Kiss & Def Leppard Hit The Road

Kiss and Def Leppard will team up this summer for a 42-city North American tour that will “deliver good news and excitement,” says Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley. The tour begins June 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps up Aug. 31 in Woodlands, Texas. Tickets go on sale starting Friday. The groups announced the tour Monday at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.The press conference was streamed live via the Live Nation website: new.livestream.com/livenation/defleppardandkiss/videos
Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he and Gene Simmons first discussed the idea of the two bands touring together when he and the Kiss bassist played some South American dates two years ago as part of a rock-and-roll all-stars tour. “It’s finally happened, which is fantastic,” Elliott says.
It’ll be the first time the two bands have shared a bill, though Stanley says, “We’ve run into each other at festivals. It just seemed to be a natural fit.” Stanley also noted that one of guitarist Phil Collen’s pre-Def Leppard bands, Girl, opened for Kiss in the U.K. during the early ’80s. Kiss did a similar co-headlining tour with Motley Crue in 2012.
Kiss released its first albums, Kiss and Hotter Than Hell, 40 years ago, and the band will commemorate the anniversary with a slew of archival releases, including a 34-LP vinyl box set and a two-CD compilation called Kiss 40. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10.
Def Leppard has been writing music for the group’s next album. “We all camped out at my house last month and wrote songs, which you will hear none of this summer,” Elliott says. Collen says he expects that album to come out in 2015.
Simmons says a dollar from each ticket sold on the tour will go to to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits. Those charitable partners include the USO, Hire a Hero, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundatio, and The Augusta Warrior Project.“Politicians fart through their mouth,” Simmons says. “Only the military makes freedom possible.”
Stanley adds that the group also plans to hire vets for its crew. “We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team,” he says. “This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the Kiss Army.”
Elliot says he doesn’t see any rivalry developing between the groups while they’re on tour. “It’s two great bands that are going to be playing for the same amount of time,” he says. “It’s joint forces. I don’t see it as competitive at all.”

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