so I’ll do (Big) Kiss:
They initially had the early 70s big hair
but “At the same time that we were forming in New York, there was a very big glitter scene, where boys were basically acting like girls and putting on makeup,” Gene Simmons recalled during an interview with '90s fanzine Porkchops & Applesauce, conducted shortly before the original KISS lineup kissed and made up in 1996. “Y’know, all the skinny little guys, hairless boys. Well, we were more like football players; all of us were over 6 feet tall, and it just wasn’t convincing! The very first pictures we took when the band first got together, we looked like drag queens. But we knew we wanted to get outlandish. We weren’t a Grateful Dead kind of band that would get onstage and look worse than the roadie delivering our stuff. Which doesn’t negate what the Dead and other bands were doing; it just wasn’t us. Getting up onstage was almost a holy place for us, like church, so being onstage looking like a bum wasn’t my idea of respect. That’s where the makeup and dressing up came in. It would have obviously been a lot easier to get up onstage in jeans and T-shirts and go, ‘Okay, here we are–we’re the Ramones!’ And that would have been just as valid, but it would not have been honest.”
Considering how iconic the KISS characters have become–inspiring lucrative lines of action figures, lunchboxes, Halloween costumes, even Hello Kitty fashions and coffins–it’s amazing that there was no real master plan, marketing team, or celebrity stylist behind the band members’ character designs. “Nobody else was involved,” Gene recalled to P&A. "I just remember being in a loft in downtown New York, and looking in the mirror and just starting to draw. It was very stream-of-consciousness. What you see is really what just happened."
However, 10 years after KISS’s debut–on September 18, 1983–KISS did leave their larger-than-life, hotter-than-hell cartoon image behind, stripping off their warpaint at an infamous MTV press conference promoting their 11th studio album, Lick It Up. Although that album eventually went platinum, the unmasked men’s fresh-scrubbed faces met with mixed reactions from diehard KISS Army recruits at the time. “Everybody hated it,” recalled Gene. "People didn’t want the paint to come off, but you know what? Tough. It had to happen. You want your heroes to stay the same forever, but then the consequence of that is you get bored with them. We had to take it off. It had run its course.
They played their first concert without make-up in 1983:
probably because they’d grown out of glamrock and had returned to hard rock.