A radio show host and three veterans of the local music scene have joined forces as Dr. Love, a Tacoma-based KISS tribute band. It consists of Jason Flom, as guitarist Ace Frehley, Chance Pittenger as guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley, Peter Tietjen as drummer Peter Criss and Vinny Beatty as bass player/vocalist Gene Simmons, The members are well known in the local scene. Tietjen has played with Billy Farmer and a Neil Diamond tribute. He was in Umber Sleeping, which later became I Like Science. Flom is a co-founder of Legend of Big Foot, a band he still plays in. Beatty has been in Color of East and Never Quiet Never Still. Pittenger has not been in local bands but hosts the show “Northwest Metal Zone” on Internet radio station NWCZ.
Pittenger and Flom have known each for about 30 years, as Pittenger is a close friend of Flom’s older brother. Both are big KISS fans. Flom has seen KISS live 13 times. The two started jamming about 18 months ago. “I think we knew in the back of our minds that this band would happen,” Flom remarked. Needing a drummer, Flom thought of Tietjen. Around that time Beatty ran into Flom at a show at the New Frontier. They began talking about forming a KISS tribute band. The band came together in August. At their first practice, they came up with the name from the KISS song “Calling Dr. Love.” The four musicians have been busy preparing for their debut show, slated for Oct. 26 at the New Frontier Lounge. The plan is to have a theme for each performance. This first show will have a medical theme, with the members wearing medical outfits and the makeup KISS is famous for. They plan limited theatrics, such as spitting fake blood. Two members plan to wear black wigs.
“We are going to play the music with passion,” Flom promised. They play music from 1974 to 1982, when KISS had its original lineup. Why does the music of KISS still hold so much appeal for them? “When I was 7 years old and I saw them, they were like super heroes,” Flom said. “It has been a love affair ever since. When I look at Peter, I know he feels the same way.” He just purchased the new KISS album “Monster.” Tietjen remembers clipping out photos of KISS and putting them on the wall of his bedroom as a child. “I think it is amazing music,” he remarked. “Those four faces are four of the most recognized faces in rock ‘n roll,” Flom declared. The band knows about 15 KISS songs. For their debut show, they plan a set list with 10 songs. Pittenger requests that fans bring a new or gently used coat to the show. They will be donated to needy foster children. The show starts at 9 p.m. on Oct. 26. Also playing will be the Dignitaries and Splendid Vengeance. It will be a costume party, so fans are encouraged to dress in their Halloween outfits.