A Guide to KISS Bootlegs: The Love Gun Tour 1977

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Welcome to the seventh article of the A Guide to KISS Bootlegs series! This article will be focusing on the tour KISS did in support of the album Love Gun. Enough of the chit-chat, let’s dig right in! Or as Paul Stanley would say, “No place for hiding baby, no place to run, you pull the trigger of my LOVE GUN!”

Montreal Forum
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
July 12, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Calling Dr. Love/Hooligan/Love Gun/Firehouse/Ladies Room/Christine Sixteen/I Stole Your Love/Shock Me/I Want You/Makin’ Love/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout it Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

While this is the only recording to circulate from the Canadian leg of the tour, it is interesting to see how “Detroit Rock City” was still the set opener, to only be changed by “I Stole Your Love,” which can be found in the middle of the set at this point. Aside from the opener, you can tell that the setlist got whipped into shape before it turned into the more so standard setlist towards the end of the tour; definitely an interesting show in itself to experience. The audience recording that circulates from this show is the best sounding audience recording from this tour. Both the band’s performance and the vocals come across so strong and the audience is absolutely animated with how they respond to Paul’s stage raps and they make song requests in-between numbers. This show was released on vinyl under the title Montreal Canada ’77.

Cow Palace
San Francisco, CA
August 16, 1977

Setlist: I Stole Your Love/Take Me/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Love Gun/Hooligan/Christine Sixteen/Makin’ Love/Shock Me/I Want You/Calling Dr. Love/Shout It Out Loud/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Detroit Rock City/Black Diamond

This show took place on the day Elvis Presley died, which is why Paul dedicates “Rock and Roll All Nite” to the king of Rock ‘N’ Roll. During the show’s soundcheck, Eddie Kramer recorded Eddie Balandas’ (KISS’ security chief/roadie) “You wanted the best…” introduction for use on Alive II. The soundboard recording that circulates from this show is phenomenal sounding. Overall, the recording has a bit of reverb/air to it, and the audience can still be heard. The only drawback is that it is missing “Beth.” To tie it in even further with the Elvis connection, this show was released on vinyl under the title 50,000,000 KISS Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

Selland Arena
Fresno, CA
August 17, 1977

Setlist: I Stole Your Love/Take Me/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Love Gun/Hooligan/Christine Sixteen/Makin’ Love/Shock Me/Detroit Rock City/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording that circulates from this show is reasonable sounding. There is a major emphasis on the higher frequencies that it tends to distort at moments, especially during Ace’s guitar solo. Only a portion of the show was recorded, as it is missing the entire middle section of the show from “I Want You” to “Rock and Roll All Nite.” This show was released on vinyl under the title Superstars of ’77.

The Forum
Inglewood, CA
August 26-28, 1977

Setlist (all three shows): I Stole Your Love/Take Me/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Love Gun/Hooligan/Makin’ Love/Christine Sixteen/Shock Me/I Want You/Calling Dr. Love/Shout It Out Loud/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Detroit Rock City/Beth/Black Diamond

The three shows KISS did at the Forum in August 1977 were recorded for Alive II. It was because of this occasion that special “I Was There” buttons were given out to attendees, as well as “I Was There” t-shirts that were sold. It is safe to say that aside from the shows being recorded, the soundchecks were recorded as well to allow for audience ambiance to be dubbed over the tracks. It should also be noted that Gene was sporting some black horns on his collar for these shows, harking back to his costume during the first album era. NBC News shot footage of the first show for use in the Land of Hype and Glory piece that was to be aired in January 1978. There is also some stunning 8mm film that was shot as well. On the audio side, just like the shows recorded for Alive!, the multi-tracks have never hit the bootleg market. However, various audience recordings have circulated instead. The first show circulates and is a fantastic-sounding recording. The third show does not circulate often and is also incomplete. The first show was released on vinyl under the title Sneak Attack. What exists of the third show was released on vinyl, along with the first show, as part of the, I Was There box set.

The Summit
Houston, TX
September 1-2, 1977

Setlist (both shows): I Stole Your Love/Take Me/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Love Gun/Hooligan/Makin’ Love/Christine Sixteen/Shock Me/I Want You/Calling Dr. Love/Shout It Out Loud/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Detroit Rock City/Beth/Black Diamond

John Crow TV Productions had professionally archived the two Summit shows on videotape. Performance wise, they are both amazing so it is down to personal preference as to what reigns as superior. From a visual standpoint, the first night appears to be much darker. The video crew must’ve noticed this issue while reviewing the footage because the second night is much better lit. Both of these shows have circulated in bootleg circles for many years. Many fans have become more accustomed to the second night as it was featured as part of the KISSOLOGY Vol. 1 DVD. Audio-wise, the source is a soundboard mix that sounds just as good as any other regular soundboard recording. These two shows have been released on vinyl under the simple titles The Summit – Houston, TX. September 1, 1977, and The Summit – Houston, TX. September 2, 1977.

Tarrant County Convention Center
Ft. Worth, TX
September 4-5, 1977

Setlist (both shows): I Stole Your Love/Take Me/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Love Gun/Hooligan/Makin’ Love/Christine Sixteen/Shock Me/I Want You/Calling Dr. Love/Shout It Out Loud/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Detroit Rock City/Beth/Black Diamond

These were the two final dates of the tour and the last time “Hooligan” would ever be performed by the band. Pete Oppel, the individual who wrote a review of the first show for the Dallas Morning News, stated that there was a kid sitting behind him that brought a portable tape recorder to the show. The whereabouts of that supposed audience tape are unknown. Otherwise, both shows circulate as soundboard recordings and they sound spectacular, perhaps just a smidge better than the San Francisco show. What is interesting to note is that the recordings from both shows are indeed incomplete but can be edited together to make a semi-full show. The first show starts with Peter Criss’s drum solo and runs through to the end of the show. The second show starts with “I Stole Your Love” and cuts towards the end of “Calling Dr. Love” only to kickstart again once “Rock and Roll All Nite” starts through to the end of the show. The only songs that appear to be missing are “Shout It Out Loud” and the beginning portion of “God of Thunder.” With that said, hopefully, the omission of those two songs is forgiving because the recording is just that good! This show was released on vinyl under the title Blood Loss Over Fort Worth.

It goes without saying that aren’t necessarily any shows from this tour that can be considered “bad” sounding. The best audience recordings are certainly from Montreal and Los Angeles. The soundboard recordings from San Francisco and Fort Worth are absolutely phenomenal, along with the audio rips from the Houston shows.

Stay tuned for my next entry in the A Guide to KISS Bootlegs series, as things are about to become “Alive” once again!

Dig this article? Check out the full archives of The Record Spinner, by Dylan Peggin, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/the-record-spinner-archives/

About Post Author

Dylan Peggin

Dylan Peggin was born and raised in Vineland, NJ, USA. Music has always played a huge part in his life, thanks to his parents who brought him up on bands such as Rush, Genesis and Yes. At the young age of two, he became a member of the KISS Army and has never looked back since. Dylan started his vinyl collecting journey in 2014, partly inspired by musician Jack White and his label, Third Man Records. What started out as a casual hobby turned into an issue when Dylan realized he could not expand his ceiling to make way for his ever-growing vinyl collection, featuring artists that reside in Rock, Metal, Punk, Alternative, Psych and Indie, just to name a few genres. On January 1st, 2018, Dylan started <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE-Bo2U7mrTWPb1zIS8Jk1A">The Record Spinner</a>, a YouTube channel about vinyl collecting and music. Videos are uploaded every Friday based on a myriad of topics such as mastering engineers, pressing plants and best-sounding pressings. Other content is featured, as well, such as artist analysis videos, monthly vinyl hauls, record store vlogs, unboxings, interviews with musicians, and much more. The channel has grown to reach almost 3K subscribers, obtained over 300K views and received 1.5 million minutes in watch time. Dylan is also studying to receive a BA in Music Business with Berklee College of Music and he hopes to take what he is doing on YouTube to bigger heights.
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