One of the tamer shots taken of KISS and model Megan McCracken during the “S & M Session” in New York in 1975 by Fin Costello.
The early days of KISS were all about pushing boundaries and, let’s face it, the list of things KISS was not willing to do back in the day is pretty short and likely begins and ends with their refusal to take off their makeup for their first industry gig in New York on New Year’s Eve, 1973. The things they were willing to do became instant benchmarks for other rock and metal bands and, of course, everything from their stage shows and costumes would revolutionize how rock was supposed to look. So how does KISS follow up their infamous drunken orgy shot with Norman Seeff? They do another photo session much like it with Fin Costello and a model named Megan McCracken.
Called the “S & M Session,” Costello, who had shot the band on many occasions, traveled to New York on August 23, 1975, to again photograph the band. Megan McCracken was living with KISS manager Bill Aucoin at the time—although her participation in the shoot has been noted to be a “last-minute” kind of thing. McCracken wore strange satin overall shorts and nothing else and, during several shots, is completely nude. Props for the shoot include a cat o’ nine tails, assorted bondage gear, and fake blood—you know, just a regular day for Ace, Gene, Peter, and Paul in 1975. According to at least one KISS fan, t-shirts with Costello’s X-rated images were a thing, as well as iron-on transfers. And while I’ve never had any luck tracking one down, I believe they existed based on the stuff I saw with my own eyes during the same period when I was a kid. Porn star Marilyn Chambers had one of her own back in 1973, and I know she wasn’t the only naked lady to become an adult-oriented iron-on transfer—this is a fact. Those were good times.
Photos from Costello’s NSFW S & M shoot with KISS follow.
A cool collection of footage of KISS broadcast on German television between 1975 and 1980.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The crazy night Iggy Pop, Blue Öyster Cult, & KISS shared the same stage on New Year’s Eve in 1973
KISS: Their X-rated early days
GIRLS: Runaways-inspired Japanese band cover ‘Cherry Bomb,’ Blondie, Ramones, KISS and more, 1977
KISS plays Michigan high school’s homecoming in 1975
‘Beth, I hear you calling’: The totally made-up, not true story behind the biggest KISS hit ever had
FURR: Meet the band who tried to be like KISS and failed