When Ace and Jeanette Frehley got married in 1976, the members of KISS used the opportunity to take the stage and instruments of the wedding band (St. James Infirmary) and play some songs at the reception. After playing one song, Ace’s new father-in law asked the band to stop—as all the attention was going to the band instead of the wedding activities. The band played two more.
The book Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup by C.K. Lendt, who worked with KISS’ financial team, gives an insight into the vibe at the reception:
Ace’s May 1976 wedding to Jeanette Trerotola, an Italian girl from suburban New York, was a huge affair at New York’s Americana hotel that attempted to link two sharply different worlds. Jeanette came from a large family. At the wedding, many relatives showed up, including her grandfather, one of the highest ranking officials in the Teamsters who was known as Joe T. Her father was also a Teamster official. At times, the two camps reportedly appeared to face off against each other, with each group congregating on opposite sides of the ballroom. One friend of the band, a gay musician who came dressed in a black leather motorcycle jacket and knee-high boots, supposedly came close to inciting a riot when he congratulated members by giving them bear hugs and huge kisses.
Luckily someone captured part of the impromptu wedding jam. The band performs “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “Shout It Out Loud” in a short super 8mm reel. According to this site, “Nothing to Lose” was also played. The sound quality is rough, and the performances are a bit sloppy, but that could be attributed to either free-flowing wedding booze, or, more likely, the hypothesis put forward in the 1978 documentary KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, that without their magic talismans they are just ordinary human beings with no mystical powers (or ability to keep in tune).
“I’d heard about your talismans, but I didn’t think they really existed. What’s that humming noise?”
If you are a fan, this 8mm film footage, albeit rough, is gold. Remarkably, the band seem to really actually kind of like each other in the clip.
It’s also remarkable to see footage from this era of the band without makeup. The identities of the members were closely guarded by the band and management at this time. Even when a magazine of the day could snap photos of the band, they’d never actually print them, for fear of losing access to publicity materials from the “hottest band in the world.” Creem magazine’s art director, Charlie Auringer, snapped these photos back in 1975 —of course they weren’t printed!
And now, you wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest wedding band in the land, KISS: