RIP Bill Aucoin - the man who discovered KISS

The man who discovered KISS and helped build the band into the massive beast it is today, died on Monday aged 66.

From The Associated Press:

Bill Aucoin died at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura of surgical complications from prostate cancer.

A former television cinematographer, Aucoin discovered Kiss in New York City in 1973. He financed the band's first tour, and was the man who introduced the band to Neil Bogart, who signed it as the first act on his Casablanca Records label.

Drummer Peter Criss said Aucoin had an eye for what was visually striking and recognized the vast merchandising potential of rock bands in a way that few others could. With Aucoin's help, Kiss became as famous for their merchandising as for their music.

"He was a genius," Criss said. "Anything you could do, he could do bigger."

After parting with Kiss in the early 1980s, Aucoin managed Billy Squier and Billy Idol.

He is survived by his longtime partner, Roman Fernandez, and two sisters, Betty Britton and Janet Bankowski.