AXS TV will broadcast the “MendingKids.org! 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, MendingKids.org! 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, MendingKids.org 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.
“‘MendingKids.org! 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. “MendingKids.org! 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.
“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.
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.
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.
It’s the 79th installment of PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!
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
Wednesday, April 16 – Los Angeles - 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
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
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.
The multi-million dollar ad campaign includes airings on FOX, NBC, CBS, TBS, AMC, Discover, USA, History, Comedy Central, Fuse, VH1 and TNT.
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.
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
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."
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.
"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 hardrock.com, 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.
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 ThatMetalShow.VH1.com 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.
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.
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.
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 JohnVarvatos.com 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.
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.”
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 www.fairmont.com/kea/kiss-rock-roll/.
“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 www.fairmont.com/kea/kiss-rock-roll/.
Rock & Brews Paia is located at 120 Hana Highway in Paia. For more information, please visit www.rockandbrews.com.
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.
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.
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."
"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 Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster.ca, 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.
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
* Lick It Up
* Psycho Circus
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.
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]"
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."
“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. “
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 Amazon.com) 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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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 www.rockhall.com.
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.
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 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
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.
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.”
IF YOU GO
What: Alice Cooper’s 13th annual Christmas Pudding
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
Where: Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix
Information: (602) 379-280
According to KissOnline.com, 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.
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 www.rockcamp.com, or call (888) 762-2263.
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.
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.
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.
LIVE BID: Become a Member of the KISS Entourage on Their 40th Anniversary Tour on 2 Back to Back Shows - https://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/437109
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 - https://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/437107
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 - https://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/437108
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-243-3900 for more details or with any questions.
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)."
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: thekissroom.com.
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: thekissroom.com.
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.
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 Billboard.com 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 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.
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.
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.
Here's a special message from Gene Simmons: Video.
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.
“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.
“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 Radio.com 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.”
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.
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: www.restfinance.com or call 1-800-528-3296.
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 Ebay.com 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.
What was your fav KISS Magazine of all time?
It’s the 77th installment of PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!
Listen here: podkisst.com.
Anything For My Baby
Shout It Out Loud
Do You Love Me
Hell Or Hallelujah
Lick It Up
Let Me Know
Detroit Rock City
Rock And Roll All nite
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
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 Billboard.com. 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).
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.
"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."
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.
Listen to Matt Porter in the studio with:
• Starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISSTORY!
• KISS fan CHRIS ANN COLVIN!
• 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: thekissroom.com.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* Gene Simmons (KISS)
* Paul Stanley (KISS)
* Eric Singer (KISS)
* Tommy Thayer (KISS)
* Alice Cooper
* Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE)
* Rob Zombie
* Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER)
* Tom Keifer (CINDERELLA)
* Stephen Pearcy (RATT)
* Joey Tempest (EUROPE)
* John Norum (EUROPE)
* Jack Blades (NIGHT RANGER)
* Kip Winger (WINGER)
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 .
- Starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISS IT!
- KISS fan DOTTI JONES!
- KISS fan MICHELLE BREEN!
- SuperFan ANDY with a KISS Kruise Kommentary!
- and BILLY McGUFFY from EXTREME CREATIONZ!
- 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: thekissroom.com.
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
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.
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.
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."
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+.
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...
"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"
"I Stole Your Love"
"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.
“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.’ ”
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).
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.
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?
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 lakissfootball.com 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.
Buy your copy on Nothin' To Lose here: Hardcover, Kindle.
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 Billboard.com 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.
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)
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 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.”
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."
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 calgarystampede.com.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.”
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.”
"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! www.hondacenter.com/lakiss
"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 (www.arenafootball.com), 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 www.lakissfootball.com.
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 www.njkissexpo.com.
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: thekissroom.com.
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.
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.
All this – and rare tunes, too – on PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears! Listen here.
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 pacificu.edu/legends.
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."
A couple of photos from the most recent studio sessions can be seen here: Pic1, Pic2.
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.
“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)
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: thekissroom.com
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."
"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."
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.
“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.”
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.
Scott Medlock & Robby Krieger's 2013 Celebrity Golf & Concert Event benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital takes place on September 16th. http://medlockkriegerinvitational.com (Video)