Love Gun Album - Love Gun
“Love Gun” was written by Paul while the band were aboard Pan Am flight #801 traveling to Japan for their “Sneak Attack” tour in March 17/18, 1977. Paul’s original demo of the song barely differs from the band's recording. When KISS returned from the Tour, Paul headed into Electric Lady Studios to put down his song idea. Paul played bass, guitar, and naturally singing both lead and backing vocals on the recording. He recruited drummer Steve Korff, who had been in the band The Planets, with whom KISS had sometimes played with during their 1973 club days. Paul’s “Love Gun” demos also marked his first experimentation with the e-bow guitar effect, which he would use overtly on parts of the guitar tracks on his solo album. The subject matter is very obvious, though there are some interesting similarities between Paul’s song and the Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Steve Cropper, and Carl Wells composition “The Hunter.” That song has a repetitive verse structure which contains the lyric:
I got my love gun loaded
Loaded with a-huggin’ and kissin’
And when I pull the trigger
There ain’t gonna be no missin’
Ain’t no use to hide
No there ain’t no use to run
Cause I got you in the sights of my...
My love gun, my love gun, my love gun
While the music is different, Paul must have been aware of the song, it having been recorded by the likes of Albert King (whom Paul was a fan of, and whose V guitars Paul loved), Blue Cheer, Ike & Tina Turner, and, most notably in the context of Paul’s influences, Free. Between this song and Paul Stanley there is yet another connection: Eddie Kramer had been an engineer on Blue Cheer’s 1968 album “Outside Inside,” which included the song. Booker T. Jones is better known as the leader of Booker T. & The MG’s. If nothing else, this song probably influenced or helped inspired Paul's composition.
When it came time for the band to record the song, no changes were made and the demo and recorded version sound nearly identical. Paul was very clear of his vision for the song and apparently played bass on the recording. There is a certain amount of controversy about this song with Sean Delaney claiming that he actually co-wrote it: “Actually, I co-wrote ‘Love Gun’ (in front of witnesses). After I came up with the chorus line in the second verse, Paul says ‘I’m not going to give you credit on this one!’ And I said, ‘Fine Paul, whatever.’ Richie Fontana, who was the drummer for Billy Squier, who lives in New York, was there” (Steve Stierwalt, Jr., Sean Delaney Interview). That would also negate Paul’s suggestion that the song was written on the “KISS Clipper.” When released as the second and final release in support of “Love Gun,” backed with “Hooligan,” the single only reached a disappointing #61 on the charts.