Thursday 14 December 2017

Kiss 'helped fan accept dwarfism'

Dan Griffiths has spent thousands on merchandise and following Kiss around the world
Dan Griffiths has spent thousands on merchandise and following Kiss around the world

A fan of rock group Kiss has spent at least £25,000 on merchandise and following the band over the world - and admits it has cost him a number of girlfriends in the process.

But devotee Dan Griffiths insists that his obsession is worth every penny as the antics of Gene Simmons and co helped him come to terms with his dwarfism.

As well as attending 48 of the band's gigs to date, the 45-year-old has a tattoo covering his entire back with the faces of each band member, and the Kiss logo complete with lightning bolt in the middle.

Dan, who works at the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales in Aberystwyth, said: "The first feeling when I saw them on TV was 'Wow! These guys look like freaks. And maybe at the time I thought of myself as a freak. How many dwarves are there in the world - around one in 50,000 people? I'm a freak and I'm unique.

"When I was a teenager and the kids around me were growing taller, from 4ft up to 6ft, the same thing wasn't happening to me. But through Kiss, and with the support of friends and family, I'm still here and I'm loving every minute."

The self-confessed major fanatic is the subject of a new TV documentary on Welsh language channel S4C.

In the programme Dan Bach a Kiss (Little Dan and Kiss) Dan reveals what it is like to be a faithful member of the "Kiss Army" as the band release a new album and embark on a world tour.

"There is a very fine line between being a fan and a fanatic," he added. "A fan enjoys the music, follows the band and goes to their gigs. But a fanatic takes it a little more seriously. I would put myself in the 'major fanatic' category. "

With an entire room dedicated to storing his collection of band memorabilia, it is simple things like a drumstick given to him by the band's late drummer Eric Carr, and a towel thrown into the crowd that he values most.

In total, Dan estimates he has spent "at least" £25,000 on band memorabilia and gigs. "It's probably cost me a few girlfriends over the years too," he added.

Dan Bach a Kiss will be shown on S4C tomorrow at 9.30pm. The show has English subtitles.

Press Association

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