Pyrotechnics and special effects more and more come into play in productions. These are controlled by technicians who work with items that could kill them. They are very highly skilled, and controlled by state laws. safety first!

During the 70’s the band “Kiss” toured heavily. They are known for their unique stage costumes , makeup and special effects. One of these effects, were flame throwers like the ones shown above.


While working one Kiss show I was assigned to standby in the wings with a fire extinguisher. Gene Simmons, the bands Bass player, would breath fire during one part of a song. Fire breathing is VERY Dangerous, and is done by taking a mouthful of a alcohol and then quickly blowing it back out over a lit flame. This night Gene did not blow hard enough and the fire ball when only a few feet above his head, and fell back down on his face catching his hair on fire.

Evidently this had happened before as there was a road crew member standing just feet away with a fire blanket.

Later in the set, as one of these flame throwers were about to go off , Paul Stanley, the lead singer, spun around and as he did his guitar cord wrapped around the flame thrower and knocked it over. It went off sending a column of fire straight across the front of the stage.


But, these technicians are highly skilled and understand the risks involved.