Tampa Mike's Kiss Bike

I decided to build my first custom ride. I have a 1994 heritage soft tail which is a Harley Davidson and I did a lot of custom work to it. My build had to be like no other. I watched Jessie James build all kinds of rides but all in the basic format. I wanted the theme to be remembered by everyone, and last but not least it had to be done in good taste and at what better time than during their farewell tour "we all thought that anyway." So I started my build and went on this year long mission, the bike or theme was to be, what else, KISS.

I heard talk of Kiss and Aerosmith going on tour, no way, now the mission was a category C. I stayed up many late nights with ideas, many changes, welding, grinding and fabricating then I heard KISS is playing in South Florida. I was really pressed for time and without rushing a really long thought out project I decided it wasn't going to be ready for the South Florida. concert. At this time of the build the bike was complete as far as being up and running before final step after all the bugs are worked out and it goes to paint. Then I hear that December 3rd at the Ice Palace that Kiss was coming into concert here in Tampa so needless to say from a category C it now went into an A++++ this must have been late October, and now the build that I had started needed to be taken all apart again so as to get it ready for paint, and I mean down to the frame. Then there was the paint, and how it would be laid out, from faces, to tribal, to colors. I mean to tell you, that was almost just as much work as the build. The paint would take 6 weeks which if I did my math right it left me with approximately two to three weeks before the concert would be in town. The bike was put together in less than a week and ready for the big day, a friend of mine was doing his radio show from a place across the street from the Ice Palace called NUKES and that evening to promote the band KISS he had invited a few bikes over just for a showing and of course the KISS bike being the feature ride.

Well knowing KISS was in concert, all my friends and my best helper my brother were all saying wouldn't it be cool if you could get the band to autograph the bike, and that was the final goal in the completion of this custom ride. After the radio station went off the air at 6:30 pm KISS was going to start their gig at 7:00 pm and before Aerosmith. We left Nukes and went directly to the rear of the Ice Palace and parked the bike right there. We were there 29 seconds and guess who is coming in? You got it, KISS in a white Cadillac Escalade. They slowed down as they went by my ride and gave me and a few friends whom were with me the thumbs up sign. Well, we were still outside the gate a few people came out and looked at it and were really impressed by what they had seen. It was getting dark and wasn't looking promising and about that time Aerosmith were pulling in with their private coaches. By this time, KISS had already been playing and had about 45 minutes left on stage. Well just when we thought it wasn't looking good someone else had decided to come out and look at the bike. It was their road manager who just happens to be a Harley Davidson rider not to get the two confused personally I think stock sucks but that is just my opinion, anyway he started talking to me about the bike and was really impressed. I told him all about the bike, not as much as I am telling you but anyway I told him I would really like to see if I could get the band to autograph it and he looked at me without a blink he said I'll see what I can do. He went back into the rear of the Palace.

About 30 minutes later here he comes back out and said to me and my brother for us to bring that ride in back stage. I've got to tell you it was like ALRIGHT... he brought us right back stage and said give the band about 29 min. and I'll get them over here to take some pictures with your bike. We got 3 signatures that night and took us two additional days to get the last one Peter Criss at the hotel when they were leaving for Jacksonville Florida.

Well, that is my story MISSION COMPLETE.
Tampa Mike