Ace Frehley designed the original KISS logo after joining the group in 1973. He changed the two S’s on KISS with lightning bolt-style S’s. Making it one of the most iconic and recognizable band logo’s in the biz.
The logo worked well in every county except Germany. The problem being that Nazi Germany’s Schutzstaffel otherwise known as the “SS” used a similar lightning bolt logo stylized with the Armanen Sig runes.
The similarity between the “SS” logo and KISS’ wasn’t an issue until around 1980, when the Nazi “SS” logo was used in a political ad in West Germany. KISS decided to modify it prior to a September 1980 tour of West Germany by rounding the edges.
Since then all of their German-issued albums and marketing materials have used this modified KISS logo. For example here’s the KISS tour program for Alive 35 from 2008. The program on the left is for the world while the program on the right is for Germany.
Before people start calling out KISS as being Nazi’s please note that both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are Jewish. Check out this other story…