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  • Writer's pictureEric Senich

Rare Hand-Drawn KISS 'Destroyer' Album Cover By Artist Ken Kelly

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

Author James Campion calls it the most famous painting of any band, anytime, anywhere...period.

Campion is the author of the 2015 book "Shout It Out Loud: The Story of Kiss's Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon". Among the many interviews he conducted to create this fantastic, in-depth account of KISS's 1976 album 'Destroyer' was artist Ken Kelly. Kelly created the iconic cover art for the album. It became the defining visual moment for KISS, who would go on to become the biggest band in the world within the next few years.

"He created how we see KISS," Campion said in episode 97 of Booked On Rock. "There's no paintings like this of any other band that makes them like this. They're not human! They're superhuman."

Campion shared the photo above of a one-of-a-kind gift from Kelly, who sadly passed away this past June. It's a hand-drawn rendition of the 'Destroyer' album cover with the note "To James, Good luck with the book. Best wishes, Ken Kelly."

Check out a closer look at the photo and you can see the pencil led shine above Kelly's words for James.

I still remember getting the jigsaw puzzle of this album cover. I was about 10 years old. Seeing this artwork was one of those mind-blowing moments of a future member of the KISS Army. Thank you Ken Kelly for your amazing work. Thank you James Campion for an amazing book and for sharing these rare photos.


Episode 97: "KISS @ 50 with Author James Campion

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