For the final time in his Kiss career, Paul Stanley donned the face paint, picked up a suite of his prized electric guitars and took to the stage at Madison Square Garden last weekend for the band’s final-ever performance.
It was notable for numerous reasons – Ace Frehley and Peter Criss weren’t there, for one, and Kiss were digitally immortalized via state-of-the-art avatar technology at the end – but when the band closed the set with Rock and Roll All Nite on Saturday, they also closed the final chapter of Kiss' live journey.
Owing to the occasion (and because it was a Kiss concert), the 23-song setlist played host to pyrotechnics galore and exemplary displays of showmanship, with Gene Simmons breathing fire and Paul Stanley ziplining between stages at various points throughout the evening.
It was an historic performance, which also saw Stanley make his way through a handful of different electric guitars – including a custom Gibson Flying V that he has now gifted to a high-profile vintage guitar dealer.
The model in question – an ebony-finished Custom Shop beauty with a curious star tailpiece, block inlays and split-diamond Gibson headstock logo – was wielded by the Kiss frontman at various points during both the band’s Friday and Saturday shows.
Specifically, Stanley slung the V over his shoulder to play Say Yeah and Cold Gin – but not long after the curtain came down on the Saturday, it had been passed on to a new owner.
Taking to Instagram after the show, Matt of Matt’s Guitar Shop – a showroom located in Paris that specializes in vintage gear and once sold Jeff Buckley's Telecaster to Matt Bellamy – revealed he’d been invited to the Garden for Kiss’ last show by Stanley himself, who then made the trip even sweeter with a very special gift.
“I can’t thank you enough the one and only @paulstanleylive from @kissonline for having me and my team at the very last KISS show at the madison square garden,” he wrote. “Can’t thank him enough as well for this beautiful Gibson Flying V Paul used the last show for couple of songs and extensively for countless concerts with KISS during the last tour! Thank you Paul, you are a true class act.”
We know what you’re thinking: if it’s been given to a vintage gear dealer, will it be making the rounds on the private collector’s circuit some time soon? Given the fact it was played at the last Kiss gig, we imagine it would command a pretty penny indeed.
But, understandably, the sentimental value of the whole experience is just too sweet for Matt, who has declared his intentions to keep the Flying V in his own personal catalog.
“This is unforgettable,” he continued. “This guitar will stay in my private collection, it sounds amazing!”
We imagine attending the last Kiss gig was a pretty special experience in itself, but to come away with a custom Gibson Flying V that actually saw stage action on the night? It doesn't get much better than that for a Kiss fan.
Head over to Matt's Guitar Shop's Instagram account for future glimpses of Stanley's Flying V.