10 Years Ago: Paul Stanley Sidelined By Health Scare, And Gene Simmons Makes A Tough Call
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“Paul Stanley Is Down.”
It’s no secret: rockstar life can take a toll on you. When you’re known for insane work schedules that include more than a few late nights that turn into early mornings, paired with getting older and being faced with health issues that you didn’t have a few decades ago, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ your health will sideline you – it’s when. KISS came face to face with this reality when in 2007, guitarist and singer Paul Stanley suffered a “health alert” backstage that found the 55-year-old feeling ill as it got closer to showtime, ultimately requiring an ambulance when it was discovered that his heart was beating at 200 beats per minute.
The emergency left bandmates Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer to make the tough call as to whether or not KISS would take the stage as a trio for the first time in 34 years or pack it up and head to the hospital to be with their friend – a decision that Simmons touched on during his address to the crowd:
“Listen up. This is important to us. You’re important to us. Paul’s heart was going at 200 beats a minute. They had to inject him. We were thinking of canceling the show because there was no way for Paul to do the show. He said, ‘Don’t let the fans down.’
Would you like to go home, or do you want us to try to play for you?”
A chorus of cheers rang out in the affirmative, with Gene warning that the band might need to bring a few lucky audience members onstage to help sing along. Thankfully, Paul was fine; the next day he explained that a lifelong rapid heart condition was the culprit, his heart rate of 190bpm leaving paramedics and a cardiologist deeply concerned and fearful that things could be life threatening.
“When I’ve had an episode, although momentarily disrupting and taxing, it has no residual effect,” he said. “This is nothing new and my doctors have known about it. It doesn’t change, hasn’t changed and won’t change my life.”