Roadies Working For KISS Say Lax COVID Protocols Led To Their Guitar Tech’s Death, Band Push Back Against Those Claims

As previously reported, Francis Stueber, the longtime guitar tech of KISS’ Paul Stanley, recently passed away following a battle with COVID-19. Now, during a recent interview with Rolling Stone, members of the band’s road crew claimed that the death was a result of lax COVID protocols.

On roadie said the following:

“I couldn’t believe how unsafe it was, and that we were still going. We’d been frustrated for weeks, and by the time Fran died, I just thought, ‘You have to be fucking kidding me.'”

Another roadie added:

“Every day during the shows, we weren’t tested. And there are so many unknowns. Did we superspread this? Did we spread this thing from city to city? It’s horrible that Fran passed, and it’s horrible if this is our protocol just for us to tour. Is this going to be the normal, to stick someone in a hotel? And if somebody dies, ‘Oh, well, off to the next guy?'”

For their part, KISS pushed back against the claims:

“We are profoundly heartbroken at the loss of Francis, he was a friend and colleague of 20 years, there is no way to replace him. Millions of people have lost someone special to this horrific virus and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Please protect yourself and your loved ones.

Our ‘End Of The Road’ world tour absolutely had COVID safety protocols in place that met, but most often exceeded, federal, state, and local guidelines. But ultimately this is still a global pandemic and there is simply no foolproof way to tour without some element of risk.”

They later continued:

“While the protocols were in place for the tour, it was impossible to police the crew minute by minute of their lives. If certain crew chose to go out to dinner on a day off, or have beers at a local bar after the show, and did so without a mask or without following protocols, there is little that anyone can do to stop that. Particularly when many of our tour markets did not have any state or local mask mandates in place.”

“We are now aware there were crew members who attempted to conceal signs of illness, and when it was discovered, refused medical attention…. Furthermore, it has recently been brought to our attention that certain crew members may have provided fake vaccination cards which, if true, we find morally reprehensible (as well as illegal), putting the entire tour in harm’s way.”

Production manager Robert Long also commented:

“I never told anyone we didn’t want to test them. If you wanted a test, we’d supply it. If you wanted to get tested, if you felt symptoms, if you think someone might be sick, please raise your hand. We had thermometers on every bus, sheets to write down temperatures every morning, mask boxes, and sanitizers everywhere. People were getting tested every other day, we ordered tests regularly. I’m not going to not test people; I take this shit seriously.”

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