Ciraulo’s rock-n-roll past
News of Kiss rocker Gene Simmons’ visit to Battle Ground this week sparked quite a bit of discussion on The Columbian website.
Battle Ground Mayor Mike Ciraulo said his phone was buzzing with text messages and phone calls from community members wondering if the giant tour bus featuring “The Demon’s” face was actually housing the Gene Simmons.
When Simmons’ presence in the small city was confirmed, the mayor expressed disappointment in not meeting the rocker.
This week’s close encounter with “The Demon” wasn’t a first for Ciraulo, though.
In 1978, a teen-aged Ciraulo appeared in the made-for-TV movie, “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.”
Here’s how the IMDb (The Internet Movie Database) describes the storyline: The tale of rock band KISS and their efforts to thwart a diabolical plan by mad scientist Abner Devereaux. Devereaux has found a way to clone humans into robots in his laboratory at an amusement park. It just so happens that he plans to use the KISS concert as a platform to unleash his plan on the world. KISS must use their special powers to stop him.
So how, you ask, did Ciraulo score a nonspeaking part?
At the time, young Ciraulo was living in Los Angeles. He called up a local radio station and won a contest for free Kiss concert tickets.
He and his friend painted their faces, made signs and headed to their front row seats for the show at Magic Mountain.
That night, camera crews were filming the show for the movie. Ciraulo’s black-and-white-painted face appears as the camera pans across the screaming Kiss Army.
“That’s why I really wanted to meet the guy. I was a fan,” Ciraulo said Thursday. “It came full circle. He followed me to Battle Ground.”
The only question we have: What did Ciraulo’s face painting look like?
Maybe something like this:
Or, we hope, like this: