BY BETH ALLEN
I stumbled across the KISS van by accident. I was on Marc’s facebook page sending him a message about some music stuff (I had heard he was putting out a Mentors compilation album and I wanted to get my band The Womentors on it) and noticed a pic of his van. Hot damn! Being a huge KISS fan AND a huge VAN fan, of course I wanted to interview him about it. Here we go! Interview with Marc December 2016.
Name, age, where are you from?
What year/make/model is your van?
How long have you had it and where did you find it?
Does it have a name?
Tell me about the exterior and interior.
I was born in 1969 and the first time I saw KISS in 1974 on TV in-concert I was hooked. The world was KISS to me. I had to fight and I had to take the ridicule for liking them. Bakersfield, California was much different than it is now. You had Cowboys or you had Hardcore Mexicans. There were no crossed genres. I was growing up in a pretty hard-core gang area known as “The Loma.” Being that my dad was white and my mom was hispanic, I was called a coconut. Brown on the outside and white on the in. Liking a band like KISS was unacceptable in their eyes. And as far as all the Cowboys in school were concerned, I was considered a Devil worshiper.
Needless to say, I took a lot of shit for it. It sticks with you. Christmas 1977 I got a remote control KISS van. I told myself when I grew up I would have a van just like that. And I do.
What are some of the reactions your van gets?
Everywhere I go is a car show. I cannot go anywhere without coming out of the store without somebody taking pictures with it all day, every day. I’ve been pulled over by police just to take a photo. I’ve had a CHP motorcycle officer almost run into me while taking a photo while he’s driving.
Everywhere I go people lose their shit. The van was a door opener to meet my idols and become somewhat friends with them. When KISS found out about the van and then found out that I feed the 100’s homeless people every week outside my tattoo shop and give toys on Christmas to 500 families. They really stretched out their hands to help me.
Any plans to pimp it out MORE? And are you a do-it-yourself kinda guy or will you hire someone else to do it?
I am a do-it-yourself kind a guy and I have plans for the interior and more airbrushing.
Describe your wet dream van... sky’s the limit here!
I own my dream van.
Have you “rocked” your van?
Have you had other vans in the past?
What are your favorite tunes to crank while rolling around in your van?
Are you a Chevy, Ford or Dodge man?
What about ass, grass or gas?
What’s your favorite movie that has a van or vans in it?
Have you ever been to a van truckin’ or van show-n-shine?
What do you think would be the ultimate theme for an air-brushed mural side of a van — BESIDES KISS?
I can’t share that because it’s being done right now. Jay Werner’s van will be done real soon.
PICTURED ABOVE: (Top to Bottom) “The KISS Van”outside and in!