Aha Moment: Kiss Alive!


Friday, April 06, 2012

Sergio Muñoz was only seven years old when he became a devotee of the band Kiss. He discovered the Alive! album in Tower Records and was mesmerized by the cover, with its '70s-glam frenzy of studs, smoke, and make-up. Isolated and lonely, a recent immigrant from Mexico, Muñoz connected to the band’s fantasy life. 

In the liner notes, Gene Simmons told his fans, "I can see you from the corners of my eyes and I know what you do when the lights go out." Creepy — but not to a seven-year-old. "I didn't understand what it was that he was saying," Muñoz remembers. "Instead of being frightened by it I was actually really comforted by it. Gene Simmons would be watching me and helping me along." Muñoz imagined Simmons would help him with his homework, a rock-god guardian angel.

Now Muñoz works with kids in Los Angeles as a community artist, using illustration and storytelling exercises to help students express themselves. He encourages them to draw confidence in being different, a value he learned from Kiss: "A certain level of craziness is something that should be pursued."

Is there a book — or a movie, album, or other work of art — that has changed your life? Tell us in a comment below or by e-mail.

An illustration from the story Gamma Rae by Sergio Muñoz (Courtesy of Sergio C. Muñoz)


    Music Playlist
  1. Black Diamond
    Artist: Kiss
    Album: Kiss
    Label: Casablanca
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Watching You
    Artist: Kiss
    Album: Hotter Than Hell
    Label: Island / Mercury
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Black Diamond (Cover)
    Album: Kiss Covered in Scandinavia
    Label: MSI MUSIC / SUPER D
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Strutter
    Artist: Kiss
    Album: Alive!
    Label: Mercury
    Purchase: Amazon

Produced by:

Jenny Lawton and Khrista Rypl

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