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Band say tour "met, but most often exceeded" guidelines in response to criticism from road crew after guitar tech Francis Stueber died with Covid-19
By James Hanley on 01 Nov 2021
Kiss have strongly denied allegations of lax Covid protocols after their long-serving guitar tech died last month after testing positive for coronavirus.
Rolling Stone reports that 53-year-old Francis Stueber, who had worked with the band for more than two decades, passed away just two days after being quarantined in a hotel room in Detroit.
The group are currently on the American leg of their farewell End of the World tour. However, three crew members, speaking to the publication on the condition of anonymity, have alleged the tour’s Covid-safe measures were insufficient.
“Every day during the shows, we weren’t tested,” claimed one roadie. “It’s horrible that Fran passed, and it’s horrible if this is our protocol just for us to tour.”
In response, Kiss issued a statement saying their safety protocols “met, but most often exceeded, federal, state, and local guidelines”, adding: “Ultimately this is still a global pandemic and there is simply no foolproof way to tour without some element of risk.
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
“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.”
The band said they had also been made aware of some crew members attempting to conceal signs of illness and later refusing medical attention, and also brought up claims that fake vaccination cards had been used.
“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,” they said.
Kiss added they were “profoundly heartbroken” by Stueber’s death and urged people to get vaccinated against the virus.