during their “unmasked” era, he stayed for a while, all the way until the mid-1990s. During his interview on “Artists on Record Starring ADIKA Live!,” he recalled (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):
“Out of all the bands I’ve managed in 50 years, the most fun I’ve ever had was managing Kiss. I laughed every single day. I loved every second of it. And more importantly – they never said no to one idea In five years.“
“Never once did they say no. When I said, ‘Let’s go out and do a club tour.’ We played the Troubadour, We had a line a mile-long on Santa Monica Boulevard, got on the evening news, the whole thing.“
“We played the Ritz in New York. When we did the DVD, I said, ‘We’re gonna go and do signings in amphitheaters.’ And they just came in these amphitheaters, sat at a table and just signed for like three hours.”
Mazer then also recalled how he decided to bring back “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” back into the setlist, something that was considered a controversial and risky move. He adds:
“And different ideas I had for songs in the set. I said, ‘Let’s do ‘I Was Made For Loving You.’ They were like, ‘No, that killed us.’ I said, ‘No, no, no, it’ll be cool now.’ Because, to me, what once was uncool circles around at certain point and becomes cool at a certain point.“
“And we put this great light show around it with pyro and all kinds of special effects. It tore the place apart, and it’s been in their set ever since. That was a song that I said they’ve got to do. They said yes to everything.“
Going back to the general dealings with the band, Mazer continued:
“I loved every minute of it up until the time we parted. But that meeting, I went in and I had plan, and either they’ll say, ‘Yes, we’ll do it.’ Or no, they wouldn’t, and if they didn’t — God bless.”
“I was doing well with Cinderella. I wasn’t worried about my next meal by any stretch. Luckily, they said, ‘We get it.’ Now I don’t know if Paul was a 1,000% excited that I’m focused on Gene, but Kiss was made up of two distinct images — The Star Child and The Demon. And, to me, that’s what was missing in the non-makeup years, up until ‘Hot in the Shade’ where The Demon had disappeared and needed to be brought back.
“And I think I did that. I think that’s my… Besides getting their first top 10 single with ‘Forever’ and having two amazing shows with ‘Revenge’ and ‘Hot in the Shade,’ I think my greatest accomplishment was getting Gene Simmons back in Kiss. I take pride in that. To me, that was what was missing from the band.“
“Look, I was a fan from the first album. Having owned every Kiss album, good, bad, and ugly, I knew what was missing, and what was missing was Gene Simmons.”