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The Original KISS Army glams for fans
Original KISS Army members Jim Seda “Gene Simmons” and Val Popovic “Ace Frehley” pose for a picture with Turlock fan Kaela Ledford at Dale’s Guitars on Saturday. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal
A modest crowd gathered at Dale’s Guitars in downtown Turlock Saturday afternoon hoping to get their picture taken with two men in make-up, black leather and spandex.
No, Halloween did not come early this year.
Former Turlocker Val Popovic, “Ace Frehley,” and Jim Seda, “Gene Simmons,” came dressed as their alter personalities to promote their upcoming concert at the West Side Theatre in Newman, sign autographs and pose for photos with local fans of their band, The Original KISS Army, and KISS music.
While the ages of those gathered at Dale’s ranged from youngster to adult, they all had one thing in common — a passion for rock.
“I grew up listening to KISS,” said Charlene Huckaba as she waited for her turn in the autograph line.
“I’m a music fan,” said 10-year-old Austin Lesan when asked why he was spending his Saturday afternoon waiting to see members of The Original KISS Army.
For Popovic, Saturday’s event was close to home. The current Modesto resident was living in Turlock when he made the move from his own KISS tribute band, Larger Than Life, to what he calls “a legend in the tribute community,” The Original KISS Army.
“Every day something new happens,” Popovic said of his eight years touring with the band.
Popovic has played in venues across the country and around the world. He has met the members of KISS and played for their box set release party. Popovic was also featured in the 2004 Showtime original movie “Tribute: A Rockumentary.”
Seda began The Original KISS Army in 1985 in New York. He said the band began by playing at parties, then clubs and before he knew it they were touring the country. After 24 years, Seda said he still loves to rock and the fans still love to hear it.
“A KISS fan is a KISS fan,” he said.
The Original KISS Army will be performing at 8 p.m. Saturday at the West Side Theatre in Newman. For ticket information, call 862-4490 or visit
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.