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Lynn Goldsmith’s KISS: 1977-1980

Veteran photographer Lynn Goldsmith first met Gene Simmons in 1977 when she was assigned to shoot the makeup-clad KISS singer/bassist for the cover of Circus magazine. They immediately bonded over their shared background—Jewish children of single mothers and recipients of teaching degrees—kicking off a lifelong friendship. Later that year, Goldsmith met the rest of KISS when she documented their Alive II rehearsals at an Air Force base in Newburgh, N.Y., where she struck up a similarly deep friendship with singer/ guitarist Paul Stanley.

Goldsmith was born in Detroit in 1948 and went on to become one of the first female rock-and-roll photographers as well as an acclaimed film director and celebrity portrait photographer. In October, she released her favorite KISS shots from their classic years as the beautiful hardcover book KISS: 1977-1980.

In her introduction, Goldsmith admits to “appreciating singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen or Paul Simon a great deal more than the music of KISS, but who would I rather photograph or pay to see in concert? No contest,” later adding that KISS and the KISS Army “form a country of their own, where the only rules are that you be in charge of your own life, be authentic to what you want to be and what you want to do, and not worry about what anyone else thinks of you. Let your freak-flag fly!”

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