There are few people in KISS history that were as important to the success of the band as Sean Delaney. Sean served from the very beginning as roadie, tour manager, producer, choreographer, hair stylist, sound and light man, co-writer, a lot. Enough to be confirmed as 'The Fifth Member' of Kiss those early years, by Bill Aucoin. Delaney's previous jobs as beautician and hairdresser and theatrical background came in handy while helping KISS with their make up and blue/black/silver hair.
As I said in here earlier, this is an album I had been looking for for quite some years. Turned out to be the most hard to get vinyl LP I ever got my hands on. It took 25 years to be able to hold it in my own hands, and to hear it. And when I did, it was a gift from a good friend, knowing my wish to hear & have it. Thanks a lot, Stig! To say I was curious is a huge understatement. Although I didn't know what to expect, I had not heard a single second of it through all these years, Sean Delaney already had earned my respect for his involvement in some music & bands I appreciated a lot, years ago. Well, Kiss ofcourse. But maybe even more as a producer of Billy Squiers Piper - 'Can't Wait'. And Starz, the band he 'found', and brought to Aucoin Management (Kiss) as well as gave the band it's name.
Bill Aucoin managed Sean Delaney once, as an artist, and said years ago in an interview:
Yeah, Sean Delaney put out an album ("Highway") which is really kind of the story of our life together. And then he did The Skatt Bros who were a great band who did a fantastic album. That dance market was kind of ending and Neil Bogart of Casablanca (who released it) was getting sick and someone else took over the label. Sean had always had a troubled life when I first met him. He had a band called Trust that was about to be signed to Elektra Records and the band broke up just as they were about to be signed. Sean always had that unfortunate side.
He was quite a character, as much or more of a character than any of the members of Kiss. Sean was very flamboyant, embellished everything and a great story teller and he had a lot of heartbreak with Kiss. He didn’t get paid for a lot of the stuff he did. He really felt awkward. It was a really bad separation for a while. He did an awful lot for them, including writing and producing and everything. So it was a bittersweet ending unfortunately for Sean. He never really got that altogether again with them.
From an interview with the band Starz:
'Sean Delaney was a huge inspiration to Starz. He was there for the band in the early years, as he had been for management stablemates Kiss. He was also responsible for coming up with the band name. Sean sadly passed away last year. But there was none more colourful than he was. Everything he did was big. He came to every rehearsal, six days a week, five to six hours a day. He was a very intense person, more so than the band. There was one day when it was snowing really badly, really impossible weather, and Sean called me to ask why I hadn’t come in. He wouldn’t take the weather as an excuse and drove over to collect me himself!!"
Sean and Donna Summer, doing backup vocals on Gene Simmons first solo album.
His involvement in Kiss co-writing & producing:
Kiss - Rock And Roll Over - Take Me (Paul Stanley, Sean Delaney)
Kiss - Rock And Roll Over - Mr. Speed (Paul Stanley, Sean Delaney)
Kiss - Rock And Roll Over - Makin' Love (Paul Stanley, Sean Delaney)
Kiss Alive II - All American Man (Paul Stanley, Sean Delaney)
Kiss Alive II - Rocket Ride (Ace Frehley, Sean Delaney)
Peter Criss - Solo (1978) - Rock Me, Baby (Sean Delaney) & produced
Peter Criss - Solo (1978) - I Can't Stop The Rain (Sean Delaney) & produced
Gene Simmons - Solo (1978) - Produced by Sean Delaney
Double Platinum (1978) - Strutter '78 - Produced by Kiss & Sean Delaney
Delaney started working on a book manuscript in 1995, but never finished it before he died in 2003. The book was later finished by Bill Aucoin, Sean Delaney's family, and named 'Sean Delanay's Hellbox'. I have never read it, but it's said to be a very thin book, app. 100 pages, and NO photos, and not a very 'finished' product in any way. Although full of facts & info from this rather hidden past in KISS history...
R. I. P.
Prentice 'Sean' Delaney - Songwriter and record producer credited with signing KISS to their first recording contract, who was their first road manager and was often called KISS’s "fifth member", who helped choreograph their stage shows and wrote a number of KISS songs including ''Rocket Ride'', ''All American Man'' and ''Living In Sin'', died April 13, 2003, after a stroke in Orem, UT at age 58.
And the album? Well, not a bad album, by all means, but more interesting historically than a classic one. His role in music make it anyway an interesting listen. And the year of release as well, the year after the four individual Kiss members solo albums. There's not hard to find details from both Gene Simmons solo album here, and his production of Piper - Can't wait, production- and arrangementwise.
I'm glad I found it at last. Glad I've heard it. But most of all glad the search is over.
Anyway, there's always some hard to get gems out there, so I guess the search'll never stop, just the goals...
Now you can get it in minutes. My own vinyl rip. Enjoy!
SEAN DELANEY: HIGHWAY
Casablanca NBLP-7130 (USA, Jan. 1979)
A1. Welcome To The Circus (4:00) - Delaney
A2. High On The Liquor Of Love (3:07) - Delaney
A3. Somebody Love Me (4:10) - Delaney
A4. Baton Rouge (3:47) - Delaney
A5. Old Man (4:08) - Delaney
B1. You Beat Me To The Punch (3:18) - Robinson, Smokey
B2. Spotlights (3:50) - Delaney
B3. It's Over (3:20) - Delaney
B4. Walk On The Water (5:36) - Delaney/Swevel
B5. Dreams (5:17) - Delaney
The album is dedicated to the members KISS. Produced by Sean Delaney and Mike Stone. Engineered by Mike Stone. Features an all star cast including the likes of Luther Vandross and Allen Schwarzberg. Track B2 was demoed for Peter Criss' solo album and would have appeared creditted to both Peter and Sean had it been used.