KISS News Archive Part 1

Paul Stanley addresses controversy surrounding band's Rock Hall induction

( This week KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There have been no shortage of verbal pyrotechnics and plenty of controversy surrounding the group since its induction was announced last fall. The controversy is largely centered around the decision to induct only the four original members — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Joel Peresman, the New York-based President and CEO for the Rock Hall defended the decision in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, telling the magazine, “With KISS, there wasn't a single person we spoke to that didn't feel the reason these guys were being inducted was because of the four original members.” During our phone conversation with KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley, a founding member of the group, he made it clear that they don’t lose a lot of sleep (or any) thinking about the critics. The opinions that really matter are those of the fans who have supported KISS nearly nonstop throughout its 40-year history as a band. In his words, they’ve “taken the test” and they’ve bought the albums and come to see the shows. At the end of the day, he says that no matter what the critics might think, “I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m proud to continue doing it.” For the first time, Stanley is telling his side of the story in depth with his new book Face the Music: A Life Exposed. Weighing in at nearly 500 pages in length, it’s an engaging read that covers quite a bit of ground. We spoke with Stanley about the new book and he shared some of his memories of Cleveland during the conversation. He also gave us a brief glimpse of what’s left on the agenda of things he’d like to accomplish.

It’s great to talk with you.

Well, Cleveland Scene is a paper that I’ve known well for quite a long time.

What are some of your earliest memories of playing Cleveland?

Musically, I always remember the Agora, which was one of those great stepping stones to playing your theaters. It was a great concert club and attracted a lot of great bands and we had a lot of fun there. The fun usually continued at Swingo’s, which fortunately or unfortunately is long gone. That was a hotel that was in a way a monument to everything rock and roll. You know, Cleveland, whether it was ‘MMS….there was definitely a Cleveland mindset that was very, very appreciative and very tuned into what we were doing, from very early on.

I remember seeing a picture around the time of the reunion tour with you guys and the Belkin brothers who were also wearing the makeup. KISS definitely came up at a time where relationships with the right promoters were a make or break thing so key to a band’s career.

Well, there was a time where each region had a promoter or choice of promoters and some of those guys were terrific and the cream always rises to the top. Jules Belkin and his whole family, they were our Cleveland family. I still love seeing any of them, Mike or Jules [Belkin] or any of them.

A quote that stuck with me from the book was “we weren’t Simon & Garfunkel, we weren’t the Everly Brothers — our songs were built to rock.” Did you have a pretty clear direction when you first got going with the band as far as where you wanted things to go?

Totally. It was never about the makeup. It was always about the kind of band we wanted to be. I was fortunate enough as a teen to have seen Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin — and I’m not talking about in arenas and stadiums, I’m talking about small places. So Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Who — the list goes on and on. Those were the bands that inspired me. So how we chose to dress it up came secondly. It was always part of the big picture, but it was never “Let’s wear makeup and play music.” It was “Let’s play music and wear makeup.” So the priority was always how much horsepower is our engine going to have and then what color are we going to paint the car?

As far as the makeup, do you feel like that cost the band critically and do you regret that piece of the plan?

Not in the least. Present company excluded, critics are a lucky bunch. They didn’t go to school to get a degree in being critics — in a sense, they’re entertainers and they’re given a lot of credence by some people and ignored by others. I don’t need somebody to tell me what good food is. Good food is what I swallow and bad food is what I spit out. Likewise, I don’t need to be educated about art or music, because it’s totally subjective. The people that count are the people who pay hard-earned money for tickets, hard-earned money for CDs, hard-earned money for T-shirts, belt buckles or whatever. So why would I chase the approval of people who really haven’t taken the test? So no, not at all. You’d have to ask the millions of people who are happy that we’ve done it. To this day, I still have issues with critics and with politics of critics and I am proud of what I’ve done and proud to continue doing it.

We’re in the age where in rock and roll, everybody and their brother is writing a book. What I liked about yours is that it’s very real in comparison to a lot of them that you read.

Thank God! [Laughs] I think that most books written by entertainers should be written on rolls of soft toilet paper, so that they would have a better use. I don’t see any purpose in writing a self-congratulatory love letter about supposed accomplishments and remembrances that may or may not have happened. What’s the point? The only reason I wrote a book was because I began to think that my life and where I started and where I ended up could inspire other people to find their own path. Also, for my children to better understand what it took for me to succeed. Unless there’s a purpose like that that serves other people, what’s the point of writing a book?

You’re a guy where as it is, everything you say and do is sliced and diced into soundbites and quotes on the internet. How much did you think about that as you were diving into this project?

I’m somebody who knows how to make a statement or thought concise and that would constitute what is commonly known as a soundbite. But my book needed to go deeper than that. My book had to expose my life so that other people might be able to identify with it. The concept of your heroes or the people who inspire you as [being] perfect really undermines you as a fan. I wanted to draw more of a sense of commonality and perhaps it would make some people realize that we all have similar issues and then it just comes down to [figuring out] how do we deal with them?

In the book, you tell the story of the opportunity that you had to write songs with Jon Bon Jovi for the album that would become Slippery When Wet. That’s a heck of an opportunity to pass on, to Desmond Child in this case, but certainly you can’t do everything. You have to pick and choose the things that you do based on what makes sense at any given time. Are there things and opportunities that you regret passing on?

I don’t regret that at all. The best thing that happened to Jon was Desmond. It wouldn’t have been me. Interestingly, we always tend to believe that things would be the same if we had been involved and been just as successful and that somehow we missed the boat or we missed an opportunity. The truth is, things would be drastically different if we were involved. They might have flopped or they might have not succeeded. So I don’t regret that. Desmond was the perfect person to do that and I couldn’t have done that.

Are there other things that you regret?

No, I can’t think of any. I make my choices and most of them may be pragmatic, but that’s a good way to deal with things. Once I make a decision, I’m at peace with it. All choices are mine. So once I choose to pass, it’s over.

You’ve said a lot of things recently about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Would you feel differently about it all if it had been handled better?

Well, unfortunately all of my worst suspicions about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were all confirmed by the way things were handled. I mean, you can’t separate the methodology from the Hall itself. I’ve not been in a position where I have to put up with crap from anybody and people who hide behind an organization when they’re actually pulling the strings and people virtually have no vote and where rules are made to be broken and manipulated to suit the [purposes of the] people behind the scenes. I had heard stories and thought that all to be true and now I can confirm it absolutely is. We should go forward, but their answers or comebacks have been weak at best. I think everything has been handled poorly and without any respect and a lot of arrogance.

With the 40th Anniversary tour on tap for KISS, what do you, Paul Stanley, still want to do as an artist and creative type?

Tour. Be a great dad. Watch my kids grow up and watch my oldest finish NYU and if he chooses to pursue music. There’s a lot that has to do with the people around me. It’s a different life when you see yourself as the most important person. It’s a much more fun life when you allow someone else to be the center. So my family, where they go and how they develop and how I participate — that’s important to me. Where I go as a father and as a husband and also where the band goes. The band has never been better. The band has never sounded better and the band has never gotten along better. We are proud and steeped in our past, but we don’t live exclusively there. I’m very happy to get up every night and play with those guys. I just saw them yesterday at the press conference and we just have a lot of fun. We laugh a lot and there’s a work ethic, which is something that I’m proud of, where everybody wants to make the and as great as it can be. That’s how you become more well-known and respected. When you’re in it saying “How can I use the band to make me more famous,” well you’ve put the cart before the horse. I’m very happy in the band and I want to continue that and continue things that are going on with my family and also perhaps go back and do more musical theater.

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ACE FREHLEY Will Perform AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell' During ROCK HALL All-Star Jam

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will perform the AC/DC classic "Highway To Hell" during the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's signature all-star jam at the end of the ceremony on Thursday night (April 10).

During an appearance on yesterday's (Tuesday, April 8) edition of a "The Artie Lange Show" on DIRECTV's Audience Network and SiriusXM satellite radio (see below), Frehley stated about how his participation in the jam came about: "I was taking my fiancée to the doctor and I was waiting in the waiting room and I get a call from [RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist] Tom [Morello]. He goes, 'Hi, Ace'. He goes, 'You wanna jam at the end?' I said, 'Sure.' So I'm gonna jam. I don't know if anybody else [from KISS] is. I haven't heard. I don't care."

He added: "I really wanted to perform [the classic Russ Ballard song] 'New York Groove' [which appeared on Frehley's 1978 solo album]. Here we are in New York, it was my big hit, and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame said, 'No, you can't do 'New York Groove'."

Video: Part 1, Part 2.

Kiss not the first to tell Rock Hall to kiss off

Graciousness is not always high on the list of attributes you find in successful rock 'n' roll stars.

Because of this, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions have sometimes brought out the worst in its inductees, whether continuing once-private feuds in public or launching criticism at the hall itself. This year it's Kiss that's angry, its members upset over the organization's decision only to induct original members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley while excluding members who joined later.

As a result, the makeup-wearing rockers won't be wearing makeup or rocking at Thursday's ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn when they're inducted with Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, The E Street Band, late Beatles manager Brian Epstein and former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who also is boycotting this year's show over dissatisfaction with his role.

Here's a quick look at seven other acts who chose to make the ceremony uncomfortable for everyone else or just skipped it altogether:

— The guys in Guns N' Roses are at a point now where they can sometimes play nice together, but that was not the case when the Los Angeles rockers were inducted in 2012. Frontman Axl Rose decided to skip the ceremony because it didn't "appear to be somewhere I'm actually wanted or respected." Guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steve Adler, however, did take the stage, performing together for the first time in nearly two decades. Myles Kennedy served as the stand-in for Rose.

— There was nary a Van Halen during the towering rock band's induction. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen chose to enter rehab the week before the 2007 ceremony — a pretty rock-solid excuse. But his drummer brother Alex also chose not to attend. And original lead singer David Lee Roth pulled a very Roth-like maneuver and pulled out at the last minute in a huff over what song he'd perform at the event. That left bassist Michael Anthony and second singer Sammy Hagar as the only official attendees. They were reduced to performing with Paul Shaffer's house band.

— John Fogerty also faced the prospects of a put-together band when he refused to play with surviving Creedence Clearwater Revival members, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. He rallied with a couple of all-stars — Bruce Springsteen and The Band's Robbie Robertson — to back him onstage, but the rift became oh-so-public when Cook and Clifford left the room while Fogerty played. The band split in 1972 and Fogerty was still holding grudges at the 1993 induction, telling Cook and Clifford he wouldn't play with them ever again when they showed up for rehearsal earlier in the day. Cook and Clifford returned when the lights came back up, with a forlorn Cook holding the bass he'd hoped to play.

— The Sex Pistols were among the first and most notorious punk rock bands and fittingly extended a metaphorical middle finger to the hall when finally inducted in 2006 — five years after it was first eligible. The British band, which featured lead singer Johnny Rotten and late bassist Sid Vicious, said in a hand-written and ungrammatical note posted on its website that the hall was like "urine in wine" selling "old famous": "Were not coming. Were not your monkeys and so what?" Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner read the letter in its entirety, and invited the band to pick up their trophies anyway: "If they want to smash them into bits, they can do that, too."

— The middle finger was not metaphorical at all when Elvis Costello briefly appeared on stage as his backing band The Attractions during the same 2007 ceremony the Sex Pistols didn't attend. The British singer had been touring with two members of the band, but was in a long-running feud with bassist Bruce Thomas that spilled over onstage. Thomas took his trophy from a presenter, said, "Thanks for the memories, that's it," and then walked off the stage and out the door. Costello marked his exit with his middle finger.

— Members of Blondie added even more bad blood to the 2007 ceremony as a division between founding members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and Frank Infante and Nigel Harrison spilled onto the stage. Harry and Stein had begun performing together in 1999 without the band's other three members and Infante and Harrison sued unsuccessfully to rejoin the band. Infante continued to lobby Harry onstage at the ceremony: "Debbie, are we allowed?" She declined and the band went on to play its three biggest hits with stand-ins. "They wrote themselves out of the band history, as far as I'm concerned," Stein said backstage. "They should have a little bit of honor. This is supposed to be rock 'n' roll. This is supposed to be friendly. This is like going through the trenches together."

— Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recently reunited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first trip to the U.S. But things weren't always so copacetic, as McCartney showed when he failed to show up to the group's induction in 1988. He explained the decision through a publicist: "After 20 years, the Beatles still have some business differences. I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion."


Despite the fact that he has had some choice words for Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in recent interviews and in his just-published autobiography, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley says that he is not at all nervous about seeing his former KISS bandmates at tomorrow night's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.

"It'll be fun to see Ace and Peter and it doesn't change all my beliefs or theirs," Stanley tells VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner. "Any resentments or feelings they have about me aren't going to magically disappear, but we have something to look at and be proud. We created something amazing together."

Stanley, who has called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame "tainted, corrupted and distorted" on the eve of KISS' induction, does not think that he will feel uncomfortable at tomorrow night's event.

"No, I honestly don't know what to expect, especially when you're invited to a party that they don't want you at," he tells VH1 Radio Network. "When you get invited to a party after 14 years, it's not because you're being met with open arms. So we're going, of course, because, for some of the fans, it's validation. Fans feel that they have championed the band, and out of respect to them, I'm absolutely going. It's just not what people believe it to be. It's such a wonderful title, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but in fact, it's a small boys club."

KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have refused to perform with fellow co-founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss at the induction ceremony, unless the current members of KISS can also perform.

Current KISS members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer will not be inducted along with the band's original lineup, a decision by the Rock Hall which has angered Simmons and Stanley.

All four members of the current lineup of KISS will attend the band's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. They will be accompanied at their table by guitarist Bruce Kulick, who played in KISS during from 1984 to 1996.

Even Ace Frehley Thinks Kiss Is a Circus

( If you haven’t been following the ridiculous shitstorm that has been the prologue to Kiss’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this Thursday, here’s a quick recap: In the band’s fifteenth year of eligibility, the Hall was finally shamed into allowing one of the most successful groups in rock 'n’ roll history to pass through the pearly gates of their glorified gift shop in Cleveland. They even asked Kiss to perform at the awards ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, but with a caveat: Guitarist/vocalist/narcissist Paul Stanley and bassist/vocalist/even-bigger-narcissist Gene Simmons would have to do the gig with original guitarist Ace Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss, both of whom originally split with Kiss in the early 80s, rejoined briefly in the mid-90s, and haven’t played with the band in nearly 15 years. Simmons and Stanley refused, saying they wanted to perform with their current Kiss bandmates, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. But the Hall gave them the finger on that one.

Meanwhile, Stanley is making the morning talk-show rounds, promoting his new autobiography and shit-talking his former bandmates (and Simmons) at every opportunity. “At this point, it’s becoming petty,” Frehley says from his hotel room in New York two days before the Hall Of Fame ceremony. “Those guys just come off so cranky. I mean, you’ve got millions and millions of dollars, you live in a big house, you’re a huge rock star, people all around the world think you’re great. What do you have to put people down for? Paul and Gene are way too uptight, and it’s making them look bad.”

Noisey: This whole Hall of Fame thing has turned into a real fucking soap opera, hasn’t it?

Ace Frehley: [Laughs] That’s a good word for it. I haven’t been paying too much attention to what people are saying on the internet, no matter who it is. I’m trying to finish my new record, so I can’t let that rent a lot of space in my head.

It seems like every day Paul Stanley has a new disparaging comment to make about you and Peter Criss.

Well, I’m appalled at Paul. [Laughs] I’m appalled at the whole thing.

One thing he’s been saying that makes a lot of sense is that the Hall of Fame has basically been shamed into inducting Kiss. They don’t really want to do it, but the demand from fans has been overwhelming for the past 15 years. Do you agree with that assessment?

There’s been a lot of pressure on them to induct us over the years, and they resisted. We could’ve been inducted 15 years ago. You’re eligible after 25 years as a band, but they waited 40. Sooner or later, it doesn’t matter to me. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a big honor and I plan to have a good time. Paul’s been getting involved with the politics of who’s being inducted—who should be, who shouldn’t be, as far as the people who joined the band after me and Peter left—but I try to stay away from all that stuff because it’s politics. I’ve always tried to keep music and politics separate.

Do you think the guys who came after you and Peter—Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Bruce Kulick—deserve to be inducted as well?

I don’t know what the rules are. Supposedly there are certain guidelines that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has, and obviously they didn’t meet those criteria. I know for a fact—the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame told me—that the reason they refused to induct Tommy and Eric [Singer] is because they’re not contributing anything original to the band. They’re just copying stuff that Peter and me did during the first ten years of the group. So they’re just actors, basically.

Do you have any sort of relationship with Tommy and Eric?

I’m friends with those guys. I really like Eric—on the last Kiss tour I did, I’d hang out with Eric and have a few laughs when we were in Australia. At the time Tommy was our road manager, which is kinda bizarre. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. What rock supergroup has a dynamic lead guitarist who leaves the band, and they replace him with the tour manager? You can’t make this shit up. If somebody wrote that as a script for a rock 'n’ roll film, nobody would believe it. But Tommy’s not a bad guitar player. He’s got his chops. Not very original, but it is what it is.

There’s been a huge pissing match over which members of Kiss should play at the ceremony. The Hall of Fame wanted you and Peter to play, but Paul and Gene said they’d only play with Tommy and Eric, because they’re the current members. Some folks are saying that all of you should play. As it stands now, there will be no Kiss performance. What do you think about the whole debacle?

I don’t have a problem with Tommy and Eric playing. The problem I have is that Paul and Gene shot down the idea of playing with Peter and me and wanted to perform with just Tommy and Eric—in makeup, too. That’s makeup I designed. I’m supposed to sit there while I’m being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I gotta watch some other guy playing in my costume and makeup? That didn’t sit very well with me because the Hall of Fame requested that just the four original guys perform.

You recently said that the reason Paul and Gene don’t wanna do that is because the fans will want a full-blown reunion tour afterwards.

Well, that’s what a lot of people say. They’re afraid of history repeating itself. When we did Unplugged in 1995, Peter and me came out and did two songs and the place went crazy. Paul and Gene had to buckle to public opinion, and the fans wanted a reunion. They had just done an album with Bruce and Eric that they had to put on the back burner. But it was the most successful tour that year. We grossed over 250 million dollars. It was insane. So they don’t wanna open a can of worms. Outside looking in, as an unbiased person, I don’t blame them. But it’s been 40 years. I was in the band, I left the band; I rejoined in ’96 for five years, left in 2001 and the fans have always been there for me. They really want the reunion. Ever since the announcement that we were being inducted, that’s all I hear from fans. All they want is for me and Peter to perform two or three songs and that’d be the end of it. But Paul and Gene shot it down. They can’t give the fans ten minutes for supporting us for 40 goddamn years?

Do you think it would be unfair to Tommy and Eric if you and Peter performed at the ceremony?

What do you mean unfair? They’re not even being inducted!

What I mean is that Tommy and Eric are current members of Kiss. It’d be kinda shitty of Paul and Gene to ask them to sit out a performance so they could play with you and Peter.

A lot of people are being honored at the ceremony. Some people are getting up to do a few songs, and some people aren’t. We’re only talking about a couple of songs. It’s not a concert. If I was in charge of the whole thing, we could just get up there in Italian-cut suits or something—we wouldn’t even have to wear the makeup.

Paul’s book recently came out. Have you read any of it?

I haven’t read it, but I’m sure he threw me under the bus in one way or another. [Laughs] Although I heard he threw Gene under the bus more than anyone.

Apparently he thinks you and Peter are anti-Semitic.

That’s absurd. I’m engaged to a Jewish lady! I’ve been with her for five years. Her name is Rachael Gordon and she’s a singer-songwriter. I met her in San Diego on my 2008 tour. And my whole life I’ve been in the music business. You know the music business is controlled by Jewish people: My attorney, my accountant—everybody’s Jewish. [Laughs] I’m anti-Semitic? Are you out of your mind? You know what the problem is? Paul’s cranky because he can’t call me a drunk or a drug addict anymore. He can’t say I’m unemployable. He can’t say I don’t show up, because I do these days. So now he’s grasping at straws just to grab headlines for his goddamn book.

After 40 years, Kiss made the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time this month. Did you see the article?


At one point, both Paul and Gene acknowledge that they think about you and Peter every day.

I don’t believe that for a second. [Laughs] They try to avoid us. We’re like a bad rash that won’t go away. [Laughs] But it has to be irritating when all they hear from the fans is, “Yeah, Tommy’s OK, but there’s nothing like the real thing.” That’s gotta be frustrating for them. Their fallback position years ago was, “Yeah, Ace was great, he contributed a lot to the group, but he’s a drunk and a drug addict so we can’t use him.” But I’ve been sober for seven and a half years, so what’s their fucking excuse now? And now Paul’s calling me a Nazi? It’s ridiculous.

Is that why you didn’t participate in the new Kiss documentary that’s coming out?

I wasn’t actually contacted by Kiss about that. Their bodyguard contacted my bodyguard and offered me a small amount of money to do it. They tried to come in through the back door because, you know, they don’t wanna pay me any money. But if they don’t pay me now, they’re gonna pay me a lot more later. That’s just the way it works. My attorney is on top of it. If they would’ve been up front, that’s different. But they go through my bodyguard and say it’s some guy from England who’s producing it when really it’s Paul and Gene that are producing it. They’re the money behind it, and they’re trying to get me cheap. But I’m in the middle of a record. I don’t have time for nonsense. Supposedly they’re using some old interviews I did. I probably come off like a knucklehead, but who knows?

Later this month, you’re gonna present an award named in honor of fallen Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was actually buried in a “Kiss Kasket.” Don’t you think that’s a little weird?

Yeah, it is a little weird. But Kiss fans are weird—everybody knows it. These days I have to be transparent, you know? [Laughs] There’s nothing I’m gonna say that’s gonna shock anybody. So, yeah, a lot of Kiss fans are kinda strange. But that’s okay because we’re strange.

I can’t believe the Kiss Kasket is a thing that exists.

If it was my decision, I wouldn’t have gone there. There’s a lot of things that Gene has done with the merchandising that are just over the top. He’s got everything from prophylactics to toilet paper—anything to make a buck. It’s embarrassing.

That’s one of the reasons I left the group. Towards the end, I’d go out and see kids in the front row with Kiss dolls and lunchboxes and my manager is going, “Hey, Ace—watch the cursing tonight. We’ve got kids in the front row.” I mean, we started out as this heavy, mean, nasty rock 'n’ roll group wearing leather and it turned into a goddamn circus.

Paul Stanley on the KISS legacy, Rock Hall

( KISS frontman Paul Stanley finally faced the music and the timing couldn't be better.

It took years but his autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, came out just a few weeks before KISS gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday night and prior to the band’s summer tour with Def Leppard that hits Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Aug. 12 for its only Canadian date.

“For decades I staunchly refused to write an autobiography because Orwell said, ‘Autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction,’” the 62-year-singer-songwriter-rhythm guitarist tells QMI Agency in a Canadian newspaper exclusive.

“It wasn’t until I realized that my story could serve a purpose, that it could inspire, and could reach far beyond KISS fans. It’s really more about facing adversity in life and facing issues and how you choose to deal with them, and hopefully, overcome them.”

To that end, Stanley’s book begins with a strong Canadian connection.

He had a personal epiphany during his late ‘90s Toronto run in the lead role of The Phantom Of The Opera, a character he so connected with because he was born without his right ear and is deaf on that side.

It was during that experience when Stanley was approached by the agency AboutFace to be an ambassador that he started to feel “calm and centred,” for the first time in his life.

He had been bullied as a child, felt unloved at home by a domineering mother and resentful father dealing with his mentally unstable, sometimes violent sister, and signed himself up for therapy as a teenager after avoiding social situations and having recurring nightmares.

As an adult he also found himself feeling friendless and later was a divorced father of one until he met his second wife with whom he had three more children and remains happily married.

“Toronto was pivotal in so many ways and it makes that city mean that much more to me,” said Stanley.

We caught up with him down the line from L.A. recently to talk about the band’s upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and to find out if there’s an end in sight for life on the road.

Are you still in therapy?

I think that therapy is the best conversation in town. It’s life school. It’s such a life perspective. There’s no Svengali pulling strings and telling you how to live. It’s a great conversation where you speak with somebody who’s got no vested interest. It’s terrific.

You write in the book that “sex was my alcohol and touring was an open bar.” Any regrets?

The book isn`t not tawdry. It’s not gratuitous and I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve done. And quite honestly the end result of my indulgence versus some others (alcohol, drugs) speaks volumes in itself. I’m here lucid, clearheaded and successful for four decades.

Your KISS bandmates don’t always come off great in the book. You write “teamwork wasn’t (bassist Gene Simmons) strong suit,” drummer Peter Criss was a troublemaker “who could barely read or spell,” and guitarist Ace Frehley “was the laziest person” you ever met, not to mention an alcoholic. What has their reaction been to the book?

Some acknowledge it as accurate and some, although it is accurate, it is understandably painful, and I totally understand that. And nothing was said vindictively or to hurt anybody but it is my story. It had to be told honestly.

Was it just coincidence that the book would come out mere weeks before the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction with your original bandmates?

Totally. First of all, it’s a surprise that grudgingly the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems to have had no choice but to induct us. They don’t like us. It’s a privately owned boys club. And this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has nothing to do with the public’s point of view and the people behind it are not fans of ours. Once they decided to induct us it doesn’t suddenly become a lovefest.

Was there talk of a KISS performance at the induction at one point but it disappeared?

Upon being told that we were going to be inducted they wanted the original lineup to play in makeup and before that we (he and Gene) had said, ‘What about the induction of some of our other members (drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer in the current lineup)? Some of whom have played on multi-platinum albums, did world tours for ten years?’ And we were told ‘That’s a non-starter,’ which I think is arrogant considering that the people who decided (we are being inducted) are pencil pushers. ... So that was a bad place to start.

And thus no performance?

So when we were asked to play with the original lineup, honestly I spent 40 years doing this. I never quit the band once let alone twice. And to roll the dice with nostalgia when people are going to see a lineup that doesn’t exist anymore wasn’t a crap shoot I was going to play.

So there has been no resumption of any kind of friendship with Peter or Ace since they left KISS?

No but ... we are connected for life. We created something in the beginning that all four of us were part of. And had some amazing years as a band, so not to negate that, we couldn’t have done it without Ace and Peter, and we couldn’t be here with Ace and Peter.

The biggest shocker to me was the way the book ends with you saying you look forward to the day you’re replaced in KISS?

I would be foolish to believe that there’s not somebody else out there or certainly more than one person who could bring something equally meaningful to the band. It would be a tremendous honour for me to know that I was right.

Do you see an end in sight for yourself on the road?

Many years ago I wanted to try to have some sort of finite guess of when it would end. Look, I’m 62 years old and having the time of my life. So for me all bets are off.

Any plans for another KISS studio album?

We have two albums that I would like to consider new in the last five or six years and we have a vast catalogue at this point so we have no plans at the moment to go into the studio, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Paul Stanley Overcame Deafness, Deformity And Bullying To Become A Rock Star

( Growing up, Paul Stanley was an unlikely candidate to become a rock star. He was born with a facial deformity, microtia, which prevented his right ear from forming properly and left him deaf on the right side. Kids terrorized him, calling him “Stanley the one-eared monster.” He lived in constant fear: of being ostracized, or failing at school (because of his deafness), and of his mentally ill and sometimes violent older sister. His parents had their own problems and did not acknowledge or provide support for Stanley’s difficulties.

How did Stanley transcend this situation to become the front man of one of the world’s longest lasting and most successful bands, KISS? “We turn it around by incrementally succeeding,” he recently told me. “You don’t take giant steps. You initially take baby steps appropriately. As you have small successes and small wins, it encourages you to go the next step.”

In his new book, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, released on April 8 by HarperOne, Stanley goes through each of those baby steps, breaking down what appears to be an impossible achievement to its component parts.

His first small win was to get a spot in the choir for the glee club at his elementary school. Next was growing his hair over his ears, letting it frizz Hendrix-style. From then on, no one had to know he was any different. In fact, his looks became a selling point. In his first high-school band, he got a photographer to take pictures of the band. The pictures were so convincing that when an executive at CBS Records saw them, he called Stanley and said, “If you guys can play as good as you look, you’ll be great.” That was another small win for Stanley, even if no deal materialized from CBS.

Stanley’s intuition that overcoming his circumstances would be best achieved through small wins echoes the management wisdom expressed by University of Michigan psychologist Karl Weick in his classic paper, “Small wins.” Weick’s insight was that by emphasizing the severity of problems, we “disable the very resources of thought and action necessary to change them.” When you tackle problems in their full complexity, you end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. By recasting a seemingly insurmountable problem into smaller, more manageable ones, you gradually chip away at it by identifying opportunities to produce visible results.

Take the gay rights movement. In 1972, the Task Force on Gay Liberation succeeded in removing books on homosexuality from the Library of Congress’s “abnormal sex” classification, which also included books on sex crimes. That was a very small win, but an important step in the path toward expanding gay civil rights.

Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer, authors of The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, empirically identified the power of small wins in people’s everyday work lives. They had 238 people who work on creative teams send them electronic “diaries” at the end of each workday. They were asked to describe events that stood out and fill out various questionnaires about their day. Based on almost 12,000 diary entries, Amabile and Kramer found that making small progress on meaningful work had the biggest impact on people’s inner work life experience.

Paul Stanley’s problems were big: deafness, deformity, bullying, unsupportive parents, unsympathetic teachers, a mentally ill sister, and no money. He tackled these through numerous small triumphs. It may seem counter-intuitive, but calling a problem small when you’re tempted to see it as insurmountable makes it easier to solve, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

When Stanley met band mate Gene Simmons, he knew it was a good idea to team up with him, despite their different personalities, because they shared the same work ethic, focus, and ambition. Finally he had a partner on his quest for stardom. They both understood, as Stanley writes on the book, that “Success wouldn’t happen by chance; it would happen by design.” And so they set about conquering the world, one small win at a time. They booked their own shows, at first playing to bewildered audiences of 35 people and gradually attracting bigger crowds. Ultimately KISS became one of the highest selling rock n’ roll acts of all time, with more than 100 million records sold worldwide.

In many ways, KISS’s career was a succession of small wins. They built up an enormous following show by show, fan by fan, not by making a killing on the sales charts or by getting extensive play on the radio. Though there were setbacks along the way, including albums that flopped, by focusing on the small wins KISS stayed resilient and kept moving forward.

“It’s certainly a lonely road when you plot your path and it goes against the grain or goes against the norm,” Stanley told me. “You have to rely on faith and passion. Passion will help you succeed. But passion will also help you deal with failure. I think that small victories keep us going forward and also near-victories keep us motivated to go forward.”

ACE FREHLEY Says PAUL STANLEY Is 'Grasping At Straws' By Accusing Ex-KISS Guitarist Of Anti-Semitism

(Listen) ACE FREHLEY Says PAUL STANLEY Is 'Grasping At Straws' By Accusing Ex-KISS Guitarist Of Anti-Semitism

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley says that the band's lead singer, Paul Stanley, is "grasping at straws" by accusing Frehley and fellow KISS co-founder Peter Criss (drums) of anti-Semitism.

Stanley — who, like fellow KISS co-founder Gene Simmons, is Jewish — writes in his new book, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed": "Ace and particularly Peter felt powerless and impotent when faced with the tireless focus, drive and ambition of me and Gene. As a result, the two of them tried to sabotage the band — which, as they saw it, was unfairly manipulated by money-grubbing Jews." Stanley further confirmed that he believes Frehley and Criss are anti-Semitic, telling the New York Post: "Yes, I do [believe they are]. It's based on years and years of interactions. It's not pulled out of thin air."

During an appearance on this past Monday's (April 7) edition of Eddie Trunk's show "Trunk Nation" on SiriusXM's Hair Nation, Frehley responded directly to Stanley's claims, saying (hear audio below): "They can't call me a drunk or a drug addict anymore, so they're grasping at straws. I mean, Jesus Christ! My fiancée is Jewish. How can I be anti-Semitic? Is he out of his mind. [Laughs] [I've spent] 40 years in the music business [and] I've worked alongside Jewish people my whole life. And I'm anti-Semitic? It's ridiculous. I think he's trying to sell his book, and it's a pretty sad commentary if he has to resort to verbal slurs and innuendo. It's ridiculous."

Kiss Army's original generals rock on

( On Thursday, Kiss will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's been a contentious entry for founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who declined to perform at the ceremony because of a dispute about which band lineup — original or current — would take the stage.

But lost in that dispute is someone who played a bigger role in elevating Kiss to stardom than some of the musicians who cycled through the band's lineup over the last 41 years: Kiss Army co-founder and Speedway resident Bill Starkey.

"For me, Kiss is all about the music," said Starkey, a 57-year-old Indianapolis Public Schools teacher. "It was never about the costumes. The whole idea behind the Kiss Army was to get them on the radio, because we liked the songs."

It may be hard to believe now that Rock and Roll All Nite and Kiss lunch boxes (and action figures and comic books) have entered the pop culture canon, but America wasn't necessarily buying what the band was selling in the mid-1970s. Super fans Starkey and Jay Evans, classmates at North Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Ind., helped change that when they founded rock and roll's original guerrilla marketing team.

Starkey's father, the late William Starkey, took Bill to his first Kiss show, Dec. 8, 1974, in Evansville, Ind. His mother, the late Jane Starkey, accompanied Bill to his second Kiss show, Dec. 28, 1974, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

The Starkey family was open-minded about rock 'n' roll. William worked as a warehouse "expeditor" for Columbia Records in Terre Haute, where millions of vinyl records were pressed and distributed during the last half of the 20th century. He gave Bill his first Kiss record, a self-titled release from February 1974.

William enjoyed the eye-popping show in Evansville, but he eventually teased Bill about the band's underwhelming career.

"He would say, 'Your band isn't doing it,' " Bill recalls. " 'They're playing shows, but the sales are bad. We're not shipping anything.' "

The band's first three albums — Kiss, Hotter Than Hell and Dressed to Kill — failed to race up the charts.

During Starkey and Evans' senior year, the duo won over a small group of converts during a three-car road trip to Indianapolis for an April 22, 1975, Kiss show. It was Evans' first time to see the band, and Starkey said the Kiss Army concept took hold that night.

Evans made bootleg copies of Kiss albums, which in those days meant dubbing to 8-track cartridges, and shared the music with prospective fans.

Starkey said the duo worked in Wayne's World fashion, convening in a basement and conferring honorary titles. Starkey became commander-in-chief of the Kiss Army, while Evans became field marshal.

Why the Kiss Army?

" 'Kiss Fan Club' sounded too wimpy," Evans said.

"We all showed up at school in our Kiss T-shirts and got taunted. Still, it didn't really dampen our enthusiasm. Usually, in high school, anything you get taunted for, you want to shy away from. But we just didn't."

Starkey recalls what his classmates said: "Kiss? Kiss my a--. Starkey, if they're so good, why aren't they on the radio?"

He had no good answer to the question. "That hurt," Starkey said.

So the Kiss Army took its battle to radio station WVTS, which operated out of a ranch-style house in West Terre Haute.

Starkey and Evans recognized their enemy as program director Rich Dickerson, who labeled Kiss as a "mediocre Bachman Turner Overdrive." In modern parlance, this is as insulting as saying your favorite band is worse than Nickelback.

Members of the Kiss Army made phone calls and wrote letters to Dickerson and disc jockey R.J. Cortrecht.

Following high school graduation and as the summer of '75 turned to fall, Starkey and Evans gained ground. A breakthrough arrived with Alive, a Kiss live album released in September 1975. Kiss made headlines in October by playing a high school homecoming concert in Cadillac, Mich., and the band was scheduled to make its Terre Haute debut on Nov. 21.

When WVTS decided to add Kiss to its airplay rotation, DJs asked Starkey to bring his records in for duplication. Dickerson apparently discarded the station's initial stash of Strutter and Rock and Roll All Nite singles.

"It was a slow process," Starkey recalls, "but we got our way eventually."

The Kiss Army vs. WVTS clash then became an orchestrated stunt to promote the Hulman Center show.

At Dickerson's request, Starkey penned over-the-top letters in support of Kiss that were read on-air for two weeks. Dickerson delivered a shock-jock rebuttal for each one, and every seat for the show sold — marking the venue's second-ever concert sell-out, following a July 1975 performance by Elvis Presley.

The Kiss Army caught the attention of Kiss management, who made the band's visit to Terre Haute an unforgettable experience for Starkey.

Starkey met the band at the airport, he appeared with Kiss during a visit to WVTS and he accepted a "Kiss Honorary Member" plaque onstage during the show. A gathering at a Chinese restaurant followed the show, and he ate breakfast with the band at its hotel the next morning.

Starkey had an idea that he would run the national Kiss Army fan club from its home base of Terre Haute. Actually, a Nov. 10, 1975, letter from Rock Steady Management — the company representing Kiss at the time — to Starkey notes that the band looks forward to the organization of "national Kiss Army headquarters in Terre Haute."

But Starkey's leadership of the Kiss Army was short-lived. In 1976, Starkey received a letter from Boutwell Enterprises of Woodland Hills, Calif., informing him that they would be running the Kiss Army. This for-profit version of the Kiss Army dissolved around 1980, but in the late 70s, Kiss Army was as dedicated and influential a fanbase as the Grateful Dead's Deadheads and Jimmy Buffett's Parrotheads.

Original Kiss Army commander-in-chief Bill Starkey holds his "Kiss Honorary Member" plaque onstage at Hulman Center in Terre Haute during the band's performance on Nov. 21, 1975. Gene Simmons is seen in the background.

In 2003 book Kiss: Behind the Mask, Ron Boutwell is quoted as saying the Kiss Army grew to nearly 100,000 members after the release of 1976 album Destroyer and the club collected $5,000 daily in membership dues.

Starkey received no financial compensation. He's been the band's guest at some concerts in Indiana, and at other times he's fallen off the Kiss radar.

"I appreciate everything that Bill did," band member Stanley said during a 1996 interview with The Star, "and, of course, I appreciate the spirit in which it was done."

For Keith Leroux, days like Starkey's Terre Haute experience happen all the time.

Leroux stands onstage during concerts to make photographs for, and he sometimes fills the role of substitute tour manager at special events or even promoter, in the case of a 2012 free show for 2,000 members of the military in Bristow, Va.

In the 1980s, after the members of Kiss ditched their makeup and costumes to focus on straightforward pop-metal, the then-teenage Leroux helped establish a fan club known as Kiss Force while living in Massachusetts. Today, Leroux lives in Indianapolis and works for the band as its social and digital media guru.

Leroux said he agrees with Simmons and Stanley that members from all eras of Kiss deserve Rock Hall recognition.

The band's bio at mentions only Simmons, Stanley, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss. Frehley and Criss played in the band in the 1970s and then again during a reunion phase (1996-2001 for Frehley; 1996-2003 for Criss).

Leroux notes that Kiss lineups featuring guitarists Bruce Kulick, Mark St. John and Vinnie Vincent and late drummer Eric Carr recorded platinum-selling albums. Current members Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) have toured the world with Kiss, and made multiple studio albums with the band.

"I went to see Kiss in the '80s, and the arena was pretty full," said Leroux, 46. "They weren't playing clubs."

Simmons — who was a paid promotional partner of the IndyCars series in the mid-2000s — along with Stanley, Thayer and Singer will hit the road this summer for a 40th-anniversary tour that also features Def Leppard on the bill.

Leroux straddles official and non-official status in the Kiss universe. Outside of his employment with the band since 2005, he's the co-owner of Indianapolis-based memorabilia company Kiss Army Warehouse. And Leroux has presented Kiss fan conventions since 1998.

His business partner in Kiss Army Warehouse and the conventions, Steve Stierwalt, is a fan who abides by the announcement that precedes every Kiss concert: It's "the hottest band in the world."

"Who else puts it together? The stage, the music, the whole thing? Nobody does it," Stierwalt said. "And the fans are the greatest."

The next Indianapolis Kiss Expo is scheduled for May 17. Simmons attended last year's event, and guitarist Thayer will be this year's guest of honor.

Kiss Army co-founder Evans won't be among those in attendance. He has seen Kiss perform live just four times: twice in Terre Haute, once in Indianapolis and once in Jacksonville, Fla., where he's lived since 2000.

"When I walk through a mall and see some greasy-haired kid wearing a Kiss Army T-shirt, I think, 'Gosh, I conceived that, and this is what's happened to it since then,' " Evans said. "It's a really weird feeling."

PAUL STANLEY Says He 'Stands Behind' His Claim That ACE FREHLEY And PETER CRISS Are Anti-Semites

KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley says that he stands behind his claim that former KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were anti-Semites who felt that the band was being "unfairly manipulated by money-grubbing Jews."

Stanley — who, like fellow KISS co-founder Gene Simmons, is Jewish — has accused his former bandmates of hating Jews.

"Ace and particularly Peter felt powerless and impotent when faced with the tireless focus, drive and ambition of me and Gene," Stanley writes in his new book, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed". "As a result, the two of them tried to sabotage the band — which, as they saw it, was unfairly manipulated by money-grubbing Jews."

Asked by Artisan News if his words in the book were taken out of context by news outlets in reference to Frehley and Criss being anti-Semites, Stanley replied Watch.


(Watch) Paul Stanley's autobiography Face The Music is in stores today. Paul goes behind the makeup and really gives you an insight into his life. Yes, of course it talks about Kiss. But he really digs into his life. His feelings of alienation while looking for love. The taunting he took as a child. The drive to succeed.

And Kiss goes into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this week. So we had to get his opinions on finally getting inducted after being snubbed by the hall for so many years

Three Sides Of The Coin

Bill Aucoin, Ace Frehley, Eddie Kramer, the Monster Album & More with Brynn Arens: Listen.

Former KISS Member Peter Criss -- I DON'T HATE JEWS

( Founding KISS drummer Peter Criss insists he's NOT a raging anti-Semite, despite public accusations made by KISS guitarist Paul Stanley.

Stanley unloaded on Criss and another ex-band mate Ace Frehley in his new book "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," accusing the two of chronic anti-Semitic behavior back in the day. Stanley also accuses Criss of being a racist who enjoyed mocking waiters at Chinese restaurants.

But Criss tells TMZ, all of Stanley's claims are bogus.

Criss says he's always been a loving supporter of all religions, including the Jewish faith -- in fact, Criss tells us his favorite aunt was Jewish. He also denies being a racist in any way.

Although Criss says he's spoken to a lawyer, he says he has no plans to pursue legal action against Stanley.

Kiss Frontman Paul Stanley's Precise Makeup Routine

( The star-adorned KISS frontman Paul Stanley strips down in his new memoir—Face The Music: A Life Exposed, which hits bookshelves tomorrow—to reveal the highs and lows of life in one of music history’s biggest rock bands. It’s brutally honest, touchingly reflective, and reveals the secret to one thing we’ve always wanted to know: how he gets the face-painted star so damn perfect. Here, founding member Stanley—the original makeup-for-men aficionados—describes how he gets his look, in a condensed selection from Face the Music:

I sit down and look in the mirror, staring for a moment into the eyes peering out at me. The mirror is surrounded by high-watt theater-style bulbs, and on the table in front of the brightly lit mirror is a small black makeup case. We hit the stage in about three hours, which means it’s time for the ritual that has defined my professional life for forty years.

First, I wipe my face with an astringent, to close the pores. Then I grab a container of “clown white,” a thick, cream-based makeup. I dip my fingers into the tub of white goo and start applying it all over my face, leaving some space open around my right eye, where the rough outline of the star will be.

Once the white is on, I take the pointed end of a beautician’s comb, one with a metal point, and sketch the outline of the star, freehand, around my right eye. It leaves a line through the white makeup. Then with a Q-tip I clean up the inside of the star. I also clean up the shape of my lips.

I collect my thoughts and look into the mirror again. There, staring back at me, is the familiar white face and black star. All that’s left to do is empty a bottle or two of hairspray into my hair and vault it up to the ceiling. And put on the red lipstick, of course. These days, it’s hard to stop smiling when I wear this face. I find myself beaming from ear to ear, content to celebrate together with the Starchild, who has now become a dear old friend rather than an alter ego to cower behind.

Outside, forty-five thousand people wait. I picture taking the stage. You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world… I count in “Detroit Rock City” and off we go—me, Gene Simmons, and Tommy Thayer, descending onto the stage from a pod suspended forty feet above as the huge black curtain drops and Eric Singer beats the drums below us. Fireworks! Flames! The initial gasp of the crowd hits you like a physical force. Kaboom! It’s the greatest rush imaginable. When I get out there on stage, I love to look out and see people jumping, screaming, dancing, kissing, celebrating, all in a state of ecstasy. I bask in it. It’s like a tribal gathering. KISS has become a tradition, a ritual passed down from generation to generation. It’s an amazing gift to be able to communicate with people on that level and have so many of them out there, all of them, all of us, together, decades after we started. The smile will not leave my face through the entire set.

Best of all, that smile will remain on my face as I walk off the stage to return to the totality of my life.



70s Kiss Podcast | Lydia Criss

(Listen) 70s Kiss Podcast | Lydia Criss, talks about how she met Peter Criss, early Kiss, The Rock and Roll hall of fame and her new book .

Ace Frehley Confirms He's Playing Rock Hall of Fame All-Star Jam

( Although the original lineup of KISS will sadly not play their Rock & Roll of Fame induction ceremony, original lead guitarist Ace Frehley confirmed to Fuse that he will be part of the Rock Hall's signature All-Star Jam at the end of the ceremony on Thursday night.

"Rage Against the Machine's guitarist, Tom, he called me up last weekend and asked if I'd be involved with the jam," Frehley tells us. "I said, 'Yeah, sure, I'd be more than happy to do it. Hand me a guitar, I'll play.' I've been doing it for long enough, right?"

As for current KISS members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer not being inducted—which Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are not remotely happy about—Frehley isn't shedding any tears.

"It's not just Tommy and Eric [not getting inducted]," he points out. "There was also [former members] Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John and Bruce Kulick. All good musicians and nice guys and I'm friends with most of them. But I think there's a rule—25 years. They may have bent the rules for some people, but they're holding true for them when it comes to KISS.

"Which isn't a bad thing—the four original members and our body of work is what made KISS happen. They're pretty much a parody of what we used to be. Whattaya gonna do?"

In addition to playing the All-Star Jam, Frehley says he's bringing his new fiancée Rachael Gordon—who "co-wrote a couple songs with me on my new record"—to the ceremony. Frehley's new solo album, Space Invader, drops June 24 and includes a cover of Steve Miller Band's "The Joker."

Watch Frehley sit down with Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Chris Caffery to chat riffs, feedback, influences and jam together in an upcoming episode of Fuse's original digital series Metalhead to Head.

How the Rock Hall decides which bandmates get in

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons haven't hidden their displeasure that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chose not to induct Kiss' current members along with its original ones.

When Simmons told USA TODAY, "This organization decided to honor only a part of our history," he raised a question about how the hall decides which individuals to include when it ushers in a group.

Kiss will have its most famous faces inducted — Simmons, Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — when the band joins the hall's ranks April 10 in a ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But two who now wear the signature makeup (Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer), plus four other former members (drummer Eric Carr and guitarists Bruce Kulick, Vinnie Vincent and Mark St. John), won't get in.

Nirvana's former drummer Chad Channing, who played on 1988 single Love Buzz, the recording that made the group eligible for Rock Hall induction this year, will be left out, too.

Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, on the other hand, will be welcomed in with a roster that encompasses early drummer Vini Lopez and keyboardist David Sancious, as well as its eight better-known members.

Groups get picked for induction for different reasons, says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation president and CEO Joel Peresman, which means the hall's nominating committee will use different standards when deciding which bandmates to include. "Sometimes, it's the overall body of work; sometimes, it's a specific period in time and the people who comprised the band that put them on the map and gave them that influence and created that legacy," he says.

Historically, the Rock Hall has tended to choose a band's "classic" lineup for induction. For groups like The Beatles or U2, the choice is fairly simple. For others, it's more complicated. Practically everyone who ever played with the Grateful Dead was included when the group went into the hall in 1994. Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers also have relatively inclusive hall memberships. Other induction lineups — like those for Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Temptations and Kiss — left out members who sang or played with the group for many years.

"The only rule they have is that they make their own rule with each band," Stanley says.

On Sept. 22, 1998, Kiss released 'Psycho Circus,' the first album with new material from all four original members since 1979. Clockwise from top left: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.(Photo: Glenn LaFerman)

Peresman acknowledges that the Rock Hall's nominating committee, which consists of about 40 music industry executives, musicians and journalists, handles each decision about group membership on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with outside scholars.

"It's a little bit of opinion, but you have to go with the opinion of people who know these genres of music and can form a truly educated opinion," he says.

"The inconsistencies are there, and the hall has to live with them," says Neil Walls, who runs the Future Rock Legends website, which tracks artists' eligibility for the Rock Hall and determines their chances of induction."This is only going to come up again in the future," he says, pointing to Pearl Jam, which will be eligible for 2017 induction and is on its fifth, and longest-tenured, drummer. "They've got exceptions they've already put in, like the Chili Peppers, which will come back to haunt them."

The hall plans to change the way it announces group nominations as a result of the uproar over the Kiss exclusions, which led to the group refusing to play at the induction ceremony, and the confusion over Channing's, which Peresman says he learned of from a secondhand text message from Nirvana's management.

"Going forward, we'll be more clear-cut from the beginning and more public about who's being inducted," Peresman says. "(The next time) we announce the nominees, we'll make sure to say, 'Here are the people being nominated.' "

'Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case' Video Preview

'Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case' Video Preview: video.

SEBASTIAN BACH: ACE FREHLEY 'Has Sides To Him That Maybe The Fans Don't See'

Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock about KISS' upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and the announcement that the original four members of KISS will not perform at the ceremony.

"As a fan, I understand why people would want to see that," Bach he told Ultimate Classic Rock. "But as a 46-year old man that has worked with Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley, I understand why Gene Simmons doesn't work with Ace Frehley."

Bach added cryptically: "Ace has sides to him that maybe the fans don't see. That's all I can say." Sebastian also revealed that he is currently working on an autobiography that will contain stories in it which "will explain more of that topic." He concluded by saying, "I understand why Gene doesn't play with [Ace]."

Bach and Frehley worked together on the track "Know Where You Go" for drummer Anton Fig's solo album "Figments", which came out in 2002. At the time, Bach said that recording with Ace and Anton was "a dream come true and an honor."

Simmons last year said he had no interest in playing with Frehley and Peter Criss again. Simmons explained that both co-founders have repeatedly blown their shot to share the stage with him and Paul Stanley, telling "How many chances in life do you get? When you stick your hand in the fire, you get burned the first time. Fire and nature doesn't care if you're a good guy or a bad guy. Both of these guys had three chances to be in the band and three times they fucked it up. They were every bit as important as we were at the formation of the band and they would have been the ruin of the band had they continued in it… When you have a cancer in your system, it's best to cut it out as fast as you can. It used to be a part of your body, then it turned into cancer, so you gotta cut it out."

Simmons went on to say: "I believe that both Ace and Peter are happier now. They are healthier, they look fine. When they were in the band, they were both on junk, or crack, or alcohol. Clearly not a healthy place for them. They belong doing autograph shows in clubs — they're happier."

This past December, Simmons told Rolling Stone: "KISS is Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. It's like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, 'Wait, where are all the other wives?' It's like, 'Yeah, I was married to them and now I'm here.'"

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

ACE FREHLEY Responds To PAUL STANLEY, Says His Ex-Bandmates In KISS Are His 'Brothers In Rock And Roll'

In his long-awaited autobiography, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley wrote that former KISS members Ace Frehley (guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) once believed the band was "unfairly manipulated by money-grubbing Jews," a reference to Paul and fellow KISS co-founding member Gene Simmons. Then, in an interview with the New York Post last week, Paul went on to say that based on his history with the guys, he believes Ace and Peter are anti-Semitic.

VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner caught up with Frehley earlier today (Monday, April 7) and asked him for a comment on Stanley's latest claims.

"We say good things about each other and we say bad things about each other [in our memoirs], but it is what it is," Frehley said. "It's rock and roll. I mean, if all we did was pat each other on the back for every book, people would say, 'That's a boring book.' They want to hear the dirt. I've got plenty of dirt."

Frehley, who himself released an autobiography called "No Regrets" in 2011, is working on a follow-up book and spoke to VH1 Radio Network about whether he plans on responding in it to all the latest claims by Gene Simmons and Paul.

"I've been working on my second book since once I finished 'No Regrets'; I already started writing stories for the next one," he said. "I mean, I could write five books on my life, it's that interesting."

He continued: "I don't want to go tit for tat, because that's not what I'm about. I like to lay it out and just tell it like it is, you know. If my memory isn't as good as somebody else's, so be it."

With all the back-and-forth in the media, it will likely be pretty awkward when the guys are all together in one room, at one table, at Thursday's (April 10) Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.

Asked if he thinks it will be uncomfortable seeing his former bandmates later this week, Frehley said: "No. You know why? Because, believe it or not, every time the four of us get together, even though it's been a long span of time, we're still brothers in rock and roll. At least that's the way I feel. If it's not going to be that way, I'd be surprised."

All four members of the current lineup of KISS will attend the band's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. They will be accompanied at their table by guitarist Bruce Kulick, who played in KISS during from 1984 to 1996.

Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have current KISS members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer dress up as Peter Criss' and Ace Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas (designs owned by Simmons and Stanley).

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

70s Kiss Podcast | Joey Criscuola

(Listen) 70s Kiss Podcast | Joey Criscuola, the brother of Peter Criss, talks about being a roadie for his brother in Chelsea and Lipps, Early Kiss and family.


( Paul took part in an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session on this morning. Here are his answers to the many questions that fans asked:

* Paul_Stanley: I am Paul Stanley – author of the the book Face The Music, musician, author, cook, painter. Oh and I almost forgot…KISS. AMA


toborknip: Unlike many other bands, KISS seems to be passed on from parents their children, what would you tell the little ones that freak out and get excited watching your performances, and the ones that you inspire to follow the path of music / rock ? How do you feel about being able to reach out to new generations with your art?

* Paul_Stanley: KISS at this point is almost more a tribe. We're much more than a band. The idea that there is a right of passage from one generation to the other is humbling & rewarding. That parents want their children to share something that is and was important to them is profound. I'm humbled.


finnlizzy: I want to rock and roll all night, but have other commitments during the day.

How do you do it?

* Paul_Stanley: Don't do it every night.


kenp2: I have read that you have gotten a cochlear implant in your right ear and can hear sounds on that side thru bone conduction. does this mean that you experience music in a stereo sense? or is it still different? BTW huge fan! I met you at the KISS/Aerosmith meet and greet and was too nervous to say anything other than to shake your hand twice! You signed an ID sheet I bought at the KISS auction.

* Paul_Stanley: Great question! I did have a bone conduction implant done. But honestly at this point in my life, it's very difficult for your brain to adjust and rewire in a sense - in other words, I've spent my life hearing the way I think of as "normal" and to hear any other way is very confusing. I took the implant out.


jerry1013: Hey Paul, What's a good "hidden gem" in the KISS catalog for you? As someone who loves all of your albums, it'd be interesting to find out what song(s) you feel deserve some praise they don't usually get. (Nowhere To Run would be my pick)

* Paul_Stanley: I'm with you.


eskebaeb: Hey Paul!! I've been a fan of Kiss for 30 years and I actually helped put together the first online Kiss F.A.Q back in 1993 :) You were always my favorite member of the band (for songwriting, voice, and on-stage persona) Can you give us a quick story of a funny prank you (or one of the other guys) pulled on someone else in the band back in the day?

* Paul_Stanley: Gene hates any kind of shellfish among other things. One night i had lobster for dinner before the show, and saved the body with the tentacles on it. During a blackout between songs, I snapped it on his microphone, and when he went to sing, it was staring him in the face. He freaked out!


mikescherrer: Hey Paul big fan of Kiss, I don't have much to ask but thank you for the music you have given the world, But what is your favorite pizza topping.

* Paul_Stanley: Oh boy. Grilled prosciutto, grilled onions, and grilled mushrooms. PLUS CHEESE!


blackdiamond19: How different do you think KISS would have been if the late and very talented Eric Carr were still alive? Did he bring something different to the band that other members have not? Would the makeup for Tommy be different and do you think there would be less controversy about Ace and Peter if the band never went back to using their makeup? Thank you for all the great music and shows, can't wait to see you again in Sacramento!

* Paul_Stanley: Eric, in a sense, was a wakeup call for us. And a reminder of what we had lost. He was a devoted member of the band, and reminded us of who we were when we started. It's a nonstarter as far as different makeup for Tommy. We have nurtured our image for 40 years without ever abandoning the band. And in fact, are proud to continue those 4 iconic images without any regard to any past members including Ace and Peter. After all, if it meant so much to them, they wouldn't have sold them. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU in Sacramento!


IRipShirts: I noticed your voice significantly changed over the course of the 80's. What exactly happened during that period to cause that?

Also, can't wait to see you guys perform this summer!

* Paul_Stanley: In the 80s, I discovered a upper range that I hadn't been able to access and in fact, didn't know was there! It really came down to self-taught technique through trial, error, and accident.

Can't wait to see you too!



How important is Desmond Child in your career? Has your songwriting changed since you met him?

* Paul_Stanley: Desmond was a terrific writing partner and his successes afterwards speak volumes for his talent. Everyone's songwriting changes with time. He is creative and a consummate songwriter.


OhShitItsSeth: Hey Paul, thanks for the AMA! My question is: What Def Leppard song are you most looking forward to hear this summer on your co-headlining tour?

* Paul_Stanley: Photograph.


Kknowsbest: What is the best advice ever given to you?

* Paul_Stanley: Don't listen to advice. Follow your passion.


hesouryou: What's your favorite snack food when touring?

* Paul_Stanley: That's tough because my favorite snack foods aren't the ones that are best for me, but they taste great. I've got a serious sweet tooth and love chocolate chip cookies and red velvet cake for starters. How can anyone say a carrot tastes better than those?


operation_hennessey: Tell us something about yourself that we may find surprising.

* Paul_Stanley: At this point, you know a lot!


kevinb2k6: Did you ever want to punch Gene Simmons in the face?

* Paul_Stanley: I'm really not a violent guy. But like all great relationships, we have had some moments where I was very angry or frustrated. Punching someone is never the solution.


TiltDogg: Hi, Paul! Thanks so much for doing this! As much as I would love to ask you something about one of your many other talents and endeavors, there is a KISS related question that has burned in my mind a million times over. So there you are, on the stage in front of 45,000 screaming fans, blasting out an energetic classic like Detroit Rock City, and the rush has got to be AMAZING... But, there is so much energy and preparing and shit-to-do... Are there some show mornings when you wake up and just don't feel like f**king with it? Do you have to MAKE yourself get into that mood to project that vibe to not disappoint the fans, or does it just happen? I would suspect that, at SOME point, you have to be like, "Man, f**k this s**t... I just wanna eat pizza and watch Leave It To Beaver."

* Paul_Stanley: HA! The truth is, there are days when it may look like a big mountain to climb but by the time I get to the show, I can't wait. When I'm sick, when I'm not well, at those times, it's a testament to the fans and the adrenaline you produce in me that turns me into superman.


seajellie: Have you seen the movie Role Models? Any thoughts on their LARPing with your band's likeness? Thanks!!!

* Paul_Stanley: I thought Role Models was very funny, and when you are a part of the consciousness of society, and find yourself in films and TV shows, you probably have done something right.


Dongsauce: I remember seeing a picture in Rolling Stone one time of you just doing your grocery shopping. I know you've probably had your picture taken everywhere you went since the '70s but that just seems like it would have pissed me off. What everyday activities do you wish that you could just go about without someone having to take a picture of you?

* Paul_Stanley: That is a small price to pay for everything I get.


nutwrinkles: Hey Paul - KISS was my first concert - '77 at the Garden. Any place you haven't played yet that you still like to?

* Paul_Stanley: Gee that's a tough one. We've played the arena in Verona where the gladiators used to fight. And that is pretty awesome. As far as places we haven't played, I'm sure I could come up with a list. But not now.


riguitargod: Hi Paul! Looking forward to meeting you in TriBeCa tonight! Are there any aspects of a stage show that you've wanted to incorporate, but for technical reasons, haven't been able to? I loved the spider stage on the monster tour!

* Paul_Stanley: We are always trying to push the envelope and still retain our edge. I think the Monster stage is the best stage we have ever had, and incorporates technology without being overwhelmed by it.


vh7884: What is your favorite KISS guitar solo?

* Paul_Stanley: I guess the most signature solo would be Detroit Rock City


toborknip: Hey Paul, will your tour include Argentina? say yess! =) xoxo

* Paul_Stanley: I will do my best and you know we always try to come see you and most of the time, we do.


Birks1: Hey Paul Is Gene really the Marketing genius they portray him on Television as? If so, was that a big part in the success of kiss?

*Paul_Stanley: Gene is my brother. And he is most adept at marketing himself. We have done great things together.


operation_hennessey: Do you remember the first time you were recognized in public as a celebrity?

* Paul_Stanley: On the first tour someone asked us for an autograph, and I honestly thought they were kidding. That's a long, long time ago.


chiromanni: Hey Paul, in the 70's, when was the first sign you noticed in your gut that Peter and Ace were not the right fit for KISS in the long run

* Paul_Stanley: I never knew what the long run meant because bands didn't last more than 5 or 6 years. I was hoping we would make it that long.


pgarzon: Big fan from Ecuador here! Any chance of a Latam tour soon? There is a HUGE fanbase of Kiss in my country. Hope to see the power and passion of Kiss soon.

* Paul_Stanley: I can feel the passion from here! We will do our best to come see you.


HirstyUK: Hi Paul, doesn't today's music just piss you off?

* Paul_Stanley: No. It makes me a bit sad because of the human element that is missing from so much of it. People should make music, not machines.


TReilly24: Starting a new pro sports team can be a risky undertaking. Were you ever hesitant about getting involved? Thanks for always making tour stops in Scranton, PA.

* Paul_Stanley: No guts, no glory! Why hold yourself back? The gains can be so much bigger than the possible downside. The football team was too enticing to not do. We are delivering great sport and spectacle at a price that everyone can afford. What's bad about that? So far, it's been a huge success and I couldn't be prouder.


VIParadigm: The name. How did it come aboot?

* Paul_Stanley: I thought of KISS as a name that would seem familiar worldwide. It's a word everyone seems to know, with many meanings. It's also in my book, Face The Music.


DerianDomitruk: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you bring?

* Paul_Stanley: Erin. And my four kids. I'd sneak them under my jacket or in a suitcase but they're coming!


BRAman22: What is your favorite Kiss song to play live?

* Paul_Stanley: I love Detroit Rock City!


4orced4door: My parents "accidentally" named me Paul Stanley, so I'd just like to say thanks for having middle aged people ask me if I've ever heard of KISS twice a month. I think my Mom may have secretly been a fan. Once I had some repairmen march into my house singing "I Wanna Rock and Roll all Night" because of my name on the work order, so that's a plus.

* Paul_Stanley: Your mom has great taste! And by the way, I love your book, Face The Music.


smelltheglove81: How did you feel about punk rock when it started getting big back in the late seventies?

* Paul_Stanley: I thought it was fine. I just think that a message, no matter what it is, doesn't validate poor playing. It can't be a substitute.


Pennstater22: Hey Paul! I will be at your book signing in NYC tonight! If I give you an "everybody said she's looking good, and the lady knows it's understood," will you finish it for me???

* Paul_Stanley: Strutter!


Virez: Are u a gear geek/freak ?...or do u just play whatever is around.

*Paul_Stanley: I'm not a gear geek.


coolbeansbrah: Do you Live to Win?

* Paul_Stanley: Yes. Living to Win doesn't mean that you always succeed, but you are a winner just by following your own path.


BroadBandBeatnik: Hey Paul Stanley, will we ever see a sequel to Detroit Rock City?

* Paul_Stanley: I have no idea.


brandonhsttlr: Hey Paul! Big KISS fan. What did you think about the portrayals of KISS in the few Family Guy episodes? I'm sure you guys had to sign off of them. Are you a fan of the show?

* Paul_Stanley: I'm a fan of the show. And if you take yourself too seriously, you miss out on a few laughs.


Vollmerhausen: Paul, one of my first memories as a child was hanging out with my dad in our basement listening to a song while playing with Legos. It wasn't until I was much older and after I saw you guys in D.C. in 2009 and becoming the hugest KISS fanatic in my town did I realize it was the song Psycho Circus. Is it possible for you guys to play that song in Bristow, VA on July 25th when I see you guys again? Thank you so much for giving my short life a soundtrack and for the many memories I'll always cherish.

*Paul_Stanley: I will do my best. I love that song too.


kenp2: I have read that you do not have a "shrine" to the band in your home. However, do you have a favorite piece of band memorabilia?

* Paul_Stanley: My first gold album is what probably still means the most to me. Everything that came after couldn't have happened without that first gold album


GoProDad: I lost a girlfriend in Canada to a guy who was in a Kiss Look A Like band called Alive. His name was Spearo and he dressed as Gene Simmons. From this day forward, I hated the band. Do you know Spearo? Tell him I am still going to kick his ass.

* Paul_Stanley: I know Spearo. And he's a great guy. He just dressed as the wrong member!


ptanaka: Hey Paul - I saw you on CBS this morning. Were those your paintings in the background? If So... HELLO?!??! <3! You be talented. And if not... YOU COLLECT WELL. Either way, a win for Paul!

* Paul_Stanley: Yes they are mine. And thanks!


SkeevyRay: Hiya Paul! What's some of your favorite music of all time? What do you pop in the system to actually sit back and listen to?

* Paul_Stanley: There are only two kinds of music: good and bad. So there's great rock, like Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles, and on and on. And there's great jazz, like Coltrane, and Miles Davis, and there is amazing classical music like Beethoven. The list is endless. Go find it!


mad_men_enthusiast: Is there any band you guys would love to bring out on tour but haven't gotten the chance to yet?

* Paul_Stanley: Many.


blackdiamond19: How has social media changed KISS? Do you think it helped push The RHOF to finally put KISS in? Have the fans changed the way you do things for concerts or influenced what the band plans for the future?

* Paul_Stanley: Wow. Social media hasn't really changed KISS. KISS is trying to use social media as a tool to connect with fans. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ultimately and grudgingly had to induct us at some point. The absurdity of ignoring us was beginning to make them look ridiculous. Unfortunately, I don't know that inducting us changes anyone's perception of them.


opiate46: Hey Paul! Glad to see you guys still kicking so much ass on stage after all these years.

You guys are playing with another of my favorite bands this year - Def Leppard. My friend is a huge Def Leppard fan, but she says she doesn't like KISS. Can you tell me anything to help change her mind?

* Paul_Stanley: Not that I need to…But seeing is believing. Come to the show.


Kknowsbest: Who was your role model growing up?

* Paul_Stanley: I didn't really have a role model. But was fascinated and driven by anyone involved in music or art.


lpyankee2 What was your first concert?

* Paul_Stanley: My first rock concert was the Yardbirds, a british band that at different times, had Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page as lead guitar players. I saw them with Jimmy.


thunderbuns2: In all your years of touring, What is the craziest thing you have ever seen?

* Paul_Stanley: Idiots calling us "satan worshippers."


WillHorton9: What's your favourite vocal performance on a track, whether live or studio? Also, just know you're my hero and I finally get to meet you in New York on the next tour, flying from England!

* Paul_Stanley: Honestly, there's a lot of great KISS stuff, including I Still Love You. Also, doing Phantom of the Opera was an incredible challenge and terrifically rewarding. Unfortunately, the few recordings I've heard are not great. It's almost like someone posting you on YouTube falling down the stairs. It doesn't mean you did it every time!


rothee82: Hey Paul, just wanted to share with you--I was able to see you perform in Phantom back in '99 when I was 18, and seeing your performance was a huge turning point in my life. I am now a professional classical musician, and following your example has been a big part of my success. Thank you for being such a positive influence in my life! Any plans to do more musical theater?

* Paul_Stanley: Thank you for letting me know of your success. If time allows, I would love to do more musical theater. It is such a different and demanding discipline, but that's how you find out what you're made of.


Langenbrunner15: What producer do you think got the best sound out of Kiss? I'm only familiar with Ezrin, Kramer, and Poncia, and they all gave you guys a different feel.

* Paul_Stanley: Ezrin, at his best, is a consummate producer.


gl77: What are your thoughts on the RHOF allowing Chad Channing, the original drummer for Nirvana, to be inducted and then reversing their decision? I hear it was mainly caused by an uproar among KISS fans.

* Paul_Stanley: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is finally being exposed for what it is. A private club of a few people misrepresenting themselves as the public.


Frajer: Were you surprised by how devoted the Kiss Army is?

* Paul_Stanley: The best relationships are reciprocal. Like a great two way street. It's nice to know that the KISS Army is as devoted to me as I am to them.


BeltofOrion: Hi! I have two questions: 1) Who or what has influenced you most to become a musician? 2) If you have or were to have words to live by, what would they be?

* Paul_Stanley: I can't say anyone or anything other than music itself. It's always been deeply inspiring to me. Words to live by are simple… find your passion and follow it.


Captainboner: After living an almost perfect life, is there anything you've yet to achieve?

* Paul_Stanley: I didn't live an almost perfect life. But that is what I have achieved.


kenp2: I have seen photos of you clay pigeon target shooting. Have you ever tried international/Olympic trapshooting?

* Paul_Stanley: No. But we'll get to it!


elcapitanfiscal: Besides music, what is another type of art that you enjoy?

* Paul_Stanley: I love painting, and I love cooking. Hopefully next year, I'll have added more to the list. Isn't that what life's about?


Vinchenzo1: Welcome to Reddit, Paul. What was your first guitar, and did you believe it was the beginning of something special?

*Paul_Stanley: My first guitar was just the next step in my travels through music. It was my transportation to the top!


FrozenDaggerOfPiss: Hey Paul, What is one thing you want to do before you die?

* Paul_Stanley: Live forever!


Officer_Meathead: Hey Paul, thanks for the AMA! I've been a fan of KISS for a number of years and finally got to see you last year. My question is when are you coming back to Canada and is there a new album in the works?

* Paul_Stanley: We will be back in Canada on the 40th anniversary tour, and couldn't imagine touring without visiting


Axlmaho: when will you come to Japan?? Gene said "we will play in Japan this year" in Twitter,is this really?? I wanna see you again in Japan!

* Paul_Stanley: We are planning to come back to Japan, hopefully this year.


subin666: what is the one moment where you had to stop and think "this has to be a dream"?

*Paul_Stanley: There's nothing more profound than the birth of your children. Every one of those moments is beyond belief.


kbedell: Huge long-time fan. I saw you first time at the Jackson Sports Arena in Jackson, MI not long after the first Kiss Alive album came out. My first concert -- and still one of my favorites! Question: What was it like first selling out those shows at Cobo Hall in Detroit back when you were first taking off? Did you guys have any idea then what the ride was going to be like? Thanks for all the music!

*Paul_Stanley: It was unbelievable! Overwhelming and somewhat scary to see things taking off. We had no idea what the ride would be like, but we knew we had to hang on for the ride of our lives! And it has been.


operation_hennessey: What is the strangest thing a fan has ever said or request?

* Paul_Stanley: Nothing I'm going to share!


chiromannj: Paul, I see that you like to cook. Being the world traveler you are. what is your favorite restaurant in the world and favorite dish?

* Paul_Stanley: That's a wide question! I love going to the Weiner Circle in Chicago for a hot dog. And I'm also crazy about Picasso in Las Vegas, and Per Se in New York.


tidja: when was the first time you saw gene?

* Paul_Stanley: I met Gene at a friend's house when I was 17. It is a day that changed my life. 44 years together says it all.


MathiasSzczyrbak: Hey Paul if you could have been in either Zeppelin or the WHO which band would it have been ? sincerely mathias

* Paul_Stanley: Zeppelin. But those are BIG shoes to fill.


Adammcdonald: Has there ever been conflict in which you wanted to solo on a song, but the rest of the band wouldn't allow you to? Do you ever feel like your guitar talents are underrated, because of the spotlight set on the other guitarists such as ace or tommy? I love kiss by the way, saw you in 2012 and I'm seeing you when you come back to hartford this year!

* Paul_Stanley: Never the case. I get to do pretty much what I choose. But am not blind enough to make the most of everyone else's talents, and not stupid enough to make too much of mine.


rrfreitas85: Are you proud of your vocal performance on Unplugged MTV? Was your goal to show people what you can do with your voice without having to jump and move all around a stage?

* Paul_Stanley: I was very proud of Unplugged. I've always considered myself a singer who sings rock, as opposed to a rock singer.


bigfattentacles: Hi Paul, what's your favorite kiss merchandise?

* Paul_Stanley: Wow! There are some great motorcycle jackets. My kids love the plush fuzzy blankets.


karmanaut: What's your favorite thing (or maybe the most interesting thing) about Reddit so far?

* Paul_Stanley: Anytime I get to connect in real time to you and everyone else, it's a gift.


TheDude77: Did you guys choose your own facepaint designs? If so, did Peter ever regret his choice?

* Paul_Stanley: We all came up with our designs. As far as Peter, you'd have to ask him!


DethStarchild: There's so many great KISS songs that haven't seen an official release. I think "It's My Life" could've been a huge hit for you guys. Why didn't you release it on an album or as a single?

* Paul_Stanley: That's a good question. And it was a long time ago. I can't give you an answer.


tjbythelake: Were you ever good at any sports? What's the worst injury you ever had to play (on stage) through?

* Paul_Stanley: I never had much interest in sports. Particularly after once getting tackled and having the wind knocked out of me. I decided then that the guitar was safer. I have toured with cracked ribs, stitches… you name it. The show must go on.


Mortikhi: Do you ever plan to go on a book signing tour that isn't in NY or CA? I hear FL is nice this time of year.

* Paul_Stanley: I'll bring my swimsuit.


Giosi: How long did it take for the final draft of the book? BTW got book on the 25 March; a MUST read for everyone!

* Paul_Stanley: Thanks! The publishers were actually surprised that what they thought would be the first draft of the book was actually pretty close to the final, with a few small changes, we were done. It took less than a year, I believe.


dren_drawkcab: Hey Paul, huge fan! Thanks for doing the AMA! What was the writing process like for Face the Music? Was it easy, fun, quick, intimidating, etc to put all your thoughts and memories down into words? Did you set aside a time each day or so specifically for writing or did you just jot down your ideas as they came to you?

* Paul_Stanley: Once I opened the floodgates, it all just came out. With every story and memory, I thought of something else. I wanted the book to connect me with readers, old fans, and non-fans. I wanted everyone to see that we are all challenged by our doubts, and imperfections, and the key is how to overcome them.


Mixloop: Hi Paul, thanks for doing this AMA! Were you ever hesitant about writing a book as explicit and honest as this one? During the writing process, did you ever think the idea of exposing deep persona details about yourself was too much?

* Paul_Stanley: Once I commit to something, I give it 100%. Face the Music is a book I wrote for my children and in the hopes that people could find some inspiration in their lives from mine. You can't expose until you're comfortable with them or they are no longer an issue. Mine are the past


VicRattlehead20: Hey Paul, how many more KISS tours can we expect before a final farewell tour?

* Paul_Stanley: I would think at this point that I won't know until the end of the tour before!


blackdiamond19: When can we expect another solo album?! The songs you write for KISS are amazing, but I love how personal and real the songs on both your solos have been. Live to Win is always playing in the car and One Live Kiss is my go to concert DVD!

* Paul_Stanley: That's great! It's hard to juggle everything that I would like to do, so I can't do everything! I'd love to do another solo album at some point, that would be closer to my first. Live to Win was a conscious attempt to get away from the sound that I was most noted for with the band. But there's nothing like a great loud guitar and a great loud song.


* Paul_Stanley: I'm told I've gotta go now. I hope you've enjoyed this half as much as I have, if not more! I'll be looking for all of you on tour and also if I'm doing a book signing in your town, come see me.

AEROSMITH's JOEY KRAMER Comments On KISS ROCK HALL Debacle, Says Classic GUNS N' ROSES Lineup Should Reunite

(Listen) "Totally Driven Radio", the weekly radio podcast heard live every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST time on the Totally Driven Entertainment Radio Network, recently conducted an interview with AEROSMITH drummer Joey Kramer. You can now listen to the chat below. (Note: Kramer calls in at the 16-minute mark and hangs out for over 40 minutes.) A couple of excerpts from the interview follow. (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether he thinks Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons should just suck it up and perform with fellow KISS co-founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss at this week's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony:

Kramer: "You have to recognize the fact that there's two other guys that have been in the band for the last 12 or 15 years. I mean, can you just ignore them? Is that fair? From my point of view, I think, basically, they should all play. And yeah, it's only the original four that are getting inducted into the Hall Of Fame, but I think they should all play.

"I think that what I'm about to say applies to a lot of things in today's world, in today's society. I think people need to lighten up a little bit and not take things so goddamned seriously and make everything so important. It's, like, hey, it's life. Shit happens. You've gotta roll with it and let's just make the best of it and have fun. Problems and issues will always be there and they'll never leave our side, so the object is to have a good time and make fun out of whatever we do. And those guys have had a very fruitful career. They've got nothing to complain about."

On whether he thinks the classic lineup of GUNS N' ROSES should work out its differences and reunite for the sake of the fans:

Kramer: "The bottom line is this: it's whether or not they really care about their fans and the people that made them and got them to where they were. Because that's really what it's all about.

"I can say for my guys, and for my band, the reason I think, and I believe, that we're still together all these years later is because the common denominator for us has always been the same. And the common denominator has always been the music — not money, not women, not drugs, albeit I'll be the first to admit that those were all great parts of it all along the way. But our common denominator has always been the music. And when it comes to the music, the fans are the most important thing, because they get you and put you where you are. And so often — too often — that whole idea gets cast aside. [The bandmembers start thinking] 'Now we are who we are and we can do whatever the hell we please.' That's not true; it's just not the way that it is, and it's not right for those guys to act that way. So, basically, because they have personal grievances with one another, everybody else is being held hostage and can't hear the music that they love to play and they love to hear. So, you know, it's not really fair.

"You know, you can get to a point where you just deal with one another — you go on stage and do what you've gotta do and do your job. And then, you know, you don't have to hang out, you don't have to be buddies, you don't have to have dinner together, you don't have to, you know, be brothers. I mean, that's nice — it makes it a whole lot better and easier. But I think it's kind of unfair that they indulged their egos to the extent that they do."

Producer Toby Wright talks KISS, Metallica and More (April 2014)

(Listen) Producer Toby Wright sits down One On One with Mitch Lafon (rock journalist) to discuss his work on the KISS album 'that fell through the cracks' - CARNIVAL OF SOULS. As Toby walks the listener through the minutiae of that late '90s album, he also talks about working with Alice In Chains and Metallica. Toby had engineering duties on Metallica's ...And Justice For All album and explains what exactly happened to the much talked about (and often maligned) "bass sound."

Paul Stanley tells all in new memoir

( When Paul Stanley, frontman and rhythm guitarist for the band KISS, married in November 2005, he shared his joy with friends and family, including bandmates Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.

Notably absent from the ceremony: Stanley’s longtime musical partner, KISS bassist Gene Simmons. He wasn’t invited.

“Your views on marriage are your own,” Stanley told Simmons, who publicly denounced the concept of marriage until his own nups in 2011. “But when you insult and demean people who get married and ridicule or dismiss the idea of marriage, you have no place at a wedding.”

The incident is replayed in Stanley’s memoir, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” written with journalist Tim Mohr and out Tuesday. Given the band’s history of party-every-day ethos, Stanley’s willingness to reveal his deepest insecurities and resentments is stunning.

The greatest revelations come from Stanley’s candor about his decades of disappointment with original KISS members Ace Frehley (lead guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) — and, yes, Simmons.

Stanley, born Stanley Eisen in Manhattan, met Simmons — né Chaim Witz from Israel — in 1970. Back then, Stanley writes, the bassist was “very overweight .?.?. wearing overalls and sandals and looked like something from ‘Hee Haw.’?” Still, their goals were compatible, and the two quickly evolved into a solid creative team, forming the band that would, in 1973, become KISS.

Known for their outlandish alter egos — for years, they were never seen without identity-disguising face paint— KISS hit it big with albums like “Alive” and “Destroyer.” (Over the next four decades they would ditch the makeup, then re-embrace it, with various members leaving and returning. The only original members currently in the band are Stanley and Simmons.)

As success came, Stanley noticed in interviews that Simmons “sure used the word ‘I’ a lot.” Stanley accuses him of abandoning the band in the early ’80s, distracted by attempts to become an actor, but then taking credit for Stanley’s work; and also of using the KISS logo and persona for personal projects without contractual permission.

During this time, Stanley writes, Simmons’ duplicity left him feeling there was “a traitor in the midst.”

Most damning, though, are Stanley’s statements throughout the book about the business acumen of Simmons, who has cultivated a reputation as a marketing and business maverick over the years. Stanley charges that Simmons has had little to do with KISS’s infamous torrent of branded endeavors, from caskets to condoms.

“I saw the term ‘marketing genius’ used in reference to Gene quite frequently .?.?. [and] it turned my stomach,” Stanley writes. “Neither Gene nor I has had an active hand in any significant deals. He was no marketing genius. He just took credit for things.

“We’ve always been very honest with each other,” says Stanley, who tells The Post that Simmons has read the book and “had no arguments with it.” Simmons did not respond to a request for comment.

As harsh as Stanley is with Simmons, he saves his real venom for former band mates Frehley and Criss. After it was announced back in December that KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Barclays Center on Thursday, a public war erupted over which band members would play at the upcoming ceremony.

Frehley, Criss and the Hall wanted a reunion of the original lineup in full makeup; Simmons and Stanley refused, since KISS now has two other long-standing members in drummer, singer and guitarist Thayer. As of now, all four original members will attend the ceremony, but there will be no performance of the band’s music.

Stanley’s book sheds greater light on why he wouldn’t want a full-on reunion, recalling countless past times that Frehley and Criss, who have both had substance-abuse issues, were belligerent and even unable to play.

Stanley also accuses Frehley of stashing drugs “in the bags or pockets of crew members — without their knowledge — so he wasn’t on the hook if they were found.”

Even more shocking are his accusations of anti-Semitism against the pair. Noting that Frehley owned a collection of Nazi memorabilia, and that some of his earliest experiences with Criss involved the drummer racially mocking waiters at Chinese restaurants, Stanley writes that Frehley and Criss resented him and Simmons for controlling the band’s creative output — which Stanley says occurred because Frehley and Criss’ songwriting contributions “just didn’t amount to much.”

“Ace and particularly Peter felt powerless and impotent when faced with the tireless focus, drive and ambition of me and Gene,” Stanley writes. “As a result, the two of them tried to sabotage the band — which, as they saw it, was unfairly manipulated by [us] money-grubbing Jews.”

Stanley reiterated to The Post that yes, he does believe that Frehley and Criss are anti-Semitic.

“Yes, I do,” he says. “It’s based on years and years of interactions. It’s not pulled out of thin air.” Frehley and Criss did not respond to requests for comment.

For Stanley, though, navigating rough waters was nothing new.

He was born with microtia, a deformity of the outer ear that also left him deaf in his left ear. His outer right ear was surgically repaired in the early ’80s. He received no support from his parents, who had his mentally ill, drug-addicted, violent older sister Julia to contend with.

In the book, Stanley recalls a harrowing afternoon when he was left alone with Julia just after she received electroshock therapy, and spent the day evading her as she tried to attack him with a hammer.

Stanley says it took him decades into adulthood and plenty of therapy to help conquer his lack of self-esteem. He admits that painting his face for the band was part of that.

“For many years when I first put this makeup on, I had a sense of another person coming out. The insecure, incomplete kid .?.?. suddenly got painted away, and that other guy came out.”

Now 62, Stanley is finally secure enough to reveal himself to the world through his book.

“People have their beliefs [about us], and most, quite honestly, are based on conjecture,” he says. “I wrote the book about me, my life and my observations. I didn’t write the book to have the last word on KISS.”

Why isn't the Hall of Fame ceremony a hot ticket?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, taking place Thursday at the Barclays Center, is supposed to be the premier affair on the annual rock ’n’ roll calendar. But this year, the event is proving as popular as Gwyneth Paltrow at a Mommy and Me class.

It’s usually a tough ticket. As of press time, and days after announcing special guests including Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, Michael Stipe and more, almost a quarter of the approximately 11,000 available tickets can be bought on the resale site StubHub for as little as $29, with hundreds available for less than $100.

Blame the apathy on the fact that several of the inductees aren’t performing: KISS are feuding; Linda Ronstadt can no longer sing because of complications related to Parkinson’s disesase; and there’s no partial Nirvana reunion or tribute scheduled.

“I heard from people all over the world who were willing to pay any price to see Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace, even if it was for one song,” says Eddie Trunk, co-host of VH1’s “That Metal Show” of the desire to see KISS unite.

Adds Neil Walls, creator of Future Rock Legends, a Web site devoted to the Hall, “Without something . . . like a partial Nirvana reunion, there’s nothing for people to get excited about.”

Rock and roll football, sealed with a KISS

(Video) By the time two of the L.A. KISS' star players were lowered from the Honda Center ceiling during introductions for the team's home opener, the team's fans were ready to rock and roll all night and party every down.

Behind four touchdowns from wide receiver Donovan Morgan and a league-record six sacks in one game for Beau Bell, the KISS won its first game at its home venue in Anaheim, 44-34, in front of 12,045 fans. The victory improved the KISS' record to 2-1 while setting a league record of 11 team sacks in one game. The night was a complete rock and roll event. From the national anthem played on an electric guitar, to the bikini-clad dancers suspended in midair throughout the game to fans walking around in KISS makeup and flame orange Mohawk wigs.

Before the first down was played fans had already seen indoor fireworks, a laser show and a performance by heavy metal band Steel Panther.

"We wanted a football team, but this is a different type of football," said John Richards, 47, of Menifee, who for more than 30 years has been a fan of the rock band that inspired the arena football team's name. "This is KISS football."

There was even a special appearance by Motorhead lead singer, Lemmy, who performed the pregame coin toss.

"We're expecting craziness. Total craziness," said George Warner, 48, of Brea, who along with his wife, Yolanda, was one of the first people in line outside of Honda Center before the doors opened. "That's the KISS way."

With tickets to a KISS concert included in the season-ticket deal, the rock band name was a big draw for many of the fans in attendance.

"I think 95% are KISS fans and 5% know something about arena football," said Richards, who received season tickets from his wife as an early birthday gift. "If it would have been L.A. anything else, I wouldn't have been here. I wouldn't have known anything was going on."

But other fans were simply happy to have a pro football team back in the Los Angeles area. Some fans even wore jerseys commemorating the Avengers — the previous L.A.-based AFL team.

"There's no football here," said Luz Adriana Rodriguez, 37, of Brea, who sported the team's black and flame home jersey with Paul Stanley's name on the back. "To have arena basically in our backyard. It was a win-win."

Joan Ash, 68, of Stanton said she was happy she didn't have to go without football for much of the year after the NFL season ends.

"I'm an avid football fan," she said. "I'd have to go into withdrawals from February to August when the preseason starts. That's way too long."

Ash, who rushed into the venue early to get commemorative team rally towels, said she was looking forward to the game experience that the team's rocker co-owners, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, had promised.

"I like that KISS is fan-based," she said. "Why sit and twiddle our thumbs during breaks? We're here to be entertained."

By early in the second quarter, Ash had seen several dance troupes perform between stops in play and BMX bikers performing stunts on the field. Later in the game, the KISS Girls — the team's dance troupe — rode into the field on a Fiat.

Lisa and Jerry Zaharias of Redlands wanted to make sure they were doing their part to bring excitement to the game. Along with their matching team jerseys, the husband and wife wore face paint and L.A. KISS-themed headgear that included a black hat with flame orange decorations to match the team's uniform.

"We want to get them [fans] excited and be part of the energy," said Lisa Zaharias, who along with her husband was featured on the game's dance cam.

Some fans did have a minor quibble with the team name.

"The only thing that is a little off-kilter is 'L.A' KISS," said Greg Gerstung, 49, of Brea as he proudly wore a Gene Simmons jersey. "It should have been O.C. KISS. That would have better represented Orange County."

But the excitement of having a football team in the area overshadowed his minor issue with the name, Gerstung said.

Halfway through the fourth quarter fans started "the wave" around the arena and by the end of the night the KISS had gained some loyal fans.

"As long as they exist, we'll be fans," Richards said.

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CEO Defends Decision To Only Induct KISS' Original Lineup

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman has once again defended the organization's decision to only induct KISS' original lineup, thereby angering the band's leader, Paul Stanley. "I don't need the Hall Of Fame," Stanley told Rolling Stone. "And if there's not reciprocity, I'm not interested. The RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, practically every member was inducted, and virtually all 175 members of the GRATEFUL DEAD. Rules need to apply to everybody."

"I don't like all the sniping back and forth, though mostly it's been forth," Peresman told Rolling Stone. "And I totally understand his point of view. What he's failing to understand is that there are certain acts that are nominated and brought in on their entire body of work, up until the day before the nominating committee meets. They are still evolving bands that are breaking new ground. With KISS, there wasn't a single person we spoke to that didn't feel the reason these guys were being inducted was because of the four original members. It's an incredibly unique situation. I can't think of another band, outside of GWAR, that has members that are dressed up in costumes. You basically have these new members that are replicating exactly and playing the music that was created by the two other members that are being inducted."

Peresman continued: "I appreciate how [current KISS members] Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums] have filled in and the way they do things. They are fine musicians and I'm sure they're lovely guys, but they are basically replicating the two members that are getting inducted.

"How could we have asked [original KISS members] Ace [Frehley, guitar] and Peter [Criss, drums] to accept the award and then have other people in their guise playing their music? They probably wouldn't have even come. They were very clear about that.

"Frankly, I'm really, really happy that KISS are being inducted. It should have happened a while ago. The four of them will get up, accept their award, say what they want to say and then we'll move on."

Stanley recently posted an open message on to counter Peresman's explanation to Billboard, as to why the Rock Hall is inducting KISS' classic ‘70s lineup — and only that lineup.

Paul Stanley's response to Peresman's statement as posted on

"The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame continues to attempt to restore its questionable credibility and glimpses behind the facade with nonsense and half truths.

"The truth is Joel Peresman and the rest of the decision makers refused to consider the induction of ANY former KISS members and specifically the late Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick who were both in the band through multi-platinum albums and worldwide tours and DIDN'T wear makeup.

"There is no getting around the reality that the Hall Of Fame's favoritism and preferential treatment towards artists they like goes as far as ASKING the GRATEFUL DEAD how many members THEY wanted the hall to induct and following their directive while also including a songwriter who was never in the actual band.

"Let's just accept the truth as it is and move on."

Paul Stanley told The Pulse Of Radio that for the April 10 induction ceremonies in Brooklyn, the Rock Hall was unbending in its decision to ignore the other members of KISS that joined following Peter Criss and Ace Frehley's respective departures.

"Bringing up the idea of inducting other members other than the original four, which is a very valid argument considering that there are people that played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important to the continuation of this band," he said. "The fact that when this was brought up, it was shut down as a non-starter. I don't appreciate that as somebody who is a self-appointed expert."

Starchild Speaks Out: A Revealing Excerpt from Paul Stanley's Memoir, Face the Music

( As Kiss is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week, Paul “Starchild” Stanley, one of the glam metal band’s founding members, opens up about the group’s shifting lineup, infighting, and his personal struggles in his confessional-style memoir, Face the Music. Read an excerpt below.

I sit down and look in the mirror, staring for a moment into the eyes peering out at me. The mirror is surrounded by high-watt theater-style bulbs, and on the table in front of the brightly lit mirror is a small black makeup case. We hit the stage in about three hours, which means it’s time for the ritual that has defined my professional life for forty years.

First, I wipe my face with an astringent, to close the pores. Then I grab a container of “clown white,” a thick, cream-based makeup. I dip my fingers into the tub of white goo and start applying it all over my face, leaving some space open around my right eye, where the rough outline of the star will be.

There was a time when this makeup was a mask—hiding the face of a kid whose life up to then had been lonely and miserable. I was born with no right ear—I’m deaf on that side, too—and the most searing early memories I have are of other kids calling me “Stanley the one-eared monster.” It was often kids I didn’t even know. But they knew me: the kid with a stump for an ear.

When I was out among people I felt naked. I was painfully aware of being constantly scrutinized. And when I came home, my family was too dysfunctional to provide any kind of support.

Once the white is on, I take the pointed end of a beautician’s comb, one with a metal point, and sketch the outline of the star, freehand, around my right eye. It leaves a line through the white makeup. Then with a Q-tip I clean up the inside of the star. I also clean up the shape of my lips.

The character taking shape on my face originally came about as a defense mechanism to cover up who I really was. For many years when I first put this makeup on, I had a sense of another person coming out. The insecure, incomplete kid with all the doubts and all the internal conflicts suddenly got painted away, and that other guy came out, the guy I had created to show everybody that they should have been nicer to me, that they should have been my friend, that I was someone special. I created a guy who would get the girl.

People I’d known earlier in life were astonished by my success with KISS. And I understand why. They never knew what was going on inside me. They never knew why I was the way I was, what my aspirations were. They never knew any of that. To them I was just a f***-up or a freak. Or a monster.

The more I came to terms with myself, the more I was able to give to others. And the more I gave of myself to others, the more I found I had to give.

It was a quest, an unending push for what I thought I should have—not only materially, but in terms of who I should be—that enabled me to reach that point. It was a quest that began with the aim of becoming a rock star, but that ended with something else entirely.

And that’s really what this book is about. It’s also why I want my four kids to read this book someday, despite the fact that the path I took was long and arduous and meandered through some pretty wild places and times. I want them to understand what my life was like, warts and all. I want them to understand that it really is up to each one of us, that anyone can make a wonderful life for himself or herself. It may not be easy. It may take longer than you think. But it is possible. For anyone.

I collect my thoughts and look into the mirror again. There, staring back at me, is the familiar white face and black star. All that’s left to do is empty a bottle or two of hairspray into my hair and vault it up to the ceiling. And put on the red lipstick, of course. These days, it’s hard to stop smiling when I wear this face. I find myself beaming from ear to ear, content to celebrate together with the Starchild, who has now become a dear old friend rather than an alter ego to cower behind.

Outside, forty-five thousand people wait. I picture taking the stage. You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world . . . I count in “Detroit Rock City” and off we go—me, Gene Simmons, and Tommy Thayer, descending onto the stage from a pod suspended forty feet above as the huge black curtain drops and Eric Singer beats the drums below us.

Fireworks! Flames! The initial gasp of the crowd hits you like a physical force. Kaboom! It’s the greatest rush imaginable. When I get out there on stage, I love to look out and see people jumping, screaming, dancing, kissing, celebrating, all in a state of ecstasy. I bask in it. It’s like a tribal gathering. KISS has become a tradition, a ritual passed down from generation to generation. It’s an amazing gift to be able to communicate with people on that level and have so many of them out there, all of them, all of us, together, decades after we started. The smile will not leave my face through the entire set.

Best of all, that smile will remain on my face as I walk off the stage to return to the totality of my life.

There are people who don’t want to go home—who never want to go home. And once upon a time, I didn’t, either. But these days, I love going home. Because somewhere along this long road, I finally figured out how to create a home, a real home, the kind of home where your heart is.

Kiss star Paul Stanley, irked by long wait to get into Hall of Fame, says band won't play at induction

( After 41 years of rock ’n’ rolling all night and partying every day, pioneering New Yorkers Kiss are riding high — and telling the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation to Kiss their ass.

The face-painting metal pioneers are enjoying a recent wave of popularity. They’re poster boys for designer John Varvatos’ new campaign, and singer Paul Stanley has cooked up a new book of recipes. And oh yeah, the four original members are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Thursday.

But in true Kiss fashion, the band won’t be playing at the hall’s Thursday Barclays Center induction ceremony because it’s not happening on their own terms.

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn’t like us,” Kiss co-founder Stanley told The News. “It’s not a coincidence that it took us 14 years to get in while some rap artists have been there quite a while.”

The hall opened in 1995, but didn’t get around to nominating — and soon rejecting — Kiss until 2009. This year the group finally will be inducted, along with Nirvana, the E Street Band, Peter Gabriel — and no rappers.

Paul Stanley Original Kiss member Paul Stanley last year with his young children.

While Kiss members may be frustrated at being passed over for more than a decade, they won’t perform at the induction because the Hall is only recognizing the group’s four original members, ignoring another half dozen who have been with the band over the years.

“We are a bitter pill for them to swallow and they decided to make that pill as small as possible by having the four original members, and negating the fact that there are members today and past members who have played on multiplatinum albums and world tours,” Stanley said.

Stanley also suggests that originals Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, neither of whom have played with the band for a decade, might not be up to snuff anymore, and he’s not going to let the Hall of Fame shame him again.

“Sorry — doesn’t work that way,” he said.

PAUL STANLEY Says FREHLEY And CRISS' Autobiographies 'Go From Being Questionable To Absurd'

Brian Aberback of New Jersey's Steppin' Out magazine recently conducted an interview with KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley. An excerpt from the chat follows below.

Steppin' Out: What is the main message you want people to take from your [long-awaited autobiography, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed"]?

Paul Stanley: I wanted to be able to write a book that shows how you can go through unsettling times and turmoil and come out on top. There's no substitute for determination and drive. My life has a happy ending. I thought my story was something people could benefit from. My 19-year-old read the book and I got the response I hoped for. He thought it was fabulous and very inspiring.

Steppin' Out: From the very beginning, you were faced with obstacles. You were born with microtia, a birth defect in which part of your right ear is missing, and you're also deaf in that ear. How did that affect your musical ambitions?

Paul Stanley: It never affected my music. It affected my social interactions, how I was seen and sometimes ridiculed. Music became my refuge. Although I may not hear music the same way that someone who has hearing in both ears hears it, I never missed anything because I don't know what things would have sounded like otherwise.

Steppin' Out: You're the last of the original members of KISS to write a book. Have you read the other guys' books?

Paul Stanley: Gene's [Simmons] book is understandably written from him being in the center of everything, because that's what he's like. The other two [by guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss] go from being questionable to absurd. When people's recollections are tainted by substance abuse, they're not usually people an attorney wants to put on a witness stand. The few bits I read were so ridiculous that it was frightening to think that either of them believe it. For a lot of reasons, I feel I'm more objective.

Steppin' Out: You're being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and you're furious with the Hall. Why is that?

Paul Stanley: They are only inducting the original members. It's disrespectful. We never could have started without [original guitarist and drummer] Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, but this band has a 40-year history that should not be ignored. The Hall Of Fame people said that inducting other members who were in the band for decades and played on multi-platinum albums like [guitarist] Bruce Kulick and [late drummer] Eric Carr was a non-starter. That's not how it has worked with other bands. There's a commune of GRATEFUL DEAD members in there including a writer who never played an instrument and a bass player in METALLICA who had only been in the band for 7 years when they were inducted. We are in the Hall Of Fame not because those people want us there but because it began to look absurd not having us there. To have a band that many pop bands cite as an influence and to be ignored year after year takes a lot of effort. They also wanted to strong-arm us into playing with the original guys only in gear and makeup and that was a non-starter. I've been doing this 40 years with total pride and confidence and it would be rolling the dice. Whether it's official or not, I will be there to celebrate 40 years of this band.


As next week's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction approaches, KISS is arguably garnering more press than it did during its initial 1996 reunion tour. According to The Pulse Of Radio, the current lineup of the group is featured on the cover of the new Classic Rock magazine and talks frankly about themselves, with bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons revealing, "[KISS guitarist/vocalist] Paul [Stanley] is the soul of KISS and I'm . . . the c*ck. Paul is much more emotional, and I'm drier. Paul will go see romantic movies, I'll throw up at them." Drummer Eric Singer added: "Gene loves the sound of his own voice, we all know that. But nothing happens in KISS unless Paul Stanley says it does."

When Paul Stanley was pressed about who has slept with more women Simmons or himself, Stanley joked, "I think I had more that would qualify as women. With him, you were also throwing in cattle. But we both did very well. Gene likes to stand up and say: 'Look at me, and look at what I've done.' And that's okay. But who had more? I don't know. He certainly had ones that I didn't want."

Stanley also took time out in Mojo to take another swipe at the Rock Hall, who won't allow any other members other than Simmons, Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss to be inducted on April 10 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. When asked if the nod after being passed over so many times feels irrelevant or like vindication, Stanley explained, "It means a lot to the fans and that's very important to me. They want us to have that credibility and recognition.

"I still have big issues with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

"The spirit of rock 'n' roll has always been not only to find your path but to ignore those critics and also ignore your peers, and I think we've pretty much stuck to that. For someone else to decide what rock 'n' roll is, to me, is ludicrous."

Stanley told The Pulse Of Radio that over the decades, KISS has lived out its career in public and that come what may, the fans have always seen the very human side of KISS throughout the years. "I've made mistakes," he said. "The band has made mistakes, but that's great. A) If you survive your mistakes, that's great, and B) if you learn from them, all the better. We've lived a very open and very public life, and anything that we've done has been on the record. We've been seen blemishes and all, and I think it's awesome."

KISS Setlist at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, Highland, CA, USA

April 3, 2014
Comin' Home
Calling Dr. Love
Hard Luck Woman
Christine Sixteen
Hide Your Heart
Goin' Blind
Cold Gin
Do You Love Me
Nothin' to Lose
Love Her All I Can
A World Without Heroes
Plaster Caster
Take Me
See You Tonite (Gene Simmons song)
Rock Bottom
You Shook Me (Led Zeppelin cover)
Led Zeppelin Medley
Mississippi Queen (Mountain cover)
Got to Choose
Shout It Out Loud
Rock and Roll All Nite

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready Talks Kiss Obsession and Influence

( (Photo: Mike McCready dressed as Peter Criss for Halloween) I remember being on a school bus in sixth grade in 1976 with my friend Rick Friel, who eventually played in my high school band Shadow. He had a lunch box that had Kiss on it. "What is that?" Then he played me some music and I was hooked immediately. Then I had a Kiss room and I started playing guitar. They were the Beatles to me. They are the reason I started playing music.

They were larger than life, with this intangible thing that I basically think about all the time. I was Peter Criss for Halloween in 1976 (pictured, left). I loved Alive!. "Black Diamond" blew my mind. Ace Frehley came onstage and did it with us at Madison Square Garden a few years ago, which was a total high watermark in my life. When I was 13, I never thought in a million years that I would even talk to him; I’d probably pass out. And here I am playing with him!

Pearl Jam sit down and have conversations about Kiss all the time on tour. My band used to do "C'Mon and Love Me." Matt Cameron played in a Kiss tribute band when he was 14. They got so big around San Diego that they got a cease and desist order from Casablanca Records. Jeff Ament used to play "She" in his band Deranged Diction. There’s a Kiss through-line to a lot of the music that came out of Seattle, and it hasn’t been talked about a lot.

Pearl Jam Play "Black Diamond" With Ace Frehley: video.

I got mocked for it a lot. When you’re really young, dating girls and trying to explain Kiss, they just look at you like you’re kind of crazy. I think they got so big in the Seventies and were such a phenomenon – they did the Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park movie, the solo records – some people only know the merchandising stuff. But if you listen to the music, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were really into the Beatles and you can hear weird Beatles harmonies going on. I’ve talked to Paul a few times, which is always a trip, and he talks about how he likes Humble Pie and Steve Marriott. So they’re drawing from pretty cool influences. And there is a power pop thing to some of their stuff that’s immediately catchy.

Ace was their firecracker, their dynamite. He’s what took them over the top with the feel he put into his leads. I really gravitated towards his vibrato. My lead for "Alive" is based on "She," and that’s based on "Five to One" by the Doors. I remember we were in Surrey, England. I thought about it like, "I’m going to approach this like Ace did on 'She.'" And I remember the chord pattern that Stone [Gossard] wrote lent it to that kind of a descending pattern. So I kind for went with it. And then I improvised from there.

I’ve been watching the Hall of Fame situation play out. My thoughts are: I saw Heart play with their original lineup, and I went and jammed with them when they got inducted in the Hall of Fame. And then they got up with their new lineup, and everybody loved it. And it can be done, and I wish they would do it. It just makes the fans happy. And that's the point, in my mind.

KISS Underground's John Jeffrey (Interview April 2014)

(Listen) John Jeffrey created and ran the KISS fanzine, KISS Underground, from 1987-2007. He sat down One On One with rock journalist, Mitch Lafon, to discuss making of and inspiration for a fan generated magazine in the pre-Internet days (when information was, at times, difficult to come by). He walks the listener through stories of how content was generated, how he was fed information from the band, and comments on his interviews with every band member to ever have been in KISS (including Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Eric Carr, Bruce Kulick, Mark St. John and Vinnie Vincent).

Gene Simmons Celebrates Kiss' 40th Anniversary With Crowdsourcing Campaign

( The Kiss frontman is asking content creators and fans how the band should celebrate "in the most epic way possible."

Gene Simmons is looking for help celebrating the 40th anniversary of Kiss.

The rocker announced Wednesday night that Kiss is launching a campaign on Tongal -- a company that pairs creatives and brands to crowdsource the pitch-and-development process -- asking content creators and fans to submit their best ideas for "how Kiss should celebrate their 40th anniversary in the most epic way possible."

Typically, Tongal's brand campaigns involve ideation and pitch processes before moving on to an execution stage where a commercial or campaign is produced. Past projects have included a Star Wars-inspired commercial for Pringles and a Speed Stick ad that aired during the 2013 Super Bowl.

But the Kiss project is part of a new service called Left Field, which allows brands to reach out to creators and fans through a 140-character social media call-to-action to help brainstorm ideas.

"We've always been about the fans," Simmons tells THR. "Tongal allows our fans to throw out ideas, and you know you're going to make something authentic."

He adds that the crowdsourcing process at Tongal is not that different from the collaboration within a band. "One person doesn't play every instrument. You contribute where you're skilled."

Simmons announced the campaign as part of his appearance at Tongal's inaugural award show the Tongies, which was held April 2 at the El Rey Theatre. He handed out the award for best Best Original Song used in a campaign. Other awards included Best Broadcast Spot, Best Comedy, Best Idea and Video of the Year.

Creatives who participate in Tongal's projects get paid if they submit winning ideas. This year, Tongal expects to pay more than $15 million to its community.

Tongal co-founder and president James DeJulio says the Kiss campaign represents an opportunity for brands to use the platform to engage fans.

"Like any great brand, Kiss' fans have supported them and been a part of their lives forever," he adds. "This campaign creates another deep connection with the band."


In the April Edition of the 2013 Readers' Poll of the Japanese Burrn Magazine, KISS scored Number One in the live performance section beating out Metallica at Number 2!


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Nothin' to Lose: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Go for Broke As They Weigh In on Kiss Guitarists Past and Present

( In this feature from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley go for broke as they weigh in on Kiss guitarists past and present.


GENE SIMMONS As a musician, you have to hand it to him. He knew his stuff. And when he cared—the first three records, I would say—he was great. You can sing those solos. It was like opera. And the integrity of his style was instantly recognizable. As soon as he played, you knew it was him. That’s probably the highest compliment you can give to a guitar player.

PAUL STANLEY In the beginning, we just gelled as guitarists. And even today, I talk about Ace a lot. I’ll tell people, “He really had the goods.” He can argue all he wants that he still does, or say whatever he wants to say the reasons are that he didn’t ascend to more. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But I saw somebody throw away a gift.

SIMMONS Before the drugs and the booze and everything, he was basically Ace, a lovable, loving guy. We all cared for him. I loved him. I love the straight Ace. But I fucking hate any drug addict. Because they’re possessed.


STANLEY Vinnie had an incredible touch and an incredible knowledge of the guitar. But left to his own devices he’d hang himself. For somebody who could play so brilliantly and so tastefully, it became more about how much he could play rather than what he played. And, ultimately, I couldn’t understand what he chose to play. And that’s not taking into account all the other stuff about him, which I think has been well documented.

SIMMONS He was a much more accomplished musician [than Frehley]. Understood some jazz. Could play faster. He was a big fan of all that sort of hurricane machine-gun stuff. But he was not as pure in his personality. We wrote “I Love It Loud” together, although he hated me for telling him what to play in the solo. But the guy could write songs.

The guy could sing. He could play rings around most anybody. But with all due respect to Vinnie, it was a fucking nightmare. And it continues to be. That guy sued us 14 times and lost 14 times. But I wouldn’t wish his life on anybody. He’s had a lot of grief. A lot of trouble. And I feel sad that he didn’t understand the gift and the opportunity he was given.


STANLEY My classic story with Mark is that during the making of Animalize I sent him home one night to come up with a solo to one of the songs. And the next day he came back and played me something that was at least a start. Then I said, “Play it again.” And he said, “I can’t.” The guy could never play the same thing twice, because he was just puking notes. There was no structure to any of it. So I told him, “Go home and listen to Eric Clapton. Listen to Paul Kossoff. Listen to Jimmy Page.” And he looked at me and said, “I can play faster than them.” So that about sums it up. Check, please!

SIMMONS Mark’s guitar playing was like an angry bee flying around your head. The most irritating sound. And he would show you that his fingers could stretch 11 frets. He could play very fast, but he was all technique. He did not have a style or soul.

STANLEY Obviously health issues derailed his being in the band [soon after recording Animalize, St. John developed Reiter’s Syndrome, an arthritic condition that left him unable to play], but I don’t know how long he could have been in the band. He was the poster child for, as far as I was concerned, not understanding what great guitar playing was about.


STANLEY For some people, Kiss started in the Eighties, and for them Bruce is the guy. He was a great team player and somebody who always wanted to do his best. He was also essential to Kiss becoming a Platinum-selling band again. His importance should not be minimized.

SIMMONS Bruce was the perfect guy for us at that time. And the irony is that he became the guitar player in Kiss after [his brother] Bob Kulick auditioned for the band. But Bob was more of a Neal Schon–type player, while Bruce was more flexible in his style. He could adopt and adapt.

He could play fast, but he could also play with melody. And he was a nice guy. Not a great singer, but his strong points were his fingers, not performing. It would be like pulling teeth to get Bruce to open up onstage—to raise his arm up or do a Jesus Christ pose, that “I’m so important thing.” That wasn’t his style. His strength was the guitar.


SIMMONS I met Tommy when I produced two records for Black ’N Blue [Thayer’s Eighties-era glam band]. He was always organized and a solid, professional guy. What I didn’t know back then is that he was also in a Kiss tribute band, Cold Gin. So he knew Ace’s solos forward and backward. Tommy started off with us by helping to put together the Kisstory books. Then he helped with Kiss conventions. After that he was our road manager. When Ace left again, he became the guy. And he’s the best of all possible worlds.

STANLEY Tommy’s a terrific musician—a great lead player and a very even rhythm player. The fact that he already had the Kiss stuff down, the fact that he worked with Ace on the reunion tour, that’s all moot. That just says that he technically knows the material. Tommy is much more than that. I love his playing. I love his work ethic. I wouldn’t want to play with anybody else.

Kiss Co-Founder Paul Stanley Talks New Autobiography, 'Face the Music: A Life Exposed'

( Paul Stanley has risen to international fame playing the role of the Starchild in Kiss.

However, in his upcoming autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed (HarperOne), the guitarist discusses two other roles he has played that have affected his life as much if not more: the Phantom of the Opera and family man.

The market for rock autobiographies has been fertile lately, and many tend to follow the same formula of addiction, conflict, conquests on the road and business deals gone bad.

Stanley’s book takes a more unique path as he opens up about nagging feelings of emptiness, even as the band was at the height of their Seventies mega-stardom. He also is candid about his relationship with Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Stanley about Face The Music.

GUITAR WORLD: All of the other original members of Kiss have written books. What made this the right time for you?

I never saw writing a book. I think, just by nature of what they are, autobiographies are fatally flawed. Most of the time they tend to be grandiose in their perspective because someone is writing about themselves. I had no desire to do that. Honestly, I’ve looked at most autobiographies and thought they should have been on soft tissue paper on a roll and they would serve a better purpose. Just to write about real or imagined victories or successes or achievements isn’t what I wanted to do.

When I finally realized I could write a book that could be inspirational, that could show that everyone has obstacles and even the people we might look up to and aspire to be have been through their own trials and tribulations and can succeed, that was intriguing. The idea of writing a book my children could read to understand what I've been through to be where I am was what really made me do a 180-degree turn.

I didn’t want to write a book about Kiss. I wanted to write about my life. I wanted to write about somebody who faced a lot of adversity and obstacles and thought they knew how to resolve them and found out I wrong. I was fortunate enough to achieve the success I thought was the answer, and then I was fortunate enough to roll up my sleeves and figure out what it really took to find contentment and happiness.

The book has a happy ending. Otherwise, I couldn’t have written it. People have told me it’s a great book. If I were still stuck in the middle of it, I wouldn’t have written it.

Everyone has written the book about their rock star life. Yours takes the reader on a journey. You had a goal, you had obstacles as a young man. What I found most interesting was that even when achieving success, there was discontentment and isolation.

I think that’s the beauty that can be passed along to other people. How other people perceive you doesn't affect how you perceive yourself. No matter what you achieve and what you hide from others, you can never hide it from yourself. True happiness and true contentment in life have to come internally. That may be a cliche, but it was certainly never more glaring than in my life. Once you realize you're still unhappy, you either start medicating yourself or start figuring out what’s next.

In the book, you can see how the arrival of your first child, Evan, brought about a change in your outlook. It seems your family brought you a real sense of contentment.

I think it is eye opening that if we choose to be great parents it’s because we move ourselves from the center of the universe and give it to the people we love around us. Having children can be incredibly healing, and it also can make us better people because we are supposed to lead by example. If we set a good example, we live better lives. I found a lot peace and a lot of joy in being a parent.

Whether or not you're a fan of Kiss, the father angle makes it an interesting read.

I would think somebody is going to do themselves a disservice if they don't read the book just because they don’t like the band. It is not a book about the band. It’s a book about a person who, although on the surface might seem very much unlike the reader, I’m very much the reader.

One of the things you discuss is your role in The Phantom of the Opera. Can you talk about throwing yourself into that challenge? Obviously everyone knew you as the Starchild and the voice of Kiss.

I think you have to remember I stepped outside of character to be in a rock band. I was a shy, insecure, unpopular kid. Innately when I saw the Beatles and even before that with Elvis Presley, I had this epiphany that that's what I wanted to do. I didn’t play guitar. I hadn’t written a song before in my life, but I think so often we lose sight of our potential because as kids we believe we are capable of everything and that gets beaten out of us by people who fail.

The same thing happened to me with Phantom of the Opera. I had seen it in London in 1988, and while I was watching it I had that same thought. I had never done musical theater. I had no idea what went into it. Ten years later I found myself auditioning for the part and getting it. So at that point I got thrown into the deep end of the pool. Don’t wish for something unless you are ready to get it. At that point my determination was to be great. Not to denigrate something, but to do it justice.

The stakes were high and interestingly when I watched Phantom in London. I never connected the dots and never saw how much of it was me, somebody hiding behind a mask and incapable of really giving. I only learned and connected those dots as I was doing the show. It was eye opening for me and also very freeing.

Anyone who is familiar with the story and looks at the first half of your book can see there's a parallel with his character and your character.


In the book, you mention your guitar playing and realizing your strengths and limitations. Was your pursuit songwriting because you felt that was your strength?

I always saw myself as a very solid guitar player, but we should never fool ourselves because we lose time and we can’t bring that back. If we do a hard assessment of ourselves we can better plot our course. I didn’t feel I could be the gunslinger guitar player I loved, but I also knew I could be a pretty consummate rhythm player, which is an art in itself. Some people see rhythm guitar as what a lead player does before he’s good enough to play lead. And there are others that are great lead players that are not able to play rhythm. They learned to run before they could walk.

As I played, I found myself more to the rhythmic elements like Pete Townshend or Keith Richards or even Jimmy Page, who is a brilliant rhythm player. I had no aspirations to go beyond that. My guitar playing worked as a vehicle and a foundation for my songs. I became a better guitar player as time went on and I also became a better songwriter.

It was interesting to read how you came full circle in your relationship with Bill Aucoin [original Kiss manager]. Was that closure something that helped you in your road to where you are now?

It was incredible. It was something so special to reconnect with Bill in a way where we could resolve old tensions but also revel in our lives now. It was so fulfilling and perhaps in many ways that was what I was looking for with the band reunion, but that wasn’t to be.

With Bill I was blessed to become very close to him, and he was somebody in the formative years of the band was pivotal. We could have never made it without him. He is somebody whose importance can’t be overstated. The bitter sweetness of becoming good friends and having him come to art shows and concerts, even when he was very sick, was more than poignant. It was an incredible addition to my life.

Face The Music: A Life Exposed will be available in hardback and e-book April 8 from HarperOne Publishing. Stanley and Kiss will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. They've also announced their 40th anniversary tour with Def Leppard. You can find more about Stanley at

Paul Stanley Book Signings:
Monday, April 7 Barnes & Noble, Tribeca, NYC 6:00 PM
Tuesday, April 8 Barnes & Noble, Staten Island, NY 7:00 PM
Wednesday, April 9 Bookends, Ridgewood, NJ 6:00 PM
Wednesday, April 16 Barnes & Noble, The Grove, CA 7:00 PM
Thursday, April 17 Warwick's, San Diego (La Jolla), CA 7:00 PM
Friday, April 25 JCC, San Francisco, CA 7:00 PM

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) Episode 69, April 1, 2014. We talk about Paul Lynde moments, ours and yours. What moments in Kisstory had a huge impact on us. The Beatles had the Ed Sullivan show KISS had the Paul Lynde show. We also share some of your stories for your moments... KISS Meets the Phantom, Mike Douglas Show, the Grammy appearance, Alive II promo video, Don Kershner, Lick It Up video and many more.

Bruce Kulick BW&BK interview

Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3.

Full Current Kiss Lineup to Attend Hall of Fame Induction

( Current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer aren't going to be inducted with the band at this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, and they won't perform, either – but they're showing up, nevertheless.

Gene Simmons confirmed to Rolling Stone via e-mail that he and Paul Stanley have invited Singer and Thayer to sit at their table during the April 10th ceremony, along with guitarist Bruce Kulick, who played in Kiss during its make-up-free period, from 1984 to 1996. "The fact that they want me at their table means the world," says Kulick.

With founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss also on hand, that means all surviving Kiss members will be at Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center, except for hard-to-track-down guitarist Vinnie Vincent. "He's kind of the Howard Hughes of Kiss," says Kulick.

Simmons and Stanley are upset with the Hall of Fame's decision to induct only the four original members. "Tommy has been in the band 10 years," Stanley told Rolling Stone in interviews for our current Kiss cover story. "Eric's been in the band 20 years." (Minus a five-year interlude when the original band reunited.) "The idea of no one being even a candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame other than the four original guys is hogwash."

Not surprisingly, Kulick, Thayer and Singer all endorse that sentiment. "Even if I was an outsider," says Thayer, "I would say that all of the guys that have been in Kiss over 40 years, all of the members, should be inducted into the Hall of Fame."

As of last month, Singer was somewhat reluctant to attend. "If the choice is up to me, do I want to attend or not, then I don't wanna go," he told Rolling Stone before Simmons and Stanley invited him. "I personally don't care about attending, but if Gene and Paul say, 'No, we want you there,' no problem. I'm there for you guys. I'm there for Gene and Paul and Tommy. For Kiss, the way it stands now, no problem. Or if they just want me to be there to celebrate Kiss in general, and that means everybody, fine, great, because I'm part of the whole story."

There is no Kiss performance slated for the ceremony. As reported in our cover story, Stanley and Simmons offered to allow the former members to jam with Kiss' current lineup, featuring Thayer and Singer, who wear Frehley and Criss' makeup, respectively. Frehley and Criss found that proposition deeply insulting. "I won't be disrespected," Criss says. "How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to go sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That's an injustice. To the fans, too."

How Kiss' Reunion Almost Fell Apart: Preview Paul Stanley's Memoir

( Paul Stanley is the last member of the original Kiss lineup to pen a memoir, but his upcoming book Face The Music: A Life Exposed is still an essential read for all fans of the pioneering hard rock band. For the first time ever, the Starchild reveals that he was born with one ear, causing horrendous emotional pain. He also gets into great detail about the wild early days of Kiss, his battles with all three original members of the band and how he carried the group all through the 1980s while longtime partner Gene Simmons was largely engaged with other projects. In this exclusive excerpt — which comes alongside the band's first-ever appearance on Rolling Stone's cover — Stanley gives his side of the tumultuous Kiss "Farewell Tour" in 2000.

Peter posted a sign every day counting down the number of days left on the Farewell Tour. He started painting a teardrop below his eye. I thought it made him look like Emmett Kelly's famous Weary Willie character, the tragic clown who toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. And as for the rest of his makeup, it was as if he had forgotten how to do it. He started to look like a panda bear, with big rectangles around his eyes.

The tour was horrible. Constant drudgery and misery. We spent all of our energy trying to coax Peter and Ace out of their hotel rooms. Ace sucker-punched Tommy at one of the shows. Peter had his usual handbook detailing how hotel staff had to treat him and which windows had to be covered with tinfoil and all that. There was no reasoning with either of them. We never knew if we'd make it to a show on time, and once we got onstage we never knew whether we'd get through the show. I mean, if a guy has trouble putting on his makeup, how is he going to play? Not surprisingly, the shows could be pretty awful.

I was angry at Peter and Ace for being disrespectful toward everything we had accomplished and everything the fans were giving us. I bought into the idea that this really was it. The end of Kiss. There was no place to go. it was unbearable.

We were stuck in a rut musically as well – basically playing the same 17 songs we'd taught them for the initial reunion. This was the third tour with the same set list. Peter and Ace just couldn't master any more. The needle was already into the red. I had to come up with nonsensical interview responses to questions about why we were playing the same songs. I couldn't just say, "because Peter and Ace can't learn any others."

One night during a show Doc McGhee tried to get my attention from the side of the stage, gesturing up at me and holding his nose.


"You stink!" he yelled. I walked over to him during a break between songs. "What did you say?"

"You stink!" he repeated. "Fucking Peter is playing too slow," I told him. Doc ran around behind the drum riser and started making the same gesture at Peter. "Peter, you're playing too slow!" "Well, so are they!" Peter shouted back. "What are you talking about?" Doc screamed. "You're the fucking drummer!" Another night Peter had a new problem. He stopped playing in the middle of a song and just held his sticks up and looked at me like a deer in the headlights. I yelled, "Play!" and started tapping my foot so at least he would start hitting the drums again. That happened on more than one occasion.

A well-known musician – who had seen the band many times – approached me one night and said, "I can't come to any more shows. It's just too painful to listen to."

The worst feeling was reading reviews trashing the shows and thinking, "That's spot on." It was such a shame because the band could have been great and wasn't. The drama offstage and the hostility and resentment and backstabbing was taking a heavy musical toll. And then there were the drugs. When Ace had an off night and made a lot of mistakes, we would joke that his mixture was off.

It would have been great to go out in a blaze of musical glory; instead, we were dragging our asses. At one point we put aside a few days to brush up on songs and tighten things up. Ace didn't show for one of the rehearsals. He said he wasn't feeling well because he had Lyme disease – an illness brought on by the bite of a deer tick. Peter, brainiac that he is, said, "That's bullshit! He was never bitten by a deer!"

Am I living in an insane asylum?

On August 11, 2000, we had a show in Irvine, California, after a week off. Ace had spent the week in New York. We had a rule that if anyone was going to fly cross-country on a commercial flight to get to a gig, he had to get there a day in advance – just to be safe, in case there was a storm or a mechanical issue or whatever. We didn't want to have to cancel shows.

The day before the Irvine show, Tommy had arranged for a limo to pick Ace up and take him to his flight. He always had the limo show up hours early because it was the same chore to get Ace out of his house as it was to get him out of a hotel. Then all of us sat around waiting for updates on Ace's progress. Ace's pickup was schedule for noon East Coast time.

At 1:30 P.M. Tommy called the limo. "Mr. Frehley needs to get going."

"Um, sir, he hasn't come out of the house yet."

Another half an hour passed. Tommy and Doc tried to get Ace on the phone, calling his house. No answer. After calling his house five more times, they finally got him on the line.

"Ace, you have to get in the car – you're going to miss your flight."

"There's a problem . . . uh . . . and i'm sick . . ." Millions of excuses. They kept rescheduling Ace on later and later flights. The limo went back each time. it got to be 7 and then 8 P.M. "Passenger has not left his house, sir," reported the limo driver each time.

Tommy managed to get Ace on the phone again. "There's one more flight out tonight, last one."

"Okay," said Ace. "I promise."

But again at the appointed time, nothing happened. "Passenger still not out of house, sir."

Flight missed.

The next day was the show. Ace started the day on the other side of the country. By some minor miracle, however, he made it to the airport in the morning, was met by the on-site rep, and was escorted onto his plane.

Traffic from LAX airport to the venue was going to present a serious problem. So we arranged for a helicopter to sit at Terminal 4, where Ace was arriving, and shuttle him to the venue by air. That way he could probably make it in time for the concert.

Then we got a call. "Well, there's good news and bad news."


"The good news is that Ace really is on the plane. The bad news is that the plane has a mechanical problem and is delayed." At that point Doc told Tommy to drop what he was doing and get to the venue. He was going to have to play the show.

We traveled with a Spaceman outfit custom-fitted to Tommy – as an insurance policy. A brand new outfit, boots and all, tailored to Tommy always came along in one of the wardrobe crates. We knew Tommy could do it, but he had never actually done it.

"You guys are like superheroes," said Doc. "So Tommy Thayer is playing Batman today? It's still Batman."

Tommy got made up and dressed. And meanwhile we were geting updates on Ace's location as the start time of the show approached. He's landed . . . passenger is in helicopter . . . 50 miles away. . .

Ace walked into the dressing room about 20 minutes before the show was scheduled to start. He looked at Tommy – fully dressed and made up, with his guitar on, ready to go – and just said, "Oh, hey Tommy, how you doin'?"

We delayed the show an hour, Ace got into his makeup, and we played the concert.

The fact that we traveled with a costume for Tommy didn't seem to faze Ace. He thought it was a ploy – something between a joke and an empty threat. But we were 100 percent ready to go on with Tommy. We didn't have him suit up to teach Ace a lesson; we did it because we had a concert to play. The same reckless behavior that had led to a decades-long downward spiral was threatening to sink the ship. Here was a life preserver.

Still, Ace continued to think and act like he was irreplaceable. He continued to show total disregard for everyone else, continued to act as if we were blessed to have him. He congratulated himself on making it to the show.

"This will not do," Doc said to me and Gene. "These guys are just terrible. I run a management company, not the Red Cross. They don't send me into destroyed countries to rebuild things. I don't save people. You have to make changes."?

From the forthcoming book Face the Music: A Life Exposed by Paul Stanley.

Ex-KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK Appears On EDM-Infused Version Of 'Do You Love Me?'

(Listen) Mark "Peace" Thomas planned to record a remake of the KISS song "Do You Love Me?" for his debut CD titled "ManSmarts: The Music" (released on October 15, 2013) but he had enough original material to complete the project. "Peace" decided to wait until the summer of 2014 until his DJ work lead him to a chance encounter with a former member of KISS: Bruce Kulick.

Thomas is known for his DJ-MC services for weddings throughout Southern California but 2013 would see "DJ Peace" crossover from playing recordings to recording artist.

In September 2013, Mark ran into one of his hard rock heroes and former guitarist for KISS, Bruce Kulick, at Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, California. This lead to Mark approaching Bruce about playing on a "DJ Peace" cover of "Do You Love Me?" Bruce agreed and liked the contemporary EDM-infused version of the song.

"Bruce adds that classic KISS sound to the track which is very contemporary sounding," stated producer Jeff McCullough. He added: "DJ Peace has arranged the song with a ZEP-style guitar riff and added a solo that was never there which really makes the song rock!"

DJ Peace is treating his new recording as a tribute to KISS with a release date of April 10, which is the day the founding members of KISS (Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss) will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Chris Martin among presenters at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Chris Martin will take a break from consciously uncoupling with Gwyneth Paltrow to induct Peter Gabriel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10, Page Six has learned.

Other presenters at the ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will include Questlove, who will give Hall and Oates their honor, and Michael Stipe, who’ll induct Nirvana.

The Eagles’ Glenn Frey will induct Linda Ronstadt, who will receive a musical tribute from Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow.

Guitar guru Tom Morello will induct KISS and Bruce Springsteen will hail his E Street Band. Gabriel was also named to the Hall of Fame in 2010 as part of the band Genesis.


Radio show In The Studio with Redbeard recently interviewed Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons to discuss everything from 40 years of KISS to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination: Listen.

BRUCE KULICK Says That He Has Handled His Post-KISS Years 'Very Respectfully'

(Video) Eric Blair of "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" conducted an interview with former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick at the second annual Rock Against MS benefit concert, which took place on Wednesday, March 26 to the Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood, California. The event had rock stars returning in support of longtime friend and publicist Nancy B. Sayle. This rock-fueled concert was to help raise awareness and funding for Sayle and her new foundation benefiting those living with MS.

Kulick, who married his girlfriend, Lisa Lane, on January 4, was asked about the fact that KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley both attended his wedding. "That was exciting," he said. "And I'm gonna back them and I'm gonna be at the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame [induction] with them. As much as it's only the original band being inducted, they're flying me out there to sit at the table with them. I'm excited about that."

He added: "They have good reason [to treat me with respect]. I think I've handled my post-KISS years very respectfully, and flourished on my own too. So it's no gripes from me."

In 1984, Bruce joined KISS, where he remained as their lead guitarist for twelve years, accompanying the band on the "Animalize" tour and continuing with the band until the 1996 reunion tour. Bruce is heavily featured on "Kissology – Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3", the band's DVDs spanning their historic 35-year career.

Kulick's third solo album, "BK3", was released in Europe in January 2010 via Frontiers Records and in North America in February 2010 through Twenty 4 Records/Rocket Science Ventures. The first single from the album, "Hand Of The King", featuring Nick Simmons (son of KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons), was a digital-only release available at all online music stores, including iTunes.

In its finishing stages, the Rock Against MS Foundation will provide services from a three (3) grant resource system, which will provide daily care, quality of life needs and emergency funding, while assisting people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to live independent and full lives. Additionally, a brick-and-mortar facility called The Rock House is in the planning stages, and will provide free of charge, multiple programs and opportunities designed to heal the mind, body and spirit of all those whose lives have been affected by MS.

For more information, go to this location.

Pucker up for a big fat Kiss anniversary year

( When Kiss roared onto the public stage in greasepaint and comic-book costumes, critics predicted the loud New York rock quartet would soon kiss the dust. Those detractors have been eating the band's dust for 40 years.

Since releasing its self-titled debut and Hotter Than Hell in 1974, Kiss has sold an estimated 100 million albums worldwide and built a formidable Kiss Army that continues to fill arenas and stadiums around the globe. Declared America's most popular band by a 1977 Gallup poll, Kiss refuses to relinquish the title, opening every concert with the declaration, "You wanted the best! You got the best! The hottest band in the world!"

Pundits remain hostile (music author Dave Marsh, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee member, recently posted on his blog that Kiss "added not the slightest musical value to rock" and does not deserve its upcoming induction). Kiss Army vets loyally defend and exalt their heroes, as does the band itself.

"I look across the stage and see the best funk band in rock 'n' roll," says bassist Gene Simmons, 64. "We put on a two-hour show that knocks your socks off. There is that sense of electric church. And there's no corner on Earth where we're not gods to people who name their kids after our songs and tattoo our faces on their bodies."

Guitarist Paul Stanley, 62, chimes in, "Rock bands make music. A phenomenon impacts society. We're the biggest secret society on Earth. Every show is a tribal gathering that goes beyond rock 'n' roll and any demographic. We're in Kiss, but we're also fans of Kiss. We started this to be the band we never saw."

For its 40th anniversary, the band has readied a big fat Kiss blowout. Today brings the reissue of 10 remastered Kiss albums on vinyl. Another 18 titles are due by mid-2014. Kiss 40, a 40-track, two-CD set with such classics as Rock and Roll All Nite, Love Gun and Detroit Rock City, arrives in May. The just-released vinyl mother lode, Kissteria – The Ultimate Road Case, holds 34 discs and loads of extras. A 42-city tour with Def Leppard starts June 23.

When Kiss launched, "I hoped for five years," says Stanley, seated opposite Simmons at an office conference table. "Nobody could foresee this. Would I be in my 60s jumping around in a pair of tights playing to 100,000 people? That's absurd. But here we are. We have stood the test of time."

When Simmons heard Kiss' debut single Nothin' to Lose on the radio, "It went from zero to 60," he says. "Unlike Paul, who is pragmatic and humble, I'm delusional. Because I have an inflated ego, I thought there's nowhere we can't go and nothing we can't do. And sure enough, Kiss has become bigger than a band. It's a culture and a way of life."

Simmons, the "Demon," and Stanley, the "Starchild," founded Kiss with Peter "Catman" Criss and Ace "Spaceman" Frehley, both gone by 1982. The pair returned for MTV Unplugged in 1995, and the reunion lasted through 1998's Psycho Circus and a world tour, then dissolved a few years later.

A vocal minority considers their replacements, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, imposters.

"We couldn't have started without Ace and Peter, and we couldn't have continued without Tommy and Eric," Stanley says.

Citing the substance abuse and friction that derailed the original quartet, "this is the lineup that should have always been Kiss, without drugs, alcohol, dysfunction, dark clouds," says Simmons. "The 'all-for-one, one-for-all' thing about Kiss is stronger than ever."

Even Kiss naysayers can't deny the band's massive impact. Besides shaping a slew of hair bands, Kiss also inspired such grunge greats as Nirvana and Soundgarden and far-flung acts including Garth Brooks and Daft Punk.

Formerly derided, the band's trademark glam camp, big-top theatrics and mercenary zeal have been widely embraced by superstars ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Katy Perry.

The fire-breathing, blood-spewing, fog-shrouded metal demigods also gave rise to the concept of branding, essential now but taboo in rock's early era.

"Once we blazed the trail and others saw there was money to be made, they followed suit," Stanley says. "When we started, the connotation of a fan club was teeny-bopper, not credible. We're not marketing geniuses. The only thing we've done is listen well. If someone wants a Kiss pencil, Kiss blanket, Kiss skis, we give it to them. We're not brilliant, but our hearing is fairly acute."

The band has reaped a fortune peddling such collectibles as belt buckles, pinball machines and, for diehards, $6,000 caskets. Forbes places the combined net worth of Simmons and Stanley at $450 million. Since 2000, Kiss tours have sold more than 3 million tickets and grossed roughly $200 million, according to Billboard Boxscores.

"Very early in their career, Kiss emphasized brand-building and explosive live performances, and this has served them extremely well over the decades," says Ray Waddell, Billboard senior editor/touring. "Out of the gate, they were very serious about not taking themselves too seriously, so fans have embraced the over-the-top merchandising, the multiple 'farewell' tours, the overt capitalism. From the beginning, fans have been in on the joke. The makeup, and wide array of merch opportunities it spawned, was a masterstroke and played out in ways I'm sure even Kiss couldn't imagine.

"They always give fans their money's worth in explosions and blood, and they can tour successfully as long as they want to," he says. "That said, it has to be Gene and Paul out there to continue. Ultimately, arena rock, and the power of live music overall, is about fans breathing the same air as their heroes. The history needs to be in the room. Otherwise, it's just a rock 'n' roll circus."

Kiss without its twin towers? In Face the Music: A Life Exposed, his autobiography out April 8, Stanley insists Kiss can last indefinitely with a series of dedicated replacements.

"The band is more important than the individuals," he says. "We are a movement. We may have started it, but if the movement is sound, it can carry on without me or Gene. The fans are there for Kiss, the ideal. It has nothing to do with who's in the band."

Simmons concurs, though less enthusiastically. "There are no rules," he says. "Can Kiss continue without us? Sure."

Neither is eyeing retirement and both can envision a 50th anniversary carousal. They credit much of the band's durability to their own sturdy partnership.

"We share a strong work ethic," Stanley says. "It starts with that. Being bright doesn't hurt. We come from similar backgrounds: European Jews who left their homelands to avoid being gassed."

Their bond has been tested over the decades, most seriously in the 1980s, "when I sold my soul to Hollywood," Simmons says. "Self-aggrandizement? I'm often guilty of that. Do I think I'm better-looking than I am? Oh, yeah. It's tough for me to walk by a mirror without paying homage to me. Paul's the brother that I never had, but that doesn't mean we agree on everything. He has funny-looking shoes that even Liberace wouldn't wear."

When Stanley wed longtime girlfriend Erin Sutton in 2005, Simmons was barred from the ceremony.

"My wedding was important to me," Stanley says. "I had no qualms about calling Gene up and saying, 'You're not invited.' I couldn't have someone there who insults the tenets of marriage. I don't care how close we are, Gene had no place at my wedding."

Stanley and Erin live in Beverly Hills with their three children, ages 2, 5 and 7, and he has a son, Evan, 19, from an earlier marriage.

Minutes away are Simmons and actress/model Shannon Tweed, who wed in 2011 after 28 years together. The couple and kids Nick, 25, and Sophie, 21, starred in A&E's reality series Gene Simmons Family Jewels.

"I was very bad for decades," says Simmons, notorious for his licentious lifestyle. "I was immature all my life. When you come from nothing and all of a sudden you have the keys to the kingdom, it's like living inside a bakery. And I'm a glutton.

"Shannon is wiser than I am, a better person than I'll ever be. She said, 'It's time to make a choice.' I would compartmentalize the sexual escapades. I was arrogant."

Slipping out of his wisecracking persona, Simmons shares an emotional story about Tweed tricking him into visiting his father's grave, then pulls out his phone to display photos of his kids.

"They are bright and respectful," he beams, then cracks, "They tell me when my breath stinks and when I'm full of hot air."

Stanley marvels at how family values crept into the Kiss crypt.

"During the '80s, I saw Mike and the Mechanics checking into the Sunset Marquis Hotel with strollers and nannies, and I thought it was so uncool," he says. "There's nothing cooler nowadays than having my little kids run up and down the aisle of our private jet or seeing them on the side of the stage in their pajamas."

Kiss is a demanding mistress, and soon will yank the Demon and Starchild from their domestic havens.

"In hindsight, it might have been smarter to be in a band like U2 or the Rolling Stones," Simmons says. "You wear sneakers, a T-shirt, stand still and strum your guitar, thank you very much. There's a workout regimen before we go on tour. You wear eight-inch platform heels for hours, take two hours to put on makeup. On stage, you fly through the air, sometimes 50 feet high, spit fire and walk out drenched in sweat.

"We show up on time. There's no Axl Rose disease, no excuses. We want you to leave and say, 'There is a Santa Claus.' Kiss is real."

Kiss feels dissed by the Rock Hall of Fame

( Artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame usually react with joy and grace.

Kiss feels dissed.

"Yes, it's going to be a great night, because we will pay respect to how the band started," says guitarist Paul Stanley. "But our issues with the Rock Hall have not subsided."

He and bassist Gene Simmons, the band's founders, will be inducted April 10 alongside original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Four guitarists, including Tommy Thayer (on board since 2002), and two drummers, the late Eric Carr and current player Eric Singer (on his third stint since 1991), will not be anointed.

Simmons and Stanley wanted that fuller Kisstory acknowledged.

"When we broached the subject, they told us it was a non-starter," Stanley says. "That's arrogance coming from pencil-pushers. We're the people wearing the guitars. The arrogance went further when they tried to strong-arm us into having the original lineup play in makeup."

Also a non-starter. Simmons and Stanley refused.

"Not surprisingly, that ruffled their feathers because the Rock Hall seems to think the tail wags the dog," Stanley says. "This dog doesn't roll over for anybody."

He feels the long-split original foursome would not perform to Kiss' standards. Criss was fired in 1980, Frehley quit in 1982, and while both returned for a reunion tour and album in 1996, Frehley left and Criss was ejected a few years later. Bad blood precludes any cozy homecoming.

"We can only wear those uniforms with pride," Stanley says, "We're not going to risk tarnishing what we've built for 40 years just to satisfy someone's penchant for nostalgia."

The Rock Hall rejected a compromise.

"Ace and Peter were important in the formation of the band," Simmons says. "We said, 'Let's have everybody come out and play.' They said no."

He's mystified by the hall's refusal to induct Thayer and Singer, considering exceptions made for Metallica (latecomer Rob Trujillo), the Red Hot Chili Peppers (early members on marginal records) and the Grateful Dead (of 12 inducted, only five were founding players).

Rock Hall president/CEO Joel Peresman told Billboard the induction process "is not an exact science" and that Kiss had been selected specifically for its pivotal '70s phase.

That pick took 14 years. Kiss was first eligible in 1999, for the 2000 class, 25 years after its self-titled debut. Fans, including guitarist Tom Morello, have long championed the band's nomination.

"Kiss has always been anti-establishment, and that goes for the rock 'n' roll establishment," says Ray Waddell, Billboard senior editor/touring. "Gene in particular almost seemed to revel in being shunned by the Rock Hall, so his and the band's reaction to Kiss finally being voted in is no surprise at all. I believe their fans enjoyed Kiss' outsider status. It falls right along with the 'us against them' mentality that is so much a part of being a Kiss fan."

The Rock Hall "dodged this bullet for a long time," Stanley says. "We're the bitter pill they finally had to swallow. They bowed to public pressure as the years went on and it became absurd to ignore the big elephant in the room."

The band never lobbied for admission. "Our happiness and self-esteem don't depend on the Rock Hall or any entity," Simmons says. "The fans empower us. We've been in the hall of fame since we began. Our fans put us there."

So why attend the ceremony?

"It means a lot to the fans," Stanley says. "There's a validation they craved for the band. Our gratification comes from knowing the audience is thrilled that we're getting in."

Roman Fernandez talks BILL AUCOIN & KISS (March 2014)

(Listen) Former KISS manager Bill Aucoin's longtime partner, Roman Fernandez, goes one on one with Mitch Lafon (rock journalist). The pair discuss Bill Aucoin's legacy and managing of KISS as well as the material in the "KISS Vault'. Moreover, the two talked about Lyn Christopher, music sampling, bands Roman currently manages including the Spider Rockets and the Super Fuzz, what it takes to make it in the business today including the importance of college radio and much more.

Style My Space Announces $225,000 Contract

Kim Kapellusch, Founder and President of Style My Space is honored to announce that Style My Space, Chief Designer, Wanda Colon was awarded the contract to design the home of Josh and Dawn Pillion in the Hollywood Hills. Wanda joined Style My Space after spending 5 years as a design host on HGTV.

Dawn and Josh are fans Rock n' Roll legend Paul Stanley. Paul is best known as the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist/front man for the rock band Kiss. He is also an artist and Dawn wanted to acquire a piece of his art to incorporate into the plan. Wanda was able to connect with Paul and purchase a piece of his art that Dawn loved. She surprised the couple not only by acquiring the perfect piece of Paul Stanley art – but she also was able to have Paul personally deliver the piece surprising the couple.

"We hired Wanda to decorate our new home. After our initial consultation, Wanda's ideas were right on the money - from my husband's office to my "rock n roll" room, everything turned out fantastic. She really listened to what we wanted and did a great job keeping us in the loop on selections and budget.

Wanda definitely went above and beyond our expectations. She arranged delivery of a painting done from one of my rock icons Paul Stanley!!! The piece is amazing and was so thrilled that Paul was kind enough to make my day. It just doesn't get ANY better than that-I was completely shocked. Style My Space rocks!" stated Dawn Pillion.

Dawn and Josh hired Wanda to do a complete re-do on their Hollywood Hills home. Wanda was responsible for selecting all new furnishings for their entire home. New lighting and paint colors throughout the house. Wanda was also entrusted with building Dawn a 'Rock N Roll' room to display all her memorabilia and the Paul Stanley original painting. The exterior was redone by a landscaper Wanda brought to the job. In total this was a $225,000 project awarded to Style My Space.

Style my Space offers a multitude of services, from Staging Consults (where owners do the work themselves), to Redesign (using the owners own furniture and accessories) to vacant staging. Kim does quite a lot of vacant staging's for contractors and flippers. The business has grown to where about 80% of her business is vacant staging. As this part of the business grew so rapidly Kim now owns a warehouse of her own furniture, rugs, artwork and accessories.

For more information please call Kim Kapellusch at– 818-726-6429 or visit the website at

ACE FREHLEY To Appear At 'Texas Frightmare Weekend'

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will appear at the Texas Frightmare Weekend, set to take place May 2-4 in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

A description of Texas Frightmare Weekend: "Texas Frightmare Weekend is presented in association with Rue Morgue magazine. Conceived by Loyd and Sue Cryer in 2005 as a three-day horror convention, the event takes place annually in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. True to its motto, 'The Southwest's Premier Horror Convention,' our goal is to provide fans with an unrivaled experience by celebrating all aspects of genre films. Texas Frightmare Weekend hosts celebrity appearances, autograph signings, screenings, exclusive parties and horror memorabilia vendors from all over the country. The event is also extremely proud to have featured the rising talents of many Texas 'Frightmakers' in screenings, panel discussions and Q&As."

Corey Taylor: 'KISS should perform at Hall of Fame for the fans'

Slipknot star Corey Taylor has taken aim at his Kiss heroes for allowing past dramas to upset one of the band's biggest nights at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Like many KISS fans, Taylor was looking forward to seeing the band perform at the prestigious event next month (Apr14), but founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have decided not to play live after learning museum bosses had no plans to honour their current bandmates.

Instead, only ex-band members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley will be inducted alongside the longtime KISS stars, and Stanley and Simmons have refused to perform with them.

Taylor has now weighed in on the controversy, insisting the bandmates should put the fans first.

He says, "It’s like, 'Can you guys just put aside your petty issues and realise that without one another you wouldn’t have been able to do this? Can you just set stuff aside and do one show for the fans as the original line-up again? And then you never have to see each other again!

"That’s just me laying it straight. I might not ever get a kind word from anybody in that band anymore, but I think it’s petty and I think it’s ridiculous! Figure it out! Show respect, because sometimes it’s not about you, it’s about the fans."

Beatlemania's MITCH WEISSMAN talks KISS (March 2014)

(Listen) Mitch Weissman once played the role of 'Paul McCartney' in the original Broadway production of Beatlemania, but it's his association with Gene Simmons and KISS that fans keep asking him about. Mitch Weissman goes one-on-one in this interview with rock journalist, Mitch Lafon. During the conversation, we find out about Mitch's involvement in Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album, writing and submitting songs for the KISS album Creatures Of The Night, Lick It Up, Animalize and Crazy Nights (as well as the heavily KISS connected Wendy O' Williams album, WOW.) Weissman even lifts the veil of mystery surrounding ghost musicians on those KISS albums and comes clean as to what he did and did not play on. Also, hear Mitch tell stories about Cher, Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Jimmy Crespo, former Aerosmith managers Steve Leber and David Krebs as well as Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen.

Gene Simmons on Jews in Football -- 'Somebody's Gotta Own the Teams'

(Video) Jews don't play football, they RUN football ... so says Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.

The rock legend -- who happens to be both Jewish and the owner of a football team -- was leaving The Ivy in L.A. when he explained why there seem to be more Hebrews up in the owner's boxes than on the field.

Simmons also talked about the gynecology-meets-football ad campaign for his Arena League football team, The L.A. Kiss -- and said they had to SCALE BACK on the original concept because it was too edgy for TV.

Check out the clip.

Ace Frehley Preps First Solo Album in Five Years

( Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley will get back in the groove on his first solo album in half a decade this summer. Space Invader, due out June 24th, will feature "at least" nine new songs, according to a statement, and a cover of the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker." It's the first release under a record deal with eOne Music.

"I'm really excited about this record, because everybody that's heard the tracks just says they think some of the tracks are even better than [Frehley's 2009 LP] Anomaly, and even showing another side of me," Frehley told Rolling Stone in an interview for the magazine's current cover story. "There's two songs I'm going to re-track, but I'm doing mostly overdubs," he said at the time of the interview. "Most of the hard work is over."

Frehley said that the album would feature collaborations with his girlfriend Rachael Gordon and told Rolling Stone that an album of covers and remakes would follow Space Invader. "That one will be a real treat for the fans, too," Frehley said. "[I want to] get some celebrity guests to play on it, some of the covers and stuff, get Slash, Mike McCready, my buddy from Pearl Jam. You know. The list is endless." Then, with a laugh, he added, "I might even get Gene [Simmons] to play bass on a track."

Next month, Frehley will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the other original members of Kiss. Due to contention between Frehley, original drummer Peter Criss and founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the quartet will not play together.

Frehley will also be making an appearance at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards next month as a co-presenter of the Dimebag Darrell Best Guitarist Award, named after the late guitarist from Pantera. "It's exciting to finally be part of the Golden Gods Awards and an honor to be part of any Dimebag memorial award," Frehley said in a statement. "He was a friend, and I know everyone misses him, as do I."

ACE FREHLEY To Release 'Space Invader' In June

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will release "Space Invader", his first new solo album in five years, via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) on June 24. The album will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music.

Frehley has released an official statement surrounding the exciting news: "Life on Earth has been very good to me, and the body of work I've created over the years has withstood the test of time. Today I see no obstacles before me and my creativity has never been more fine tuned. Growing up in an Alien world has enhanced my senses and allowed me to succeed where others would have failed. The best is yet to come!"

Ace Frehley will participate in the 2014 Revolver Golden Gods awards show by presenting the Dimebag Darrell "Best Guitarist" award alongside labelmate Zakk Wylde. The awards show will take place on April 23 at the Club Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Says Frehley: "It's exciting to finally be part of the Golden Gods, awards and an honor to be part of any Dimebag memorial award. He was a friend, and I know everyone misses him, as do I."

Frehley recently spent time in the studio with drummer Matt Starr (BURNING RAIN) and bassist Chris Wyse (THE CULT, OWL) working on Ace's new CD.

Frehley's last album, "Anomaly", was made available as a 2-LP vinyl set featuring two new limited-edition colors on October 1 via Brookvale Records. Only 750 units of each color were manufactured.

Frehley told in a 2009 interview that he intended "Anomaly" to "kind of pick up where I left off with my first solo album" — 1978's "Ace Frehley".

"Prior to going into the studio, I listened to that first album, which everybody cites as their favorite Ace record," Frehley said. "I dissected it and tried to get into the same mind set this time around. I think I recaptured some of the musical textures and attitude and vibe that I had on that first record."

"Anomaly" was recorded at Schoolhouse Studios in New York and at Ace's home studio in Westchester, New York.

Kiss Forever: 40 Years of Feuds and Fury

( All that's missing from Gene Simmons' home office is a cash register. He has stuffed a wing of his otherwise tasteful Beverly Hills mansion with Kiss merchandise, turning it into a shrine to his favorite guy, Gene Simmons, and the band for which he's spent 40 lucrative years playing bass, breathing fire, spitting blood and waggling a tongue so freakish he's had to deny grafting it from some unlucky cow. There are thousands of Kiss things in his lair, overflowing from glass cases: Halloween masks; life-size busts of the band members' heads; dolls; action figures; coffee mugs; motorcycle helmets; plates; blankets; demonic Mr. Potato Heads; sneakers; bibs; a bowling ball.

On one wall is a plaque commemorating 100 million Kiss albums sold worldwide. "This room," says Simmons, adding extra portentousness to his baritone, "didn't happen by accident." At the far end is a Kiss motorcycle, a brightly airbrushed Kiss Kasket (the late Dimebag Darrell, of Pantera, is buried in one), a Kiss pinball machine and a Kiss throne emblazoned with a cute Hello Kitty version of Simmons' demon makeup – Kitty-Kiss hybrids are hot right now. Just outside the office, in a place of honor, is a Kiss video slot machine. "This box makes more money than most bands that tour," Simmons says, stroking it with a huge hand.

Kiss still tour. But the only original members left are Simmons and the band's frontman, Paul Stanley, two New York Jewish kids who shared a cleareyed ambition and zero self-destructive tendencies – smart guys who managed to write some of the most gloriously brain-dead lyrics ever ("Get the firehouse/'Cause she sets my soul afire!"). Drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley, the ones who took the whole party-every-day thing to heart, who crashed sports cars and threw furniture out of hotel windows, are long gone. You can sometimes catch Simmons and Stanley talking about their old bandmates with distant fondness, as if they were parked in their very own Kiss Kaskets, rather than living quiet lives in New Jersey and San Diego.

Circa 1980, Kiss fired the tenderhearted, insecure Criss, who lost control of his drug use soon after singing the band's biggest hit, "Beth." The gifted but underachieving Frehley quit soon afterward, intending to pursue a solo career – which he did, though with less verve than he pursued the consumption of massive quantities of cocaine, tranquilizers and booze.

Kiss recorded a disco hit and a ludicrous concept album. They stuck two new guys in weird new makeup, before finally unmasking themselves in 1983, beginning a long run as midlevel hair-metal hitmakers (Stanley looked pretty without his makeup; Simmons, not so much).

They had already started work on an inevitable grunge album when, in 1995, Stanley and Simmons reunited with Frehley and Criss for an MTV Unplugged episode. They brought them back, this time as salaried employees, for six years of wildly successful but strife-filled tours – with the makeup back on. These days, Simmons and Stanley use two reliable hired guns instead, replacements who dress up as the old guys' characters, to Frehley's and Criss' considerable distress.

In the land of merch, though, Kiss is always just Kiss. It's the white-faced likenesses of the band's signature characters – Simmons' Demon, Stanley's Starchild, Frehley's Spaceman and Criss' Catman – that matter, not the men behind them. So what if the actual founders of Kiss have written wildly contradictory memoirs insulting one another? Their dolls get along just fine. In here, as Simmons likes to say, Kiss is a brand, not a band. "Kiss is like a cockroach that will outlive you all," he says. "It's bigger, even, than the guys who were in the band." He means himself, too.

On this cloudy afternoon, Simmons, 64, is wearing a tailored black blazer with a bright-red pocket square over a finely made black T-shirt, paired with black leather trousers and cowboy boots. Business on top, rock star on bottom. He's six feet two, with a build that doomed the band's early attempts at performing in drag ("I looked like Phyllis Diller with glitter," he says). As always, his poodle-textured black hair hangs to his shoulders, in a style one comedian suggested was inspired by Planet of the Apes. "This is all me – a lot of spray," he says, fondling the inert fur. "You're welcome to play around with it."

He's sitting in a leather office chair behind his desk, which is stacked with copies of his autobiography and DVDs of his reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels ("More episodes than I Love Lucy!"). Behind him is a giant blowup of his appearance on the cover of a magazine called Private Wealth. "I have a life-equity strategy entity called Cool Springs," says Simmons (it helps rich people obtain mammoth life-insurance policies). "It's difficult for people to understand, because they've been poisoned by the idea that rock stars are stupid. Jagger's pretty smart. Very few others are. If it wasn't for their guitars, they'd be asking, 'Would you like some fries with that, sir?'"

When he's not slinging button-pushing, right-wing lectures (he claims that the Vietnam War was a great idea), Simmons can slip into boastful defensiveness, but there's something puppyish beneath it all, as if he's daring you to like him. "All the credible bands can kiss my ass, with all due respect," he says, apropos of not much, within three minutes of my arrival. "The original forefathers who are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and I don't mean the disco or the hip-hop artists, what the fuck are they thinking? – couldn't spell the word 'credibility' and never thought about it. It was an antithesis of the self-imposed mandate, which is, 'Do what you want to do.' In other words, no rules."

In April, Kiss themselves will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 15 years after they first became eligible. The band members share a distrust of the institution, which represents a rock establishment that long dismissed Kiss as lowbrow purveyors of gimmickry – presumably in contrast to the dignity and reserve of a berouged Little Richard screaming nonsense syllables. "The most important thing," says Simmons, "is that it's validation for fans who were picked on for liking Kiss as opposed to, I don't know, Air Supply."

As Simmons sees it, his band's values have triumphed. Arena concerts of every stripe, from country to hip-hop, have long since embraced Kiss' once-derided stage tricks: pyro, stage elevators, flying musicians. No one knows what "selling out" means anymore: The Grateful Dead have an entire division at Rhino Records devoted to licensing their brand; Bruce Springsteen's online store sells Bruce mugs and tote bags. And to Simmons' delight, Bob Dylan (a hero who once helped Simmons write a song that he released on a solo album called Asshole) just did a Super Bowl ad. "They all come around to our way of doing it," Simmons says. "Cherry Garcia, baby. The hippies lost. They really did."

The Hall of Fame ceremony could have included a heartwarming reunion of the original lineup, but maybe that kind of thing is for hippies. Instead, Simmons and Stanley insisted on playing as the current Kiss, with guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer. "We heard, 'We would like Ace and Peter in makeup,'" says Stanley. "And we said, 'That's not going to happen.' That band is long gone. I question what Ace and Peter would look like in those outfits. We've spent 40 years building something, and to dissipate what we've done, or confuse it by sending mixed messages? What we offered was to play with Tommy and Eric and then bring out Ace and Peter to play with us."

Criss and Frehley were so insulted by that proposition that they threatened to boycott the ceremony. "I won't be disrespected," Criss says, sitting in his New Jersey home. "How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That's an injustice. To the fans, too."

Stanley was affronted by the Hall's refusal to induct any of the musicians who played with Kiss after the original guys (several lead guitarists, plus two drummers: Singer and Criss' original replacement, the late Eric Carr). "I don't need the Hall of Fame," says Stanley. "And if there's not reciprocity, I'm not interested. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, practically every member was inducted, and virtually all 175 members of the Grateful Dead. Rules need to apply to everybody."

Simmons, meanwhile, says that Frehley and Criss "no longer deserve to wear the paint." "The makeup is earned," he adds. "Just being there at the beginning is not enough. You know, quite honestly, my hand to God? I would have preferred the same lineup all these years. But if I fuck up, I should be tossed out. And if you blow it for yourself, it's your fault. You can't blame your band members. 'Oh, look what happened to me. Oh, poor me.' Look at my little violin. I have no sympathy."

Hanging out in his San Diego condo, Frehley says that the resistance to a reunion is all business: After all, the current lineup has a summer tour planned. "The reason they don't want to perform with me and Peter," he says, "is because the last time they did, they had to do a reunion tour. We play three songs, the fans go crazy. They don't want to open up a can of worms."

Frehley and Criss may not get the performance they want, but it looks like they won't have to see anyone else in their makeup. Outmaneuvered, for once, Stanley and Simmons announced in late February that they wouldn't perform at all.

There is no Kiss memorabilia on display in Paul Stanley's house. "I know what I've accomplished," says Stanley, "so I don't need to see it. My friends don't need to see it. And it can also be misleading, because the impression it might give is that you're responsible for more than you actually were." Stanley lives in Beverly Hills just five minutes from Simmons, with three young kids and his wife of eight years, Erin, a former attorney (he also has a 19-year-old son from a previous marriage). But they don't get over to each others' places much. Stanley's house is a tastefully proportioned Mediterranean-style structure, with a guesthouse in back; he owns enough acres around the property that he's considering starting a vineyard.

He's sitting in his immaculate, fussily decorated living room, wearing black jeans and a V-neck tee that exposes impressively muscled biceps, along with a very familiar thatch of chest hair. Even with his makeup off, even at age 62, he looks like the Starchild – you half-expect to blink and find him transformed, ready to rock. On the wall opposite him is a painting of a textured orb, which turns out to be his work. "I've done multiple-seven-figures in sales of art," he says. Sadly, his sedate speaking voice bears no resemblance to his jive-y, throat-shredding aw yeah stage-banter shout, which began as an imitation of Steve Marriott's preacher-man shtick.

Kiss' only enduring relationship is between Simmons and Stanley. "We've always seen each other as brothers," Stanley says. "What we seem to be at odds at is how you treat your brother. Gene's priority, by far, has always been himself. And he's not one to let anyone else's feelings or contributions get in the way."

Stanley comes off as friendly and warm, though he can be chillingly blunt in assessing his old bandmates. But if you believe Criss and Frehley, he is a Dick Cheney-like figure in Kiss, the real power behind a flashier figurehead. "Pauly's the one you've got to watch for," says Criss. "He'll leave this building, and then you'll go, 'Holy fucking shit, he cut my throat.' He really is the leader of Kiss. He's the guy who pulls the strings – trust me."

Stanley doesn't show any evil mastermind tendencies during our day together, as he lifts his daughters in the air ("I love you, little people," he says); closes his eyes while grooving on old Zeppelin tracks blasting from the spectacular stereo he's set up in a guesthouse man cave; shows off a photo where he's flipping pizza dough with impressive professionalism; and tools around Beverly Hills in an SUV filled with kids' DVDs. Each night, he says, he thanks his wife for their life together before they go to sleep. "I know two people who demonize me," he says. "It's funny, because I don't know anyone else who does. I can't possibly be responsible for those guys' situations or failures. Any more than I can make someone else responsible for mine."

Stanley does agree that Simmons' prominence as a band spokesman is misleading. "Gene's makeup is the face of Kiss," he says. "It's the strongest. But the idea that he's the motivating force in the band – that's only believed by people who don't know the band."

Once Frehley was out of Kiss, it was up to Simmons and Stanley to keep the band alive – and Simmons was busy pursuing an acting career and other projects, including managing Liza Minnelli's career. Stanley felt abandoned. "And it wasn't like he was making Gone With the Wind," he says. "Some of it was more like passing wind! But what I resented was just being informed and then working to his plan. It didn't seem fair." He considers Kiss' 1984 album, Animalize, close to a Paul Stanley solo album. "I could deal with that. What I couldn't deal with was that somebody wanted to be paid for not doing their job. If it applied to Ace and Peter, it applies to Gene, too."

He laughs when he hears that Simmons played me some of the very un-Kiss-like ballads he writes for fun. "Gene loves the sound of his own voice," he says. In all those episodes of Simmons' reality show – 167 of them – Stanley never appeared, despite many requests. "Because it wasn't reality," he says, laughing again. "To create a life that isn't accurate and for me to be a part of it, or to help you promote something that I think is questionable?.?.?.?and, quite honestly, waste my time? You're missing out on living a real life if you're filming a fake one."

Presented with a list of Stanley's beefs with him, Simmons simply pleads guilty. "The luckiest break I ever got was meeting Paul Stanley," he says. "Who hated me when he first met me – thought I was arrogant. True! Self-absorbed. True! Guilty as charged. Thinks that he's better than he actually is. Guilty as charged. And yet something in that mixture between us – you know they say that purebred dogs are retarded. It is the differences in things that make something stronger."

When I ask Stanley if the two men have ever sat down to work out their differences, he's genuinely confused. "I'm curious?.?.?.?what's there to work out?" he says. "The fact that we have 40-plus years between us means we worked it out."

Grappling with Simmons' ego was a modest challenge compared to what Stanley faced in his early life. Born Stanley Eisen, he grew up in Queens with distant parents stuck in an unhappy marriage, and a mentally ill sister. He had a congenital deformity called microtia, which left him deaf on his right side, with "nothing more than a stump" where that ear should have been. As he writes in his new memoir, a kindergarten bully called him "Stanley the One-Eared Monster." "The physical manifestations of it were horrendous," he says. "If you wore a shirt that was ridiculous, once people start staring at you, you go and change your shirt. But people with birth defects don't get to change it. So you live with it, and you live with constant scrutiny." He struggled with depression, and at the age of 15, with no assistance from his parents, found himself a psychiatrist who helped him move forward. In the early Eighties, he underwent reconstructive surgeries, with doctors constructing an ear with tissue taken from his rib cage.

As much as for anyone in the band, Kiss' makeup suited Stanley's psychological needs. "Paul invented himself," says Simmons. "He was a pudgy little Jewish kid and had the ear thing going on, so his self-esteem issues were whatever they were. He invented Paul Stanley, the name, his look, patterned after the English version of what a rock star is."

It took Stanley years for his real life to catch up with the illusion he created onstage. For a long while, he'd come home from tours and find himself alone on a couch, a rock star without any place to go. "In the beginning, the Starchild was the Wizard of Oz," he says. "It was a little guy behind the curtain moving the controls. But over time, the two kind of melded together and came to terms with living as one."

Kiss began as a shaggier, far duller band called Wicked Lester, also led by Simmons and Stanley. They had met through a mutual friend, guitarist Stephen Coronel, and soon had written enough strong songs to win a deal with Epic Records. They spent months making a generic, over-produced album ("We sounded like a cross between Three Dog Night and the Doobie Brothers," says Simmons) that everyone hated. The pair quit the band, but not their partnership.

They wanted to do something different. "We knew what we liked," says Simmons. "The English version of American rock & roll. They were better-looking, they played better. It was far cooler than the San Francisco stuff, where the guys onstage looked worse than the people in the audience."

They began writing new songs, liberally borrowing bits of all the rock they loved. Until egos pulled them apart, Stanley and Simmons were a true writing team: King and Goffin in greasepaint, Bizarro-world Becker and Fagen. The sound they were leaning toward was tight and hooky – the first demo version of "Strutter" is pure power pop, not that different from Big Star's "In the Street." "We've always been about verses, choruses, bridges," says Stanley. "It's called a hook for a reason, because it grabs you. And that's my mentality. Give me the Raspberries. Give me Small Faces. Give me Big Star."

Seeking a drummer, they responded to an ad in Rolling Stone's classifieds: "Expd. Rock & roll drummer looking for orig. grp." It was placed by one Peter Criscuola, a 26-year-old Italian-American kid, schooled on jazz and Motown, who was convinced he was running out of time to make it as a rock star. Simmons asked if he would wear a dress onstage. Absolutely, said Criss, who was playing in a cover band at a Mafia-run club in Brooklyn.

Simmons and Stanley had wanted a heavy, Zeppelin-y feel to the rhythm section, but Criss' swinging, behind-the-beat feel kept them lighter on their feet – even if he was so instinctual that he rarely played songs the same way twice.

There were immediate signs of personality differences: Over a slice of pizza at their first meeting, Criss blurted out that he had a nine-inch penis, a piece of information that his colleagues didn't know how to process. "He was a Sopranos guy, a Godfather guy," says Simmons. "You know the Italian alphabet? Fuckin' A, Fuckin' B?"

"They had fired their whole band," Criss says. "That should've let me know something then and there, the first time I met them! But I remember comin' home to my mom, sayin', 'Ma, it ain't my kind of music, but we could become a really great rock & roll band.'"

As with the New York Dolls, there was something prescient in the flayed-to-the-bone style they were developing, its rawness a rejoinder to prog-hippie excess. A teenager named Jeffrey Hyman attended Kiss' first gig, in Queens, and he'd later dub them "the loudest band I'd ever heard." He was soon calling himself Joey Ramone.

They auditioned tons of lead guitarists, including a weird dude whose mom dropped him off at the band's rehearsal space on East 23rd Street: He was wearing one red and one orange sneaker, and had to chug a beer to take the edge off before sitting in with the band. He proceeded to blaze through every lick he knew in the course of one song. His name was Paul Frehley, but they couldn't have two Pauls in the band: He went with Ace, a nickname bestowed by friends impressed with his prowess with women.

Kiss rehearsed for months before playing live, and an impatient Criss threatened to quit. They soon had their sound – and then came up with an image so powerful that it threatened to drown out their music. "I can't take credit for it, and Paul can't," says Simmons. "Nobody can. Certainly not Ace or Peter, who never thought of anything." (This is unfair: For one, it was Frehley who designed the band's logo.)

"We found ourselves going downstairs to the Woolworths," Simmons recalls. "And we buy these tall mirrors. And we bought some clown makeup – and I don't remember thinking anything of it. 'Let's go get mirrors, and let's go get makeup, and let's put makeup on and see what happens.' Just like that. And over the next hour or two, whatever happened, happened. And it wasn't too dissimilar to what you see today."

During my second visit to Simmons' house, Billy Ray Cyrus suddenly shows up. Simmons never met Miley's dad before, but he's always happy to show off his trophy room; the day before, an executive from Bain Capital stopped over. These visits are very rarely social. "Always business," Simmons says. "I hardly have any friends. Friendship is overrated."

Cyrus is jittery, outrageously friendly, all leather, denim and hair, with a thick Southern accent. He is star-struck by Simmons, though the feeling doesn't seem to be mutual. "This is the most overwhelming contribution to society," he says, gazing in awe at the knickknacks. "I stood in line in Huntington, West Virginia, to see you!"

Back by the Kaskets, Cyrus is talking about getting older, and mentions a former hard-partying lifestyle that put "heavy mileage" on him.

"But that was your choice," Simmons says. "You chose to do that, yes?"

"Well," Cyrus says, gearing up to unleash some tragic tales, "I had a rough time growing up."

Simmons cuts him off. "So did I," he says. "My mother was in a Nazi concentration camp. I came to America when I was eight years old, and I didn't speak a word of English."

Cyrus is momentarily struck dumb. "That just adds to how impressive this man's accomplishments are," he says, shaking his head, gazing at a case full of Kiss dolls. "I didn't overcome nothing compared to what you came from."

In any case, Cyrus says, Simmons really has to come and hang out at his house someday.

"Do you have any matzo?" Simmons asks, deadpan. Cyrus smiles uncertainly.

Simmons' mother – who is perfectly lucid at age 87 – saw her mother and grandmother die at a concentration camp, where she was imprisoned from the age of 14. She immigrated to Israel from Hungary when she was 22, marrying a tall, handsome man named Feri Witz, and had Gene soon after. Chaim, they named him, and his mother's love for her only son was a fierce and amazing thing. As he tells it, a neighbor lady once spanked him, and his mother beat her bloody; police took her in, but found her maternal outrage so impressive that they simply let her go.

She had a tumultuous relationship with Simmons' father, who had trouble earning a living and left the family when Gene was only seven years old. Soon afterward, they immigrated to America, and Gene never saw his father again. In America, Simmons was often alone, while his mother worked long hours in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, factory. He endured long hours at the yeshiva where she sent him, and until he learned to speak English, was viciously mocked by other children, even after he renamed himself Gene Klein. He desperately loved American pop culture, escaping into hours of TV, monster movies and endless piles of superhero comic books. After the Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show, he added rock & roll to that list, where it quickly shot to the top.

Simmons shut down his emotions. "I remember the feeling of the little boy, rage-crying, being afraid," he says. "No mother, no father. She's working. Nobody around. Nobody to depend on. Nobody's going to keep me safe or feed me. It's dark, and I'm afraid, and all of that. And from that day on, I don't need anybody." As soon as he was successful, he began having checks sent to his father in Israel, but refused to speak with him or respond to his letters. He wouldn't even see the old man on his deathbed. "Why didn't I let a dying man go in peace? Arrogance. 'I'll show him.' It's a failing.

"You get hurt," he says. "The scars heal, but you can still see them." Sometimes, I say, they look like that – pointing at a picture of the Demon, in full armor. "I created Gene Simmons, because the other me didn't work," he says.

He would use the license afforded him by his Kiss success to have what seems to have been compulsive sex with nearly 5,000 women ("not all of them had two legs"). But he had no serious relationship until 1978, when he started dating his first real girlfriend, who happened to be Cher, fresh from her marriage to Gregg Allman. (Simmons' second girlfriend, immediately afterward, was Cher's then-close friend Diana Ross.) In 1984, Simmons met a blond model named Shannon Tweed at the Playboy Mansion, and finally seemed to grasp the "love" concept other humans spoke of: They've been together ever since, finally marrying in 2011. They have two kids: Nick, 25, and Sophie, 21, who are both pursuing showbiz careers.

The same night, another visitor pops by: Paul Stanley, who's bringing by a copy of his book – he hadn't let Simmons read it, but heard I was asking about it, and figured it was time. Simmons is delighted to see him; it's clearly been a while since he came over. "Do you want a drink?" Simmons asks.

"I gotta go home and give my kids a bath," says Stanley, handing over the book.

Simmons flips to the pictures at the centerfold. "Oh, my God," he says, "look at this photo of Ace and Peter. Where was that?"

"The one satisfaction those two guys should get in life is knowing that every day, we talk about them," says Stanley. "A day can't go by that you don't remember something that is astonishing."

"Or makes no sense!" Simmons adds. "And is completely baffling, or so self-destructive." (There was, for instance, the time Ace gulped a bottle of perfume in a limo, after hearing it contained alcohol. And the time Criss shot the big-screen TV in Simmons' house with a .38 revolver after learning his girlfriend had slept with an actor shown on the screen.)

Catching me alone for a moment on his way out, Stanley shakes his head and gestures toward the office. "This is the world that Gene lives in," he says. "It's unbelievable. And it makes him happy."

Simmons comes over. "Do you want to take some toys for the kids?"

"No, thanks. We have so much of that stuff!"

"Do you want to see the upstairs?" Simmons asks.

"No," Stanley says, smiling.

It seems clear that there's at least one person Simmons wants as a friend. They've been together so long, and even Simmons isn't egotistical enough to think they can tour forever. "Physically, I won't be able to do this into my seventies," he says. He has me lift a spiked leather stage jacket from a nearby chair – it must weigh 25 pounds. "I'm 64 now. Three more tours. Two, if I have a life change of some kind." He and Stanley do, however, talk about replacing themselves with new members and having Kiss continue to the end of time.

As Stanley drives off to his family, Simmons stands for a moment on his porch in the cool of the evening, staring at his yard, where man-made waterfalls flow in the darkness. It's peaceful here, though somewhere inside are a bunch of guns in case he has to shoot intruders. ("If you threaten me, I will take you out," says Simmons. "I welcome anybody who dares go over those gates.")

He takes a breath, and is, for a moment, unusually pensive. "Sometimes," he says, "when I come out and sit out there, just relax between meetings and stuff, Paul's right: I keep thinking about Ace and Peter. 'What are they doing now? Where are they?' It's gotta be close to the end. How do you make any money? How do you pay your bills? I mean, it's gotta be?.?.?. you're in your sixties. Peter's gotta be 67, 68. I think he's 68 now. That's it. You're done."

Ace Frehley, 62, lives with his much-younger fiancee, a singer-songwriter named Rachael Gordon, in an upscale condominium near the airport in San Diego. The elevator opens up directly into his apartment, where the first thing you see is a life-size statue of Ace Frehley in full Spaceman regalia. When the real Frehley emerges, on a rainy afternoon in late February, he's a bit less slender than the statue, with a Vandyke beard he'd have to shave to get the makeup on. Like all of his bandmates, he's still got long hair, and he's wearing aviator shades, a striped button-front shirt open over a black T-shirt, jeans and lizard boots. A sparkly crucifix and a square ace of hearts card hang from his neck; he's got on the usual rocker's skull ring.

Ace is in good spirits. "I'm happier than a pig in shit," he says. "I'm healthy, I'm working, I have a beautiful woman." He takes me into his office, where electric guitars hang on the walls and an enormous monitor sits on his desk, hooked to a Mac he uses to experiment with computer animation and record music. He's working on two new albums, follow-ups to 2009's solid Anomaly, which had been his first in 20 years. "I'm thinking about putting out an animation and scoring it, like a space animation," he says. "But there's not that many hours in the day, and I'm lazy. I'm still lazy, ladies and gentlemen! My problem is that God gave me too many gifts. And from all the drugs and alcohol, I have attention-deficit disorder, so sometimes I just stare at the computer. But that's OK. You know why? Because I'm alive."

Frehley is just back from Las Vegas, where he spent a couple of days recording and gambling. "I lost five grand," he says. "No big deal! Peanuts. I can't drink; I can't take drugs anymore. There's other vices." He's quite a character, Ace Frehley, with a one-of-a-kind squeaky voice and squalling cackle that everyone who's ever met him can imitate. He used to claim to be from another planet. "I was always fascinated with science-fiction stuff," he says. "Who knows? Sometimes I think I'm not from here."

Frehley has been sober for seven years, after a long battle that left his memory a little shaky. He has spoken of falling down a flight of stairs around 2002, further damaging his memory and leaving him briefly worried he wouldn't be able to play guitar again. "Did I?" he says, unleashing the cackle. Forty minutes later, he has a sudden revelation: "Oh, you're right, thank you very much. I did fall down a flight of stairs! It was the scariest thing."

Frehley grew up in a stable middle-class household in the Bronx. His dad was an electrical engineer, and his siblings were all bright, college-bound achievers, trained musicians. He was obsessed with guitar but never took a single lesson. "And maybe that's one of the reasons I approached music differently," he says. "Page, Clapton, Hendrix, Townshend, Beck – all I did was copy their solos and kind of twist them around, and you've got a guitar style."

Of all of Kiss' members, Frehley may have had the most impact on other musicians: He was the first guitar hero for many players of the next generation. "Ace was their firecracker, their dynamite," says Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, who modeled the solo on his band's "Alive" on Frehley's "She" lead (which, in turn, bit from Robby Krieger on the Doors' "Five to One"). Frehley's guitar-hero status quickly created delusions of grandeur, Stanley argues: "Just because you're voted number-one guitar player in Circus magazine over Jimmy Page doesn't mean you really are. Those guys just ate up that kind of nonsense, and believed it."

In any case, Frehley started to self-destruct very early in the band's career. Kiss became superstars with the Alive! double album, the first of the Seventies' blockbuster live albums (though they heavily doctored it in the studio). Afterward, they sought to make their first fully produced studio album – their previous LPs could be thin-sounding and demolike. They brought on Bob Ezrin, the formidable taskmaster behind Alice Cooper's hits. Frehley clashed with Ezrin, and had trouble coping with a certain readily available substance. "There was so much cocaine in the studio with Bob Ezrin, it was insane," Frehley recalls. "And I hadn't even done coke before that. I liked to drink. But once I started doing coke, I really liked to drink more, and longer, without passing out. So I was really off to the races. I made my life difficult because there were so many times I'd walk in with a hangover, or sometimes I wouldn't even show up."

Frehley had moved out to Connecticut by that point, and simply making it to the Manhattan studio was a major hassle. "Musically, he was much more about freestyle," says Ezrin. "He was much less organized and structured than I was asking him to be. And he was feeling pressure and resentment from the other guys. In their eyes he wasn't holding up his end of the bargain, whereas he wasn't sure he'd actually even made the bargain." In an ominous omen for Kiss' future, they ended up bringing in session guitarist Dick Wagner to play a couple of solos.

Not long afterward, the band filmed Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, a campy semi-horror movie that was like an Ed Wood version of A Hard Day's Night. Frehley's attendance was once again intermittent: A stuntman wears Frehley's makeup in one scene, which is all the more obvious because the guy happened to be black. That was the least of the problems. "None of us read the script," says Stanley. "They threw us our lines from off-camera. It was a farce."

Soon, Frehley was threatening to leave the band for a solo career. "We were this heavy rock group," he says, "and now we had little kids with lunchboxes and dolls in the front row, and I had to worry about cursing in the microphone. It became a circus." Their manager, Bill Aucoin, came up with a genius solution: They'd all record solo albums, and release them on the same day. Frehley, whose songwriting had been pent up, George Harrison-style, made the best record, all sleek hard rock. It also had the biggest hit, "New York Groove." (Simmons claims his solo LP – which included a cover of "When You Wish Upon a Star" – outsold Frehley's. "Fuckin' Gene," says Frehley, laughing. "Those fuckin' guys are trying to rewrite history.")

Soon afterward, Frehley voted, "reluctantly," with the rest of the band to remove Criss, whose playing had deteriorated under the influence of pills and coke. Criss took revenge in his book, going into great detail about Frehley's bisexual experimentation in the Seventies, in an apparent effort to freak out the band's less-open-minded fans. Frehley shrugs it off. "When you're high, you'll do anything. So what? It means nothing. I've always been heterosexual. I've lived 10 times as much as people live in one lifetime.?.?.?.?I've done every drug, I've done the ménage à trois and everything else in between. I've tried being bisexual. It's stupid! It's not for me!"

Frehley quit the band in slow motion, as his bandmates tried to persuade him to stay. "I was mixed up," he says. "I believed that if I stayed in that group I would have committed suicide. I'd be driving home from the studio, and I'd want to drive my car into a tree. I mean, I walked out on a $15 million contract. That would be like $100 million today. And my attorney was looking at me like, 'What are you, crazy?'"

Each member of Kiss had designed his own makeup. Criss relinquished the rights to his character when he left (although he's confused about the circumstances), and Frehley maintains that he licensed his. He says he's due to get the rights back soon, a claim Stanley called a "fantasy": "We own it. He sold it." In the meantime, Thayer, who once worked as the band's road manager, wears Frehley's makeup. Says Frehley: "I mean, a supergroup has one of the most dynamic, greatest lead guitarists in the world leave the band, and who did they hire to play lead guitar? Their road manager, who used to be in a Kiss cover band. How insane is that? You can't make this shit up." He is, in general, unimpressed with the band's current state: "Paul's voice is shot." (Thayer, whose Kiss cover band was just a goofy side project while he was in a major-label metal band, responds, "These guys like to say, 'Oh, he was the road manager.' I've been in music for over 30 years.")

The band's current drummer, Eric Singer, points out that Frehley never complained during the portion of the reunion era that had him playing with Singer – in full Catman makeup – instead of Criss. "Well, Peter sold his makeup," Frehley says with a shrug.

Frehley called his autobiography No Regrets, and he needed to interview old friends to recover enough memories to write it. He has since remembered more, and is working on a sequel. "The working title," he jokes, "is Some Regrets." He throws his head back and laughs.

Peter Criss is at home when I ring the doorbell of his big house in Monmouth County, New Jersey, which sits at the edge of a snowy, unshoveled walkway. But he doesn't answer the door. (There's a small sign next to it that reads IN CASE OF FIRE, PLEASE RESCUE CAT) I have to wait a couple of minutes before his wife of 16 years, Gigi, a former model, comes home to let me in.

Criss, who's cozy in his finished basement, wearing tinted glasses, a pale-blue T-shirt, black jeans and white athletic socks, has a policy of not coming to the door. He last did so a few years ago, and he didn't like the results.

"I opened up, and there's these six, like, skinheads from Norway," he recalls, in his thick, old-timey Brooklyn accent. "And they've got tattoos on their heads and black T-shirts. They look right from white supremacy. And they're like, 'We want your autograph! We flew all the way here from Finland.' They could've killed me. We're livin' in a crazy world. After John Lennon got it, and George Harrison gets stabbed in his own house?"

Criss has already died and been revived, at least twice. "I am a cat, and my lives are going out. I'm losing 'em," he says. He died for the first time after his Porsche crashed into a pole (his friend Fritz was driving, though Simmons blames Criss for the accident). And the other? "Oh, God, I can't even remember. Somethin' else stupid." He also survived breast cancer not long ago, and has become an advocate for other men with the disease.

Criss' basement could pass for the rec room of a prosperous New Jersey dentist who loves Kiss and dabbles in drums: There's a gleaming kit in the corner, along with guitars and amps for visiting players, plus a relatively modest collection of Kiss memorabilia. "I've been to those guys' houses," says Criss, settling in his easy chair, "and I get a feeling where I don't even know what to touch or where to sit. I don't like to live in a showplace."

Somewhere upstairs is Criss' most prized showbiz achievement, a People's Choice Award for "Beth." Criss co-wrote the song with an old bandmate, the late Stan Penridge, and Ezrin then heavily tweaked and arranged it for the Destroyer sessions. Criss is desperately proud of the song, but Stanley claims the drummer had little to do with its creation. "Peter can't write a song, because Peter doesn't play an instrument," Stanley argues. "Penridge came up with [sings], 'Beth, I hear you calling.?.?.?.' Peter had nothing to do with it. Because if you write one hit song, you should be able to write two. That's the reality. Devastating? It's the truth. It was a lifeline that Peter hung on to validate himself, but it wasn't based on reality."

"I don't think that I can break this tie," says Ezrin, who was originally presented with a song called "Beck" that was less sympathetic to the woman in the lyrics. "I wasn't there when he was working with that co-writer."

"God forbid you get that credit," says Gigi, who sits by Criss' side during the interview, occasionally amplifying or correcting his answers. ("You said that already!") "Paul is so full of fucking shit," says Criss, "'cause as a lead singer of the band he never got to write the hit. That's his problem. They hated the fact that I wrote a hit record and won a People's Choice."

Criss grew up in tough parts of Brooklyn, where his drumming – first inspired by Gene Krupa's playing on "Sing Sing Sing" – was the only thing that saved him from a life of crime: He had joined a gang called the Young Lords, and his book is full of Mean Streets-worthy adventures. "I think I'm the first drummer, next to Mitch Mitchell and Charlie Watts, that incorporated jazz fills in rock & roll. There's not many of us."

Criss was intimidated by Simmons and Stanley's drive and book smarts, and they didn't go out of their way to make him feel comfortable. "If you're going to treat me like I'm a piece of dirt, then I'm going to be mean," he says. "And I would have to pull that out of my bag of tricks 'cause I didn't go to college. I didn't have the knowledge they had. And they would use that constantly, use words I didn't understand. I'm a kid from Brooklyn. I was not the smartest bulb in the band. They would literally embarrass me in front of people. You can only take so much of that after a while."

He doesn't deny that his playing was slipping under the influence of drugs, but he feels the band could have given him more chances. But like Frehley, what really kills him is that someone else is bringing the Catman to life. "I'm not upset that they got the bigger barrel of the monies and the bigger homes and the bigger cars and the bigger watches," he says. "But I'm pissed at myself that my makeup slipped through my hands. That's my cross that I bear."

On some tours, Singer has even sung a version of "Beth," which breaks Criss' heart. "How much more can you slap me?" he says. "How hard do you want to hit me? It's my baby – no one sings it like me. And I said to Gigi, 'You know what, it's like the Lone Ranger: You can take his mask off and put it on another guy, but it'll never be Clayton Moore.'"

Unlike Frehley, Criss remained relatively sober for the reunion years. "I wanted to prove to the fans that I was cool, I was better, I wasn't on drugs anymore, I was a new man." But they both bristled at their salaried status, and Criss was horrified when Frehley drunkenly confessed that the guitarist was making $10,000 more per night. Criss took to drawing a single tear on his cat makeup as the tours wound down.

Stanley and Simmons point out that Criss made millions of dollars, but he says that's not the point. "Come on, simple as this: Look at their houses; look at my house. I was being treated like a freakin' slob. They treated my wife like a whore."

Despite it all, he dearly wishes they could all get it together for one more performance. "I just wish there wasn't so much bad blood," he says. "I said to the Hall of Fame, 'Look, I don't own the makeup anymore, but if they would lend it to me, I would be happy to put it on.'"

On my way out, Criss shows off his collection of Kiss stuff. There's an amazing photo of the band in full makeup backstage with all of their parents in the 1970s; there are long rows of gold and platinum records, plus a plaque commemorating 500,000 8-tracks sold of Alive! He picks up a small, framed black-and-white promo shot of the band, just four young rock & roll superheroes snarling companionably together for the camera. "That's a great shot of us," he says, and sighs. "What can I say? I still love my band."

This story is from the April 10th, 2014 issue of Rolling Stone.

Kiss and Tell: Comparing the Original Band Members' Memoirs

There are two sides to every story. Unless, of course, you're talking about Kiss, in which there are now four. With the April 8th publication of Paul Stanley's Face the Music: A Life Exposed, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees will have seen each of its original members publish a tell-all memoir. Paul's book follows in the platformed footsteps of Gene Simmons' Kiss and Make-Up (2001), Ace Frehley's No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir (2011) and Peter Criss's Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss (2012). But in certain instances, the bandmembers appear to have some diverging memories of key moments in the group's history. We hit the books to try and figure what happened.


Ace: "Being excited about my new band, I roughed out a sketch of the original Kiss logo in no time at all. It wasn't a whole lot different than the logo as it appears today. My original concept featured the twin S's in jagged detail, like lightning bolts, and a small dot in the shape of a diamond over the letter 'i.' I then transferred the logo to a button using a felt-tip pen and presented it to the group . . . Everyone loved it. Paul was a trained artist, so when things got really serious he polished my design, making everything nice and neat."

Paul: "[Ace] was a pretty decent artist. I took his sketch and used it as the basis for a series of Kiss logos I designed, ultimately arriving at the one that has adorned all things Kiss for the past forty years. I vividly remember sitting on my parents' sofa while they were out of town and drawing up the final version on thick white stock using a straightedge and a drafting pen . . . Ace's concept was closer to the Nazi SS. I certainly suspected that was his inspiration, and the fact that a few years later he bought Nazi memorabilia on our first tour confirmed this in my mind."

Gene: "I remember very clearly when our picture went up on the outside of the club [the band was playing], Ace took a marker and wrote our new name right on the picture. The way he drew it was pretty crude, but it resembled our logo, with the two S's like lightning bolts at the end of the word."

Peter: "Ace is a great artist, and his Kiss rendition, with the last two letters as lightning bolts, was totally bitching. And contrary to some people's opinions (and later the opinion of the government of Germany), the Ss didn't symbolize the Nazi SS . . . Then Paul refined the logo, made the K a little straighter, and we had a name and a logo."


Gene: "There have always been rumors that the Alive! record was substantially reworked in the studio. It's not true. We did touch up the vocal parts and fix some of the guitar solos, but we didn't have the time or money to completely rework the recordings."

Ace: "We all went into Electric Lady, and for the better part of three weeks we tinkered and tweaked . . . and sometimes completely overdubbed songs. None of us got off the hook completely. There were times when [producer] Eddie [Kramer] was unhappy with Paul's singing or Gene's singing . . . As the studio sessions went on we became increasingly flexible in terms of what we considered to be acceptable doctoring."

Peter: "In the end we wound up keeping only my drum tracks, my vocals, and Paul's between-song raps. Everything else was re-created in the studio."

Paul: "Yes, we enhanced it. Not to hide anything, not to fool anyone. But who wanted to hear a mistake repeated endlessly? Who wanted to hear an out-of-tune guitar? For what? Authenticity?"


Paul: "When I heard 'I Was Made for Lovin' You' being played back in the studio, I was blown away. Yeah, it wasn’t 'Detroit Rock City' or 'Love Gun,' but it was undeniable . . . It was universal, something that grabbed you the first time you heard it."

Gene: "'I Was Made for Lovin' You' had a certain driving force and a catchy melody. I didn't really see it."

Peter: "The cruelest blow of all was Paul’s attempt to write a contemporary hit for Dynasty. He came up with 'I Was Made for Lovin' You,' Kiss's first out-and-out disco track. What little credibility we had left was flushed down the toilet when we did that."

Ace: "Yeah, it became a hit single and I could appreciate the polish behind it, but I never liked the song and frankly hated playing it live — hammering out that chucka-chucka-chucka chord for five minutes straight was not only monotonous, but often gave me a cramp in my wrist."


Gene: "We started playing, and [Criss] was worse than ever. So we had a meeting afterward, and we said, 'Peter is unhealthy. He's going to kill himself. He's got to leave the band and get some help.' So, after much deliberation, everybody, including Ace, voted him out of the band."

Ace: "I wanted to give [Criss] another chance, but my hands were tied. I was outvoted, and the decision was made to move forward without him, so I accepted the decision reluctantly."

Paul: "Ace can say whatever he wants now, but he voted to fire Peter without any prodding or strong-arming. It's a tribute to Ace that he did."

Peter: "I was about to eat crow and ask to come back to the band. 'Yup,' they said. 'Well, I fucking quit!' I yelled. Now I was really hurt. I looked over at Ace, and he couldn't look me in the face. Paul and Gene actually looked like they were gloating. I was furious. They got up to leave, and Ace was the last to exit. 'Hey, Cat, I'm not happy about this, man, but you were out of control,' Ace said."

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 68 Personal Memories of Bill Aucoin: Listen - Episode 68, March 25, 2014. We are joined Bill Aucoin's partner Roman Fernandez. Roman shares his personal stories and memories of Bill. An insightful and touching look into the life of one of the men responsible for KISS' success. You get a glimpse into who Bill Aucoin is as person. We also discuss Peter Criss' appearance on That Metal Show and the upcoming KISS Vinyl Box Set release.

KISS And EPIC RIGHTS Partner To Launch All-New Global Merchandise, Branding And Digital Media Program

Epic Rights, a full-service, global branding, merchandising and rights management company, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year merchandise, licensing, e-commerce and digital media agreement with legendary rock band KISS.

Epic Rights is joining forces with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons to build the KISS global franchise in a highly integrated manner through a combination of touring, music sales, merchandise, licensing, social media and promotional partnerships.

"Epic Rights Founder and CEO Dell Furano has worked with us for over 25 years, and he is the best in the business," said Stanley and Simmons in a joint statement. "We are confident that Dell and his Epic Rights team will lead us to the Promised Land."

"Paul and Gene are definitely the dream team, and it's very exciting to continue to work with them," added Furano. "The bottom line is that we are looking to grow the KISS brand and generate substantially increased revenue. Loyal KISS fans are now beginning to introduce their teens to the band, spawning an entire new generation of ardent KISS lovers."

Doc McGhee, KISS' longtime manager commented, "KISS is entering the most prolific period of their career with their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; the release of Paul Stanley's autobiography by HarperCollins; the L.A. KISS Arena Football team's inaugural season; the Jon Varvatos 'Dressed To Kill' ad campaign; the rapidly growing Rock & Brews restaurant chain and the recently announced three-month summer tour with DEF LEPPARD."

KISS' attorney for more than two decades, William Randolph, commented, "KISS long ago evolved from a band to a brand, and Dell Furano is the right man at the right time to move KISS to new heights." Randolph added, "Paul's book, 'Face The Music', is not a typical autobiography. It is a page turner that will grab your attention and keep you up late at night."

In addition to CEO Dell Furano, long known as an innovative leader in the music and entertainment merchandising and licensing industry, Epic Rights' executive team is also comprised of President and COO Phil Cussen, a highly accomplished senior financial and operations executive with over 30 years of experience in the music industry; EVP of Brand Development Brad Auerbach, an expert in global rights acquisition and brand extension marketing.

In addition to full branding, marketing and licensing services, Epic Rights will provide full-service music merchandising, including concert merchandise, retail/licensing, VIP ticketing, fan experiences as well as managing music artists' official websites, online shops and social media.

Kiss Finally Get the Cover of Rolling Stone

( (Cover) After 40 years, the original members of Kiss make their first appearance on Rolling Stone's cover

You wanted the best? It took a while, but you got the best: Forty years after the release of their debut album, Kiss have finally made the cover of Rolling Stone. Marking the band's upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the cover image is a classic 1975 photo of the band's original lineup: Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, plus Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, who were both gone from the band by the early Eighties.

The cover story, by Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt, tells the sad, hilarious and triumphant story of one of the biggest rock bands ever, taking an in-depth look at the founding members' lives and careers. Hiatt hung out with all four original members in their homes (in San Diego, Beverly Hills and Monmouth County, New Jersey) where they shared fond memories and, inevitably, some intense backbiting. "I keep thinking about Ace and Peter," Simmons admits. “"What are they doing now? Where are they?’ It’s gotta be close to the end. How do you make any money? How do you pay your bills?"

Even Stanley and Simmons have had their differences. "We've always seen each other as brothers," says Stanley. "What we seem to be at odds at is how you treat your brother. Gene’s priority, by far, has always been himself. And he’s not one to let anyone else’s feelings or contributions get in the way."

They also explain precisely why they won't be reuniting for a performance at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Stanley and Simmons offered to allow the former members to jam with Kiss' current lineup, featuring guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, but Ace and Peter found that proposition deeply insulting. "I won’t be disrespected," Criss says. "How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to go sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That’s an injustice. To the fans, too."

Simmons counters that Frehley and Criss "no longer deserve to wear the paint." "The makeup is earned," he adds."Just being there at the beginning is not enough… And if you blow it for yourself, it's your fault. You can’t blame your band members. 'Oh, look what happened to me. Oh, poor me.' Look at my little violin. I have no sympathy."

Frehley suggests another reason for the current members' reluctance: "The reason they don’t want to perform with me and Peter is because the last time they did, they had to do a reunion tour. We play three songs, the fans go crazy. They don't want to open up a can of worms." Frehley, meanwhile, says he licensed – rather than sold ­– the rights to his Spaceman makeup to the band, and suggests that he’s due to get the rights back sometime soon.

Also in the story, Simmons says his touring days are almost done. "I’m 64 now," he says. "Three more tours. Two, if I have a life change of some kind."

For much more on Kiss, check out the cover story, on sale Friday, March 28th — and online tomorrow, March 26th.

March edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded LIVE on Friday, March 21!

(Listen) KISS ARMY, listen to the March edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded LIVE on Friday, March 21!

MATT PORTER is joined by:

• The starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISS IT and KISStory!
• ALANA MAUGER from The Grunge Garage
• KISS talk, KISS tunes and MORE!

The next LIVE show is Friday, April 18 Streamed live via

Former KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK Interviewed On 'Talking Metal' Podcast

(Listen) On the latest episode of the "Talking Metal" podcast (web site), former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick reveals that his three solo albums will soon be released on iTunes for the first time. He also mentions that the iTunes release of the "BK3" album will have two new bonus tracks. Other interview topics include GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, Michael Bolton, JUDAS PRIEST, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Mark St. John, Paul Stanley, Vinnie Vincent, Eric Carr, Ace Frehley and Bruce's recent wedding.

KENNY KERNER talks KISS (March 19th 2014)

(Listen) Producer KENNY KERNER sat down with rock journalist Mitch Lafon to discuss his involvement in KISS first two albums: 'KISS' & 'Hotter Than Hell'. The albums both released 40 years ago in 1974 were co-produced by Kerner and Richie Wise. During the interview Kerner reminisces about KISS' showcase concert at New York City's Le Tang's Ballet Studio in 1973, picking KISS' demo tape out of a box left outside Neil Bogart's office, working on KISS' first and second album, working with Richie Wise, managing, music business advice, his impressions of all the members of KISS as well as Neil Bogart, Sean Delaney and his particular fondness for longtime KISS manager, Bill Aucoin. Kerner also offers his opinion as to why the first two KISS albums weren't commercial successes and why he was fired and thus prevented from being involved in KISS' third album, 'Dressed To Kill'. This one hour interview explores in depth two of American rock's most iconic albums from one of rock's most iconic bands, KISS. Kenny also talks about his current venture 'The Cool School - For Music Business Studies'

Gene Simmons 1980 UNMASKED interview

(Listen) In June 1980, at age 11, rock journalist (or kid at the time) MITCH LAFON sat down with KISS' GENE SIMMONS to discuss the following topics 'Why does KISS wear make-up?' and what were 'Gene's thoughts on bootleggers'. However, the interview starts off with Marianne Stenbaek (Mitch's mom) speaking with Gene about KISS' 'new' album UNMASKED, their new style in music and concert presentation, and was KISS more about the show than the music. Gene, for his part, brings up The KISS World travelling amusement park, The KISS Unmasked World Tour, The 'possibility' of a Peter Criss solo album and answers the question on everybody's mind back in those days - why did Peter Criss leave?

The interview took place at AUCOIN management in New York City (June 1980) and Gene was NOT wearing make-up. Interestingly, Peter had left the band, but Eric Carr had not been publicly named as his replacement yet. Also, the July 25th 1980 'Palladium' show in NYC was more than a month away. In this video, I have included a picture of the signed PROMO vinyl album that Gene handed my mom (and signed to her) as well as my ticket to the July 25th 1980 PALLADIUM show.

Dick Wagner talks KISS, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and more

Dick Wagner discusses (with Mitch Lafon) his time with Alice Cooper, KISS, Lou Reed as well as his new charity single, If I Had the Time (I Could Change the World), for St Jude Children's Research Hospital - (recorded on Nov 12th 2013): Watch.

KISS: Cadillac Michigan 1975

In October 1975, Cadillac High School (in Cadillac, Michigan) had KISS play at their homecoming. Mitch Lafon chats with Jim Neff - the person responsible for making it all happen. This Interview was recorded on April 3rd 2013: Listen.

In Studio with drummer Allan Schwartzberg

In Studio with drummer Allan Schwartzberg: Part 1, Part 2.

This Week's Episode of VH1 Classic's "THAT METAL SHOW" Rock N' Rolls All Night with Peter Criss

( VH1 Classic’s centerpiece in original programming “That Metal Show” returns this week with their biggest episode of the current season to date. In the midst of the controversy around Kiss not allowing two of it’s original members to perform on stage during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 10th, Kiss original drummer Peter Criss shares how he really feels about this matter with hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine. Peter also recounts the joyful early days of Kiss, his battle and triumph over male breast cancer, and the joy he felt when playing with Ace Frehley again at host Eddie Trunk’s recent 30-years –in-radio celebration. In “Put It On The Table,” Peter answers which band he wishes he could be in if it wasn’t Kiss, the song he wishes he wrote, and the best concert he ever attended. The episode ends with Criss addressing the Kiss Army telling them how sad he is that he won’t be able to play for them one more time and, as he so eloquently says to Paul and Gene, “What’s wrong with giving ten minutes of your time, for the forty years that you’ve given us?” Episode ten of “That Metal Show” airs this Saturday, March 22nd at 11:00PM ET/PT.

PETER CRISS TO KISS: “What’s wrong with giving ten minutes of your time, for the forty years that you’ve given us?”

Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy drops by the show to take on the coveted guest musician job. Christy showcases his drumming skills while performing in front of his childhood hero, Criss. At one point Richard thanks Peter saying that if it wasn’t for Peter and Kiss, Richard would not be playing drums today. Christy also lets us know that he is currently in the studio working on the new Charred Walls of the Damned album, which will be out some time next year.

Episode ten also features the usual fan-favorite segments: The “TMS Top 5” tackles the Top 5 Kiss Songs with all 3 hosts only agreeing on one song, the epic “Black Diamond.” Peter then adds a few of his own that were missed. This week’s “Throwdown” pits the Kiss classic live albums Alive against Alive II. The decision is unanimous as the original Alive wins the title. This week’s “Stump The Trunk” finds Eddie battling to regain his dominance over the audience questions with the end result being lots of camera time for everyone’s favorite Miss Box of Junk, Jennifer.

Since the January 18th premiere of Season 13, “That Metal Show” continues to bring their audience the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. With only two original episodes left in Season 13, the upcoming episodes include super-group The Winery Dogs (Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, Richie Kotzen), past great TMS guest Vinnie Paul (formerly of Pantera), and guitar genius Joe Satriani. The guest musician for the final two episodes of the season will be guitar virtuoso, Yngwie Malmsteen.

This season marks some monumental changes for the show as it has returned to New York City for Season 13. Previously the show was taped over several days over a course of a week at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. The new season is shot at Metropolis Studios on Tuesday nights for broadcast that Saturday. Season 13 also consists of 12 new episodes making it the longest season in the series history. Fans can also catch the complete season 12 and brand new exclusive bonus clips at and on the new VH1 app. New episodes of season 13 launch on the web and in the app every Sunday morning following the show’s on-air premiere.

Author & Musician Gordon Gebert discusses Ace Frehley

(Listen) Author and musician, Gordon Gebert, sat down (on Feb. 6th 2014) with rock reporter, Mitch Lafon, to discuss his tell all books on original KISS Space Man, Ace Frehley. Having been a source of great debate and controversy, Gebert addresses many of the fans' concerns over his KISS & TELL and KISS & TELL MORE books. Gordon also discusses the KISS & TELL (Special Deluxe Edition) and ends the conversation with a special message for Ace.

GENE SIMMONS Doesn't Know Who Is Suing KISS Over ERIC CARR's Royalties

During a brand new interview with, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked about a lawsuit for unpaid royalties that was filed against the band by a group claiming to be late KISS drummer Eric Carr's heirs.

Carr's sister issued a public letter to KISS frontman Paul Stanley thanking him for coming forward and denouncing the lawsuit and Stanley immediately tweeted a response calling the people behind the suit incredulous and vowing to get to the bottom of it.

Asked who the guys are that are suing KISS, Simmons told "We don't know, we have no idea, our lawyers are trying to find out who these people are. The Caravello family — Eric Carr's family — released a statement along with us, saying we have no idea who these people are, these are lies and we intend to find out who they are, and why they're saying these things. For one thing, it's slanderous. They're saying that Eric hated being in the band. What? He was the sweetest guy in the world. Eric and the family and the fans have been slapped in the face by these people and we intend to make sure that there's justice."

Carr — best known to fans as "The Fox" — replaced Peter Criss behind the drums on the road in 1980, and was first heard on the band's 1981 concept album, "Music From 'The Elder'". Illness forced Carr to step down from the band in 1990, and he died at age 41 from complications from a rare form of heart cancer on November 24, 1991 — the same day as Freddie Mercury.

SLASH Says It's 'None Of His Business' Which Members Of KISS Get Inducted Into ROCK HALL

During an appearance at this year's South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, legendary guitarist Slash, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012 as a member of GUNS N' ROSES, was asked by Artisan News about the Rock Hall's decision to induct only the original KISS lineup and not honor KISS' longtime guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.

"It's one of those things where, having been in that sort of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame situation, where original members and not original members, and this and that and the other… They're gonna do what they wanna do and it's none of my business to have a real public opinion about it," Slash said (see video). "I mean, I'd like to see the original [KISS] guys there."

KISS frontman Paul Stanley told The Pulse Of Radio that for the April 10 induction ceremonies in Brooklyn, the Rock Hall was unbending in its decision to ignore the other members of KISS that joined following Peter Criss and Ace Frehley's respective departures.

"Bringing up the idea of inducting other members other than the original four, which is a very valid argument considering that there are people that played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important to the continuation of this band," he said. "The fact that when this was brought up, it was shut down as a non-starter. I don't appreciate that as somebody who is a self-appointed expert."

Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have Thayer and Singer dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas (designs owned by Simmons and Stanley).

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10 at Barclays Center.

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

Details Of Vinyl Remasters, '40' Compilation, 'Kissteria' Box Set Revealed

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of rock and roll giants KISS and in true KISS fashion, the band plan to make 2014 the biggest and loudest, non-stop rock and roll party of the century.

Rock legends KISS were the first signing to Neil Bogart's newly formed Casablanca Records label after he saw and recognized their talent and showmanship during their spectacular performance at a showcase concert at New York City's Le Tang's Ballet Studio in 1973, offering them a contract on the spot. Four decades after releasing their self-titled, major label debut, KISS will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April, proof of the unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" as they rallied together to have the band included in this year's induction ceremony.

Having earned 28 U.S. gold albums along with 40 million U.S. and 100 million in world sales, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, with longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are stronger than ever with a legacy that continues to grow, generation after generation. Their last album, "Monster", proved that they are still at the top of their game with impressive sales and topping the charts worldwide debuting at No. 3 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart and Top 10 in twenty other countries.

To celebrate their incredible 40-year recording career and their upcoming, long-overdue induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will kick off the celebration on April 1, 2014 with the first batch of 10 individual KISS remastered albums on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl with 18 more vinyl titles coming through the first half of 2014. In May, fans can look forward to a 2-CD "Kiss 40" compilation with one track from every major album release, live selections and an unreleased demo from 1977. And finally, starting today, the definitive KISS vinyl box set, "Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case", featuring 34 KISS LPs — including titles never before issued on vinyl, six exclusive albums to the box set and a plethora of collectibles only available in "Kissteria" will be available exclusively for D2C pre-order at Go to

Millions of people around the world originally discovered KISS when they brought home an album and put it on their turntable for the first time. Now, those original KISS albums will be available remastered and on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl prior to KISS' induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

A new compilation, "Kiss 40", a 2-CD set featuring forty tracks spanning KISS' incredible forty-year recording career. This set includes one track from every major album release (studio, "Alive" and hits collections) plus three live selections from the 2000 era and features the band's biggest songs including rock and roll anthems such as "Detroit Rock City", "Love Gun", "Beth", "Rock And Roll All Nite", "Psycho Circus", "Forever", "I Was Made For Lovin' You", "Lick It Up", "Heaven's On Fire" and "Hell Or Hallelujah". First time commercial CD release live recordings of "Deuce" (from 2004 tour), "Cold Gin" (from 2009 "Alive 35" tour), "Crazy Crazy Nights" (from 2010 "Sonic Boom Over Europe" tour) and the previously unreleased 1977 demo of "Reputation" round out the set for the KISS Army.

And for a ultimate KISS collector, with only 1000 copies being produced worldwide, "Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case" is a highly-collectible vinyl road case box set featuring 34 KISS LPs including nineteen studio albums, all five of the "Alive" releases, the four original KISS solo albums, each with exact replicas of the original inserts, plus six exclusive vinyl titles that will not be made available individually. All albums are pressed onto audiophile 180-gram vinyl and are newly remastered from the ultra-high definition Direct Stream Digital transfers from original analog tapes to bring out maximum fidelity of these iconic albums.

Exclusive "Kissteria" extras include eleven 11"x17" archival posters, including the band's very first promo poster; a KISS vinyl cleaning cloth; a KISS turntable mat; a set of KISS dominoes; four band lithographs highlighting four decades of the band; and a certificate of authenticity displaying the limited edition number for each of the individual box sets.

Forty years ago KISS released their eponymous debut album, which would propel the band to the top of the rock and roll hierarchy where they have reigned for the past four decades making the KISS legacy a global brand with more than 3,000 licensed merchandise products, including a recent partnership with the Arena Football League as owners of the Anaheim-based expansion team LA KISS.

KISS Vinyl

Release date: April 1, 2014
* Alive!
* Animalize
* Destroyer
* Dressed To Kill
* Dynasty
* Hotter Than Hell
* Lick It Up
* Revenge
* Unmasked

Release date: May 6, 2014
* Asylum
* Creatures Of The Night
* Love Gun
* MTV Unplugged
* Psycho Circus *

Release date: May 27, 2014
* Rock And Roll Over
* Alive III
* Music From The Elder (first vinyl release in concept album sequence)
* Crazy Nights
* Hot In The Shade
* Alive: The Millennium Concert *
* Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions *

Release date: June 24, 2014
* Alive II
* Ace Frehley
* Gene Simmons
* Peter Criss
* Paul Stanley

* First Time on Vinyl

"Kiss 40"

Unless indicated, all selections are album versions

CD 1
01. Nothin To Lose
02. Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
03. C'mon and Love Me
04. Rock And Roll All Nite (Live)
05. God Of Thunder (Demo)
06. Beth
07. Hard Luck Woman
08. Reputation (Demo) (previously unreleased)
09. Christine Sixteen
10. Shout It Out Loud (Live)
11. Strutter '78
12. You Matter To Me (Peter Criss)
13. Radioactive (Gene Simmons)
14. New York Groove (Ace Frehley)
15. Hold Me, Touch Me (Paul Stanley)
16. I Was Made For Lovin' You (Single Edit)
17. Shandi
18. A World Without Heroes
19. I Love It Loud
20. Down On Your Knees
21. Lick It Up
22. Heaven's On Fire

CD 2

01. Tears Are Falling
02. Reason To Live
03. Let's Put The X In Sex
04. Forever (Remix)
05. God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II
06. Unholy (Live)
07. Do You Love Me? (MTV Unplugged)
08. Room Service (Live)
09. Jungle (Radio Edit)
10. Psycho Circus
11. Nothing Can Keep Me From You
12. Detroit Rock City (Live)
13. Deuce (Live 2004) (previously unreleased commercially)
14. Firehouse (Live - 1999/2000)
15. Modern Day Delilah
16. Cold Gin (Live 2009) (previously unreleased commercially)
17. Crazy Crazy Nights (Live 2010) (previously unreleased commercially)
18. Hell Or Hallelujah

"Kissteria - The Vinyl Road Case"

Custom ANVIL Road Case to house 34 KISS LPs and a plethora of extras.

* Hotter Than Hell
* Dressed To Kill - Includes Embossed Front & Back Jacket Covers
* Alive! - Includes 8 Page Color Booklet
* Destroyer
* Rock And Roll Over - Includes Sticker Sheet
* Love Gun - Includes Paper Gun with "Bang" Sheet
* Alive II - Includes Tattoo Sheet & 8 Page Color Booklet
* Ace Frehley (Solo Album) - Includes "Ace" Interlocking Poster
* Gene Simmons (Solo Album) - Includes "Gene" Interlocking Poster
* Peter Criss (Solo Album) - Includes "Peter" Interlocking Poster
* Paul Stanley (Solo Album) - Includes "Paul" Interlocking Poster
* Dynasty - 22" x 33" Poster
* Unmasked - 22" x 33" Poster
* Music From The Elder - First Vinyl Release in Concept Album Sequence
* Creatures Of The Night
* Lick It Up
* Animalize
* Asylum
* Crazy Nights
* Hot In The Shade
* Revenge
* Alive III
* MTV Unplugged - Includes 24" x 24" Poster
* Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions - First Vinyl Pressing Ever
* Psycho Circus - First Vinyl Pressing Ever will include a 12"x12" Lenticular Cover
* Alive: The Millennium Collection - First Vinyl Pressing Ever
* Monster

Exclusive vinyl titles for the Road Case:

* Double Platinum - Includes Embossed front & back jacket covers + Embossed platinum award insert
* Greatest Kiss - Includes First Vinyl Pressing Ever. Will combine all exclusive tracks used worldwide into one package
* Killers - Includes First U.S. Release Ever. Will combine both Japan and Australia track lists into one package
* You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best
* Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
* Kiss Symphony: Alive IV

Exclusive Bonus Items for Vinyl Box:

* Eleven 11"x17" Archival Posters in a poster tube:
* First Band Promo Poster
* Hotel Diplomat Concert Poster
* "Asylum" Promo Poster
* "Lick It Up" Promo Poster
* KISS 1984 Promo Poster
* "Alive III" Promo Poster
* "You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best" Promo Poster
* "Smashes, Thrashes & Hits" Promo Poster
* "MTV Unplugged" Promo Poster
* Live 1996 Tour Poster
* "Psycho Circus" Promo Poster
* KISS Vinyl Cleaning Cloth
* KISS Turntable Mat
* KISS Dominoes
* Four Band Photo Lithographs
* Certificate of Authenticity with Exclusive Box Number

Interview: Ace Frehley Talks Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

( As reported earlier, even though KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, the band will not perform at the ceremony in any form. Recently, Revolver‘s Jon Wiederhorn spoke to former KISS guitarist-vocalist Ace Frehley about the nomination and controversy behind it.

REVOLVER What happened, from your perspective, in regards to a possible KISS reunion performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction?

ACE FREHLEY Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted. Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul and Gene decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer]. And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, “Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.” It was shot down, but I think I led the fans to believe there was going to be a reunion. With tickets going on sale the following Monday, I decided to go on Ed Trunk’s show a couple weeks back when I was in Las Vegas recording. I just wanted to let the fans know that last I heard, Paul and Gene decided not to perform with me and Peter [Criss] and opted to perform with Tommy and Eric. It got a lot of people pissed off, but I had to lay it out because I didn’t want fans buying tickets for an event they weren’t going to see. Last I heard, there’s going to be no performance. There has been a lot of negotiating behind closed doors and I’m sworn to secrecy. But last I heard, there’s just going to be no performance. I don’t know what the reason is. And at this point, I don’t care because it was renting so much space in my head, it was affecting my creativity and finishing up my record.

You got onstage with Peter at Eddie Trunk’s birthday party. That was the first time you had played with him in 13 years. Did you see that as a litmus test for future performances together?

Since me and Peter have gone our own ways, we haven’t made any plans to tour together in the future. But it was just a special event for Ed, and both myself and Peter are good friends with Eddie Trunk. He has always supported our careers with KISS and without KISS. So it was something I wanted to do for Ed and it was a lot of fun. I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don’t have it anymore, which is a load of crap. We proved otherwise at Eddie’s party, but aside from that, it’s very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don’t have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is–it’s half a KISS cover band.

But the event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members. Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent–yeah, why not.

Why didn’t the Hall of Fame nominate everyone who has been in the band? Paul had some complaints about that earlier, saying everyone who has ever played on a Red Hot Chili Peppers record has been nominated, why not everyone who has ever played with KISS?

I don’t want to take any potshots at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a cool organization. But it is what it is. Obviously, Paul brought out the inconsistencies. They bend their own rules. I don’t want to get political though because I hate politics. I’ve always said to keep politics and music separate.


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to attempt to restore its questionable credibility and glimpses behind the facade with nonsense and half truths.

The truth is Joel Peresman and the rest of the decision makers refused to consider the induction of ANY former KISS members and specifically the late Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick who were both in the band through multi platinum albums and worldwide tours and DIDN'T wear makeup.

There is no getting around the reality that the Hall of Fame's favoritism and preferential treatment towards artists they like goes as far as ASKING the Grateful Dead how many members THEY wanted the hall to induct and following their directive while also including a songwriter who was never in the actual band.

Let's just accept the truth as it is and move on. - Paul Stanley

Rock Hall Defends Curbing Kiss: New Guys 'Took On Personas Created by Ace and Peter'

( With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony looming closer, neither Kiss nor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation seem ready to relax the entrenched positions that led to the group's decision not to perform April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Kiss, according to frontman Paul Stanley, is upset that the Rock Hall plans to induct only the group's founding lineup and tells Billboard that discussions about subsequent members "was shut down as a non-starter."

Nevertheless, Stanley says Kiss feels that honoring the other six musicians who have played in the band is "a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band. And clearly when you've got a busload of Grateful Dead (members) who have been inducted and guys in the Chili Peppers who nobody knows who they are because they played on the very earliest albums are inducted...The list goes on and on of the inconsistencies. Now, I'm not pointing fingers at any of those people, but I'm certainly pointing a finger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we're being treated unfairly, I have issues with that."

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman says that the decision about who to induct from any band is made by the Rock Hall's nominating committee as well as an adjunct group of "scholars and historians" familiar with specific inductees and genres. "This isn't chemistry or physics; it's not an exact science," Peresman acknowledges. "Sometimes there's an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it's a specific period of time that established the band as who they are. With Kiss there wasn't one person here who didn't agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the 70s with Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul and Gene (Simmons). That's what put them on that map."

Peresman adds that Kiss "is a unique situation where you have artists who wear makeup as part of what the band's about," but the Rock Hall felt that the later members -- including current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who are wearing Frehley and Criss' makeup, respectively -- "are fine musicians who...basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It's not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter." Persman notes that last year Heart was in a similar position, where the Rock Hall chose to induct the original 70s sextet and not later musicians that played in the band.

But Stanley feels the situation with Kiss is a bit more personal. "That it's 14 years on (of eligibility) and we're getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a clear indication that the people who hide behind that moniker don't like us, but it reached a point where it was so absurd and ludicrous (to exclude Kiss) that they caved," he says. "It's like them swallowing a teaspoon of medicine they don't want. It's a bitter pill for them to swallow, so they're making it as small as possible."

Stanley says that the Rock Hall asked Kiss to perform as the original quartet, in make-up, but he and Simmons -- who have been playing with three-time Kiss member Singer again since 2002 and Thayer since 2004 -- were not confident the performance would be up to standard. "Honestly, I don't want to roll the dice and possibly negatively impact on what I personally have been involved in building for 40 years," he explains. "I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed." Peresman, meanwhile, says the Rock Hall has no plans for a performance stand-in for Kiss at the ceremony. "We have other artists, other inductees showing up and performing when they can," Peresman says. "We're very hopeful that Ace and Peter and Paul and Gene come and accept their award. We're obviously honored to have them inducted."

And Stanley expects that to be the case.

"There's been a lot of issues, and perhaps the best way to deal with them is to celebrate the four original guys and go there and get our award and to look past the differences that will always be there," he says. "It doesn't change the big picture; we have differences and we will continue to have differences. It doesn't change who I want to play with and who represents Kiss. There are a lot of people who are great inspirations to me, and still are, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for that reason and the fact that fans want us in there, I graciously and vigorously will be there to accept the award. We should salute and enjoy an evening that celebrates what the four of us started. But just because I'm getting inducted doesn't mean it's turned into a love fest."

This week, Kiss announced a co-headlining tour with Def Leppard. Stanley, meanwhile, publishes his autobiography "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" on April 8, with book signings being put together throughout the month.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 67 Sean Delaney's Nephew Russ: March 18, 2014. We are joined by Sean Delaney's nephew Russ. Sean is seen by many KISS fans as the fifth member of KISS. Russ grew up as a young child in the presence of KISS and he shares his memories and stories of KISS and his Uncle Sean. We also share our early thoughts on the KISS Def Leppard 2014 tour: Listen.




KISSTERIA: The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case

*The most insane KISS offering for MEGA FANS
*Limited Edition Vinyl Box Set: 1,000 units worldwide
*Authentic Anvil ™ Road Case
*Thirty-Four LPs with EXCLUSIVE Merch and Vinyl included

CLICK HERE for pre-order information.

Gene Simmons: Rappers don't belong in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

KISS star Gene Simmons has taken aim at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bosses for inducting rappers into their Ohio museum.

The bass player and his band will be added to the Hall of Fame in April after a series of near misses in recent years, but the rockers aren't exactly thrilled about the honour.

Simmons and bandmate Paul Stanley feel they should have been inducted years ago - and they're annoyed that rap acts like Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy got in before them.

Speaking to, Simmons says, "A long time ago it was diluted. It's really backroom politics... A few people decide what's in and what's not. And the masses just scratch their heads. You've got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Run-DMC in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? You're killing me! That doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But they don't play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!

"If you asked Madonna, 'What kind of artist are you?' do you think she would say, 'Oh, rock!' So what they hell are they doing in the Hall of Fame? They can run their organisation any way they'd like, but it ain't rock! It just isn't! If you don't play guitar and you don't write your own songs, you don't belong there."

Earlier this month, singer Stanley revealed KISS would not be performing at the induction ceremony.

Kiss celebrates 40th anniversary with reissue bonanza

How does a band celebrate the 40th anniversary of its recording career? With more recordings.

Kiss, which released its self-titled debut and Hotter Than Hell in 1974, will kick off a year of anniversary festivities with the April 1 arrival of 10 remastered Kiss albums on vinyl. Another 18 titles will be unleashed by mid-2014.

In May, the band delivers the two-CD Kiss 40 compilation containing one track from every major album, plus live cuts and an unreleased demo from 1977. The set includes such Kiss classics as Detroit Rock City, Love Gun, Beth, Rock And Roll All Nite, Psycho Circus, I Was Made For Lovin' You and Lick It Up.

And today, the foursome serves up Kissteria — The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case, a vinyl box set holding 34 Kiss LPs including titles never previously issued on vinyl. The limited-edition mother lode of Kiss music boasts 19 studio albums, all five Alive releases, the four original Kiss solo albums and six exclusive vinyl discs that will not be sold individually. Among the extras are 11 posters (including the band's first promo poster), a Kiss vinyl cleaning cloth, a Kiss turntable mat, Kiss dominos and four band lithographs. The box can be pre-ordered here. Visit for details on all things Kiss.

The band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10. The group is announcing a tour with Def Leppard today.

Kiss, Def Leppard announce 2014 summer tour

Kiss and Def Leppard will team up this summer for a 42-city North American tour that will "deliver good news and excitement," says Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley.

The tour begins June 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps up Aug. 31 in Woodlands, Texas. Tickets go on sale starting Friday.

The groups announced the tour Monday at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.The press conference was streamed live via the Live Nation website.

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he and Gene Simmons first discussed the idea of the two bands touring together when he and the Kiss bassist played some South American dates two years ago as part of a rock-and-roll all-stars tour. "It's finally happened, which is fantastic," Elliott says.

It'll be the first time the two bands have shared a bill, though Stanley says, "We've run into each other at festivals. It just seemed to be a natural fit." Stanley also noted that one of guitarist Phil Collen's pre-Def Leppard bands, Girl, opened for Kiss in the U.K. during the early '80s.

Kiss did a similar co-headlining tour with Motley Crue in 2012.

Kiss released its first album, Hotter Than Hell, 40 years ago, and the band will commemorate the anniversary with a slew of archival releases, including a 34-LP vinyl box set and a two-CD compilation called Kiss 40. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10.

Def Leppard has been writing music for the group's next album. "We all camped out at my house last month and wrote songs, which you will hear none of this summer," Elliott says. Collen says he expects that album to come out in 2015.

Simmons says a dollar from each ticket sold on the tour will go to to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits. Those charitable partners include the USO, Hire a Hero, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundatio, and The Augusta Warrior Project. "Politicians fart through their mouth," Simmons says. "Only the military makes freedom possible."

Stanley adds that the group also plans to hire vets for its crew. "We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team," he says. "This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the Kiss Army."

Elliot says he doesn't see any rivalry developing between the groups while they're on tour. "It's two great bands that are going to be playing for the same amount of time," he says. "It's joint forces. I don't see it as competitive at all."

Kiss, Def Leppard pair up for summer tour

Kiss and Def Leppard are joining forces for a summer tour.

The legendary bands will embark on a U.S. tour June 23 in West Valley City, Utah. They will play more than 40 dates, including Los Angeles; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Atlanta; and Tampa, Fla. The tour wraps Aug. 31 in Woodlands, Texas.

Tickets go on sale Friday.

"You have two bands who to one degree or another have stood the test of time and put them together and you'll have a great night of music," said Paul Stanley of Kiss in an interview. "We're living in a time now where everyone wants more for their money, and that's understandable. So, when you can get two bands to collaborate together, we couldn't pick a better band for this tour than Def Leppard to go out with us."

Def Leppard's Joe Elliott said it's not likely the two bands will perform together.

"We're not jam bands either of us," Elliott said in an interview from Dublin. "It's very theatrical what Kiss does to a lesser extent obviously 'cause we don't do the makeup thing, our show runs like a military operation for sure. It's not like the Grateful Dead and Phish touring or something."

Kiss and Def Leppard are partnering with various military companies for the tour to support U.S. troops, including the United Service Organizations Inc. and Hiring Our Heroes.

Kiss will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month. This year marks Kiss' 40th anniversary.

Elliott will release a new album with his band Down 'N' Outz called "The Further Adventures Of..." on April 21. He said Def Leppard recently went into the studio to write new music.



Tickets On Sale Starting Friday, March 21 Through Live Nation Mobile App and at

LOS ANGELES – March 17, 2014 – This summer two of the world's greatest rock bands, KISS and DEF LEPPARD, are set to deliver a massive tour dedicated to fans who wanna rock and roll all night! These two legendary rock bands spanning two continents announced today that they will launch the tour as KISS celebrates their 40th year in music. The summer's biggest hit-fueled rock tour, promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will storm through 40-plus cities throughout North America kicking-off on Monday, June 23 in West Valley City, UT at the USANA Amphitheater. Tickets go on sale starting on Friday, March 21 through the Live Nation mobile app and at

With combined album sales of over 200 million, KISS and Def Leppard are more than just iconic; they remain TODAY'S dominant powerhouses of rock tallying 30+ chart-topping hits, countless sold out MEGA tours and awards and accolades from around the globe. Known for their elaborate and spectacular stage shows, each band plans to give fans the ultimate summer concert experience with the most impressive lighting and sound production ever along with KISS' signature over-the-top pyrotechnics.

KISS consists of vocalist/bassist Gene Simmons, vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley, lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer. Def Leppard consists of vocalist Joe Elliott, guitarist Vivian Campbell, guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick “Sav” Savage and drummer Rick Allen.

Paul Stanley: Kiss miffed at Rock Hall over snub

Paul Stanley of Kiss wants to shout it out loud: The band is miffed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for not inducting members Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer along with the original lineup.

Kiss is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock Hall on April 10 in New York City. But Stanley said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press that he doesn't think the Rock Hall is being fair and that the organization has altered their rules for other acts.

"We have continuing issues with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, starting with the fact that they chose to only induct the original lineup when that's hardly the case with other bands," he said from Los Angeles.

"In the Grateful Dead's case, (they) also inducted a writer who never played an instrument," said Stanley, referring to Robert Hunter's inclusion when the band was inducted in 1994. "Or they've inducted rap artists, or they've inducted people who have been in the band for seven years as opposed to ... 25 years or 20 years — whatever their criteria of this week is."

A representative for the Rock Hall didn't immediately return an email seeking comment. Acts become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record.

Kiss wrote on its website last month that it would not perform at the Rock Hall induction.

The original members from 1973 — Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley — are scheduled for induction. Criss left the band in 1980 and Frehley left in 1982. Other members joined during the 1980s, but the current lineup includes Singer, who joined in 1992, and Thayer, who came on board in 2003.

Stanley, 62, said the Rock Hall "tried to strong-arm us into playing in original lineup," but the band wouldn't do so.

"Their craving of nostalgia or for wanting to have us play by their rules in many ways jeopardizes what we have spent 40 years building," he said. "I've been there since the beginning, and when I put on my Kiss gear, I do it with great pride, and anything that may jeopardize that by going out with a lineup that I might question is a nonstarter for me."

Thayer and Singer should be inducted, he said, because they "have been in the band for decades and played on multiplatinum albums and toured the world."

He ended with this: "So, in this case, very clearly the tail doesn't wag the dog, and Kiss is a big dog, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a small tail."

Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens will also be inducted at the 29th-annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclays Center. Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and the late Beatles manager Brian Epstein will receive Ahmet Ertegun awards, a nonperforming honor. And Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band will get an award for musical excellence.

The event will air in May on HBO.

KISS, DEF LEPPARD: More '2014 Heroes Tour' Details Revealed

According to, the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes is looking to have 200 veterans and service members (preferably in uniform) come to the House of Blues in Hollywood for a special event/announcement.

On Monday, March 17 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, KISS and DEF LEPPARD will announce the "2014 Heroes Tour" — and the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes wants you to be a part of it.

The "2014 Heroes Tour" will help change the lives of veterans and military families across America. That's why KISS and DEF LEPPARD are teaming up with the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program to make this special announcement in front of an exclusive audience of the men and women who have proudly served our country.

Guests will be able to take photos with the bands and participate in a question-and-answder session with the bands and giveaways for KISS items (subject to availability).

RSVP as soon as possible to (let them know if you can come in uniform).

KISS and DEF LEPPARD's joint summer U.S. tour is set to kick off in late June and run through the end of August. The trek will see KISS closing all dates.

With their signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like "Rock And Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City", KISS is the very personification of rock stars. In 2014, the band celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, "Kiss". After four decades of scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie, the iconic band remains one of the most influential artists in the history of rock and roll. At the top of American bands with the most gold albums, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide — including their chart-topping 20th studio album, "Monster", produced by Paul Stanley and released in 2012. In support of that album, the band performed their worldwide "Monster" tour with sold-out-out shows in Australia, Europe, South America, North America and Japan as once again KISS, and their loyal followers in the KISS Army, rocked the globe.

DEF LEPPARD's influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums — including two of the best-selling albums of all time, "Pyromania" and "Hysteria". Most recently, the band released their first live album, "Mirror Ball: Live & More", which rose to the Top 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album captures the group's legendary concert experience, bringing together live versions of classic LEPPARD hits such as "Rock Of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Foolin'".

With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, DEF LEPPARD — Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) — continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, have become synonymous with their name. For the past thirty years the band's concerts have become must-see events and have quickly made them an institution in the touring industry, as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.

PodKISSt#82 - PRC & Is it possible to Love Ace & Tommy?

It’s Crossover time with the PodKISSt and Podcast Rock City. Joe Polo and Ken discuss the possibility of being a fan of Ace and Tommy, is that possible? Listen.

Original PETER CRISS '73-'74 KISS Tour-Used Drum Kit Hits Auction Block

KISS may not be performing at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, but fans and collectors will definitely get VIP access to historical and some never-before-seen pieces of KISS memorabilia in the upcoming Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction, hosted by Backstage Auctions. The online auction event contains over 200 auction lots of rare KISS memorabilia dating back as far as back as 1973 and is filled with historically relevant KISS relics.

If you are looking for something in the "Holy Grail" range, Peter Criss' personal drum kit that he used from 1973 to 1974 while on tour with KISS should definitely be on at the top of your list of items to procure. As far as epic, historic and downright mind-blowing KISS collectibles go, it is hard to imagine something more prestigious than his complete Ludwig drum kit, which was his very first official KISS kit.

Criss premiered the kit in December of 1973 and played it all the way through 1974, before it was replaced by a stretch of Pearl kits. In addition to the super-cool, 24-inch glitter logo bass drum, it also contains the snare, various tom-toms, cymbals, cowbell, drum stool and even some of the original road cases.

But wait… there is more, so much more. The auction will also feature an original Kiss Army jacket given to Peter by Paul Stanley when he and his daughter Jenilee made a surprise appearance at the 1995 KISS convention in Burbank, California. During that appearance, Criss joined KISS for two songs and the jacket he received is one of the most valuable KISS collectibles from the past 20 years. Add in the provenance of this particular jacket, collectors are sure to aggressively go after this piece for their personal collections. It has been said that this single event, helped lay the foundation for the "MTV Unplugged" session later that year which then propelled into a full-blown five-year KISS reunion tour.

For the curators exclusive pop culture artwork, the original Eraldo Carugati painting used for Peter Criss' solo album should be given serious consideration. In 1978, Bill Aucoin commissioned the artist to paint the images of all four band members to be used for the solo albums. To this day, the four solo face images are used on everything from posters to t-shirts and everything in between.

This is the first time in history that one of the original paintings will be publicly made available to the collectors market.

"So often we think we have hit the peak of rare Kiss memorabilia and then another collection comes along, and collectively the pieces featured in this auction have moved us to a new summit with the private collections of Debra Svensk-Jenson (previously married to Peter Criss), Linda West and the late Ken Anderson, both of Aucoin Management, and rock photographer Chip Rock," says Backstage Auctions founder Jacques van Gool.

The auction will feature a wide range of KISS memorabilia appealing to everyone's taste and budget, including gold and platinum RIAA awards, rare t-shirts, jackets and crew attire, artist signed items, rare ephemera and personal notes, hand-written lyrics, sticks, picks and passes, rare vinyl and more. "There is enough historical KISS memorabilia in this auction that it would be worthy of a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame exhibit," says van Gool.

The Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction will also include hundreds of rare hard rock and heavy metal memorabilia from the private collections of David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Frank Bello (ANTHRAX), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Scott Ian (ANTHRAX), John Tempesta (THE CULT, EXODUS, TESTAMENT), Page Hamilton (HELMET), Sean Yseult (WHITE ZOMBIE) and several industry professionals.

The online auction starts March 30 and will run through April 6. A special VIP All Access preview of the entire auction catalog will be available beginning March 23.

For more information and to get your VIP All Access Pass for the event, visit

Gene Simmons blasts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for KISS treatment

( The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be having its next induction ceremony on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but do not expect new inductees KISS to be performing. Founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have decided against it to protest the Hall’s decision of inducting only the original line-up of the group (which includes departed members Peter “Catman” Criss and Ace “Space Ace” Frehley) while ignoring other longtime (and current) bandmates like Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. I asked Simmons about his decision when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to chat about his appearance tonight on CBS’ CSI (where he will be playing himself).

“Paul and I got on the phone and called Ace and Peter,” Simmons explained of what happened right when they found out about the induction. “‘Hey, congratulations. It was an honor to stand alongside you then and we’ll be proud to stand alongside of you at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to accept the award.’ And they were gracious and happy and God bless, and all of that, and we went off our separate ways. And then we found out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will only be honoring the original lineup with Ace, Peter, Paul and myself, and we said, ‘Oh okay, then we won’t be playing there. We’ll just accept the award. Thank you very much.’ And they go, ‘What are you talking about?’ and I said, ‘Well, you have a group like the Eagles who continue to be our contemporaries…and every member that has even been in the Eagles has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But you’re only gonna honor the first lineup that was together for seven years? We’ve been around forty years. Tommy and Eric have been in the band 20 years — two and a half times longer than Ace and Peter. You’re going to slap them in the face and we’re supposed to get you a sandwich and make sure you burp at 9 o’clock at night and get up on stage and do it? No, that’s not going to happen.’”

Simmons then went on to draw a comparison to fully illustrate his point. “So imagine you’re being invited to be inducted at an award ceremony and you get to bring only the first person you ever went out with in your life. The one, your beloved right now? She can’t come, or he can’t come. They get to stay home, They don’t get honored. ‘And while you’re there, can you get me a sandwich?’ Really? That’s not going to fly.”

Okay, first off, I’m not sure what the sandwich thing is about. Maybe he was just hungry. Yes, Simmons has a point that it would kind of be a bummer for longtime members to be excluded. But he also has to know that the band is being honored for what they did when they ruled the rock world back in the 1970s, a time when the band included Criss and Frehley. Those are the four people everyone wants to see on stage together, just like when the original lineup reunited back in 1996. In any event, you can listen to the full audio below, in which Simmons drops another bombshell. Apparently, he’s been offered a role in the new Entourage movie!

Who Is Drumming Up KISS Royalty Dispute?

( A fight breaks out over who is representing the estate of the deceased band member Eric Carr.

A developing royalty dispute concerning the rock band KISS has become a tad strange.

On Monday, The Kiss Company, Gene Simmons Worldwide and Universal-Polygram were taken to New York Supreme Court by the claimed estate of Eric Carr, the KISS drummer who died in 1991. The action was reported in the media as a lawsuit, although technically what was filed was a petition for pre-action disclosure. In advance of a legal claim, the estate was seeking discovery. The filing regarded alleged missing royalty payments from representatives of Kiss and UMPG and the copyright re-registration of the composition "Little Caesar" without Carr's name.

Then on Wednesday, KISS' official website published a "statement from Eric Carr family," which quoted attorney Mark Abbattista, said to represent the Carr family.

"It came to our attention through a variety of different media outlets that a legal proceeding was filed against the band KISS purporting to be on behalf of the ‘The Estate of Eric Carr’ and the ‘late KISS drummer’s heirs,’" said Abbattista. "This proceeding was filed by a non-related third party without any knowledge, authorization or consent of anyone in the Carr family.”

Abbatista added that a cease and desist was sent out to stop further actions from the claimed Carr estate.

We spoke to Robert Garson, the attorney representing the petitioner. He calls the demand "complete rubbish" and maintains he was "validly instructed by executors of the estate." He adds that "this chap" Abbattista "represents Eric Carr's sister, Loretta Caravello," but that she's not in control.

Abbattista, the same entertainment lawyer who was featured in the 21st season of CBS' reality show The Amazing Race, declined to say anything more than the statement already given.

Although it's nearly impossible to verify the legitimacy of the petition filed in New York court, the petition does include fairly detailed notes about contract agreements and communications with Kiss parties. In addition, the petitioner has lodged exhibits including a pay statement, portions of the songwriter agreement, and emails from Universal Music Publishing Group and a Kiss representative.

KISS And DEF LEPPARD Summer Co-Headlining Tour To Be Officially Announced On Monday

KISS and DEF LEPPARD will announce their joint summer U.S. tour at a press conference on Monday, March 17 at 2 p.m. ET, to be livestreamed via The trek, which is set to kick off in late June and run through the end of August, will see KISS closing all dates.

With their signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like "Rock And Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City", KISS is the very personification of rock stars. In 2014, the band celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, "Kiss". After four decades of scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie, the iconic band remains one of the most influential artists in the history of rock and roll. At the top of American bands with the most gold albums, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide — including their chart-topping 20th studio album, "Monster", produced by Paul Stanley and released in 2012. In support of that album, the band performed their worldwide "Monster" tour with sold-out-out shows in Australia, Europe, South America, North America and Japan as once again KISS, and their loyal followers in the KISS Army, rocked the globe.

DEF LEPPARD's influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums — including two of the best-selling albums of all time, "Pyromania" and "Hysteria". Most recently, the band released their first live album, "Mirror Ball: Live & More", which rose to the Top 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album captures the group's legendary concert experience, bringing together live versions of classic LEPPARD hits such as "Rock Of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Foolin'".

With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, DEF LEPPARD — Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) — continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, have become synonymous with their name. For the past thirty years the band's concerts have become must-see events and have quickly made them an institution in the touring industry, as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.


Paul Stanley’s autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, is scheduled for release on April 8. Listen to an excerpt — plus a few words from an interview — from Harper Audio Presents via SoundCloud: Listen.

SIMMONS On HALL OF FAME: It's Dishonorable To Not Include KISS Members Who've Been In Band Longer Than Original Lineup

Earlier this week, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was interviewed on "Elliot In The Morning", a morning radio talk show hosted by DJ Elliot Segal. You can listen to the chat in the YouTube clip here.

Ex-KISS Guitarist Bruce Kulick to be featured on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Tribute

(Listen to the Demo) Mark Peace Thomas is known for his DJ-MC services for weddings throughout Southern California but 2013 would see “DJ Peace” crossover from playing recordings to recording artist. His First CD “ManSmarts: The Music” was released on October 15, 2013. DJ Peace planned on including a cover of the KISS song “Do You Love Me?” for the release but had twelve original songs written.

A month earlier, Mark ran into one of his hard rock heroes and former guitarist for KISS: Bruce Kulick at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, CA. This lead to Mark approaching Bruce about playing on a “DJ Peace” cover of “Do You Love Me?”. Bruce agreed and liked the contemporary EDM-infused version of the song. "Bruce adds that classic KISS sound to the track which is very contemporary sounding," stated producer Jeff McCullough. He added "DJ Peace has arranged the song with a Zep-style guitar riff and added a solo that was never there which really makes the song rock!" DJ Peace is treating his new recording as a tribute to KISS with a release date of April 10, 2014, which is the day the founding members of KISS (Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss) will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bruce recorded and toured with Kiss for over twelve years. Gene Simmons has already stated that the band will be accepting the honor on behalf of all former members. Fans can continue to rock and roll all nite with two new DJ Peace tunes to celebrate Bruce's legacy with KISS. Coming to exclusively to CD Baby.

DJ Peace official website is

ERIC CARR's Family Says Lawsuit Against KISS Was Filed Without Their Knowledge, Authorization Or Consent

Mark Abbattista, an attorney for the family of the late KISS drummer Eric Carr, has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:

"It came to our attention through a variety of different media outlets that a legal proceeding was filed against the band KISS purporting to be on behalf of the 'The Estate of Eric Carr' and the 'late KISS drummer's heirs.' This proceeding was filed by a non-related third party without any knowledge, authorization or consent of anyone in the Carr family. The filing party's attorney has been contacted and ordered to cease and desist from any further statements, actions or allusions purporting to be on behalf of, or in any way relating, directly or indirectly, to Eric Carr and/or the Carr family."

Abbattista continued: "[KISS leaders] Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons know that Eric's family is not involved in this matter. However, due to the litigious society in which we live and the unfiltered proliferation of inaccurate online discussion, it is imperative to address the matter publicly, set the record straight and let the fans know that we are unified in our response to preserve and protect the honorable and beloved legacy of Eric Carr."

Added an Eric Carr family member: "We've known each other for almost 35 years and we have the highest respect for KISS and keeping Eric's memory in a positive light."

Meanwhile, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley tweeted the following message after the news of the lawsuit broke yesterday: "Eric Carr's family is shocked by a lawsuit filed without their knowledge or support. We will deal with this attempted scam appropriately."

A copy of the complaint, filed on March 10 by attorney Robert Garson in New York County Supreme Court, can be downloaded as a PDF file for a $35 fee from the Courthouse News Service.

Carr joined KISS in 1980 after the departure of the band's original drummer Peter Criss. He recorded eight albums with the group, starting with "Music From 'The Elder'" in 1981. His last recorded appearance with KISS was "Hot In The Shade", released in 1989.


Hi Paul,

This is Eric's sister Loretta, my family and I would like to thank you for coming out so quickly in my families defense.

We were just as shocked as you, When we saw that nonsense article in the paper. I was at a loss, we knew nothing about this.

So thank you for helping to put out the fire and hopefully stopping the negative comments online about my family.

My brother loved KISS and would have never done anything that would hurt the band . We have respected that and will continue to keep his memory with KISS in a positive light.

Congratulations on the Hall of Fame! We know you are trying, to include all, but no matter what may happens, We know Eric is smiling and proud to have been in such a great band)

Sincerely, The Caravello Family

Paul Stanley Q&A: Kiss Frontman On 'Destructive' Childhood, New Book and Why the Rock Hall Is Like a 'Distorted Bar Mitzvah'

( In April, Stanley embarks on a book tour for his memoir "Face the Music: A Life Exposed"… The rocker talks why he finally put his life on paper, the inaccuracies of Gene Simmons' own book, and what actually went down with the Rock Hall of Fame

Few bands know how to celebrate better than Kiss; it coined the concept "rock and roll all night and party every day," after all. And this is a time of celebration for the group, with this year marking the 40th anniversary of its first two albums, the launch of the Arena Football League's L.A. Kiss and its upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (though not without drama; read on) on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Best of all for frontman Paul Stanley is the April 8 publication of his autobiography "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," a revealing memoir in which he writes frankly about the travails of his youth and the triumphs and tribulations of both Kiss and his personal life.

Stanley lights out on a six-city book tour that begins April 7 at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble in New York with subsequent stops at the Barnes & Noble in Staten Island (April 8); Bookends in Ridgewood, N.J. (April 9); Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles (April 16); Warwick's in La Jolla, Calif. (April 17); and the San Francisco Jewish Community Center on April 25.

With all that going on, it's not surprising our conversation with the Starman was wide-ranging and characteristically forthright.

You're the last of the original Kiss members with a book of your own. Just a slacker?

It really had nothing to do with the band as far as being first, last, middle. It wasn't with any of that in mind. The truth of the matter is I had sworn for, literally, decades not to write an autobiography. I always go back to George Orwell, who said the autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction. And I would say 90-plus, 95 percent of the autobiographies by any of my contemporaries would be better suited on a roll of soft paper, so at least you could use it for something, 'cause they're nothing more than self-serving fantasies or delusions or love letters to themselves. They serve no purpose. What I finally came to grips with was the idea that my life could be inspiring to other people... and almost more importantly I wanted something that my children could read when they got older to understand what it took for me to succeed and a better understanding of who I am and perhaps what they need in their lives to move forward. So there was a real purpose to this as opposed to just some sort of bragging rights.

That purpose being...?

I guess my book is about never quitting and about never losing sight of where you're going. Truly, obstacles are what you see when you lose sight of your goals. I've always been driven and, at my core, I've always been about my own survival and, for lack of a better word, how I can make it better. And certainly I couldn't have written this book if it didn't have a happy ending! (laughs)

There is a lot more struggle in your book, especially in your youth, than many would expect -- family dysfunction and especially the misshapen right ear and being deaf on that side. That's something you kept quite for decades. Why?

It was too painful. You can only reveal things and you can only deal with things when you're ready to. My experiences as a child were so debilitating and destructive that the best way for me to deal with my ear was to cover it and to, at least on the surface, ignore what was going on -- although that really wasn't an answer. Luckily, as an adult I found different ways to resolve some of those issues and also to find some surgical relief and modifications.

You go into depth about a lot of relationships, especially within the Kiss camp, but maybe the most fascinating is what you have to say about Gene. It seems very much like brothers -- obviously bonded, but not always happy with each other.

Oh, sure. Over the years that's been an ongoing theme in our relationship. There have been times where I've been very angry and resentful -- and I'm not saying momentarily. I'm saying for long periods of time. But time is the ultimate judge, and the fact that we've been together at this point for, my gosh, 44 years almost says volumes. We ARE brothers, and I know that in a pinch I can count on him and he knows the same, and that doesn't take away from the fact I think he's done some pretty crummy things. But that is because of who he is and his issues.

Did you read Gene's book, and the others'?

No. I read parts of Gene's book and I thought it was told from his point of view, but Gene puts himself in the epicenter of everything, and that might be because he's an only child. But that doesn't mean it's accurate. I want credit where credit is due, but I don't want credit for things I didn't do and I want to share the accolades with the people who make things possible, and I don't think (Simmons') book did that. So after reading some of it and having been present at much of what went on in that book, it just wasn't accurate so I didn't read it. In the case of Peter or Ace, there is a reason that defense attorneys don't put alcoholics or drug addicts on the witness stand; now, I'm not saying that they presently are, but that is a condition that lasts a lifetime. My point is that memories and recollections and the accuracy of people who were in altered states during much of what they purport happened is subject to question. And the small bits that a few people pointed out to me were absolutely outrageous to the point that I wondered if (Frehley and Criss) actually believed them.

So what actually went down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and your decision not to play at the ceremony?

Oh, it starts decades go. That it's 14 years on (of eligibility) and we're getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a clear indication that the people who hide behind that moniker don't like us, but it reached a point where it was so absurd and ludicrous (to exclude Kiss) that they caved. But they're only going to induct the original four (members), and bringing up the idea of inducting members other than the original four...was shut down as a non-starter. It's a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band. And clearly when you've got a busload of Gratefful Dead (members) who have been inducted and guys in the Chili Peppers who nobody knows who they are because they played on the very earliest albums are inducted, and when the original drummer of Rush, John Rutsey, who played on a classic album, isn't inducted. The list goes on and on of the inconsistencies. Now, I'm not pointing fingers at any of those people, but I'm certainly pointing a finger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we're being treated unfairly, I have issues with that.

Any idea of why they're drawing such a hard line with Kiss?

Well, it's like them swallowing a teaspoon of medicine they don't want. It's a bitter pill for them to swallow, so they're making it as small as possible. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is kind of like a distortion of a bar mitzvah. Just 'cause I'm getting inducted doesn't mean this has turned into a love fest.

You could just play with the original four of you, of course.

They wanted the original four guys to play, in makeup. But, honestly, I don't want to roll the dice and possibly negatively impact on what I personally have been involved in building for 40 years. I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed. So there's been a lot of issues, and perhaps the best way to deal with them is to celebrate the four original guys and go there and get our award and to look past the differences that will always be there. It doesn't change the big picture; we have differences and we will continue to have differences. It doesn't change who i want to play with and who represents Kiss. There are a lot of people who are great inspirations to me, and still are, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for that reason and the fact that fans want us in there, I graciously and vigorously will be there to accept the award. We should salute and enjoy an evening that celebrates what the four of us started. But there's always a lot of cloak and dagger stuff and a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes.

After that, we'll see Kiss on the road this year?

Yes, in June. We'll go on tour and do what we do, and that is do great shows. Arguably this is the best stage show we've ever done; the Spider stage just takes everything to another level. So we're just gonna get out there and do what we do.

Do you see another album on the horizon?

Not at the moment. I can't rule it out. The other ones came about very naturally and seemed like the right time. I certainly thought that we needed to claim our ground and put our stamp on the present and the future with our feet still planted in the past. They felt great to do because the band has been that great. Where we go from here as far as recording, I don't know. There are no plans at the moment -- and that could change tomorrow.

You end "Face The Music" with the notion that Kiss can continue without you, and Gene. Do you really mean that?

One hundred percent! Why wouldn't I? It's absurd for me to think that this incredible band, brand, point of view, lifestyle, philosophy shouldn't exist without me. I'm not essential to it. I've laid the groundwork and written the bible, so to speak, but I'm not big-headed or delusional enough to believe that there isn't somebody out there, and more than one person, who could do this every bit as well and better than I do and bring something else to it, based on what I've done. The people who believed the band can't exist or continue without me or Gene, well, a lot of those people in the late 70s believed the band couldn't continue without the original four -- at this point they're 50 percent wrong.

This is not something the Beatles could have spoken about doing, though, or the Rolling Stones.

Of course they couldn't -- because they're not Kiss! We've broken the rules from day one. We were never supposed to succeed in a lot of people's eyes. We've never been defined by the limitations of other people's bands, so why would we lower the bar based on what other bands can or can't do. We've moved forward and not only survived but thrived based on a philosophy and point of view and a certain music. It's really about that way more than it is about the individuals. I mean, I'm a big fan of mine, but I didn't invent the wheel.

Late KISS drummer's heirs say band stiffed them

Update from Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) Eric Carr's family is shocked by a lawsuit filed without their knowledge or support. We will deal with this attempted scam appropriately.

( The heirs of the late KISS drummer Eric Carr — who replaced founding band member Peter Criss — have slapped the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-bound band with a lawsuit over unpaid royalties.

Carr’s heirs say the group, including founding frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, has stiffed them on untold payments stretching back to the Brooklyn-born musician’s death from cancer in 1991.

The suit says the estate is entitled to between a 5 and 50 percent cut on four lesser-known songs that Carr wrote — “Breakout,” “Carr Jam 1981” “Car Jam 1991” and “Little Caesar.”

Carr joined the band — known for its Kabuki makeup and pyrotechnic stagecraft — in 1980 and recorded eight albums.

For years the heirs believed they were only due royalties from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

“They thought they were getting it all from one source,” the estate’s attorney, Robert Garson, told The Post.

The heirs — a friend and a relative of Carr’s whom Garson declined to name — realized that they should have been receiving payments from Kiss entities including the current group, two publishing firms and Gene Simmons Worldwide Inc.

Reps for KISS stonewalled his attempts for information—blaming the delays on the band’s touring schedule and overworked accountants, records show.

Included in the Manhattan Supreme Court suit is a 1989 receipt Garson unearthed from KISS Co. to Carr for over $4,000 in payments from foreign use.

Garson wants to know where those funds went following Carr’s early death.

Carr, who took the stage wearing the facial makeup of “The Fox,” joined the band in 1980 and recorded eight albums with the group.

The “Rock and Roll All Night” band has recently enjoyed a resurgence with Stanley releasing a biography “Face the Music: A Life Exposed” this month and menswear designer John Varvatos hiring the band for his spring ad campaign.

But it’s also dealing with a rift among the original quartet over a reunion performance at the sold-out ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction at Barclay’s arena on April 10.

Hall of Fame organizers wanted the founding members to play—but Simmons and Stanley balked, claiming the performance would amount to an awkward KISS-and-make-up session with an ex-wife.

Fans are still hoping the foursome will get together for a jam session at the end of the night– ticket prices on the secondary market are up to over $2,000 each.

The band did not immediately return requests seeking comment.

Rock group Kiss tackles tricky spectacle of indoor football

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band Kiss put down their instruments, wiped away the face paint and unveiled their own arena football franchise on Monday, promising to pair the niche sport with the pyrotechnic theater of their concerts.

Seated outside the Honda Center arena in Anaheim, California, the two sixty-somethings stayed true to their trademark self assurance and bravado in their plan to turn an indoor version of American football played on a smaller field with a heavy emphasis on high scores into a top entertainment draw in Southern California.

"We don't compete with anybody else. We set our own trail," Stanley told media assembled outside the arena, which is home to hockey's Anaheim Ducks and only a few miles down the road from Walt Disney Co's Disneyland theme park.

They aim to go where others have failed in a place with no shortage of entertainment and recreation alternatives.

The LA Kiss will be the fourth attempt to establish a franchise in either Los Angeles or nearby Anaheim since the league began in 1987. The team begins their season on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.

Games will have a carnival-like atmosphere with elephants, fire-breathers, stilt walkers, little people and go-go dancers.

"We are trailblazers, whether it's in rock and roll or now football," added Stanley, who along with Simmons purchased the franchise with two other investors last year. "There's no rivalry because no one can rival us. We're going to stake our claims and mark our territory."

LA Kiss will give the 14-team Arena Football League another shot at making the sport stick in Southern California, the country's second-largest sports market, which has not had an NFL franchise in 20 years.

Arena football depends on players whose professional prospects in the NFL, the country's most popular sports league, never came to fruition.

Simmons, 64, and Stanley, 62, form half of Kiss, one of the top-selling rock groups of the past 40 years best known for their white-and-black face paint, garish costumes, and songs like party anthem "Rock and Roll All Nite" and ballad "Beth."


They are not the first rock and roll owners in arena football. Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi is a former owner of the Philadelphia Soul franchise.

The league has made concerted efforts to court consumers in small and mid-markets such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Spokane, Washington, so far passing on renewing its past bets in competitive places like New York and Boston.

"There's no reason that we won't deliver exactly what we said we would," Simmons said. "Anyone else who has failed in the past may have tried valiantly, but trying isn't good enough."

The last franchise in the region, Los Angeles Avengers, folded in 2008 after nine seasons when the financially struggling league canceled its 2009 season.

"It's a fair way down the sports or economic food chain," Allen Sanderson, an economist at the University of Chicago, said about the league. "I think one should probably look at it as more of a hobby than an investment."

But franchise co-owner Brett Bouchy is steadfast that the LA Kiss should be viewed as an entertainment brand rather than a sports franchise like the NFL.

"We're going the other way. ... We are trying to differentiate ourselves from everything else out there in sports," he said.

LA Kiss will be able to seat about 15,000 people at the Honda Center, and Bouchy said the team has already been able to sell more than 7,000 season ticket packages with a goal of reaching 10,000 before the team's first home game on April 5.

But the franchise's marketing plan has its own inherent risks as well, said Keith Willoughby, a business professor at the University of Saskatchewan, drawing a comparison with the failed XFL football league that attempted to fuse the sport together with the over-the-top sensibility of pro wrestling.

"The challenge the XFL ran into was that it wasn't football enough for the football fan and it wasn't entertainment enough for the wrestling fan," he said. "You're trying to straddle two different cultural markets, and the inability to do both is a recipe for disaster."

Interview: Larry Russell

Interview: Longtime Ace Frehley friend, Larry Russell: Part 1, Part 2.

Producer Richie Wise talks Dust & KISS

Producer Richie Wise talks Dust & KISS (March 7 2014): Listen.

Interview: Carl V. Dupre

Interview: Screenwriter - Carl V. Dupre (KISS' Detroit Rock City 1999): Listen.

Bruce Stephen Foster Talks KISS

Bruce Stephen Foster Talks KISS (Feb 18th 2014): Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 66 Mitch Lafon Leaves, His Last Show: Listen.

Episode 66, March 11, 2014. This show was recorded three days before Mitch Lafon announced he had quit Three Sides of the Coin. We start this show with a statement as to what happened, why Mitch left, what will Three Sides do to replace Mitch. During the show Mitch did announce he would no longer do KISS Shockers from Mitch's Locker. The topic of the last show is our memories of the albums KISS, Alive!, Lick It Up and Hot In The Shade. We are also joined by fan Scott Lawrence who won or Sensers Treasure Hunt.

Mexican state draws fire for halting heavy metal concert

A Mexican state's decision to cancel a two-day heavy metal concert with top bands like Kiss, Twisted Sister and Guns N' Roses is drawing fire from fans and organizers, who say they suspect that political motives, corruption or discrimination are behind the move.

The Mexico state government says the March 15-16 "Hell and Heaven Metal Fest" concert planned for a fairground just east of Mexico City did not have adequate safety plans, posing a risk to concert-goers. The Web pages of all three of the metal bands still showed the concert on their tour schedules.

The state sent about 300 riot police to surround the fairgrounds Friday in the township of Texcoco. The state civil defense office, and its federal counterpart, said in a statement that it had cancelled the organizers' plans "for 70,000 to 80,000 people and 50 musical groups, because safety conditions for potential concert-goers were not ensured." It cited a lack of fire safety and evacuation plans, and inadequate planning for fireworks.

But concert organizers noted that the same fairgrounds are used each year for the Texcoco International Horse Fair, which is essentially a big concert drawing crowds nearly as large, with groups that perform songs directly related to violence, like narco corridos, which celebrate the exploits of drug cartel leaders.

For decades in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, the Mexican government effectively blocked most outdoor rock concerts, apparently fearful of gatherings of rebellious youth. But in Mexico, it is drug cartel violence that has cost tens of thousands of lives in recent years.

The town of Texcoco is governed by the leftist Citizens' Movement party and it still supports the Metal Fest. Town spokesman Francisco Vazquez said he believes the state government, which is in the hands of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, may have cancelled the concert for political reasons.

"I can't rule that out," said Vazquez. "This is discrimination against Texcoco."

But lingering suspicion of heavy metal in socially conservative Mexico may have played a role.

Texcoco market vendor Juan Portugues told the Milenio television network that local residents were leery of the festival. "We think that this event, this metal event, will be attended by a certain type of people, gangs will come," he said.

Juan Carlos Guerrero, the spokesman for the concert organizers, said, "I don't know if this is discrimination against the metal community, I couldn't prove that's the case, but there are some things that make you wonder, and one is that massive 'grupero' (another northern Mexico genre) concerts have been held in Texcoco, with as many as 200,000 people."

Another of the concert's organizers, Javier Castaneda, vowed the show would go on. "This is not a question of discrimination against heavy metal, it is more about political and financial interests," said Castaneda.

GENE SIMMONS And PAUL STANLEY Announce Franchisee For ROCK & BREWS In Kansas And Oklahoma

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS announced today that they plan to expand their Rock & Brews restaurant brand into Kansas and Oklahoma. The rock icons have signed a franchise agreement for five new locations, with the first set to open in May in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.

Joining the Rock & Brews family as the first multi-unit franchisee is Kansas native, Kirk Williams, president of Legacy Restaurant Group, an established restaurant operator who currently owns 21 Wendy's restaurants in Kansas and Missouri. Williams has formed Kanbrews, LLC to develop, open and operate the five Rock & Brews in Kansas and Oklahoma over the next five years, and has the option for an additional five in Missouri and Nebraska.

"Rock & Brews is unlike any full-service restaurant company I have experienced," said Williams. "The concept is very family and neighborhood friendly, offering superior classic American cuisine at affordable prices, an unparalleled selection of international and craft beers and an atmosphere that is energized and welcoming. After one hour at the company's flagship location near Los Angeles International Airport in California, I knew that we needed to bring this dynamic brand to the Midwest."

The new Rock & Brews in Overland Park will be part of the highly anticipated Prairiefire development, a 58-acre, mixed-use, "city-within-a-city" that will feature luxury residences, office space, a luxury boutique hotel, casual and fine dining, retail and entertainment facilities, and vast outdoor recreational space. Prairiefire will also be home to The Museum of Prairiefire, featuring renowned exhibitions and authentic artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History of New York, one of the world's most celebrated museums.

"Prairiefire, like Rock & Brews, is a truly unique destination experience and a perfect location for us," said Stanley. "Our goal is to provide a sensory experience for rockers of all ages with incredible food, a broad selection of craft beers and an exciting rock-themed environment."

Stanley and Simmons, along with their co-founding partners, restaurateur and hotelier Michael Zislis and concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano, are thoughtfully planning for worldwide expansion of the brand. The franchise agreement with Williams is the first of a handful of select regional, multi-unit franchise partners that Rock & Brews will engage for the expansion.

"We have opportunities around the world, and are carefully reviewing each and every one of them and interviewing appropriate partners," said Simmons. "While the demand is high, we will expand the brand cautiously because, like every one of our concerts, each restaurant is special."

Rock & Brews Overland Park will join the brand's growing roster that includes three Los Angeles-area locations, including its flagship location in El Segundo, one in Redondo Beach, and one at LAX Terminal 5; its first international location in Los Cabos, Mexico, and its newest location in Paia on Maui. In addition to Overland Park, several Rock & Brews restaurants are in development in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and Texas.

The more-than-6,000-square-foot Rock & Brews Overland Park will feature the brand's signature casual American cuisine, a full bar that includes a broad selection of premium wines and international and craft beers, and an atmosphere reminiscent of a family-friendly concert environment, featuring concert lighting, multiple televisions and concert-style rock music. Guests can dine indoors or al fresco on heated patios. And, with something for everyone, Rock & Brews Overland Park will be dog-friendly and offer a lively play area for children.

Rock & Brews Overland Park will introduce 75 new full- and part-time jobs for restaurant employees and dozens of construction jobs.

While the restaurant is expected to open by May 1, grand opening activities hosted by Simmons and Stanley and their co-founding partners are set for May 29 and will include a luncheon for wounded warriors, veterans and active military and an evening gala.

For information, visit

David Hasselhoff, Gene Simmons featured on 'Celebrity Home Raiders'

For those who have always wanted to see David Hasselhoff's house, Lifetime has a series for you. In conjunction with Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions, the network will debut "Celebrity Home Raiders" on Thursday at 10 p.m.

The premise couldn’t be simpler: Stars put personal belongings up for sale, with proceeds going to the charity of their choosing. Here’s the twist: While the host, Kit Hoover from "Access Hollywood," gets the celebrities to put a dollar value on their memorabilia, Julien’s co-owners Darren Julien and Martin Nolan roam through the residence looking for goodies.

“Closets and the drawers in the bedroom furniture are always interesting,” said Julien, who found a gold record behind a sofa and "Baywatch" dolls in the cupboards of David Hasselhoff’s Malibu rental. (That episode airs March 13.) “If a celebrity has Stickley furniture, we will sell it, but the iconic and personal items bring the highest bids. And seeing the celebrity on TV with the item that’s going to auction is the best form of authenticity.”

At the end of each show, one of the Julien’s co-owners determines the auction estimates for the items. "Martin and I can be the bad guys that give them the reality check,” Julien said. “Some of the celebrities are not happy with the evaluations, and it shows.”

"Darren is a cool guy,” said Hasselhoff, with a laugh. “It gave me a chance to tell all the amazing stories, but he undercut me on my 'Baywatch' pinball machine.” The actor also donated items from "Knight Rider" and his appearance in the "Spongebob Squarepants" movie.

“They built a 12-foot replica of me,” he added. “I was either going to turn it into a mailbox or a headstone, but I kept it in my screening room to scare people.” Bidding for the "Hoff" effigy will begin at $500 during the April 11-12 Hollywood Legends auction in Beverly Hills, which features items from Hasselhoff and "Celebrity Home Raiders" guest stars Fran Drescher and Ice-T and Coco.

Julien got a serious fright at Gene Simmons' Beverly Hills mega-mansion, which is featured in the series premiere. While scouring the house for collectibles, he opened a door, only to come face to face with the tongue-wagging Kiss bassist. "Gene wasn’t too happy that his personal space was invaded,” Julien said. “That look on my face was not acting.”

Simmons’ memorabilia — including items from his wife, actress Shannon Tweed — will be auctioned alongside items from the series’ other pop star participants: Debbie Gibson, David Cassidy and 'N Sync’s Lance Bass at the May 17 Music Icons auction at the Hard Rock in Times Square.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Bring an Arena Football Team, LA Kiss, to Anaheim-and They're Already Winning

( The first week of January is supposed to be slow on the Santa Ana College campus: no students, no classes, just maintenance workers, administrators and the stray professor. That meant it was the perfect time for the LA KISS, the newest franchise of the Arena Football League (AFL), to unveil its quixotic campaign toward pigskin relevancy—or at least a great payday for everyone involved.

"Once we commit to doing something, it becomes 'How do we make this succeed?'" Paul Stanley says. "We've always gone against the grain and played by our own rules."

Around 9 a.m. on a clear, chilly morning, hulking figures methodically make their way onto a soccer pitch transformed into a 200-foot-by-85-foot, arena-football-regulation field—about half the size of a standard gridiron. As players wearing team-issued orange shirts and black shorts head onto the field, multiple camera operators stand by the entrance, capturing their every move. They graciously smile and acknowledge the non-team personnel while stretching and preparing for morning practice.

What they don't know is that on this day, the men who sign their checks—and will draw more attention to them than the average AFL player can ever hope to experience—plan to address them.

Suddenly, the players' attention shifts to a gentleman sauntering onto the field. He has long, flowing black hair and is wearing a leather jacket and jeans. After exchanging handshakes with several execs, he looks at his watch.

"Where's Gene?" KISS founding guitarist/singer Paul Stanley asks his manager/co-owner Doc McGhee.

"Soon," McGhee responds.

"That's right—he drives like an old lady," Stanley adds before the two share a laugh.

Finally, Gene Simmons, the legendary KISS bassist/singer, arrives. He parks his black Lincoln Navigator at the adjacent lot and hustles—clad entirely in black—onto the field so that practice and filming can finally commence. There's chatter, but some of the players don't recognize the rock icon without his trademark Kabuki makeup and rock-god stage attire.

After Simmons is mic'd, he joins Stanley, McGhee, co-owner Brett Bouchy and team president Schuyler Hoversten as they casually stroll toward the team huddle, where head coach Bob McMillen is outlining his plans for practice. The morning's action is being captured as part of an upcoming reality show that will chronicle the team's first season; it's scheduled to air on AMC in July.

Since their emergence in the early 1970s, KISS have been known as much for their genius commercialization and branding as for their music and devoted fan base. Over the years, the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees have licensed the band's name to a wide range of products, including mini-golf courses, Hello Kitty dolls and even caskets for fans who want to represent the KISS army in the afterlife. But their latest venture might be the most ambitious of all: bringing a football franchise to Orange County, an area that produces some of the best high school talent in the country. It is a far different beast than opening up another Rock & Brews restaurant.

The stakes are high for Simmons and Stanley. If the LA KISS can succeed, both by winning on the field and providing an exciting entertainment experience, their pockets and that of the AFL will benefit. Having recently signed a national television contract, the league could become a fixture on the spring sports calendar and achieve the lofty goals that seemed far-fetched when it re-formed in 2010.

And if they fail?

"Once we commit to doing something, it becomes 'How do we make this succeed?'" Stanley says, unapologetically. "We've always gone against the grain and played by our own rules. If winning is the worst we've ever done, well, that's what we've always aspired to."

* * *

After the initial made-for-TV speeches the owners give to the squad, the players shake hands with their bosses.

"Winning comes from teamwork," Stanley tells the team off-camera. "Nobody wins on their own, and if we can instill a sense of band of brothers, which is what it took with KISS, with them, they will be successful."

When talking with Bouchy and McGhee, the players shake hands with stoic expressions. Meeting and greeting Simmons and Stanley is different. The players gravitate toward them wearing smiles; some of them shake like teenagers backstage at a mid-1970s KISS concert. They continue talking to their rock-icon bosses even after the cameras stop rolling, but then McMillen's loud whistle signals them that it's time to get to business.

The LA KISS split into offensive and defensive practices, while the owners, with camera crew in tow, head for a set of bleachers 30 feet away.

Early on, practice is crisp and fluid, appearing as if the team has taken Stanley's message to heart. McMillen claps loudly and barks at the players to keep up the strong showing. As a Hall of Fame AFL player, the coach knows how to get his message across to players, who respond to his upbeat personality. Grueling agility drills are completed multiple times without complaint. After each player finishes a set, the coach shouts encouraging words. Early in the practice, he's focused on the defense. On the other side of the field, passes are mostly on target, with few dropped balls.

At this point, Simmons and Stanley can be excused for checking out early, managing their empire from afar and leaving the dirty work to underlings. Instead, Simmons' eyes are locked on several massive defensive linemen seamlessly weaving around the small orange cones during footwork drills.

"Wow! Did you see him move?" Simmons asks, his eyes lighting up. "I never knew humans could be that big, that fast and that quick on their feet. I'm out of wind just watching them!"

Yet, had it not been for an exploratory phone call from then-Orlando Predators owner Bouchy to McGhee, Simmons says, KISS wouldn't have expanded its brand into the AFL.

"Brett Bouchy is a champion," Simmons remarks. "All four of us—it's the unholy quartet."

Knowing the veteran music manager through a mutual friend, Bouchy originally wanted to chat with McGhee about the possibility of having KISS play a show during the 2013 Arena Bowl festivities in Orlando. "I wanted to create a Super Bowl-type atmosphere," Bouchy elaborates during a phone call a few weeks after the practice. "I wanted to turn it into a weekend event with a concert, and KISS were the obvious choice for it."

However, Bouchy had other ideas, too. He wanted to gauge whether McGhee would consider joining an ownership group for an expansion team in Nashville. For kicks, Bouchy also asked McGhee if he'd ask Simmons and Stanley if they wanted in; when they surprisingly said yes, Bouchy decided to ditch Nashville, shoot for Los Angeles and name the team after the band. With no football team presently in Los Angeles and no serious prospects on the horizon, Bouchy's idea made sense to the rock veterans from a financial perspective as well; during his tenure with the Predators, the team was always one of the league's most profitable.

In the four months after Bouchy's first call, what seemed as far-fetched as a successfully executed fumblerooski began taking shape. First, they needed to find an arena to house the team. After considering several locations, the foursome struck a deal with the Honda Center thanks to KISS' relationship with the venue.

"[It's] a world-class arena," Stanley says. "We've seen enough arenas to know what the top tier is. Quite honestly, they not only welcomed us with open arms, but they made it very clear to us that they wanted us there."

Even though the team is headquartered in Anaheim, the team was given the LA moniker to represent the football-starved region. Nevertheless, Stanley vows to not ignore Anaheim. "We're very much about community," he explains. "Whether it's outreach to hospitals or community service, we are committed to Anaheim. Historically, where a team plays isn't necessarily its identification for that team. If that idea of where you play is the name of your team, you would have the Bronx Yankees. We are of this neighborhood and have shown that to be the case."

What Simmons and Stanley lack in knowing how to run a successful sports team is gained in Bouchy and Hoversten's (recently of the Los Angeles Dodgers) experience. "[The band members] know what we know, and we know what we don't know," Simmons says in his New York accent. "That's why we brought the best people onboard."

As for their individual responsibilities, Stanley designs the team's uniform ("It's what you'd expect from a KISS team," he says) and selects the cheerleading squad. Simmons is involved with what he does best: promotions and branding. Simmons and Stanley regularly make the hour-long drive from their Los Angeles homes to attend meetings. The duo speaks daily with Bouchy and Hoversten about the team's operations. They are even involved in the tough choices when it comes to making critical player personnel decisions.

"When we're reviewing with Coach Bob the team, with the players' names on a big board," Simmons remembers, "we came down to one of the names who was a little slow in returning our calls and wasn't available. On the spot, we erased his name. This is legitimate, and you've gotta commit to it."

In order to carry through with ownership's proclamations of an in-your-face brand of football, the LA KISS went out and acquired the best available talent. Leading the squad as quarterback will be Colt Brennan, the former Mater Dei High quarterback who went on to become NCAA's single-season leader in touchdown passes. He acknowledges the LA KISS is unlike any other team he's played for, but he's upbeat and excited about the team's prospects on and off the field.

"The reality-show aspect has been a little bit different, but it hasn't been anything crazy," Brennan say. "We've been in a football mentality since we showed up."

After being seriously injured in a car accident, the Laguna Beach native wants another crack at the NFL. Initially apprehensive about joining an AFL team, he was sold about playing for the LA KISS after speaking with ownership. "This is an adult league, and we're treated like professionals," the quarterback says. "This is definitely going to be another pathway to get back to the NFL, and the level of talent in the Arena League is top-notch and will hopefully show someone in the NFL to give me a shot again."

* * *

Seeing the rock stars in person has brought out the best in the team. The wide receivers run precise patterns and drop only a handful of passes after being thrown hundreds of reps that morning. Running backs bob and weave past tackling dummies, treating each carry as though it will clinch the Arena Bowl.

As they head toward the team's locker room, located in the college's P.E. center, Stanley and Simmons gush over the team's performance. Simmons continues spouting superlatives about the defensive linemen's agility, while Stanley is impressed with the zip and accuracy of quarterback J.J. Raterink's passes.

"Even when the games aren't on, [when] practice isn't happening, the amount [the players] need to do to keep up with their athleticism is back-breaking stuff," Simmons says as he shakes his head. He removes his sunglasses and wipes his forehead. "I'm out of wind just watching them, and we're"—he points at Stanley and himself—"in pretty good shape!"

Unlike other professional sports leagues, in which owners treat newcomers with caution and distrust, afraid that any new ownership will attempt to uproot a league's existing order, the AFL welcomed the LA KISS with open arms. "We've been embraced immediately," Simmons says, referring to the league's owners and front office. "We understand that part of it is about celebrity, and that's fine. But just being famous doesn't mean anything because some people are turned off to it. We're very lucky our reputation precedes itself and we handle everything professionally."

Stanley praises the team's fellow owners, saying they understand what the LA KISS brings to the sport and how the franchise is an asset to the league. So far, he has been right. Since the team began operations in August, the AFL's profile has increased. It has secured an additional national television contract with ESPN on top of its existing deal with CBS Sports Network, inked before the 2013 season. It's coming back from the ashes of 2008, a year that saw the season canceled, two teams fold (including the Los Angeles Avengers, which was averaging more than 12,000 people per game at Staples Center), two commissioners resign, its collective bargaining agreement with players expire, and almost $14 million in debt.

Simmons and Stanley are well aware of the AFL's checkered past. Saying the league has learned from its mistakes, Simmons vows it is focused on doing "only AFL things" and becoming an entity that's an alternative to the game that dominates America's fall calendar. The AFL's popularity is predicated on its video-game-type scores, with teams racking up numbers in the 40s, 50s and even 60s. "You can't get those scores in NFL football," Stanley laments. "And we want to give them more."

LA KISS games will come with all the spectacle of a KISS concert, Simmons says. Instead of the traditional running onto the field out of a tunnel, the team might be lowered onto the field from the ceiling using a device KISS had created for their live show but never used.

"We're looking to have a Cirque du Soleil type of halftime show, in which we're lowering people on cables from the roof, which is as nontraditional as any halftime experience in professional sports," Stanley says. "If you don't have people rappelling down from the ceiling during halftime, I'll do it."

Will Simmons and Stanley join in the theatrics? Simmons shakes his head quickly, giving the "No thanks" signal with his arms.

"Oh, c'mon, Gene," Stanley interjects. "You know if there's a spotlight on you, you'd definitely do it!"

"Well, that's different," Simmons says wryly as his tone of voice changes. "If there's a spotlight? Then absolutely."

Brennan says the players are aware of the owners' ambitions and will do what it takes on the field to ensure a winning atmosphere. "Man, thinking about what they're going to do to the Honda Center on game [nights] with musical acts, it sounds like a really fun thing," he gushes. "This will be an environment not only where we'd have a great time playing the game, but seeing live music after a game, who wouldn't want to go? It's going to be really fun."

This isn't the legendary band's first foray into sports entertainment. In the late 1990s, KISS sponsored a WCW wrestler based on Simmons' Demon stage persona. While the Demon ultimately wasn't a wrestling success, it piqued the interest of a younger audience who may not have heard of KISS outside of the stories their parents may have shared about rock music. "People who aren't familiar with football should be able to go to see the LA KISS and have the time of their life," Simmons says. "Even if they don't know the specifics of what the rules are, the experience should still kick your ass. We want it to be about the team, but also the spectacle of it."

"To put the KISS name and logo on something, we have to be very, very comfortable that it will reflect well upon us," Stanley adds. "We don't put our name on something and say good luck. Make no mistake: This is football and not rock & roll, and we want to bring something to the sport that it may be missing."

Season-ticket prices start as low as $99 each, which includes nine regular-season games, plus one playoff game. So far, according to Bouchy, the signs have been encouraging. "We've surpassed 5,000 season tickets, and the trends are only looking up," he says. "The biggest problem we've encountered is hiring enough ticket salespeople to keep up with the demand."

"If there's one thing we know, it's how to give people bang for buck," Simmons says. "Football has become prohibitive in the sense that you have to mortgage your house or sell your car to go to Super Bowls. What we're trying to do is make this successful and, at the same time, available for families."

As an additional carrot to lure fans to the arena, there will be Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley bobblehead nights. Season-ticket holders will get a free KISS concert at the end of the season. And after each game—win, lose or draw—the players will stick around for a meet-and-greet session with fans. But Simmons and Stanley know that, despite all their celebrity and showmanship, luring fans to the Honda Center ultimately boils down to winning. By hiring the reigning Coach of the Year, McMillen, formerly with the Chicago Rush, and signing Brennan, Simmons and Stanley believe the two men accurately depict what the LA KISS will stand for.

"Hearing our coach wax poetic about the nature of character is refreshing," Simmons says. "The first thing he started with is that 'You're the representative of our team. When you meet the people who kindly gave us this facility, you're our emissary. Be nice to people.'"

"The AFL is misunderstood," Stanley adds. "Some people don't even know the Arena Football League exists. Other people think it's a bunch of second-rate players. They're not. We want people to see this as a springboard. If they want to get to the NFL, bless 'em. If they want to wear the crown in the AFL, so be it. It's a pretty good place to warm up, and it's definitely not the bullpen."

* * *

As Simmons walks across the Santa Ana College campus, he sees two students gazing his way, so he waves and says hello. They seem confused and look at each other with a sense of disbelief. After an awkward pause, they continue on their way without responding.

"If I had the makeup on, they'd know who I was," he says with a chuckle, pointing to his face.

But something else seems to be on Simmons' mind as he excitedly divulges details about the reality show. He can't find his car keys. He stops talking about the LA KISS and pats himself in an attempt to find them. He thinks he left his keys on the field, but he isn't sure.

We approach the field, and Simmons realizes he's made a rookie mistake. In his mad dash to make the call time, Simmons left his keys dangling from the ignition of his Navigator; the engine is still running. He looks down and shakes his head, seemingly disbelieving his own actions.

"This is what happens when you have too many exciting things going on," he says as he motions a fake gun to his head. "It's funny: I can remember our roster, but I can't remember my car keys. Go figure."

Gene Simmons snubbed by 'Game of Thrones' star

(Photo) Yup, that was awkward.

Lena Headey is clearly not a big Kiss fan. At Tuesday night's premiere for 300: Rise of an Empire, rocker Gene Simmons found that out the hard way after Headey snubbed his aggressive social advances.

It was a scene that would have fit in perfectly on the rocker's canceled reality show.

Simmons tried in vain to pull Headey, one of the 300 stars, away from an ongoing black carpet interview . He wanted to introduce her to his son Nick Simmons, 25, who was waiting with a pained expression a few feet away.

At first Headey smiled politely as Simmons assured her that she would much rather meet his son than continue an interview.

Then Simmons joked lamely about the AP microphone in front of him. ("I have an app on my phone," he said.) No one laughed.

Then he found out that Headey was not going to move despite being guided by his left hand on her back. Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones and Spartan Queen Gorgo in 300: Rise of an Empire, stood her ground and continued her interview.

Simmons eventually moved away as Nick Simmons offered an apology of sorts before the family continued into the premiere.

The interlude did bring up the question: What was Gene Simmons doing on the 300: Rise of an Empire black carpet anyway?

Turns out both father and son are big fans of the 300 franchise, giving the rocker a chance to continue railing about critics. But this time it wasn't critics who don't like Kiss; it was those who didn't like the 2007 original 300.

"That was my favorite movie that year," said Simmons. "All the Vincent Canbys and The New York Times critics mean nothing. Because the people always rule. I think the rule of thumb here is ignore critics."

12 memorable moments from 2014 big-event games

The 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday wrapped up in memorable style an impressive slate of big-event games by the NHL this season.

The Heritage Classic, in which the Ottawa Senators used an impressive comeback to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2, was the final of a six-game slate of special-event games which begin with the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1. The 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series was crammed in the middle. Featuring a game at Dodger Stadium, a pair of contests at Yankee Stadium and an unforgettable night at Soldier Field, the four-game series was a hit in every possible way.

The two-month extravaganza of gala regular-season games entertained more 375,000 fans in person and countless others watching on television, providing a variety of memorable moments and an experience fans and players alike will cherish.

Here's a look at a dozen moments, in no particular order, from the six special-event games this season:

1. Sea of (red and) blue: Ever wondered what an NHL game would like with 105,000 friends? Michigan Stadium proved to be an incredible setting for the Winter Classic, with quality sightlines and an amazingly intimate atmosphere despite easily the most patrons ever to watch an NHL game. The fan bases of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs did their part, packing the stadium and proudly displaying their favorite team's colors, which made for incredible visuals.

2. California, here we come: Playing a game at Dodger Stadium always was considered the biggest experiment among these outdoor games, and Chavez Ravine provided an amazing backdrop for a wonderfully Southern California experience. The area on the field inside the stadium that wasn't covered by ice had beach volleyball, street hockey, yoga, Frisbees and the kings of spectacle, KISS. Legendary broadcasters Vin Scully of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Bob Miller of the Los Angeles Kings welcomed the players to the field, and Scully narrated a spine-tingling segment at the start of the television broadcast. This game didn't need snow to provide stunning aerial images and a poignant party atmosphere.

3. Hall of Fame connection?: On a day where New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr passed former teammate Mario Lemieux on the League's all-time assist leaderboard, he provided the engine for one of the prettiest goals scored in any of the NHL's outdoor games. Jagr collected a pass on the left wing and swooped past four New York Rangers defenders before splitting them with a perfect pass to a trailing Patrik Elias for a goal at the edge of the crease to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.

4. Big day for JVR: James van Riemsdyk had a New Year's Day he won't soon forget when the Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings on Jan. 1. Not only did van Riemsdyk learn he will represent the United States at the Winter Olympics for the first time during a postgame announcement on the ice at Michigan Stadium, but he also scored the goal of the game. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard denied his first two attempts but van Riemsdyk swatted the second rebound out of the air and into the net.

5. Bravest and Finest: The walk from the dressing rooms to the ice has become a staple of the outdoor-game pageantry, and it will be tough to top how the Rangers and Devils were welcomed to the playing surface at Yankee Stadium. Members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums and the NYPD Pipes and Drums played as the players walked past en route to the ice and a crowd of more than 50,000 serenaded both clubs with a mixture of cheers and boos befitting a passionate, New York-based rivalry.

6. Hiller stones Kopitar … twice: The most memorable part of Jonas Hiller's night at Dodger Stadium might be the bright orange pads he wore to match his team's uniform, but the Anaheim Ducks goalie also wowed with his performance. Hiller stopped all 36 shots by the Kings, and the two most impressive were 1-on-1 saves against Anze Kopitar. The Slovenian star had a penalty shot and a clear breakaway, but Hiller turned aside both to further frustrate the struggling Kings offense.

7. Fight on and palm trees: Speaking of player entrances, it was another part of the pregame spectacle at Dodger Stadium that was perfect. The Ducks and Kings walked from center field through two rows of palm trees before splitting off to their respective ends of the ice. The instructions were something like, "turn when you reach the band," because the University of Southern California marching band was playing as the players walked toward the ice.

8. Winter wonderland: The first NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo provided indelible images because of the snowfall during the game. "Snow globe effect" became an accepted phrase when discussing hockey games played outdoors after that day at Ralph Wilson Stadium. A steady snow fell during the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium and kept members of the NHL's ice crew busy during stoppages of play. It was even snowier at Soldier Field for the Stadium Series game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins, forcing the ice crew to perform a Herculean job with the snow removal.

9. Rangers hit a "grand slam": The first period between the Devils and Rangers at Yankee Stadium was wide open and saw the teams combine for five goals. It was all Rangers in the second as New York put four goals past New Jersey's Martin Brodeur to take control of the contest en route to a 7-3 victory. The Rangers scored the most goals by any team in an NHL outdoor game.

10. Signature move: Outdoor games aren't remembered too often for highlight-reel goals, but that all changed during a raging snowstorm on March 1 at Soldier Field. Despite a coating of snow on the ice, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews collected a pass in the neutral zone and stickhandled his way into the attacking zone before deking Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik with a dazzling inside-out move. Toews finished the play by tucking the puck through the legs of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the first of his two goals on the night.

11. Rock and Roll All Night: "You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy!" the members of KISS screamed into their microphones during a performance at the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, issuing a challenge the fans on hand were only too happy to meet. Walking the red carpet before the start of the game, band member Gene Simmons was asked what could be expected from KISS during their appearances before the game and during the first intermission. "Look up more in the dictionary and there will be a picture of KISS next to it," he growled. "That is who we are and what we do." The rock and roll legends, who go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, delivered on Simmons' bombastic promise.

12. Target practice: After falling into a two-goal hole against the Canucks at the Heritage Classic, the Senators found their range with some serious sharp-shooting from their biggest stars. Defenseman Erik Karlsson used a fake slap shot, followed by a perfectly placed shot along the ice to catch the inside of the far post to beat Eddie Lack for the tying goal. Later, Jason Spezza finished off a transition rush by snapping a wrister off the far post and in for the winning goal.

The Michael Des Barres Show – with Gene Simmons!

The Michael Des Barres Show – with Gene Simmons! – 2-27-14 | TradioV Los Angeles: Listen.

PodKISSt #81 Is the KISS Army dead?

On this edition of PodKISSt we are joined by Bill Starkey for an in-depth discussion about the state of the KISS Army. Are we in danger? People are threatening to burn their KISS Army cards! What should we do??? PodKISSt says KEEP ROCKING! Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 65 We Discuss YOUR Hate for KISS: Listen.

Kiss Guitarist Paul Stanley Talks Ace Frehley, Peter Criss and Being Ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

( This is an excerpt from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus an interview with Gene Simmons and much more Kiss (not to mention the Scorpions, three kings of acoustic shred, the hottest gear from the 2014 NAMM Show and more), check out the April 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

Rock and Roll Hall Nite: In celebration of their upcoming Hall of Fame induction, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons take off the makeup for a pair of revealing interviews about their 40 years in Kiss.

Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the merchandising. Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just the music itself. Whatever the source, it is safe to say that few bands have inspired as much fervent devotion—and also rabid derision—as the self-proclaimed “Hottest Band in the World,” Kiss.

But love them or hate them (and really, is there any area in between?), Kiss—and in particular its stalwart co-founders, visionaries and greatest proponents and protectors, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—continue to not only exist but also scale greater heights.

Here we are in 2014, and the band, now roughly 10 lineups in with current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are experiencing yet another renaissance. Their most recent (and 20th) studio album, Monster, was an unusually strong effort, more energetic and enjoyable than should reasonably be expected from any band at this stage of its career.

Meanwhile, on the live front, Kiss continue to push the limits of just how much of an over-the-top spectacle a rock and roll show can truly be (for evidence, check out videos of recent performances that feature their newly designed Spider stage).

But 2014 is also offering up another nice pair of victories for the band. This year marks Kiss’ 40th anniversary (their self-titled debut was released in February 1974), and in April, Stanley and Simmons, along with former, and now estranged, original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To celebrate these dual milestones, Guitar World met separately with Stanley and Simmons at their Los Angeles homes to discuss just a few of the many triumphs and tribulations that led the band here.

Below is an excerpt from our interview with Paul Stanley. In the new issue, the guitarist opens up about firing Ace and Peter and why Kiss took off the makeup—and put it back on.

Congratulations on your long-awaited Hall of Fame induction. Along with Rush, who were inducted last year, there is possibly no other band that has been both as successful in music and as ignored by the Hall as Kiss.

But to ignore somebody with the kind of fervor that we’ve been ignored, that’s clearly a conscious decision. For better or worse, that’s not being ignored at all. When it happens year after year, that’s a choice. But on the other side of it, to me rock and roll has always been about doing what you want to do and ignoring not only your critics but also your peers. For 40 years, we’ve rarely wavered from that. So I would have to say that the same criteria that has kept us out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the same criteria that now has gotten us inducted into it.

The debate over whether or not Kiss deserved to be in the Hall of Fame was in a way a microcosm of a larger and much longer-running argument about Kiss’ artistic merits in general. The classic “Kiss Army vs. the Critics” battle, if you will.

But ultimately, who gives a shit about the critics? To pontificate or pass judgment on what’s good or bad, I leave that to the audience. And let me say this: the makeup and the stage show have never been there to cover anything up; it’s there to embellish and enhance what we do. I’ve seen us onstage without any makeup, I’ve seen us play in a club setting. We’ve got the goods. If some people are turned off by the way we look, that’s their prerogative.

How did you and Ace work together as guitarists in the early days?

What we had at the beginning was magical. Not because we were virtuosos. Magic in rock and roll isn’t dependent on virtuosity. Ace and I played great together. But in my mind it’s a crime what Ace did. He threw away incredible potential and talent. The Ace I played with when the band first started out was a comet. And not [Frehley’s late-Eighties band] Frehley’s Comet! But he was burning bright and really had the ability—and this would rub him the wrong way—to be a real contender. But he stopped practicing. He got involved with a whole lot of things that really diluted and diminished his craft. I saw that comet grow dim.

By the turn of the Eighties, Ace and Peter were on their way out, and Gene was off trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood. Did you feel like you were on your own in Kiss?

Totally. Absolutely. I didn’t feel it. I was. There wouldn’t have been a band without me. Because when your partner is off doing all kinds of questionable side projects and not only taking time but also involvement away from the band, sure. For me it ultimately came down to, I love what I do; I don’t want this to end. So I decided to bail water, for my own survival.

How did that make you feel?

It certainly was more lonely and more stressful to know that the only person who was going to get us through the icebergs was me. But I didn’t mind that. I only minded the fact that I was still splitting the income and royalties as though I had a partner. That bothered me. The fact that I was running things? Honestly, that’s probably what got us through that decade.

As far as navigating the icebergs, as Kiss’ popularity declined, it was your idea, in 1983, to take off the makeup in order to reinvigorate interest in the band.

I didn’t see any other choice at that point. And I take my hat off to Gene that, although he was uncertain about it and maybe less comfortable with it, he came to realize that it was the right move. Or at least he saw that I was very committed to the idea. I felt that we had diluted everything the band was to the point where it was becoming a farce. What happened was, we kicked Peter out of the band—“we” meaning Ace, Gene and myself.

But rather than saying, “We’ve built these iconic figures together and we’re going to continue on with what we built,” we bought into the idea of, “We have to have a new character.” That watered it down. Some people may argue with me, but I feel that Batman is Batman whether he’s played by George Clooney, Christian Bale, Val Kilmer and on and on.

For the rest of this story, plus an interview with Gene Simmons and much more Kiss (not to mention the Scorpions, three kings of acoustic shred, the hottest gear from the 2014 NAMM Show and more), check out the April 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

KISS is happy with its lineup and OK with the Rock Hall

( The sideshow at Dodger Stadium is about to begin as Paul Stanley emerges from his backstage trailer, shirtless and in full kabuki drag: bright red lips, his face painted harlequin white, a black star over his right eye. The singer-guitarist is here to perform with his band KISS but hears his name and walks over to a crowd gathered at the fence.

"Arriba!" yells one fan, and Stanley reaches over to shake hands, as dozens of cellphones take snapshots. "Let me see your shoes!" shouts another, and Stanley half-climbs the fence to swing a tasseled silver-and-black platform boot over the top. "Thanks, Paul!"

In less than an hour, Stanley and his musical partner of four decades, Gene Simmons, will lead KISS through two short sets of hooks and hard rock riffs as halftime entertainment for an ice hockey game between the Kings and the Ducks. It's another strange gig in the ongoing saga of KISS, which long ago evolved from band to lucrative brand, ready for high-profile special events, reality TV and cradle-to-grave business ventures in the form of KISS Hello Kitty Dolls, KISS comics, books, T-shirts, action figures and restaurants as well as KISS caskets and KISS urns.

Designer John Varvatos recruited KISS for his Spring 2014 advertising campaign, putting the band in sharp suits to echo the 1975 album cover for "Dressed to Kill." And next month is the unlikely debut of an arena football team called the L.A. KISS, co-owned by Simmons and Stanley (with band manager Doc McGhee and sports exec Brett Bouchy). This is not standard rock 'n' roll behavior.

"This is what I do for a living," jokes Stanley, 62, greeting a friend backstage. "Got to put the kids through school."

In one more way, 2014 could be the band's most surprising year since its initial 1970s pop culture explosion, beginning with KISS' induction April 10 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It welcomes the hard-rock quartet into the critical pantheon that has at times violently rejected KISS and acknowledges the band's huge impact on rock spectacle.

The band's stagecraft has grown only bigger and louder, with eruptions of fire and smoke, and members standing like comic book heroes in two-tone makeup and "uniforms" of armor and shades of silver and black, singing anthems of rocking out and getting the girl — and then getting another. The band's hard-charging, catchy guitar rock took the genre to new theatrical heights while helping set the stage for the glam-informed look and sound of the Sunset Strip in the '80s and beyond.

"I still believe the heart and soul of this is a band. The music is imperative," says Stanley, who has produced the last two KISS albums and next month releases an autobiography, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed." "Maybe our horizons are broader because we have an opportunity to go other places. Why not? Whether it's a football team or restaurants, people say that's not rock 'n' roll. Let me tell you what's rock 'n' roll: Winning is rock 'n' roll."

Being voted into the Hall of Fame is a victory that comes 15 years after the band's initial eligibility and annual outrage from fans. But next month's ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn also means dealing with old wounds and complications that began with the final exit of founding guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss more than a dozen years ago. In their place ever since are lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, 53, and drummer Eric Singer, 55, who both wear the makeup designs of their predecessors (designs owned by Simmons and Stanley).

"The naysayers, and some of them are loud, talk about Tommy or Eric being impostors. I think an impostor is a guy up there doing it for a paycheck," says Stanley, back in his trailer and now dressed in his full stage regalia, with black feathers on his shoulders and medallions over his chest of a guitar pick, a feather, a star. "We've never been happier."

Any hopes for a reunion in makeup of the four founding members at the Hall of Fame ceremony ended last week with a band decision to not perform in any capacity. A statement on the KISS website read: "This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone."

Negotiations with the Hall of Fame stalled, say Simmons and Stanley, who wanted to include Singer and Thayer, while the Rock Hall wanted a reunion of the original quartet in makeup.

"Imagine getting onstage and playing with a lineup that does not exist," says Simmons, 64, comparing the situation to a forced reunion with an ex-spouse. Both have bad memories of years of substance abuse by their former partners but say they are happy and proud to accept the award with the former members. Putting the original quartet in makeup was "a nonstarter," says Stanley.

Simmons and Stanley questioned whether the former members were up to performing. Reached via email, both Criss and Frehley are working on solo albums and say their problems with drinks and drugs are behind them. Frehley has been sober for seven years.

"We should of been able to work it out as grown men; it's a shame we couldn't," writes Criss, who also survived a 2007 breast cancer scare.

"My guitar playing, singing, writing, performing and producing skills are as good or better than the past," Frehley writes. "For years, Gene and Paul have been trying to minimize my contributions to the band, even though I designed the famous KISS logo … and designed the trademarked makeup for the Spaceman character."

All four said they were open to joining the night's traditional jam session at the end of the night. "That's what the celebration is all about," Frehley writes.

Long before being voted into the Rock Hall as a band, Simmons and Stanley were outspoken critics of the rock institution and its rules. "We had issues before this happened. It doesn't turn into a love fest now," says Stanley, but acknowledged, "There are some people who are angry or hurt by this, and I don't want to see that."

In the canyon mansion made through seven seasons of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" on the A&E network (the show was canceled in 2012), Simmons sits behind a desk stacked high with evidence of his place in the universe. There are KISS comics and rolls of KISS Hello Kitty toilet paper, DVDs and an array of magazine covers declaring him a financial wizard.

But at the moment, Simmons is somewhere else. His eyes are closed, and he gingerly taps a beat on imaginary drums, then riffs on air guitar and sings along to an old recording of his: "This time I'll get it right / Just give me one more chance tonight."

These aren't lightning bolts from the God of Thunder but melodic rock tunes that could have shared the late '60s Top 40 of the Beach Boys or the Animals. The songs are demos from 1977.

The controversies over the Hall of Fame and newer members wearing classic makeup are issues mainly for older fans with an emotional attachment to the original band. Simmons calls up a photo on his computer from a stadium show in Stockholm, then another from Lima, Peru. Both show ecstatic young fans in the front rows.

"Can you see the faces? That's about 90,000," he says of the crowd. "You see a bald head in there? You think they … about Ace and Peter? They're going, 'Who?' We've been around 40 years, and only two members stayed there the whole time, never quit, no drugs, no booze.

"KISS is bigger than anybody in the band."

The crowds didn't always come. After KISS' initial round of fame as pop culture figures in the '70s, the band's popularity began to fade. Criss and then Frehley soon left.

"What people don't realize is that you don't get any warnings," Stanley recalls of that time. "Nobody says, 'Hey, tomorrow you're not going to fill the arena. Tomorrow your album isn't going to sell.' You fall off the cliff. That is a stunning and stark realization. I don't think anything can prepare you for it."

KISS took off the makeup and became MTV stars in the hair-metal era with "Lick It Up" in 1983 and were platinum once again. "The idea was, if we can't exist as a band without makeup, then we don't deserve to exist. Let's take it off and see what we can do."

The makeup returned in 1996. In 2009, KISS began recording "Sonic Boom," this time with Singer and Thayer as full members. "Monster" followed in 2012, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart, though it hasn't reached the gold or platinum status typical of their first decades.

"It's very different out there," says Stanley. "If somebody's putting out an album thinking they're going to sell millions, they're going to be disappointed. We didn't do it for that. We did it to reclaim our territory and to see if we could contribute to the KISS legacy. Instead of just living and celebrating our past, being creative and moving forward but still firmly committed into what we've always done."

Family matters

KISS has a history at Dodger Stadium. The band launched its 1998 "Psycho Circus" reunion tour there on Halloween night. At the end of the show, the quartet slipped away in a van while fans were cheering but got stuck in traffic on the way to their hotel.

Stanley remembers KISS getting out of the van to walk the rest of the way on Sunset Boulevard, still in makeup. "People were going, 'Great costumes!'"

This time, the band exits before the main event is over. Thayer steps out of the trailer without makeup looking refreshed. Stanley walks hand-in-hand with his youngest children — ages 2, 4 and 7 — and proudly notes the blues-guitar skills of his 19-year-old, Evan Shane Stanley.

"Sooner or later, you'll realize that nothing is more important than family," says Stanley, who no longer hangs a single gold or platinum album award on his walls at home. "If you fight it, you're an idiot."

Simmons steps out with all his armor and makeup removed, looking pleased in his socks and a robe, a towel draped over his head. Mission accomplished, he waves goodbye and slowly walks toward the gate and a waiting car with his family to take him back home into the canyons.

Engelbert Humperdinck Pairs With Gene Simmons, Elton John on First Duets Album

Engelbert Humperdinck decided to do an album of duets -- a two-disc, 23-track duets set with Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Il Divo, Willie Nelson, Kiss' Gene Simmons, Wynonna Judd and more -- for one simple reason: He'd never done it before.

"I figured this'll be my 80th album, and I've never done a duets album, so it was kind of a change for me," Humperdinck, who releases "Engelbert Calling" on March 17 in the U.K. and later this spring in the U.S., tells Billboard. "It was a big change and a great honor to work with all these legendary people. All of (the songs) are pretty personal; I wouldn't have chosen them if I didn't particularly like them. They all have a certain significance attached to them that relates to my life and to (the other singers)."

Humperdinck credits John, with whom he sings "The Way You Look Tonight," with the "Engelbert Calling" concept -- and title.

"He said on one of his live CDs that in the early days, when he was a struggling writer in London, 'I used to live in a little flat with my partner Bernie Taupin, writing songs and hoping and wishing that one day an Engelbert Humperdinck would call and take one of my songs.' So we finally called, and that's why we called the album 'Engelbert Calling,' and Elton John was the first to answer, and it was a delight to work in the studio with him."

Humperdinck says "quite a few" of the tracks were recorded with both singers in the room, wrapping up with Judd and Johnny Mathis -- "Two of my favorite people. And Mathis is out of this world; I've been a big fan of his since the beginning of time."

Judd, meanwhile, had the honor of cutting a new version of Humperdinck's signature hit "Release Me," which the two "re-did in a modern fashion." And he's well aware that Simmons in particular sticks out on his list of collaborators.

"Not only do I like his band -- I like him," Humperdinck says of Simmons, who joins him for "Spinning Wheel." "He was just an amazing person. He's got a great personality, a lot of pizzazz to it and a great sense of humor. And he helped me a little bit by telling me, 'Why don't you do this? Why don't you do that?' and I'd think, 'yeah, that's a great suggestion.' Coming from him, I would take it."

Robinson, meanwhile, was perfectly happy to let Humperdinck have his way with "You've Really Got a Hold On Me." "I said to him, 'I Know this was a super big hit, but can we do it this way?' And he said, 'It's your time, it's your song, you go ahead and do it the way you want to do it, man,' " Humperdinck recalls with a laugh.

Humperdinck, who continues to tour regularly, says he'd like to recreate "Engelbert Calling" in a live setting at some point.

"A lot of them have said, 'Any time you ever need us to do anything, we'll be happy to oblige," he says. "The first one, of course, was Elton John, and Gene Simmons said he would do that, too. So therefore we've got those two people to start with. And of course Willie Nelson for sure, and Kenny Rogers -- quite a few of them." And Humperdinck says his next recording project "will probably be another duet album I think. And we'll probably call it 'Re-Dialed.' "

The full track list for "Engelbert Calling" includes:

Disc 1

"Something About The Way You Look Tonight" with Elton John
"Since I Lost My Baby" with Cliff Richard
"Never Never Never" with Olivia Newton-John
"Spanish Eyes" with Il Divo
"Make You Feel My Love" with Willie Nelson
"Spinning Wheel" with Gene Simmons
"I Need You Now" with Lulu
"You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me" with Smokey Robinson
"Real Love" with Shelby Lynne
"She Believes In Me" with Kenny Rogers
"Better" with Louise Dorsey

Disc 2

"Ain’t That Peculiar" with Andrea Corr
"A Certain Smile" with Johnny Mathis
"After The Lovin’" with Beverley Knight
"The Hungry Years" with Neil Sedaka
"It Matters To Me" with Dionne Warwick
"She" with Charles Aznavour
"Kiss Me Honey" with Tini
"It’s Impossible/Somos Novios" with Armando Manzanero
"Quien Te Dijo Eso" with Luis Fonsi
"Release Me" with Wynonna Judd
"Something To Hold On To" with Ron Sexsmith
"Father And Son" with Bradley Dorsey

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Says KISS 'Made The Right Decision' By Not Playing ROCK HALL Induction

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has defended KISS leaders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for their announcement that no members of KISS will be playing at the April 10 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn. Their statement came on the heels of Ace Frehley explaining to fans that neither he nor Peter Criss are invited to play with Simmons and Stanley.

Speaking to "Rover's Morning Glory", a syndicated hot-talk/comedy radio show airing weekday mornings on Cleveland rock station WMMS (100.7 FM), Ian joked: "Look, I've got Gene Simmons tattooed on my leg, so whatever Gene says is what goes."

He continued: "I'm a [KISS] fan, just like everyone else, and would I wanna see, if I was going… I'm not going to the Hall Of Fame thing, so would I wanna see the four original dudes back in makeup one more time? Of course I would, as a fan. But bands don't do things dictated by what the audience wants. A band would last about a year if that's how you worked. You have to do things the way you wanna do them.

"KISS has been around for 40 years and are bigger now than they were in 1977 because Gene and Paul make smart decisions — that's why. So, as a fan, and if you love them, you have to abide by the decisions that Gene and Paul are making for their brand and their band. So, why people get so upset over these things, I really don't undertand. Like, if they decided they were playing with [current KISS members] Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums], so fine. That's what they're doing. This is their band. This has been the lineup for a long time now.

"I get it — those two guys [Tommy and Eric] aren't the guys who are getting into the Hall Of Fame [with Paul and Gene], it's Ace and Peter… you know, I get it.

"So I think they made the right decision now by saying, 'We're just not gonna play. You can't please everybody. We're just gonna shut it down and just not do it.' I get it. I understand."

Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current KISS lineup —Thayer and Singer — dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "spaceman" and "catman" personas.

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Simmons and Stanley.

February edition of THE KISS ROOM!

KISS ARMY, listen to the February edition of THE KISS ROOM! Matt Porter is joined in the studio by
• The starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISS IT!
• KISS talk, KISS tunes, a winner in our contest
• and MORE!

Original KISS Drummer PETER CRISS Speaks To MODERN DRUMMER Magazine

Modern Drummer magazine's Sandy Gennaro recently conducted an interview with original KISS drummer Peter Criss. You can now watch the chat in three parts below. In part one, Peter watches a never-before-shown video that former WHITESNAKE drummer Brian Tichy — a lifelong KISS fan since he first picked up drum sticks — made just for him. You can see Peter was very touched by the sentiment. Also, Robin Diaz, DAUGHTRY drummer and another huge fan of Peter's, texts in a question.

In part two, Peter talks about KISS' album "Destroyer", released in March of 1976, and helmed by legendary producer Bob Ezrin. The LP became the band's most commercially successful studio effort due to Criss' ballad "Beth", the B-side of "Detroit Rock City". The hit single became the band's first Top Ten hit, won a People's Choice award, and went triple platinum. On February 18, 1977, the New York-based band made its Madison Square Garden debut — a dream come true for Peter, as he explains in part three.

KISS fans are up in arms over Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley's announcement that no members of KISS will be playing at the April 10 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn. The statement came on the heels of Ace Frehley explaining to fans that neither he nor Peter Criss are invited to play with Simmons and Stanley.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current KISS lineup — guitarist Tommy Thayer and longtime drummer Eric Singer — dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "spaceman" and "catman" personas. The Pulse Of Radio asked Simmons what it feels like to turn around and see the spitting image of his former bandmates — yet it's someone else. "Y'know, we still have a tug of the heart," he said. "It's like your drunken dysfunctional father who was a bum and you finally had to get rid of him — but you still remember the beginning when he was a good dad. Ace and Peter are beloved, as they should be, for the beginning. For helping launch the band — if you don't mind me saying so — that changed the face of rock 'n roll, literally and figuratively speaking. But equally as important part of the beginning of KISS, it's also important to know that with them in the band today, KISS wouldn't be around."

Video1, Video2, Video3.

Original KISS manager's partner speaks out on Rock Hall controversy

( The partner of original KISS manager, the late Bill Aucoin, has issued a statement regarding the controversy over the band’s induction into the 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have pulled the plug on a KISS performance at the band’s April 10th induction following news that they would not reunite and perform with original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss at the event.

Eddie Trunk reports Aucoin’s former partner, Roman Fernandez, has released the following statement regarding the situation:

“I’m going on record.

I normally stand by the sidelines quietly watching the scrimmage in silence, but now, I feel I have to speak up.

My late partner, Bill Aucoin, bothered enough in 1973 to wager his entire career as a successful television producer and bet all the money he had, as well as money he didn’t have, on 4 kids from the streets of New York. He unfortunately can no longer speak for himself on the subject of KISS and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bill Aucoin gave KISS their start, as well as some of the best years of his life. KISS would, in fact, despite all his other successes, come to define Bill in the eyes of millions of fans and in the eyes of the industry. An industry that to a great degree didn’t give KISS the time of day when it mattered the most. No one did except for Bill, Sean Delaney and Neil (and Joyce) Bogart. All no longer with us except for Joyce. But, Bill and I spoke about this subject on several occasions before he passed. Bill Aucoin was not the type to reflect in regret, and he harbored no animosity. But he was convinced that due to politics within the board of the Hall of Fame, the day would never come that saw KISS inducted. I’m pretty certain he was OK with that.

But had Bill been alive to see the day it was announced that the group would indeed, despite every notion to the contrary, be inducted, might have been a nice parting gift for him. But it’s done. He’s gone. It could have just as easily been Paul, Gene, Peter or Ace. But they’re still here. And I’m pretty sure this is what Bill might have said in light of all this nonsense: ‘(….unintelligible noises) Look it, find a compromise, put everything aside for one night, be the larger than life rock stars you know you are, and then…. Onward and upward!’

I don’t believe Bill would begrudge any reasoning for the band members feeling however they may about one another. But, I also believe he would have recognized this as one singular night to put unresolved issues aside. Bill is no longer with us. If Paul, Gene, Peter or Ace were not here, this conversation would not even be possible. Life is too short to waste such a precious opportunity. If for no other reason, do it for Bill Aucoin. And for Sean. And for Neil. Love to all members of Kiss past and present. Onward and Upward guys.”

KISS To Play Rare Acoustic Show Without Makeup

KISS will play a rare acoustic show on Thursday, April 3 at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland, California.

Billed as "Kiss: An Acoustic Evening And Stories With Kiss", the concert will feature the band performing stripped-down versions of its classic songs without makeup and telling stories, a setup that is said to be "not unlike" the "MTV Unplugged" episode the band filmed nearly 20 years ago.

Tickets are $65-$75 and go on sale Friday, February 28 at 11 a.m. via Ticketmaster or at the box office at San Manuel. You must be 21 or older to attend the show.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 64 Paul Stanley & the Hall of Fame: Listen.


Our 2nd Anniversary Bash on Sunday March 30, 2014 -FREE EVENT!

Starts at 11am Till....Outside and Inside At KISS by Monster Mini Golf Featuring:

Our 4th Rock And Roll Swap Meet, the Finals of "Rock or Dare"The Ultimate Music Trivia challenge and live music by: LUST OF KISS And....Count's 77 Rockin' Band featuring Danny Count Koker of History’s Hit Show Counting Cars with Special Guest Bruce Kulick of KISS and Grand Funk Railroad!

Kiss says it won't play at Rock HOF induction

Kiss won't rock and roll all night — or at any point during the day, either — when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, the band said Sunday.

The 40-year-old group is unable to agree on which lineup should perform during the April 10 ceremony in New York City, and has decided not to plug in at all.

The dispute concerns whether original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would join Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in a live performance, or whether the current lineup of Stanley, Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer would play instead.

In a message on its website, Kiss said it won't perform with any lineup, calling it "an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone."

"Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of Kiss and give credit to all members, including longtime present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame's point of view," the band wrote on its web site. "Although Kiss has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning."

The band made no mention of former guitarists Vinnie Vincent, who helped kick off the band's unmasked era, or Mark St. John, who was with the band briefly in 1984 and who died in 2007.

"It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in makeup and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced," Kiss wrote on its site. "To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up, and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame."

The festering dispute was brought to a boil when Frehley called into Eddie Trunk's syndicated radio show Friday night to say that Simmons and Stanley had rejected a reunion with the original four members for the induction.

"They just shot down any type of reunion with us," Frehley said during the broadcast. "It's very frustrating. It's what the fans wanted, it's what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wanted, and it's not gonna happen. You don't want to do something for the fans after 40 years of them supporting you?"

The band's statement said it has never refused to play with Frehley and Criss.

Criss, who lives in Wall Township, N.J., said he wanted to let fans know there would be no reunion before they bought tickets for the induction ceremony, which range from $120 to nearly $600.

"This is disgraceful, and I feel bad for the fans who were looking forward to the four of us being inducted together," he said.

Criss did not indicate whether he would attend the induction; Frehley said he is unsure whether he'll be there.

Kiss began in 1973, and the original lineup played together until 1980. They reunited from 1996 to 2000, but the band has continued with replacement members wearing the Frehley and Criss makeup and costumes.


To All Our Fans In Regards To The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Out of respect, Ace and Peter's recent statements demand a quick response to you, our fans.

Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members including long time present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's point of view.

Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning.

It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in make-up and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced. Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter.

We have spent 40 years dedicated to building KISS without quitting or wavering as the band has moved forward with huge tours and platinum albums through different important lineups for forty years, to this day.

KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands.

This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone.

To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

We are excited and are looking forward to seeing you all on the KISS 40th Anniversary worldwide tour.

PETER CRISS Says It Is 'Disgraceful' That Original KISS Lineup Won't Perform At ROCK HALL Induction

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss has released the following statement:

"To KISS fans,

"It's disappointing to have to say to you, the fans, that as of today, [original KISS guitarist] Ace [Frehley] and I have been denied a performance with [fellow KISS founding members] Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] for our Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. Tickets go on sale on Monday, February 24, and I wanted to make sure that fans understood that no original performance, in or out of makeup, has been offered to us before they purchased their tickets. This is disgraceful, and I feel bad for the fans who were looking forward to the four of us being inducted together.

"God bless, Peter Criss – The Catman"

ACE FREHLEY Says Original KISS Lineup Will Not Perform At ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Ceremony

It's official: The original lineup of KISS will not perform at the band's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, scheduled for this April at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The news of the legendary group's non-reunion at the event was broken by former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley during an appearance on last night's edition of "Eddie Trunk Rocks" (formerly "Friday Night Rocks") radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM.

"I don't think KISS fans are gonna be too excited and happy about the news, 'cause at this juncture, [KISS leaders] Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] have decided to perform with [current KISS members] Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums], and it looks like the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is going along with it," Frehley said.

Ace, who said that he was informed "in the last 24 to 48 hours" of Stanley's and Simmons' decision to perform with the current incarnation of KISS rather than the original lineup, continued: "The last time I was on [this radio show], it was a very exciting and happy call. And the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was very excited about having the four original members who are being inducted to perform at the ceremony. And that was shot down by Paul and Gene. And now it's kind of, like, if I'm not gonna put on the makeup and do a three-song reunion for the fans, then what am I gonna do? And right now I'm not even sure if I'm gonna show up for that, you know?!"

According to Frehley, Stanley and Simmons "shot down doing any type of reunion with [original KISS drummer Peter Criss and me] — with makeup, without makeup," while Frehley himself ruled out performing alongside KISS' current lineup, saying, "I'm not gonna get on the stage with Tommy wearing my makeup. That's absurd."

He added: "It's a shame. I know [the original lineup reunion is] what the fans wanted. I know it's what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted. [But] it's not gonna happen."

Asked if he had any idea why Stanley and Simmons are so opposed to the idea of performing with the original KISS lineup at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Frehley said: "I don't know, and at this point, I really don't give a shit. [Laughs] I really don't care. It's, like, enough already.

"You don't wanna do something for the fans after 40 years of them supporting you?

"It's something the fans wanted, it's something the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame asked of all four of us. They shot it down.

"It is what it is. I don't completely understand it, but those guys do a lot of things that don't make sense to me. It's unfortunate for the fans.

"We're being inducted because of the fans. And I feel like the fans are being let down. And I'm upset about it; I've gotta be honest with you. But I'm trying not to let it get to me because, like I said, I've gotta finish [my new solo] record and I've gotta think positive. And I wanna move forward. But it's upsetting.

"I'm working on my second book. I've got [my] new [solo] record [coming out]. What will be in the future will be. No matter what happens, I'm fine. And I'm having fun. And I'm creating great music. My life's great. And I can't let any negativity… I've gotta just let it roll off my back and continue doing what I've been doing — making great music.

"I'm at the tail end of [making my new solo] record… and this has just been a thorn in my side, because every day there's a different story: 'Yeah, maybe you can come and get up and do 'New York Groove'. And if you don't do it with KISS, you can do it with a celebrity lineup.' And that was shot down. It's very frustrating. It's also distracting my attention from the most important thing right now that I'm doing, [which] is working on music and creating. So it's very frustrating and a little disheartening."

Frehley also revealed the main reason he wanted to spread the message that he wasn't going to perform at the Rock Hall induction.

"It was very important that I let the fans know that because the tickets are going on sale on Monday, and I didn't want people buying tickets thinking that they were gonna see a KISS reunion, and then be disappointed," he explained.

[Note: American Express card members can purchase tickets to this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony before the general public beginning Monday, February 24 at 9 a.m. EST through Friday, February 28 at 10 p.m. EST. Tickets will be available to the public at beginning Saturday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m. EST.]

Simmons last year said he had no interest in playing with Frehley and Criss again. Simmons explained that both co-founders have repeatedly blown their shot to share the stage with him and Paul Stanley, telling "How many chances in life do you get? When you stick your hand in the fire, you get burned the first time. Fire and nature doesn't care if you're a good guy or a bad guy. Both of these guys had three chances to be in the band and three times they fucked it up. They were every bit as important as we were at the formation of the band and they would have been the ruin of the band had they continued in it… When you have a cancer in your system, it's best to cut it out as fast as you can. It used to be a part of your body, then it turned into cancer, so you gotta cut it out."

Simmons went on to say: "I believe that both Ace and Peter are happier now. They are healthier, they look fine. When they were in the band, they were both on junk, or crack, or alcohol. Clearly not a healthy place for them. They belong doing autograph shows in clubs — they're happier."

This past December, Simmons told Rolling Stone: "KISS is Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. It's like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, 'Wait, where are all the other wives?' It's like, 'Yeah, I was married to them and now I'm here.'"

He went on to say that he was open to performing with Criss and Frehley at the Rock Hall ceremony, stating, "They were equally important in the formation of the band. When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn't delete or minimize the important. Hey, 'You have gave birth to this thing, KISS, with Ace, Peter, Paul and Gene.'"

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

Frehley and Criss have opted out of appearing in what's being billed as the definitive KISS documentary, "You Wanted The Best You Got The Best". Classic Rock magazine spoke to director Alan G. Parker, who's behind the officially sanctioned film, and he shed light on why the two co-founders are staying away from anything having to do with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, explaining, "Gene and Paul were shocked at first, but now they don't seem to be. There's been so much bitchiness down the years, and so much said about and done to Ace and Peter that they interpreted the request to be in the movie as a favor to Gene and Paul. Because of that they won't go anywhere near it. The negotiations were interesting, to say the least."

KISS, which has been passed over by the Hall since 1998, is taking its long-overdue induction with a grain of salt, with Stanley telling Classic Rock magazine that it feels like a case of a little too little and a little too late to mean anything for him, explaining, "It was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don't realize that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It's a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame' and gave it credibility."

Stanley added: "So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts.

"So was it an honor to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans, and I understand it, because it's validation for them. So for that reason, I accept graciously and accept on their behalf."

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10 at Barclays Center.

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.


( On Feb. 18, 1974, Casablanca Records released Kiss's first album, Kiss. It didn't do very well. Critics and listeners who had followed rock music in its post-Beatles era turn into serious, high-minded stuff dismissed the band as a novelty act. Upon seeing them perform for the first time, executives from Warner Bros. dissolved their partnership with Casablanca. Despite a considerable amount of tinkering and several attempts at releasing a single that would catch on with pop listeners it initially sold only 75,000 copies, a flop at the time.

Forty years later Kiss's debut is ensconced firmly in the rock canon, and after years of being passed over for acts with more critical respect the band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this April. Some of the credit goes to the music itself, which blended bits of glam and heavy metal with unexpected pop hooks. But mostly the album, and the group that made it, were a success because of some of the most brilliant and successful marketing the music industry's ever seen. From makeup to caskets, here's a look back at Kiss's marketing strategy.

Makeup: Alice Cooper had been wearing outlandish makeup for years by the time Kiss came around, and David Bowie had already popularized glittery spaceman costumes, but there was something about the way Kiss pulled them together that transcended their influences. Never allowing themselves to be seen by the public outside of their sci-fi kabuki getups, the members seemed somehow more than human, and helped add a bit of mythical heft to their unpretentious musical arrangements and frequently juvenile lyrics. Without the makeup Kiss could have been successful, but they never would have been as big as Kiss.

Comic Books: Along with their distinctive costumes and makeup, each member of Kiss came up with his own supernatural alter ego: Gen Simmons was the Demon, Paul Stanley was Starchild, Ace Frehley was the Spaceman, and Peter Criss was the Catman. While the stage personas were only vaguely sketched out, they were more than enough for the creative staff at Marvel Comics to develop them into full-on comic book superheroes in 1977, complete with superpowers and interactions with the X-Men and Dr. Doom. Twenty years later, Kiss collaborated with Image Comics on a series tied into their Psycho Circus album that ran for an impressive 31 issues.

Action Figures: Kiss's many critics liked to dismiss the band as kids' stuff compared to, say, Lou Reed and Todd Rundgren, who also released records the same week as Kiss.

A band more concerned with their critical reputation wouldn't have signed on to release action figures through the Mego company in 1978, but Kiss was strictly focused on the commercial end and embraced the segment of their audience that happened to overlap with Saturday morning cartoons. Reed and Rundgren may have made more important music, but they never had their own lines of toys.

Pinball: In 1978 pinball still had a juvenile-delinquent edge, so it was perfectly synergistic to give the band that confused and outraged parental types more than any other of the era its own machine. From a strictly pinball perspective it wasn't anything special, but the fact that it had the faces of Kiss plastered all over it has meant there are still a remarkable number of them that fanatic owners have kept in playable condition.

Live Albums: The live album had been around for ages by the time Kiss released Alive! in 1975, but few acts before or after exploited the format as effectively as they did. Although the rumors about tapes being tinkered with extensively in the studio afterward call into question whether or not it technically qualifies as a live recording, Alive! managed to finally capture the band's on-stage energy that the previous three studio albums couldn't, and finally got them a break with a mainstream pop audience. Considering its massive success, it's not surprising that they've released six more live albums since.

Solo Albums: Musicians in popular acts release solo albums all the time, but only an act as willing to push the limits of their audience's budgets as Kiss would contrive to release one solo album per member (complete with coordinating sleeve art) on the same day. That there was only about one LP's worth of good material spread over four of them seriously tested their fan base's limits, but the sheer hubris of the act has made it a legendary moment in music business history.

KISS Army: Pop culture fan clubs are mostly aimed at teenage girls and sci-fi geeks, but when the Kiss marketing machine was at the peak of its powers it transformed a two-man fan club in Terre Haute, Ind., called the Kiss Army into an organization with an estimated 100,000 members that allegedly brought in $5,000 a day, whose emblem hardcore rock fans proudly displayed on their jean jackets.

KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park: Kiss was a multimedia entertainment company before "multimedia" even existed. It only made sense that at some point they'd try their hand at filmmaking. Produced by Hanna-Barbera (the studio best known for making Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones) and aired on NBC, 1978's Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park was a complete mess that would eventually become legendary among pop culture aficionados for its all-encompassing badness, but even in its massive failure it's a tribute to the band's willingness to think big.

Removing the Makeup: When your brand identity is so intrinsically tied to one element, like only appearing in public wearing full-face makeup, when the gimmick's novelty runs out the smart move is to make a big deal out of getting rid of it. That's what Kiss did in 1983 when they released Lick It Up, appearing on the album cover and in public au natural (or as close as 1980s rock got to it) for the first time in the band's existence and causing a brief but massive media explosion. Although it only gave a temporary boost to a band that was faltering (Frehley and Criss had left by then), the spectacle the act generated is an excellent lesson in PR judo.

KISS Kaskets: From the start Kiss' commercial ambition was considered unseemly, even by the crass standards of the 1970s music industry, and that reputation has remained one of the only constants in its existence. In 2001 they stirred up a fair amount of popular outrage by unveiling the Kiss Kasket, a Kiss-themed coffin retailing for nearly $5,000 that wasn't intended strictly as a novelty item but as a legitimate option for devoted Kiss fans to be buried in. It's proven so popular that the band now sells two different designs, and for those who'd prefer to be cremated there's also a Kiss urn.

Ex-KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK Interviewed On 'Krazy Knights' Podcast

Former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick was interviewed on the latest installment of the Australian KISS podcast "Krazy Knights". You can now listen to the chat here.

LA KISS Hire Entertainment Specialist HARLAN HENDRICKSON As Executive Producer

The LA KISS announced today the hiring of Harlan Hendrickson as the organization's executive producer of entertainment. In this new role, Hendrickson will consult the organization on all entertainment-related matters during the upcoming 2014 season. He will directly oversee all in-game entertainment, including concerts and special appearances, at all home contests.

Hendrickson is an innovative marketing professional who provides a deep entertainment background. Outside the sports world, he is the brainchild of the Monsters Of Rock brand, a nationally syndicated radio show which airs in over 60 markets across the country.

"LA KISS will pioneer the fusion of entertainment and pro sports and there is nobody better in the business to bring our vision to life than Harlan," said LA KISS President Schuyler Hoversten. "His creativity and risk taking approach to sports entertainment is a perfect fit for the organization as we design an experience never before seen by sports fans."

Hendrickson is well known for his ability to integrate entertainment and sports across varying media platforms. He developed best practices in several leading sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Arena Football League and the National Lacrosse League. He also directed four ArenaBowls for the AFL.

"Collaborating with Gene, Paul and Doc is truly an honor," said Hendrickson. "They will bring a perspective and vision for our games that will truly set a new bar for pro sports entertainment. KISS has become synonymous with spectacle and I'm thrilled to be part of ensuring our games deliver this."

Hendrickson currently serves as Palace Sports & Entertainment's Vice President of Marketing, overseeing the Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Theater in "Detroit Rock City".

Not Fade Away: KISS's Debut Album Turns 40

( And launches New York City's first "worldwide musical phenomenon."

In Not Fade Away, we take a look at the legacy of some of the greatest albums of the past few decades – some iconic, some lesser known – as they celebrate significant anniversaries. Here, we look back at KISS‘ 1974 debut album which turns 40 this week.

About two years ago, Bruce Springsteen started his epic keynote speech at South By Southwest by discussing some of the most divisive artists in rock music. He mentioned Phish, he mentioned himself, and he mentioned KISS. He said there are two ways you can look at the self-proclaimed “hottest band in the world.” He said, “You can say, ‘Early theater rock proponents, expressing the true raging hormones of youth,’ or ‘They suck!’” And that’s pretty much how it is with KISS: you can love them, or hate them, but they’re very hard to ignore. However, that wasn’t always the case.

Although the band’s principles, Gene Simmons (bass/vocals) and Paul Stanley (guitar/vocals) are from New York City, there’s a reason that one of their biggest hits is written not about any of the five boroughs, but about Motor City, U.S.A. “We didn’t make it in New York,” Simmons told in a recent interview. “We made it in Detroit. New York is a little too high-falutin, too full of itself.”

“It bears noting,” he says, “That New York City, perhaps the most important city on the face of the planet, never gave the world a worldwide musical phenomenon that could play stadiums and arenas around the world, other than KISS. Not one,” perhaps forgetting about Jay Z and Alicia Keys, to name two. “There’s the (New York) Dolls, the Ramones and other club bands. Blue Oyster Cult was from Long Island, and even they never played stadiums. New York City gave the world nothing. Detroit – not a major city – gave the world Grand Funk Railroad, which played Shea Stadium. Not a New York band ever played there,” although, Long Island’s Billy Joel had, in fact, headlined the former home of the New York Mets.

“Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, there were a ton of bands out of Detroit,” he said, although to again play devil’s advocate, Nugent hasn’t been an arena headliner in a few decades. “England gave the world thousands of bands: the Beatles and the Stones. Even Jimi Hendrix, an American, came out of England. New York City gave the world nothing. New York City gave the world KISS: one band and we didn’t make it in NY, we made it in Detroit. New York is like going to a restaurant and seeing 100 things to order, you can’t wrap your mind around what you want. You go to a restaurant with a half a page (menu), ‘I’ll take that one!’ It’s more focused! Even with black music: Detroit gave us Motown! Stax/Volt came out of Memphis! Didn’t come out of New York, there’s not a musical scene that came out of New York, not disco, not rock, nothing! Liverpool – Liverpool! – gave us the Beatles.” Of course, there are some that might argue his point about disco not coming out of New York, but we digress.

This leads to another of Simmons’ usual targets: music critics. “KISS is a heartland band, we completely ignored critics, they meant nothing to us. I buried them in my backyard, they’re fertilizer for my greenery! They’re the guys who never got laid in school who have pus-filled pimples who still live in their mother’s basement. They’re not even journalists! It’s a completely unnecessary lifeform. If critics cease to be, nothing changes.”

And with that business out of the way, we were able to discuss the band’s classic debut album. “Nothing To Lose, our new book, goes into how in the early days, we didn’t know anything, we were just four kids off the street,” referring to himself, Stanley, drummer/singer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley. “We started making $75 a week salary, which to me was a king’s ransom, because I could quit my job. Even though I was making three times that much at my former job, I didn’t have to wake up early in the morning, and on $75 a week you could be in a band.” Despite the fact that the man now sits atop an empire which includes a veritable cornucopia of KISS-themed items, and even a football team, he still describes that time with genuine wonder.

KISS was the first band signed to Casablanca Records, a label that would end up being more well-known for disco. The label provided them with the producers for their first album, Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise. ”When we met Kerner and Wise, they were assigned to us by a brand new label called Casablanca, we were the first act on Casablanca, and nobody was particularly awed by the talent or the direction. We just tried to be who we are. I think the first two records were ok, sonically they’re not great, but the one thing we were able to maintain was our soul. This is who we are. Not as ‘fidelic’ as it could have been, because live, the band sounded much better. In the studio we sounded smaller and less ambient and less ‘live.’ So, in a way, it sort of helped , the ‘fidelics’ weren’t high level, so when people saw us live, we were better than we were on record. Often, the bands that spent a lot of time in the studio sounded better in the studio than they did live.”

Simmons is a lot happier with the “fidelics” of later albums, but he says some of the more well-known producers that they worked with later on would not have been the right choice for their debut. “[Eddie] Kramer would have given those records a much more ‘English’ sound, and English records were just better. And even Bob Ezrin would have been the wrong producer in the beginning, because they would have gotten too arranged. We had to get those early, innocent, straight out rock and roll songs out of our system. And they were not written to be better arranged. It wasn’t until ‘Detroit Rock City’ and some of the other songs that it had the size and the width and the breath to be arranged with solos and harmonies and things like that.”

Four decades later, it may be difficult for some to separate the music from everything else — the marketing, the reality shows, Simmons’ larger than life personality — to be able to enjoy the music. And as Simmons is quick to remind anyone who will listen, KISS isn’t just a band, it’s a brand. That b[r]and is finally getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, after fifteen years of eligibility. They are one of the most influential rock bands to emerge from the ’70s, so what took so long for them to get voted in? It seems that, as Springsteen said, for every huge fan, there’s a detractor who says “They suck!” As for Gene and Paul: they don’t care what you think. And really, they never did.



Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 63 Where's Drago from the KISS Debut: Listen here.

Kiss slam the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

( Kiss singer Paul Stanley has called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame “tainted, corrupted and distorted” on the eve of the band’s induction. The New York band have been eligible for the last 15 years, but were only accepted after a huge push from their fans. Speaking exclusively to Classic Rock, Stanley explains just why he’s unimpressed by the accolade – and whether Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are invited.

Did you feel honoured at being inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

No, it was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don’t realise that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It’s a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard ‘Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’ and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts. So was it an honour to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it’s validation for them. So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf.

My feelings and my ambivalence about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame hasn’t changed any. Their attitude is elitist and it doesn’t reflect the public. It reflects a small group who dictate who meets the criteria that they set up as ‘rock and roll’. I’ve always felt the spirit of rock and roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way. I think we’ve done that pretty much with few exceptions for forty years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in. I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group.

Nonetheless I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and The Who and the Beatles and the Stones is company I don’t mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them, it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted.

Are you looking forward to playing it?

Honestly, I have no plans at the moment to do anything, and that includes playing with Ace and Peter or anyone else. My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award. Anything else, we’ll see how it unfolds or unravels. It was interesting to me, or offensive to me, that when the question was broached with the hierarchy about inducting additional members it was shut down immediately as ‘a non starter,’ which to me is arrogant. People who sit behind desks need to respect the people who are actually either inductees or possible inductees into this so-called hallowed organization. So the fact that there are 30 or 40 or 50 or some absurd number of Grateful Dead members all inducted, the fact that all of the Chili Peppers, including people who played on early albums that never amounted to very much are not inducted, the fact that John Rutsey, the drummer on the first Rush album is not inducted, the fact that Rob Trujillo, who’s a great guy but didn’t play on any of the classic Metallica albums, was inducted after being in the band six years makes me wonder exactly what are the rules? If the rules don’t apply to everybody then they’re not rules.

Do you plan to bring Ace and Peter up on stage with you?

Of course it goes without saying that Ace and Peter deserve this moment in the spotlight. We wouldn’t be here without them. We couldn’t have built what we did without them at the foundation. That being said, we couldn’t have built what we built without a lot of people who followed them. We couldn’t have been here without them and we couldn’t be here today with them. So absolutely, of course they deserve and belong up there.

Ace and Peter jammed together at recent party for That Metal Show presenter Eddie Trunk. How did you feel about that?

I didn’t feel one way or the other. I don’t own those songs, I only wrote ‘em. There’s nothing to guard or lock away. Those songs are public domain and they played on those songs so why wouldn’t they play them? For that matter, why wouldn’t anybody play them?

KISS DLC Pack Now Available For UBISOFT's 'Rocksmith 2014 Edition'

Ubisoft has announced today that the KISS DLC pack for Rocksmith 2014 Edition is now available for download on Xbox LIVE for Xbox 360, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and Steam for PC and Mac.

Songs included in this pack are "Detroit Rock City", "Heaven's On Fire" and "I Was Made For Loving You".

Individual songs are available for $2.99 or the complete 3-song pack for $7.99.

New music packs continue to be released on a regular basis so please continue to watch for updated information.

Rocksmith 2014 Edition is the sequel to 2011's immensely popular Rocksmith, which taught over 1.5 million players how to play the guitar by enabling players to plug any real guitar or bass with a standard ¼" jack directly into their Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Sony PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, PC or Mac. Rocksmith 2014 Edition includes new features, new modes, optimized tracking and responsiveness, and completely redesigned interface, new techniques and tunings, and much more. Aspiring guitarists can now learn to play guitar in just 60 days with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

BRUCE KULICK Wedding Video

BRUCE KULICK Wedding Video.


Arsenio Hall, Tom Jones, and Natasha Bedingfield are also slated to perform at the Mending Kids International event.

AXS TV will broadcast the “! All-Star Concert for Children Worldwide” from the Hollywood House of Blues on Valentine’s Day.

The event — and now TV special — will be headlined by 2014 Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, KISS, and hosted by illusionist and “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Penn Jillette.

Pop crooner Tom Jones and singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield are also scheduled to perform, among others. Arsenio Hall is set to appear before the Sunset Strip rock n’ roll club’s invitation-only audience as well.

Over the past eight years,! has provided more than 1,500 children from 54 countries with life-changing surgical care to correct serious medical issues such as congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, and significant cranial facial deformities. Additionally, offers training and research to assist surgeons in developing countries to create self-sustaining surgical programs providing access so that more children enjoy longer, healthier and happier lives.

“‘! All-Star Concert for Children Worldwide’ is an incredible event that will bring some much-needed awareness to a truly worthwhile organization,” said Mark Cuban, AXS TV founder. “! does unbelievable work for children all around the globe, and it’s inspiring to see these larger-than-life personalities gather together to lend their support to this cause.”

The AXS TV broadcast of the benefit concert will kick-off with live coverage on Friday, Feb. 14 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Don Jamieson from VH1 Classic That Metal Show Joins to Talk Growing Up a KISS Fan: listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

SPECIAL EDITION!! The Story Behind the Vinnie Vincent T-Shirts & Official Facebook Fan Page: Listen.

PodKISSt #80 H.I.T.S. Part 2!

Join us for a Round table discussion on “Hot In The Shade” Part 2

“H.I.T.S.” celebrates 25 years! Join Gary & Ken along with Matt Porter, BJ Kramp, Chris Karem and Joey Hayne as we go round on H.I.T.S.

Listen here.

PAUL STANLEY Recording Audio Version Of 'Face The Music' Memoir

KISS frontman Paul Stanley is in the studio recording an audio verion of his memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed".

Stanley tweeted a photo from the session earlier today (Friday, February 5), writing, "Recording spoken word version of my autobiography 'Face The Music'. 180 pages done and 230 left to go!"

"Face The Music: A Life Exposed" will be released on April 8 via HarperOne The 432-page hardcover will feature rare photographs of the legendary rocker and detail his hard-partying lifestyle as one of the co-founders of the heavy rock band who has sold over eighty million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world.

AMC Orders Arena Football Reality Show With Gene Simmons

( AMC is hoping TV's love affair with football will extend to its latest unscripted order -- and bringing a bankable reality star along for the ride.

The cable network, which continues to make inroads into reality, has ordered 10 episodes of a new unscripted series following the inaugural season of arena football team the Los Angeles KISS. The show will include team owners and namesakes, KISS frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

Simmons, of course, is no stranger to a camera crew. The bass guitarist starred on his own reality show, A&E's ?Gene Simmons Family Jewels?, for seven seasons.

“We are thrilled to partner with AMC in bringing our show to the viewing public,” said bandmate and business partner Stanley. “Anyone who knows Gene and I knows we have never played by the rules. This opportunity to see the making of our team of rebels, the LA KISS, from behind the scenes will once again show everyone that we play to win.”

In addition to the duo and other members of the team, the show will also feature longtime KISS manager Doc McGhee.

“We look forward to capturing all the trials and tribulations of launching a sports franchise in a great sports city like Los Angeles,” AMC senior vp unscripted programming Eliot Goldberg. “These are incredibly dedicated athletes, coaches and management who want to win, and the fact that the team has rock and roll royalty in the owners box just adds another great dimension to the series.”

Still untitled, the one-hour series is produced by Thinkfactory Media (Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Hatfields & McCoys) and will launch summer 2014. Executive producers include Adam Freeman, Adam Reed and Leslie Greif. Goldberg, Marco Bresaz and Andrea Beckerman will oversee for AMC.

February sees the launch of AMC's latest reality foray, Game of Arms. Small Town Security, Comic Book Men, Freakshow and The Pitch are among its other unscripted offerings -- though the network remains best known for its dramas.


Premier Guitar conducted an interview with former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, which took place January 23-26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat here.

PodKISSt #79 H.I.T.S. Part 1!

Join us for a Round table discussion on “Hot In The Shade” as it celebrates 25 years! Join Gary & Ken along with Matt Porter, BJ Kramp, Chris Karem and Joey Hayne as we go round on H.I.T.S.

It’s the 79th installment of PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!


BRUCE KULICK Interviewed By

David "Gus" Griesinger of conducted an interview with former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, which took place January 23-26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat here.

Three Sides of The Coin

The Show About Nothing & Everything and a Pillow: Listen.


Paul Stanley will be signing copies of “Face the Music: A Life Exposed” at the following location:

Monday, April 7 – New York - 6:00 pm
Barnes & Noble Tribeca
97 Warren Street
New York, NY 10007

Tuesday, April 8 – New York - 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
2245 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY

Wednesday, April 9 – New York/New Jersey - 6:00 pm
211 E. Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ

Wednesday, April 16 – Los Angeles - 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
The Grove
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Thursday, April 17 – San Diego - 7:00 pm
7812 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Friday, April 25 – San Francisco - 7:00 pm
Q & A and Signing
Jewish Community Center
3200 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

PAUL STANLEY To Sign Copies Of His Memoir In Los Angeles

KISS frontman Paul Stanley will sign copies of his memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", on April 16 at Barnes & Noble at The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, California beginning at 7:00 p.m. For more information, go to this location.

'CSI' Snags KISS' Gene Simmons for Guest Spot

CSI is adding a rocker.

KISS frontman Gene Simmons is heading to CBS' long-running procedural during the 14th season in a cameo, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

“We're really excited to have Gene Simmons guest-starring on CSI, playing himself in a rock-and-roll-themed murder mystery," said executive producers Don McGill and Carol Mendelsohn in a joint statement to THR.

Simmons will appear in the 17th episode tentatively scheduled for March 12.

Simmons is repped by CAA. He starred in the A&E reality series Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, and has appeared as himself on Castle and Ugly Betty.


Check out this great new Google Play TV Spot featuring KISS! The spot began airing Monday night and will continue to air on Network and Cable TV over the next two weeks.

The multi-million dollar ad campaign includes airings on FOX, NBC, CBS, TBS, AMC, Discover, USA, History, Comedy Central, Fuse, VH1 and TNT.


We are excited to let you know that we just joined the new charity platform Chideo (charity+video). It is a new way to raise awareness and donations for the

Augusta Warrior Project, a cause that we are very passionate about. Check it out here.

Chideo lets you get up close and personal with us by asking questions about our life, our current projects...anything! Vote and be sure to share your favorite suggestions with your friends. The more votes, the better chance we’ll make it into an exclusive video on Chideo! Follow our page and we’ll let you know when we release new videos on Chideo. Donate to watch and help us raise money for a great cause.

We are in incredible company with many of your favorite actors, athletes, musicians, and tastemakers and we are grateful to be able to help support the holistic approach to veteran care.

Join us on Chideo and together we’ll WATCH THINGS CHANGE.

Minions Rock and Roll all nite

Minions Rock and Roll all nite: Video.

Decibel Geek Podcast - Episode 119 & 120- Gary Corbett Part 1 & 2

Gary shares his experiences in the music business working with Cinderella and KISS: Part 1, Part 2.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Chris Lendt Talks about The Elder, Creatures of the Night & Lick It Up What Was Going On: Listen.


LA Kings Vision caught up with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on the red carpet before the Stadium Series game on 1/25/14: Clip1, Clip2.

PAUL STANLEY's Memoir 'Face The Music: A Life Exposed': Book Cover Unveiled

KISS frontman Paul Stanley's memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", will be released on April 8 via HarperOne The 432-page hardcover will feature rare photographs of the legendary rocker and detail his hard-partying lifestyle as one of the co-founders of the heavy rock band who has sold over eighty million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world.

The cover for "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" can now be seen here.

Pre-order here: Hardcover or Kindle.

“Paul Stanley proves himself as an artist in music and on canvas and now with a great book.” — Jimmy Page

“Both honest and inspirational. Amazing tales from one of rock’s great frontmen.” — Sir Elton John

“Paul is a great man who has achieved great things. From the Popcorn Club all the way to the Hall of Fame, his story is inspiring and motivating for anyone who dreams big.” — Dave Grohl

“An entertaining yet piercingly honest journey from self–conscious child to the world’s most visually famous rock band, to, finally—with the makeup wiped away—a place of peace as a father and a man. Paul Stanley’s story is both ordinary and extraordinary, which makes it inspiring.” — Mitch Albom, author of The First Phone Call From Heaven and Tuesdays With Morrie


Kings Vision's Carrlyn Bathe spoke with KISS after their performance at Dodger Stadium for the Stadium Series game on 1/25/14: Video.

Stars come out for Stadium Series game in L.A.

(Video: J.R. with KISS) Only in Los Angeles could a red-carpet event at a hockey game produce the kind of palpable buzz that was so evident two hours before puck drop Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

There was KISS in full costume and makeup, Alyssa Milano talking about her love of sports, particularly hockey, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson sporting his long beard, and Wayne Gretzky photobombing actor and entertainer Tom Arnold.

"This is a wonderful night, a spectacular event, only a positive for hockey and a positive for sports in California," Gretzky said. "It's an opportunity, too, to show people how great a hockey city this is."

Before the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks took the ice to play the first game in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, hockey and Hollywood meshed in the Lexus Dugout Club underneath the stands behind home plate at Dodger Stadium.

Actor Jon Hamm was wearing his St. Louis Blues hat with his wife, Jennifer Westfeldt, beside him. Gold-medal winning beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings was there with her husband and kids.

Former ballplayer Nomar Garciaparra, who played parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, talked about his appreciation for the fitness that goes into hockey and the science that goes into ice-making. Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was there talking about how Dodger Stadium has played host to the pope, The Beatles and now outdoor hockey.

"Let's not forget one thing, L.A. is the sports capital of the world," Lasorda said. "Right here in Los Angeles and don't ever forget it."

"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak was there. A veteran of the first five NHL Winter Classic games, Sajak didn't attend the game earlier this month at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., because he knew he'd be able to come here to see his beloved Kings play the Ducks.

"You're either a hockey fan or you're not; (there are) those who are rabid about it, and those who aren't I think are missing out on a terrific sport," Sajak said. "This kind of gets the message out about this game to the casual fan, and it's hard to do that."

Grammy Award-nominated singer Jordin Sparks, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner," posed for photos. Actor Colin Hanks, in his Kings hat and jacket, talked about how he used to like the shootout but now he wouldn't mind seeing it out of the game.

Oh, and did we mention Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of KISS were there in full makeup and costume talking about hockey and signing commemorative Stadium Series goalie masks.

There were multiple sightings of Simmons' famous tongue.

"We're as excited about it as you are to see us," Simmons said of the opportunity to play Dodger Stadium before the game and during the first intermission.

Asked what he thought about the NHL, the Kings and the Ducks making hockey cool in Southern California, Simmons said it should happen and it is happening.

"The mountain is not going to come to you Mohammed, you're going to have to go to it," he said. "The same old, same old is gone. A woman playing an organ at a baseball game, 'Take me out to the ballgame,' that's yesterday. You're either going to attract new fans or you're going to be grandma's sport. That includes everybody. You've gotta reach it out, make it hip, make it cool."


The show was going well. Arsenio joked about Gene Simmons, the audience laughed, and then Gene walked on set: Video.

Simmons: KISS, NHL take no prisoners

(Video) Gene Simmons talked about the upcoming Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, and the link between Kiss and the NHL.

Gene Simmons On Playing LA's Outdoor Hockey Game: KISS Is Ready To 'Shake The Heavens'

This Saturday, Dodger Stadium is being transformed into an full-fledged hockey stadium for the first ever NHL outdoor game in Los Angeles at the Stadium Series game featuring the LA Kings taking on the Anaheim Ducks.

Taking part in the festivities of this anticipated outdoor game is recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees KISS, who will give a mini-concert during the first intermission of the game. This morning the one and only Gene Simmons joined us live on air to talk about performing at LA’s first outdoor hockey game, plus share his abundance of music knowledge, sentiments about being inducted to the Rock Hall and much more.

KISS is just one of the big-name talents performing at the Stadium Series game this weekend along with Jordin Sparks and Five For Fighting. The band will rock the stadium after the first period of the game, and Gene assures it will be a show to remember.

“How exciting is that going to be?” said Gene. “Dodger Stadium. Outdoors. Southern California right here in Los Angeles, you’re going to see great champions going at each other on blades on ice, but…we’ll be able to shake the heavens. KISS in full bombast, we’ll have more firepower than most third world countries.”

Not only does KISS have the honor of being the first band to play at LA’s outdoor hockey game, but the band also holds another title at Dodger Stadium of being the first band to put on a 3D concert on the field in 2000.

It’s these kind of record-breaking achievements that had made KISS one of the most celebrated rock bands in history. Now, Gene and his bandmates will forever be immortalized in music history after being named one of this year’s inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“We have nothing to complain about. We respectfully didn’t wait around to find out when and where and how. We are the most blessed guys in the world,” said Gene on being inducted to the Rock Hall. “It’s a nice kind of thing, so we’ll be celebrating with a 40th anniversary world KISS tour…it’s very exciting.”

It’s hard to believe KISS has been around for 40 years now, and we had to wonder if Gene and the rest of the band gets tired of putting on shows in full costume and makeup after all these years.

“We actually love it,” he said. “It’s a source of pride. It’s war paint more than makeup, because there’s a ritual, it takes about two hours. I wear more makeup and high heels than Lisa does.”

Over the years, there’s one other question that the members of KISS get asked over and over again, and that is, does KISS stand for anything?

“No, no. It stands for the same thing you do quietly when nobody’s looking with Lisa every morning,” he cracked.

Not only is Gene a talented musician, but he’s an incredibly resourceful businessman (and “very good-looking” in his words) in his spare time. Gene co-owns several companies including a restaurant chain Rock And Brews, Cool Springs Life loans, and his newest venture the LA KISS arena football league, which kicks off its season in March.

On the charitable side, Gene has a very big heart when it comes to deserving causes. Gene recently auctioned off his beefed-up Ford F100 truck for $450,000 to raise money to build a children’s hospital in Saskatchewan, Canada.

“It is worth reminding ourselves…that America is most charitable country that has ever existed,” said Gene. “This is proved positive when there’s a cause, in this case it was making sure that children in Saskatchewan – that’s a city of about a million people, did not have a children’s hospital. That’s inexcusable, so Ford donated a wonderful truck…and a kind-hearted person understood that there was a bigger idea besides just owning a car that the money was going to do some children good.”

You can catch Gene perform live with KISS at the Kings-Ducks Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium this Saturday, Jan. 25th at 7pm.

Three Sides Of The Coin

The KISSfaq Message Board, What are all the Fans Talking About in Those Threads? Listen.


Veteran music journalist/author/musician Ken Sharp is the author of the new ‘Nothin’ to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975). He shares his insights of working with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, as well as what it was like to see KISS out of makeup, as a youngster back in the 1970s. CLICK HERE to listen to the interview.

The Kiss Room - 1/17/14

Join THE KISS ROOM... recorded January 17, during the live broadcast on MONTCO RADIO, via! Matt Porter and Chris Giordano are joined in the studio by musician Dean Davidson, plus Eric Carr tribute artist Eric Toddorocks Carr:

INTERVIEW: Gene Simmons on the effect of reality TV shows...

Gene Simmons on the effect of reality TV shows... Video.


(Video) Celebrate the New Year with a KISS – t-shirt! Hard Rock International today announced the launch of the brand's KISS Signature Series: Edition 32 T-shirt and collectable pin, in support of City of Hope. The limited-edition merchandise, a collaboration between Hard Rock, City of Hope and the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, includes a collectable pin and a T-shirt featuring an original design by KISS. These special-edition products will be available for a limited time in stores and online beginning in January 2014.

"Charity and giving back is everyone's obligation. Here's a great way to give and get something great in the process. Everybody wins!" said Paul Stanley, KISS co-founder.

"KISS has always been committed to giving back, and these T-shirts are a fun way to do that," said Gene Simmons, KISS co-founder.

True to Hard Rock's "Love All-Serve All" mantra, a portion of the retail price from sales of the KISS Signature Series: Edition 32 products will benefit City of Hope in their worldwide effort to conquer cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. City of Hope touches lives around the globe, providing patients with the best medical care possible in an atmosphere of kindness and compassion. With Hard Rock's Signature Series: Edition 32 limited-edition merchandise, KISS fans can support City of Hope's mission to shorten the time from bold influential research ideas to powerful medical treatments.

"We are proud to support City of Hope by raising awareness and bringing encouragement to individuals and their families struggling with cancer through the Signature Series program," said John Galloway, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Hard Rock International. "Hard Rock is honored to have KISS, legendary musicians and dedicated activists, join with us to raise funds and awareness for such an important organization."

The new Signature Series T-shirt ($26) features an image of the current members of KISS with signatures of each KISS member on the front. The KISS Signature Series Pin ($12) features a cutout of the KISS members with the Hard Rock logo. The limited-edition KISS Signature Series T-shirt and collectable pin will be available online at, at Rock Shops at Hard Rock Cafes, Hotels and Casinos worldwide beginning in January 2014.

"City of Hope is delighted to have KISS and Hard Rock Cafe support our groundbreaking research with the sale of these exclusive items," said Steven Martin, vice president of marketing for City of Hope. "Through the generosity of KISS and Hard Rock Café, our scientists are better able to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and cures and, in doing so, improve the lives of patients and families everywhere."

As part of Hard Rock's partnership with KISS and the launch of Hard Rock's KISS Signature Series: Edition 32 T-shirt and pin, KISS is taking over all Hard Rock Cafes, Hotels and Casinos. Guests can enjoy special live music events, KISS makeovers, KISSing booths and more, as Hard Rock gets KISS-ed at participating cafes throughout the month of January.

In addition, Hard Rock is encouraging guests and fans to share their KISS experience on social media. Whether posting photos of Hard Rock's KISS Signature Series: Edition 32 products, or showing off their KISS makeover, Hard Rock wants everyone to use the hashtag #HardRockgetsKISSed and share how they got KISS-ed this January.

Hard Rock's Signature Series Lineup Hard Rock developed the concept of partnering with world-renowned musicians and bands to create and donate imaginative designs more than 20 years ago. These unique designs are reproduced onto T-shirts and sold at Hard Rock properties worldwide, with a portion of the retail price benefitting the artist's preferred charity. KISS joins a legendary roster of music icons – from U2, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton, to Jon Bon Jovi, Linkin Park, Shakira, Ringo Starr and John Lennon – who have become part of Hard Rock's Signature Series program, which has helped to raise millions of dollars for charitable causes worldwide.

CLICK HERE to purchase yours today online.

Ex-KISS Members To Guest On VH1 CLASSIC's 'That Metal Show'

VH1 Classic's centerpiece in original programming "That Metal Show" is returning for its 13th season this week. The acclaimed hard rock/heavy metal talk show, hosted by Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine, kicks off its latest season January 18 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The guests for the debut episode are AVENGED SEVENFOLD vocalist M. Shadows and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY vocalist/guitarist Zakk Wylde. Filling in as the guest musician for the episode is FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook. The episode will also feature the fan favorite segments "Take It Or Leave It," "TMS Top 5," "Rank" and, of course, "Stump The Trunk."

Each week, "That Metal Show" will continue to bring their audience the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. A slew of guests have already been confirmed for the upcoming episodes, including Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti of ALTER BRIDGE, Randy Blythe and Chris Adler of LAMB OF GOD, Corey Glover and Vernon Reid of LIVING COLOUR and THE WINERY DOGS. Also confirmed to appear during Season 13 are Mick Mars (MÖTLEY CRÜE), Ted Nugent, Ace Frehley (KISS), Peter Criss (KISS), Joe Satriani (CHICKENFOOT), Al Jourgensen (MINISTRY), Morgan Rose (SEVENDUST), Frank Bello (ANTHRAX) and David Ellefson (MEGADETH). Other guests are still being confirmed at this time with more to be named at a later date.

Known for having the best musicians in music perform each week on "That Metal Show", Season 13 will continue the trend with the likes of NIGHT RANGER guitarist Joel Hoekstra, surf guitar maestro Gary Hoey and metal master ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante. Other blazing musical performances by CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED drummer Richard Christy and female guitar legend Lita Ford are also confirmed to make the new season the most musically diverse collection of shows in "That Metal Show" history.

This season will mark some monumental changes for the show as it returns to New York City for Season 13. Previously, the show was taped over several days of one week out at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. The new season will be shot at Metropolis Studios on Tuesday nights for broadcast that Saturday. Season 13 will also consist of 12 new episodes making it the longest season in the show's history. Fans can also catch the complete season 12 and brand new exclusive bonus clips at and in the new VH1 app. New episodes of season 13 will launch on the web and in the app every Sunday morning following the show's on-air premiere.

"That Metal Show" premiered on VH1 Classic in November 2008 and since then has become the only place for all things hard rock/heavy metal on cable television. The show has been visited by some of the biggest names in music, including members of BLACK SABBATH, AEROSMITH, PANTERA, ANTHRAX, KISS, IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, PEARL JAM, QUEENSRŸCHE and HEART, to name just a few.

"That Metal Show" is a production of VH1 Classic. Lee Rolontz, Jeff Baumgardner and Keshia Williams serve as executive producers for VH1.

Three Sides Of The Coin

What Would We Like to See KISS Do in 2014: Listen.

Kiss and Tell: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Talk Shop

( Even if you like the rock band Kiss, and the bratty superhero antics of its founders, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, their appearance at the end of John Varvatos’s show in Milan qualified as a cringe moment. With models standing around them, the rock legends fist-pumped the air — Mr. Simmons stuck his tongue out, of course — and Mr. Varvatos looked pleased to be with his new mates. His clothes this season have a sleek toughness, with scaly metallic finishes and feathered fabrics that made you think of animals. Maybe that’s a link to Kiss. Still, the group’s presence seemed out of context, like someone photo-bombing your wedding pictures. Well, someone with clown makeup and a cherry-red tongue.

Mr. Varvatos usually has a musical artist hook-up. He recently featured Willie Nelson in his advertising; next it will be Kiss. But what was even stranger than seeing the rock stars at the show was encountering them beforehand, during an interview at the Westin hotel. They were dressed, Cash-style, in black; Mr. Simmons had on a vintage pair of cowboy boots. Their hair was relatively normal. Before Mr. Simmons joined the conversation, Mr. Stanley proudly showed off snaps of his outdoor pizza oven in California, where both men live, and some examples of his pie baking.

They just came across as two polite, charming and forthright middle-aged businessmen. And, no, they insisted, they were not selling out.

Mr. Simmons: This started as a mutual admiration society, and nobody had a master marketing plan. If John wasn’t designing clothing, he’d be in a rock band. I mean, he’s here in Milan, but I don’t think he cares what any other designer is doing. He’s being John Varvatos. And we have our own fashion sense, and I think that goes hand in hand with John’s philosophy about fashion.

Mr. Stanley: We have always been considered, by a certain element, as sellouts. Because we don’t play the game. I’ve always believed that rock and roll means not only ignoring your critics but also your peers. The only rule with Kiss is that there are no rules. If we felt comfortable endorsing toothpaste — well, that’s what makes Kiss different than other bands.

[Mr. Simmons pulled up a pant leg and fished out a worn black book buried in his boot. He produced a Kiss Visa card.]

Mr. Stanley: When we first started doing merchandise, we were just scorned by everybody. We did T-shirts and belt buckles. Other bands just looked down their noses at us when we started the Kiss Army Fan Club. Fan clubs weren’t cool — until people saw that they started to bring in sizable revenue. All of sudden other bands began having fan clubs and putting out T shirts.

How much revenue does the band get from merchandise and endorsements?

Mr. Simmons: People are always interested in the figures, and that is sort of beside the point. Let’s just all assume we do well. And we’ve been around for 40 years. We literally have thousands of licensed products, everything from condoms to caskets. I won’t do the joke about that. I’m sure you can figure it out.

Mr. Stanley: If you see the Varvatos campaign, there’s nothing “sellout” about it. I think we’re being very true to who we are. We look like us.

After 40 years of putting on the makeup and wigs, and wearing platforms and heavy stage garments, there must be a physical toll. And performing is hard on the body, besides.

Mr. Stanley: Absolutely. Things that didn’t hurt me 40 years ago hurt me today. From 40 years ago. I’ve had both my rotator cups repaired, my knees. I’ve had a hip replacement. But I’m doing splits and everything on stage. I’m blessed. Every time I go out on stage it is exhilarating.

People ask if it’s a drag to put on the makeup, and I say, “Do you complain about taxes if you win the lottery?” It’s a small price to pay. It’s really our uniform and war paint. It’s part of the ritual more than the routine. I probably train harder and longer now to stay in shape. Your cardio becomes so important.

And your hair, Gene? What do you do —

Mr. Simmons: Well, this is perfect hair. You can’t duplicate this. In hindsight, I bet you the makeup may have been good for us. I don’t use any regimen or anything, and I’m 64. Look how good I look! The makeup must have some kind greasy quality. Stein’s makeup is what we use.

Mr. Stanley: I didn’t think we used Stein’s anymore …

Mr. Simmons: The bucket that I use says Stein’s. It seems to have an oily base, and afterward you’ve got to wash it off with lots of soap and water. So you wind up scrubbing that sort of derma blah blah more than you normally would.

Do you guys smoke?

Mr. Simmons: No. I’ve never been high or drunk except in a dentist’s chair.

You didn’t do drugs?

Mr. Simmons: No. It’s fair to say we’re the hardest-working band in show business. Period. I’ll put you in a pair of seven-inch platform heals and weigh you down with 30 to 50 pounds of armor. The guitar will weigh another 10 to 15 pounds. And you’re surrounded on stage with things that blow up occasionally. You have to fly through the air. You’re on stage for two hours plus. And you will walk off that stage exhausted, whatever your age, and barely be able to catch your breath. And we do it well.

Mr. Stanley: This whole idea of drugs and rock and roll — that’s the whole cartoon idea of rock that’s deadly. What we used to do was have sex with a lot of women.

Yes, I read somewhere, Gene, that you claimed to have slept with 4,600 women.

[Mr. Simmons pointed to his wedding ring and then imitated a key turning at his lips. A couple of years ago he and Shannon Tweed were married after being together more than 30 years ago. They have two children.]

Mr. Simmons: And I was bad, until we got married. I continued with the lifestyle — forever. Here’s what being in a band is like. If you’ve scaled the heights, and you’re blessed to be at the right place at the right time, then you can easily become seduced and delusional about what you’re entitled to. If you have the DNA for the self-abuse thing, you will swim in a pool of heroin and cocaine. It takes all kinds of restraint to survive it, one way or the other.

I was a 14-year-old horny kid all my life. Looked like a man, acted like an irresponsible little kid — forever. And it takes a better person — Shannon, my wife. She stuck with me for 30 years, raised two great kids. And it seems to me that the closer you get to the last breath you’re going to take, the easier it is to grow up.

Where do you get your platform boots made?

Mr. Stanley: A place called Andre #1. He’s been around forever in Hollywood. We have them made with steel reinforcements. They weigh a good 30 pounds.

And where do your regular clothes come from?

Mr. Stanley: I love Brioni. Once you put on Brioni, nothing else quite looks as good.

Mr. Simmons: I have no idea. I’m a fashion retard. I literally walk into my closet and there will be a shirt …

Mr. Stanley: But you have clothes made?

Mr. Simmons: When and what?

Mr. Stanley: I know for a fact that most of your clothes are made for you …

Mr. Simmons: They are?

Mr. Stanley: Shannon just goes shopping?

Mr. Simmons: Yes, pretty much as long as we’ve lived together. I hate shopping. I don’t even like going into a Starbucks. As soon as someone says, “Can I help you?” I start to sweat and I want to leave. I just don’t have the temperament.

Kiss makes surprise Milan Fashion Week appearance

(Photo) Gene Simmons wagged his trademark tongue as an all-glammed-up Kiss swept down the John Varvatos runway in an unannounced appearance during Milan Fashion Week.

The band that brought glam to rock decades ago gave a burst of energy to the Varvatos' rock-inspired menswear preview for next winter Saturday, bringing the normally restrained fashion crowd to its feet to "Rock and Roll All Nite."

Simmons said fashion for him is "to be an individual and not to be a lemming."

Varvato's designs have that "rock persona," Simmons said, adding "if he wasn't designing clothes, he'd have a guitar around his neck."

"The idea is to have a fiery heart and an insatiable appetite for any pair of beautiful eyes, male or female, looking at you. And what you wear is an extension of your sexuality," said Simmons, the band's bassist.

Singer and guitarist Paul Stanley said the band met Varvatos during Milan Fashion Week last year when they were performing in the city. The band has since signed on to do an ad campaign for Varvatos.

"I knew John's clothes for years because they have all those elements that I love in clothes, which are timeless," Stanley said. "There is a style that goes back to some of the great rock 'n' roll bands of the 60s."

The looks that preceded Kiss's show-stopping appearance had a rock 'n' roll edge, with many stage-ready touches like gold- and silver-tone leather jackets, leopard top hats and a dramatic black jacket with pointy felt cutouts on the shoulders that gave the look a raptor-like quality.

Kiss celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of its first album this year, and will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


(Photo) Here's a dispatch we didn't expect to see from our team in Milan. KISS just walked the finale at the John Varvatos fall 2014 show. It's a little jarring to see them in traditional menswear, but we're not mad at it.


(Photo) John Varvatos is giving new meaning to the expression: dressed to kill.

The designer has turned to the legendary rock band KISS — who will be inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in April — to be the face of his spring advertising campaign. The ads, which were shot in black-and-white by rock photographer Danny Clinch in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, were inspired by the group’s Dressed to Kill album. The performers were photographed in full makeup wearing Varvatos suits.

Although it’s no surprise that Varvatos would use rock stars in his advertising — for 19 seasons he has turned to entertainers ranging from Jimmy Page and The Roots to Green Day, Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper. But Varvatos took it one step further this time, bringing the band onstage for a surprise performance at an after-party following his fall fashion show in Milan on Saturday to reveal the collaboration.

Stephen Niedzwiecki, founder and chief creative officer of Yard, Varvatos’ agency, said: “Throughout the years, John and I have always tried to work with musicians who are iconic, but not necessarily on the tip of your tongue or someone you would expect in a men’s fashion campaign. KISS was known for a specific style as a band. Not only were they innovative and break through with their music at the time, they were also style icons. KISS’s sense of style not only inspired future musicians, but John and creative people of all types. And its been important that every person we’ve shot over the years represents both a breakthrough figure in the music industry and, style-wise, has created a point of view for themselves. KISS’s look wasn’t something you could wear to a Bar Mitzvah, but if you asked people what the band looked like, they would certainly be able to tell you. They created this spectacle in music and had an overpowering sound and sense of showmanship, but at the same time were really well-educated, smart men with successes outside of music.”

A documentary-style short film that was conceived by Yard and directed by Clinch is also premiering on Saturday. The three-minute film highlights another surprise KISS concert at the John Varvatos Bowery Store, once the home of the famed CBGB’s nightclub, last fall.

KISS for John Varvatos Spring/Summer 2014

(Photo, Photo2) LICKETY SPLIT: Gene Simmons, the tongue-flicking member of rock band Kiss, has no problem that pop star Miley Cyrus has been copping his act. “Anybody has the right to stick out any appendage they like,” he said backstage after the John Varvatos show in Milan on Saturday night.

Simmons and his band mates certainly lapped up the attention after they came out for a bow, surprising the usually staid fashion crowd, who rose to their feet and sang along to the 1975 anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite.”


(Poster) KISS movie is in edit stages... Week 6... Looking good... We currently have a very rough 8 hour cut, and we are pushing and prodding it down to it's finished state... I would think about 2 hours plus... In keeping with my other movies... Release date is looking like late this year... And, here's the 'teaser' poster.


Their Family-Friendly Restaurant Will Embrace Hawaiian Culture and Cuisine

Special KISS Rock & Roll VIP Package Available at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui for the Opening

Today, Rock & Brews® announced that KISS rock legends Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, co-founding partners in Rock & Brews family-friendly, rock-themed restaurants, plan to open a Rock & Brews restaurant in the beach-side, historic community of Pa’ia on Maui in January. The opening of Rock & Brews Pa’ia represents the rock-icons’ first in the Hawaiian Islands. An opening celebration is scheduled for Sunday, January 26, with a special KISS Rock & Roll VIP Package available at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, the official resort sponsor of the event.

Stanley and Simmons, along with their Rock & Brews co-founding partners restaurateur-hotelier Michael Zislis and concert and merchandising veterans Dave and Dell Furano, have teamed up with longtime Maui residents Mark and Chrystie Blietz for the opening. The Blietz’s will own and operate the Pa’ia location.

Rock & Brews Pa’ia was designed by Maui architect Jim Niess of Maui Architectural Group, along with teacher, spiritual leader and artist A. C. Kahekiliui'la Lagunero of Maui, serving as a consultant on Hawaiian culture and art. The ‘ohana restaurant will pay tribute to the familial warmth and character that is synonymous with Pa’ia, while respecting the vibrant Rock & Brews brand look and feel. It will feature Rock & Brews’ popular casual American comfort food, as well as local favorites, and a full bar, including Pa’ia’s largest selection of craft beers.

“It is our goal to always offer local favorites on our menus,” said Stanley. “In Pa’ia, we will offer a number of popular Hawaiian dishes, local craft beers and signature tropical cocktails.”

Guests will be able to enjoy al fresco or indoor dining in a family-friendly rock concert-like environment complete with concert lighting, multiple screens presenting concert videos, hand-painted murals of rock artists, album and tour art, as well as art by local artists and art that salutes Hawaiian history and culture. The restaurant is designed to welcome local families and visitors alike. Ample parking is available.

“We are delighted to introduce Rock & Brews Pa’ia and welcome families in our friendly, energized environment,” said Mark Blietz. “Our goal is to become a popular gathering spot for residents of Pa’ia and surrounding communities, and a welcoming respite for visitors enjoying the beautiful Hana Highway scenic drive.”

The grand opening of Rock & Brews Pa’ia, hosted by Simmons and Stanley, will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on January 26 and will benefit the Pa’ia Youth & Cultural Center and pay tribute to returning veterans, Wounded Warriors and active military. The luncheon will welcome local VIPs, members of the military, KISS fans from around the world, and music industry notables.

The Fairmont Kea Lani, located in nearby Wailea, will be offering a KISS Rock & Roll VIP Package, available to guests attending the opening. The package includes a one-bedroom suite at The Fairmont Kea Lani, two tickets to the Rock & Brews Pa’ia opening, access to the resort’s Willow Stream Spa VIP grand opening party from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. also on January 26, (with meet and greet and photo opportunities with Simmons and Stanley,) as well as a black & white manicure station, a rock & roll red lipstick station, hot rock neck massages, rock & roll sushi rolls from the resort’s award-winning Ko restaurant, and more), and two Rock & Brews Pa’ia t-shirts. It is valid January 24-27 (three nights) and priced at $349 per night, plus tax and resort fees. For more information or to make reservations, please visit

“Shannon and I just renewed our wedding vows on Maui, and we are very excited and privileged to bring our family-friendly restaurant to Pa’ia,” said Simmons. “Maui has long been a favorite vacation spot for both my family and Paul’s family, and this opening is particularly exciting for us.”

Rock & Brews Pa’ia is located at 120 Hana Highway in Pa’ia. For more information, please visit

Rock & Brews Paia is located at 120 Hana Highway in Paia. For more information, please visit

Three Sides of The Coin

Ep. 56 The Business Lessons of KISS & the KISS School of Marketing: Listen.

Former KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK Ties The Knot

Former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist married his girlfriend, Lisa Lane, on January 4. He says: "It was a magical day, with many wonderful memories to share."

Bruce, 60, proposed to Lisa on Christmas Eve in 2012 in London, England.

A photo of the happy couple couple can be seen above.

In 1984, Bruce joined KISS, where he remained as their lead guitarist for twelve years, accompanying the band on the "Animalize" tour and continuing with the band until the 1996 reunion tour. Bruce is heavily featured on "Kissology – Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3", the band's DVDs spanning their historic 35-year career.

Kulick's third solo album, "BK3", was released in Europe in January 2010 via Frontiers Records and in North America in February 2010 through Twenty 4 Records/Rocket Science Ventures. The first single from the album, "Hand Of The King", featuring Nick Simmons (son of KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons), was a digital-only release available at all online music stores, including iTunes.

Gene Simmons's Former Co-op Goes on the Market


The Facts: Two-bedroom, two-bath 1,500-square-foot co-op.

Asking Price: $2.795 million.

Maintenance: $2,332 per month.

Agent: Greg Kammerer, the Corcoran Group.

You have to wonder, looking at this straightforwardly decorated apartment, where the smoke machine and mirrored ceilings used to be. Not one but two rock-and-roll eminences have lived here. KISS front man Gene Simmons moved in just as the makeup-loving foursome broke through in the early seventies. A decade later, Simmons sold to Jim Steinman—the songwriter behind Meat Loaf’s multiplatinum Bat Out of Hell and Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” (Science-fiction master Isaac Asimov lived in the building, although there’s no evidence he had a hand in lyrics like “Once upon a time there was light in my life?/?But now there’s only love in the dark.”) In 2006, Steinman sold the apartment to Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District executive Barbara Adler, who’s removed all evidence of black leather.

PAUL STANLEY Says It 'Seems Unlikely' Original KISS Lineup Will Perform At ROCK HALL Induction

KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley says that it "seems unlikely" that the four original members of the band will perform together at next April's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction.

Answering a question from a fan on Twitter about whether there are any plans yet on wearing makeup with former KISS members Ace Frehley (guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) at the Rock Hall induction, Stanley said: "No way."

Stanley was also asked if he, bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons, Frehley and Criss were going to perform together at the Rock Hall. "Seems unlikely," he replied.

The Rock Hall producers are leaning on the original members to perform in full costume. During a recent radio interview, Frehley joked about needing to lose weight and shave his goatee for the performance — but remained adamant that current guitarist Tommy Thayer, who performs using Frehley's "Spaceman," persona cannot be in costume that night.

Frehley explained: "You can't have me and Tommy both in makeup... I don’t have a problem with Tommy and [current drummer] Eric [Singer] being there out of makeup if I'm in makeup, because they're a big part of KISS today. [But] they had nothing to do with the beginning of KISS, or the designs or the costumes or the makeup... This is about the celebration of KISS and how it all began and started, and it should be honoring the four original members."

He went on to say: "If those guys wanna come up and do 'Rock And Roll All Nite' with the whole cast of the show, y'know, that would be a great thing. They deserve a little."

The Pulse Of Radio asked Stanley to give some sort of hint as to what shape KISS' induction performance will look like come April 10 in Brooklyn. "What will happen at the Barclays Center? I couldn't tell you," he said. "But I will tell you, without hesitation, that it will be unapologetically and proudly KISS."

KISS to perform at Stadium Series in L.A.

Legendary American rock band KISS will bring down the house at Dodger Stadium as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ outdoor game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, Jan. 25, the National Hockey League announced today. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer will perform during the pre-game festivities and first intermission of the game, which will be broadcast live at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and RDS2 in Canada.

"Los Angeles is the premier hub for sports and entertainment in this country and we are honored to be part of an event that fuses both by rocking the first-ever outdoor NHL game in LA," said Gene Simmons. "Fans can expect a spectacle at Dodger Stadium, similar to the one we will be creating at the Honda Center this season with our new Arena Football team, LA KISS."

"Our goal with the NHL Stadium Series games is to give our fans an unforgettable experience," said NHL Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer Brian Jennings. "Having KISS headline our entertainment lineup is the perfect way to make our celebration of hockey in Southern California even bigger and more memorable."

With their signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like "Rock And Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City," KISS is the very personification of rock stars. In 2014, the band celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, KISS. After four decades of scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie, the iconic band remains one of the most influential artists in the history of rock and roll. At the top of American bands with the most gold albums, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide -- including their chart topping 20th studio album, Monster, produced by Paul Stanley and released in 2012. In support of that album, the band performed their Worldwide Monster Tour with sold-out-out shows in Australia, Europe, South America, North America and Japan as once again KISS, and their loyal followers in the KISS Army, rocked the globe.

A limited number of tickets to the Kings vs. Ducks match-up at Dodger Stadium are available for purchase via and, the official ticket marketplace of the NHL.

A full line-up of performers and game day festivities at Dodger Stadium will be announced in the coming weeks.

The entertainment for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ is being produced by RK Productions in association with Big Monkey Entertainment.

KISS announce vinyl reissues

KISS have announced a series of vinyl reissues set for next spring.

Timed to capitalize on the hype around their April induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, the band will re-release 9 albums and issue 1998’s “Psycho Circus” on the format for the first on March 18.

Included in the random set are the band’s first two albums, 1974’s “KISS” and “Hotter Than Hell”, the breakthrough “KISS Alive!”, 1976’s “Destroyer” and more – see the full list below.

The albums are all available now for pre-order via Amazon.

KISS Vinyl releases – March 18, 2014
* Hotter Than Hell
* Alive!
* Destroyer
* Dynasty
* Unmasked
* Lick It Up
* Animalize
* Revenge
* Psycho Circus


Mickey Rourke and Gene Simmons at Vibrato on Beverly Glen in LA, listening to Robert Davi singing Sinatra.

PAUL STANLEY Deals With Birth Defect And Deafness In Upcoming Memoir

Although he swore he would never pen his memoirs, KISS' Paul Stanley will be the final member of the original lineup to publish his autobiography on April 22, 2014. Stanley promises that the book, titled "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", won't be the standard rock star fare, which doubles as being both an ego trip and press release highlighting a glorious career.

Stanley explained to The Pulse Of Radio that if his book was going to follow the pattern of some of the other books he's read, he would've passed on writing it all together. "I think I took a tact different than a lot of these books," he said. "Y'know, rock n' roll autobiographies tend to be a love letter — to the author. And they tend to be about how smart and creative and how this person was responsible for the creation of the world. And if that were the tact for the book, I never would've written the book."

In "Face The Music", Stanley talks frankly about his early struggles with hearing — he was born with Level 3 Microtia and is deaf in his right ear. Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.

Stanley, who grew up half-deaf and scarred with a deformed right ear, explained to The Pulse Of Radio that by touching upon the more difficult episodes in his life, he's not seeking sympathy from the reader, but simply highlighting the path into who he became. "Y'know, my book is about my life starting from the very beginning and certainly a certain amount of adversity and having a birth defect and being deaf on one side and the family that I came from," he said. "Certainly people have had more adversity in their lives — and some less — but I, I would think some people would get a certain amount of inspiration and a sense that positivity and belief in yourself will ultimately lead you to a great place."

Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.

There are four grades of Microtia, ranging from a small ear, to a complete absence of the external ear and ear canal.

The lack of ear canal leads to conductive hearing loss. Microtia occurs in every one out of 8,000 to 10,000 births.

It usually occurs on only one side (more commonly on the right side) and this can lead to single-sided deafness.

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss' memoir, "Makeup To Breakup: My Life In And Out Of Kiss", landed at position No. 7 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best-sellers list. The book arrived in October 2012 via the Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner.

Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's book, "No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir", debuted on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list at No. 10. The book, which was described as a look back at Ace's "life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll," arrived on November 1, 2011 via Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

PodKISSt #78 The Rock Hall & Klassic KISS Photographer Len DeLessio!

PodKISSt #78 The Rock Hall & Klassic KISS Photographer Len DeLessio!: Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

KISS are Inducted Into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and We Discuss What It Means To Us: Listen.

ACE FREHLEY On Chances Of Reunion With KISS After ROCK HALL: 'Anything Is Possible'

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was interviewed on this past Friday night's (December 20) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Eddie Trunk Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM. A few excerpts from the chat follow below (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On possibly performing with his fellow original KISS members when they are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next April:

"I always try to take the high road and be optimistic and hope that everybody's gonna come to the bargaining table and do the right thing. Sometimes I get the support. But I have a feeling everything's gonna work out. I mean, I spoke with Paul [Stanley, KISS guitarist/vocalist] and Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist]. I know they wanna perform with me and Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer]. I'm just not sure how much they want [current KISS members] Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums] to be involved. But since [Tommy and Eric] not getting inducted, I'm just gonna let that play out with the Hall and management and attorneys and all that stuff. I'm just excited about getting back with them and doing a great three or four songs. And I think it's gonna be great. I'm hoping that everybody's just gonna do the right thing."

"I know for a fact that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wants the four of us to perform in makeup. That's what they want, and we'll see how it plays out. I'm hoping that everybody's just gonna do the right thing and celebrate the four original members who started it all."

On his conversations with Paul and Gene after it was announced that KISS was being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:

"They actually called me today. We had a very nice conversation. They congratulated me. They actually have been trying to get hold of me since the announcement, but I've been in the studio working on my new record, so I wasn't available. But they tracked me down today through [KISS manager] Doc McGhee's office. And we had a nice conversation; it was very up and very positive."

On how the current lineup of KISS should be included, if at all, in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony:

"Where KISS is now, that's fine and that's the way it is now, but what we're celebrating is what Paul, Peter, Gene and Ace started back in 1972. '73…

"I don't have a problem with Tommy and Eric being there out of makeup, if I'm in makeup, because they're a big part of KISS today. They had nothing to do with the beginning of KISS or had nothing to do with the designs or the costumes or the makeup, but they're a part of KISS today and it is what it is; I don't control that. But this is about the celebration of KISS and how it all began and started and it should be honoring the four original members.

"If those guys [Tommy and Eric] wanna come up out of makeup and do 'Rock And Roll All Nite' with the whole cast of the show, that would be a great thing. They deserve a little. [But] I can only hope that [Paul and Gene are] gonna do the right thing.

"You can't have me and Tommy both in makeup. You can't have Eric and Peter both in makeup. That's gonna be a farce. So hopefully the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame will talk some sense into those guys [Paul and Gene] as far as that aspect of the show. Believe it or not, I have faith in those guys."

On whether he is open to doing more things with KISS in the future beyond the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction:

"Like I said to Rolling Stone [magazine], never say never. Anything could happen after that night. And I don't wanna speculate at this point, but who knows? We're gonna make rock and roll history one way or the other."

"Look, if something was presented to me in the right way, anything is possible. That's as far as I wanna go on that. I'm working on my new album. It's gonna be released next spring. I've got a single coming out probably right around the time the ceremony is gonna be happening. And [my new record label] eOne is really excited about the new record. So who knows what's gonna happen? But I'm not gonna scrap my record [to reunite with KISS], I can tell you that right now. [laughs]"


Paul Stanley called into Los Angeles' K-EARTH (a station) to discuss L.A. KISS, the Arena Football League team that he and bandmate Gene Simmons co-own, but naturally the conversation was dominated by the news of the Rock Hall induction. (Video)

PAUL STANLEY: It's 'Way Too Early' To Discuss Which Members Of KISS Will Perform At ROCK HALL Induction Ceremony

KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be recognizing their former bandmates at the upcoming Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony next April at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Among the other inductees in the 2014 class are Peter Gabriel, NIRVANA, Linda Ronstadt, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and Cat Stevens. Although Simmons has sworn off ever reuniting with KISS co-founders Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, he tweeted a heartfelt message to all past and present members of KISS congratulating them on the honor: "Congratulations to Ace-Peter-Eric Carr (RIP)- Vinny-Mark (RIP)- Bruce-Tommy-Eric Singer & my partner Paul. And mostly, to The KISS ARMY."

Seeing as how Simmons thanked former members Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick, many fans are already bracing themselves for a possible performance of all living members of KISS at the Rock Hall. Drummer Eric Carr died in 1991 at age 41 of heart cancer and guitarist Mark St. John died in 2007 at age 51 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Gene Simmons told Rolling Stone: "KISS is Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. It's like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, 'Wait, where are all the other wives?' It's like, 'Yeah, I was married to them and now I'm here.'"

He went on to say that he was open to performing with Criss and Frehley at the ceremony, stating: "They were equally important in the formation of the band. When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn't delete or minimize the important. Hey, 'You have gave birth to this thing, KISS, with Ace, Peter, Paul and Gene.'"

The Pulse Of Radio asked Paul Stanley whom we could expect to be onstage on April 10 performing at the Rock Hall induction ceremony. "It's way too early to get into that," he said. "Y'know, today is really, for us, a day to celebrate everything KISS has been and is. There's no getting around, or nobody would want to get around, the fact that Peter, Ace, Gene, and I, built a foundation, which has stood the test of time and allowed us to build a monument for 40 years. So today is a day I wholeheartedly embrace and, y'know, acknowledge Peter and Ace — and likewise, a lot of people who have been in the band and also standing by the band — and that includes the fans."

The Pulse Of Radio asked Stanley who, if any, of the past and present members of KISS he's spoken to since hearing the news. "I've only spoken to Gene and that will get remedied and rectified today. 'Cause this is a day to celebrate and a day where I want to make sure that everybody who's due a congratulations and a little time remembering what we've done and what we're doing, will be contacted."

Paul Stanley went on to tweet that his memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" is set for publication April 22, also posted about reaching out to Peter Criss. "We just spoke with Peter. Whatever ongoing issues, no way to not share in celebrating what we started 40 years ago."

Peter Criss, Founding KISS Drummer, In Rock Hall

( Peter Criss, the original drummer of the rock group KISS, has made his home in Wall Township for years. The band was among the Class of 2014 inductees announced Tuesday.

“This is absolutely the best Christmas and birthday present I could get,” Criss, who turns 68 on Friday, told The Associated Press. “This is amazing, that something like this could happen to a kid from Brooklyn.”

Criss said the band always tried to give fans more for their money by adding makeup, costumes, explosives and stage props to the live concert experience. His drum kit, for example, rose 50 feet into the air during his drum solos, which were often filtered through a phase shifter to produce a surreal sound effect.

The big productions KISS pioneered have been widely embraced by other rock and pop acts, he said.

“When you set someone a strong example and you see it happening with other bands, you know you’ve opened some sort of door,” he said. “We always wanted more, more, more, bigger, bigger, bigger.”

In a band where all four members had iconic characters, Criss was the Catman. He is best known for singing the orchestral ballad “Beth” in 1976, one of the band’s biggest hit singles. Criss last toured with KISS in 2003, and has since released a solo album and an autobiography, “Makeup To Breakup: My Life In and Out Of KISS.”

He hopes to be asked to perform at the induction ceremony with co-founders Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley at New York’s Barclays Center in April.

“I want to congratulate my other three guys – Ace, Gene and Paul. We were the four guys who dumped the blood into the ink for the stupid comic books and came up with all those other crazy schemes so the fans would love us,” Criss said, referring to a 1970s stunt to promote sales of the first KISS comic book. “We deserve this, all four of us.”

Hours later, Stanley wrote on Twitter that he and Simmons had spoken with Criss and appeared to clear the way for him to appear at the ceremony, though whether that meant performing or just appearing onstage was not clear.

“We just spoke with Peter,” Stanley wrote. “Whatever ongoing issues, no way to not share in celebrating what we started 40 years ago. “

Kiss Frontman Paul Stanley Hails Rock Hall 'Victory,' Talks Ace Frehley and Peter Criss

( Kiss is letting bygones be bygones with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

After years of some charged rhetoric from the band members over Kiss' exclusion, Paul Stanley tells Billboard that news the group will be inducted as part of the class of 2014 is "terrific" and indicates "a changing of the guard and a different point of view" in the institution.

"The same criteria that kept us out has now gotten us in, and that's terrific," Stanley says. "It's great to know that we didn't change or apologize for who we are, and we're being inducted for what made us what we are. For whatever got us bent out of shape before, it's clearly not the case now. Certainly from the fact that fans get to vote to the fact that some of the past inductees are vehement and rabid Kiss fans, things have worked out just fine. My issues over the years didn't change; what changed was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So it's a victory for everybody. It's very, very gratifying, and I don't take it lightly. There are a lot of people today who are very happy that Kiss will be inducted, and I'm certainly one of them."

Stanley says it's "way too early" to know how Kiss will handle the induction ceremony on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but he promises that "it will be unapologetically and proudly Kiss."

Co-founder Gene Simmons recently commented that he would not be willing to perform that night with founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, which Stanley says "I'm sure was heartfelt and off the cuff, and I can't take it beyond that. We'll see where we go from here. Peter and Ace are undeniably at the beginning of the band, and we built a foundation which has stood the test of time and has allowed us to build a monument for 40 years, so today I wholeheartedly embrace and acknowledge Peter and Ace and, likewise, a lot of people who have been in the band and also standing by the band -- and that includes the fans. But the idea of misleading or giving anybody a sense that we would ever go back to that (original lineup) situation is totally off the table. We've done that and, with all respect, it crashed for very similar reasons both times and things have moved on. I say without any animosity and with all respect that we wouldn't be here without what Peter and Ace contributed, and we wouldn't be here with them today."

As for the rest of the class of 2014, Stanley noted that, "I'm more than well aware and have the utmost respect for all of the inductees. It's a diverse group, but nobody who I really scratch my head about and say, 'How did that person get in?' There's no disco people or rap people, and with nothing negative to say about any of them, that's not my idea of rock or rock 'n' roll."

The new year will also bring a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Kiss' first two albums, and Stanley says the group will be up to "more of the same" -- which includes touring as well as the publication of his autobiography (listed as "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" with an April 22 publication date, according to and the launch of the L.A. Kiss Arena Football League team. A Las Vegas residency is also being considered, according to Stanley. However, he adds, "It hasn't changed for 40 years. This is what we do. This is in my blood. This is what I breathe. So the idea of a special celebration for 40 years, I celebrate every day as an anniversary of getting this far."

Ace Frehley on Hall of Fame: 'I Don't Foresee Any Bad Blood'

( The past few days have been a crazy roller coaster ride for Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley. One of his houses burned to the ground in suburban New York earlier this week, and late last night he learned that Kiss were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He called up Rolling Stone to chat about the honor and the possibility of the classic lineup of Kiss reuniting for the occasion.

How are you doing, Ace?

I'm great. I'm in San Diego.

I imagine your phone has been ringing off the hook today.

It's been a crazy three days. My recording studio in New York burned down on Saturday.

What happened?

A tree fell down in the backyard and shorted out the wires going into the studio. That in turn shorted out the fuse box which heated up the wires in the wall and set the place on fire.

Was anybody hurt?

No. Thank God. My friend that was house-sitting was at work. Luckily, it's pretty much just a storage place. I got all my high-end equipment out of there a year ago when I moved to San Diego.

Do you have insurance?

Of course. . .Unfortunately, it was a total loss. The building is shot.

Tell me your first reaction to the news that Kiss made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It's such an honor. I'm so excited. I learned about it last night when my assistant called me. I didn't sleep very well afterwards.

Did the news surprise you?

It surprised me, but when I saw all the people we were up against I had a feeling we were going to make it in…It should be a great evening. I'm really excited and looking forward to the night.

You've never been a real critics' band. Did you worry you'd never get in?

I had a sense that someday we'd have to get recognized, and that someday has come to pass.

Are you at all miffed it took so many years?

It's not something that occupied a lot of space in my head. I had more important issues to deal with. It's just a nice sentiment that finally we've been recognized. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone else and enjoying the celebration.

I spoke with Gene a couple of hours ago. He said he's willing to play with you and Peter Criss that night.

Okay. That sounds like a great idea.

Are you open to that too?

Absolutely. Are you gonna want us to put makeup on?

Sure. It's been a while for me.

It's been over a decade, right?

The last shows I did with Kiss was in Australia around 2002.

You have no hesitation about walking back onstage with Paul and Gene?

Not at all. I think it will be great. I think it will be great for the fans to witness and a lot of fun. I recently performed with Peter at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York for Eddie Trunk's 30 years in broadcasting celebration. That was a lot of fun. I hadn't performed with Peter in 12 years. We all still have it.

Gene mentioned that next year is the band's 40th anniversary. He said he didn't want a reunion tour, but I got the sense it was somewhere in his mind. Would you want a Kiss reunion tour?

It's something I haven't even entertained or even thought about. I hadn't even realized that next year is the 40-year anniversary. Right now, I'm focusing on my solo career. I recently signed a two-album deal. I've been in the music for the past three months.

If a tour was offered to you, would you think about it?

It's something I would consider if it was presented in the proper way.

Gene was praising you when we spoke, but in other interviews he will call you a "cancer" or a "loser."

I've always had a pretty good relationship with Paul and Gene. We parted company on more than one occasion, but there's always been mutual respect and admiration. I think somehow the press plays it up that there's a lot of hate between the members. It's really completely blown out of proportion.

But he called you a "cancer" recently.

A cancer? I wasn't aware of that. What does it mean?

I guess that you're somehow a poison.

[Huge laugh] I think he gets frustrated that even though they have a replacement for me in the band, fans are continually bombarding him and saying, "Hey, you should get the original guitar player back. Ace is still number one." He gets that constantly. It has to be frustrating to him and Paul.

Are you insulted that somebody else is in your makeup?

Well, it's a choice that Paul and Gene have made. I know the fans aren't happy with it. I read the comments on the Internet. Paul and Gene have lost a lot of fans because of the move they made. It is what it is.

I'm not happy about it. Most of the comments I read by fans say that, "If you're going to replace Ace, you should have created a different character." That's what they did with Vinnie Vincent when I originally left the group in 1982.

They have Eric Singer in the Catman makeup and he's singing "Beth."

I didn't know he was singing "Beth." [Laughs] You know, a lot of the fans I talk to just tell me they aren't going to go to the shows anymore. I know concert attendance hasn't been what they've wanted this past year. It is what it is. I'm busy doing my own thing. I'm real excited about the celebration in April. I'm real excited about my second book.

What's this one about?

It's going to be pretty much a continuation of the first one. That book really opened up the floodgates in me. The last three or four weeks of finishing up that book I spoke to so many people that reminded me of so many stories I had forgotten. I didn't really get a chance to put them in the first book. I jotted a lot of them down. I have a couple of chapters already written for the second book and a lot more to follow.

It's pretty much going to be a continuation of the first book. A lot of new stories too. There's tons and tons of new stories. All I have to do is sit down with one of my old bodyguards or road crew and I get two or three stories off the bat.

Gene told me you guys had a meal at the Beverly Hills Hotel before your first book come out. Clearly you guys aren't feuding like many fans believe.

Yeah. Me and Gene, we don't have a problem. We correspond via e-mail several times every year. I haven't spoke to Paul [Stanley] recently except over some business maters, but we've kept in contact over the years. There really isn't any bad blood. They've decided to make a decision and go in one direction. I decided to go in another. I think the fans are more upset about it than anybody.

Gene has implied he doesn't believe you are sober.

That's kind of juvenile. Does he have blinders on? I know he's spoken to several people that I know that he knows that have seen me and done business with me over the past several years. I don't believe they are telling him that I'm not sober. It's been over seven years for me and I can't see myself going back. But all I have is today. One day at a time.

It must be flattering the fans are so invested in you and many don't accept it as Kiss without you there.

It is flattering. It's heartwarming. I have a lot of diehard fans. Ace Frehley fans and Kiss fans are the greatest fans in the world. They've always been there for me through ups and downs. My life has been a roller coaster ride, but somehow I've always been able to land on my feet and still play the guitar.

I imagine it's going to be emotional to stand at the podium with the three other guys in the band.

It's going to be intense, but it's going to be great. I don't foresee any negative vibes. I don't foresee any bad blood. I think that myself, Peter, Paul and Gene, we're the four guys that started the group and brought it into international success. I think that sometime in the late 1970s we were listed as the number one group in the world by some polls. We achieved what most people only dream about. I'll never forget it. And that's something nobody can take away from me.

It's also amazing to think about how many guitarists were first inspired to play by watching you.

I get that constantly from guitar plays. They say, "Ace, if it wasn't for you I would have never picked up the guitar." I've had two highly successful Gibson signature series Les Paul's released. I know my first one was the best selling Signature Series of anyone in the history of Gibson. I continue to come up with new things. Not only did I come out with some successful Signature Series guitars, but I was such an innovator from the very beginning with special effects on the guitar. First my smoking guitar and then my light guitar and then my rocket guitar. Nobody has ever done that in the history of rock and roll.

I think the fans will really love seeing the four of you play one final time at the Hall of Fame. It's a pretty nice way to end the story.

Well, it's a nice way to end the story — or a nice way to re-begin the story. [Laughs] Who knows? I'm always one of those people that say never say never.

Gene Simmons Open to Rock Hall of Fame Kiss Reunion With Ace and Peter

( After years of petitions, angry letters and actual protests outside the museum in Cleveland, Kiss are finally entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. The instant the news hit, many in the Kiss Army wondered whether Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would perform with estranged bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss on the big night.

We spoke to a surprisingly gracious Gene Simmons about the big honor, and the possibility of him burying the hatchet with Peter and Ace.

Tell me your first reaction to the big news.

Pride. For me, it's another tug of the shirt sleeve to remind me that the American dream is alive and well. I'm living proof of it. I came here as an immigrant, a legal one — that's a distinction — and getting the Hollywood Walk of Fame and getting the keys to the cities of God knows how many cities and the wax museums and the thousands of licensed products we have and on and on. . .Still, no matter how much much noise we make about how only the fans matter, and it's true they are the ones that put us here and without them we are nothing, there is something in the back of our collective consciousnesses that makes us want to be recognized by our peers.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame started out as a wonderful idea and ideal, and it's a pride and privilege. Now, we've had ten different lineups. It's important to list that the honor is not just ours. It's Gene, Paul, Ace, Peter, Eric Carr, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer, Vinnie Vincent, Tommy Thayer. . .There's been a lot of guys, and we continue to tour and fill up stadiums and it is a testament to the idea of Kiss.

A long time ago, four knuckleheads off the streets of New York decided to put together the band they never saw onstage. We were ballsy enough to throw down our own gauntlet. "You wanted the best? You got the best! The hottest band in the world. Kiss." You're God damn right.

Did you start to think you'd never be inducted?.

Yeah. I think its political. As soon as the fans had their say, I'm told, we slaughtered everybody else. I think it's a crime that Deep Purple is not in and Patti Smith is. What the fuck? There are disco artists and all kind of credible and important kinds of music that have nothing to do with rock & roll. But, hey, it's not my thing. I think the best thing they did was to open it up to the fans. There is an American ideal: "By the people, for the people, of the people." Hey, that's a good idea.

You're definitely coming to the ceremony, right?

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. We need to stand up there proudly for the fans.

It's nice to do it in Brooklyn since you guys started in New York.

Yeah. It's the coolest of the cool.

It's you guys, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens. Are you fans of these people?

I respect all musicians who get up onstage, whether that qualifies it as rock & roll is another issue. I'm of the opinion it's about guitars and drums. That's our meat and potatoes. For the record, no backing tracks, no pre-recorded anything. When you see us live and it says Kiss, that's it. We're live. When we play TV and there's a backing track, we'll say so.

People are very curious about what lineup of the band is going to play that night.

Well, Kiss is Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. It's like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, "Wait, where are all the other wives?" It's like, "Yeah, I was married to them and now I'm here." You can argue that point and we'll figure everything out as time goes on. This one is for the fans. If the fans didn't care, we wouldn't be here. If it meant nothing to them, we wouldn't be here.

Bands often play with old members at the Hall of Fame. Are you open to the idea of playing with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley that night?

Sure, why not?

I've heard you say in the past you never wanted to play with them again.

That was for a tour. But they were equally important in the formation of the band. When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn't delete or minimize the important. Hey, "You have gave birth to this thing, Kiss, with Ace, Peter, Paul and Gene."

But there's been some very public feuding and bad blood in the past few years.

There's never been bad blood. I love them as people. I just hate drugs and alcohol. I don't care if you are Mötley [Crüe] or Springsteen. If you don't have the balls to get on the stage straight, it's an insult to the fans and the band members

They say they are clean now though.

I have no comment.

They usually end the night with a big all-star finale where all the inductees do a song together. I've heard it suggested this time it might be "Rock and Roll All Nite." Are you open to that?

Sure. What other song ends the night?

It would be a riot to watch you sing that song with Bruce Springsteen.

He's great. He doesn't use backing tapes, either. That's a good thing. What he does is unbelievable. You have to tip your hat.

Do you mind at all that the critics often ripped on you guys back in the day?

No. I'm too rich to care. I'm such a privileged bastard, are you kidding? I get paid more money than some third world countries. What do I have to complain about? The fans love us. We love them. Not everyone loves Jesus, either. I remember when Rolling Stone called the first Led Zeppelin album a "limp blimp."

We also said they were a knock-off of the Jeff Beck Group.

Well, you can't say anything bad about about the Jeff Beck Group. Those first two records were fantastic. And Jimmy Page played on that stuff as well. I know Beck, Page, and those guys. It's interesting how gracious the really big guys are about new talent. We've always gone out of our way to make every band we've ever taken out on their first tour feel like headliners. The list of bands we took out when they meant nothing is pretty remarkable just because we liked them as fans: AC/DC, Rush, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Cheap Trick, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden. It just goes on and on.

The guys in Rush give you a lot of credit for bringing them to a big audience.

Well, to take a Canadian band on their first tour in America was like, "Who?" But as soon as I heard "Working Man" and heard Geddy [Lee] sing. I was like, "What the hell? This is like a Canadian Led Zeppelin!"

Back to the thing with the critics, it's like you're asking Godzilla why the people hate him while he's destroying Tokyo. "Sorry, he's 50 stories tall. He can't hear you."

People are curious to know why you don't get on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show with Eddie Trunk.

Respectfully, I'm not very interested.


[Chuckles] Before there was metal, there was Kiss. We don't really consider ourselves metal. It's just rock and roll and all the hand gestures that everybody does on that show, I invented that. Oh, and let me add the word "bitch."

So, it's nothing personal against Eddie Trunk or anything?

Oh, I don't care. I wish everybody well. Everyone should have a happy life and succeed and stuff. Just because we don't want to do a show doesn't mean anything. I'm not really interested in Jon Stewart's show either. That doesn't mean we don't wish him well. It's just not my cup of tea. I don't want to be a pinata while he's going to throw jokes. But if he wants to play mano a mano, you gotta take it as well as give it.

How are you going to dress on Hall of Fame night? Are you gonna wear the full make-up and the costumes?

I was thinking of wearing a polka dot dress. . .No, we really haven't thought about i

If they tell you they just want the original four guys to play, will you be cool with that?

As long as they are willing to only bring their first girlfriend and their first wife. . .There's no rules. I really haven't thought about it.

To just totally clarify once again, you're willing to play with Ace and Peter that night?

Oh, sure.

That could be the last time ever then. When else could that happen?

In January we are celebrating our 40th anniversary, and boy do I look good! And every time I say, "I'm never going to do this, I'm never going to do that. . ." For God's sake, Ace and Peter were in the band three separate times. And they were let go three separate times. Every time it was about the same thing. How many times are you going to hear, "No, I'm healthy now. I'm fine." It's like the old, "I promise I'll pull out."

The only consideration has always been the military ideal: sound mind, sound body, respect for the fans. They are our bosses. We buckle our knees to the people who make our lives possible, and rightfully so. You and me and everyone else, we just work here. Everyone else that disrespects that maybe shouldn't have the opportunities it provides. The stage is holy ground. It is electric church. Not everyone belongs there.

So you think it's possible there might be a 40th anniversary tour that involves Ace and Peter?

I don't want to do that. Nah. I've been through it before. Too many scars and too much, "I promise, I promise, I promise." It's like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. How many times can you cry the same thing? After a while, sorry Charley.

They both wrote books and didn't say very nice things about you. Did that bother you?

I stand by everything they said! [Big laugh]. I'll tell you a wonderful story. Ace, God bless him. . .You know, when he's straight he's a wonderful guy. He took me to the Beverly Hills Hotel and he told me a story. He said, "Look, I just want to show you a chapter I wrote in the book and just check with you and make sure it's okay."

I said, "Look, write whatever you want. I'm a happy guy." He said, "I just want to check the accuracy of it." I said, "Okay, what is it?" He goes, "Well, 19-seventy whatever it is. There's a swimming pool and we're all out there. There are girls and we're lounging around and I get up on the diving board in my swimsuit and I've got champagne in my hand and I'm drunk and I've got a scarf on. You then say to me, 'Ace, get off the diving board. You're drunk you're going to drown.' I then say, 'Fuck you. Don't tell me what to do!'"

Then he jumps off the diving board and jumps in. Of course, he starts to drown. He says, "Of course, you dive in because you used to be a lifeguard. You fish me out, pump the water out of me, save my life." And at breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel he says to me, "I want to thank you for saving my life. But how accurate was it?"

I say to him, "It was 95 percent accurate. Yes, there was a diving board. Yes, champagne in hand. Yes, laughing in my face. Yes, drowning in the pool. Yes, I dove in and rescued someone. But it wasn't you. It was Peter Criss. You were flat out unconscious, surprise, on the side of the pool.

He just shrugged his shoulder. You can catch him in a lie or a figment of his imagination and he'll just shrug his shoulders and go, "Oh well, what the fuck?" He's a happy-go-lucky, I'm sorry. . .when we first got together it was magic. We loved those guys, all for one and one for all. Look, not all marriages stay together. What can I tell you? Cain and Abel didn't get along very well either.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Larry Mazer Talks About Managing KISS and Why Cool Was So Important: Listen.

Nirvana, KISS to join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nirvana, the influential Seattle grunge band founded by the late Kurt Cobain, and the flamboyant 1970s rockers from KISS were among six new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the organization said on Tuesday.

British singers and songwriters Peter Gabriel and Cat Stevens, folk-pop singer Linda Ronstadt and rock and soul duo Hall and Oates completed the list of performer inductees to the prestigious Hall of Fame, chosen from 16 nominees.

The induction ceremony will take place in New York City on April 10, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation said in a statement.

Nirvana, formed by singer and guitarist Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in the late 1980s, brought grunge music to the mainstream and was considered the flagship band of Generation X with songs like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are."

Cobain committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27 and the band broke up after just three full-length studio albums in a seven-year career, during which Nirvana sold 75 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling acts in music history.

Nirvana was chosen as an inductee in its first year of eligibility. The Cleveland-based Hall of Fame establishes that an artist or group must have released their debut album or single at least 25 years earlier to be eligible.

KISS shocked the music world in the mid-1970s with its outlandish black-and-white makeup, racy costumes, hard-pounding tunes and elaborate shows. Songs such as the trademark "Rock and Roll All Nite" helped define a hard rock-and-shock style that continues to thrive today.

Peter Gabriel, 63, was lead vocalist and flautist for the progressive rock band Genesis, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010 inductee, before pursuing a solo career that produced hits including "Sledgehammer."

Cat Stevens, the former stage name for Yusuf Islam, shook up 1970s rock with his distinctive voice and compositions such as "Wild World" and "Moon Shadow." He later converted to Islam and today at 65 years of age combines music with philanthropy and humanitarian causes.

Linda Ronstadt, known as the "First Lady of Rock," was a mainstay of the 1970s rock scene with hits including "You're No Good" in 1975. The 67-year-old revealed this year that she could no longer sing due to Parkinson's disease.

Daryl Hall and John Oates broke out in 1976 with the hit "Rich Girl" and ruled the charts in the 1980s with bouncy melodies "Kiss on My List" and "Private Eyes."

The inductees were chosen by more than 700 voters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, but fans were also allowed to cast votes online for the artists they believe were the most deserving of induction. Three of the top five artists from the fan ballot will be inducted in 2014.

"This year's Hall of Fame Inductees really capture the passion of the fans," said Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

The E Street Band, the group behind singer Bruce Springsteen, will be inducted through the Award for Musical Excellence, the foundation said.

The late music entrepreneur who managed The Beatles, Brian Epstein, and Andrew Loog Oldham who managed The Rolling Stones will be inducted with the Ahmet Ertegun Awards for lifetime achievement, named after the late founder of Atlantic Records.

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has book deal

(Hardcover, Kindle) It's legacy time for Kiss frontman and co-founder Paul Stanley.

Not only are Stanley and fellow band members being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he has a memoir scheduled to come out less than two weeks after the ceremony.

HarperOne announced Tuesday that Stanley's "Face the Music: A Life Exposed" is coming out April 22.

The publisher says the book will feature rare photographs and candid memories about his wild life with the mega-selling band.

Earlier Tuesday the Rock Hall announced that Kiss, Linda Ronstadt and Peter Gabriel were among the performers voted in. The ceremony is scheduled for April 10.


The spirit of rock and roll for me has always meant following the paths I choose regardless of what my critics or my peers think. For 40 years KISS has built an army that apologizes to no one and I'm honored to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame knowing we have remained true to ourselves and our fans. ~~ Paul Stanley

To the KISS Army, Ace, Peter, Eric Carr, Vinnie, Mark, Bruce, Tommy and Eric Singer, Bill Aucoin, Doc McGhee and to my partner of 40 years, the ever youthful Paul Stanley...and all the members of the KISS Family. This honor is for you. 40 years of Rockin' and still going strong. ~~ Gene Simmons


Calling Dr. Love! KISS is set to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside other new inductees Nirvana, Hall & Oates, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens.

The 29th annual induction ceremony will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 10, and will be open to the public (as it has for recent ceremonies in Los Angeles and Cleveland). The event will air as an HBO special in May.

"We know that engaging the fans is a huge opportunity," says Joel Peresman, president/CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. "It gives them a chance to be a part of the ceremony, but it also adds a palpable energy to the event. Once we decided to open the ceremony to the public in New York, that had a huge impact on the decision to have it at Barclays Center."

Chosen by more than 700 voters (artists, historians and music industry professionals) of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, the 2014 honorees will also receive an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in conjunction with the ceremony. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording.

For a second year, the Rock Hall implemented fan voting in choosing this year's inductees, which was available on its official site, Rolling Stone and USA TODAY, and generated nearly 1.4 million votes this year. The five artists with the highest number of votes (three of whom will be inducted) made up a fans' ballot, which counted as a single vote in choosing this year's honorees.

Among fans, Kiss (239,000 votes) and Nirvana (218,000) enjoyed easy victories. Two artists that failed to receive induction despite swells of public support were Yes (151,000) and Deep Purple (166,000), beaten out in the overall balloting by Hall & Oates (113,000), Peter Gabriel (111,000), Linda Ronstadt (85,000) and Cat Stevens (75,000).

Aside from Kiss and Stevens — who received Rock Hall nominations in 2010 and 2006, respectively — the Class of 2014 is made up of first-time nominees. And although fans may believe that many of the 16 artists put to the vote are long overdue for induction, Peresman assures that no artist is ever considered a "natural," shoo-in choice.

"All of the 2014 inductees introduced us to something new," Peresman says. "They might have drawn from their predecessors or built on what came before them, but they all took something from their roots, transformed it, made it their own and brought it to the world at the right time."

Additional honors will be given to late Beatles manager Brian Epstein and former Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham, who picked up Ahmet Ertegun lifetime achievement awards for their work behind the scenes in the music industry. The award for musical excellence (formerly known as the sidemen category) was given to Bruce Springsteen's longtime backing group, the E Street Band.

Tickets go on sale in January, with an exact date to be announced. More information will be available at

This year's inductees:

Peter Gabriel. The former Genesis frontman brought funky, synth-infused flavor to hits such as Sledgehammer and Shock the Monkey, but arguably made his biggest impact with the powerful anti-apartheid anthem Biko.

Hall & Oates. With smooth vocal harmonies soaring over rich, pop-rock melodies, Daryl Hall and John Oates brought rhythm & blues to the top of the charts, scoring smash singles such as I Can't Go for That (No Can Do), Private Eyes and You Make My Dreams.

Kiss. Instantly recognized for their flashy attire and black-and-white face paint, these iconic heavy-metal rockers are best known for their Alive!, Love Gun and Destroyer albums, as well as their reputation for putting on dazzling, pyrotechnic-laden performances.

Nirvana. Led by late singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, this grunge-rock trio cemented its place in rock history with early '90s hits such as Lithium, Heart-Shaped Box and Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Linda Ronstadt. At the forefront of the folk- and country-rock movements, this full-voiced beauty made her name with covers of Blue Bayou and You're No Good.

Cat Stevens. One of the biggest-selling artists of the early '70s, the mellow British songsmith crafted introspective, tranquil tunes such as Peace Train, Wild World and The First Cut Is the Deepest.

Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel headed to Rock Hall

Nirvana, Kiss and Peter Gabriel will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.

The Rock Hall announced Tuesday that Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens also will be inducted April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their first release. Nirvana won a nomination in its first year of eligibility and next year the band will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its debut, "Bleach." The induction comes 20 years after frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide at age 27.

This year also marked first-time nominations for Hall and Oates, Gabriel and Ronstadt. Kiss and Stevens, who have been nominated in the past, made the cut after being absent from the list for several years.

The Rolling Stones managers, Andrew Loog Oldham and Brian Epstein, will earn Ahmet Ertegun awards, a non-performing honor. Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band will earn the award for musical excellence.

N.W.A., one of the 16 nominees announced in October, did not make the list. The iconic rap group includes Dr. Dre, who has launched successful solo albums and is the producer behind Eminem, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.

More than 700 Rock Hall voters determined the 2014 class.

The 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be open to the public. Tickets go on sale next month.

The event will air on HBO in May.

The Kiss Room: December 2013 edition

Listen to the December edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded LIVE on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 and originally broadcast on Montco Radio!
Join Matt Porter in the studio with
• Chris Giordano from KISStory and KISS IT
• David Snowden from David Snowden Promotions
• Kimberly Snowden
• Alex Richter
• Douglas Rivera
• and MORE!
It's a KISSmas party and you're invited!


Ace regarding the fire today

Following is a message from Ace regarding the fire today (Dec 14) on his property in New York state.

"The official statement from the fire inspector was as follows: An electrical fire was caused by a tree falling on the wires in the backyard and shorting out the fuse box which in turn heated up the internal wiring in the walls and started the fire.

I'm very thankful that no one was hurt!

The fire department and police did a great job, and I'm very grateful to them for all of their help and courage in this matter...job well done!" -- Ace Frehley

KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's Yorktown Heights house catches fire

A house owned by former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was damaged in a fire Saturday.

Multiple fire companies were called to the stone house at 1347 Spring Valley Road about 11 a.m. after smoke was reported coming from the building, officials said.

“We got to the scene and found heavy smoke showing from the roof line of the building,” Yorktown Heights Fire Chief Chet Swirski said.

The building once served as a recording studio and later was converted into a residence. It has few windows, making it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze, which primarily was found on the second floor, Swirski said. Tankers, a Yorktown volunteer ambulance crew and firefighters from Ossining, Buchanan, Somers, Millwood, Croton-on-Hudson, Pocantico Hills, Katonah and others assisted on scene well into the evening.

No one was in the house when the fire broke out, though a man living in the home returned as firefighters were fighting the blaze, Swirski said. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

Frehley does not appear to live in the house, though Yorktown’s assessment rolls still list him as the owner. The single-family home has a full market value of $541,516, though Frehley took out a $735,000 mortgage in 2006 to buy it, assessment records show.

Lenders initiated a foreclosure on the house in Westchester County Court this year, and it appears to be ongoing. Frehley also is listed as the owner of nearby 1363 Spring Valley Road.

The Red Cross was called to help with emergency lodging, said spokeswoman Carolyn Sherwin, who did not identify the resident.


KISS will headline the Hell & Heaven Metal Festival in Feria De Texcoco on Saturday, March 15, 2014.


Eric Singer will appear on Rockline radio tonight (Dec 11) as part of a Tribute to Ronnie Montrose.

Three Sides of the Coin

We Look Back at the First Year of Three Sides of the Coin: Listen.


SEGA’s all-new mobile game, Demon Tribe, features Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as playable in-game characters! Rock and roll all night, and on-the-go with access to the exclusive, limited-time KISS Launch Rewards just for downloading! Get it free for iOS: USA, Canada.


Alice Cooper’s 13th annual Christmas Pudding is going heavy on the metal — and will be sealed with a KISS.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and shock rocker has enlisted four members of KISS — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer — to co-headline his annual holiday music and comedy benefit gala.

They’ll be joined by many of rock and metal’s biggest stars, including Joan Jett, Rob Zombie, Vince Neil of Motely Crue, Stephen Pearcy of RATT, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Kip Winger of Winger, and several more guests soon to be announced.

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Comerica Theatre. Proceeds from the event directly benefit Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center.

Former “Seinfeld” and “Family Feud” star John O’Hurley will serve as guest host for the festivities. Blue Collar Comedy Tour’s Bill Engvall will be this year’s comedian.

“Although I have played more than 100 shows this year, Pudding is the one I look forward to the most,” Cooper says. “We love bringing people together for Christmas, for the sake of music and dance, and the mission of Solid Rock.”

The Solid Rock Teen Center, located at the southeast corner of Thunderbird Road and 32nd Street in Phoenix, was the dream child of Alice and Sheryl Cooper and took almost a dozen years from concept to realization. It offers teens an outlet for their creativity and gets them off the street.

The 22,000-square-foot facility includes an auditorium, dance studio, and music rooms full of guitars and amps. The center has plans to expand to 60,000 square feet with the proposed addition of a gym and indoor skate park.

Currently, teens can take free classes to learn to play bass, drums, guitar and even vocals and sign up for a variety of dance classes, from ballet to hip-hop to jazz. The center plans to add vocational training in sound, lighting, and staging to provide valuable career training in the music and entertainment industry.

“It really is amazing,” Cooper says. “There are 100 kids in here every day. They come in and after school and do their homework here. They hang with their friends and meet new ones. They cannot wait to get down here and learn more guitar, drums, bass, and all types of dance. We are fulfilling a vision we’ve had for several years…to provide teens with a central place to learn, have fun, and explore their creativity in a supportive and save environment.”


What: Alice Cooper’s 13th annual Christmas Pudding

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Where: Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix

Cost: $38–$253

Information: (602) 379-280

KISS, ALICE COOPER, VINCE NEIL, ROB ZOMBIE Perform At Brennan Rock & Roll Academy Fundraiser

Alice Cooper, Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE), Rob Zombie and all four members of KISS are among the musicians who performed last night (Thursday, December 5) at a phenomenal concert and live auction to raise money for the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. They played with '80s and '90s cover band HAIRBALL to help the future of rock 'n' roll; the children. There asone band and many singers performing; no timeout to reset the stage, just continuous rock from one rock legend to the next.

According to, KISS — sans makeup — performed "Shout It Out Loud", "Deuce", "Lick It Up", "Dr. Love" and "Detroit Rock City". For the grand finale, KISS was joined on stage by Alice Cooper, Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE), Kip Winger (WINGER), Tom Keifer (CINDERELLA), Stephen Pearcy (RATT), Joey Tempest (EUROPE) and Jack Blades (NIGHT RANGER) for a rousing version of "Rock And Roll All Nite".

The Brennan Rock & Roll Academy gives children the opportunity to grow by offering free music lessons to those that may not be able to get them. They help keep children off the streets, away from drugs, and offer a positive environment that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Video1, Video2, Video3, Video4.

The Gene Simmons Rock Camp Set For Las Vegas

Rock Legend and media mogul GENE SIMMONS will mentor and jam with campers along with fellow rock star friends at ROCK 'N' ROLL FANTASY CAMP offering an opportunity of a lifetime at its LAS VEGAS studios. The camp will also feature TOMMY THAYER (KISS), SEBASTION BACH (SKID ROW), STEVE STEVENS (BILLY IDOL), and DAVE ELLEFSON (MEGADETH).

Together alongside SIMMONS, the four day camp -- MARCH 27th-30th, 2014 -- will help musicians of all levels form bands, learn or perfect their knowledge of an instrument, write and record a song.The camp will culminate with a live performance at HOUSE OF BLUES at the MANDALAY BAY RESORT AND CASINO in LAS VEGAS.

"Mentoring adult and young rockers at the fantasy camp has always been an amazingly rewarding experience for me," said SIMMONS. "I enjoy teaching and handing over lessons I've learned from the business to musicians and upcoming talent."

Space for ROCK 'N' ROLL FANTASY CAMPis extremely limited. To sign-up or for more information, please visit, or call (888) 762-2263.

Katey Sagal Talks Gene

( You got your first big break as a backup singer from Gene Simmons.

That's right – on his solo album. He also got me a record deal. I met him while I was working at a restaurant where you had to sing.

You were a singing waitress?

It was a place called the Great American Food & Beverage Company. It was this happening scene. Danny Elfman worked there. Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan's daughter – she was one of the hostesses. You didn't need any restaurant qualification to work there. You just had to have some special talent.

Any kind of talent? It didn't have to be singing?

You could play music or juggle or whatever. You just had to do something interesting. I was a for-shit waitress. I was terrible. But I made really good money because I could sing.

Did you sing the specials to them?

It wasn't as corny as that. You'd sing whatever you wanted. We'd sing original songs. We had a piano in the middle of the restaurant and sometimes five people would get up and do background singing, just to keep everybody entertained. It was really fun.

And one night KISS sat in your section.

That's right. It was their first tour and nobody knew who they were yet.

They weren't in makeup?


I thought they were super-secretive about their identities in the Seventies.

Well, this was. . . Are you sure they wore makeup at the very, very beginning?

I'm almost positive they did.

Well they weren't wearing makeup that night. And they'd just come from a gig. Nobody knew who they were.

What did you sing to them? Did they make any requests?

They asked for a Beatles song, but I can't remember which one. They talked about being big Beatles fans – we had that in common. I almost got arrested once for being too much into the Beatles.

We heard about that. You were 12 and apparently suffering from severe Beatlemania.

I don't know what happened. The police had to escort me home because I was so hysterical. There's some video of me out there on the Internet, where I'm at a Beatles concert and just losing my mind, screaming and crying.

For any Beatle in particular?

George Harrison. I was screaming because they were holding us back and I wanted to be closer to them. We were in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.

What was it about George? Why did you love him more than the others?

He seemed more accessible to me. Everybody loved Paul McCartney. And John Lennon seemed too cool. George felt to me like, "Oh, I could get him. He's like me." [Laughs.] Which of course is ridiculous.

Did you meet Harrison before he died?

No. I met Ringo. He's the only Beatle I ever spent time with. I've been to parties at his house. But I never got a chance to meet George.

Sorry, we got off topic. We were talking about your singing waitress job and Gene Simmons.

Yeah. [Laughs.] It sounds ridiculous, but that's how I introduced myself to him. I took his food order and sang him a Beatles song, and I guess I did okay because Gene was hugely helpful to me and my career. He came to one of my band practices that week and took us to Neil Bogart at Casablanca Records and they signed us. Without him I don't know how long I'd have waited for a break.

Let's talk about the Group With No Name.

That was such a lame name. Nobody could come up with something good and somebody mentioned the 'No Name' idea to Bogart and he thought it was great. I thought it was ridiculous. But it was a good band.

Drumming up a hit

( THIS year, Ball watch introduced its patented SpringLOCK® System, the world’s first revolutionary anti-shock system that enhances watch accuracy by reducing the balance-spring shock impact by 66%.Philippe Antille, Chief Technology Officer at Ball Watch, often used, as an example, the environmental effects a watch might endure while around the wrist of a drummer to illustrate the purpose of such a system.

He found the perfect tester for his anti-shock system: Eric Singer, the drummer of the band Kiss.

Singer already has two Ball watches and is a member of the “Friends of Ball”.

He wore the first prototype on stage in Milan in June 18 and the results found that the watch only had a difference of a few seconds after being “mistreated” during the whole first set of the concert.

On being asked how hard he was hitting the sticks, Singer explained, “It’s wood on steel. It may sound like a contradiction, but I try and be relaxed, but also as forceful as possible. If I tried to drum the way I do onstage now, without the adrenaline, it would hurt too much and I couldn’t do it. Aside from the fact that (a watch) doesn’t really go with my costume, I was always afraid that I’d destroy a movement if I wore it on stage.”

The SpringLOCK® works as a “cage” around the balance-spring and absorbs the energy created when the watch is subjected to external impacts.

These impacts can cause standard mechanical movements to vary by up to 60 seconds a day.

Singer went on to test the finalised product a few months later in Tokyo. He wore the brand new Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne featured with the SpringLOCK®.

As a start, Ball Watch will endow a few models with the SpringLOCK® System; The Engineer Hydrocarbon Black, The Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne and the Trainmaster Cannonball.

Keeping Me Young (Rough) by Evan Shane Stanley

Keeping Me Young (Rough) by Evan Shane Stanley: Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Disney owns the Muppets, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Mickey and more. Is KISS next? Listen.


CLICK HERE to get the new KISS APPS!

PERSONA CAMERA APP: 2 modes of fun with KISS. You can take a picture with KISS Band or an individual member right next to you. Ten patterns of frames are available. With Make Up Camera, you can move and scale KISS make up avatars to give yourself with full KISS make ups!

LIVE WALLPAPER APP: Screen saver for your phone. Two versions are available - an individual and group shots, and rare live photos. You can adjust the transition speed of photos as well as set an animation effect to either fade-out or zoom mode.

PUZZLE APP: Gene Simmons will start off this puzzle and congratulate you once you complete the puzzle. Gene recorded voices messages specifically for this apps. There are 3 patterns of puzzles - 15 pieces to complete. The sound clip by Gene can only be heard in this app.


Once in a life time KISS packages. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire.

LIVE BID: Become a Member of the KISS Entourage on Their 40th Anniversary Tour on 2 Back to Back Shows -

Any time in the next year, you and a guest can become members of the KISS Entourage on their 40th Anniversary Tour.


- You and a guest will fly to meet up with KISS on tour anywhere in the US. (Valid for continental US flights only).

- You will see the KISS show as all access members of the group, stay in the same hotel as the band and fly from 2 back to back shows on the KISS jet with the band!

- Receive autographs and photos with the Band in Full Makeup during meet and greets

- Hang out at sound check and kick it with the crew-- this is your pass to be "With the Band" for these 2 shows!!

- We will then fly you back to your origination spot after the second KISS show.

This package also includes 2 coveted seats to THE Fundraiser- an epic event being held on December 5, 2013 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Those attending the event will meet all of the members of KISS backstage at the event and get a photo with the whole band without makeup on.

LIVE BID: Join Paul Stanley Jan. 5 - Jan 7 in LA for the Ultimate Sports Experience -

Perfect for sports and rock and roll fans alike, bid now on this Paul Stanley experience!


- Sunday, January 5th: You and a guest will join Paul in courtside seats at the LA Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets game in Los Angeles at Staples Center.

- Monday, January 6th: You and a guest will get to attend the BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

- Tuesday, January 7th: You and a guest will have the best seats in the house for the sold out Anaheim Ducks vs. Boston Bruins Hockey game at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Winner will have the chance to watch the warm ups from the Penalty Box along with a customized Ducks Jersey for you and your guest.

- Includes breakfast or lunch with Paul one day during your trip.

- If traveling from Las Vegas, fly to Los Angeles and back on a Private Jet for this experience.

- Deluxe accommodations will also be covered while in LA.

- Winner receives an autographed Washburn Signature Model Guitar that will be played by Paul Stanley at THE Fundraiser event

This package also includes 2 coveted seats to THE Fundraiser- an epic event being held on December 5, 2013 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Those attending the event will also meet Paul Stanley at the event where he will present you with your guitar and take a photo with you.

LIVE BID: Private Gene Simmons Expereince in LA Including a Visit to His Home and Tour of His KISS Collection -

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity with Gene Simmons!


- On a mutually agreed upon date, you and a guest will fly to Los Angeles and stat at the Beverly Hills Hotel with the flights and hotel stay paid for.

- You will be transported, blindfolded and via Private Security to the Home of Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed-Simmons. You will get at tour of his famous office from his hit television show which is a literal KISS Museum.

- Take photos with Gene while he shows you the coolest KISS collection on the planet.

- After your tour, Gene will join you for dinner in Beverly Hills at a restaurant of Gene's choosing.

- Winner receives an autographed BASS guitar that will be played by Gene.

This package also includes 2 coveted seats to THE Fundraiser- an epic event being held on December 5, 2013 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Those attending the event will meet Gene Simmons at the event where he will present you with your autographed BASS and get a photo with Gene.

These lots will close at 12 noon EDT December 5 to be part of a live auction that evening. Please be sure to utilize the Max Bid feature so a Charitybuzz representative may continue to bid on your behalf at the live auction. Should no Max Bid be in place, we will bid your current bid at the live auction. Please contact or 212-243-3900 for more details or with any questions.

'Kiss In Sweden 1976-2013' Book Now Available

"Kiss In Sweden 1976-2013", a book about all the times KISS visited Sweden filled with exciting stories, interesting facts and almost 1000 pictures, is available for order at

The authors — Johan Falk and Roney Lundell — have one thing in common: their passionate interest in the rock group KISS, and they hope and trust that fans will feel this passion and feel their heart rate increase when they have the book in their hands and open it for the first time.

Comment the authors: "Our story begins when KISS lands at Torslanda Airport just outside of Gothenburg around 4 p.m. on the 25th of May 1976. They arrive by plane unmasked and a Swedish photographer takes a few shots as KISS are about to embark on their first tour in Sweden, a tour which has generated scandalous headlines in the media long before the plane even landed. KISS will come back to visit Sweden again in 1980, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2008, 2010 and 2013 and the band or parts thereof have made promotional visits here in 1982, 1985, 1987, 1992 and 1994. The story of KISS in Sweden ends as Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] board an aircraft taking off from Kristianstad Airport in Everöd at 4 p.m. on the 8th of June 2013, bound for Norway.

"The goal with the book has from the very start been to document all of KISS' visits to our country as thoroughly as possible. We searched far and wide for all the cool pictures that were forgotten or ended up gathering dust in an attic somewhere. We talked to those who met the band, privately or professionally, and we spared no dime uncovering the facts and unknown stories which has until now remained undocumented. We set out to do a book that we ourselves would like to read and we think we have succeeded. We are sure that all KISS fans will enjoy our book!

"The book has 336 pages and weighs in at 1.7 kg. It is filled with almost 1000 pictures (over 600 photos and most of them have never been published before)."

Three Sides Of The Coin

Megan McCracken Talks About Living with Bill Aucoin & Sean Delaney & Early KISS Stories. Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

VH1 Classic That Metal Show Host Eddie Trunk Sits Down and Clears the Air on KISS. Listen.

THE KISS ROOM - October 31, 2013

Join Matt Porter for some Halloween fun on this bonus edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded live on Thursday, October 31, 2013 and broadcast via Montco Radio!

Not as much chatting as a typical episode of THE KISS ROOM, just a little extra treat for Halloween.

Halloween candy tastes just as good during the rest of the year.

Listen to it right here:

Listen to the November edition of THE KISS ROOM!

Originally broadcast on Montco Radio and recorded live on Friday, November 15, 2013.

Join Matt Porter in the studio with
• Chris Giordano from KISStory
• Bob Brodsky
• John Barbieri
• Chris Ann Colvin
for a KISS Kruise wrap-up, round table and MORE!

Listen here:

Paul Stanley - The Starchild Santa

( (Video) During his tenure in KISS, Paul Stanley has played more guitars than any of us can imagine, and gleaned from each what makes an instrument truly exceptional. Combine that with his keen sense of visual design and you get the Paul Stanley Signature Series from Washburn. We sat down with this knight in Santa’s service to discuss these stellar instruments, and how gear has evolved over 40 years of being in the hottest band in the world.

Musician’s Friend: Tell us about your longstanding relationship with Washburn, and how the line of Paul Stanley Signature guitars came to be.

Paul Stanley: The idea of being able to create my own guitar has always been a dream. I think it’s everybody’s dream, especially when you’re growing up and you draw the ultimate guitar. Unfortunately, when you’re a kid and you draw a guitar, it looks like a ray gun. Given the opportunity to really design something, I found myself leaning on the past. The past is what got us here. Tradition is at the core of everything I try to design. I went through a couple of different companies, but ultimately I found my way to Washburn. The thing I love there is that they’re really great craftsmen, but you don’t have the red tape of a company where someone has to call someone else who has to clear what you did, and five months later you get a prototype that’s completely wrong. I went through that. When I started working with Washburn, I sketched something out and within six weeks I had a finished guitar to look at. We’ve had a great relationship.

I’m really proud of the guitars we do because they hearken back to the golden age. There’s a reason why people have always wanted vintage guitars. They were well crafted, the combination of woods and pickups was right, and that’s at the core of what I try to do. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, just put my own spin on it.

MF: You’re a visual artist as well as a musician. How does your sense of visual style find its way into your guitar designs?

PS: The idea with this guitar was to create something classic, something that echoes things that were here before, but improves on them. Whatever guitars this may remind you of, quite honestly, this kills ‘em. It’s better balanced, the tone is tremendous, the neck, the radius, the action, the playability, everything about it. It’s great because you can have it around your neck and let go, and it stays horizontal, whereas other guitars, because of heavy tuning pegs and other things, just dip and hit the ground. The abalone and mother-of-pearl inlays are something that I’ve done over the years. Classic big frets. This is the guitar I always wanted, that never was.

MF: Some of the models in the series are equipped with mini humbuckers. What is it about the tone of the minis that earned them a spot on these guitars?

PS: Mini humbuckers are something tried-and-true, and I try to keep that in the equation when I’m designing a guitar. Something that’s been around for a while has been around because it works. The great thing about my relationship with Washburn is that they pretty much give me the freedom to run amok, and I hold their hand to the fire to make sure that we stay true to tradition. I’m a big believer that the greatest guitars were made already, and all we can do now is emulate them. There’s no secret to making a great guitar; anyone can do it. All you need is great components and great woods, and the rest is just about craftsmanship.

MF: Does that philosophy also extend to other pieces of gear, like amps and effects?

PS: When we were recording Sonic Boom and when we did Monster, our last album, the idea was to remain true to the roots of all the stuff we loved most. A lot of times in the studio, you can go for perfection, but what you give up is passion. You can get something perfect, but what you get is sterile. All the music that we grew up loving, whether it was Motown or James Brown or Zeppelin or the Beatles or Elvis Presley, was made by live people and there were all kinds of imperfections. That’s part of what gave it that excitement, that feeling that every once in a while it’s going to go off the rails. Listen to that first Zeppelin album—what made it so great was that these guys were careening together. The beauty of a great band is that it moves and breathes as one beast. So we recorded analog, because all the greatest albums were recorded on tape. You can’t change something that works that well and expect the same results. So it was recorded on tape and we used a lot of vintage gear: Fender Bassman amps, Marshall Plexis… anything we could get our hands on.

MF: What advancements in music gear technology have enhanced KISS performances most over the years?

PS: One of the strangest things to happen to us was that we were the first band to go wireless. When we first started using them, they were tremendous for us because we no longer had to dance around each other to untangle wires. But the other side of it was that people thought we weren’t really playing. But that was a great step forward, to go wireless. PA systems obviously get better and better, which is a great thing. But in terms of gear, in all my years, I took a good guitar and plugged it into a great Marshall or some other kind of tube amp. Maybe there was some compression, or a power boost, but outside of that, it didn’t take a pedalboard on the floor that looks like it makes cappuccino. I don’t understand that kind of stuff because my heroes didn’t use that kind of stuff. Most times, that stuff sounds pretty fake. What they’re trying to emulate can be had just by plugging your guitar into a good amp and figuring out the settings. If technology becomes a barrier between the guitar and the amplifier, then what’s the point?

MF: KISS has thrived for the past 40 years by rolling with radical shifts in the musical landscape. Do you have a favorite era of the band in particular?

PS: There is no denying that when you’re first starting out, you have this incredible passion and hunger. You’re aspiring to be recognized. Whether you know it or not, you’re aspiring to make some money, whether it’s just to pay the rent or buy a Rolls Royce—it’s all the same thing. You want recognition and validation. So those days were very special for four guys who were told that something wasn’t possible, and went against the grain and said, if you stand in front of us, we’ll walk all over you. So those early years were magical. But I sure wouldn’t want to go back there! It’s like a picture of an old girlfriend you look at. If you were to get back with her for one day, you’d remember why you broke up in the first place.

MF: What are the fundamentals you’ve adhered to in order to succeed and have such a long career?

PS: The basic tenet for longevity is passion. You have to love what you’re doing. If you’re doing it for any other reason, you’ll ultimately fail. You do something not because you want to, you do something because you have to, because there’s an obsession within you. If someone comes to me and says, “I’m thinking about staying in music or…” I say, “Stop. Do the other thing.” If you have to ask yourself if you should be doing this, the answer is no. You have to find something you totally believe in. That’s what will get you through the tough times. Passion will not only help you succeed, it will get you through the failures.


Our friends at Sixthman have posted an amazing video recapping many of the memorable moments aboard KISS Kruise III! Watch the video.

ACE FREHLEY Signs With eOne Music

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has inked a new two-album deal with eOne Music.

Frehley has spent the past few days in the studio with drummer Matt Starr (BURNING RAIN) and bassist Chris Wyse (THE CULT, OWL) working on Ace's new CD. An early 2014 release is expected.

Frehley's last album, "Anomaly", was made available as a 2-LP vinyl set featuring two new limited-edition colors on October 1 via Brookvale Records. Only 750 units of each color were manufactured.

Frehley told in a 2009 interview that he intended "Anomaly" to "kind of pick up where I left off with my first solo album" — 1978's "Ace Frehley".

"Prior to going into the studio, I listened to that first album, which everybody cites as their favorite Ace record," Frehley said. "I dissected it and tried to get into the same mind set this time around. I think I recaptured some of the musical textures and attitude and vibe that I had on that first record."

"Anomaly" was recorded at Schoolhouse Studios in New York and at Ace's home studio in Westchester, New York.


KISS Navy, are you ready for another Kruise announcement?

KISS Kruise IV's theme is DRESSED TO KILL! You'll be able to take a formal band photo with KISS dressed in their finest attire!

Here's a special message from Eric: Video.


KISS Kruisers, are you enjoying all the updates about KISS Kruise IV? Here's another one that you're going to love! Next year's pre-party takes place on the ship itself, aboard the Norwegian Pearl!

The pre-party is a place for you to connect with other Kruise guests the night before the Kruise. We’re going to give you a hotel and pre-party that rocks…and floats!

You’ll be able to check into your room on the Pearl throughout the day on October 30th, and the Pearl will set sail in the evening. Party out on the ocean with live music by supporting bands, and enjoy the casino and bars. The Pearl will return to the port to pick up any additional guests the next morning.

As an added bonus, you’ll already be unpacked and settled, have FREE food, and you’ll get to sleep in while others are boarding! You can reserve your cabin for the pre-party night for a flat rate based on room category and number of guests at the same time you make your cabin reservation.

Here's a special message about the pre-party from Tommy Thayer: Video.


( All going well on the movie edit thus far... Our Emmy nominated Director is deep in the heart of Soho with the Editor of Dr Who no less! And magic is being born... Powered by Starbucks and the knowledge that both Ace Frehley and Peter Criss will be appearing in the movie via two full length interviews that none of you have even seen a second of!!! The magic continues....Alan G. Parker

Gene Simmons' Wife, Daughter to Star in Their Own Canadian Reality Series

Gene Simmons is sitting this one out. But the KISS rocker's wife Shannon Tweed-Simmons and daughter Sophie Tweed-Simmons are starring in their own Canadian reality TV series for the W network.

The eight-episode, half-hour series from Force Four Entertainment will start shooting in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. in December, with a 2014 debut.

As Shannon is a former playmate and her daughter is a straight-A student running a children’s charity in Vancouver, the series will play up the mother and daughter's differences as they remain best friends. And Gene Simmons, who starred along with his family for seven seasons in A&E Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, will make cameo appearances on the Canadian reality show.

"Soph and I have a great relationship and filming together is always such fun, I’m thrilled we’ll now have our own show," said Tweed-Simmons in a statement Tuesday.

"It’s amazing, the friendship my mom and I have. She’s my rock, my best friend and even though we are very different, ultimately we agree on the important things in life. I’m excited to start shooting and give viewers a glimpse into our world," daughter Sophie added in her statement.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Did KISS Dig Deep Enough with the KISS Kruise Setlist? Listen.


KISS Navy, are you getting excited about KISS Kruise IV? We'll set sail again on the Norwegian Pearl from Miami, Florida on Halloween 2014!

Here's a special message from Gene Simmons: Video.


Attention, KISS NAVY!

Mark your calendars: You are celebrating Halloween again with KISS in 2014! The KISS Kruise IV sets sail October 31 - November 4, 2014!

Here's a special message from Paul Stanley: Video.

KISS' Gene Simmons: I've been offered role of Green Goblin in 'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark'

( Gene Simmons set tongues wagging Wednesday when he tweeted that he was offered the chance to make his Broadway debut as Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis.

“Thank you, Michael Cohl for offering me the role of the Green Goblin on the Broadway production of #spiderman,” the KISS bassist posted to his 573,719 followers.

If the 64-year-old rock icon does indeed swap his white and black demon facepaint for the stage villain’s green body makeup, he’ll be replacing Broadway veteran Robert Cuccioli. A rep for the production could not be reached for comment.

Simmons may have an opening in his schedule soon: Kiss' 2013 Monster Tour wraps up Nov. 8 in Calgary.

For the Queens-raised Simmons, born Chaim Witz, a Broadway run would be a homecoming.

“We were just four kids off the streets of New York that dreamed big,” Simmons told the News in March of KISS's humble beginnings.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ace Frehley & Peter Criss Reunite & the KISS Kruise Acoustic Setlist: Listen here.

'Simpsons' Executive Producer On the Show's KISS 'Tribute'

( Last night’s (November 3) episode of The Simpsons was one for the ages. Titled “Four Regrettings And A Funeral,” it featured one of the show’s most epic “couch gags” ever, an understated and sweet goodbye to longtime character Mrs. Krabappel, and a pretty hilarious reference to “The Hottest Band In The World.”

“Four Regrettings” saw four characters — Homer and Marge Simpson, Mr. Burns and news anchor Kent Brockman — look back on their lives and consider the questionable choices they’ve made. Mr. Burns let the love of his life slip away because he couldn’t take her advice to think about others for five minutes a day. Homer sold all of his Apple stock to buy a bowling ball. Kent Brockman didn’t follow his former co-anchor Rachel Maddow (appearing as herself) in trading local news for the big time. And Marge Simpson wonders if perhaps she is responsible for son Bart’s rebellious streak, due to — of all things — an unexplained hankering for the music and imagery of KISS during her pregnancy.

This last one was such a bizarre twist, that reached out to Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean to ask about its origins. While Jean didn’t come up with the idea, he felt compelled to go along with it: “As a corporal in the KISS Army, I could only obey.”

“[Director] Jim Brooks suggested that Marge was hooked on KISS music when she was pregnant, and that she worried it had made Bart what he was,” Jean said.

Two songs from the KISS catalog made the episode, both of which had significance to Jean: “We used ‘Detroit Rock City’ and ‘Christine Sixteen,’ two songs that have special meaning for me (I am from Detroit, and left there for college at 16). As Marge said, ‘Anything from Love Gun’ would be great.”

While KISS has very liberally licensed their image to cartoons before — they currently have partnerships with Hello Kitty and Family Guy — the band’s representatives still needed to approve of the script before granting the rights to use their music. “Their [music] publisher was sent all the script pages referring to the music when we cleared it,” Jean said. “Sometimes people raise issues with content, but KISS were great sports.”

And they had to be great sports. Marge and Homer dress up like Gene, for crying outloud! As Homer wags his tongue Simmons-style, Marge asks him to “do that thing Gene Simmons does.” Homer’s immortal response: “What, overstay my welcome for 40 years?”

“As a show that’s been around for 25 years,” Jean says, “we have the utmost sympathy.”


During the KISS KRUISE III, KISS Navy members John and Jamie Downs presented Gene with a plaque commemorating the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's acceptance of a Gene Simmons Axe bass into their collection.

The Smithsonian Museum's statement reads, in part: "The bass will now be cared for in our permanent collections... We are happy to include the Axe bass as it relates to the impact Mr. Simmons and his band KISS have had on American culture, especially in the creation of a unique and iconic brand that has been embraced by fans worldwide."

"The story of Mr. Simmons' American experience deserves to be preserved. An immigrant and son of a holocaust survivor, he used creative vision and entrepreneurial acumen to make a significant impact for our nation's popular culture, becoming an iconic figure in American music and entertainment."

Watch the video here.

Gene Simmons, Henry Winkler Headline 24th Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

Rock musician turned restaurateur Gene Simmons, and actor Henry Winkler headline the 2013 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference November 4-6 at the Wynn Las Vegas. The conference is the premier finance, dealmaking and education event and is the largest networking event of the year for the movers and shakers in the restaurant business.

Multi-unit restaurant owners have numerous opportunities to mix and mingle with investors or lenders who can help them buy, grow or sell their businesses. In addition, the conference offers numerous education sessions run by some of the most highly regarded financial minds in the industry. The 2013 sessions will cover the financing outlook for restaurant businesses and examine the climate for buying or selling restaurants. Also, the conference sessions will provide expert accounting, tax and business strategy guidance. Emerging restaurant concepts will have opportunities to put themselves in front of investors during the conference's unique "Pitch Session."

Simmons, best known as the makeup-clad cofounder and bassist for the legendary band KISS, is a highly accomplished businessman. KISS is a merchandising juggernaut, with more than 2,500 licenses. Now Simmons is in the restaurant business. Along with partners Michael Zislic and Dave Furano, Simmons started Rock & Brews, a combination of original iconic Rock & Roll Art, artisan beers, great pizza, rockin' good music and food.

Winkler is a highly accomplished actor, author, producer and director whose work satisfies multiple generations, from his highly regarded portrayal of "The Fonz" for 10 seasons on Happy Days (1974-1984), to his more recent portrayal of the Bluth family attorney Barry Zuckerkorn on Arrested Development. Winkler has won two Golden Globe awards and was a multi-year Emmy Award nominee. He has also produced more than 20 TV series and specials, including MacGyver.

For more information on the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, or to register, go to: or call 1-800-528-3296.

More Videos: Songs From KISS Kruise III

Let Me Know
The Oath
Hide Your Heart
Almost Human
Love Her All I Can

Ace & Peter on Eddie Trunk's Friday Night Rocks

Listen: Ace, Peter.

Videos: Songs From KISS Kruise III

The Oath
Let Me Know
Anything For My Baby
Almost Human
Hide You Heart

Custom truck to be auctioned with some celebrity help

A health scare in Tom Foster's family helped create a unique fundraiser - and a vintage-inspired vehicle rare to the automotive industry.

With help from Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed, the Snakebit F-100 will be auctioned off next year to support the Children's Hospital Foundation.

Foster bought a 1956 Ford F-100 to refurbish it for a fundraiser as part of the 55th anniversary of the family business, Industrial Machine & Manufacturing, in 2011. Several months later, his newborn daughter Sophia spent 14 days in hospital getting tested for a potentially life-threatening disease.

"It was very traumatic," Foster said on Wednesday during the launch of the Wheels of Dreams project.

The tests revealed Sophia had an easily treated infection, but during the hospital stay Forster learned from health care workers and his own experience that Saskatchewan needs a children's hospital.

He decided to find people to help turn his company's promotional fundraiser into something bigger. The Ford Dealers of Saskatchewan got involved, and the project is now bigger than he imagined.

"It's a way to give back to the people who took care of my daughter," Foster said.

Over the next several years, with lots of help, the truck Foster bought on was redesigned and refurbished. Snakebit F-100 is a melding of two classics: The body of the 1956 truck and the guts of a Shelby Cobra Mustang. It's set to be offered for sale at the prestigious Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale, AZ in January.

Gene Simmons, of KISS fame, and his wife Shannon Tweed, a former Saskatoon resident, will be at the trade show next week and in Arizona to help promote the car, said Vaughn Wyant, president and CEO of Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group, which includes Jubilee Ford.

Organizers asked media to refrain from publishing pictures of the vehicle until its official unveiling next week in Las Vegas.

"Ford is telling us it's the first one like it they've seen," said Bruce Williams, a freelance illustrator and car designer who helped develop the concept. "We used as many Ford racing components as possible. Everything on the truck is handmade."

Foster started with the goal of raising $55,000, but now he hopes to raise more than $500,000.


Love Her All I Can
Ladies In Waiting
Shout It Out Loud
Anything For My Baby
Do You Love Me
Almost Human
Hell Or Hallelujah
War Machine
The Oath
Say Yeah
Hide Your Heart
Lick It Up
Let Me Know
Black Diamond
Detroit Rock City
Rock And Roll All Nite

PodKISSt #77 Magazines and Ace & Pete Rock Out!

Join us for #77 as We discuss Pete & Ace Playing Eddie Trunk’s B day Party with Pete LaRussa who was there, then Matt Porter, Chris Czynszak, Chris Karem & Andrew Sgambati discuss the great KISS magazines! Back in the day, they were the life line to news on KISS for us fans.

What was your fav KISS Magazine of all time?

It’s the 77th installment of PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!

Listen here:

KISS Kruise Setlist Night 1

Here's KISS rocking the Kruise at last night's indoor concert. The set list included several rarely performed songs including "The Oath" and "Mainline." KISS also performed "Almost Human" for the first time ever! Fan response to the setlist was tremendous!

Set List:

Anything For My Baby
Shout It Out Loud
Do You Love Me
Almost Human
Hell Or Hallelujah
War Machine
The Oath
Say Yeah
Lick It Up
Love Gun
Let Me Know
Black Diamond
Detroit Rock City
Rock And Roll All nite

Kiss Sail Away Setlist at KISS Kruise 2013

Comin' Home
Christine Sixteen
Hide Your Heart
Nothin' to Lose
Got to Choose
Cold Gin
Goin' Blind
Hotter Than Hell
Take Me
Love Her All I Can
Rock Bottom
Hard Luck Woman
All the Way
C'mon and Love Me
Creatures of the Night (short version)
Love Theme From Kiss
Let Me Know
Every Time I Look at You

Three Sides Of The Coin

Gene Simmons, 40th Anniversary Symphony Tour & the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. We Discuss: Video.

Video PodKISST Ep.1 Monster World Tour Special (Part 2)

On this show we have three guests who have all attended at least one show on the North American Tour: Mitch Lafon from Three Sides Of The Coin, That Reporter Kid Cassius Morris, and Taras Kachkowski. Come Have Some Fun! Video.

Pro-Shot Footage Of Tokyo Concert

(Video) Professionally filmed video footage of KISS' October 24 performance at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.

The band's setlist was as follow:

01. Psycho Circus
02. Shout It Out Loud
03. Do You Love Me?
04. I Love It Loud
05. Hell Or Hallelujah
06. War Machine
07. Sukiyaki
08. Heavens On Fire
09. Calling Dr. Love
10. Say Yeah
11. Shock Me
12. Outta This World
13. Tommy Thayer And Eric Singer Jam
14. Gene Simmons Solo
15. God Of Thunder
16. Lick It Up
17. Love Gun
18. Paul Solo
19. Black Diamond


20. Detroit Rock City
21. I Was Made For Lovin' You
22. Rock And Roll All Nite

KISS unveiled its brand new stage show this on June 1 at the opening concert the European leg of their "Monster" world tour in Stockholm, Sweden.

"Monster", the 20th studio album from KISS, sold 56,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on The Billboard 200 chart.

KISS' previous CD, "Sonic Boom", opened with 108,000 units back in October 2009 to enter the chart at No. 2. This marked the band's highest-charting LP ever.

KISS has notched nine Top 10 albums, according to Its previous highest-charting set was 1998's "Psycho Circus", which debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 110,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The group's other high-charting sets include 1975's "Alive!" (No. 9), 1977's "Love Gun" (No. 4) and 1992's "Revenge" (No. 6).

Rocker Lou Reed Dies at 71

Songwriter Lou Reed, who worked 'with KISS on Music From The Elder', died Sunday at age 71, Rolling Stone reports. His cause of death was not released, but Reed underwent a life-saving liver transplant earlier this year.

Born Lewis Allan Reed in Brooklyn, Reed received electroconvulsive therapy as a teenager to cure his bisexuality, and later wrote the song "Kill Your Sons" about the experience.

Reed studied at Syracuse University and went on to form The Velvet Underground in the 1960s. The band, which often collaborated with artist Andy Warhol, is widely hailed as one of if not the most influential American band of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

After The Velvet Underground disbanded, Reed moved to England and embarked on a successful solo career in the early 1970s, with hits including "Walk on the Wild Side."

Reed's most recent effort was 2011's Lulu, a collaboration with Metallica. He posted a photo to his Facebook page Sunday morning showing a poster of himself taped to a door.

Reed is survived by his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, whom he married in 2008.

Various Videos

ACE FREHLEY And PETER CRISS: More Footage Of New York City Reunion: Video1, Video2.

TOMMY THAYER Signature Les Paul Is A Huge Hit With KISS Fans

(Video) In January 2013, Epiphone kicked off its amazing 140th anniversary year with the release of the limited-edition Tommy Thayer "Spaceman" Les Paul Standard Outfit, a one-of-a-kind collaboration with KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer. Epiphone has now announced that they have "sold out" of the limited run of 1,000 Tommy Thayer "Spaceman" Les Pauls to their retailers worldwide.

"Working with Tommy has been a highlight of our anniversary year," said Epiphone president Jim Rosenberg. "We're delighted that Tommy's signature Les Paul took off so quickly with fans. And the recent news that KISS has been nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame makes this 'sellout' all the better. We hope to work with Tommy again in the very near future on another signature guitar run."

The "Spaceman" features world-famous Gibson 498T Humbuckers with a covered 498T in the neck position and an open coil, double black bobbin Gibson 498T Humbucker in the lead position to create the unmistakable Les Paul sound. The hand-set neck delivers outstanding string-to-body resonance while the medium-jumbo frets add to the smooth and sustained tone. The top features a beautiful Silver Flake color finish and a black gloss finish on the back, sides and neck. The classic clipped dovewing headstock features a '60s style "Epiphone" in silver, "Tommy Thayer" on the bell-shaped truss rod cover and "Les Paul Spaceman" in silver lettering underneath Les Paul's iconic signature. A sleek black pick guard completes the modern look.

"Having my own signature Epiphone Les Paul guitar is something I've dreamed about for a long time," remarked Thayer. "It's important for me to put my name on a professional guitar for serious musicians that sounds great, looks amazing and is affordable."

Thayer worked closely with Rosenberg on every detail of the design.

"Tommy has been a longtime fan of Epiphone guitars and wanted to be sure that his signature Les Paul was totally original and totally first class," said Rosenberg. "Tommy oversaw every last detail. We couldn't be happier with his Les Paul and we're thrilled that we'll be seeing it on stage with Tommy for many years to come."

Video: Original KISS Members ACE FREHLEY And PETER CRISS Perform Together For First Time In 13 Years

(Vid1, Vid2, Vid3) Original KISS members Ace Frehley (guitar) and Peter Criss (drums) reunited on stage for the first time in 13 years last night (Wednesday, October 23) during the all-star jam at the 30th-anniversary party for VH1 Classic "That Metal Show" co-host Eddie Trunk's radio show at the Hard Rock Café in New York City. Drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER) served as the musical director for the event, which featured additional performances by members of GUNS N' ROSES, ANTHRAX, ACCEPT, TNT, TWISTED SISTER and OVERKILL, among others.

Three Sides Of The Coin

What Type of KISS Fan Are You? Ace? Peter? Vinnie? Originals? 80s? Gene & Paul?: Video.

BRUCE KULICK Says KISS Fans Are Are 'A Unique, Wonderful Breed'

Full Throttle Rock recently conducted an interview with former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Full Throttle Rock: You have had a long outstanding career playing with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Could you have imagined your career would take the shape it has?

Bruce Kulick: Well, you know, the more I go back and look at all the things I have done, the more I realize, while I was doing them, of course, I was excited and as professional as possible, but I did not realize the impact that all the things, especially the KISS years, would ultimately have. Even prior to that, the dual lead guitars for MEAT LOAF and touring the world for the "Bat Out Of Hell" tour, you know, when it first came out, I mean, that album is still huge and the version of that record you buy now has a couple of live tracks on it featuring Bob [Kulick] and I. So I am very blessed to be a working musician all these years. Could I have imagined it? Not completely. Definitely not.

Full Throttle Rock: In terms of the KISS albums you were on, which one do you think was your best guitar performance or your favourite to play on?

Bruce Kulick: You know, it is a great question. Obviously, fans have different favorites of their own. There is highlights on all the albums, I always felt. I am going to give you the answer. Really, if I had to stick with one record, it would be "Revenge", because I just felt between Bob Ezrin's production and the commitment of the band at the time, I really felt it was one of our most cohesive, strong, hard rock melodic efforts. The lead guitar was in your face, take no prisoners, you know, balls to the wall, but I have to say I am very fond of the acoustic solo on "Forever" and, I think, the melodic guitar playing on "Tears Are Falling" are important moments in my KISS years. Some people think "Carnival Of Souls" is the best record the band put out, you know, but for me, as much as I am proud of a lot of stuff through those years, that record really held it together for me in, I felt, like a big showcase for me.

Full Throttle Rock: Having experienced this first hand, tell me about the KISS fan and what makes them so different from other rock fans?

Bruce Kulick: Well, I have got to admit they really do attract… I think being a fan, you could be a "Star Wars" fan, I do not think there is fundamentally a huge difference between fans of different genres, meaning a sci-fi fan could be pretty similar to a KISS fan, actually, in my mind. But just being specific with KISS, they are very loyal, yet many of them, not the majority, but many of them will also criticize but still be there for the band, many will support all eras, many will be a snob and just like say, only the original four, only the makeup, you get what I mean? So they kind of split off into opinions and passions of the band, you know. I remember for a while, I am a huge BEATLES fan, that I was like, "No, I do not want to listen to anything from the first couple of records; that is primitive BEATLES. No, I want to listen to 'Magical Mystery Tour', trippy complex music," you know, and of course, now it could be a rough demo from '62 and I am happy to hear it because it is THE BEATLES, okay. So I kind of change with that as well, but honestly, the KISS fans are a unique, wonderful breed that I am very blessed to have been exposed to, of course, because they have created a career for me, you know. It is as if I am still in the band, but I have not been with the guys since '96, and it is incredible to still be such a part of the family and everything. So I am really quite blessed about the fact that they are the way they are and that they are so passionate about the band and they really just want to celebrate the group and boy, you know, one thing about them they do not ever seem to hang it up, which is great.

Full Throttle Rock: Your last solo record, "BK3", was in 2010. Are there any plans to release another one soon and if so, will it be like "BK3", with vocals from guest singers as well as yourself or will it be more in the style of the previous album, "Transformer"?

Bruce Kulick: Right. Great question. I really do not completely have an answer. I am always writing, okay, and regarding my "BK4", we will call it, I just do not have a firm plan to how I would do it. The important thing is that I am staying creative, archiving good ideas, more and more serious about trying to write stuff and I, obviously… It cost a lot of money to do a record the way I want to do a record, because I am not going to do it in my bedroom, I am going to use a professional studios and the real gear and everything and I might go the route of a Pledge Music thing, but I would not do that until the songs were ready. And then, in essence, I am pre-selling it, you know what I mean? And who would be involved? And what? You know, I just befriended Joe Satriani at a Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp up in Napa Valley, the wine country, and he invited me, you know. He bought my CD. I could not believe it. I get the email order, "Joe Satriani." I am, like… "What?" But what a great guy and what a brilliantly talented guitar player. He did a great job at this quick three-day camp up at Louis M. Martini winery; it was like a hybrid kind of camp, not just a regular Fantasy Camp, it was involved with wine making and it was fascinating, but Joe was, like, what a guy. So obviously when something like that happens and I create a "You are great" and him saying to me, "I want to get your record. I really dig you," I am, like, "Wow." That makes me think: "Can I ask him to guest on a song?" You see what I mean? I start thinking about that, which takes me back to "BK3", where I was able to ask guests to help me out. But I do not have a firm plan yet. All I know is I have been very driven, especially since I am done with the summer crazy GRAND FUNK RAILROAD schedule, that I want to archive songs and move forward with staying creative. There are a lot of projects for next year I need to accomplish. I have also been writing with my brother. We have talked about doing an EP. We do not want to get crazy with a full-blown record, but I think the fans would love a nice appetizer, like an EP, from the two of us. And I do not know who would sing that yet; we have not even figured that out. But the important thing is we have a couple of really cool rock tunes that I think the fans would really like and that has taken us… God, we have been talking about that since the beginning of this year, so it takes time.

Read the entire interview at Full Throttle Rock.

Video Footage Of 'I Was Made For Lovin' You' Rehearsal For TV ASAHI

Video Footage Of 'I Was Made For Lovin' You' Rehearsal For TV ASAHI

THE KISS ROOM - October 18

LISTEN to the October edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded live on Friday, October 18.

Listen to Matt Porter in the studio with:

• SuperFan ANDY with a KISS Kruise Kommentary!

We're talking Halloween, Hall of Fame, KISS Kruise, giving away some cool prizes and MORE!

Listen here:








Chinese style steamed dumplings are a staple of convenience stores all over Japan. Known as nikuman in Japan (or other name ending in “–man” depending on the fillings) their round shape allows for a lot of cross marketing creativity. In the past we’ve seen Spiderman, Monsters Inc., the Dragon Quest Slime, Hatsune Miku, and random cute animals all rendered in dumpling form.

What better way for the hard rocking and hard merchandising titans of Kiss to commemorate their Japan tour in the latter half of this month than with the Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman? But can a steamed dumpling capture the rock and roll spirit of Kiss? Mr. Sato went on the day of their release to find out.

On 15 October Mr. Sato woke up and put the final “X” on his calendar. Today was the day Circle K Sunkus convenience stores would begin selling the Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman. He fastened his Love Gun belt buckle and headed out to get one on the way to work.

However, upon arriving at the Sunkus the nikuman showcase was empty. Mr. Sato had arrived too early. The dumplings were delivered but still needed two hours to be thawed out and then they still needed to be adequately warmed in the steamer. The store clerk told him that they’d be ready early in the afternoon. “Dammit! I waited so long.” shouted Mr. Sato, stomping his studded platform boot into the sidewalk.

Mr. Sato returned to the Sunkus at around 3:00 in the afternoon, but saw only a single Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman sitting in the showcase. He was surprised that the demand was so big. The clerk confirmed that indeed people have been buying them up all day except for the one sitting before them.

Mr. Sato purchased the lone dumpling for 100 yen (US$1), and dashed back to the office. When he peeled back the wrapping he was in awe of the stylish Kiss logo branded on the top of the bun. It looked nice enough to display next to his Paul Stanley Wacky Wobbler, but realizing it would smell bad after a while he decided to eat it.

When he broke the black bun in two a glowing red tomato paste could be seen inside. It was so red Mr. Sato’s eyes stung a little. It certainly looked hot, but how does it taste? The display case had said that it contained the habanero chili pepper which once held the Guinness World Record for hottest chili.

After biting into it, tears began to roll down Mr. Sato’s face which he wiped off with his Destroyer T-shirt. It was every bit as hot as the lava like substance it looked like. Probably it was too hot, but anything less just wouldn’t be rock and roll so he accepted the spicy intensity with pleasure.

As an added bonus, the wrapper had the Peter Criss/Eric Singer Catman logo printed on it. There are five wrappers to collect; one for each member and one with all of them and the Kiss logo. Mr. Sato was hoping for a Gene Simmons Demon wrapper but it would have to wait for next time.

n conclusion, Mr. Sato says that people who like their rock hard and their buns spicy should try a Kiss Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman. It’s really hot!

Nirvana, Kiss among Rock Hall nominees

Twenty-five years after asking fans if they could feel the band's "love buzz," Nirvana is nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

It's the first year that the influential grunge rockers have been eligible for consideration, joining the ranks of other first-time nominees such as Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and Yes.

Also on the ballot are returning favorites from last year such as Chic, Deep Purple and The Meters, along with hip-hop luminaries N.W.A. and LL Cool J.

It's a diverse field, one that will likely see fan support swell behind beloved acts such as Kiss and Nirvana, and spark debates over the inclusion of Chic and Hall & Oates, who may not seem like textbook examples of rock artists. "This year's nominees represent the broad definition of 'rock 'n' roll' and include an array of artists whose fans are deeply passionate about the possibility of induction," says Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

For a second year, the public will be given a chance to participate in the selection process, and can cast votes through Dec. 10 at USA TODAY, Rolling Stone, and the official Rock Hall site.The top five artists, as selected by the masses, will make up a fans' ballot, a single vote in choosing the 2014 inductees.

An artist or band becomes eligible for a nomination 25 years after releasing a debut single or album, meaning that the 2014 nominees released their first recording no later than 1988.

Inductees will be determined by the hall's voting body of roughly 600 artists, historians and music industry professionals. The performers who receive the highest number of votes will be inducted April 10 in New York. The ceremony will be broadcast on HBO at a later date.

This year's hopefuls:

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The Chicago band, powered by Butterfield on harmonica and Mike Bloomfield on guitar, led '60s rock lovers to the wellspring of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.

Chic. With dance-floor classics like Le Freak and Good Times, Nile Rodgers and company gave disco a brilliant, soulful upgrade and influenced generations of pop and rap artists.

Deep Purple. The British quintet, which helped define the heavy metal genre with its organ-driven thick sound and early covers of Hush and Kentucky Woman, hijacked the charts with Smoke On the Water and Woman From Tokyo.

Peter Gabriel. The former Genesis frontman brought funky, synth-infused flavor to hits such as Sledgehammer and Shock the Monkey, but arguably made his biggest impact with the powerful, anti-apartheid anthem Biko.

Hall & Oates. With smooth vocal harmonies soaring over rich, pop-rock melodies, Daryl Hall and John Oates brought rhythm & blues to the top of the charts, scoring smash singles such as I Can't Go for That (No Can Do), Private Eyes and You Make My Dreams.

Kiss. Instantly recognized for their flashy attire and black-and-white face paint, these iconic heavy-metal rockers are best known for their Alive!, Love Gun and Destroyer albums, as well as their reputation for putting on dazzling, pyrotechnic-laden performances.

LL Cool J. Before he appeared on Brad Paisley's Accidental Racist, this New York-bred rapper climbed the charts with his sentimental ballad I Need Love, and went on to influence Michael Jackson.

Nirvana. Led by late singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, this grunge-rock trio cemented its place in rock history with early '90s hits such as Lithium, Heart-Shaped Box and Smells Like Teen Spirit.

N.W.A. Dr. Dre's ambitious, angry rap group, dubbed The Beatles of hip-hop, electrified fans, stunned city fathers and attracted the FBI's attention with gangsta rap classic F--- Tha Police and aggressive albums Straight Outta Compton and N-----4Life.

Link Wray. Inspiring Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen, the late rocker's 1958 hit Rumble introduced the power chord to future generations of guitarists and musicians.

The Meters.The iconic New Orleans funk ensemble and house band for Allen Toussaint's Sansu label recorded Cissy Strut, Look-Ka Py Py and many tunes with Dr. John.

The Replacements. This Minnesota-bred band never scored a hit single, but they are considered alternative-rock pioneers by many, notably influencing popular punk-rock outfits such as Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Linda Ronstadt. At the forefront of the folk- and country-rock movements, this full-voiced beauty made a name for herself covering Roy Orbison's Blue Bayou and Betty Everett's You're No Good.

Cat Stevens. One of the biggest-selling artists of the early '70s, the mellow British songsmith crafted introspective, tranquil tunes such as Peace Train, Wild World and The First Cut Is the Deepest.

Yes. Largely responsible for bringing progressive rock to the mainstream, these symphonic, experimental Englishmen are often seen as the forefathers to other beloved, synth-heavy bands such as Rush and Dream Theater.

The Zombies. Famed for hazy vocals accompanied by psychedelic guitar riffs and jazz-inflected electric piano, their Odessey and Oracle album was ranked one of the 100 all-time greatest by Rolling Stone.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Lyn Christopher Talks about Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley's First Recording Appearance. Listen here.


The four current members of Kiss — Gene Simmons Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer — will join Rob Zombie and Vince Neil of Motley Crue at Alice Cooper’s 13th Christmas Pudding.

Former “Seinfeld” and “Family Feud” star John O'Hurley will serve as a guest host for the festivities.

More special guests will be announced as we get closer to the date.

All proceeds benefit Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center.

“Although I have played more than 100 shows this year, Pudding is the one I look forward to most,” Cooper says. “We love bringing people together for Christmas, for the sake of music and dance and the mission of Solid Rock.”

Tickets are $38 to $253, with all proceeds benefiting Alice’s Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center, which reaches out to teens through free music, dance, and voice lessons and more.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, through Ticketmaster, the Comerica Theatre box office or by phone at 602-379-2888.

Google+ Hangout with Gene Simmons

Google+ Hangout with Gene Simmons: Video.


KISS' October 24 Budokan concert will be broadcast on Japan's TV WOWOW (pay per view) that same night.


Videos: Paul, Gene.

PodKISSt #76 KISS 1978! The album that never was!

The PodKISSt/”Rock & or Roll” Crossover event is here! Another cool “What If” episode! Join Ken, Bj Kahuna, Matt Porter, Chris Czynszak and David Kawzinski talk about the KISS album that never was!!! Listen to the great “Rock & Or Roll” Podcast! Listen here.

Former KISS guitarist contributes solo to new Moccasin Creek single

Rock guitar legend Bruce Kulick (ex KISS / Grand Funk Railroad) has contributed a guest guitar solo to the new EP The Big Dawgs, from popular Nashville based rock band Moccasin Creek. Kulick plays lead on the track "Friends Of All Kinds," a groove oriented rocker that tackles the subject of racial prejudices in America.

Moccasin Creek have taken the rock underground by storm, releasing three full length albums in less than two years. The band has close ties to the heavy metal world, with previous albums having guest appearances from Chris Poland (Megadeth), Glen Alvelais (Testament / Forbidden), and Tom Klimchuck (Pro-Pain).

Moccasin Creek guitarist Charlie Bonnet III spent many years as part of the Tennessee based metal band Disarray, and now serves as co-manager for the career of metal legend Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza (Exodus / Hatriot). The Big Dawgs will be available on iTunes October 15th.

Paul Stanley In-Studio with Heidi and Frank

Paul Stanley In-Studio with Heidi and Frank: Video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Adam Mitchell, Responsible for Introducing Vinnie Vincent to KISS Talks to Three Sides of the Coin: Listen.

A new brand for the rock band ‘Kiss’?

Paul Stanley interview: Video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Gene Simmons Hatched from a Egg, Ace Frehley from Planet Jendell, KISS Back Stories 320-515-4771: Listen.



AXS TV Teams with Award-Winning Rock Group KISS as it Presents 12 Hours of Continuous Concerts Featuring KISS, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Papa Roach

Marathon Includes Interstitial Wraps with KISS Band Members – Filmed on Location Aboard the One-of-a-Kind KISS KRUISE

AXS TV is teaming up with the legendary and award-winning rock group KISS for Halloween, Thursday, Oct. 31, when the Channel programs six concerts wrapped around fresh interstitial content featuring KISS. The KISS wraps are being taped aboard the band’s signature cruise, the KISS KRUISE, a four-day excursion traveling from Miami to Key West and the Great Stirrup Cay from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1.

The cornerstone of the night is the network premiere of KISS’s Zurich, Switzerland concert, featuring their hit songs and music from their KISS MONSTER album. AXS TV CONCERTS recorded that event live last May and it has been edited, but not censored when it debuts at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).

AXS TV kicks off its hard-rock starting at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT),and runs throughout Halloween to past the witching hour of midnight until 3:35 a.m. ET (12:35 a.m. PT). In addition to KISS, the concert schedule includes Judas Priest, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Papa Roach and Alice Cooper.

The schedule for AXS TV’s KISS MONSTER MARATHON includes:

Thursday, October 31 (All Times Eastern)

3:30 p.m. JUDAS PRIEST LIVE: BRITISH STEEL 30TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL – Judas Priest celebrates the 30th anniversary of "British Steel" from the Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood, Florida.

4:45 p.m. PAPA ROACH LIVE FROM CLUB NOKIA – Papa Roach presents one of the best rock shows this year live from Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

5:55 p.m. IRON MAIDEN EN VIVO! – En Vivo! captures the always exciting atmosphere that fans have come to expect from Iron Maiden. Filmed in Chile, the concert features favorites such as "The Trooper," "The Number of the Beast" and "Fear of the Dark" as well as hits from the No.1 studio album "The Final Frontier."

7:30 p.m. AT HELL’S DOOR: BEHIND THE SCENES AT HELLFEST - Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach takes over Hellfest in Clisson, France to give viewers an inside look at what goes on backstage, onstage and more at one of Europe's biggest and craziest rock festivals. (Repeats at 1:00 a.m. ET)

8:00 p.m. THE KISS MONSTER WORLD TOUR: LIVE FROM EUROPE CONCERT – NETWORK PREMIERE - AXS TV was on hand to tape KISS’ Zurich, Switzerland concert live last May, making this edited version a network premiere. The concert featured new staging, lighting and pyrotechnics that had never been seen before on TV. (Repeats at 1:30 a.m. ET).

10:05 p.m. AC/DC LIVE AT RIVER PLATE – AC/DC Live At River Plate documents the band's triumphant return to Buenos Aires. (Repeats at 3:35 a.m. ET)

11:15 p.m. ALICE COOPER LIVE AT MONTREUX – Alice Cooper’s live shows are legendary for their sense of Rock Theater and sheer visual spectacle. Underpinning the visual assault has always been a collection of some of the best rock songs around delivered by one of the all-time great front men. This show includes tracks from across his career including all the classics you would expect.

ALICE COOPER, KISS, MÖTLEY CRÜE Members To Perform At Brennan Rock & Roll Academy Fundraiser

Alice Cooper, Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE), Rob Zombie, Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER) and all four members of KISS are among the musicians who will perform at a phenomenal concert and live auction to raise money for the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy on Thursday, December 5 at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will play with '80s and '90s cover band HAIRBALL to help the future of rock 'n' roll; the children. There will be one band and many singers performing; no timeout to reset the stage, just continuous rock from one rock legend to the next.

The Brennan Rock & Roll Academy gives children the opportunity to grow by offering free music lessons to those that may not be able to get them. They help keep children off the streets, away from drugs, and offer a positive environment that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Confirmed performers:

* Gene Simmons (KISS)
* Paul Stanley (KISS)
* Eric Singer (KISS)
* Tommy Thayer (KISS)
* Alice Cooper
* Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE)
* Rob Zombie
* Tom Keifer (CINDERELLA)
* Stephen Pearcy (RATT)
* Joey Tempest (EUROPE)
* John Norum (EUROPE)
* Jack Blades (NIGHT RANGER)
* Kip Winger (WINGER)


Rock legend Gene Simmons is fed up with what he calls "the biggest crime in Los Angeles: the fact that LA doesn't have professional football." He's out to change that with the LA Kiss of the Arena Football League. Simmons sat down with Fred Roggin for an entertaining interview about his new football team and his legendary rock band, KISS. Originally aired on Going Roggin, September 29, 2013: Video.

PodKISSt #75 "75 for 75! Pt:1 & Pt:2

PodKISSt #75: “75 for 75!"

Face front, KISS Army! This is our celebration of a magic number in KISStory: 75! 1975 was an explosive year for the hottest band in the land, and what better time to celebrate it than now, on our 75th installment of PodKISSt!

Join us for this 2-part rock and roll party as we bring you rare live audio from 1975, an in-depth analysis of the “Dressed to Kill” and “Alive!” records!

Listen here .


Tommy Thayer will be at J-Pop cafe in TOKYO Shibuya on Tues. Oct 22 at 5:30pm for Ishibashi Music & Epiphone sponsored meet/greet.

Video PodKISST Ep.1 Monster World Tour Special (Part 1)

Video PodKISST Ep.1 Monster World Tour Special (Part 1): Watch here.


Host/Producer Phil Fiumano Interviews Tommy Thayer at the NJ / NY KISS Expo yesterday: Video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Eric vs. Peter. Ace vs. Tommy. Who is Better.... We Mean Who Has a Better Website. Listen here.

The KISS Room: The September 2013 Episode!!!

Recorded live on Friday, September 13, 2013. Join Matt Porter in the studio with:

- Starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISS IT!
- SuperFan ANDY with a KISS Kruise Kommentary!
- we’ll announce a new contest!

- talk KISS, crank up some KISS, and give you all of the fun and rock and roll that you expect every month in THE KISS ROOM! Listen here:

Nothin' To Lose - The Making of KISS - 1972 - 1975: The Story of How My Two High School Buddies, Starchild and Monster, Made It Big!

( School year, 1969/1970...

There were three guys at the High School of Music & Art in New York City who owned a Gibson guitar, the true no-argument Rolls Royce of guitar companies.

There was me. I had a 1962 SG - style Les Paul.

There was Murray Dabby, the best player of this trio, who owned a 1965 SG Standard, almost the same guitar as mine, just a few years newer.

The third guy had a 1960 Les Paul Special, the model just below mine.

This Gibson connection was a bond.

I grew up to be... what? I don't even know. A guitarist? A writer? A music biz sleaze ball? All of the above?

Murray grew up to be a full-fledged

Video: Gene Simmons sings National Anthem at NFL game in London!

Video: Gene Simmons sings National Anthem at NFL game in London!




SPECIAL KISS BROADCAST- September 25- All show long we'll have live KISS tracks plus you'll hear Nik Carter's interview with Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley of KISS! Here's a sneak peak of the interview RIGHT NOW & be sure to tune in tonight to find out about their MONSTER giveaway!

Three Sides Of The Coin

The Holy Trinity and The Holy Crapology of KISS Albums Call Us at 320-515-4771. Listen here.

AXS TV Acquires 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels'

Before there was Miley Cyrus’s tongue, there was Gene Simmons’. AXS TV has licensed all seven seasons of Gene Simmons Family Jewels and will debut the 168-episode franchise on Thursday, October 3 at 8 PM ET with back-to-back episodes. AXS will then run a marathon of the docu-soap’s 13-episode first season on Saturday, October 5 starting at 3:30 PM ET, after which the reality series will run regularly on the network’s Thursday nights at 8 PM ET. The series that premiered on A&E in August of 2006, is known for following the life of the KISS bassist and vocalist, and for becoming a topic of conversation among reality-TV purists who objected to the series’ use of some staged events. In its first two seasons on A&E, GSFJ was that network’s second highest rated series, behind only Dog the Bounty Hunter. A&E ran seven seasons of the series.

GSFJ production house Thinkfactory Media was acquired by Britain’s ITV in June and, this month, promoted GSFJ co-creator/EP Adam Reed to exec vice president.


Check out Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer rocking along with Sebastian Bach at the Medlock/Krieger All Star Jam benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Clip1, Clip2.

INTERVIEW: KISS Talk About Their Rise From The Streets Of New York To The Stages Of The World

( When road manager J.R. Smalling introduced KISS as “The hottest band in the land” on their breakthrough double live album Alive!, it wasn’t just hyperbole. There was no one else in the world at that moment delivering a more exciting live concert experience full of great songs, electric performances and groundbreaking theatricality. And while that 1975 album was the band’s watershed release they had already built up a large and fanatical live following from non-stop touring since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1974.

The new book Nothin’ To Lose: The Making of Kiss (1972 – 1975) chronicles the band’s embryonic days as rock n’roll fanatics from New York City’s outer boroughs with a relentless will to succeed. The book is an oral history and includes interviews with the band, their friends, and crew, as well as opening acts and other musicians who were there first hand to witness the group’s hard scrabble ascent to worldwide fame. Co-authors and for nearly 40 years the band’s leading lights, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons sat down to talk about the band’s past and future.

VH1 TUNER: How did this book come about?

Paul Stanley: Ken Sharpe put the book together. He’s a long time fan. We’ve known him since he was literally about 8 years old. He’s an avid fan of the band and an avid fan of rock n’ roll. He’s been conducting and compiling interviews over the years and it seemed a natural thing for us to do at this point. We’ve always told the story from our point of view but it’s really interesting to hear what managers, promoters, roadies, all kinds of people who were there recall because quite honestly there’s things in the book that I don’t remember. I don’t know that they’re true but if they make me look good then they’re true (laughter).

VH1: What was it about those years that you wanted to focus on that you felt was special and was an untold side of the Kiss story?

Gene Simmons: When you’re at the front of a train all you’re seeing is what’s coming at you. We have a very unique advantage because we get that adrenaline rush but you don’t get a chance to figure out what it all means. What the side scenery is like. Do I have my mother’s hips? You know, all that stuff which everyone else in the train gets and then the very last person sees it all go by. So they’re all different perspectives of an interesting, astonishing train ride that we’ve had which is now approaching 40 years and boy, do we look good (laughter).

VH1: When you see live footage of Kiss from the years covered in the book you’re killing it and you clearly have that hunger to succeed. What do you miss the most about those early days?

Paul Stanley: Nothing, honestly. It’s great to look back, when I see early footage (of Kiss), I couldn’t be more proud of it. We were totally committed to what we were doing. We believed in it against all odds. People said it would never work. We were four guys and we were a nation. Nothing was going to get in our way and when you watch early footage it’s absolutely undeniable the band was going to succeed in spite of what everybody said about it. Most of the people who were the naysayers feared what we were doing. Rock n’ roll in its purest form is always feared. Whether it was Elvis Presley, The Beatles or The Stones. You’re doing something right when people say “This is crap,” or “It has no redeeming value.” It’s rock n’ roll. And we were the essence of that and delivered the goods. We were the guys in the audience who went up on stage and said “Let us show you how it’s supposed to be done.”

VH1: I was watching an old interview with you from your first time playing England and the interviewer asks what you care more about, the music or the spectacle and Gene you say “The audience.”

Gene Simmons: Well, sure. If you ever lose sight of the fact that your bosses are standing on their seats then you become delusional and think it’s all about you. At the end of the day we just work here and it’s our job like court jesters to make the kings all around us proud. We need to earn the crown that’s being bestowed upon us by those who have the power because, let’s call it for what it is, if our bosses, our fans don’t like what we’re doing or any band, that’s why the word “Next” is in the dictionary. So we’ve been around 40 years and proud by the way to have given a chance to lots of new bands on their first tour – AC/DC, Rush, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue – you name a big band, we gave them their first start because we’re also fans but at the end of the day, we can’t crown anybody, we all bow to everybody’s bosses, the fans.

VH1: It’s funny you mention that because I think helping younger bands such as Rush, who you took on tour, and Van Halen, whose demos you (Gene) produced, are one of the many things you don’t get credit for. What are other things you think people got wrong about Kiss in the press?

Paul Stanley: I don’t think that the press matters. The press never made a band. If you look at most critics’ Top 10 lists, it’s usually a contest of who knows the most obscure artists. In terms of the people that matter to us, we have no problem. Those people think the songwriting is great, think the shows are amazing and come see us time and time again. How can you listen to somebody who gets free tickets? If they’re not paying for tickets how good is their opinion of anything? The beauty of being a critic is you don’t need a diploma, you don’t need to go to school for it, you just one day say “Hey, I’m either a comedian or I’m a critic.” And if somebody listens to you, you become a critic. Whether they get us or don’t get us, the people who matter, get us. It’s 40 years and untold millions, 90 million, 100 million, you pick your number, who’s counting at that point?

Gene Simmons: I’m going to quote you the critics. Rolling Stone reviews Led Zeppelin, and this is a quote, “the Limp Blimp.” This is from a guy that never got laid in school, clearly has too many pimples on his face to count and continues to live in his mother’s basement. Sour human beings who’ve accomplished nothing and have been nobody and their only chance to be anybody is to just whack it. If you’ve got a point to say, show me what you’ve got. Otherwise, shut the f**k up.

Paul Stanley: Clearly, look, critics aren’t in their teens, and whether or not they continue to live at home, the fact remains these are bitter people. They pontificate and have made no real contribution to music or to the field. They’re not journalists. They’re clowns. They’re entertainers only they take themselves seriously. I don’t.

VH1: The book covers your early days in New York City. Another thing I think is important that people tend to overlook is that Kiss is a quintessential New York band. Could Kiss have happened in any other city?

Paul Stanley: No. We were clearly a product of New York and the streets. We came up during a time where British music was looked upon as the music of the gods. There was a glitter scene in New York. A lot of bands who really were better looking and better dressed than they were at playing music were our contemporaries at the time. I don’t think we ever wanted to be a New York band. We wanted to be a world band. Perhaps that’s why we became a bit disassociated with New York because we’re bigger than New York. We are of the world.

Gene Simmons: It is interesting to note that while Detroit and Liverpool and London and lots of cities have given the world bands that have played stadiums and arenas around the world, other than Kiss, New York has never given the world a stadium sized rock band. Not one. There’s Kiss and there’s nobody else. You can talk about Ramones and everybody else; you’re talking about club bands. So if New York is such a great rock town, it was on a certain level, but to get to the top you’ve got to appeal to the world.

VH1: You also had a work ethic that many of those other bands didn’t have. Your closest contemporaries were The New York Dolls but they didn’t tour like you did. How many months straight were you on tour in those first three years?

Paul Stanley: It was one long tour. We would see a day or two off on a calendar but for the most part we were always gone. We would sometimes be doing two shows in a night because a show would sell out so quickly. You know, the bands you spoke of from New York City, most of those bands were more concerned with hanging out than actually rehearsing. That’ll get you so far. At the end of the day you’re going to have to play a song and do it well. For a lot of those bands the music became the soundtrack for their fashion show. They looked great. There’s no arguing. When Gene and I saw The Dolls you just looked at them and said “These guys kill us at looking androgynous.” We looked like football players. We went “We can’t beat The Dolls at being The Dolls but we sure as hell play better than them. Now let’s find out who we are.” And that was really the start of us finding the Kiss look.

Gene Simmons: It’s worth going back for a second because I remember it like it was yesterday. We went to the Diplomat Hotel. We wanted to check out The Dolls because they were a few months ahead of us. We looked at each other going “Wow, they look great.” As soon as they started playing we put our fingers in our ears and went to each other “We’ll kill them. We’ll s**t on their pretty clothes.” Critics always loved the band and we loved their style but I don’t know anybody that does Dolls songs.

VH1: There’s a new documentary in the works. Will that again be about the early days?

Paul Stanley: Hopefully it will be the definitive documentary about the band. Others have done great pieces like The Clash documentary. Alan Parker, who’s doing ours, did that. We’ve amassed an incredible amount of footage. A lot of it, nobody’s seen yet. There are things in there that will be a real surprise and a real joy for all of us to see. What we’re really trying to do is really the definitive Kiss documentary. Not selling Kiss. Not an advertisement which is what a lot of times things come off as but really something that will tell the tale.

VH1: You also have a new AFL football team, the L.A. Kiss.

Gene Simmons: We have four partners; we have Brett Bouchy, who has been in the Arena Football League for awhile, (famed music manager) Doc McGhee and Paul and myself. Those are the only partners in it. Instead of being passive celebrity guys who lend their name, we’re actively involved. Paul worked with designers on the team outfits. We’re doing the media and we’re involved right at the ground level talking with the corporate guys and making sure it’s legitimate. We’re involved from beginning to end. We don’t intend on being these celebrity guys that lend their names and then go back to Beverly Hills. It’s real football. To our season ticket holders to show you how grateful we are we’re going to give you a special free Kiss concert. All the bells and whistles. We have more firepower than most Third World countries and we’ll bring the full thing as a thank you.

Paul Stanley: AFL sometimes gets maligned as being second rate football. The fact is that all the players are of the first order, the top 1% of football. The rules are different but every seat at the game is a great seat. When you go to an NFL game you may have to mortgage your house to get tickets at this point. We have tickets that are $99 for a season plus other tickets. These are great, great athletes. We’re putting together a team that’s really is based on quality from the coach up. AFL is faceless in the sense that you really don’t know the players. That’s going to change. We will become the model for what every AFL team is going to want to be. We’re bringing football back. Anaheim is the second largest media market in California and Los Angeles is dying for a team and we’re bringing it.

VH1: What would a world without Kiss be like?

Gene Simmons: We can be self-serving and say “Boring,” but it’s pretty accurate (laughter). Somebody made an assessment that without Kiss wrestling would just be wrestling, McCartney would sing the great Beatles songs, Garth Brooks would sing the great country songs, political parties would talk the way the usually do, but they wouldn’t have fireworks and bombast. Where did they get all that stuff? Air Supply?

Paul Stanley: I think we serve a great service in that we have been the wake up call to Kiss fans and rock fans of what can be done. What is possible. A lot of fans I think were taking less than they deserved. A lot of bands were giving less than they should. We were a wake up call to America and the world of what you should expect from a band. If we weren’t here? It would be more boring. Life would continue. Somebody at some point would come along and be Kiss but we’re it, and we’re the real deal.


KISS' "Nothin' To Lose" book entered the New York Times bestsellers list at #9!

Iconic rockers say L.A. KISS to offer more than football

( Arena football has been around for 26 years, building a small-but-loyal fan base even as it draws little mainstream attention.

That's about to change, according to Paul Stanley.

"We're known for being bombastic and bringing a lot of artillery and firepower," Stanley says. "Now let's see if we can bring that to a football game. And we will."

The name Paul Stanley not ringing a bell? How about Gene Simmons?

How about Starchild and The Demon?

Stanley is Starchild and Simmons The Demon in the iconic rock group KISS -- known for their costumes and showmanship -- and they are among the co-owners of the new Arena Football League team that will start play in Los Angeles in 2014.

The name of the team?

"Well, let's see, we have built a brand that for 40 years has been synonymous with spectacle," Stanley says. "What shall we call ourselves, the L.A. Hamburgers?"

No, they will be known as the L.A. KISS, and it's a team that will be, according to Stanley and Simmons, fan-friendly, pocketbook-friendly and always entertaining.

"Write this down," says Simmons, speaking at a small news conference Tuesday afternoon at the hip restaurant/nightclub House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. "You can see the whole season of the KISS for 99 bucks."

Stanley and Simmons, along with fellow co-owners Doc McGhee and Brett Bouchy, have hired a veteran Arena Football League player and coach, Bob McMillen, to be in charge of winning games, and they will trust him on football matters.

"I stopped playing football," Stanley says, "when I got hit and flew through the air and landed on my stomach. That's when I picked up a guitar."

The KISS guys were approached about doing a concert to promote the Arena league about eight months ago. One thing led to another, and pretty soon they were talking about owning a new team in Los Angeles.

Now the bandmates known for fire breathing, smoking guitars and various other pyrotechnics, will try to bring that same energy to the KISS games that will be played in the Honda Center in Anaheim.

"We want to make it an event," Stanley says. "During halftime and other breaks, you're owed more than a guy dressed up like a hamster running around the field. We're going to make sure there's entertainment that keeps you dazzled. This is about football, but why not embellish it?"

And why not in L.A., where both NFL teams -- the Rams and Raiders -- left almost 20 years ago?

"This is good for Los Angeles," Simmons says. "Los Angeles needs football. We're here to give Los Angeles the kind of football it's never had. You want football, L.A.? You got it."

K'NEX Announces New Addition to the KISS Line of Building Sets

(Photo) K’NEX, the only US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love®, is pleased to introduce an addition to its monstrously successful line of KISS building sets. The new set, based upon the band’s latest album, Monster, allows KISS collectors, rock fans and building enthusiasts to continue building and playing with characters from their favorite iconic rock band.

KISS is one of America’s top gold-record champions who recorded 37 albums over 36 years and sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. The KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation. By combining the legendary KISS with the award-winning K’NEX building system, the KISS building set line appeals to music and building fans of all ages. KISS building sets bring the fun of the stage show to the child and cement the band’s appeal through a rewarding, age-appropriate K’NEX building experience.

KISS Rock Stage Big Rig Building Set

Take the show on the road with this awesome KISS building set. This set, which includes over 250 pieces, allows you to build your own KISS rig. Big enough to haul all the band’s instruments and gear, this set also doubles as a concert stage, includes all four KISS band members in their latest Monster outfits, and 2 buildable roadie figures for an authentic rock show experience! Suggested retail price $29.99. Ages 7+.

KISS founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley: Peter Criss and Ace Frehley got what they deserved

( Legendary KISS founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have collaborated on the memoir ‘Nothin’ To Lose,’ an oral history of their rock band’s genesis. “It’s an overview of the band,” explained Stanley. “How it came about from its inception, almost from the time the sperm fertilized the egg really.” Indeed. FOX411 spoke to both Stanley and Simmons about the book, their football plans, and what went wrong with original KISS members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley.

FOX411: Ace Frehley and Peter Criss both have memoirs out that paint pretty harsh portraits of both of you. Was that upsetting?

Simmons: Ace took me to lunch before his book came out and he read me a chapter about how he almost drowned in a pool and I saved him by diving in and pulling him out. He asked if it was accurate. I said, '95 percent of it was accurate, except it wasn't you; it was Peter Criss who was drowning. You've been a f**king drug addict all of your life. Both Peter and Ace were at one point pure, innocent, believed all for one, one for all, and then they succumbed to the clichés of rock. So neither Ace nor Peter were fully conscious when any of those things happened. It's up to you if you want to believe them. We wish them the best, but those books, to my estimation, they're closer to fiction.

Stanley: The fact remains from what I've seen of those books, they clearly still see themselves as victims, and when you can't take responsibility for your situation, you blame others. The proof is what they have done outside of the band and it amounts to a big zero. I would say nothing if they had not said something first. I certainly wish them well and you can't help but believe that they're incredibly envious of the success we've had without them, which was part of the problem in the first place. If somebody thinks they're irreplaceable they're either completely deluded, stupid, or intoxicated. In their case they abused their position in the band under the assumption that they were then only people who could do what they do, and here we are 40 years later playing arenas and venturing into areas most other bands would find impossible, like having an AFL football team, the first new football team in L.A. in decades, LAKISS, which will play in Anaheim.

FOX411: It's kind of amazing that both of you never got caught up in drugs or drinking.

Stanley: I've never had any aversion to a good bottle of wine, but certainly moderation and common sense tells you what to stay away from. If somebody said to me, 'Hey, here's something that will make you impotent, lose your teeth and get hepatitis,' you'd have to be an idiot to say, 'Sign me up.' People who get involved in drugs have problems that are so deep seated that fame will not cure it. If anything, it will only take it to another level. It'll exacerbate everything that's bad.

Simmons: The real idea is, if you're serious about life and consider every 24 hours as if they're the only 24 hours of any day that you'll have, you'll get up and you'll work hard no matter how much money you have, you'll respect yourself, your other band mates and your fans. If you're remiss in doing any of that stuff, you get to get exactly what you want out of life. You get to sleep in the bed you make, there's just no other way to think about that.

FOX411: You're doing great now, but the band lost money for quite a while.

Stanley: It goes back to victories are not necessarily won by individuals. It's a team, or an army. In this case KISS Army started early, people believing in us perhaps as much as we did, who were willing to make any sacrifice to keep the band going. We had a manager that was willing to put a quarter of a million dollars on a credit card to keep the band going, and he didn't have a quarter of a million dollars to pay it off. It all goes back to the idea of surrounding yourself with people who believe like you do.

FOX411: You guys had a lot of groupies.

Stanley: It was exhilarating. It certainly took some getting used to, but I'm a quick study. To go from being an unpopular, chubby little kid who was chasing girls and couldn't seem to catch them, to being chased after and making sure I ran slow enough that I did get caught, it was 180 degree turn. It was being given the keys to the candy store.

Simmons: Let's just say that the male of the species should feel blessed if the female of the species allows him to come near enough to her. Just one would be heaven, everything else is cream.

FOX411: Can we say you've had a whole lot of cream?

Simmons: Yes ma'am.

FOX411: Is there any licensing idea you've said no to?

Simmons: Long ago we decided not to listen to people who weren't qualified to make any rules. The people who write for a living aren't even journalists, they still live in their mother's basement, their faces are still pockmarked and girls still won't pay them attention. We decided to make our own rules. One of them was, we're going to have a great time and be spectacular and do all kinds of things that have no precedent. Toys and games, we love them! From our perspective, it's a KISS world, you're just living in it.

Stanley: In terms of merchandise you can't force anyone to buy something. All we've done is given the fans what they want. The only thing we can take credit for is acute hearing. We also don't put out anything we have moral issues with. We've had opportunities to be sponsored by cigarette companies and have always turned that down no matter how much money was involved. shrink, doing the good work, in Atlanta.

The third guy was Stan Eisen. He grew up to be Paul Stanley, Starchild, Global Icon.

All three of us still play guitar.

While Murray and I were tight, very much a bro, oddly, it was Stan who I stayed in touch with after graduation. He left the year before me. I'm 374 days younger.

One day, Stan called to tell me he'd just legally changed his name to Paul and it would mean a lot to him if I started calling him by that name.

I said, "Sure, Stan."

"Ummm, well, you just called me Stan, Binky."

"Oh, wow, sorry, PAUL."

For the record, my headline is pure nonsense. I met Gene a year after graduation.

A few years later, July 13, 1973, Paul, Gene, and I were sharing the stage at the now-gone Hotel Diplomat on West 43rd St, just off Times Square. I was the lead guitarist of The Planets. We opened for KISS that night.

Paul and I have never really lost touch. Watching a goofy pal go from struggling guitar dope to Rock Royalty has been a trip, I can assure you.

Which is where I'm gonna segue into a review of the latest, and possibly tastiest, of all the various KISS 'n' tell books out there on the decades-thriving spectacle that is KISS, Nothin' To Lose - The Making of KISS - 1972 - 1975 by Ken Sharp with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, out now on !T Books.

Comprised of over three years' worth of interviews with well over 200 individuals who, in one way or another, interacted with KISS as a band or as individuals. Managers, knucklehead band guys from New York City, famous rock stars, record label peeps, roadies, promoters, writers, studio rats, anyone who had anything of worth to contribute, Detective Ken Sharp tracked down, and grilled. Yes, I'm one of them.

Ooops, yes... Sorry. FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm all over this freakin' outstanding book.

Way back when, Paul and Gene had (to my surprise and gratification) a great deal of respect for my opinion. That's why they invited me down to just their third rehearsal with Ace... to see what I thought of the 'new' guy's playing. It kinda felt like he was still on 'probation,' frankly.

So... Yes, I saw them perform "Strutter," "Deuce" and "Firehouse" in their dingy hole of a room on the 4th floor of a truly decrepit building... 10 East 23rd Street... soon torn down, actually.

First, they did the three songs as a trio... ummmmmm, new boy, Ace, was late! Nice. Then, when he finally showed up, acting surly as if everyone else was early (WTF?), I heard them do those same three tunes as The Quartet. Man, they sounded so much better with Ace. Yes, this story, in great detail, and dozens and dozens of others, like my visit to Electric Ladyland when they were recording the "Dressed To Kill" album, are in this fine, fine oral history of those exciting and risk-filled early days of a band that was destined to become, quite literally, the biggest band in the world.

Ken Sharp has a gift, it would seem. I know firsthand how skillful and relentless he is in wringing out as many details from you as he can... but, here, much, much more importantly than minutia/trivia, Ken has gotten four guys, drenched in decades' worth of animosity and ill will, to go back and relive... The Hungry All For One, One For All days.

In almost every quote from Paul, Gene, Ace, Peter, the air of wistful and still-dazzled-by-it-all reminiscence is palpable.

That almost pathological confidence of Gene's is almost nowhere to be found. Mr. Simmons, throughout, lets some light shine on the real him. In fact, it seems like in the earliest days, it was Paul who was the rally-er, the faithful one. And I do vividly recall feeling just a wee bit baffled by Paul's slightly 'strutty' attitude back in high school. It wasn't arrogance, just his general comportment had a very strong sense-of-self... maybe a little cocky, not off-putting, but, honestly, at the time, it seemed a little misplaced.

"Nothin' To Lose" offers a richly detailed day-to-day accounting of all the myths in their legend, and the mundanity of a band's early life, as they really happened...

You are in the room, the afternoon Paul and Gene meet for the first time, with Paul wondering, "Who the fuck does THIS guy think he is!?" HA! Guess we all found out, huh, Paulie! Although, truth be told, Gene has always treated me like an equal... an equal he's kinda disappointed in. I don't blame him.

You are in Electric Ladyland as Paul and Gene try to go from being coffee-getters to recording artists... hint: they stay coffeemakers for quite a while.

You are in the cab that Paul's driving all day before he practices all night.

You are in Bill Aucoin's office when he promises them a record deal in 60 days or they can walk away.

You are in the studio as they cut their first album, having no clue real clue, one that now sounds barely passable as a demo.

You are in the station wagon with Peter, Paul, Ace, and Gene, as a roadie drives them over 600 miles from Lansing, Michigan to Macon, Georgia, for a show the next day. And then you are back in that station wagon as they drive back up north to Fort Wayne, Indiana, 500 miles, the next day.

You are there, when for the first and maybe only time in his life, Paul Stanley gets roaringly blazingly drunk at the photo session for the cover of the "Hotter Than Hell" album [I remember him telling me that when he was looking at contact sheets of the shoot, there were hours he just simply could not remember].

You are in the motel when KISS and Rush, both struggling opening acts being thrown off bills by headliners, are being very naughty Keith Moon wannabes,

You are backstage when Paul peeks through the curtain at the sold out Cobo Hall show and realizes, "Holy fuck! This is really happening!"

You are right there, center section, front row through every twist and turn, every victory and all the myriad setbacks and (temporary) defeats.

You come to realize that while KISS got signed to a major label very, very quickly in their career, they did NOT escape Paying Their Dues. Not by a long shot.

KISS was an enterprise teetering on the brink of doom for more than two straight years. The desperation at certain points comes off these pages like an odor!

Yet, for the most part, you get all that sorta 'bad vibe' reality stuff from all the other professionals featured in the book. The four KISS-ers were all so 'pinch me' excited about having gotten 'this far' that they never realized, for just one instance, that being asked to cut another album less than four months after they'd done their 2nd was an act of frantic panic on Casablanca's part. Paul and Gene just sat down and started writing more songs.


Folks, listen to me carefully...

IF PAUL AND GENE WERE NOT WORLD-CLASS SONGWRITERS... their visual gimmickry would've given them an 18 month run... at best. KISS is perhaps the most glaring proof that beyond anything else, songwriting is the heart, the soul, the lungs, of a band's success.


KISS-haters, legion though they be, are missing some of the most fun, most well thought out, rock music ever recorded. KISS's template was a combination of Humble Pie - Live at the Fillmore East and the hits of Slade, a huge band in the UK and Europe at the time. If you love guitar rock, why would you not want to hear that blend?!

Wanna finally investigate that which you loath only general principle? Here's what I consider KISS's Top 20... in rough chronological order...

"Black Diamond"
"Gotta Choose"
"Rock Bottom"
"Come On And Love Me"
"Love Her All I Can"
"Detroit Rock City"
"Do You Love Me"
"King Of The Nighttime World"
"Shout It Out Loud"
"I Want You"
"Calling Dr. Love"
"Makin' Love"
"I Stole Your Love"
"Love Gun"
"Christine Sixteen"
"Shock Me"
"I Love It Loud"
"Tears Are Falling"

A bonus: Three quick stories that are not in the book... only because I somehow forgot them when Ken was giving me the 3rd degree...

Sorry, Ken... Sorry, !T Books...

All three are my personal favorite little moments in my long friendship with Starchild and Monster...

My Gene story...

Gene was in town [they really were on the road forever]. He knew I'd finished my demo for Warner Bros. Records at the Record Plant, because my band, The Planets, had used KISS's main engineer, Corky Stasiak, a great, great man.

My phone rang...

"Hey, Binky, it's Gene. I'm back in New York for a few days. I really want to hear your Warner Bros demo. When can we get together?"

I made it over to his place later that day. It was an apartment in Manhattan in the West 70s. He was renting the spare bedroom from a woman I did not meet. He was on the road so much, it was all he needed.

Gene peppered me with technical and aesthetic questions throughout our listening to the demo tape. While he was listening to a track called "Lexington Avenue", basically an exercise in writing with diminished chords, he looked at me with astonishment, "You wrote this?!" Yep. 30 seconds later, "YOU WROTE THIS?!?" I took the compliment.

Then, after gracious praise for the whole five song tape, Gene asked, "Wanna hear my favorite song of all time?" Sure.

He got out Mountain's album, "Climbing" and put on "Never In My Life", a fantastic piece of riff-ery. Within 60 seconds, I was no longer there, the world was no longer there. Gene was air-drumming along with Corky Laing, back in his childhood bedroom, just flat out grooving, as blissfully lost as a teenager. A moment, a peek, I treasure.

My Paul story...

Late one night, well after midnight, my phone rang. I was channel-surfing...

"Hey, Binky, it's Paul. You up?"

"Yes, and I just smoked some reefer, too."

"Ha! Good! I wanna play something for you. I just came up with this riff. I want you to hear this."

"Oh, fuck, yeah. Hey, where are you calling from?"

"I don't know. What day is it?"

"Thursday. Jeeez, Paul!"

"I think that means I'm in Oklahoma City.",P>"You really don't know where you are! That's fabulous."

"Okay, let me turn on my Pignose [a tiny guitar amp very popular at the end of the 1970s]..."

And then, Paul played me the central riff for "I Want You", the opener on one of the best KISS albums, "Rock 'N' Roll Over".

I was the first person to ever hear that riff other than its creator...

"Paul, I think that might be the coolest riff you've ever written, man."

"You know, I think you're right. I knew you'd dig it. But, I have no idea what to do with it."

"Oh, you'll figure it out... Play it again, man!"

My ego-trip story...

One morning, my phone rang... It was engineer, Corky. I'd seen him a few nights before when Paul and I briefly stopped by a Gene-vocals session at the Record Plant for the album that would become "Rock 'n' Roll Over"...

"Binky, I had to call you. You are gonna love this. Last night, Ace was cutting solos on two of Gene's songs. He's got one called "Calling Dr. Love". It's one of the best on the album, I think. Just before we had Ace try the solo on that song, Gene gave him this one instruction... 'Give me a Binky solo.' Ace immediately understood and put down a totally wild solo... emulating you, man. It's the keeper! Ya gotta love it, Bink."

And I did and do.

Coda: I went to a book signing for "Nothin' To Lose" out at the Barnes & Noble on Staten Island this week. Paul and I had reconnected about 18 months ago. But, I hadn't seen him or Gene in the flesh in, well, decades. I want to thank both Paul and Gene for making a genuine fuss over my showing up. "Holy Crap! Binky!" And no, of course, I didn't get my copy of the book signed or have a picture taken with my two old guitar bozo pals. Why would I do that?!

Anyway, it warmed the heart of this old still-guitar-obsessed fanboy. Ya done good.

KISS band member Paul Stanley recalls birth of the band

( Back when Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons were forming the glam rock entity known as KISS, they had to improvise for their theatrical look. For instance, their studded collars came from a pet store.

“They had made them for Great Danes to wear,” says Stanley, on the phone from a Staten Island bookstore, where he’s preparing to sign copies of Nothin’ to Lose: The Making of KISS.

Stanley says he wanted the band to be “intensely performance-oriented, without turning it into musical theatre. So we needed a flamboyant visual look, but what?

“We were too big to do the androgynous thing. It’s one thing when you have a guy who’s as skinny as my wrist wearing his sister’s clothes. It’s something else when you’re a linebacker trying to squeeze into it.”

The book, newly published by HarperCollins, is by Stanley and Simmons with music historian Ken Sharp.

It’s made up of first-person remembrances of the band, both from its creators and the people on the other side of the footlights.

“History is always interesting if you view it from a bunch of perspectives,” says Stanley. “You get lots of varied views from people watching the same car accident from different corners.

“I’m happy that the book doesn’t just have our memories, but those of the people who were looking at us from the outside. You remember what they always say about the forest and the trees.”

Stanley and Simmons were kicking around in 1971 as a not-quite-making-it group called Wicked Lester when Stanley decided it was time to define what he wanted out of his career.

“I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household with all kinds of music, classical as well as rock, which helped me appreciate all kinds of performance,” says the New York-born Stanley.

“I also was able to go the Fillmore East in those days when $3 got you a ticket to see Led Zeppelin, Woody Herman and Blue Cheer all on the same night. (Promoter) Bill Graham believed in eclectic programming and so do I."

KISS was struggling to define itself in the early years.

“I believe people come to hear the music, but they come back if the whole experience knocked them out,” Stanley says.

“I wanted to be in the band I never saw. I was an evangelical rock performer, like Steve Marriott or Humble Pie. You went onto the stage to testify and you wanted to bring back believers.”

Part of that was the band’s look.

“What did we want? Black leather and studs. Where did you find those things? Well, there was a gay S&M clothing store called The Eagle’s Nest and they made a lot for us,” Stanley says.

And then there was the face-painting. “We liked the concept of being able to immerse yourself into your own fantasies and come out a completely different person. Makeup helped us do that.”

(Another time Stanley performed in makeup was in the title role of The Phantom of the Opera during the final months of its Toronto run in 1999. “I always wanted to do that show. I love the dichotomy of playing someone who’s a murderer and an artist, someone who yearns for acceptance but can’t believe it when it happens. An emotionally crippled person. I enjoyed playing that,” he says.)

After spreading their wings at a tawdry club in Queens called Coventry, KISS went on the road. First stop, the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton.

“They needed a last minute replacement for Mike Quatro, Suzi Quatro’s brother. Three shows, three cities. The first night in Edmonton was OK, but then we were booked into high school cafeterias. Our road crew took the lunchroom tables and gaffer-taped them together. That was our stage.”

The KISS phenomenon spread rapidly and is still going strong after more than 40 years. Stanley attributes part of the band’s longevity to what the music was about.

“People said we were shallow, but we were singing about self-empowerment, singing about celebrating life, singing about going against the status quo and reaching for what you believe.

“Man, that’s got a lot longer legs on it than ‘Save the Whales.’ ”

KISS star to sing national anthem at Vikings, Steelers game in London

Rock legend Gene Simmons, the lead singer of KISS, will perform the U.S. national anthem prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings game in London on Sept. 29, according to

The game is part of the NFL International Series and will be played at London's Wembley Stadium.

This will be the seventh NFL regular-season game to be played in the United Kingdom.

Simmons also performed at the Oakland Raiders' home game against the San Diego Chargers in 2012.

According to NFL UK, Simmons said he is looking forward to singing the anthem at the London game.

"I always love playing a role in these types of high-action, fast-paced games, not to mention returning to the UK and performing in front of some the best fans in the world!''

Simmons was also recently announced as the co-owner of the Los Angeles Kiss, a football team scheduled to begin playing in the Arena Football League in 2014.

The Steelers-Vikings game will kick off at 12 p.m. CST (6 p.m. London time).

Q&A: Gene Simmons on Miley's Tongue and His New KISS Book

( There've been more than enough KISS biographies to satiate even the most die-hard fan. Gene Simmons wrote his memoir, KISS and Make-Up, back in 2002. KISS: Behind the Mask, the band's official biography, came out not long after. Former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss put out their respective memoirs last year. There's also been KISStory (1995), Kisstory II: Toys, Games and Girls (2000), Kiss: The Early Years (2002), Kiss Kompendium (2009), and Monster (2012), which cost just $4200. The latest tell-all, Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS, co-written by Simmons, Ken Sharp and Paul Stanley, is a not-so-slim 560 pages chronicling the band's genesis between 1972 and 1975.

It's been a busy few years for the KISS franchise. But then again, it's always a busy year for the KISS franchise. Simmons and his KISS bandmates still churn out original music, like last year's Monster, and go on pyrotechnic-heavy tours - they have five upcoming live shows planned in Japan. But Simmons is most newsworthy these days for his increasingly weird side projects. Like recording a song with Engelbert Humperdinck for the crooner's upcoming Duets album. Or executive-producing an animated TV show about Hello Kitty characters based on KISS. Or that Arena Football League team he co-owns, the Los Angeles KISS, which offered quarterback Tim Tebow a three-year contract which nobody, even Simmons, seemed to take seriously. "It doesn't matter," he said about the Tebow offer. "As long as the media takes notice."

Rolling Stone spoke with Simmons earlier this week about his new book, Miley Cyrus' tongue, working with Lou Reed, and more.

Why write another book? Are there any KISS stories we haven't heard yet?

Imagine yourself on a boat and we're always on top. We're on stage, so we can see it all. I can see the iceberg miles away. But I only see 10% of it, cause I can only see the top. Everyone else sees 90% of it because they're on the bottom. You really don't want to just talk about 10% of the iceberg. You want to see how big it actually is.

This metaphor is getting a little confusing.

This book doesn't just have our stories. There are stories and anecdotes from other rock stars and journalists, talking about their experiences with KISS. They write about what they saw, what they heard, and what it was like.

Ace Frehley and Peter Criss recently published memoirs, and they both made you out to be the bad guy. Do you feel like the bad guy?

I am the bad guy. I won't stand for drunks and alcoholics, who get up on stage and consider it their birthright. I consider it a privilege to get up there and arrive on time and be sober, and I'll be an asshole to anybody who thinks otherwise. You know who else is an asshole? Your teacher was an asshole. Your parents are assholes. Your drill sergeant was an asshole. Because they wouldn't let you get away with shit. Ace and Peter have had a lifetime of being losers. And not just with drugs and alcohol. They're losers because of wrong decisions. You sleep in the bed you make. How many chances in life do you get? They were in and out of the band three different times. Why should they get another chance?

They also both claimed in their books that you never shower.

Okay, so what? What's your point?

Were they telling the truth?

What does showering have to do with being a responsible human being? What else? That's what makes you an asshole, because you don't shower? Okay. You win. You win.

Did you see Miley Cyrus perform at the VMAs?

Oh sure, of course.

She got widely criticized for sticking out her tongue, among other things. Are you surprised by the backlash?

I don't understand why people got so upset. Whether you stick out your tongue or shake your tushy, all the other girls are doing the same thing. Any girl whose name ends with an A—Madonna, Shakira, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, all these girls who sing pop songs through backing tracks like it's karaoke and gyrate all over the stage—if they can do it, why can't Miley? Either condemn the whole lot of them or leave her alone.

As somebody who built a career around sticking out his tongue, how would you rate her tongue-wagging performance?

It was okay. But that's a girl's version. It's like girls basketball. It's as good as girls can get at basketball. But you can't play with the guys.

You've collaborated with Lou Reed, right? On the Music from "The Elder" album?

That's right. He helped out on "World Without Heroes" and "Mr. Blackwell."

You're both artists with a reputation for strong egos, and you've both been accused of being pricks.

That's right.

When two famous pricks are in the same recording studio, trying to collaborate, does it cancel out their individual prickishness?

When you have a shared passion about something, and it's something you both care about deeply, egos don't get in the way. It's sort of a meeting of the minds.

You really don't care if people think you're a prick?

It's like screaming up at Godzilla who's 50 stories tall. I don't think it will care. "What's that you say? You think I'm arrogant? Sorry, don't have time to discuss it, I'm busy destroying Tokyo. See ya!"

Does any criticism bother you?

Anybody who's got something to say to you, the response shouldn't be "I agree, I disagree." It should be "And what have you done with your life?" Everybody's got an opinion, but there's such a thing as qualified opinion. If Richard Branson's got something to say to me, I'm going to listen. He's accomplished something. If somebody farts through their mouth, you have to consider the source.

When you were coming up with your Demon character, did you have a plan B? Was there a second choice?

I reject the word "character," because that implies acting. There's a Jekyll and Hyde personality switch that happens. I wear more makeup and high heels than your mommy, but she's in control of who she is. When I get up on stage, it's a different headspace.

Are there ever moments when you're not in the mood? When you're a sad Demon, or an introspective Demon, or a middle-aged Demon who just wants to stay in his boxers all day?

Sure. Before a show, you might have aches or pains, or it's a bad rainy day, or it's too humid. We all complain about stuff. But ... how do I put this poetically? Once it's the roar of the crowd and the smell of the greasepaint, forget it. Once the adrenaline kicks in and your chest expands, you forget about all that. You just go onstage and kick some royal ass. That's our job description

How much longer can you keep doing this?

This interview?


As long as it takes. I have miles to go before we sleep. We're approaching our 40th year. We've completely ignored the critics, and in fact we've buried them in our back yard. We are the kings of the nighttime world. We outsell the Beatles and Elvis. We have literally 5000 licensed and merchandized products. We have a co-brand with Hello Kitty, which has resulted in 1500 new licenses. I don't care that some of my favorite bands, U2 or Radiohead or whatever, wouldn't do that. The truth is, they couldn't do that. We will do anything we damn well please, whether it makes sense to somebody or not. In essence, that's the real rock n' roll spirit.

Doesn't it get exhausting to always be selling some new product with your face on it?

Never. We want to be our own culture. KISS Kulture, spelled with a K. We're taking over football next. Go to and learn about the only football team in Los Angeles of any kind. You can buy season tickets for $99, and you get a free KISS concert. What's wrong with that? Your choices are mortgaging your home to get a ticket for the NFL, or you can come to our air-conditioned arena facilities and you'll have the time of your life.

You're like one of those salesman from Glengarry Glen Ross. You always have to be closing.

Well, I think Shakespeare said it first, and then I guess Alec Baldwin. "The world's a stage. Either close or go home." Anybody who gets angry at us are just small people with small dreams who never achieved anything and will always be angry. But they're mostly angry with themselves for being losers.

Have you ever turned down a merchandizing idea?

Not all ideas work. KISS crack is probably not a good idea. But we'll try anything else.

How much KISS merchandize do you personally own? Is there a KISS condom in your wallet right now?

No, no, no. I don't have any of it. What chef eats everything that's on his menu?

Will you be buried in a KISS Kaskat?

I might. But I would rather do it KISS style and go up in a pyre.

Thayer Raises Big Bucks

Pacific University's "Legends Hosted by Tommy Thayer" brought 325 guests to Waverley Country Club on Aug. 25. Thayer is a Beaverton native, the lead guitarist of Kiss and a Pacific University trustee. The event, a fundraiser for the university's 24-sport intercollegiate athletics program, raised more than $335,000 from the auction and more than $100,000 from a special appeal for enhancements to the university's outdoor playing stadium. Pacific University president Lesley M. Hallick was event chairwoman.

Scott Engel Talks To Gene Simmons About The L.A. KISS, Tebow, Having Nothing To Lose

Scott Engel Talks To Gene Simmons About The L.A. KISS, Tebow, Having Nothing To Lose: Interview.

Kiss: Miley Cyrus is "being treated unfairly"

The band talked to Salon about music today, their millennial fans, and why they're "products of rebellion": interview.

L4LM Exclusive Interview: Alan G. Parker - Director of Upcoming KISS Documentary

L4LM Exclusive Interview: Alan G. Parker – Director of Upcoming KISS Documentary

Video: KISS On NBC's Today Show

Video: KISS On NBC's Today Show.

Three Sides If The Coin

Nothin' To Lose. Are You Going to Love This Book? Are There Never Heard Stories? We Discuss. Listen here.

Buy your copy on Nothin' To Lose here: Hardcover, Kindle.

Eric Singer interview in

Eric Singer interview in september 6, 2013 Honduras: Listen.

ACE FREHLEY's 'Anomaly' To Be Re-Released On Vinyl Featuring Two New Colors

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's latest solo album, "Anomaly", will be made available as a 2-LP vinyl set featuring two new limited-edition colors on October 1 via Brookvale Records. Only 750 units of each color are being manufactured.

Pressed at the prestigious Gotta Groove Records, "Anomaly" in opaque blue or green/black swirl is available now for pre-order: $27.99 each or $50.00 for both colors.

Last year, Brookvale's limited-edition "Anomaly" 2-LP in silver marble sold out very quickly, and the label expects these new colors to do the same.

Frehley told in a 2009 interview that he intended "Anomaly" to "kind of pick up where I left off with my first solo album" — 1978's "Ace Frehley".

"Prior to going into the studio, I listened to that first album, which everybody cites as their favorite Ace record," Frehley said. "I dissected it and tried to get into the same mind set this time around. I think I recaptured some of the musical textures and attitude and vibe that I had on that first record."

"Anomaly" was recorded at Schoolhouse Studios in New York and at Ace's home studio in Westchester, New York.


Rock & Brews Who We Are is a 2 Minute Video of who we are. Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley are founding partners who actively participate in global marketing and major decisions. Michael Zislis designs, builds & operates the restaurants, Dave Furano Business Development & Dell Furano Franchising and Licensing: Video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

What Happened to Mitch’s KISS Panda Bear, We Answer Your Questions: Video.

VIDEO: First Trailer for SAMPLE THIS Narrated by Gene Simmons

In honor of Hip Hop's 40th anniversary this month, GoDigital has released the official trailer for the music documentary, SAMPLE THIS. The film is narrated by Gene Simmons of KISS fame, and it will hit theaters and VOD on September 13th. SAMPLE THIS tells the untold story of Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band and how one track in particular started a musical revolution back in the 1970's. Check it out here!

Pacific Legends Supports Student-Athletes

( A celebrity lineup turned out in Portland on Sunday night to support Pacific University student-athletes.

Pacific University Legends, hosted by Beaverton native Tommy Thayer — guitarist for the legendary rock band KISS — was an evening of fabulous food, rollicking fun and a rocking concert.

The light drizzle that started the day came to a stop in plenty of time for guests to enjoy the elegance of Waverley Country Club, on the banks of the Willamette River, where they enjoyed a gourmet meal, sponsored by Pac/West.

Guests enthusiastically raised their paddles throughout the evening’s auction, making it the most successful Legends auctions ever. Bidders took home everything from a unique guitar signed by the members of KISS to vacation packages for Bali, Costa Rica and South Africa.

Proceeds of the auction and matching gift will help build a roof over the seating area in Lincoln Park Stadium, where the Pacific University Boxers compete in football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field.

At the end of the night, Thayer took to the stage, in a concert sponsored by Lease Crutcher Lewis. He was joined by such musical greats as Bill Champlin, former singer and keyboardist for Chicago; Danny Seraphine, original drummer of Chicago; Bobby Kimball, former lead singer of Toto; and Patrick Lamb, Oregon’s own jazz phenom.(Video)


Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be signing copies of the KISS "Nothin' To Lose" book at the following locations:

BOOKENDS (Ridgewood, NJ) - 9/10/13 @ 1pm

BARNES & NOBLE (Staten Island, NY) - 9/10/13 @ 7pm

BARNES & NOBLE The Grove (Los Angeles, CA) - 9/12/13 @ 7pm

Order your copy here: Harcover, Kindle.

Engelbert Humperdinck Lays Down Duet With Gene Simmons

( The legendary Engelbert Humperdinck spent the day in the studio with Kiss founder Gene Simmons laying down a track for his Duets albums.

Engelbert is nearing completion of the album which features songs with Willie Nelson, Elton John and Smokey Robinson and now Simmons.

Engelbert exclusively announced the Simmons duet in his interview with Noise11. “There’s Elton, there’s Smokey Robinson, there’s Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Neil Sedaka and it goes on and on and on. It is very exciting names on this particular album. I’m so thrilled that everyone has responded and wanted to work on the album with me and I think it has been a very exciting project,” he said.

Today Engelbert told fans via Facebook, “What an absolute pleasure to meet and record with this giant of a Rock God! A fantastic day with Gene Simmons and his gorgeous wife Shannon.”

Paul Stanley interview

Paul Stanley interview with Only A Game. Listen here.

Gene Simmons interview

Gene Simmons interview with NFL AM. Listen here.

Three Sides Of The Coin

KISS & Football a Recipe for Disaster or Just Good Business? We Discuss LA KISS. Listen.

BRUCE KULICK interview

BRUCE KULICK interview - Dreams in the Witch House. (Video)

PAUL STANLEY Sings National Anthem At Dodger Stadium

PAUL STANLEY Sings National Anthem At Dodger Stadium: Fan Video.

Lovitz Or Leavitz - Gene Simmons

Lovitz Or Leavitz - Gene Simmons - Episode 09: Video

Video Interview: Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons, the co-founder and lead singer of the rock band KISS, talks to World Screen's group editorial director, Anna Carugati, about his new TV projects and more. (Video)

EDDIE TRUNK's 'Essential Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Volume II' Due In September

Known as a "leading expert on all things hard rock and heavy metal," Eddie Trunk continues to entertain fans on the radio and as the host of VH1 Classic's hit television program "That Metal Show" with his passion for music. In the much-anticipated sequel to the bestselling "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock And Heavy Metal", Trunk picks up where he left off by featuring 35 new bands, both legendary and forgotten, and sharing his passion for all things metal.

Complete with his favorite playlists, band discographies, trivia, never-before-seen photographs as well as candid's and ephemera from Eddie's personal collection, this new book combines brief band histories with Trunk's unique personal experiences and anecdotes in a must-read for all fans of rock and roll. Featuring a diverse lineup, from Marilyn Manson and Ace Frehley to Lita Ford and WHITESNAKE, "Volume II" salutes all those who are ready to rock!

"Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Volume II" will be made available on September 24 via Abrams Image, a division of Abrams.

In a recent interview with Pop Break, Trunk stated about "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Volume II": "It is an exact sequel of the first book. It’s the same publisher. It's the same format, same exact layout, the discography, the 'Did You Know' stuff, and, of course, the exclusive live photography.

"So many people enjoyed the layout of the first book, how easy it was to read. So we didn't mess with the formula that people really liked. The only difference is the bands are completely different. The bands are a little deeper, a little less mainstream. So it's an out-and-out sequel. It's going to make a great companion piece to the first."


The Daily Buzz, one of the largest morning programs in the country, hit the red carpet with KISS at ArenaBowl XXVI! Video

Local guitar hero

Local guitar hero. Read the Tommy Thayer interview here.


The Calgary Stampede and Stampede Concerts Inc. are pleased to announce a rescheduled date for the Stampede Concert Series. On Friday, November 8, KISS will take the stage at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Following the flood, Stampede Concerts Inc. worked hard with KISS to reschedule the show and ensure fans had an opportunity to enjoy the concert.

Tickets purchased for the original date Saturday, July 13 are valid for the November 8 show for the same seats indicated on the ticket. For ticket holders that cannot attend the November 8 date, refunds will only be available through Ticketmaster until Saturday, August 31.

At this time, approximately 2,800 tickets for the concert have been re-released and are on-sale via Ticketmaster starting at $60.00 (plus applicable fees and taxes.)

Stampede Concerts Inc. continues to work to reschedule the other concerts that were part of the Stampede Concert Series.

For more information visit

KISS Coffeehouse Closing in Myrtle Beach

KISS Coffeehouse, which opened in June 2006 at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, is closing at the end of September.

The shop was the first and only licensed coffeehouse by the band, who backed the business owned by KISS fan Brian Galvin, through a brokered deal with the KISS exclusive merchandising company called Signatures Network, Inc. Today the coffeehouse website lists Johnny Rock as its owner.

Legendary KISS band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons attended the opening seven years ago, and guitarist Ace Frehley came to Myrtle Beach for the one-year anniversary.

But in the end, there weren’t enough sales to keep it open.

“We just found out this week we’re closing,” general manager John Goldschmidt said today. “The sales just aren’t growing. It’s too seasonal, too small of a market.”

Joe Bennett of Madison, Ohio, has been a KISS fan since 1976. He was sorry to learn the coffeehouse is closing, but he took advantage of the going out of business half-price sale and spent more than $100 on magnets, T-shirts and more.

KISS Coffeehouse is at Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach, and the number is (843) 626-5477.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Gene Simmons Was Right to Leave KISS in the 80's for a Movie Career. Find Out Why. (Video)


KISS Interview w/ Pavlina AFL Celebrity Gala- Orlando, FL 2013: Video.

KISS Buys Football Team, Names Team KISS

( There’s no mistaking the new owners of the Arena Football League’s newest expansion team: rock legends KISS.

The flamboyant and (once) hard-partying band purchased the new Los Angeles-based football team, and have put their entire identity behind it: the LA KISS will even make use of the band’s logo.

There’s no word, however, if makeup will be part of the team’s uniform.

“As a fast-paced, high-action band this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” Simmons said in a statement. “Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action.”

The team will play next season in Anaheim’s Honda Center. Those willing to pony up for $99 season tickets—says KISS guitarist Stanley: “budget-friendly price gives a whole new meaning to bang for the buck”—will receive a ticket to attend a 2014 KISS concert in the venue. Jon Bon Jovi didn’t offer a deal like that when he was a part owner in the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul until 2010.

Those interested in a little KISS/AFL combination before next season can watch the band play the halftime show of the 2013 ArenaBowl championship this Saturday.

“This is a great business venture for KISS. It’s fantastic to have a team named after the band and it is a privilege to be able to support LA and bring the experience home,” says Don McGhee, KISS manager, who facilitated the new partnership.

Video: KISS Perform Acoustic Set At AFL Celebrity Gala

(Video) Set List:
Hard Luck Woman
Christine Sixteen
Love Her All I Can
Calling Dr. Love
Cold Gin
Rock And Roll All Nite.







- Free full-scale KISS concert for season seat holders in 2014 at Honda Center

- Guaranteed best pricing

- First right of refusal to your seat location to home playoff games

- Guaranteed same seat location for all LA KISS home games

- Invitation to exclusive Season Ticket Holder events

- “Never a Wasted Ticket” program

- Exclusive Season Ticket Member e-mails with special offers from the LA KISS, Honda Center and our Marketing Partners

Lovitz or Leavitz

Gene Simmons will appear in an Aug. 23 installment of Jon Lovitz's weekly "Lovitz or Leavitz". Watch here:

KISS brings football to Los Angeles

(ESPN) The guys dressed in black and silver are bringing football back to the Los Angeles area.

The Raiders? Not quite.

It's KISS, the heavy metal band known for performing in black, white and silver that has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide during a 40-year career.

On Thursday, the Arena Football League announced it was awarding an expansion team to a group of individuals that includes KISS band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The team, called the LA KISS, will begin playing in March at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

"As a fast-paced, high-action band, this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us," Simmons said in a statement. "Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action."

Season tickets, which went on sale Thursday starting at $99, will include a free KISS concert.

While the team will use the band's logo, it is not known whether the team's uniforms will be silver and black.

Next season will mark the 27th season for the Arena Football League, which begins its games in March and culminates with the ArenaBowl in August.

The league and the music world have joined forces before. The Philadelphia Soul, who will be playing in the championship game Saturday, were partly owned by Jon Bon Jovi until 2010.

KISS is bringing pro football back to Los Angeles

KISS, nearing its 40th anniversary, prides itself on appealing to rock-and-roll fans from every strata of society – provided they enjoy anthemic arena rock and elaborate live shows performed by men in heavy makeup and shoulder pads.

Founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hope to establish a similarly broad fanbase with their newest project, a partnership with the Arena Football League as owners of an Anaheim-based expansion team known as LA KISS.

“The whole idea of an alternative to what has perhaps become a corporate sport is very intriguing, and resonates with us,” Stanley told USA TODAY Sports by phone on Wednesday. “We’ve always tried to be a band that relates to everybody, and the AFL is built on that whole premise.”

Though the band’s logo will be incorporated into the team’s uniforms, and though Stanley and Simmons hope to bring their understanding of live performance to the team’s home games at the Honda Center, the pair emphasized that they aim to create a true football experience.

“There’s been a lot of attention to detail, to nuances, so that people don’t think this is a rock band in football helmets,” Simmons said. “This is real football, and this is good for the game.”

Added Stanley: “We wouldn’t put LA KISS on a football helmet if we didn’t believe we could kick it out of the park.”

Los Angeles has not seen professional football since two previous AFL franchises folded before the league canceled its 2009 season. Both Los Angeles-based NFL teams left the city after the 1994 season. KISS will run the team in conjunction with veteran AFL executive Brett Bouchy, who recently sold his interest in the Orlando Predators.

“We don’t want to wear too many hats,” Stanley said. “When it’s appropriate, we will defer to the people who have experience with this. We’re bringing something new to the party.”

“We’re not going to be passive players in this,” Simmons added. “We’re really going to be a part of this thing.”

KISS will perform the halftime show for the league’s championship game, ArenaBowl XXVI, in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday. And though its members did not commit to playing regularly at LA KISS games, Stanley said he planned to attend home games with his family “as a point of pride.”

Asked if the new AFL owners will endorse their team’s players wearing eye-black and face paint indoors, Stanley said, “We’ll leave that to the people who are better suited to make those decisions. But I personally think a little black under the eye looks very good.”

The team will sell season-ticket packages starting at $99, and Stanley and Simmons hope that with their expertise, the club’s games will emerge as a low-cost alternative to other live sporting events in the area.

“It’s exciting beyond anything that we’ve thought about before, to be given the privilege of really starting out bringing the amount of showmanship we brought to a rock band called KISS,” Simmons said. “It’s going to be that kind of in-your-face entertainment, whether you’re a football fan or not.”

Rock band KISS brings Arena Football back to Southland with LA KISS

Arena Football is headed back to Los Angeles, and you can thank the rock band KISS for it.

The LA KISS will begin play in the Arena Football League next season, it was announced on Thursday. They will play at the Honda Center.

"Season tickets are now on sale for what we know will be some of the most action-packed games ever played at the Honda Center," said team co-owner and KISS frontman Paul Stanley. "Arena Football is played at a fast and furious pace and making season tickets available now for the budget-friendly price of $99 gives a whole new meaning to bang for the buck."

All LA KISS season-ticket buyers will be invited to a free KISS concert to take place at Honda Center next year.

“As a fast-paced, high-action band this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” said co-owner Gene Simmons of KISS. “With Arena Football, you are much closer to the action -- sitting in the front row is like putting a folding chair on the hash mark of an NFL game -- and it’s one of the only sports where you can experience this level of intensity. Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action.”

The AFL will mark its 27th season in 2014. There hasn't been a team in Southern California since the Los Angeles Avengers folded in 2009.

“We could not be more thrilled to bring the league back to Los Angeles," AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. "And partnering with such incredible rock legends as KISS is certain to give fans a sports experience unlike anything they have ever seen.”

KISS and Arena Football League Bring Expansion Team to Los Angeles

After a five year hiatus, professional football will be returning to one of the largest and most exciting media markets in the country, Los Angeles. Announced today at ArenaBowl XXVI Media Day, rock legends KISS, Arena Football League (AFL) veteran Brett Bouchy, Doc McGhee (McGhee Entertainment) and AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz are bringing the high-octane entertainment of Arena Football back to Los Angeles with a new expansion team, The LA KISS (

"Season tickets are now on sale for what we know will be some of the most action-packed games ever played at the Honda Center," said Paul Stanley of KISS. "Arena Football is played at a fast and furious pace and making season tickets available now for the budget-friendly price of $99 gives a whole new meaning to bang for the buck." Additionally, all inaugural LA KISS season seat holders will be invited to a free KISS concert to take place at Honda Center in 2014!

"As a fast-paced, high-action band this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us," said Gene Simmons of KISS. "With Arena Football, you are much closer to the action - sitting in the front row is like putting a folding chair on the hash mark of an NFL game – and it’s one of the only sports where you can experience this level of intensity. Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart pounding action."

The AFL (, which is dedicated to playing and promoting in-arena professional football around the world, will mark its 27th season in 2014. With primetime TV broadcasts on CBS Sports Network every Saturday, and over 150,000 fan connections each week, the league is poised to expand into homes across the country like never before. This new alliance with KISS will further strengthen the league's bond within the expansive U.S. entertainment and sports industries. The ArenaBowl XXVI Championship game kicks off Saturday, August 17 at 1pm EST / 10am PST and will air nationally on the CBS Television Network. The broadcast will feature a KISS halftime show on their new "spider stage."

Honda Center has partnered alongside the band and the team to provide a home for the sport and its newest expansion team. As a world-class sports and entertainment venue, which has consistently ranked among the top in the country, this Orange County arena will serve as the hub for Arena Football fans in the greater Los Angeles area and help the league engage with the more than 22 million people who call Southern California home.

"As the most fast-paced, exciting league in professional sports, the AFL has always been about providing the best form of entertainment to fans directly in their hometowns," said AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz. "We could not be more thrilled to bring the league back to Los Angeles, and partnering with such incredible rock legends as KISS is certain to give fans a sports experience unlike anything they have ever seen."

As the founding members of KISS, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have a vested interest in bringing football back to Los Angeles, a market that has always proved fanatical for both music and football. Both Paul and Gene are fans of the AFL and are excited to lend their own unique brand of non-stop action to games in Los Angeles that will blow fans away!

"This is a great business venture for KISS. They are lending their name to a sport which is destined for big things this year. It's fantastic to have a team named after the band and it is a privilege to be able to support LA and bring the experience home," stated KISS Manager DOC McGHEE of McGhee entertainment, who worked to facilitate the partnership.

"With a global brand in KISS, an ownership group dedicated to showcasing a fast-paced and exciting sport and a world-class venue hosting the action - three great entertainment properties are converging with the overall goal of producing an unparalleled AFL experience for fans," added Tim Ryan, CEO/President of The Honda Center. "This partnership marks a new era for the unification of sports and music."

In celebration of this announcement, and ArenaBowl XXVI, a three day celebration will kick-off tonight with the annual AFL Celebrity Gala followed by a LIVE concert Friday night, featuring none-other than KISS! The ArenaBowl XXVI Championship game kicks off Saturday, August 17 at 1pm EST / 10am PT and will air nationally on the CBS Television Network. The broadcast will include highlights from KISS's Friday night performance.

For more information on LA KISS, or to purchase season tickets, please visit


The New Jersey KISS Fan Expo is proud to announce KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer as our featured guest for 2013! We return this year to the NJ Convention and Exposition Center for our largest show yet!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, at the Raritan Center
97 Sunfield Ave, Edison NJ 08837

For tickets and all other info, visit



Join MATT PORTER and his in-studio guests: CHRIS GIORDANO from the tribute band KISS IT! DAVID SNOWDEN from David Snowden Promotions! TONY DEVILLE from DeVille Ink! and "SPEED" from Silvertung!

We're going "back to school", celebrating GENE and VINNIE's birthdays, talking KISS and having all of the fun that you expect every month in THE KISS ROOM!

Listen here:

KISS Monster Show Reviews with Mitch and Tommy on Three Sides Of The Coin

KISS Monster Show Reviews with Mitch and Tommy on Three Sides Of The Coin. Listen here.

PodKISSt #74 The Long Form Videos Pt:2

Part 2: Chris Czynszak, Matt Porter, Andrew Sgambati & Chris Karem discuss the KISS Long Form Videos. The guys take us back to sitting around your old VCR and seeing those great KISS tapes for the first time. All this – and rare tunes, too – on PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears! Listen:



Three Sides of Coin

We discuss the latest issue of Classic Rock Magazine. In a article about the 40th anniversary of KISS Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley really open on their personal feelings about the solo albums, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the 80s, Eddie Van Halen and more! Listen here.

Alan G Parker To Direct 'You Wanted The Best.You Got The Best - The Official KISS Movie'

Glam-rock legends KISS have confirmed that acclaimed director Alan G Parker will helm an official movie about the band.

Speaking about the deal, Paul Stanley said: “We are thrilled to have Alan onboard to help tell the definitive KISS story, a story of insanity…dedication…and a take no prisoners attitude combining to create the most spectacular beast in rock ‘n’ roll history: KISS. Alan’s knowledge of the band amazed even us! We wanted the best….we got the best!”

The movie, titled 'You Wanted The Best…You Got The Best – The Official KISS Movie' will be the most intensive KISS documentary ever and will capture their career right from the start. Expect to see it on screens at some point next year.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Inside the KISS Tribute CD A World With Heroes and the Ace Frehley CD Return of the Comet. Listen here.

Video: ACE FREHLEY, JASON HOOK, BILL KELLIHER Jam At Gibson Showroom In New York City

Video footage of Ace Frehley (KISS), Jason Hook (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH) and Bill Kelliher (MASTODON) jamming together on July 22 at the Gibson Showroom in New York City can be seen here: Video.

KISS Road Stories with Peter Moose Oreckinto Volume II

Last week's conversation with original KISS road crew member, Peter "Moose" Oreckinto, was the fastest downloaded episode in Decibel Geek history. On top of that, it's elicited some of the best feedback we've ever had. This week we're proud to bring you another long-form discussion with Moose!

In this week's episode, Moose returns to share more road stories from the early days of KISS as well as some memories of his return to the band in a management capacity on the Destroyer tour.

Listen here.

PodKISSt #73 The Long Form Videos Pt:1

Chris Czynszak, Matt Porter, Andrew Sgambati & Chris Karem discuss the KISS Long Form Videos. The guys take us back to sitting around your old VCR and seeing those great KISS tapes for the first time.

All this – and rare tunes, too – on PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears! Listen here.


Rock Musicians and Sports Celebs to Gather at Waverley CC on Aug. 25

In what has become the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific University Legends, hosted by Tommy Thayer will take place Sun., Aug. 25 at the beautiful and exclusive Waverley Country Club in Portland.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist for the legendary rock band KISS, has hosted the event that raises money for the university’s 23-sport NCAA Division III athletics program.

The venue this year is Waverley Country Club, which will help to make the event not only elegant but more memorable than ever. The end-of-the-summer gala will feature exquisite cuisine, a live auction, professional athletes, and a one-of-a-kind concert that only happens at this Legends event. Tickets sell quickly because of the unique nature of this concert. Thayer gathers well-known musicians from various legendary bands to create, for one evening, a unique blend of music that rocks the charts.

Joining Thayer on stage this year will be two-time Grammy award winning singer-songwriter and keyboardist, Bill Champlin, formerly of Chicago, known for voicing some of the band’s top hits and writing tunes such as “Please Hold On” and “Remembering the Feeling.”

Danny Seraphine, the original drummer and founding member of Chicago and California Transit Authority (CTA), will return for another legends. Bobby Kimball, former lead singer of the six-Grammy award winning band Toto, CTA arranger, producer and keyboardist Ed Roth, and Oregon’s Grammy nominated saxophone jazz musician, Patrick Lamb, will lend their fabulous musical talent to what will be a remarkable evening.

The celebrity list also includes legendary rock manager Doc McGhee, who nurtured and discovered the careers of KISS, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, The Scorpions, Hootie & The Blowfish, Diana Ross and James Brown.

Although several musicians from CTA will also be playing at the event, the line-up of legendary talent does not stop at rock musicians. Over the years, pro athletes and comedians have helped support the student-athletes of Pacific University. This year’s celebrity cast also includes:

Tommy Masters, who played on the Nike and Canadian tours from 1992 to 1995 and is now one of the top-rated teaching professionals in the United States. Masters has been listed as one of GOLF Magazine's Top-100 Instructors in the country for several years running. Tommy has hosted segments on Fox Sports Radio and ESPN Sports Radio and teaches PGA Tour players, as well as professional sports and entertainment stars.

Perry Swenson, who is the only female to record a hole in one at Augusta National, home of The Masters Tournament. Swenson starred on the Golf Channel’s reality series Road Trip Myrtle Beach in 2008, and spent six years as a professional golfer. Perry is deeply involved in charity work, benefiting work around families who have lost a parent in the military, muscular dystrophy, children’s cancer, autism and Alzheimer’s.

Amber Prange, who gained collegiate and amateur notoriety while at the University of Washington, also appeared on the Golf Channel's Big Break television series in 2009, and played on the LPGA Futures Tour (now the Symetra Tour). Amber is a dedicated and fierce competitor, as well as a successful businesswoman off the course.

Over the years, Legends has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Pacific University’s athletics program. Proceeds have helped upgrade facilities, enhanced operating budgets for sports programs and helped the school bring back the football program.

The event begins Sunday evening with a reception, followed by a fabulous dinner, both silent and live auctions, and an unforgettable concert that only Legends can deliver.

To reserve a place at the Pacific University Legends 2013, or for more information including celebrity biographies and sponsorship details, please visit

Three Sides Of The Coin

Were KISS Scared to Record Rock And Roll Over? Do You Care? On Three Sides of the Coin: Listen.


A.L.I.V.E.!, the new band put together strictly out of a passion for '70s-era KISS was formed by good timing and happenstance! Rex Brown (bass; PANTERA, KILL DEVIL HILL), Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (guitar; GUNS N' ROSES), Brian Thomas Tichy (drums; WHITESNAKE, QUEENSRŸCHE, OZZY OSBOURNE, S.U.N.) and Mark Zavon (guitar; KILL DEVIL HILL), made a surprise appearance last night (Monday, July 22) at Lucy's 51 in Toluca Lake, California. Check out video footage of their performance here: Clip1, Clip2, Clip3.

KISS Surprises Wounded Vet With New Home

According to The Pulse Of Radio, iconic rockers KISS were in Cadott, Wisconsin, on Saturday night, July 20, to perform at the Rock Fest. The band thrilled the crowd but really made a major impact when they teamed up with the Military Warriors Support Foundation to donate a new home to a wounded war veteran.

The wounded war veteran Roman Rivera and his wife were presented a mortgage-free home during the group's set. Paul Stanley told the crowd, "We have special guests with us tonight I'd like to bring out . . . Roman Rivera and his wife Michelle, and Ken from Military Warriors Support Foundation, please join me out here. Roman is a Wisconsin native, everybody. He is also a decorated veteran. He was severely injured during his combat tour in Iraq by an improvised bomb. He is a tried-and-true hero."

Stanley added, "We have the privilege of presenting Roman and his family with a mortgage-free, two-story, four-bedroom, three-car attached garage home in Janesville, Wisconsin. Again, completely mortgage-free. Please join me in congratulating Roman, and thank you to everyone for their service to our country!"

The crowd went crazy and after hugging and receiving high fives, Rivera walked off the stage to fists pumps and the entire crowd chanting "U.SA., U.S.A., U.S.A."

Video: KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY Throws First Pitch At Blue Jays Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Game

KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to tonight's (Monday, July 22) Major League Baseball game between Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Check out video footage here.

ACE FREHLEY Working On New Album

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has spent the past few days in the studio with drummer Matt Starr (BURNING RAIN) and bassist Chris Wyse (THE CULT, OWL) working on Ace's new album.

A couple of photos from the most recent studio sessions can be seen here: Pic1, Pic2.


All four members of KISS will be at the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy on Saturday in Sioux Falls as four rehearsal rooms will be dedicated in honor of each band member: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. The dedication ceremony is at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Founder Chuck Brennan is longtime friend of the band and welcomed some of them to Sioux Falls this past spring at the Academy’s grand opening.

According to the press release, this is the first time all four members of KISS, in its current incarnation, have been to Sioux Falls together and is a rare public appearance outside of their concerts. The band was an inspiration for Brennan to pursue his dream of creating the academy. The event itself is private for Boys & Girls Clubs members.

Brennan Rock & Roll Academy provides the first free music education program for children in the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, focusing on Rock & Roll instruments and vocals.

TOMMY THAYER Talks About Signature Guitar

In the clip below, Tommy Thayer, best known as the lead guitarist and former road manager for the American hard rock band KISS, talks about rocking out with his new signature series guitar: video.

Press conference, Vancouver, Jul 4th, 2013

Press conference, Vancouver, Jul 4th, 2013: Video.

Three Sides of the Coin

Tommy's Love Gun Gets Revenge on His Elders on the KISS Talk Show Three Sides of the Coin: Listen.


Tommy Thayer will be at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments in Winnipeg on Thursday, July 18th, from 2 to 3pm. Tommy will signing autographs and taking photos with the fans.

Decibel Geek: Best Of The Solo Albums & Kiss Land Marks 2

2 new Decibel Geek podcasts: Best Of The Solo Albums & Kiss Land Marks 2. Listen here.

Engelbert Humperdinck To Record Duet With Gene Simmons

( Music legend Engelbert Humperdinck is to record a duet with Rock God Gene Simmons of Kiss.

“Isn’t that something. It is going to be very exciting,” Engelbert told Noise11.

Engelbert will head back to the studio when he gets home to Los Angeles to record the yet-to-be named song with Gene.

The duets album, due in October, already has an impressive line-up of stars who wanted to be part of the project. “There’s Elton, there’s Smokey Robinson, there’s Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Neil Sedaka and it goes on and on and on. It is very exciting names on this particular album. I’m so thrilled that everyone has responded and wanted to work on the album with me and I think it has been a very exciting project”.

Engelbert Humperdinck will perform in Sydney tonight (July 10) at Star Casino and perform his final Australian show in Perth on July 13 at Crown Theatre. (Video)


Tommy Thayer will be at Long & McQuade Musical Instruments in Saskatoon this Sunday, July 14th, from 2 to 3pm. Tommy will signing autographs and taking photos with the fans.

KISS UNMASKED, Learn About Mitch Lafon's Secret Letter from Gene Simmons

Three Sides Of The Coin: KISS UNMASKED, Learn About Mitch Lafon's Secret Letter from Gene Simmons. Listen here

The Kiss Room - Live July 18

THE KISS ROOM is moving to THURSDAYS for the summer! The next LIVE broadcast is Thursday, JULY 18 from 3-5PM EST, streaming LIVE on Montco Radio!

Join Matt Porter and his in-studio guests: Chris Giordano, Eric Toddorocks Carr and Roger Segal, plus KISS 4K artist Adam Black calling in! We'll be cranking some KISS tunes, talking KISS, giving away some cool stuff and having all of the fun that you expect every month in THE KISS ROOM!

Listen here:

PodKISSt #72 Jean Beauvoir Interview Part 2

Jean Beauvoir sits down for a look back at 80's KISS and working with the band. Listen here.

$10K in KISS cash goes to Surrey facility for abused kids

( A Surrey-based charity was KISS'd with $10,000 Thursday.

Makeup-wearing members of the rock band were in Vancouver to hand a five-figure cheque to operators of Sophie's Place, a facility for kids who have been physically, mentally or sexually abused.

The money will help fund an expansion of the centre, which opened in February 2012 at The Centre for Child Development on 140th Street in Surrey.

The facility is named after Sophie Tweed-Simmons, daughter of KISS bassist Gene Simmons and former Playboy model Shannon Tweed.

KISS is in Vancouver to perform at Rogers Arena on Saturday, July 6.

Some of the profits made at a KISS Army-operated "pop-up" store on Granville Street this week are destined for Sophie's Place.

"It's really very generous of them and will make a huge difference in helping us serve kids who have been abused," Dr. Brian Katz, director of Sophie's Place, told the 'Now' during a noon press conference in Vancouver.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was on hand to accept the donation, along with staff of the facility.

Simmons said the donation was "a beginning, a small token from us," with more coming.

"(The centre) helps thousands of abused kids every year, and it's a great place," Simmons said.

KISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley said Sophie's Place is "a charity we know well and believe in 100 per cent. And we hope everyone here, every getting this news-media coverage, does what they can. It's never about giving until it hurts, you give until it feels good."

Tweed-Simmons said plans are to open other Sophie's Place facilities in Canada at a later date.

"We're working on getting this one absolutely perfect before we move on," she said.

In Surrey, the expanded facility will be roughly four times its current size, Katz told the 'Now'. Construction is already underway.

"It's in the works, and we're looking to raise $500,000 for the expansion, to have all of our team members under one roof," he said.

"Research has shown that it's a better outcome for kids when all professionals are working together and kids don't have to tell their story over and over again. Each time they do that, it can be traumatizing."

Tweed-Simmons said the concept for Sophie's Place was brought to attention her by Watts.

"There was a need for someone who is a kid to be a patron for the centre so we could relate more to the target audience," Tweed-Simmons said. "I was 18 at the time, and I loved it. I've worked with children my whole life and it seemed like the right thing to do, especially kind of being a B.C. native, thanks to my mom."

Katz said Tweed-Simmons has been a great partner for the centre.

"She's very much interested in the project and comes to these events and helps with fundraising, too," Katz said. "She's been able to help spread the message about what this great team is doing in Surrey, to build this child advocacy centre and make it a great resource for the community."

Autograph-seekers lined the block Thursday for the in-store appearance by KISS, which formed in the early 1970s.

"With time going on, we appreciate everything a lot more," Stanley said. "The band has never sounded better and never gotten along better. We socialize and spend time together... We're not on the first generation of KISS fans, we're on the third and fourth generation. Unlike other bands, we're a tribe. KISS is a whole different thing, where you have grandparents and five-year-olds and everything in between, and everyone is sharing that experience."

Simmons takes care of business

( There's no excuse for not succeeding in life. So says the Demon himself.

"God, in his infinite wisdom, has created night and sleep," says Kiss singer-bassist Gene Simmons. "By design, somebody - nature, God - created this idea where you get to rest and recharge. You don't need more than that. So I work hard, play hard, and live hard."

He also rocks hard. Simmons, 63, continues to tour mightily with the group he co-founded in 1973. He has dabbled in acting and found success with his highly rated reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, but through it all, there has been one constant for the man born Chaim Witz: rock 'n' roll.

The tour stops Saturday night in Vancouver, one of 19 stops in Canada (it was formerly 20, but the July 13 date at Calgary's Saddledome was cancelled this week due to flood damage).

That the group is staging one of its most in-depth tours of Canada 40 years after it was formed by Simmons and singer-guitarist Paul Stanley says something about their onstage abilities.

More than that, Simmons said, it speaks directly to their survival instincts.

When the rest of the pop-music world is singing to a pre-recorded click-track, Kiss is slogging it out with real instruments.

"When you go see Rihanna, you're probably getting about 30 per cent live music," Simmons said. "It's basically a karaoke show. That doesn't mean it's not good. Just be aware they are not advertising the truth."

Simmons says the current Kiss lineup - which includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who have been on-board for more than a decade each - has too much pride to offer anything inauthentic. There's a reason why the group's official refrain - "You wanted the best? You got the best!" - has opened nearly every one of its concerts to date, he added.

It takes each member nearly two hours to apply their own iconic greasepaint makeup, and the physical toll of trudging across stages in warrior garb every two or three days takes a considerable toll. Simmons adds to that tally breathing fire, spitting blood and flying high in the rafters during his signature song, Dr. Love.

Simmons still finds time to accommodate interviews, personal appearances and business meetings, mostly for the sake of self-promotion. That's a four-letter word to most, but for Simmons (who is reportedly worth upwards of $300 million), the sound of cash registers ringing isn't something to be ashamed of.

"Either you take care of business or the business takes care of you."

KISS pops up in Vancouver ahead of tour

(Video) “You wanted it, you got it.”

That is classic Gene Simmons: Make the fans believe that it’s all for them, and they will keep coming. More importantly, they will shell out the big bucks to get the latest from their favourite rock gods.

The fans came in droves to Tom Lee Music in downtown Vancouver to meet their idols — appearing in full makeup and leather gear — and scoop up some of the merch the band had to offer at its KISS Army Depot pop-up store, one of many that have appeared across the country ahead of the band’s Canadian tour promoting 20th studio album Monster and kicking off in Victoria Friday night.

The tour hits Rogers Arena in Vancouver Saturday.

LEGO sets, action figures, posters and even sets of replica boots will be on display and up for grabs at Tom Lee until Sunday, but the band also made sure to point out its generosity at a press conference held Thursday at noon.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was in attendance to receive a $10,000 cheque donated to Sophie Tweed-Simmons’ charitable endeavour Sophie’s Place, which she set up with Watts to help youth in the Surrey area.

“Sophie has always been committed to helping young people,” Simmons said, with a hint of pride, during the press conference. “Sophie’s Place is a place where kids with dysfunction — verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse — can go and be among other young people with no pressure. It helps thousands of abused kids every year.”

Tweed-Simmons, Simmons and Canadian model and Playboy playmate Shannon Tweed’s daughter, was also slated to sing at the home opener of the B.C. Lions Thursday night at BC Place.

Tweed-Simmons and her brother Nick were both fixtures of Simmons’ Family Jewels reality television show, which showed the inner workings of the Simmons household.

“You would like to think your kids are a reflection of you,” Simmons told The Vancouver Sun in an interview following the press conference. “But I couldn’t hold a candle to our kids. They are phenomenal. I wanted to say I had nothing to do with the B.C. Lions game (on Thursday) or how she got herself on X Factor or when she sang with The Tenors in Dallas — a song that she wrote. I had nothing to do with that. You try to help your kids, but both of them are go-getters and I marvel at them.”

Stanley pointed out in the interview that the band will also be donating money to a charity in Toronto named About Face, which helps kids with facial deformations. Stanley has microtia, a condition where one of his ears wasn’t fully formed at birth.

Though part of the profits from the pop-up stores across the country will go to charity, Simmons did not want to get bogged down with numbers.

“What we’re really doing is raising awareness,” he said. “If we didn’t give a penny, it would still be a good thing.”

Read our complete feature interview story with KISS in Saturday’s edition of The Vancouver Sun.

The Kiss of life: Rockers keep it real onstage

( There’s no excuse for not succeeding in life. So says the Demon himself.

“God, in his infinite wisdom, has created night and sleep,” says Kiss singer-bassist Gene Simmons. “By design, somebody — nature, God — created this idea where you get to rest and recharge. You don’t need more than that. So I work hard, play hard, and live hard.”

He also rocks hard.

Simmons, 63, continues to tour mightily with the group he co-founded in 1973. He has dabbled in acting and found success with his highly rated reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, but through it all, there has been one constant for the man born Chaim Witz: rock ’n’ roll.

The band begins the Canadian leg of its Monster tour Friday night in Victoria, its first-ever local date and the kickoff for 19 stops in Canada (it was formerly 20, but the July 13 date at Calgary’s Saddledome was cancelled this week due to flood damage).

That the group is staging one of its most in-depth tours of Canada 40 years after it was formed by Simmons and singer-guitarist Paul Stanley says something about their on-stage abilities.

More than that, Simmons said, it speaks directly to their survival instincts.

When the rest of the pop-music world is singing to a pre-recorded click-track, Kiss is slogging it out with real instruments.

“When you go see Rihanna, you’re probably getting about 30 per cent live music,” Simmons said. “It’s basically a karaoke show. That doesn’t mean it’s not good. Just be aware they are not advertising the truth.”

Simmons says the current Kiss lineup — which includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who have been on-board for more than a decade each — has too much pride to offer anything inauthentic. There’s a reason why the group’s official refrain — “You wanted the best? You got the best!” — has opened nearly every one of its concerts to date, he added.

“What you see is what you get. Four guys sweating, no samples, no tapes. We blow a lot of stuff up and we change the Earth’s axis every once in a while. But what you see there is live. That’s what you’re paying a lot of money for, so you should get it live. How dare you step on that stage and not do it properly.”

Sacrifices need to be made to get the details right.

It takes each member nearly two hours to apply their own iconic greasepaint makeup, and the physical toll of trudging across stages in warrior garb every two or three days takes a considerable toll. Simmons adds to that tally breathing fire, spitting blood and flying high in the rafters during his signature song, Dr. Love.

To put it lightly, his dance card is incredibly full.

Simmons still finds time to accommodate interviews, personal appearances and business meetings, mostly for the sake of self-promotion. That’s a four-letter word to most, but for Simmons (who is reportedly worth upwards of $300 million), the sound of cash registers ringing isn’t something to be ashamed of.

“Either you take care of business or the business takes care of you. That’s why you can be Peter Frampton and be the biggest act of the world at the time, and be broke.”

Canada has been very good to Kiss over the years. Simmons says a 2011 concert by the group in Grand Falls, N.B., drew close to 50,000 people, while another appearance in Ottawa on that same trek attracted upwards of 95,000. His extensive knowledge of such matters makes him an exhausting person to come into contact with, but that is part of his charm.

People love to know how Kiss operates. Simmons isn’t telling, but he will pull back the curtain for a glimpse into the spider-like stage setup for the Monster tour.

“Paul [Stanley] came in and started scribbling and said, ‘What about this?’ We all said, ‘Wow, that’s great,’ and handed the piece of paper over to [Kiss manager] Doc McGhee and said, ‘Build this.’ ”

Simmons has made music his business, and he’s not about to let details slip away from him now that the group is on the home stretch. He is asked constantly to speak at business functions, and does so — if the price is right. What he learned along the way he learned on his own, the hard way. He didn’t blink when 2009’s Sonic Boom gave Kiss the highest chart debut of its career, nor was he surprised when its followup, 2012’s Monster, hit the top spot on the U.S. hard-rock charts.

Had the group behind Rock and Roll All Nite, Shout It Out Loud, Detroit Rock City and Beth failed to meet expectations, Simmons would have failed in his job as the caretaker of all things Kiss.

“If you approach this thing like a job, that’s good. Turn the TV off, turn the phones off, pick up your instrument and take out your notepad, and sit there. In other words, put in the time. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit you.”


A.L.I.V.E.!, the new band put together strictly out of a passion for '70s-era KISS was formed by good timing and happenstance! Rex Brown (bass; PANTERA, KILL DEVIL HILL), Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (guitar; GUNS N' ROSES), Brian Thomas Tichy (drums; WHITESNAKE, QUEENSRŸCHE, OZZY OSBOURNE, S.U.N.) and Mark Zavon (guitar; KILL DEVIL HILL), all ended up working together on rock journalist Mitch Lafon's KISS 40th-anniversary tribute album for cancer care: "A World With Heroes". This serendipitous occurrence came to be when Rex and Tichy laid down bass and drums on Bumblefoot's version of "Detroit Rock City" in which not only does Thal play all guitars, he sings all vocals. Tichy also tracked drums, backgrounds, rhythm and leads (along with Zavon) to Rex and Zavon's version of "Larger Than Life". Rex makes his debut lead vocal on this track.

When the e-mails started circling, it became apparent that they all shared the same love for KISS in the '70s. At the same time, they all were all somewhat shocked by how much Thal sounded like Paul Stanley and Rex like Gene Simmons on their tracks. Therein lay the set up leading to the formation of A.L.I.V.E.!

Says Brown: "We each got asked to play on this tribute album to benefit cancer research. Obviously, it was for a great cause and we wanted to be a part of it, but I think it also came from a place of real passion too. Each of us were hugely influenced by KISS early in our lives, so the chance to play on those tracks was a real honor. After we'd heard what we'd recorded, we thought it would be a lot of fun to do it live. As it turned out, Mark and I had just finished recording the upcoming KILL DEVIL HILL album, and had a small window of time this summer before we head out on the road again. The timing perfectly coincided with breaks in Ron and Brian's schedules as well, so we decided to put this thing together!"

A.L.I.V.E.! is a as much of of a "thank you" to KISS as it is a tribute. Brown, Thal, Tichy and Zavon won't be in costume and greasepaint, making this even more of a true tribute to the music that changed them when they first heard it.

Rex continues: "I remember I was in seventh grade and this chick had a copy of 'Alive!' I swiped it and it changed the future of rock and roll as I know it!! They were like 'gods' to this scrawny kid from Texas learning to play guitar!! They are one of the reasons I jam to this day!! I got to open up for them numerous times in stadiums and it's the attitude and the songs, not the schtick, that I go back to every time!!"

Tichy adds: "I thought KISS 'Alive!' was the loudest record ever when I first heard it! KISS was the first band I got into. Peter Criss was my first drum idol and he is where I started as a drummer! When the idea of all of us going for this together was brought up, we all reacted with unbridled excitement to how much fun and how powerful this could be! I can't wait to play with these badass musicians I am proud to call friends!"

When asked about KISS' influence on him, Thal said: "Hearing the KISS 'Alive!' album at the age of 5 is what made me want to play guitar and join a band. I'm looking forward to playing the songs that launched my life!"

Zavon said: "When I was 14 I borrowed 'Destroyer' from the public library and have never been the same since."

A.L.I.V.E.! will perform material off KISS' hugely influential "Alive!" and "Alive II" records as well as some of their personal favorites.

Rex Brown is celebrating his birthday on July 27 and the band have decided that would be a perfect time to launch A.L.I.V.E! The Rex Brown Birthday Bash featuring A.L.I.V.E.! will take place on the following dates:

July 24 - The Whiskey - Hollywood, CA
July 25 - LVCS - Las Vegas, NV

Go to this location to listen to snippets of the songs that brought this all together.

Stampede Concert Series Update

We regret to inform fans that the four Stampede concerts scheduled in the Saddledome cannot proceed as scheduled due to the damages the facility suffered during the recent flooding. The concerts that were scheduled are:
Carly Rae Jepsen – Wednesday, July 10
Tim McGraw – Thursday, July 11
Dixie Chicks – Friday July 12
KISS – Saturday, July 13

Three Sides Of The Coin

Did Gene Simmons Family Jewels Save KISS & the AXS TV Live Monster Concert: Video.


The great guitarist Tommy Thayer of KISS supports his good friends Scott Medlock & Robby Krieger each year for their Celebrity Golf & Concert Event benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Special Thanks to Tommy, Gene Simmons, Nick Simmons and all the other incredibly generous Rock Stars who support St. Jude.

Scott Medlock & Robby Krieger's 2013 Celebrity Golf & Concert Event benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital takes place on September 16th. (Video)



Click here to read part 2 of the KISS News Archive