Have you heard of Yayo Sanchez, known as KISS Guy after being given the name by Dave Grohl on 18 April 2018? If not you’re in for a treat. KISS Guy is officially the best audience member to be invited onstage to play with the Foo Fighters, and we have Grohl’s word for it. So why did Dave Grohl call Sanchez KISS Guy? Well, Sanchez attended a Foo Fighters concert in Austin, Texas wearing Gene Simmons’ The Demon face paint. At first, he held up a yellow poster-board sign asking to play Monkeywrench.
Standing near the stage, Sanchez lowered the sign when someone yelled at him to put it down. A few songs later, Dave Grohl started talking to him from the stage. Scrunching his face to focus, Grohl asked Sanchez if it was a mask or paint. “Paint, ” Sanchez replied prompting Grohl to say, “Hell yeah, I can f#ck with you Kiss Guy!”. On stage, Chris Shiflett said he preferred Ace Frehley. Sanchez took his chance and raised his sign. A couple of songs later Grohl said “Hey Kiss Guy.” Let’s watch:
As you might have noticed, KISS Guy is so impressive that he made Dave Grohl forget the lyrics for a moment. Sanchez had his moment and he grabbed it! So what’s the story with Yayo Sanchez? Four days after he played with the Foo Fighters, Metal Nexus reported that Sanchez’s father bought him a guitar and introduced him to KISS when he was nine. It goes on to mention the music stars that Sanchez had already “jammed” with. The list includes Slash, Roger Daltry, Billy Gibbons and Paul Stanley.
How is this possible? 11 years before Grohl dubbed him KISS Guy, 14-year-old Sanchez attended Rock’N’Roll Fantasy Camp in London. Scott Rowley from Classic Rock attended the same camp. He wrote, “You pay your money and you get to rock’n’roll with the stars. A posse of rock heroes act as ‘counsellors’, and for 5 days coach their own group in preparation for a grand finale Battle Of The Bands.” In the article, Rowley, describes Sanchez as a “teenage rock genius.” Here’s a News report on KISS Guy:
As is mentioned at the end of the news item, when Sanchez played with the Foo Fighters, he had two songs ready to release, Mothership and The Call. With his band Y, he had also already opened for Quiet Riot and LA Guns.
A common response to audience members being invited onto stage is to suggest that it is a set up, especially when the audience member is as talented as Kiss Guy. In this regard, Dave Grohl is emphatic, as you can see in the video.
Just like for Yayo Sanchez, KISS were a big influence on the young Dave Grohl. In 1976 he bought KISS’s Destroyer album. He dropped the needle in the groove and the opening track, Detroit Rock City, blasted out. In Grohl’s words, “It filled my speakers and my imagination. Thirty-four minutes and 27 seconds later, KISS had filled my soul. I was now a member of the infamous KISS army. Before long, my room had become a f#cking shrine”. No wonder Grohl took a shine to the KISS Guy in the Austin, Texas, audience. To play out, here’s a fun video from Austin’s KLBJ 93.7: