Wicked Lester was a New York-based rock and roll band that would later become known as Kiss. The band formed in 1970, under the Rainbow. Two notable members were bassist Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz) and rhythm guitarist Stanley Eisen, who later adopted the stage names Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, respectively. In 1971 the band changed their name to Wicked Lester, and recorded an album for Epic Records, which was never officially released.
The sessions have been released in bootleg form as The Original Wicked Lester Sessions. Kiss officially released three tracks from these sessions on their 2001 Box Set release. Wicked Lester's music featured elements of rock and roll, folk rock and pop. Simmons and Stanley, feeling that the group lacked a unifying musical vision, began forming a new band in late 1972. With an emphasis on straightforward rock and roll plus theatrics, they became the hard rock band Kiss in early 1973.
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