How did Kiss (band) get their name?
Kiss traces their roots to Wicked Lester, a New York City-based rock band led by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Simmons and Stanley, feeling a new musical direction was needed, abandoned Wicked Lester in 1972 and began forming a new group.
Stanley came up with the name while he, Simmons and Criss were driving around New York City. Criss mentioned that he had been in a band called Lips, so Stanley said something to the effect of "What about Kiss?" Frehley created the now-iconic logo, making the "SS" look like lightning bolts, when he went to write the new band name over "Wicked Lester" on a poster outside the club where they were going to play.
Later, Stanley designed the logo with a Sharpie and a ruler and accidentally drew the two S's nonparallel because he did it "by eye." The art department asked him if we wanted it to be redrafted to be perfect and he said, "It got us this far, let’s leave well enough alone. Our number one rule has always been no rules.”
The letters happened to look similar to the insignia of the Nazi SS, a symbol that is outlawed in Germany by Section 86a of the German criminal code. Since 1979, most of the band's album covers and merchandise in Germany have used an alternate logo, in which the letters "SS" look like the letters "ZZ" backwards. The band's name has repeatedly been the subject of rumors pertaining to alleged hidden meanings. Among these rumors are claims that the name is an acronym for "Knights in Satan's Service", "Kinder SS", or "Kids in Satan's Service". Simmons has denied all of these claims.