The weirdest most unusual fellow that was ever in Kiss and made it into the band before they took off the makeup was the Ankh Warrior himself, Vinnie Vincent!
Everything about this guy is just…well, pretty weird. In his short time in the band, he co- wrote almost the entire Lick It Up album and proved that he was talented. But he just overdid everything and got kicked out. He played lengthy, bullshit shreddy guitar solos when he obviously could play better more melodically and simply. I saw him in concert with Kiss, and he was good. Until he just over-wanked it, which he did constantly. He formed his own over-the-top silly band afterwards, and eventually was kicked out of his own band/record contract. He has had a bad reputation for decades. He tried to sue Kiss numerous times.
But for whatever reason, his air of mystery, especially during his recent reappearance where he looked like someone’s aunt in a woman’s suit, has secured this somewhat bizarre fanbase that he has–people that are willing to fly to these well-chosen public appearances where he appears, without him playing music at all, and it’s just crazy. You can’t fault the guy for cultivating this sort of thing at all, so he is definitely the “wild card” Kiss member.
The other thing is, I honestly don’t know where the “musical genius” rep comes from, because I did search through the internet for hints of his genius and honestly didn’t find too much, a couple good songs here and there, but if you are expecting a Brian Wilson or Syd Barrett songwriting visionary to be revealed, look elsewhere.
My favorite thing he did aside from Kiss was to back the late Dan Hartman during his “Instant Replay” period, where he wore a chiffon top and looked like Lily Tomlin.