Paul Stanley Explains Kiss’ ‘The End of the Road’ Trademark
Last month, Kiss filed a trademark application for exclusive use of the phrase "The End of the Road" for live performances, but they aren't quite calling it a day. Instead, frontman Paul Stanley says they're just getting their ducks in a row.
In a recent interview, Stanley explained the thinking behind it. "It's not the first trademark that's been filed. I thought it was a terrific name, and I was surprised nobody had used it before. I wanted to make sure that when we used it, and there will be a time that we do, I imagine — I wanted to be sure that we own it and it's ours," he said.
Like Kid Rock, who last year was sued by Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus after calling his 2018 tour "The Greatest Show on Earth," a phrase originally coined by P.T. Barnum, Stanley has become wary following Kiss' own run-in with the now-defunct rings. "When we wanted to go out and do the 'Hottest Show on Earth' tour, Ringling Bros. came to us and said, 'You can't do that.' It set off a light and bell for me. We've always had slogans or sayings that are synonymous with us, and this was another," Stanley said. "Everything does end, in one form or another. When it's my time, I want to go out in style, and I want to go out guns blazing. So, when I came up with this idea, I thought let's make sure we tie this up."
In 2000, Kiss embarked on their Farewell Tour, after Stanley's and bassist Gene Simmons' frustrations with guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss came to a head. “I was angry at Peter and Ace for being disrespectful toward everything we had accomplished and everything the fans were giving us. I bought into the idea that this really was it. The end of Kiss. There was no place to go,” Stanley wrote of the time in his 2014 memoir Face the Music: A Life Exposed. But Kiss went on, with Frehley and Criss being replaced by guitarist Tommy Thayer and the return of drummer Eric Singer.
Since then, Stanley and Simmons have both contemplated a future for Kiss that doesn't include them. "The thought of me not being involved certainly comes to mind," Stanley said. "I’m not sure about the idea of Kiss coming to an end. We've built something that's so iconic, and I think it transcends any of the members so I can certainly see me not being there, seriously.”
In 2014, Metallica frontman James Hetfield criticized the band's numerous retirement overtures. “I don’t think that’s fair to anyone," he said, noting that is not the way his own band will go out. "Kiss‘ farewell tour for the 10th time?"
Similarly, in 2015, Vince Neil said and Motley Crue's time wound down, "Kiss had five farewell tours and four reunion tours. That's exactly what we don't want to do."