Elvis Presley’s Stepbrother Reveals King’s Thoughts on Kiss
The moment took place around 1975, soon after Billy Stanley had seen a Kiss show for the first time and bought the album, then played it in the basement of Graceland.
“I got it cranked up, playing air guitar,” Stanley told Artists on Record in a new interview. “Elvis comes down [and asks] ‘What are you listening to?’ ‘It’s a band called Kiss.’ … And I showed him the album cover and he said, ‘Uh … OK.’ He sat down on the couch, looking at it, and he said, ‘OK, I get it!’
“He said, ‘So play that song again that you was just playing.’ It was ‘Let Me Go Rock and Roll.’ I played it. I actually played it two times for him, and I was surprised when he said, ‘Play it again.’ I played it again. I said, ‘What do you think?’ He said, ‘Well, I understand the whole thing. You know, Kiss – keep it simple, stupid. And they got the makeup so they can walk around when they get off the stage. Nobody sees them and knows who they are or anything like that.’ He said, ‘Good idea.’”
You can watch the interview below.
Presley had more to say when Stanley asked what he thought of the track. “He said, ‘Billy, listen to it. All it is is a ‘50s groove. But that guitar player.’ I said, ‘That’s Ace [Frehley].’ He said, ‘That guy’s got some X-rated guitar licks. I really like him.' … Before he walked out of the room he said, ‘I get it – it’s three chords and a cloud of dust [and] that’s how you do it. And you leave them wanting more. I’m sure that’s how they do it in their live performances.”
Stanley revealed that Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, quickly became a Kiss fan. “I’m surprised … she didn’t say something to Elvis,” he added. “Because Elvis would have had a meeting with them … ‘Let me introduce you guys to my daughter.’”