Kiss Manager Bill Aucoin Dies at 66

Kiss Manager Bill Aucoin Dies at 66
Bill Aucoin, the legendary rock manager who discovered Kiss, died on Monday (June 28) of surgical complications from prostate cancer. He was 66.

Aucoin discovered Kiss in 1973 at a showcase gig at New York's Diplomat Hotel; he introduced the band to Casablanca Records' Neil Bogart, who signed Kiss as the label's first act. Aucoin turned the then-unknown band into the hugely successful marketing juggernaut they became. In a story that became legend amongst Kiss fans, Aucoin financed the band's very first tour, using his American Express card.

Kiss and Aucoin went their separate ways in the early '80s, and Aucoin went on to manage Billy Idol and Billy Squier. In 2007, Aucoin founded Aucoin Globe Entertainment, which helped develop bands around the world.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss posted the following on the band's website:

Bill Aucoin, our irreplaceable original manager, mentor and dear friend has died of complications arising from his ongoing battle with prostate cancer. He was instrumental in guiding us from the beginning and without his vision, leadership and unending dedication, we could never have scaled the heights we have reached.

Bill loved life and lived it to the fullest. Words can never convey his impact on us or those close to him.

Over all the years, he never missed an opportunity to be with us at our shows near his home or fly in for special concerts, including our most recent Madison Square Garden show. He had hoped to attend our London show earlier this month but his illness prevented it. He still planned to visit us upon the start of our upcoming US tour.

We loved him, told him and have peace that he knew it.

We will grieve and celebrate all he was and did.

We have lost a part of us.