Ex-Wicked Lester guitarist Steve Coronel who co-wrote two KISS songs on probation

Ex-Wicked Lester guitarist Steve Coronel who co-wrote two KISS songs on probation 

Before KISS, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons played in a band called Wicked Lester with guitarist Steve Coronel who co-wrote the KISS songs “Going’ Blind” (1974 album Hotter Than Hell) and “She” (1975 album Dressed To Kill).

The Island Packet reported as follows: “Stephen Arthur Coronel of Bluffton was arrested in 2014 on three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in April 2016. Coronel — who played guitar with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in Wicked Lester, which later became the glam rock band Kiss — was released from South Carolina Department of Corrections on March 4 and is currently at Beaufort County Detention Center, where he has chosen to stay while awaiting permission to move to Florida and serve out his probation there.”

Wikipedia states the following in part about Wicked Lester (with slight edits):

“The origins of the band trace to 1970, when bassist Gene Klein and keyboardist Brooke Ostrander recruited lead guitarist Stephen Coronel, a childhood friend and former bandmate of Klein. The group took the name Rainbow shortly thereafter. Coronel recommended rhythm guitarist Stanley Eisen, who had actually been rejected by the group after a previous audition. Shortly after Eisen joined, Ostrander recruited drummer Joe Davidson, and the first Rainbow lineup was completed. Davidson‘s stay did not last long and he was replaced by drummer Tony Zarrella.

In early 1971, Rainbow played its first show, which consisted of two sets performed at Richmond Community College in Staten Island. After the show, the group discovered that there was already another band called Rainbow. They decided to drop the name, and came up with the name Wicked Lester, which Klein liked because it was unusual. While the decision to change the group’s name came partly out of a desire to avoid any potential legal issues, it also reflected Klein and Eisen‘s desire to start playing more original compositions.

During their brief existence, Wicked Lester performed in public twice. The first show took place at the Rivoli Theatre in South Fallsburg, New York on April 23, 1971. The second, in late summer 1971, was at an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel hosting a B’nai B’rith Youth Organization event. Not long after that show, the band suffered a major setback when they had all of their musical gear stolen. After a chance meeting with Electric Lady Studios engineer Ron Johnsen, Wicked Lester was given the opportunity to record some demos in late 1971. Johnsen, who produced the demo tape, shopped it to a few labels, with no success. Eventually the tape was screened by Epic Records, who purchased the masters and agreed to fund the recording of a full album. One of the conditions, however, was that Stephen Coronel be fired and replaced with a better guitarist.

Coronel was replaced by session musician Ron Leejack, and the group continued their efforts to finish the album.”

Wicked Lester‘s alternative demo of “She” song:

Wicked Lester – “She” (Alternative Demo)

Wicked Lester’s alternative demo of “She” circa 1971. This is my favourite demo version of this with Paul Stanley singing the chorus, a slightly different musical arrangement and a few more harmonies than on the KISS Box Set version.