Vet who won KISS job gets roadie nickname, reveals best perk

Paul Jordan

Paul Jordan, a veteran who won a job on the KISS through TODAY, holds Gene Simmons' Axe bass.

Paul Jordan, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, won a job with KISS as part of TODAY's Hiring our Heroes series. He's writing dispatches about his experience for TODAY.com.

It's a dream job, but traveling as a KISS roadie is not all fun and games. It requires a lot of hard work, long bus rides and little sleep.

I was put into the carpentry team knowing next to nothing about that field. My education started immediately. On show days, my mentor and I set up and place various pieces of equipment on the stage. During performances, my workplace is between the barricade and the singers.

I also assist with some of Gene Simmons’ theatrical effects. And if anything goes wrong during the show, I'm one of the guys scrambling to fix the issue. 

Backstage is a professional environment where the band prepares to give fans the greatest show they've ever seen. The band members are friendly guys who stop and say hello. 


One big roadie benefit: I have the best seat in the house every night. I still mouth the lyrics to my favorite songs when there's a free moment. I've also met some celebrities, including pitching great Randy Johnson, members of Pearl Jam, and "American Idol" contestant James Durbin. Vinnie Paul of the heavy metal band Pantera sat 5 feet away from me at the Dallas show. 

Paul Jordan

Iraq and Afghanistan war vet Paul Jordan, who won a dream job with KISS through TODAY, stands in front of their concert tour bus.

I've been given the nickname “Hollywood” since joining the crew. It started when we were in DC, and I was asked to do an interview for a local TV station. One interview turned into four, and the nickname was born. Since then I've been on TV five times, radio once more, and featured on various Internet sites.

Despite my coworkers' gentle teasing, I like talking with the press because it gives me a platform to spread the word about veteran unemployment.  

I feel lucky: I get to travel the country, help produce the best rock show on the planet, rub elbows with celebrities, spread the word about veteran issues -- and get paid for that work. I have the greatest job in the world!

More dispatches from Paul Jordan: 
Living the dream: My new job as a KISS roadie
Gene Simmons surprises vet with dream job: KISS roadie!

Hiring our Heroes is an initiative from NBC News and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that aims to get veterans back into the workforce. Find a list of upcoming job fairs here

 

People.com
,5

Discuss this post

Good for you Paul Jordan! It's great the KISS appreciates veterans enough to offer them a job! Best of luck to you.

  • 2 votes
Reply#1 - Tue Sep 4, 2012 5:25 PM EDT

I wonder if Gene Simmons tries to sell him stuff during down time?

  • 2 votes
#1.1 - Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:38 PM EDT
Reply

HOO AHH to you Hollywood and to KISS!

Brian

  • 1 vote
Reply#2 - Tue Sep 4, 2012 11:26 PM EDT

Great story Paul! It is great to see a vet land the job of his dreams. Thanks to KISS for giving you the opportunity but the real thanks go to you Paul for your service to this country. I would like to thank current and former military for their selfless act of serving our country so others may enjoy their freedom. God bless you and Gob bless the USA!

  • 2 votes
Reply#3 - Fri Sep 7, 2012 9:50 AM EDT

other acts need to take the lead from kiss. i was in the concet business for 20 years and can assure you that there is always room for a hard working roadie. stand up folks!

  • 1 vote
Reply#4 - Fri Sep 7, 2012 1:21 PM EDT
You're in Easy Mode. If you prefer, you can use XHTML Mode instead.
As a new user, you may notice a few temporary content restrictions. Click here for more info.