Local man has KISS connection

Friday, September 21, 2012
Buckingham and his children got their photo taken with KISS during their backstage experience in September. From left, Gene Simmons, Justin Buckingham, Eric Singer, Jessica Buckingham, Paul Stanley, Mark Buckingham and Tommy Thayer pose for a photo.

One Brazil man now has a connection to a band he's been a fan of for more than 35 years.

Mark Buckingham recently designed drumsticks for KISS's drummer Eric Singer, and the drumsticks are currently being sold at the band's concerts.

In 2011, Buckingham painted a drumstick for Singer with a picture of him in full makeup and one of his outfits.

Brazil resident Mark Buckingham designs drumsticks for KISS drummer Eric Singer. The designed drumsticks are now being sold at the band's concerts for $25, unsigned.

"We've been talking back and forth for a long time," Buckingham said. "In May, my daughter and I went to a convention and (Singer) asked me then if I'd be interested in doing some artwork for him. He wanted me to draw a full body image of him on his drumstick, and he said he might possibly print them on drumsticks."

Buckingham began drawing different designs for Singer, who would look them over and send back edits or suggestions. Eventually, the two settled on a design with Singer's face in full makeup.

The drumsticks were printed and are now sold unsigned for $25 at all of KISS's concerts.

Buckingham has been a KISS fan since he was a sixth-grader. Buckingham began attending concerts with his close friend Byron Halfhill about 10 years ago. They also attended KISS expos and conventions, trying to get autographs from everyone involved in the band.

Last year, Halfhill passed away from cancer.

"I miss going with him," Buckingham said. "I started getting my jacket signed with (Halfhill), so I really wanted to finish it out with him. But now my daughter stepped up to go with me."

In September, Buckingham and his children attended a KISS concert, complete with VIP backstage passes.

"I told (Singer) I would like to get a picture with him in makeup," Buckingham said. "He left me backstage passes for the concert. I just figured it was just to go back and get my picture with him."

Instead, Buckingham received VIP passes with total backstage access. He and his daughter got to meet with the opening band, KISS's website designer, KISS's manager and every member of KISS.

"We got to get our picture with the band," Buckingham said. "We talked with (Singer). He remembered my daughter and me after all these years. He looked at my daughter and said, 'Hey, weren't you here last year?'"

Buckingham was able to get his jacket signed by more KISS band and crewmembers. Everyone involved in the band, except band member Paul Stanley, have now signed the jacket.

Buckingham, who works at Great Dane Trailers, has been drawing and painting his entire life. In 2007, he became interested in graphic design.

"I just started getting noticed last year," Buckingham said.

Buckingham estimated he's been to at least 10-15 KISS concerts, a number that is sure to keep rising.

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  • Wow i really wished Byron could of been here for all of this. But i no hes there in spirit coz he wouldnt miss it for nothing. Thank you so much Mark for recognizing him in this wonderful story.

    -- Posted by pennymoore403 on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 7:13 AM
  • Why didn't Paul Stanley sign?

    -- Posted by My Dime on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 1:08 PM
  • After we got the photo with the band they were to go directly to the stage for the show. Eric came running up to us, grabbed the jacket and a silver sharpie and went over to Gene and said " Hey Gene, sign this" as Paul and Tommy walked around the corner to the stage door. After Gene signed it Eric gave it back to me and said "Go watch the show and come back here afterwords and we'll get it finished. We went back but to much was going on and we didn't get Paul to sign it. Eric and Tommy had already signed it in May when we were in Indy at a Kiss Expo. That's when Eric asked me to do the sticks. We had only a couple of weeks to get a design approved. To see the "jacket" and more photos go to my Facebook page and look for the album "The Kiss Experience". Only posted a few photos of the nearly 300 I took that night!

    It was a night none of will forget any time soon!

    -- Posted by rmbuck32 on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 12:53 AM
  • It was a night none of us will forget any time soon!

    Ooops.. left out a word.

    -- Posted by rmbuck32 on Sun, Sep 23, 2012, at 12:55 AM
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