The Led Zeppelin Show That Made Paul Stanley Realize He’ll Never Be That Good

KISS was formed in 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss. The band is currently one of the most famous rock bands and has earned this place with their hits like ‘Sure Know Something’ and ‘I Was Made For Loving You,’ representing pure rock and roll. Their influences were mainly English bands like The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and musicians like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Being inspired by these musicians, the band established their own unique stage performances to claim their popularity throughout the years.

However, for Paul Stanley, Led Zeppelin had a more special spot in his heart. Led Zeppelin, established in 1968, are one of the leaders of hard rock and heavy metal. Hence, they have inspired musicians with their music and lyrics throughout their short career. Unfortunately, Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980, after the death of their drummer John Bonham, but they rooted their spot in the music world. They were also the band that inspired a teenage Paul Stanley and helped with KISS’ success.

How Did Led Zeppelin Inspire Paul Stanley?

Stanley was 21 years old when he co-founded KISS, but he started being influenced by metal and rock and roll at an earlier age. While he was 16 years old in 1968, he went to a Led Zeppelin show, which led him to a realization of some kind. He was mesmerized by the magical performance of Zeppelin, which he likened to a religious experience.

Paul Stanley was astonished by the band’s ability to create a sound similar to a ‘spiritual marriage of sexuality and music.’ The KISS icon confessed that he had a clear epiphany, realizing he would never be as good as Zeppelin, but he was happy to just strive for it. Hence, he did strive for it, and even though KISS’ style may seem different from Zeppelin’s, it definitely had an influence, according to Stanley.

Here is how Stanley talked about Led Zeppelin:

“I saw Led Zeppelin play when I was a wee one. I saw them play for under 2000 people, probably in ’68 or so in The New York State Pavilion, which was at the World’s Fair in New York. It’s as close to a religious experience. I would count on one hand. This amazing spiritual marriage of sexuality and music. They were the embodiment at their height of everything that’s the essence of Rock and Roll. You can call it heavy metal or anything you want to call it. But, the basis of it was Robert Johnson through Elvis played through a big Marshall amplifier. It was pretty incredible.

There were a few moments that I remember as turning points, defining moments. Watching the Beatles on It Sullivan was one of them. Seeing Led Zeppelin at that show was clarifying for me, it was ‘I will never be that good,’ but that is what I want to strive for.”

You can listen to the interview below.