Real Name: Mark Norton
Birthday: February 7, 1956
Reason for leaving KISS: Reiter's Syndrome, a painful, but temporary form of arthritis.
Mark Norton was a session musician when KISS needed a replacement for the recently departed Vinnie Vincent in 1984. Mark's name was changed to Mark St. John and, since KISS had unmasked the previous year, there was no need to worry about what character he was to become.
Mark recorded the album Animalize with KISS and his style was pretty much the same as Vinnie's although it was a little more melodic and much more controlled. After the recording sessions were completed, KISS began doing photo shoots for the tour programs, pinups, magazines, etc. During this time, Mark's hands began to swell up. (If you can find some of the photos taken during this period, you can see how swollen his hands are.) This was diagnosed as Reiter's Syndrome, a form of arthritis.
Mark played very few, if any, complete, shows with KISS during the tour for Animalize. Bruce Kulick, brother of Bob Kulick, a long-time friend of Paul Stanley and frequent session player for KISS, was hired as a temporary replacement for Mark. It's not widely known exactly why, but Mark was eventually replaced by Kulick permanently. The official reason was the arthritis, but some suggest it was an ego clash between Mark and Gene and Paul.
In 1986, Mark formed White Tiger with his brother Michael on bass and David Donato (ex-Black Sabbath) on vocals. They recorded one album, White Tiger, for EMC Records before disbanding. It's not known if the band ever toured, although they have performed live as the picture below illustrates.
Somehow, in 1990, Mark recorded with Peter Criss, but nothing became of that partnership and the resulting songs were never released. Mark has done some endorsements for both Crate and Gibson amplifiers, but nothing had been heard from him until 1998.
In the fall of 1998, Mark is scheduled to appear at several KISS fan conventions on the eastern side of the U.S.