The helmet used by Paul Stanley during
performances of "Firehouse" changed several times over the years!
Now, I'm not an expert on the subject, but I have found some information in John and Karen
Lesniewski's excellent book "KISS Collectibles Identification And Price Guide":
"Paul Stanley Firehouse hats - These
were made in red, black, white and yellow; Paul occasionally threw them out to the crowd,
and they're very valuable. But there has also been fakes sold for large amounts of money,
so be very careful.
Used when Paul would sing "Firehouse", these fire hats were made from the real
thing. A sticker was placed on the leather panel on the front of the hat. In the earlier
years, the sticker had a large number 3, the KISS logo, and the word
"Firehouse". These were made in both black and red. After the Love Gun tour, the
sticker was changed to a KISS logo and Paul's signature, and the hats were either white,
yellow, or red. (Some of the hats Paul used in '75/'76 had no sticker, but it would be
hard to prove that a hat with no sticker was actually one used by Paul)."
John and Karen Lesniewski goes on with a
price guide, but since this book was printed in 1993, there is no reason to reprint that
here... the prices has probably changed a lot over the last 8 years (especially since the
Reunion tour). Anyway, let's look at the helmets (and other headgear), from tour to tour:
Picture 1 - 1974: Here the helmet is black and has a black sticker on it.
You can read the text on the small insert at the bottom of the picture! It says:
"Engine 3 - M.F.D."! What M.F.D. stands for I can't quite say, but the F.D. most
likely stands for Fire Department!!
Picture 2 - 1975: The same hat and
sticker as used in 1974!!
Picture 3 - 1976: The Destroyer tour!
Here Paul is seen wearing a black helmet with no sticker!!
Picture 4 - 1977: This picture is
from the Rock and Roll Over Tour, and shows Paul with a red helmet, with a white sticker
saying "KISS - 3 - Firehouse"!
Picture 5 - 1977: Also the RARO tour,
but this time a red helmet with no sticker!! The picture is believed to be from the
Japanese "Sneak Attack" tour in April 1977!!
6 - 1977: The first picture from the
Love Gun tour shows Paul with a strange small helmet. It also has an extremely small
sticker just saying "KISS".
Picture 7 - 1977: Again from the Love
Gun tour, this red helmet also looks different than the helmets usually used. Note the
edges that bend upwards!! This one has a large white sticker saying "KISS - 3 -
Picture 8 - 1978: This picture is
from the Japanese tour in 1978. Paul here wears a red helmet, with a black sticker saying
"HUMPER CAPTAIN - KISS- EFD". Note that the KISS logo is the real KISS logo for
the first time!!
As it says in John and Karen
Lesniewski's "KISS Collectibles Identification And Price Guide", the helmet got
a new look after the Love Gun tour! Basically it stayed the same for the remaining make-up
It came in four different colors: black (picture 9), white (picture 10), red (picture
11), and the rarely seen yellow (picture 12).
The new sticker had Paul's (printed) signature on the top, and a big KISS logo below! The
"sticker" is printed on white paper and glued on a piece of leather, which is
riveted to the hard plastic helmet.
There is some discussion wherever the black helmet seen here is real or a fake! No
pictures seems to exist with Paul wearing a black one from these years!
There is a way to determine if the helmet is real, because there's a label inside the
helmet saying so. But be aware that labels like these can also be faked!!
Picture 13 and 14 - 1979: from the Dynasty tour in 1979... Paul is
wearing a white and a red helmet in these pictures!!
Picture 15 - 1980: A white helmet!
Picture 16 - 1980: OK, so it's not a
fireman's helmet, but a black top hat that Paul would wear during "I Was Made For
Picture 17 - 1983: A red helmet was
used on the Creatures Of The Night Tour... I have not seen pictures of any other colors
from this tour!!
Picture 18 - 1983/84: This picture shows Paul with a strange looking helmet
on the Lick It Up tour! This is the only picture I have seen of Paul wearing a helmet
without the make-up! It isn't the usual helmet... this one has a round, white sticker with
the KISS logo, and it seems to be quite small! It could be a helmet throw onto the stage
by a member of the audience!!
Picture 19 - 1986: After the Lick It
Up Tour "Firehouse" was dropped for the set for a while, and with it went the
fireman helmets. The only item Paul wore on his head during the following years was this
hat used during "Uh! All Night" on the Asylum tour.
Picture 20 - 1995: On the tour in
Japan and Australia in early 1995, Paul again wore a fireman's helmet. This time it was
red with a black border on the shadow. It is also pictured in the Kiss Auction catalog
Picture 21 - shows some labels
recently sold on eBay... they are supposedly unused Firehouse helmet labels, but I haven't
seen any picture of Paul wearing a helmet with a label like this!!
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