"The KISS boys were always good for a
challenge or two. Rather than get
wrapped up in the minutiae of fret
crown shapes and potentiometer tapers,
Paul Stanley knew what the important
issues were - like should the pickguard
be chrome plated or polished stainless.
"Paul's legendary Mirror Ball Iceman is
a perfect example of how to push the
envelope of guitar technology. It started
with a phone call from Paul about his idea
to have a guitar that resembled a
shattered mirror. His exact words, if I
recall, were, "I want it to look like
somebody hit a mirrored guitar with a
hammer right on the pickups."
"It sounded easy enough. I got some 1/8"
mirror, cut it into the shape of an Iceman and
smacked it in the pickup area with a ham-
mer. What I ended up with was about
10,000 bits of mirror dust where the hammer
hit and three other pieces. This
was obviously not going to work.
"I was going to have to cut each
piece to look like it was shattered.
I went out and got a lot more 1/8 mirror
and a handful of glass cutters.
Starting with one piece of mirror cut
into the shape of Paul's guitar, I thought of
drawing a plan and transferring it to the
mirror. In the end, I decided to wing it and
started to cut out pieces that I thought looked
cool. It took a couple of days to do this and
as I went around the guitar, I started to get the
hang of it. When it was finished, I was glad
to still have five fingers on each hand."
"As it turned out, cutting the mirror was
the easy part. While I was doing the mirror,
my trusty partner in crime at Ibanez, Jim
Heffner. was routing a quarter-inch out of
the top of one of Paul's guitars. That's right,
the mirrors were a retrofit. Jim left the
abalonoid binding around the top and the
plan was to slap some epoxy in there and set
the mirrors into it.
"We routed out twice the thickness of the mirror so we could set each piece at a slightly different angle, Paul's stage concept was to hit the guitar with a Super Trooper spot light and have rays of light shooting out from the guitar at all angles like a mirror ball. We figured a 5 to 15 degree difference between adjoining pieces would do it."