Who Were They - The Bands Kiss Played With - Bloontz
(1 show, 5/73)
KISS played a library benefit show with Bloontz, and a couple of other acts, in May 1973. In some ways Bloontz were ahead in the music game as they would release their self-titled debut album during the year (Evolution/Stereo Dimension 3020). However the connections between Bloontz and KISS go further than simply sharing a stage one night. Bloontz was comprised of Tony Braunagel (drums), Andy Chapman (vocals), David Kealey (guitars), Michael Montgomery (keyboards), and Terry Wilson (bass, guitar) and had originally been brought from Houston, Texas to New York City by producer Ron Johnsen. The lead singer of the band was also a good friend of Robbie Leff who would write parts of the music to the Patti Dahlstrom song "Weddin'" which was recorded on the Lyn Christopher album with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on backing vocals. Like KISS, it is likely that Bloontz's involvement in the library benefit was a result of Ron Johnsen who lived next door to the benefit's organizer. Three of the members of Bloontz, Michael Montgomery, Tony Braunagel, and Terry Wilson were session players on the Lyn Christopher. Since the three are credited as appearing courtesy of Evolution Records on the album's rear credits it is likely that their album came out prior to Lyn's or was at least being recorded during the same time period.
Backing vocalists on the "Bloontz" album would include Margaret Dorn, Linda Lawley, Sharon Redd, and Zenobia. The first three of these vocalists would also sing backing vocals with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on the Lyn Christopher album. Naturally, Ron Johnsen is the other connection having produced Wicked Lester's album and managed KISS during part of their early career. Both the Bloontz and Lyn Christopher albums were recorded at Electric Lady Studios. Bloontz didn't make it as an act and three of the members (Terry, Michael, and Tony) teamed up with ex-Free guitarist Paul Kossoff in Back Street Crawler who competed with the other ex-Free member's band Bad Company. Back Street Crawler had also included John "Rabbit" Bundrick who had been in a band, Blackwell, with Terry Wilson, and who replaced Montgomery on keyboards following the release of the band's first album. They had released a self-titled album in 1970. The band released two albums, "The Band Plays On" and "Second Street" prior to Kossoff's death.