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Guardian Of The Gods: An Exclusive Interview With "Big" John Harte

By Cynthia Fields-Jalil, Writer/Photographer
Thursday, April 5, 2018 @ 8:50 AM


"We walk into the bedroom area where the suite has got a California King in it and there’s this young lady bare naked like the day she was born just laying there waiting for Paul to show up and she got me instead"

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As a huge fan of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers KISS since the ripe age of 9-10 years young, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing their former Head of Security “Big” John Harte, who I remember always being in the background of some of KISS’ most iconic band pictures with and without make-up. I remember thinking to myself “Wow, that guy looks really tough and scary, I’d hate to run into him!” Well, my stereotypical idea of "Big” John was recently changed forever because as it turns out, “Big” John Harte is one of the nicest, kindest, most down-to-earth and very fascinating former celebrity bodyguards that I’ve ever met. And now that “Big” John has retired from his beloved profession, all of you will also get to know him too. “Big” John has started writing a book filled with some of his personal stories and travel experiences with KISS, IRON MAIDEN, BILLY IDOL, PRINCE, and many, many more of some of our favorite musicians. For the sake of having full creative control, he has decided to self-publish his currently unnamed autobiography via the Crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic.com. Through “Big” John’s PledgeMusic AccessPass and with a monetary pledge, fans will gain access to some of the exclusive chapter sneak peeks and content included in the book plus extra content along with several very special product offerings. Lucky for me, I gained early access to “Big” John’s PledgeMusic AccessPass Campaign, and I’ve gotta tell you all that I am throughly enjoying all of the written content, video updates and pictures and I am certain that you all will too. So make sure to show “Big” John Harte some love and support by heading over to PledgeMusic.com to check out ALL of his exclusive product offerings! The book is due out late summer/early fall.

KNAC.COM: You sir have your own celebrity all over the world and you are recognized as the former security guard of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers KISS. For those fans that may not recognize your name, they certainly will recognize your face! Again, you are a part of KISStory for so many KISS fans all over the world. Your famous mug has been documented in two of the most recognized pictures of KISS band members sans their iconic makeup. The first picture is of you shielding Paul Stanley's face with your right hand as he's exiting a car while at the same time extending your left hand out gesturing “Stop!” with a very telling face of “Don't do it, don't take that picture!” (all laughing) And the highly publicized picture of you walking with Gene Simmons whose face is covered with a scarf and is it Ace (Frehley) or Paul (Stanley) shielding and covering his makeup free face with his hand?

HARTE: It's Ace with his jacket or something? It’s Ace, we were exiting the Record Plant Studios in New York.

KNAC.COM: That's what I thought! So, we’ll get to some of those stories in just a bit. I’d love to first let our KNAC.COM fans know that you plan on sharing your stories of those days working with KISS, IRON MAIDEN, BILLY IDOL, PRINCE and the countless artists that you have had the sacred privilege of working with in your upcoming autobiography. You are known as “The Protector of Rock Gods” and very soon the fans will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes to read some of your stories.

You've chosen to work directly with PledgeMusic and to also self-publish your autobiography. In your own words can you please tell us about the book and about the current Pledge Music Campaign that you’ve started to help raise the funds to bring your book to life?

HARTE: Well, my business partner Steve (Altman), whom you spoke with, he was after me to write a book for quite some time and I always had excuses; I was working, I didn’t have the time, you know things like that but then after my bout with my heart, they put me out of work and so I can’t work anymore. He came up and very frankly told me “Well you have no more excuses, you’ve got the time, we’re doing the book!”

KNAC.COM: I’ve noticed that PledgeMusic is quickly gaining popularity for multiple artists in the music industry. What was it about PledgeMusic that appealed to you the most?

HARTE: Well we wound up outsourcing around to see what these Crowdfunding sites were like and what your responsibilities to the sites were should you sign with them, and they had about the best package as far as they vetted me, they just didn’t put me on there and hope for the best. They made sure that the criteria that I had to meet for them was true and the reason I wanted to do Crowdfunding is I’m not a very rich guy even though I work in the rock business. The “Rock Gods” are the guys with all of the dough! But aside from that, the reason I self-published is I wanted to have control. If you go to a signage or whatever publishing company, they’re going to give you a deal, they’re going to write you a check and send you on your way! So you’re giving up control of the book, the content of the book and accessibility to the book, and you really don’t have anything to say! And I didn’t wanted to that because I wanted to make sure that I had the interest covered for the fans that this is something that they would like to have. And not that just because this is something KISS related, but I wanted them to genuinely want to buy it! And if they go to PledgeMusic.com and check it out, they can help be apart of that!

KNAC.COM: What type of custom tailored offerings have you created for your fans?

HARTE: There’s quite a few of them. We’re doing packages with the book, we’re having special t-shirts made. The artwork is going to be done by the artist Ken Kelly who did two of the KISS albums. He’s going to be able to give us some of the rough drawings that we’ll have on there and of the finished product in the form of lithographs, that’s just some of the stuff. We’re doing gold records signed by me that are made to me, we’re doing lunch with me via Skype, dinner in person, all they’ve got to do is fly to Florida and we’ll be doing dinner.

KNAC.COM: So, for the fans that may not know who Ken Kelly is, can you tell them what two albums he did for KISS?

HARTE: He did Destroyer and Love Gun-those are the covers that he did. And back at that time in the 70s there was another artist who was big in that kind of look-where it was like Conan “The Barbarian” type, everybody had big muscles and there were swords involved and stuff like that and I can’t remember his name but he was very, very, influential to that type of artwork.

KNAC.COM: How do you plan on utilizing PledgeMusic’s AccessPass platform to keep your fans engaged while they wait and anticipate its release?

HARTE: We’ll be periodically putting out our progress with the book…where we are going to be…when it goes to press so that they will be able to anticipate when they’ll get it in their hands along with all the other things that they may have participated with.

KNAC.COM: So you’re going to be releasing different types of content like stories, pictures, what?

HARTE: Yeah, if they go to PledgeMusic.com, they’ll see what’s listed out there for them to partake of and there’s stuff with my personal writing involved in the book, the first chapter might be there as a rough and they can partake of that. And like I said, we’re going to do some t-shirts that will correspond to the artwork of the book, of course it’s not done yet, but it’ll run in a similar line and again if they go to PledgeMusic.com they will see all of the offerings-I can’t remember them all.

ALTMAN: We’re working out with PledgeMusic If you go onto PledgeMusic.com, you will get all of the details for what we’re advertising now like as far as if you pledge this, you’ll get this package and if you pledge that, you can buy that. But through the course of the campaign the book is not going to be out until mid-to late-summer and we will add some additional product too! We are working with PledgeMusic and Michael Brandvold/ Michael Brandvold & Associates to keep everybody’s expectations high to offer additional product to the fans that want to get other things as well. And so we are kind of formulating a lot of that now. But, once this happens and even probably after the book is done we’re going to continue to sell merchandise that the readers and fans will be interested in.

KNAC.COM: Will you be sharing and releasing content like sneak peeks & teasers that are in his autobiography, and if so how often will you be doing that?

ALTMAN: Absolutely, there is a feature there that you’re going to get by buying. You’re going to get admission to an additional chapter type of thing. Through that type of thing it will give them a little teaser if you will. And so obviously the rest of John’s story will be in the book itself! And those updates will be done probably a few times a week!

HARTE: Yep, there will definitely be outtakes from the book or a chapter not to be included in the book, but a chapter well worth reading. And I will also be utilizing my Facebook page for that where they can also get updates about progress and such via Instagram, Twitter and all of those.

KNAC.COM: So, it may be a bit cheesy of me, but I just have to start my first artist question off with JR Smalling's (former KISS Tour Manager & original KISS Krew Roadie) famous intro “You Wanted The Best, You Got It The Hottest Band In The Land KISS!!!” (all laughing together) I’ve always wanted to do that anyway…how did you get your start working as Head of Security with “The Hottest Band In The Land?”

HARTE: Well actually JR (Smalling KISS’ former Roadie & Tour Manager ) had something to do with it and a fella by the name of Rick Stewart (KISS’ former Head of Security). Rick had worked with me at a place call the Capitol Theater in New York and Roosevelt Stadium in New Jersey. Rick hired me off the ticket line in ’72 because I had called a fight there and he’d seen it and he said “Well I’ve gotta talk to this fella” meaning me and he offered me a job and I said “Yeah, that’s great!” And so, I went to work. And while I worked in the Capitol Theater, which was in my hometown, it made it very easy. Previous to that I was in a band when I got out of high school-garage bands and stuff and I didn’t have the heart to wait for the big break-not that it might or that it was going to happen anyway. And so I said “There’s got to be another way to be in the music business, I’m going to learn how to work for these guys!” So that correlated in my mind with what I was trying to do. And so I wound up working at those venues and I did venues in New York. I wound up doing a lot of things for the radio station through Rick Stewart and JR (Smalling). And then when Rick Stewart was working with KISS, they decided that they needed another security person so he called me and asked me if I was interested and I said “Yeah” and he said “We’re going to Europe" and I said "Okay!” So, they hired me well before that and I went there and did the European tour and I thought that was going to be the end of it but they kept me around for a few more years.

KNAC.COM: Was it easy to make the transition from being security for a venue to becoming a part of KISS’ personal security team?

HARTE: Well, it wasn’t that hard because even though I was doing venues, I still had to deal with the bands, I still had to deal with the record company executives and at that time all of the radio stations were underground or FM and all of the those people were heavyweights in that industry so you had to learn how to talk to people, and try to get things done at the same time. So it wasn’t that big of a transition. Also I’ve got to point out, it was something that I wanted to be involved in and so because I wanted to be there made it a lot easier for me. I wanted to be there in a capacity of providing a service and learning about the business, not to hang out with the band. A lot of people have the misconception that “Oh, you work for them!”, and so you got to hang out and party and all of that stuff. Yeah, we did party a lot-we weren’t angels on the road, but from my point of view, I was providing a service to these people wither it be KISS or IRON MAIDEN and so there was always a fine line that I would try to maintain between our working friendship and providing a service.

KNAC.COM: So, when you first met the band members what was your first impression of each of them?

HARTE: (laughing) It was after their show and so various ones were amped-up and others were kind of cooling down so I really didn’t get a chance to get a feel on their genuine personalities. Of course we were talking a little business too. And so I sorta let them do most of the talking and let it roll from there. But after I started working for them you could see that although the makeup made them be homogenized to a point, that their individual personalities were represented as well.

KNAC.COM: Did you have a band favorite?

HARTE: No, it would vary from day to day, week to week (all laughing). That depended on who was giving me the least amount of trouble (all laughing).

KNAC.COM: How challenging was it to deal with the crazed KISS fans who would quite literally do anything to meet the guys?

HARTE: It was a lot of cerebral stuff moreso than people would think. I’ve often been told that “Geez you must have roughed up a lot of people, or things like that, or had a lot of fights," and it was really not the case because for one, I don’t have the time. I’m one person, the band ain’t going to help me out you know in that capacity, so you wound up finding out the problems within what you’re doing and try to shore them up or change things like going through airports. Huh, we used to…when we had a couple more security guys, one guy would do the luggage and he would sorta be leading back but not part of it and he’d be running interference for people with cameras and stuff. Because once he got in front of you-hand gone up going “Nope, don’t take that picture” you’re standing there looking at him trying to figure out how you’re going to take a picture and now you can’t and by the time you’ve sorta figured out you ain’t going to get it, the band’s already gone past you anyway headed out the door. So, those are the type of things we used to do because we couldn’t embarrass the band either you know because that wouldn’t work. But we did have to get from place to place without the makeup. With the makeup Gene…he would always come to me and say “You’re the bad guy so you’re gonna pull us outta here!” like when we would do in-stores at record stores or certain appearances, when time's up, time's up, we’ve gotta get outta here. They would never say that, it was John dragging them out the door. So this way it appeared better to the fans that it wasn’t the band telling them that we’ve gotta go, it was me saying we’ve gotta go. I had to have fun!

KNAC.COM: Do you have a favorite female groupie story that you like to share with us?

HARTE: (laughing) There was a girl, she wasn’t from California because we ran into her somewhere else, but she was madly in love with Paul and this is in the book. We were in California and it was the first time we played The Forum and I believe it was the second night and we come back to the hotel and we’re going through rooms; we would have their keys because they’d come back in makeup. And I’m letting Paul into the room and the lights are off. Paul would leave the light on because he felt that it made it feel like he was coming home as opposed to an apartment or what have you. He stopped and I knew that that’s not right so either somebody had been in there for whatever reason or there was somebody still there! So, we walk in and these are big suites. We walk into the bedroom area where the suite has got a California King in it and there’s this young lady bare naked like the day she was born just laying there waiting for Paul to show up and she got me instead (all laughing)! We made her put on her clothes and took her downstairs and again, that’s what caused things to be changed! We went to the hotel and I asked “How did this girl get upstairs to this room?” And they said “Well she claimed to be the band’s girlfriend!” and I said “But you have no way of proving that!” and they said “Well, we were just trying to be nice!” And so back in that time people weren’t thinking about the side from people being crazy wanting to hurt somebody, just that these people are just trying to get to see the band. And so we then made it a policy that in our advance work through the travel agent, and management, that nobody gets into the hotel unless we approve them. And if we aren’t physically there to approve them, then they wait in the lobby or wherever they’d like to wait…they could go sit in the bar, but don’t let them in the room!

KNAC.COM: Going back to when you first started with KISS and their identity was concealed by their now iconic make-up, how difficult was it to protect their identity from the press?

HARTE: Fairly, but back then the Paparazzi as they call them weren’t as aggressive as they are today. You could almost speak with most of them and they would allow us to do staged shots even though we were out and about and they’d have something to go sell but it would keep their faces under wraps. There were only two or three fellas that I could remember that would try not to hide. That guy, who was a famous guy in New York called Ron Galella (celebrity photographer aka “King of Paparazzi” in NYC, NY), and he hounded me every time we were there trying to get pictures of the band. After a show at “The Garden” we had a party and I’m taking all of the band to the party and I’ve got Ace with me and his wife and so I let Jeanette (Frehley) go and I have one of the other security guards grab her. I had Ace, I put my sports coat over his head and he held it closed and I actually guided him to the front door but this guy was trying to get under that coat with the camera ya know trying to get a pic.

KNAC.COM: That’s crazy!

HARTE: Yeah, and there were still laws and so I couldn’t really push him or physically attack him but I would push him with my body-you’re in my way…I’m going that way…I was like an elephant on a stampede (laughing).

KNAC.COM: So, do you have a memory or should I say a close call incident from the press that you would like to share of someone actually capturing the picture? If so, what did you do to get that picture back?

HARTE: Well if they sniped me, I didn’t get it back! There was a fella in Europe, I believe it was Finland or Sweden, and we’re coming out of the airport and this guy was way far away-he must have had a huge telephoto and he got Ace but you couldn’t see his face and so he failed anyway (ha). Okay, and then up until the point with Gene and when they all stated traveling on their own for the most part, I was pretty successful in keeping the guys under wraps. I remember the first time I saw Gene in a publication is when he was out with Cher and I wanna say it is Spago’s (flagship restaurant owned by Chef Wolfgang Puck) in California and he got caught. But up to that point I was pretty successful.

KNAC.COM: So, when you left KISS the first time and you went to work with IRON MAIDEN, you were fortunate to be a part of the first invited group of artists to visit as special guests to go behind “The Iron Curtain.” I’d love for you to share that story with us if you could?

HARTE: Well, we’d have to spend hours. But, it was truly, truly amazing! We were the first band to go behind “The Iron Curtain” with all of the bells and whistles! We had our trucks, we had full stage equipment, all of the lights, the only thing we weren’t allowed to take was merchandising because the promoter wanted to make his own and that was in the agreement. But boy did we wish we’d brought some just to give away! The fans were..I don’t have a word to describe how overwhelmed they were the band was there. I remember I gave a kid a t-shirt and it didn’t even say IRON MAIDEN but it was just an American t-shirt with some band on it and he broke into tears and was like “Wow, this is great!” It was really a very emotional time to see all of this take place. It also gave you a perspective of what was really going on there. You had people but there was no one really starving to death, but there were lines for everything! There was still that type of oppression by the Russian government. And people would say that they would walk down the street and see a line and they would just get in it cause nobody knew what it was for, but if they waited long enough and the line moved, they wound up buying-its probably something they wanted! You couldn’t allow for a loaf of bread, but they're selling the socks-they’ll buy the socks because they really need them!

KNAC.COM: So were you ever worried about your safety while you were over there or the safety of the artists?

HARTE: At that time no, because the production people, this was a big deal for them too. They had a lot riding on it. For them it was going to be lucrative and since they allowed all of this to happen, they did not want anything to go wrong. Steve (Altman) just said “We had promoter staff coming out of our behinds!” (laughing) And so there really wasn’t an opportunity to get in any trouble from anyone and I’m sure at that particular point the government really didn’t want to have any trouble either-it wouldn’t be good for them. But you did see that the Russians still had control of a lot of different areas and sections and if we’d go walking down the street and we were gonna go check something out and you’d get turned away if the Russian Army shows-up in jeeps with guns mounted on the back and just stops you from gaining access. “Nope, turn around and go back, you can’t come here!” And we did…we were on the bus, the tour bus and we were moving from one city to another and we happen to be running parallel to a railroad and we had film cameras on the bus and we wound up filming this train passing us and it was full of Russian tanks! They would have shot us if they had found that film!

KNAC.COM: Oh wow, that’s scary.

HARTE: We went to some unique places there. Of course we all went to Auschwitz (concentration camp in German occupied Poland) which was quite emotional, very ominous and we wound up playing a building, and I don’t remember where it was. Steve, do you remember where it was, the building that had the drape on the town center?

ALTMAN: No, no, no, I think it was the first stop in Warsaw with that drape. (Altman was also working for IRON MAIDEN with John at that time)

HARTE: Yeah, but they had this building that had been built by Hitler in the center of the building, the support was a big swastika so they couldn’t take it down because the building would fall down and so they had a big drape covering it. And all around the stage area but behind it there were these portals long and lean and there were like little doors you could open and they were there to put guns out so you could watch the crowd and if you’d see someone that you didn’t like, you’d just pick them off. Yeah, it just showed us the reality of what the people in Europe went through. Except for the men and women who served during World War II, my generation and the generation after that don’t really understand what really happened and how horrible that whole situation was.

KNAC.COM: And you got to experience some of that first hand.

HARTE: Oh yeah! And it really is mind-opening when you see it for real! Like walking in Auschwitz, we walked through the gate which says “Arbeit Macht Frei” over it which is the translation for “Work Sets You Free” and of course that was a big lie, that never made anybody free there. You see the vastness and they turned it into a museum and you see all of this stuff confiscated from the poor people that were brought there. Glasses, gold-teeth, hair; they were selling their hair making coats out of them back in Munich (Germany). I mean really, horrible, horrible things and the kids that one room is just full of pictures of these children in these striped uniforms with the numbers on them, and you just know that the greater of the majority of those children died there. And you wonder to yourself, how can somebody maniacally do this and still go to bed at night?

KNAC.COM: Thank God it's history now.

HARTE: And hopefully it will remain that way.

KNAC.COM: After leaving IRON MAIDEN, you went to work with another artist that William “Bill” Aucoin (An American band manager and KISS’ first band manager) managed, a London punk rocker BILLY IDOL who was quite literally living up to the “Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll” lifestyle then. The story goes that you were recruited to protect Billy from all of his demons. What was that like?

HARTE: I got a phone call from Aucoin’s Management office and they expressed to me a desire to have me go out and essentially babysit BILLY IDOL cause he was getting into a bunch of trouble. Not that he was running the streets wild, he was just being stupid. He was making friends with all of the wrong people. In LA the “Sunset Strip people”, they can be real Vampires. They’ll latch onto you and you think that they are being friendly and they’re just going to get you to buy them drinks and buy them food, and GOD knows what else. And he was right in lockstep with all that stuff. The management couldn’t shake him and so they needed somebody as an interventionist and that was my job. So I went out there and I was there for three days before Billy even knew I was around.

KNAC.COM: Oh wow!

HARTE: He no longer had phone calls, nobody would come to his room if he had room service, I’d make sure it was room service going in there, not something else. He had some deliveries of musical equipment from a place and I stopped them and I said “No you’ve gotta take it back!” and they said “No, Billy’s gotta pay for this!” and I said “Billy ain’t paying for that, you take it back!” As it turns out there was some drugs in there, ha!

KNAC.COM: Good deal, wow! How long were you with Billy?

HARTE: It started out to be about a year. We were in California for about four weeks, five weeks and during that time period he was supposed to be doing a two-fold. He was supposed to be working on material for his up and coming album and they were supposed to be discussing with people possibly some kind of a movie deal. That was dead in the water, nothing was happening there. And he was coming up like really bone dry about material. So, I finally said “Look, you don’t live here, you’re not from here, you’re not getting the vibe here” and I said “Why don’t we go back home, at least you’ll be in familiar surroundings and maybe that’ll help you make progress on the album or the material rather”. So, I wound up meeting the producer Keith Forsey at the time and he thought that was a great idea at the time because he realized that there was nothing going on with Billy there, he wasn’t making any headway, and basically he was just floundering. And so yeah, we went back, got him into to the studio and started working. I wound up staying for the album. And when they finished the album, it was Christmas time and so I went home.

KNAC.COM: What was the name of the album? You should have gotten all of the credit in the world (both laughing)!

HARTE: Whiplash Smile. I didn’t get any credit on that one. I should have gotten something but I didn’t so, no big deal.

KNAC.COM: So in your career you also had the privilege of working security for PRINCE. What was that like for you?

HARTE: (laughing) That was the weird one because he had about a million body guards. He had about ten people in that capacity. And of course there were a couple assigned to SHEILA E. (percussionist & PRINCE’s former fianceé) and the rest of the band, not so much. But my job when I got hired was the venues. So my only real interaction with PRINCE was at the end of the show. He’d come offstage and he would look at me and tell me where we were going next. It was my job to get there and clear the club out and make sure that the road crew could get in to set up and he’d show up and play another show.

KNAC.COM: And that was the end of that?

HARTE: Oh yeah. Well, that was my function, securing the venue in the first place, you know, dealing with the local security people and giving them their instructions about how he would like things done. And then of course he was famous for after parties. The band wanted to shoot him but he’d come off and he’d wanna go play and he’d play for hours because there was no limit. When we were in Europe it was crazy! We were there for hours while he was playing and the people that came to see that, they got their monies worth because it wasn’t a real expensive ticket and he’d play forever. But I respected him for that because he was giving back in his own way. But that was my real interaction with him because he was insulated. We had it set up to where those 7-8 people who worked directly for him, they were the only people that he dealt with. That and of course the managers. But other than that, I was a passing flash there.

KNAC.COM: Did you ever have any real conversation with him?

HARTE: One time and it was just about something at the show because he originally had wanted a barricade system where we’d divided the front of the stage off into three sections progressing from front to back. These were for the outdoor shows in Europe. We would issue a wristband by color to each section so this way you could leave the section you’re in and go get drinks and food and go to the toilet and you’d get back and you’d be in your same area, not necessarily the same spot, but you’d be in that same area. We were in one of the Scandinavian countries and the Fire Marshall said “You can’t do that!” He didn’t want the barricades up in front of the stage he said in case something happens at the stage, these people can’t turn around and run away! And I said “Yes, technically, and technically no!” But I had to go tell PRINCE about it and he wouldn’t be happy. And I said “The guy said if he wanted to, he’ll stop the show from going on.” And so me and PRINCE had to think about it and then we had to take them apart but they took them apart and scattered them all over the front of the stage and so they became weapons more than anything else. I don’t know what they were thinking about, but we had no trouble with them that show.

KNAC.COM: Was he the genius that so many of us have been told that he was?

HARTE: Yes, he was a genius. He had a vast array of knowledge of music and style, I think personally. I think he was capable of playing any style of music and he really delved into whatever he was doing. He just didn’t slap at it and go “Okay, yeah that’s good enough!” He really wanted to perfect whatever he was doing at the time.

KNAC.COM: What do you miss the most from your days securing so many of these legendary rock artists and musicians?

HARTE: Well, at this point I don’t miss it too much. But when I first got out of it I did because it was exciting and I love to travel and so I miss that aspect of it. Just to be in the now with what was happening then now it’s not nearly as important. There is not as much emphasis put on these type of things but back when I got into it that’s all anybody that was my age talked about. It was music and the bands and which band was this, and who was coming to town, and who’s playing where this weekend? So, that's the reason why I wanted to be involved in it, it was important to that generation at that time.

KNAC.COM: I remember when I was younger going to three and four different shows a week as a fan of music.

HARTE: Yep, and there weren’t real big venues as a rule. People were playing in small clubs, maybe 500 seats, maybe a 1000 seats and that was a big deal! And you know they were much more intimate, the shows, the artists were showcasing themselves no matter what type of music, they were showcasing it in a much more intimate way.

KNAC.COM: Yeah for sure! Speaking of venues, I’ve gotta ask you this. I’m from Houston, Texas. Did you ever accompany any of those bands to The Sam Houston Coliseum (indoor arena from 1937 until it was demolished in 1998)?

HARTE: I don't know-I’m being honest, I don’t believe so. What years did that happen?

KNAC.COM: I remember seeing KISS there for their “KISS Alive Tour“ (November 9, 1975), and for their “Creatures of the Night Tour” (March 10, 1983).

HARTE: Oh, The Sam Houston Coliseum! I thought you said something else! Yes, I remember being there!

KNAC.COM: I actually met Gene Simmons for the first time there. I approach him while he was just sitting on one of those band road cases. He was in full costume and make-up sitting on the road case and so, I walk up to him and I nervously ask him “What are you doing?” and he says to me in his very deep Hungarian accent and very powerful voice “I’m gathering my thoughts.” I didn’t know what to say to that and so I said “I have a long tongue too!” and he say’s “Let me see it?” and so I stuck it out and the next thing I know, he licks my tongue!

HARTE: (laughing) You’ve gotta be careful where you put those things (tongues)! Just to answer your question this way, if I was there and the security company was doing what you said, I would probably be running around pulling my hair out trying to figure out where all of these extra people came from! Who did he work for the band or did he work for the venue?

KNAC.COM: He worked for the venue!

HARTE: Yeah, so all of those type of things would just make me CRAZY! (laughing) I probably would have been very incensed about all of that (all laughing)!

KNAC.COM: (laughing) Yeah, that’s insane-I’m glad I met you as an adult (all laughing)! Anyway, we've come to the end of our interview is there anything at all that you would like to address to your fans?

HARTE: Well, I want to “THANK THEM” for their support. I want them to go and be a part of my book, check out PledgeMusic.com and see what it is all about. And I look forward to seeing them where and whenever I can!

Social Media Platforms:

Official Website: www.BigJohnHarte.com
PledgeMusic: www.PledgeMusic.com/BigJohnHarte
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BigJohnHarte
Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigJohnHarte
Instagram: www.instagram.com/BigJohnHarte


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