The guitarist hand-drew the artwork in 1973 and attached it to a button badge with the aim of showing his bandmates how it could be used to promote their music. It was later redrawn by Paul Stanley, but Frehley’s starting-point work remained “one of the most significant pieces of rock ’n’ roll history,” auctioneers said.
“For years now, we have all heard the story of the creation of the Kiss band name and Kiss logo,” Gotta Have Rock and Roll explained in the listing. “Paul Stanley thought of the name, Ace designed the logo, and then Paul refined the logo. … Ace designed the logo in early 1973 using graph paper in order to properly draw out the perfect proportions in a consistent scale.”
Frehley, the listing continued, had identified the need for a badge to be used as “a piece of merchandise or as a giveaway memento to friends, family, crew members and supporters of the upcoming band. This is why the artwork was taped by Ace to a button for the sake of example; he basically built a prototype button to show the other band members in order to get everyone’s feedback and approval.”
Since the design was never stored “as a collectible,” it’s in “super delicate” condition and carries tears around its edges, which is why the winning bidder will receive it in a protective sleeve and case. “Understand something here: by winning this auction, you will become both curator and steward of one of the most significant pieces of rock ’n’ roll history,” the auctioneers added, emphasizing that purchase does not include the right to make and sell copies.
The artwork will come complete with a certificate of authenticity signed by Frehley. The auction – which features a wide range of Kiss items – closes on Apr. 30.
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