Retro Action, March 30, 1999: Fearing Backlash, KISS Cancels Moscow Tour Dates
(Editor's Note: Kiss were scheduled to play two nights at Olympic Stadium, April 1-2, 1999. Cancellation came just one day before the first show.)
By Ung-Kyu Lee/TakePart.com
Willing or reluctant, musicians often play the role of peaceful ambassadors when traveling abroad — think of the hooplah surrounding the Scorpions playing in Moscow during glasnost and WHAM! (yes, Wham) opening up China in 1985 .
They can also get caught in the middle, which is what happened to the rock band KISS when planning a tour to Moscow.
"The members of Kiss, having received a warning from the U.S. embassy in Moscow, have decided to postpone their arrival in Russia to avoid becoming the target of anti-American provocations," said the band's Russian tour manager, Vladimir Kiselyov, in a statement.
Kiselyov went on to apologize for the postponement, blaming it on "nationalist-patriotic and terrorist groupings instigating impetuous anti-American hysteria."
The source of Russian discontent was NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia. As a part of the former Soviet Union, the attack outraged loyalists and led to an ink bomb and egging attack at the U.S. embassy and a vandalized Baskin Robbins in Moscow.
Twelve years later, the KISS tour curse doesn't seem to be letting up. Just two weeks ago, the band canceled their Japan tour out of respect for the deadly earthquake and tsunami that has ravaged the island.
(Editor's Note: The Kiss Japanese tour was already postponed before the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.)