Destroyer Tour - 1976

Start Date: April 11, 1976

End Date: October 1, 1976

Shows: 57

Legs: 3

Countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, West Germany

Opening Acts:  .38 Special, Artful Dodger, Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Brownsville Station, Earth Quake, Ethos, Finch, Hammersmith, Hoa Bihn, J. Geils Band, Johnny & Edgar Winter, Kansas, Montrose, Moon Pie, Point Blank, Scorpions, Starz, Stray, Ted Nugent, UFO

Average Attendance: 11,073 (Does not include 5/4/76 gig or European tour.)

Line Up: Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss

KISS had gone in a new direction for the Destroyer Tour, all the way to Europe! For the first time ever they visited Germany, The Netherlands, France and more! Even though they were not happy with the attendance record (attendances mostly of below 5.000), it reminded them of their first tours. This was probably the reason they would not embark on another European tour until 1980. The American leg of the tour called The Spirit of '76 tour was allot more different than its predecessors. Glickman/Marks came in and replaced most of the original road crew and only one member, Paul Chavarria, was left of the original crew at the end of the tour.


After the tour was over, KISS embarked on a promotional TV appearance that made the KISS Army even bigger! Their legendary TV appearance at the 1976 Paul Lynde Halloween Special! The band would hit the studio from September to October 1976 to record 'Rock And Roll Over'.

          Destroyer Tour Stage:
  • Stage - A brand new stage was designed for the Destroyer/Spirit Of '76 Tour by Mark Ravitz. It was to resemble the Destroyer album cover, an apocalyptic wasteland. Gene's side had a Monster of Frankenstein castle look with stitches on the ground and Ace's right side had moon surface craters. Eventually the whole production for the tour would cost $192,000.
  • Staircases - Two staircases were placed left and right of the drum riser, where Gene, Ace and Paul would come down from at the start of the show.
  • Towers - Two towers were placed on the stage, one "Castle" for Gene on the far right where he would perform his blood spitting bass solo, and one "Moon Tower" for Ace on the far right for his guitar solo.
  • KISS Logo - The biggest KISS logo used until now was created that had a metallic look to them.
  • Power Pylons - Three power pylons were added to the stage that were the lighting rig, according to stage's designer Mark Ravitz, they were inspired by power towers while he was driving around in New Jersey.
  • KISS Army Banners - Two KISS Army banners were installed on two power pylons.
  • Crystals - On the front in the center of the stage crystals were placed where Paul would do his solo before 'Black Diamond'.
  • Cat Statues - On Peter's drum riser two 6' tall "altar" cats with glowing eyes were placed.
  • Gong - A 40" gong was placed on Peter's drum riser he would hit after the end of his drum solo.

The model of the original Destroyer stage made by it's designer, Mark Ravitz.

Sketch for the Destroyer stage


          Many props were designed for the Destroyer stage that were eventually dropped:

  • God Of Thunder Machine - A giant Tesla Coil that was just too heavy to set up every day behind the drum riser and it worked only half of the time.
  • Tentacle Tree - A twisted parody of a tree. Placed upon a rotating platform on the stage right (left on picture) and supposedly was designed to spin around at great velocity, the whip like branches whirring into a blur. Never used beside one that stood still with thicker branches.
  • Giant Red Stake - A giant red stake that resembled a blood soaked Washington Monument. The stake was to rise up behind Gene's Gothic 'castle' just before his bass solo. Eventually a simpler version was used that looked more like a blood soaked tent.
  • Foam Rubber Buildings - They created foam rubber pieces representing buildings attached in front of the amps that would crumble just before the encores. It took the road crew too long too set it up and they had to clean the mess quickly when the band came back for the encores. It was dropped quick.
  • Crashing Car - At the end of 'Detroit Rock City' they wanted a real car to crash the stage that was hoisted high above the floor, this was scrapped because it was too dangerous for the band and the audience.
  • City Skyline - This prop was probably used the most and is seen very well on video at the Anaheim show. It resembled New York City's skylines with a thunder bolt with lights that would flash resembling a thunderbolt strike during the opening!

A 3D presentation of the KISS Destroyer stage

     Stage Props:

  • Fire Engine Lights
  • Fire Engine Siren
  • Fire Helmet
  • Hydraulic Drum Riser
  • Two Cat Statues On Drum Riser
  • Huge Cat Drum Riser Curtain
  • Giant KISS Army Banners
  • "Christmas" Lights Above Stage
  • Confetti Storm
  • Flash Pots
  • Blood Spitting
  • Gene's "Castle"
  • Ace's "Moon Tower"
  • Crystals
  • Staircases
  • Gong
  • Bombs
  • Dry Ice Smoke
  • Fire Breathing
  • KISS Logo
  • Smoking & "Burning" Guitar
  • Paul Smashing Guitars
  • City Skyline Thunderbolt Sign
  • 3 Lighting "Pylon Towers"

A good look at the drum riser cats and the "moon crystals" on the 1976 Destroyer tour.

Typical Setlist:

01. 'Detroit Rock City'
02. 'King Of The Night Time World'
03. 'Let Me Go, Rock 'N Roll'
04. 'Strutter'
05. 'Hotter Than Hell'
06. 'Cold Gin'
07. 'Nothin' To Lose'
08. 'Shout It Out Loud'
09. 'Do You Love Me?'
10
. 'God Of Thunder'

11. 'Rock And Roll All Nite'


Encore:

12. 'Deuce'

13. 'Firehouse'

14. 'Black Diamond'

Special Shows / Happenings:

- The Americana, New York City, NY, May 1, 1976 -

This was during Ace's wedding reception, the band grabbed the opportunity to take the stage and use the instruments of the wedding band. They played just one and a halve song and Ace's new father in law asked the band to stop. Super 8MM footage of this event appeared as a hidden bonus video on the DVD box set KISSology 1 in 2006.


- Volkshaus - Zürich, Switserland, June 2, 1976 -

Casablanca held a dinner for the band in the hotel in Zürich, Peter Criss started ordering the most expensive bottles of wine and soon everyone followed foot. Road crew members Rick Monroe and Paul Chavarria went to their rooms and when they came back to the restaurant it had turned into a full out Hollywood movie brawl including chairs being thrown around! When Paul Stanley with a bloody nose flew out of the restaurant into Rick Monroe's lap and he asked what happened, Paul could only reply with that some guy hit him! Both Rick and Paul (Chavarria) than joined the fight, who won is not known.


- Stewart International Airport, Newsburg, NY, June 21, 1976 -

After the European leg of the tour, the band held dress rehearsals in Hangar E at Stewart International Airport in Newsburg, New York with the brand new Destroyer stage and costumes. For the European leg the band still used their Alive! tour costumes but the first American show on July 3, 1976 saw the debut of their new costumes.


- Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VI, July 8 1976 -

During the show a fan threw a M80 firecracker on the stage that landed on Peter's drum riser and the blast nearly blew Peter off his drum stool and

left him with partial hearing for the rest of the show.


- Roosevelt Stadium. Jersey City, NJ, July 10, 1976 -

This was KISS's first headlining show in an arena. The in house crew recorded the show in black & white and the show appeared

many years later in the bootleg scene dubbed "the lost concert".


- Peaches Record Store, Atlanta, GE, August 14, 1976 -

KISS made another promotional appearance at the Peaches Record Store.

- Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA, August 20, 1976 -

KISS performs to their largest crowd in their history until than. A crowd of 42,987 people saw the band. The in house crew taped the show and its a great quality bootleg video to have. The show even got its own giant billboard to announce the show!

KISS getting their own personalized billboard!

- Hollywood, CA, October 19/20, 1976 -

After the tour was over the band embarked on a promotional appearance at the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. The band performed 'Detroit Rock City', 'King Of The Night Time World' and 'Beth'.

Backstage button that the band members gave to friends, family and others to gain access backstage!

KISS on the set of the Paul Lynde Halloween Special...

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