This timeline was initially based extensively on Alex Carranza's original KISS ARMY FAQ chronology, many other sources have been referenced with additional and later facts including Dale Sherman's book, Black Diamond, and many other archival news sites, magazines, interviews, etc.

December 1945

20 - Peter George John Criscuola born, son of Joseph and Loretta Criscuola, in Brooklyn, New York.

1947

?? - Feri Witz and Florence Klein marry in Jund, Hungary and soon afterwards move to Palestine breaking the British blockade of the region.

August 1949

25 - Gene Simmons born, Chaim Witz, son of Florence and Feri Witz, in Haifa, Israel.

January 1950

16 - Robert Kulick born in Queens, New York.

July

12 - Paul Charles Caravello born at Lutheren Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Albert and Connie.

April 1951

27 - Paul Daniel Frehley born in the Bronx, to Carl Danel and Esther Frehley. Karl was the son of Dutch immigrants while Esther was the youngest of seven children of the Hecht family who had emigrated to North Carolina from Germany at the turn of the 19th/20th Century.

January 1952

20 - Stanley Harvey Eisen born in Manhattan, New York, son of William and Eve.

August

6 - Vincent John Cusano was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Terri and Alfonso.

December 1953

12 - Bruce Howard Kulick was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Unknown 1954

?? - Feri and Florence Witz divorce. Gene wouldn't see his father again. Gene moves from Tirat Hacarmel to Vade Jamal near Haifa.

February 1956

7 - Mark Leslie Norton born in Hollywood, California.

May 1958

12 - Eric Doyle Mensinger, the son of John born in Cleveland, OH.

Unknown

?? - Peter sings in a corner group, "Stars", doing mostly for fun doo-wop songs...
?? - Gene and his mother emigrate to America, following the foot-steps of two of Florence's brothers who had already moved there. Landing at La Guardia Airport after surviving the trauma of a one-stop flight on El Al on which Gene threw up twice (practice for the future)...

April 1959

26 - John Corabi born in Philadelphia, PA...

Unknown

?? - Gene starts attending Public School 92 in Corona, where he'll stay until 1963...

Unknown 1963

?? - Peter fills in for the absent drummer for Joey Greco & The In Crowd, and is offered the position full time. The band performs jazz/rock material at the Metropole, opening for Peter's hero Gene Krupa, from whom Peter is soon getting drumming pointers!
?? - Gene attends Joseph Pulitzer Junior High School 145 in Jackson Heights where he'll stay until 1965...

February 1964

7 - The "British Invasion" begins with the Beatles landing in America...
9 - The Beatles invasion of America, and the plethora of bands that soon follow, has a tremendous effect on many young Americans, including some future members of KISS during the band's first broadcast on US television on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Beatles perform "All My Loving", "Till There Was You", "She Loves You", "I Saw Her Standing There", and "I Want to Hold Your Hand"...
23 - A second performance of the Beatles, also filmed on the 9th, airs on the Ed Sullivan Show...

Unknown

?? - While attending Joseph Pulitzer Junior High School in Jackson Heights, Gene Simmons puts together his first band, Lynx, with Danny Haber and Seth Dogramajian. Playing a school talent show, the band are introduced as "The Missing Links" and the name sticks. Danny and Seth play guitar while Gene sings with the three harmonizing...
?? - Ace Frehley starts messing around with his brother, Charley's guitar...

April 1965

22 - Paul Frehley gets his first guitar, a Japanese electric, a gift from his father on his 14th birthday...

Unknown

?? - At Elmhurst's Newtown High School, "The Missing Links" become the "Long Island Sounds" with the addition of guitarist and long-time friend Stephen Coronel and drummer Stan Singer. Allen Graff replaces Danny Haber on guitar...
?? - Paul Stanley gets his first guitar, an acoustic, and starts taking lessons...
?? - At some point, probably during this year, during his time at the Metropole, Peter Criscuola fills in on drums for one set for Joey Dee's band...
?? - Peter Shepley and Mike Brand are working together. Between 1965 and 1966 they'd write several songs, including "Lonely Street", " Can't Stand This Love (Goodbye)", "Morning", and the eccentrically titled "Off To See The Wizard".

May 1966

27 - The Long Island Sounds, one of Gene's early bands, plays the Jewish Community Center in Jackson Heights, NY..

July

3 - Lydia Di Leonardo and Peter Criscoula meet in a bar in Brooklyn where Peter is playing with the Barracuda's.

December

?? - The Barracudas, a band that Peter had joined earlier in the year, record a single for a Brooklyn vanity label.

Unknown

?? - Ace joins his first High School band, The Four Roses, who soon start playing school shows.
?? - Paul Stanley gets his first electric guitar, and starts playing in bands soon afterwards. His first band would be "Incubus" which would become "Uncle Joe". With Matt Rael (Guitar) and Neil Teeman (Drums) the band would be a power trio without bass player, since they didn't know one...

January 1967

5 - Peter's band, The Barracudas, release a 7" single featuring "It's Been So Long" b/w "Affection."

February

11 - Vinnie Vincent's band, The Younger Generation, were scheduled to play "More" and later conclude the Central High, Bridgeport, CT "Hootenanny" event with "I Believe"...

March

3 - Vinnie Vincent's band, The Younger Generation, perform at the Trumbull High School "Paper Caper."
25 - Paul 'Ace' Frehley attends Murray the K's "Music in the Fifth Dimension" festival at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre where he sees both The Who's and Cream's first gigs in New York. Cream would play after The Who and use their equipment. The bands appeared for 9 days, ending on April 2nd, so any of the dates could qualify as "first appearance", thus the first gig date is listed here...

Spring

?? - Peter joins The Sounds Of Soul!

August

29 - The Younger Generation play the Barnum Festival Theatre, Seaside Park, CT with the Young Rascals and The Realms. The band played other shows with the Young Rascals. Some 3,000 attended the Seaside Park show. The Realms were another Bridgeport band. Local press: "Vinny Cusano lead guitarist appeared on stage wearing a green beret over long brown locks and old-fashioned knickers. He was definitely the personality kid of the Younger Generation"...

Autumn

?? - Peter joins The Brotherhood, a soul band!

Unknown

?? - Paul Stanley graduates to Matt Rael's older brother's band "Post War Baby Boom". With a female lead vocalist, "Maxine", the band would also include Jon Rael Unknown - Paul Stanley, with his band "Post War Baby Boom", record a demo of "Never Living, Never Loving" at CBS/Columbia Studios in New York City. The song would be written by Paul Stanley, though it's not clear who sang on the recording since Maxine got sick a few days before the session...
?? - Paul Carravello's first proper band cuts an independent single, "I Cry At Night" b/w "Your Turn To Cry", which they unsuccessfully shop around to record labels...
?? - Towards the end of High School Gene plays in another band with Stephen Coronel, "The Love Bag"...

April 1968

21 - Postwar Babyboom, one of Paul Stanley's early bands, plays the Bee Hive Discoteque in Flushing, NY with The Project 5...
22 - Postwar Babyboom, one of Paul Stanley's early bands, plays the Bee Hive Discoteque in Flushing, NY with The Project 5...

July

?? - Gene graduates from Newton High School...

September

?? - Gene attends Sullivan County Community College in South Fallsberg, New York. He soon puts together a beer-bash band "Bullfrog Bheer"...

Unknown

??- Peter joins Chelsea with Michael Benvenga (Bass), Pete Shepley (Vocals), Mike Brand (Guitar), and Chris Aridas (Guitar). The group soon start performing a variety of folk rock.
?? - Paul Frehley gets his nickname "Ace" while a member of the band "King Kong"...
?? - Paul Caravello's Cellarmen record two songs, "I Found You (The One I Adore)" and "Then I Made A Wish" for a publishing company...
?? - Paul Caravello's Cellarmen record two songs, "No Matter How You Try" and "When You Grow Tired" as a backing group to a young female singer Crystal Collins...
?? - Paul joins Stan Singer (Drums), Marty Cohen (Bass), and Stephen Coronel (Guitar) in the band "Tree"...

January 1969

31 - Ace Frehley attends what he considers to be one of his first "real" concerts seeing Led Zeppelin open for Iron Butterfly at New York's Filmore East... Apparently, most patrons left after Zeppelin finished their set!

May

?? - Vinnie performs "Every Day With You Girl" solo at his High School Red and Black Revue talent show. He returned to the stage later during the event to perform "I Never Meant To Hurt You."

August

30 - Both Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick, then unknown to one another, attend the Led Zeppelin show at the Singer Music Festival in Forest Hills, New York...

Unknown

?? - Ace Frehley meets the later Mrs. Frehley, Jeanette Trerotola...
?? - Gene Simmon's band, The Bullfrog Bheer, becomes a regular at the Rockland House in the Catskills...
?? - On weekends Gene brings his band "Bullfrog Bheer", down to New York to record demos. Recording at cheap local studios like Saunders Recording and Richcraft, Gene produces demos of "Leeta" (Klein), "Stanley The Parrot" (Klein), "Little Lady" (Coronel/Klein), "Put On Your Slippers" (Klein), "About Her" (Coronel/Klein), "Amen Corner" (Klein), "Feel Lazy Today" (Klein), "A ? In The Eve - Nancy" (Klein), "Moon Maiden" (Klein), "Eskimo Sun" (Klein), "When I Woke" (Klein), and "A Story" (Klein)...
?? - Gene attempts, unsuccessfully, to offer a tape of his 12 songs for publication...
?? - Gene forms another band, "Cathedral" with Stephen Coronel (Guitar), Stan Singer (Drums) and Marty Cohen. The previous year, and following into 1969, those three characters had played with Paul Stanley in "Tree"...

Early 1970

?? - The Cellarmen break up with Victor, Bob, and David continuing as "Smack". Eric Carr puts together a garage band, "Things That Go Bump In The Night"...

January

31 - Peter marries Lydia Di Leonardo, whom he'd been dating since 1966. Best man at the wedding is New York Doll Jerry Nolan who'd been friends with Peter Criss for quite a while...

July

17 - Ace Frehley roadies for the Jimi Hendrix Experience at Randall's Hall, at Randall's Island in New York, on their last NY appearance before the death of Hendix later that year. Ace basically sneaks back stage and sets up Mitch's drums for him. Stylin'!

Summer

?? - Invited to Stephen Coronel's house, who is putting a band together, Paul meets Gene for the first time - the two do not click...
?? - After the drummer of "Smack" quits, Eric Carr agrees to fill in for the summer reuniting The Cellarmen plus additional vocalist Gary who'd joined, along with Marty the departed drummer, when the three Cellarmen formed the band. Marty quit to go to summer camp...

Unknown

?? - Chelsea sign a two album deal with Decca Records.
?? - "Uncle Joe" record a Paul written song, "Stop, Look To Listen" at Mayfair Recording Studios in New York City...
?? - An argumentative Ace get's his cheeks broken in a fight with a disgruntled bar owner who refused to pay a drunken Ace for a gig.
?? - Gene starts recording demos with music teacher Brooke Ostrander, at Brooke's apartment using his 4 track. Brooke would play piano on "Leeta"...
?? - Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Stephen Coronel form a band, Rainbow, who start performing gigs.
?? - Paul Caravello and Victor Cohen, both ex-Cellarmen and Smack, hook up with John Henderson and other musicians in the band Salt 'N Pepper. While Victor would quit in 1973, Eric would remain with John until the end of the 1970's...

Late

?? - Recording of the Chelsea album which is produced by Lewis Merenstein.

Early 1971

?? - The Chelsea album is released and does nothing. Chris Aridas leaves the band.

January

?? - Chelsea place an add in the Village Voice for a guitarist to replace Aridas. Stan Penridge responds.
?? - Stan Penridge auditions for Chelsea, without Peter Criss present, who quits the band as a result of not being involved in the decision to invite Stan to join the band. The other members soon persuade Peter to rethink this decision.
?? - The first Chelsea gig with Stan, playing a Young Republicans socialite cruise around Manhatten. Oddly, Peter missed the boat!

August

?? - Chelsea dies at the "Yellow Front Salon", when Mike Brand and Pete Shepley are late for a gig. Michael, Peter, and Stan blow off the first set, and then go on as a trio. Mike and Pete arrive and are not pleased - Lips is born.

September

??- Lips persuade Karma Sutra Records to give them some studio time...

October

?? - Kama Sutra Records pays for Lips to record demos at Bell Sound Studios. The demos recorded would include "Don't You Let Me Down", "Don't Let The Blues Surround You (Love, Love, Love)", "Hooked On Rock And Roll", "I'm Gonna Love You", and "That's The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes". Michael Benvenga would quickly quit the band when it wasobvious that they were going nowhere... Also demoed around this time is the original version of "Beth" then titled "Beck" written by Stan and Peter during Chelsea about Mike Brand's wife who was always complaining...
?? - Lips present their demos to Bob Reno at Buddah Records, who rejects the material...

Autumn

?? - Rainbow, becomes Wicked Lester, with the addition of Brooke Ostrander (Keyboards) and Tony Zarella (Drums).

November

?? - Wicked Lester start recording demos. Material would include "Long Long Road", "She", "Love Her All I Can".

December

15 - Ron Leejack "officially" joins Wicked Lester.
?? - Wicked Lester get an one album deal with Epic Records. However, the label apparently does not care for Stephen Coronel, and with the growing personal issues between him and Paul, he is asked to leave the band...
?? - Gene & Paul use advance money from Epic to rent the famous loft on the 4th floor of a building at 10th East 23rd St.

January 1972

?? - Epic Records rejects the attempt by Wicked Lester to record an album.

February

22 - Lips record demos at RCA Studios in New York City. The band is supplemented with additional session rhythm guitarist John Amato. Five songs would be demoed, "Baby Driver", "Dirty Livin'", "Baby, Don't You Let Me Down" (Version 1), "You're My Woman", and "Baby, Don't You Let Me Down" (Full Length)...

Spring/Summer

?? - Wicked Lester play the Richmond College Armory, to an empty hall...
?? - Wicked Lester play a Jewish B'nai B'rith in New Jersey...
?? - Wicked Lester play a movie theatre during intermission...

May

?? - Peter and Lydia take a beltated honeymoon/holiday in England.

August

17 - Wicked Lester studio sessions mixing the album.
?? - Peter's ad in the East Coast Issue of "Rolling Stone" magazine appears. Gene spots the ad...

Autumn

?? - Peter Criss joins Wicked Lester who continue as a trio in addition to Gene and Paul still working with the other band of the same name.
?? - Paul and Gene get a gig singing backing vocals on former Laura Nyro singer, Lyn Christopher's debut album. They appear on three tracks on the album which is released in early 1973. During this time Gene, Paul and Peter also do AMC commericals...

October

13 - Stephen Coronel gets paid for his performance on the aborted Wicked Lester album. $200...

November

?? - Wicked Lester, still a trio, play a showcase for Epic A&R man, Don Ellis, at the loft resulting in the band finally being dropped by Epic. Don, apparently, didn't get the image changes Lester was going through, having a bucket of confetti thrown over him during "Firehouse", or Peter's brother puking over his shoes. Two other songs are performed, "Strutter" and "Deuce"...

December

1 - Feeling the need to embelish the band's sound with a second guitarist, Paul places an add in Village Voice for a guitarist, "with flash" suggesting that the band had an "album out soon"...
7 - Paul's ad is printed in the Village Voice, for one day only...
9-24 - Some time during this period Ace Frehley auditions for the band, jamming out to "Deuce" with them, where he lets rip with every lick he knows! Contrary to popular belief, Ace does not interrupt Bob Kulick's audition by just plugging in and playing, but he does audition after Kulick finishes.
9-24 - Asked back for a second audition, Ace is hired and is then informed that the band doesn't actually have a record deal anymore. Ron Johnsen continues as the band's manager, a role he'd performed since the Wicked Lester days in addition to engineering duties at Eddie Kramer's Electric Lady Studios. Ace is a member of the band by December 25, 1972.
27 - Paul receives payment of $1200 from the Epic advance from Wicked Lester's manager Lew Linet...

January 1973

15 - Ron Leejack "oficially" leaves Wicked Lester.
?? - The "Wicked Lester" name is finally dropped and becomes "KISS". With the band's name no longer a selling point in the industry the band consider new names, including "Fuck", "Crimson Harpoons", "Albatross", and even "Rainbow", before Paul comes up with what would be the band's name while he, Peter, and Gene are together in a car...
20 - Ace comes up with the KISS logo.
30 - KISS play their first concert at the Popcorn, renamed "The Coventry" that night, in Astoria, Queens. The concert is attended by very few people!
31 - KISS start experimenting with make-up designs at their second gig...

February

1 - KISS concludes their first 3 night stint at Coventry and retires to the loft to rehearse, write music, and develop as a band...

March

?? - KISS, enter Electric Ladyland Studios, NY, to record a demo with Eddie Kramer's pique interested enough to produce the sessions with Ron Johnson engineering. The session is financed with money owed to Peter, Gene, and Paul for commercial work they'd done there earlier...

June

1 - KISS attend the Alice Cooper show at Madison Square Garden, "to see how it's done" by the master.
2 - KISS play the Daisy for the first time.
?? - KISS get their first review in a local New Jersey paper which famously describes the band as being, "four wild men from Borneo", while generally savaging them!

July

13 - KISS self produce a showcase at the Hotel Diplomat. They send an invitation to Bill Aucion who gets to sit next to Peter's sister who spends the show shouting at him about how great the band is!

August

11 - A further showcase at the Diplomat, with Street Punk and Luger, this time Bill Aucoin is in the audience.
13 - Following a show at the "Grand Ballroom" of the Diplomat, Aucoin offers to become band's manager usurping the role previously held by Ron Johnsen...
17 - Neil Bogart at a KISS show at the Daisy.
24 - KISS is offered a recording deal with Casablanca Records after a show at the Daisy.
30 - Start of a planned 5-day stint at the Coventry with Wild Honey opening.

September

2 - Final show at the Diplomat before recording first album.
?? - KISS play a showcase at Le Tang Rehersal Halls for producers Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise, Neil, Bill, Joyce, Sean Delaney, and other executives at the fledgling Casablanca label... it is at this showcase that Gene admit's "borrowing" the facial grimace and tongue work from Richie Wise, who had done the same when performing with Dust...
24-25th - Two days of recording sessions at Bell Sound Studios to record the catalog of rough songs in the band's repetoire...

October

10 - Band enter Bell Sound Studios, NYC, to record first album. While the band will pretty much use material developed during the year, and material written even earlier. A song never recorded for the first album is a Gene composition, "Mistake". Another popular fable is that all of Acrobat is recorded, which is not the case...

November

1 - KISS "officially" signed to Casablanca with a 4 album deal and $15,000 advance, becoming Casablanca's first artist.
27 - Kiss recording in Bell Sound Studio A, 4-11pm...
?? - recording of the first album completed with only finishing touches to be applied. Around this time, Amaze-O The Magician is brought in to teach Gene how to breathe fire! December 4th - Gene and Paul attend the Who's "Quadrophenia" show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia...

December

21 - Start of a final 3-day stint at the Coventry.
22 - Last club date, at the Coventry, with the following night's gig being cancelled.
31 - Industry premier at the Academy Of Music, NYC, opening for Blue Oyster Cult with Iggy Pop and Teenage Lust, where Gene sets his hair on fire doing the trick for the first time in concert! This incident is handled with style with a roadie extinguishing the fire with a jacket, while the set continues uninterupted! Unfortunately, the band is not invited back for a second set that night, but it doesn't matter!

Continue to part II, 1974-80

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