Kiss’ Paul Stanley released a memoir where he opens up about his band’s origins, music, and internal struggles. He discusses how “Love Gun” came to him during a flight — and how he “stole” part of the song from another artist. Interestingly, he said Led Zeppelin “nicked” the same song for one of their classic tracks.
Kiss’ Paul Stanley said the way he wrote ‘Love Gun’ was ‘amazing’
In his book, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, Stanley discusses dating Georganne LaPiere while spending time in California. LaPiere is Cher’s half-sister and was an actress on General Hospital. Stanley found her very intelligent and enjoyed talking to her but made no pretense that he wouldn’t see other women. While leaving California, Stanley came up with one of Kiss’ most famous songs.
“At the end of the time in L.A., I flew to New York,” he recalled. “The song ‘Love Gun’ came to me in its entirety on the flight—melody, lyrics, all the instrument parts—absolutely complete. It was amazing—and rare for me.”
However, Stanley made no pretense of the song being totally original. “I stole the idea of a ‘love gun” from Albert King’s version of ‘The Hunter,’ which Zeppelin also nicked from for ‘How Many More Times’ on their first album,” he said. “By the time the plane landed, I was ready to record a demo.” While some people could interpret the track as being about guns, Stanley said it was about his genitalia.
Paul Stanley said Kiss’ Peter Criss had a difficult time recording the song
Stanley said Kiss’ Peter Criss had difficulty recording “Love Gun.” “The funny thing about ‘Love Gun’ was that even though the album version was recorded as a facsimile of the demo, when we went to cut the album version, Peter couldn’t play the kickdrum pattern on the song,” Stanley wrote. “Once Peter cut the track, we had to bring in another drummer to play the extra kickdrum beats Peter couldn’t.” Regardless, Stanley liked “Love Gun.” He preferred it to “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” which is arguably a more famous song.
How the world reacted to ‘Love Gun’
The public seemed to like “Love Gun” as well. The track reached No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for seven weeks. Notably, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” was a bigger hit, reaching No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remaining on the chart for 16 weeks. The public’s taste didn’t align with Stanley’s.
“Love Gun”‘s parent album, Love Gun, was a success as well. The album reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 27 weeks. The album’s cover, which depicts the members of Kiss surrounded by women wearing similar makeup, became iconic. “Love Gun” was a hit — even if its lyrics were a touch derivative.