KISS News Archive Part 1

SC guitarist faces child pornography charge

(charlotteobserver.com) (Mug shot) A former guitarist of Wicked Lester, the rock and roll band that preceded Kiss, was arrested in Beaufort County on Friday, accused of uploading child pornography.

Stephen Coronel, 63, of Bluffton was charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor following a search of his Plantation Pointe apartment, Sgt. Robin McIntosh of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies seized a number of electronic devices and other evidence, McIntosh said. Additional details were not available Friday, McIntosh said, citing the pending forensic analysis of evidence.

The investigation began when the U.S. Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force determined child pornography had been uploaded from a home in Bluffton, McIntosh said.

The task force and Sheriff's Office tracked the material to Coronel's home.

In 1970 and 1971, Coronel was a member of New York-based band Wicked Lester before members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley left to form Kiss.

Wicked Lester did not release an album, though Coronel helped write several songs that later appeared on Kiss albums.

Ace Frehley Says One Nice Thing About Each Former KISS Bandmate

Ace Frehley Says One Nice Thing About Each Former KISS Bandmate: video.

ACE FREHLEY: PAUL STANLEY Is 'One Of The Sloppiest Guitar Players Out There'

In the October issue of Metropolis Nights magazine, legendary KISS guitarist Ace Frehley sits down with celebrity journalist Chaunce Hayden and opens up about his relationship with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow below.

Chaunce Hayden: Recently, in Guitar World magazine, Paul [Stanley] said that you had lost a lot of your guitar skills and what a shame it was. How does that make you feel?

Ace Frehley: "I didn't read that, but I think that's hysterical. For Paul to try and say something negative against me as a guitar player? Come on! He should listen to himself playing live. He's one of the sloppiest guitar players out there. He's more worried about jumping around and pointing his finger. That's been the problem since the beginning of KISS. We all used to yell at him for making so many mistakes. I would try and cover for him. So for him to take a shot at my guitar playing…. Is he out of his mind?"

Chaunce Hayden: Vindication?

Ace Frehley: "Like I said, any of my critics now look foolish. That includes Paul and Gene and whoever else is on the bandwagon. They like to call me a drunk and a drug addict and everything else under the sun. The fact is I'm now enjoying eight years of sobriety as of yesterday. I continue to follow that road and put one foot in front of the other. One day at a time I get through it. It's really disheartening for people to continue to badger me and call me a loser just because I made some mistakes in the past. We should put that to bed. That's ancient history at this juncture. My body of work has stood the test of time and I know what I'm capable of doing. One thing Paul and Gene can never say about me is that in concert I always came through and delivered."

Chaunce Hayden: How do you feel about the new football reality show Gene and Paul are putting together for the AMC channel?

Ace Frehley: "I think they should put more time in the studio and maybe they would make better records. [Laughs]"

Chaunce Hayden: There was a rumor that you moved out of your house because you claimed it was haunted. Fact or fiction?

Ace Frehley: "That was true! I was living with my fiancée and we had to move out. She was pushed down a flight of stairs and a lot of things happened to me. I felt like I got punched in the face while up in the attic. Things were always flying around and moving. My fiancée is very psychic and she sees aberrations all the time. I don't see them, but she does. She's that sensitive."

Chaunce Hayden: We talking about ghosts?

Ace Frehley: "I don't know what they are. They could be inter-dimensional people or spirits that haven't found their way. But there's definitely something out there. I've experienced too many weird things to discount that something out there doesn't exist besides us.

Tommy Thayer, Sebastian Bach Perform At 'Scott Medlock - Robby Krieger' All-Star Concert

Video 1, Video 2, Video 3, Video 4, Video 5, Video 6, Video 7, Video 8, Video 9, Video 10.

Ace Frehley tour dates

Nov. 13 - New Brunswick, NJ - State Theatre
Nov. 14 - Sugar Loaf, NY - Sugar Loaf PAC
Nov. 15 - Greensburg, PA - Palace Theatre
Nov. 17 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre
Nov. 18 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head
Nov. 20 - Huntington, NY - Paramount
Nov. 21 - Uncasville, CT - Wolf Den
Nov. 22 - Atlantic City, NJ - Music Box @ Borgata
Nov. 24 - New York, NY - B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Nov. 25 - New York, NY - B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Nov. 26 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre

One On One 49 - Ace Frehley

(Listen) Legendary (former) KISS guitarist ACE FREHLEY and Queensrÿche guitarist, Michael Wilton, join Mitch on Episode 49 of One On One with Mitch Lafon. This episode was co-hosted by Creatures Of The Net Podcast host Cassius Morris.

In our first interview, iconic guitarist ACE FREHLEY talks to Mitch about his upcoming tour and new album, SPACE INVADER. The pair also discuss Richie Scarlet re-joining him on his upcoming tour, the recording of KISS’ Psycho Circus album, whether of not The Joker was an appropriate song to cover, his upcoming second book, his upcoming covers album, who was/is the best KISS drummer, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, was the Frehley’s Comet CD Second Sighting really a Tod Howarth solo album, the probability of reforming with Four By Fate’s John Regan and Tod Howarth and much more.

Kiss' 'Love Gun' Album Reportedly Getting Deluxe Edition Reissue

(ultimateclassicrock.com) Kiss fans will soon be able to pull the trigger on an even bigger ‘Love Gun.’

Universal Denmark has announced plans to reissue the band’s 1977 release, adding a second disc of demos, live cuts and interviews to a newly remastered version of the original recording. The new package reportedly comes with liner notes written by Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott, who’s obviously still feeling the buzz from the two bands spending time on the road together.

“The band’s sixth studio recording, ‘Love Gun’ was the first album to feature lead vocal performances from all four original band members, and the last studio album with the original Kiss lineup,” enthuses the label’s press release. “‘Love Gun’ has since gone on to sell more than four million copies worldwide.”

The ‘Love Gun’ deluxe edition is scheduled to arrive in European stores on Oct. 28; as of this writing, it isn’t known whether that release date applies to the U.S., or even whether Universal intends to carry over the reissue to the States. Check out the track listing below, and decide whether you’ll be importing the record when it comes out.

‘Love Gun’ Deluxe Edition Track Listing

Disc One (original album)
‘I Stole Your Love’
‘Christine Sixteen’
‘Got Love for Sale’
‘Shock Me’
‘Tomorrow and Tonight’
‘Love Gun’
‘Hooligan’
‘Almost Human’
‘Plaster Caster’
‘Then She Kissed Me’

Disc Two (bonus tracks)
‘Much Too Soon’ (Demo)
‘Plaster Caster’ (Demo)
‘Reputation’ (Demo)
‘Love Gun’ (Teaching Demo)
‘Love Gun’ (Demo)
Gene Simmons Interview (1977)
‘Tomorrow and Tonight’ (Demo)
‘I Know Who You Are’ (Demo)
‘Love Gun’ (Live in Largo, MD 1977)
‘Christine Sixteen’ (Live in Largo, MD 1977)
‘Shock Me’ (Live in Largo, MD 1977)

ACE FREHLEY Announces Lineup Of His Touring Band

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has announced the touring lineup for the first leg of his first U.S. shows in four years.

The 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee has tapped none other than Richie Scarlet, who rode shotgun performing rhythm guitar and vocal duties on Ace's "Trouble Walkin" platter in 1989, and will do so again on stage. Richie toured with Ace in 1984 and 1985 and periodically from 1989 through 1995 and was also known for touring with Sebastian Bach.

On bass and vocals will be Chris Wyse from Queens, New York. Previously recording with Ozzy Osbourne and playing on Mick Jagger's 2001 solo album, Chris is well known as the bass player from THE CULT since 2006. Chris can also be heard on Frehley's new album, "Space Invader", on select tracks. He also covers bass duties in his current band OWL.

Finally, Scot Coogan will be behind the drum kit for Frehley's upcoming tour. Coogan played with Frehley for five years until 2012 when he left Ace's band to focus on other projects. He has since toured and recorded with LYNCH MOB and sat behind the kit for Lita Ford on the 2012 "Rock Of Ages" tour with DEF LEPPARD and POISON.

"I consider Ace a friend, and I will always be his drummer," Scot said. "When he called me about doing shows, I was honored. We are both excited to have the chance to play together once again."

Coogan recently completed work on the debut album from RED ZONE RIDER, a three-piece band also featuring world-class guitar hero Vinnie Moore (UFO) and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Keeling. RED ZONE RIDER's self-titled CD was made available on September 16 via Magna Carta.

Says Frehley: "I can't wait to hit the road again with this new lineup. I'll be performing Ace classics as well as songs off my new CD, 'Space Invader', for the enjoyment of the fans. Let there be rock!"

Matt Starr, the featured drummer on "Space Invader", will spend the next few months touring with MR. BIG as the replacement for Pat Torpey, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from Frehley in five years, sold around 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music).

Ace's previous CD, "Anomaly", opened with around 17,000 units back in September 2009 to debut at No. 27.

"Space Invader", which was made available in Europe on August 18 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, includes 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker".

A Bunch Of B.S. With Brian Steward: Former KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK

A Bunch Of B.S. With Brian Steward: Former KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK: Listen.

MIPCOM: Kiss' Gene Simmons & Sierra/Engine To Fire Up 'Coliseum'

Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons is putting his own spin on the musical competition show format. The singer-bassist, together with Sierra/Engine Television, will be launching Coliseum at MIPCOM next month. Created by Simmons and Chris Philip, CEO of Sierra/Engine Television, Coliseum involves multiple contestants from all musical genres, forming bands to create an unforgettable act. Simmons will coach evolving acts on the show, which will culminate in a battle-of-the-bands concert. The fate of the bands lies in the hands of the Rock Caesar (Simmons) and the crowd. Each week, three guests from the recording industry will provide commentary. On the Croisette, Simmons will be pitching and offering his take on international versions of Coliseum. Sierra/Engine will handle global rights to the series in all media. The format also was developed by the Format People’s Justin Scroggie and Michel Rodrigue. Simmons and Paul Stanley’s docu series 4th And Loud is currently airing on AMC. It takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the inaugural season of the Arena Football League’s L.A. Kiss. For nine seasons, Simmons starred in his own realty series on A&E, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, and he also toplined VH1’s Gene Simmons’ Rock School for VH-1 for two seasons.

THE KISS ROOM - September 2014

(Listen) KISS ARMY, listen to the September edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded LIVE on Friday, September 12, 2014 and originally broadcast via MontcoRadio.com!

Matt Porter is joined in THE KISS ROOM by Joey Cassata (KISSNation & Z02), Loretta Caravello (ericcarr.com), Eric Toddorocks Carr (etrcthefox.com) and Bob Grover!

Former ACE FREHLEY Bassist ANTHONY ESPOSITO Says He Was 'Tossed Away' And 'Dissed' By Original KISS Guitarist

Former ACE FREHLEY Bassist ANTHONY ESPOSITO Says He Was 'Tossed Away' And 'Dissed' By Original KISS Guitarist: video.

Kiss raise over $1 million for Oregon Military Museum at acoustic concert

(oregonlive.com) Where would Kiss be without their makeup and electric guitars, without the arena fireworks that still draw tens of thousands to their shows?

On Sunday night, the answer was Lake Oswego. To raise money for the renovation of the Oregon Military Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame quartet shed their makeup for a rare acoustic set, performing at a charity gala at Rick and Erika Miller’s Jantzen Island estate.

The event was the third “All Star Salute” that members of the group have been involved in — though the first that’s been graced with a Kiss performance. The $15 million museum is a project close to Kiss lead guitarist (and Oregon native) Tommy Thayer’s heart: It’s set to be named after his father, Brigadier General James B. Thayer, now 93, a World War II hero who liberated a Nazi death camp in 1945. As Mike Francis has reported, his actions may have saved Kiss bassist Gene Simmons’ mother, Flora Klein, who survived one such camp at the same time — which, exactly, has been lost to history.

Kiss and the Historical Outreach Foundation had hoped to raise $1 million at the intimate event, a number they beat on Sunday after a successful charity auction that saw Paul Stanley selling off one of his beloved guitars, played since 1989, for $20,000, among other prizes. Tickets to the evening ran $2,500 a person.

The Museum broke ground at Clackamas’ Camp Withycombe earlier this year, and is now halfway toward its $15 million fundraising goal.

Before the festivities and during the show, Kiss spoke of their commitment to the military and the “obligation” of supporting the Museum’s cause, but it was hardly a somber evening: drinks flowed and Stanley beckoned the small crowd to the front of the stage — and then onto it — in between tossing out an endless supply of guitar picks to the crowd. The band’s gone acoustic before, most famously in an MTV performance released in 1996, and Sunday’s set ran through rambunctious renditions of many of their “Unplugged” songs, including “Comin’ Home,” “Plaster Caster,” “Beth” and, of course, “Rock and Roll All Nite.”

Here’s the band’s full set list below. Look for interviews with Tommy Thayer and more shortly.

1. Comin’ Home
2. Hard Luck Woman
3. Calling Dr. Love
4. Do You Love Me?
5. Plaster Caster
6. Shout It Out Loud
7. Got to Choose
8. Christine Sixteen
9. Lick It Up
10. Goin’ Blind
11. Love Her All I Can
12. Hide Your Heart
13. Beth
14. Rock and All All Nite

Jade's 'Let Sign Shine' campaign wins celebrity support from Gene Simmons

Jade Chapman launched her “Let Sign Shine” campaign because she was worried that people with hearing difficulties, including her profoundly-deaf 10-year-old sister Laura, could become socially isolated if they are unable to communicate or understand spoken conversations.

She initially wrote to her MP George Freeman, and received a reply from children’s minister Edward Timpson in June, saying work was under way to develop a GCSE in British sign language (BSL), but it would be up to schools to “decide on what is right for them to teach”.

Since then, the 17-year-old Dereham Sixth Form student has collected more than 2,000 signatures on a petition which she hopes will eventually gather enough momentum to have the issue discussed in parliament.

Her campaign has already received national recognition from some famous faces, with BBC TV presenter Nick Knowles sending a personal email of support, and Matthew Wright from Channel 5 tweeting her petition link to his followers on social media.

But, as a rock music fan, Jade was “overwhelmed” to have also been retweeted by members of two stadium-filling US bands – Gene Simmons of Kiss, and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

She said: “To begin with it is a bit hard to believe. I have to let it sink in and then aim even higher. I’m not sure how much higher we can get, but I will keep getting signatures. My petition has got 2,086 signatures, and I hope to get more from the new Year 12s when they come in to the college. Maybe we can get 10,000, which is enough to get it discussed in parliament.

“The support is getting there, even if there is still a way to go, I will not give up. I didn’t expect it to get this far, so I will continue with the campaign, that’s for sure.”

Jade said Nick Knowles, host of the DIY SOS show, replied after she contacted him via his web page. “I contacted quite a lot of people, but he was the only one who emailed back,” she said. “I used to watch him on TV as a kid. He said he has made deaf friends down the pub and he wishes he could communicate through sign language.”

Jade’s campaign has also seen her become a finalist in the education section of the Norfolk and Suffolk Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, and she was among the final 15 of 660 young people nominated for the national BBC Radio 1 teen awards.

She said: “It would help with general awareness if I won one of them – but it was not my aim to win awards. I just want to achieve the aim of my campaign, which is to get sign language taught in schools, and to stop the isolation which deaf people feel.”

Jade and Laura live on South Green in Dereham with their younger brother Luke, and parents Matt and Jo. Laura goes to Colman Junior School in Norwich, where they have a specialist deaf unit.

Jade’s Facebook Page is called Let Sign Shine and her online petition is at https://www.change.org/p/schools-to-teach-sign-language.

Gene Simmons: Sad Rice's Wife Isn't 'Copping To Fact She Was Abused'

When an American icon talks, you listen.

The rock bass guitarist, singer-songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, and lead vocalist of Kiss Gene Simmons, joined the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show on Friday morning to discuss a variety of topics and to promote his charity MendingKids.org, which sends doctors all over the world to perform surgeries to underprivileged kids.

Simmons, of course, addressed the Ray Rice situation.

“We’re all in the peanut gallery,” Simmons said on Friday. “None of us know the specifics expect what we saw on TV. And if the NFL knew about it, whether it is the commissioner or anybody else, they’re held accountable. But the saddest part of all is that, and look I’m not involved, we’re just watching it on TV so we really don’t know all the details, but it’s sad that [Ray] Rice’s wife or fiance isn’t copping to the fact that she was abused. More than abused, knocked out, the physical stuff. That guy needs, well my opinion is, if he was in jail for a day and became somebody’s girlfriend maybe he’d knew what abuse is life, but that’s another story. I’m against physical violence of anybody. You raise your hand to somebody you should he held accountable, not just in the legal system. It’s unsportsmanlike.”

Listen: Gene Simmons on the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show.

As a co-owner of the Arena football team the LA Kiss, Simmons was asked if he would ever want to own an NFL team.

“It’s not appealing and I’ll tell you why, because the politics there are so much and mired in nonsense,” Simmons told Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show. “I think elevators should be padded, don’t you?”

ACE FREHLEY Talks To GUITAR CENTER

ACE FREHLEY Talks To GUITAR CENTER About Musical Beginnings, Relationship With GIBSON And LES PAUL: Video

Voice Doctor Who Treats Kiss' Paul Stanley Shares His Advice to Rock-Star Clients

(hollywoodreporter.com) (Video) Back in Hollywood’s Golden Era, when Frank Sinatra or Judy Garland sought a voice doctor, only Dr. Ed Kantor would do. During the late 1970s, Kantor added a protege to his practice named Dr. Joe Sugerman It quickly became clear that Sugerman, a brilliant physician with an easy bedside manner who could coax even the most inconsolably hoarse diva off a ledge, was the right choice.

Sugerman went on to inherit Kantor’s practice, and among his first wave of rock-star patients was Kiss co-frontman Paul Stanley.

"We immediately hit it off," recalls Stanley, 62. It was Stanley who first gave Sugerman a framed gold Kiss record to hang in his office.

Says Sugerman: "When other singers came in and saw it on the wall, they said, ‘Hey, what about me?'

Now his Beverly Hills medical suite could be confused with a record producer’s office, with albums from Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks, The Rolling Stones and Madonna. ("For Joe," reads a handwritten inscription from Barbra Streisand. "Who was there in 2006 and is always there for me now.")

Sugerman says the past few years have seen the biggest change in three decades of treating super- stars as concerts have become the industry’s main revenue generators.

"People are on tour for a year at a time, singing six or seven nights a week," he says. "And they just get into trouble." Sugerman advises that patients find a vocal coach, skip the pizza before bedtime (the acid can wreak havoc) and hold off on aspirin (which can lead to hemorrhages). While he doesn’t make house calls, Sugerman does avail himself to preferred clients if they should, say, find themselves struggling to hit those high notes in "Detroit Rock City" while on the road.

"I’ve had the good fortune of waking him up," laughs Stanley, recounting a recent call he made to Sugerman in full Kiss makeup while backstage at a gig in Japan. "It’s a wonderful thing to have your doctor at your disposal. I try not to abuse it."

Ace Frehley Reveals Which Rock Star He'd Bring Back From the Dead

Ace Frehley Reveals Which Rock Star He'd Bring Back From the Dead: video.

SLASH: Why PAUL STANLEY Told Me To Go F**k Myself

SLASH: Why PAUL STANLEY Told Me To Go F**k Myself: video.

Ace Frehley Gives Us a Ride Around His Old Bronx Stomping Grounds

(http://blogs.villagevoice.com) Two Naked Cowboys, one Spanish-speaking SpongeBob, a headless Hello Kitty, and an ersatz version of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" all vie for attention on a teeming, muggy, late-summer Times Square afternoon. Unbeknownst to the masses, though, the coolest cartoon character of all is dining on salmon sushi on the second floor of nearby Bluefin restaurant. Ace Frehley, Kiss's onetime Spaceman, is still spacey after all these years: to wit, his just-released solo record, entitled Space Invader. It's the 63-year-old guitar icon's fifth solo outing since his self-titled effort back in 1978.

Frehley, in sunglasses and a striped button-down shirt, flashes back to that moment before the coordinated September 18, 1978, release of all four Kiss solo efforts. "We all had a big meeting sitting around the table prior to going our separate ways for those records, and the others were a little cynical to me, kind of hinting, 'Hey, if you need any help, we're here if you need us.' As if I did need help, you know?" remembers Frehley with a slight hint of aggro. "It kind of just put fuel on the fire for me to work twice as hard on my solo record. We all know what happened."

What happened was Frehley's nine-song LP was both the critics' favorite and best-selling of the solo discs (it went Platinum), thanks in part to a song that would become his hallmark, the Russ Ballard (Argent)-penned stomp-along anthem "New York Groove." On August 12, some 37 years after he first recorded it, Frehley sat in with the Roots to play the song on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the band laughingly following Frehley's orders -- "I think it's just a cunt-hair faster," he instructed between commercial breaks in his trademark nasal Noo Yawk drawl, as the tuba blatted out the tune's signature riff.

Three or four times during the course of recording Space Invader, which took 10 months, Frehley "sat down and threw on my old '78 solo album. I tried to take elements from that record and incorporate into this new record, because fans are always psyched that it's their favorite Ace record."

One of those fans is Tom Morello, the revolutionary Rage Against the Machine guitarist who inducted Kiss into the Hall of Fame in 2014 with an elegant, on-the-money speech and was the band's biggest champion in the behind-closed-doors nominating committee meetings. "I don't think anyone, even the members of Kiss, would argue that Ace's ['78 solo album] was the best one. It was fantastic," Morello says. "His core sensibility was that he just wanted to rock, he had no artistic pretense, there was no aiming for hits, and it was just a great rock 'n' roll dude making a rock record."

Frehley is inarguably the most down-to-earth and accessible of the original four. For casual rock fans, there's often confusion when Kiss comes to town with the Spaceman on guitar. Make that a Spaceman, one Tommy Thayer, formerly Kiss's tour manager. Frehley and Thayer were initially very friendly, though the time came when Frehley sensed Thayer might join the band -- which he did, in February 2003, stepping into the boots Frehley had been occupying for the Kiss reunion that lasted from 1996 to 2002.

"I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a Kiss cover band [L.A.'s Cold Gin]," Frehley says. Any lingering ill will is in perspective: "He didn't do anything; he was hired by Paul and Gene to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos -- a business deal.

"Look, if he wouldn't have done it, they would have hired somebody else," reasons Frehley. "I walked out on the band; I quit. What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup like they did with [other Ace replacements] Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That's what the fans are upset about."

Guitarist/singer and former Runaway Lita Ford concurs, though she observes, "I always thought that anyone could hide behind Kiss's makeup. The band could grow old and no one could see through the makeup: a brilliant idea. Tommy Thayer is one hell of a nice guy but he is not Ace Frehley and shouldn't be in Ace's shoes. There is only one Ace!"

Well, technically, now there are two, and Thayer is currently pimping a guitar (created with Epiphone) called the "Space Man." "I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?" snorts Frehley. "But I don't really want to talk about Tommy Thayer," he adds, half-apologetically. "Let's talk about me."

There's plenty to talk about. Two days later Frehley is game for a tour of his old neighborhood in the Bronx, and in fact, is an eager participant in planning multiple stops. Leaving Manhattan via the Westside Highway on a light-traffic Friday, he's a bit on edge. But as the old highway exits and landmarks spark memories, his spirits lift.

First stop is the campus of the 21-acre high school where a young Paul Daniel Frehley nursed his rock 'n' roll dreams, along with many an illicit beer at the park across the street. A man in a blue minivan pulls to a stop and starts singing "New York Groove" out his passenger-side window as he spots Frehley posing for photos outside DeWitt Clinton High. Frehley's just one of dozens of notable alumni, including Ralph Lauren, comic legend Stan Lee, composer Richard Rodgers, and director Robert Altman.

As we drive around the Bedford Park section of his former Bronx 'hood, he's quick to give directions in his raspy voice, and to point out the numerous personal landmarks -- the Lebanon Hospital where he was born; the now-funeral home where he used to get his "Easter suits"; Poe Park (as in Edgar Allan), site where a teenage Ace gave his first outdoor concert; and the girls school (Academy of Mount St. Ursula) where he and his buddies hoped for a windy day to lift Catholic-school skirts. We stop at the former Grace Lutheran Church, and he gestures toward a set of windows. "I was in this classroom, writing on the blackboard, when a guy walked in and said, 'President Kennedy's been shot,' " he says. "Right there. I was also in that school when we landed on the moon."

Pulling up to his old apartment house on Marion Avenue near 201st Street, Frehley, even behind the sunglasses and cracking-wise demeanor, is clearly moved. From the sidewalk, he points up to the second floor. "I used to put my amp in that window," he recalls, as we sneak into the six-story brick building for a look-see when two kids emerge.

We stop by the Bronx Park, headquarters for the long-gone Ducky Gang Ace used to be part of in his youth. The heels of Frehley's python boots click as he walks to a circle overlooking baseball diamonds and French Charley's Playground. He stops. "This is where the Ducky Gang would hang out, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and as the evening got later ... if you had had a buzz on, take a little walk with a chick and a blanket into the park ... and I'll leave it up to your imagination. Or from here we'd leave to go to a rumble, end up in some sort of schoolyard fighting another gang."

If his youth was like a scene from American Graffiti or Grease, by his later teens Frehley had left his pals (one of whom "stabbed a guy and did five years up the river -- Sing Sing") for the lure of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. But namely rock, the young Frehley meeting James Brown and Jimi Hendrix in his formative years. (Opening for the former, roadie-ing for the latter at a Randall's Island show.)

Frehley remembers the "nod" he got from Hendrix and how it put him on "cloud nine." Now he's the one giving the nod to younger players. "Yeah, I have to remember that," he says. "I have to remember the impact I have had on other guitar players. I have to sometimes pay attention a little more, because I am always running around like a maniac."

Indeed. Four busy days after his nostalgia trip, Space Invader launches. It's Frehley's second album done sober -- the last time he fell off the wagon was with Slash, in Las Vegas. "We were drinking Red Bulls and vodka at the VH1 Rock Gods [May 2006] and Kiss was getting awarded. I got the ring and Tommy [Thayer] performed, and I had to leave and ended up hooking up with four broads from Canada. There you go."

Frehley delivers a "bada bing bada boom" before continuing: "Maybe subconsciously I was looking for an excuse -- my mother had just passed away -- so people that have addiction problems look to excuses and try to blame their relapses on other people," he says. "Over the years I've come to the realization that's just a scapegoat. You relapse because you want to get high and you want to feel that feeling again. Luckily, I'm past that point now. I haven't felt that urge in many years."

Of course, band leader and tough-love enthusiast Gene Simmons has always painted Frehley as the type of fall-down drunk who couldn't get his act together long enough to do his job consistently. He's leveraged that narrative to push the guitarist out over the years to suit his own needs. Their relationship is complicated, painful, and -- perhaps most surprisingly -- ongoing.

Kiss fans take sides, and when you've got the usually politically incorrect Gene Simmons babbling on about everything from suicide to immigrants, it's an easy job to be anti-Simmons. Frehley, however, wants to lay a common misconception to rest. He doesn't hate Simmons. "The press made out that we hated each other, which wasn't true. I called Gene just a few months ago when I was mixing my record. I was driving up to L.A., and after five minutes of talking, he started bringing up stuff that happened in the '70s, when we used to drive around in station wagons. We were on the phone for almost half an hour," he recalls. "He wouldn't let me off the phone. There's all this rivalry that the press tries to draw out of us, to have a dialogue going on."

With total worldwide sales of more than 100 million records, it's small wonder that there's eternal curiosity about the band's Kiss-story. Though he's no longer a cog in the Kiss machine, the everyman aspect Ace embodies is revered by musicians and fans alike. In taking over the Kiss guitar role, but not the Spaceman character, ex-Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick (1984–1996) joined when the band took off the makeup. Of playing songs that Frehley originated, Kulick says, "I always look for 'signature riffs' of a solo that must be there. I wasn't asked to copy Ace, but again, solo parts that define a song melodically I always respect."

Kiss toured for many years sans Ace -- 1983 to 1995, and now again since 2002 -- and Frehley has never seen a Kiss show he didn't play. But his guitar playing, with and without Kiss, remains the signature same.

Frehley, who uses a two-handed tapping technique employing his guitar pick to tap, doesn't know if he or Eddie Van Halen did it first. He does remember, though, that "Gene discovered Van Halen. He wanted to produce their first album, and we told him no. Gene was always going off half-cocked, trying to do more things ... like he still does today." Unable to resist a little dig, he adds, "If Kiss would stop fooling around with football teams and restaurants, they might put out a better record next time." Despite a few barbs, it's clear Frehley, the lovable street-smart boor, still retains a fondness for Simmons -- if akin to the true brotherly love-hate you might find in the Kinks or Oasis.

The Kiss shadow may loom large, but it's not a darkness. Frehley is amenable to glancing back at the boy he was before the man in makeup, and revisiting his 17(ish) albums with Kiss, which began with demos at the legendary Electric Lady Studios, where we stop for more reminiscing. Then it's to the corner (23rd Street and Eighth Avenue), where Frehley, amid the afternoon crush, strikes the same pose as on the 1975 Dressed to Kill album.

Frehley is handed a printout of the original Village Voice ad that brought him to the members of Kiss, then going by Wicked Lester, at a studio on 23rd Street near Madison. He studies it closely, silently. "Lead guitarist wanted with flash and ability," it reads.

"Yep, that's it," he finally says. And 41 years later, it's still him too.

Dylan, Kiss, others cover McCartney on new tribute

Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, Billy Joel and more than two dozen other artists will sing their favorite Paul McCartney songs on The Art of Paul McCartney, a massive tribute project due this fall.

On the album, due Nov. 18, Dylan sings the early Beatles song Things We Said Today, Robinson covers So Bad from 1983's Pipes of Peace and Joel plays piano man on two early solo songs Maybe I'm Amazed and Live and Let Die. Kiss will cover the Wings' medley Venus and Mars/Rock Show.

Rolling Stone premiered a version of the Beatles' 1967 hit Hello Goodbye recorded by The Cure and McCartney's son, James, on Tuesday.

The project got its start 11 years ago when producer Ralph Sall got McCartney's approval to start work on it and record several songs with the singer's backing band. Brian Wilson came on board first, choosing to sing Wanderlust from McCartney's 1982 album Tug of War. The album also features covers by artists ranging from B.B. King to Def Leppard to Owl City.

The standard version of The Art of McCartney will contain 34 tracks, but a deluxe version will boast eight additional covers, a DVD, a hardbound book and, in some cases, more. The packages are available for pre-order.

The Art Of McCartney Track List:
Maybe I'm Amazed, Billy Joel
Things We Said Today, Bob Dylan
Band on the Run, Heart
Junior's Farm, Steve Miller
The Long and Winding Road, Yusuf Islam
My Love, Harry Connick, Jr.
Wanderlust, Brian Wilson
Bluebird, Corinne Bailey Rae
Yesterday, Willie Nelson
Junk, Jeff Lynne
When I'm 64, Barry Gibb
Every Night, Jamie Cullum
Venus and Mars/Rock Show, Kiss
Let Me Roll It, Paul Rodgers
Helter Skelter, Roger Daltrey
Helen Wheels, Def Leppard
Hello Goodbye, The Cure feat. James McCartney
Live and Let Die, Billy Joel
Let It Be, Chrissie Hynde
Jet, Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen
Hi Hi Hi, Joe Elliott
Letting Go, Heart
Hey Jude, Steve Miller
Listen to What the Man Said, Owl City
Got to Get You Into My Life, Perry Farrell
Drive My Car, Dion
Lady Madonna, Allen Toussaint
Let 'Em In, Dr. John
So Bad, Smokey Robinson
No More Lonely Nights, The Airborne Toxic Event
Eleanor Rigby, Alice Cooper
Come and Get It, Toots Hibbert with Sly & Robbie
On the Way, B.B. King
Birthday, Sammy Hagard

The Art of McCartney deluxe edition bonus tracks:
C Moon, Robert Smith
Can't Buy Me Love, Booker T. Jones
P.S. I Love You, Ronnie Spector
All My Loving, Darlene Love
For No One, Ian McCulloch
Put It There, Peter, Bjorn and John
Run Devil Run, Wanda Jackson
Smile Away, Alice Cooper

Colossus -- Famous Roller Coaster Is ON FIRE!!

(Pic1, Pic2) Update: 3:05 PM PT -- The fire's out, and most of the coaster is still intact. The blaze was reportedly started, accidentally, by welders who were building the new Twisted Colossus.

One of Six Flags' most famous roller coasters ... the Colossus went up in flames Monday -- just weeks after the classic ride was shut down.

The fire engulfed a big chunk of the coaster's track ... burning completely through the wood and steel. Firefighters were called to the scene, North of Los Angeles, around 1:30 PM.

The 36-year-old roller coaster had just been shut down in August, so the park could start work on a new and improved version ... to be called Twisted Colossus.

Colossus has been featured in tons of TV shows and movies like "KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park", "National Lampoon's Vacation" ... "Wonder Woman" ... "Step by Step" .... "Knight Rider" and the "A-Team."

PodKISSt #93 “ASYLUM” Side:1

(Listen) We discuss “ASYLUM” Side:1! Ken & the Gang (Matt Porter, Chris Czynszak, Chris Karem & BJ Kramp) discuss this long requested album!

Flashback: Garth Brooks Becomes the Fifth Member of Kiss

(rollingstone.com) (Video) As Paul Stanley might exhort from the stage, "Who here likes Garth Brooks?!" Along with the nearly 20,000 who saw the country superstar perform his first comeback show last night in Chicago, Kiss sure did back in 1994. In the summer of that year, the hard-rock band recruited Brooks to perform with them on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

The appearance was timed to promote the release of the tribute album Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, which featured artists like Gin Blossoms, the Lemonheads, Anxthrax and Lenny Kravitz putting their spin on the rock monsters' best-known hits. At first glance a fish out of water, Brooks turned in one of the best tracks on the album, covering the acoustic ballad "Hard Luck Woman."

With Stanley on 12-string, Gene Simmons on bass, Bruce Kulick on guitar and Eric Singer behind the drums, the "unmasked" makeup-less Kiss performed the song live with Brooks on vocals for The Tonight Show. Written by Stanley and sung by the group's original drummer Peter Criss, the studio version of the song, released as a single in 1976, already had a country flair. Which was only amplified when Brooks wrapped his Oklahoma twang around the lyrics, both on record and on the Tonight Show stage.

An unabashed and vocal Kiss fan, the four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year drew inspiration from the band's outrageous stage show for his own performances. While not featuring fake blood and greasepaint, Brooks' Nineties concerts were nonetheless over the top. The singer swung on ropes, scaled lighting trusses and flew over the crowd on a harness — much like Stanley and Simmons perfected during their heyday.

Twenty years later, Brooks has returned, with his Kiss influences intact. During last night's tour kickoff at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, his stage featured an illuminated pretzel-like drum set that would make Criss or Singer drool and an enormous cube that doubled as a video screen.

Meanwhile, recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Kiss are still going strong. They just completed a summer tour with Def Leppard and are gearing up for a November residency in Las Vegas. And given the band's knack for always finding the most lucrative business decisions, they'd probably be available to back Garth one more time should he call. For the right price.

Scot Coogan Going Back on the Road with Legendary KISS Guitarist Ace Frehley

(vegasnews.com) Last night’s KISS Night in Las Vegas III, an annual event that celebrates the music of KISS and benefits the Imagine Foundation, a non-profit corporation created to help fund music and art programs in Clark County Schools, was a huge success!

A record breaking amount of donations were received and a capacity crowd packed Count’s Vamp’d, a popular Las Vegas rock bar, restaurant and venue.

During the festivities, Las Vegas based Drummer and Vocalist, Scot Coogan, announced his KISS related news: Coogan will be returning to the Ace Frehley band this fall, along with The Cult’s Chris Wyse, to support Frehley’s new album, Space Invader, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard Charts, selling over 20,000 copies in the first week of release. “I consider Ace a friend, and I will always be his drummer. When he called me last week about doing shows, I was honored. We are both excited to have the chance to play together once again.”

In 2012, Coogan took a break after 6 years from his drummer/lead vocalist duties with Frehley to focus on other projects. After touring with Lynch Mob and recording the critically acclaimed Sound Mountain Sessions, Coogan was recruited to drum for Lita Ford on the 2012 Rock of Ages tour with Def Leppard and Poison.

Coogan relocated to Las Vegas in January 2013, after being offered a position as Music Director and Rock Star Counselor at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. Scot instructed Rock Star for a Day sessions, Corporate Events and Fantasy Camps, most notably last November’s Modern Drummer sponsored Camp.

After an introduction in 2013 at Count’s Vamp’d, renowned Blue Man Group drummer Jeff Tortora gave Coogan the rare opportunity to drum for his avant-garde band, TINNITUS! After this performance, Coogan was recommended for an audition with Blue Man Group. As fate would have it, he landed this coveted gig and by July 2014, Coogan began performing at Blue Man Group Las Vegas, inside the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

Coogan has spent much of the past year establishing himself in the Las Vegas entertainment and music communities. He is now a regular on red carpets around town, performs steadily on the strip and at local venues. His reputation as a top notch session drummer proceeded him from Los Angeles and over the past year, Coogan has recorded dozens of original drum tracks for producers including seven time Grammy Award Winner Steve Thompson, Bobby Ferrari and Mike Varney.

Even with Ace Frehley tour dates on the horizon, Coogan will continue to perform with Blue Man Group and other local artists. Coogan is proud to consider Las Vegas his base of operations and home to his recording studio and production company, Break A Stick. He is securing a Las Vegas residency for his successful Led Zeppelin cover band, 6 Foot Nurse, in which he sings like Robert Plant and drums like John Bonham, concurrently.

Coogan also has a new album coming out on September 16, the self-titled release, Red Zone Rider, a three piece band, featuring guitar hero Vinnie Moore from UFO and MSG’s Kelly Keeling.

Scot Coogan’s upcoming shows and appearances are listed on his website, www.scotcoogan.com and www.facebook.com/scotcoogan.

Gene Simmons talks about that time he won a Twist contest

(popwatch.ew.com) You know Gene Simmons from KISS, currently celebrating their 40th anniversary, and as a co-owner of the LA KISS, Los Angeles’ Arena Football League team whose first season is chronicled in the new AMC docuseries 4th and Loud (airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET). But did you know he won a Twist contest in school and still locks himself in his home any time there’s a Twilight Zone marathon on TV? You do now, thanks to our Pop Culture Personality Test.

EW: What song changed your life?

SIMMONS: So “The Twist” really impacted me, and Chubby Checker in particular, because it wasn’t just a song, it was a social phenomenon. When I asked Shirley to dance, she was this African-American girl who really knew the stuff, and I could twist. So I walked across the gym floor of P.S. 145, when all the guys were on one side and girls on the other side. Guys are going, “Oooooh,” and the girls are going, “Oooooh,” and I didn’t care. I walked over to Shirley, “Come on, let’s twist,” and we twist. And I won the Twist championship of P.S. 145. True story.

What’s your prized pop culture possession?

Myself. My, myself, and I. I am a pop culture possession. I am the guy. I get to be me everyday. I’m a hawk. I’m a hybrid. And that’s a lot of fun. That’s why it’s good to be me.

What movie moment do you wish you could rewind?

I was never really a big porn movie watcher. But if I could, I would watch my very first porn movie, but I would watch it backwards, so that it starts off with the prostitute giving the guy money instead of the other way around. [Lowers glasses] See what I did there?

What’s your favorite TV show of all time?

Ever since I was a kid, my favorite show of all time was The Twilight Zone. It continues to be the standout show of all time for me because every single episode was like watching a new TV show. When there are marathons on, once or twice a year, I make it a point of staying home. I don’t call friends or anything. I get my bag of chips and lock myself up and all day…

KISS security guard sues over confetti fall

KISS star Gene Simmons has been slapped with legal action from a concert security guard who allegedly slipped and fell on the band's confetti during a gig in 2012.

The rockers celebrated the end of their show at the Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana, by spraying water and confetti all over the stage and over members of the crowd.

However, security official Timothy Funk claims the "foolish and reckless" stunt put his safety at risk after he tumbled on the "slippery, waxy, and glassy" stage floor, and now he is suing for damages.

He has filed papers in Hamilton Superior Court, near Indianapolis, seeking compensation for undisclosed injuries, loss of wages and other charges.

Simmons is named as a defendant, alongside venue bosses and officials at concert promotion firm Live Nation.

ACE FREHLEY Talks To Radio.com

ACE FREHLEY Talks To Radio.com About 'Space Invader', Struggles With Sobriety And His Time In KISS: Listen.

ACE FREHLEY Interviewed On FOX 5

ACE FREHLEY Interviewed On FOX 5: Video.

ACE FREHLEY's 'Space Invader' Cracks U.S. Top 10

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in five years, sold around 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music).

Ace's previous CD, "Anomaly", opened with around 17,000 units back in September 2009 to debut at No. 27.

Bruce Kulick ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bruce Kulick ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Video.

Gene Simmons Ranked Among 10 Richest Bassists

Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, KISS demon Gene Simmons, and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic are among the top ten richest bassists in the world, according to Richest.com.

Former Beatles bass player Paul McCartney tops the list with a reported worth of $1.2 billion.

In second place, Simmons is tied with Sting with $300 million, while Roger Waters sits at number four with $270 million, followed by U2 bass player Adam Clayton, who rounds out the top five with $150 million.

Top 10 Richest Bass Players (according to Richest.com):

1. Paul McCartney — $1.2 billion 2. Gene Simmons — $300 million 2. Sting — $300 million 4. Roger Waters — $270 million 5. Adam Clayton — $150 million 6. Flea — $115 million 7. John Paul Jones — $80 million 8. Geezer Butler — $65 million 9. Tony Kanal — $45 million 10. Krist Novoselic — $40 million.

Decibel Geek Podcast: Ace's Covers Contenders - Ep151

Decibel Geek Podcast: Ace's Covers Contenders - Ep151: Listen.

Dear Guitar Hero: Former Kiss Guitarist Bruce Kulick Talks Getting Shot, His Proudest Guitar Moments, Signature Guitar and More

Dear Guitar Hero: Former Kiss Guitarist Bruce Kulick Talks Getting Shot, His Proudest Guitar Moments, Signature Guitar and More

Elliot In The Morning: Ace Frehley

Elliot In The Morning: Ace Frehley - Listen.

August edition of THE KISS ROOM

Listen to the August edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded live and originally broadcast on Friday, August 22 via MontcoRadio.com!

Matt Porter is joined in the studio by: Eric Toddorocks Carr (etrcthefox.com), Matt Bellinger, Jim Zagiel, Rozetta Kandi, Brent Zius, Chris Giordano (KISS It & KISStory) and Chris Ann Colvin

Listen to the latest edition of THE KISS ROOM right here!

Search for rock band Kiss' ex-manager the subject of 'Nowhere to Hide' on ID

Kiss this case goodbye.

For more than 30 years as a globe-trotting private eye, Steven Rambam has led the hunt for thousands of fugitives from the law. More times than not, he’s gotten his man.

From Nazi war criminals to jewel thieves and professional con men, he’s seen them all. And he’s slapped cuffs on most of ’em. But there’s still one standout when it comes to Ramban’s most amazing gets: the search to find Jesse Hilsen — an elusive, short, chubby psychiatrist from the Upper East Side who bizarrely ended up as the manager for the glam-rock band Kiss.

“This is a case that really illustrates the importance of the investigative professional,” says Rambam, speaking by phone from an undisclosed location in Europe. He’s currently embroiled in a new manhunt.

The Hilsen case is the subject of Monday’s edition of “Nowhere to Hide” on Discovery’s ID channel at 10 p.m.

“This was a guy who was on the run for 11 or 12 years when I finally found him,” Rambam says. “The FBI had put no effort into it. He had a wife who had gone literally from being a Park Avenue doctor’s wife to living in a homeless shelter.”

Hilsen became involved with Kiss when he worked as a psychiatrist for the band’s frontman, Paul Stanley. The group, leery of music industry insiders, eventually hired him as its manager in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Around the same time, he divorced his wife Rita. Later, a judge found that he owed her nearly $1.9 million.

Hilsen was eventually found in 2003 by Rambam, who tracked the guy from Holland to Israel to South Africa and finally to his uncle’s home in Westkill, N.Y.

“It’s amazing to me, even today, how easy it is for people to disappear,” he says. Rambam adds the case was also special because in a surreal twist, he served subpoenas to two of his childhood heroes: Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons, before a 2003 Kiss performance in Chicago — on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.

“They were incredibly gracious and they wanted to know more about the case,” he recalls. “I wished them both a Shana Tova, a happy new year. They wished me a Shana Tova back. And we ended up talking for about 45 minutes."

Talking Metal Episode 486 - Ace Frehley Special

Listen here: Talking Metal #486.

On this episode of the podcast Mark Strigl interviews Ace Frehley. Topics include his new album ‘Space Invader’, the lineup of his current band, the upcoming tour, Gibson guitars, his recent conversation with Gene Simmons, jamming with the Tonight Show band and Four by Fate.

The interview with Ace starts about 11 mins into the episode.

One On One with Mitch Lafon 39 Featuring Bruce Kulick

Listen here: One On One with Mitch Lafon #39.

In episode 39 of One On One with Mitch Lafon. Mitch talks to former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick about the Rock For Ruben benefit taking place in Los Angeles on August 20th. Bruce also reflects on the late Eric Carr and the recent passing of guitarist Dick Wagner. Follow Bruce Kulick on Twitter: @brucekulick

Ace Frehley Explains How Two Last-Minute Songs Sent ‘Space Invader’ Into Orbit

Ace Frehley Explains How Two Last-Minute Songs Sent ‘Space Invader’ Into Orbit: Video.

Talk Is Jericho: Ace Frehley, KISS Hall of Famer

Talk Is Jericho: Ace Frehley, KISS Hall of Famer: Listen.

KISS rocker Paul Stanley opens up about childhood bullying

(ctvnews.ca) Paul Stanley found strength when he opened up about being bullied as a child.

The KISS rocker - who was born with a deformed right ear and suffers from deafness as a result - was subjected to years of taunts by his classmates who referred to him as a "monster."

However, the rhythm guitarist found that speaking out about his "painful" past proved to be a "liberating" experience and helped him to find inner strength.

He told German newspaper Bild, "My childhood wasn't very happy and carefree. The other kids called me monster. It was horrible, when your childhood was so painful then you are going to hide yourself. But the problem is: you can have secrets from other people, but not from yourself."

"Nothing is more liberating than to get rid of your secret and start talking about it. Strength comes when you open up yourself and show who you really are, everything else is an illusion."

The "I Was Made For Lovin' You" hitmaker also admitted that during his days in the 70s rock-band he hid behind his on-stage persona, "Starchild."

He said: "When I got older I let my hair grow to hide my ear and then I joined KISS and was hiding my face behind the figure 'Starchild'.

"Until 1990 some people knew that I was deaf on the right ear, but no one knew about my birth deformation."

While the 62-year-old rocker is known for his turbulent relationship with band co-founder Gene Simmons, he insists the bass guitarist is like a brother to him.

He explained: "It's like you would be married to someone, whom I never have to see naked - thank god! He's family, a brother but we want different things in life."

KISS' Eric Singer on old lineup, baby drummers

KISS drummer Eric Singer had several pieces of good advice for me about bands. And life. He was just full of pearls of wisdom when I spoke with him in late July about KISS' most recent tour. Gems like, "You've got to keep your head together, keep it on straight, keep your nose clean, stay out of trouble." "I always look at music just like life. It's like a roller coaster. Sometimes you get to ride the ride and sometimes you're chugging up the hill." Of course, tonight KISS and Def Leppard hit the stage at Klipsch where Singer won't be giving any advice, but instead just laying waste to his massive kit.

Here's the Q&A with Singer: nuvo.net.

KISS / Def Leppard Ice Bucket Challenge

KISS / Def Leppard Ice Bucket Challenge: Video.

5 Best Space Mans in Video Games (feat. Ace Frehley)

5 Best Space Mans in Video Games (feat. Ace Frehley): Video.

Rocket Ride @ Rock for Ruben

Rocket Ride @ Rock for Ruben: Video.

ACE FREHLEY's 'Space Invader' Projected To Sell 17K-20K First Week

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in five years, is likely to sell between 17,000 and 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The chart will be unveiled on Wednesday, August 27.

Ace's previous CD, "Anomaly", opened with around 17,000 units back in September 2009 to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Rolling Stone Review: Space Invader

(rollingstone.com) Space Invader - Ace Frehley - eOne
2.5/5 Stars - Gene Simmons has claimed that Ace Frehley doesn't deserve to wear Kiss Kabuki clown paint, but the former Spaceman's first solo LP in five years says otherwise. Sure, the guitars don't always give off Frehley's trademark flames, and there isn't anything as catchy as his '78 solo smash, "New York Groove" – but Space Invader does have a carefree abandon that Kiss' 21st-century LPs have lacked. It also contains any number of lyrics cringe-worthy enough for his old band ("You're lookin' so tight/I'm gonna make you feel just right," from the lubricious "What Every Girl Wants"). If anything, it's all a bit more Kiss-like than Simmons might care to admit.

Ace Frehley on Q104.3

Ace Frehley on Q104.3: Video.

Ace Frehley on MyFoxNY - Fox 5

Ace Frehley on MyFoxNY - Fox 5: Video.

Pix11 Interview with Ace Frehley

Pix11 Interview with Ace Frehley: Video.

Bo And Jim: Ace Frehley of KISS fame checks in!

Bo And Jim: Ace Frehley of KISS fame checks in: Listen.

Ace Frehley Outta This World on 'Space Invader'

Ace Frehley, "Space Invader" (eOne)

With seven-plus years of sobriety under his belt, the original Kiss lead guitarist has recorded his best solo album since his groundbreaking self-titled album in 1978.

With walls of wailing guitars, droning feedback and snarling solos, Ace Frehley launches an old-school '70s-style hard rock jam fest. It kicks off with him talk-singing his way through the title track, about a well-intentioned extraterrestrial who comes to save the Earth, and it includes a sudden tempo change for the guitar solo just like he did on "Snowblind" and "I'm In Need of Love" on his first solo record.

"Gimme A Feelin'" is a timeless rocker, with thick guitar chords, and "I Wanna Hold You" and "What Every Girl Wants" could be melodic hits.

On "Change" and "Inside the Vortex," Frehley showcases some impressive growth as a songwriter and arranger, with complex chord progressions and melody lines.

The only weak track is a vanilla remake of Steve Miller's "The Joker" that adds nothing to the plodding original, but apparently was too much for Frehley to resist with its "Space Cowboy" intro.

Kiss drummer Peter Criss visits the FoodBank

(Pic) Peter Criss, founding drummer of the band Kiss, visited the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties in Neptune on Monday, Aug. 18.

His world was rocked.

"I never knew anything like this existed in America," Criss said. "You're always thinking hunger is a Third World problem. We're Americans, we're fat, every one looks pretty heavy to me."

Criss, along with Q104.3-FM radio host Shelli Sonstein, visited the FoodBank in their roles as chairpersons of the WindMill restaurant's summer-long 10,000 Hot Dogs anti-hunger campaign.

"These people are doing amazing stuff and my brain hurts from seeing so much of the good things going on and I can't believe so many people are not eating and have no food," said Criss, a long-time Wall resident who was recently inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his Kiss fellow members. "It's ludicrous and it's sad, this is America. After today I've realized how much I've taken things for granted."

The FoodBank annually distributes more than 9 million pounds of food to more than 260 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and more. Other roles include a culinary training program, senior food programs, and a mobile food pantry.

"People forget, they come down to the Shore on vacation and our job is to remind them that our summer of fun is a summer of hunger for children in Monmouth and Ocean counties because they're not getting the two meals a day they would normally get in school," Sonstein said. "This is not something people think of that we're trying to highlight."

The 10,000 Hot Dogs campaign kickoff featured a concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes atop of the iconic WindMill restaurant in Long Branch on May 23. Customers who make a $5 donation through Labor Day via the Website 10000hotdogs.com or by texting "hotdog" to 41444 will help the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties deliver 15 meals to those in need this summer.

"We hope to have a very big wrap up for the next 14 days that the campaign is alive," said Rena Levine Levy, co-owner of the WindMill restaurants.

Also, hot dog maker Sabrett will donate up to 10,000 hot dogs, matching each $5 donation with a goal of raising $50,000. That would mean 160,000 meals for Monmouth and Ocean counties families, according to the FoodBank.

"This kid got his head blown off today," Criss said.

KISS Guitarist TOMMY THAYER's Rig Rundown

KISS Guitarist TOMMY THAYER's Rig Rundown: Video.

One On One Episoe 36 Featuring Binky Phillips

(Listen) In episode 36 of One On One with Mitch Lafon. Mitch is joined by co-hosts Russ Dwarf (KILLER DWARFS).

This episode features an in-depth interview with The Planets, BINKY PHILIPS. BINKY talks about his friendship with Paul Stanley, being around KISS in their formative years, his book ‘My Life In The Ghost Of Planets: The Story Of A CBGB Almost-Was – A Single Notes Book’ and so much more. This is one episode that KISS fans simply CANNOT miss.

ACE FREHLEY Talks To St. Louis Radio Station KSHE About 'Space Invader' Album

ACE FREHLEY Talks To St. Louis Radio Station KSHE About 'Space Invader' Album: Audio.

Extended: KISS rockers visit newborns | CTV Toronto News

Extended: KISS rockers visit newborns | CTV Toronto News: Video.

ACE FREHLEY Wants GENE SIMMONS To Guest On His Next Album

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, who releases his latest solo album, "Space Invader", on Tuesday (August 19), recently revealed that he plans to put out a collection of covers and remakes featuring guest stars like Lita Ford, Slash (GUNS N' ROSES) and Mike McCready (PEARL JAM). Well, it turns out Ace has another guest he wants to get on the set and it might surprise you who it is.

"I was thinking of asking [KISS bassist/vocalist] Gene [Simmons] to play bass on one track, and I'm not going to say which one. That'll be a surprise," Ace told VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner.

With all the back-and-forth in the media between Ace and his former KISS bandmates over the past year, VH1 Radio Network asked Frehley if he thinks Gene would accept his invitation.

"I think he'd consider it," Ace said. "I don't know if he'd do it. Maybe [KISS guitarist/vocalist] Paul [Stanley] won't let him. Who knows?"

Post-KISS, Ace Frehley all about the solo work

(suntimes.com) Rock band KISS is slated for a concert Saturday night at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre. Still missing from the lineup: Ace Frehley, a founding member of the New York glam metal luminaries from the band’s inception in 1973 until 1982, with two short-lived reintroductions before a final farewell in 2002. It’s not like Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have forgotten about the legendary guitar player, though. Their ongoing war of words is still very much alive in the press, reignited after a highly publicized refusal to perform with Frehley and former drummer Peter Criss at KISS’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this past April.

“It’s just two different camps now,” admits Frehley, who has since kept busy with a lucrative solo career, including his sixth album “Space Invader” which comes out Tuesday. “I just try to avoid all that negative stuff and let it roll off my back. Being sober almost eight years now I have to live my life that way.”

Although it was Frehley’s excessive drug abuse that reportedly often caused tension within the KISS camp, since cleaning up he says the effect is a more polished musician on his latest release. “I think the sound of this record, the production and the writing, shows that I am more focused these days. I think it’s one of the better records I’ve done in a long time.”

The album continues the once Space Ace’s obsession with sci-fi themes (“art and science were always my best subjects in school”) and took five years to make after a hefty tour schedule for 2009’s “Anomaly” and his 2011 memoir “No Regrets.” Its sound, led by the hard rock groove single “Gimme a Feelin,” is characteristically 1978, with elements of his debut solo album released that year on its sleeve.

“That’s the record that my fans have always cited as being one of their favorites,” he says of the eponymous title. It also remains the best-selling solo effort by any of the KISS members and remains a critical part of Frehley’s legacy. “During the recording process of ‘Space Invader’ I listened to it several times and tried to derive elements to incorporate into this new record.” As well, the guitarist attempted to tap into the sounds of the era by listening to his age-old favorites like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Cream.

“They are still heavy influences on me today. I remember watching those guys and the Who and the Rolling Stones live, and there was always a little voice in my head saying you can get up there and do that, too. I decided that was what I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me,” says Frehley, who grew up in a musical family in the Bronx and sang in the church choir but never had a formal guitar lesson.

When it comes to discussing modern rock, though, the guitarist is less flattering.

“I have to be honest, there hasn’t been a new rock group in a long time that has excited me.” He rationalizes, “A lot of the groups now maybe haven’t paid the dues that groups in the ’80s, ’80s and ’90s had to do. Today everything is so fast — a group of guys get together and, boom, they make a record with Pro Tools in a week. Maybe because of that, the depth of what they’re coming out with wasn’t what it used to be.”

Frehley hasn’t totally given up on the new industry construct though — following the release of “Space Invader,” he plans to tour in the fall and release a new memoir in the near future. He is rumored to be working on a covers album. And you never know, KISS just may come back around for him.

“It’s really up to Paul and Gene,” he admits, “but I’m the type of person to never say never.”

Gene Simmons "KISS" Makeup Tutorial

Gene Simmons "KISS" Makeup Tutorial: Video.

Video: ACE FREHLEY Performs 'New York Groove' With THE ROOTS For 'The Tonight Show' Audience

Video: ACE FREHLEY Performs 'New York Groove' With THE ROOTS For 'The Tonight Show' Audience

ACE FREHLEY: 'Space Invader' Title Track Available For Streaming

ACE FREHLEY: 'Space Invader' Title Track Available For Streaming: Listen

Ace Frehley Covers the Steve Miller Band's 'The Joker'

Ace Frehley Covers the Steve Miller Band's 'The Joker': Listen.

Gene Simmons and KISS Take the Field for AMC's 4th and Loud

They've rocked and rolled all night, and ­partied every day, but now Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are going long hoping to score a touchdown. In 2013, the classic rockers purchased (with their manager Doc ­McGhee and AFL vet owner Brett Bouchy) an Arena Football League team in Los Angeles and rebranded it LA KISS. Now Simmons sounds off on his new AMC reality series, 4th and Loud, which chronicles the struggles of a sports franchise start-up.

TV Guide Magazine: Why was buying this team the right decision for the band at this point in your career?

Simmons: Kiss has never really followed the rules, we've always been renegades. Los Angeles — No. 1 media city in North America — didn't have a football team. When we played the ArenaBowl about a year ago, the idea of a team in Los Angeles came up and we jumped at the opportunity.

TV Guide Magazine: How do you infuse the KISS brand into the games?

Simmons: We've got extreme bikers doing flips, girls in cages, ­fireworks, the LA KISS dancers. Why not do the Super Bowl every day? That's the idea.

TV Guide Magazine: Yet after one season, the team is underperforming with a 3-15 record.

Simmons: Some heads have rolled.

TV Guide Magazine: Has that made for better television?

Simmons: It's less about television and more about real life. You don't have to ­create drama because there's so much going on in the growing pains of launching a brand-new sports team. I visited one of our players who was injured — he tore his Achilles tendon — and we're not quitting on him. We're going to support him, pay all the doctor bills, and when he gets well, he's coming back in. On the other hand, if we ever catch you with a police record, you're gone.

TV Guide Magazine: Is it true you made an offer to Tim Tebow?

Simmons: Yes. He's got aspirations to be a broadcaster [on ESPN], but we would love for him to come on board because he's a family guy, a devout Christian, doesn't use drugs or booze, and he doesn't torture dogs. You want that association, as opposed to somebody who treats fans like s--t.

TV Guide Magazine: Did you ever imagine that the band would get to this level? Was it always the goal?

Simmons: It's tough to be honest and not come off as self-serving and arrogant, but yes. When I was a kid, I dreamed that I could fly. There is no downside to being delusional about your own greatness.

4th and Loud premieres Tuesday at 9/8c on AMC.

Rock Legend Gene Simmons LIVE

(Video) Rock legend Gene Simmons joins HuffPost Live to talk 40 years of KISS, the band's anniversary tour and their new TV show, '4th and Loud.'

Promo Video: Ace Frehley - Space Invader (8.19.14)

Promo Video: Ace Frehley - Space Invader (8.19.14)

Gene Simmons says no end in sight for KISS

KISS may be celebrating four decades as a band, but Gene Simmons is adamant that there won't be a retirement party any time soon – they still have plenty of fire left to breathe out of them.

When asked whether the legendary rockers, which is in the midst of a long 40th anniversary tour (it makes its only Canadian appearance at Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre Tuesday night), will ever retire from the road, the fiery singer-bassist, as per usual, has a very pointed response.

"We've got a few more tours left in us,” he says. “We enjoy what we do, and we're all on the same page, so there's no reason to stop. Match up any band past or present up against us, and we'll whoop their asses each and every time."

Besides, their schedules and side projects give them no time to kick back and watch Matlock. The tour is being extended into 2015, with Simmons promising a full-fledged Canadian leg next year, a new album is in the works, and various other side projects including a football reality show 4th and Loud and Simmons’ brand new business know-how book, Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business.

Speaking down the line from the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, N.Y., Simmons talked to QMI Agency about the future of rock 'n roll, the group's daily setlist issues, and despite reports to the contrary, why the Canadian KISS army of fans are far from conservative. Here are excerpts from that conversation.

How would you rank this tour with ones you've done in the past?

I think it's just as good as any of our best ones or even better. No one is on drugs, there are no dark clouds and we're all getting along really well.

How does the Canadian KISS Army of fans compare to the ones in the U.S.?

The party line is that Canadians tend to be more conservative, but that's not the case. Back in the '70s, we played a smaller city and watched as a couple had sex near the front of the stage during the show.

Since it's a shared tour, do you find it difficult to strike a setlist balance between satisfying the hardcore fans and those who may just want to hear the hits?

That's an issue every night. However, you won't see the Stones dropping hits like Satisfaction out of their setlist, so why would we drop ours? The fans pay good money to come to the show to hear those songs.

Have you guys talked about a follow-up to 2012's Monster?

Yes, we have. I recently wrote a new song called Your Wish is My Command, so the process has already started.

What are your thoughts on the state of the music business in 2014? What's the future for rock 'n' roll?

There isn't one. The freckled-faced boy who decided to download all his music for free ruined the business. As far as rock 'n' roll is concerned, there is no future. It's over. Can you name me one superstar act these days? You can't.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons talk '4th and Loud'

It started with the cheerleaders.

“We have great dancers, and they're not cheerleaders,” said Paul Stanley of Kiss, who along with bandmate Gene Simmons owns the L.A. Kiss of the Arena Football League. “Cheerleaders have almost become adolescent and asexual, totally neutered. We wanted to have girls who were women. And they'd better dance.

“I don't want the girl next door, I want the girl you wish were next door.”

Stanley and Simmons certainly have taken a crash course in the differences between music and sports. Their progress and struggles in the team's inaugural season are on display in their reality series 4th and Loud, which debuts Tuesday, Aug. 12 on AMC.

“In music there isn't that overt competition, that at the end of your tour you're pegged a loser,” Stanley observed. “If you went on tour with the thought, 'Are we going to make the semi-finals?' it could very much colour your tour. You aren't declared the runner-up at the end. Nobody is watching all the tours and knocking people out of the running.”

4th and Loud begins with the earliest days of the L.A. Kiss, when things were more hopeful in terms of wins and losses. We now know that the team went 3-15 this season.

“(Losing) is very disheartening,” Stanley said. “For somebody who was not from a sports background, look, in life I don't like to lose. There are parts of this that are completely out of my hands, so you have to be able to let go. Losing is disappointing. But winning is exhilarating.

“I would love for us to win, and that will take longer than we thought.”

On-field performance aside, is 4th and Loud a winner? Well, as one might expect, the most interesting stretches are when Stanley and Simmons feature prominently.

“We are the Tiger Woods of (arena football), baby – before Tiger, you didn't care about golf,” Simmons said. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus might disagree, but we digress.

“Every once in a while you get a sports purist because they love that thing that they love, whether it's football or anything else,” Simmons continued. “And they get into the holier-than-thou, 'I know more minutia than you do, validate for me why you belong in this thing.'

“Churches don't do that. Why not treat sports and rock 'n' roll (that way)? What we do is electric church. You don't have to know any of our songs (to enjoy a Kiss concert or an L.A. Kiss game). All are welcome. That's a much healthier idea.”

Speaking of ideas, did Simmons and Stanley ever consider having the players wear Kiss makeup?

“There are some pragmatic reasons why our great athletes should not be wearing the Kiss makeup,” Simmons said. “For one thing, you've got to earn it. Secondly, it has to be real football, not stuff going into everybody's eyes while they are running on the field and getting tackled, not a good idea.

“But you'll see lots of Kiss around it. You want the football to be legitimate, and around it, we'll give you all the bells and whistles and all the stuff that makes Kiss the most iconic band of all time.”

Stanley said the idea for the reality show occurred after he and Simmons decided to own the team, not before.

“But it clearly made a lot of sense,” Stanley said. “There were some boundaries, however. For me, reality television is an oxymoron. You either have reality or you have television. To waste my life creating a fake life, to compromise or give up reality to create a false reality, I had no interest in cameras in my kitchen. You know, a show built around little Johnny breaking his finger, when they just broke it for him before the cameras were rolling, I didn't want that.

“So this very much documents the evolution of the team from inception. The things that go on with some of the guys, your head goes batty.

So what does Kiss know about sports now that it didn't know a year ago?

Stanley paused, then said, “That ultimately you're only as good as your doctor.”

ACE FREHLEY To Release Collection Of Covers And Remixes; SLASH, MIKE MCCREADY And LITA FORD To Guest

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has yet to officially unleash his latest solo album, "Space Invader", but he is already thinking ahead to his next effort — a collection of covers and remixes. He tells Arena.com: "That will be out next year. I get suggestions, I come up with ideas, and I ask friends and associates about which songs to do. The songs are already written, so it is faster and easier for me to make that record. I will get guest stars like Lita Ford, Mike McCready from PEARL JAM, Slash. It is an easier record to make since I don't have much to do. The big stress is coming up with new guitar solos and vocals lines and melodies on new songs."

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from Frehley in five years, will be released in North America on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The CD, which will be made available in Europe on August 18 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, will include 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker".

"['Space Invader'] is heavier than [2009's 'Anomaly']," Ace tells Arena.com. "I did it by design. My fans said that my last album could have been heavier and could have had more guitar work, so I kept that in mind when I made the record.

"I think there are a couple of songs like 'Toys' and 'Inside The Vortex' that are heavier than anything on 'Anomaly', my last record. The title track is heavy, too. Hopefully, people will love it. The biggest surprise was the title track. That was instrumental until we were mixing it.

"We were mixing it in L.A. but I went to my hotel and wrote lyrics and melody and threw it together in one day. I threw on a guitar solo and it came together.

"When I cut tracks, I cut guitar and drums, then throw a bass on, and I build onto that. I start out very elementary. Some songs were in the running to be instrumental, since one of my trademarks is having an instrumental song on my albums. I wasn't sure which would be the instrumental. It ended up being 'Starship'. But 'Past The Milky Way' and the title track were instrumental up until the last few weeks. I work good under pressure."

Asked what keeps him doing this, Ace says: "Playing live is still a big rush. Producing my own records is a great rush, especially when they turn out good. There are things on the horizon. I am up for a few movie scores, and been in touch with producers. No deals are signed yet, but there are discussions. I want to produce bands, and to share the wealth of information that I have learned. I would like to put a score to animation. I work with animation. There are lot of things I want to do."

DEF LEPPARD's JOE ELLIOTT Defends Current KISS Lineup: 'The Songs Have Never Sounded As Good Live'

DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott was recently interviewed by the 100.7 WZXL radio station in Atlantic City, New Jersey. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On introducing KISS with the legendary battle cry of "You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world... KISS!!!" prior to their July 26 performance in Holmdel, New Jersey:

Elliott: "I'd been threatening to do it for the whole tour. And we got to the last night before a five-day break. And I thought, if this is one of the things that are gonna rip my throat out, I'll wait until I've got five days to recover.

"I was so aware of what 'Kiss Alive II' was.

"[I went up to KISS and told them] 'I'm gonna introduce you guys, tonight.' So I went over there knowing one of their techs was there. And he just gave me the mic.

"I heard that somebody yesterday, apparently, downloaded it off some station. They played my intro and then they played 'Detroit Rock City' straight afterwards. [laughs]"

"As you can see [in the video that was posted online], I punched the air after I did it."

On DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell's ongoing battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma:

Elliott: "Well, you know, it's an ongoing situation. I won't say every single day of his life he's comfortable, but what's making him mentally comfortable is being out on the road with the band doing this rather than sitting at home twiddling his thumbs, going, 'I've got cancer. I've got cancer.' He's out there working. It's as mental as it is physical for Vivian. He was having treatment yesterday. But I spoke to his wife this morning and she said he's feeling a lot better today. We don't do a gig 'till tomorrow night, so he should be in good shape. He's only had one really bad night here, and that was in L.A. following an enormous bout of chemo. And it was really hard for him, but he still got up on stage and did his job. And most nights, he's been amazing, and he gets stronger and stronger each time. And he's working his way through this specific treatment that he's got, which was all thumbs up from his doctor, so he could do this tour. So then in September, he goes in for a stem-cell surgery, which hopefully will put this thing to bed once and for all."

On whether DEF LEPPARD's current tourmates KISS have paid much attention to the online controversy surrounding their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:

Elliott: "I don't think they take any notice of it. I mean, look, the Internet is just a forum for negativity. People very rarely spend hours and hours writing little comments underneath an article that's positive. It's all, like, 'Oh, these guys suck,' or 'Blah blah blah,' because they're anonymous, so they can say stuff. And you tend to just ignore it, which is what I'm sure KISS are doing.

"I was asked all the questions before the tour started about my opinion on KISS and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and I said, 'Look, I don't have an opinion. I'm not in KISS. It's not my business.' But the fact that a band as 'mom's apple pie' as LYNYRD SKYNYRD was seven nominations before they were accepted, I find the whole Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame thing absolutely a waste of space. And I hope they never ask us to be in it, 'cause I wouldn't wanna go anyway.

"But when it comes to backstage at the KISS thing, they're all loving this, because [current KISS guitarist] Tommy Thayer is a phenomenal guitar player, and [current KISS drummer] Eric Singer is a great drummer. And the songs have never sounded as good live, as far as I'm concerned. With all due respect to [original KISS members] Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, it seems to be a happier camp [now].

"I've seen some people say that [Tommy and Eric] don't deserve to be able to wear the ['Spaceman' and 'Catman'] makeup. Well, KISS is a franchise as much as a band, or a brand and a band, and if that's what it takes to sell the band, that they wear the same makeup…

"Sometimes when in Vegas, in Cirque Du Soleil, if a certain character wears a certain mask and he gets sick, one of the chorus line comes in and takes over wearing the same makeup.

"[KISS fans who continue to complain about the current KISS lineup should] move on. If you like the songs, and you've got Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley], which were always, in fairness, the two most out-front members of KISS anyway, I think it still works."

Ace Frehley In-Store

Ace Frehley will take part in a one-time-only in-store appearance and signing at the Best Buy in Union Square, New York City on Tuesday, August 19 at 6 p.m. Fans will be able to get their own copy of Fehley's new album, "Space Invader", signed by the Space Man himself.

'Space Ace' Keeps Laughing, Stays Positive

(swtimes.com) For the Record
Ace Frehley
Title: "Space Invader"
Format: CD
Label: Entertainment One Music
Genre: Rock
Grade: B+
Release Date: Aug. 19

Ace Frehley might have the greatest laugh in all of rock and roll.

The original lead guitarist for Kiss and nicknamed “Space Ace” by “Kiss Army” fans, Frehley has a distinct, child-like laugh that is nearly an octave higher in pitch than his speaking voice. The late Tom Snyder, host of TV’s “The Tomorrow Show,” once told Frehley during a 1979 on-camera interview with Kiss that he should record his laugh and put it on a Kiss album.

These days, the 63-year-old Frehley seems to be laughing often. The Bronx, N.Y., native is coming up on his eighth year of sobriety; he and fellow Kiss co-founders Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss recently were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and he has a new solo album, “Space Invader,” that will drop Aug. 19.

“I’m healthy, and I’m happy to be having a new album come out,” Frehley said during a recent telephone interview. “This new record is a little heavier than the last record (‘Anamoly’).

“People had said that they wished the last album was heavier, and they wished I had played more guitar on it, so ‘Space Invader’ is heavier,” he added. “I try to listen to my fans.”

The new CD features artwork from artist Ken Kelly, who created the famous cover art for Kiss’ “Destroyer” and “Love Gun” albums. Plans for the new artwork, which has a silhouetted, guitar-slinging Frehley stepping out of a sleek, chrome-colored spaceship, have been seven years in the making, Frehley said.

“What surprised me on the album was the song, ‘Space Invader,’” he said. “That was an instrumental song right up until two weeks before the record was mixed. I came up with some lyrics and put them down, and then the song was finished.”

Currently assembling a new solo band, Frehley plans to tour behind “Space Invader.” The set list, most likely, will include many cuts off the new album, as well as songs from his tenure in Kiss and his first post-Kiss group, Frehley’s Comet.

“You know, I’m proud of everything I’ve done — what I did in Frehley’s Comet, with Kiss and the music now,” Frehley said. “There are no plans to revisit Frehley’s Comet at the moment, though.”

Frehley is more open to future work with Kiss, although Stanley and Simmons have been quoted as saying they prefer to work with current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer and current Kiss drummer Eric Singer; Thayer replaced Frehley in 2003, while Singer has been in Kiss off and on since late 1991.

“I’m really proud of Kiss’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction,” Frehley said. “I was all for the original four of us — me, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss — performing again at the induction ceremony, but I guess Paul and Gene couldn’t stand to play with Peter and I for 15 minutes or so, so we didn’t perform. That’s too bad, because I never say never.”

Frehley said he first became hooked on music at age 16, when he skipped school to see Cream and The Who open for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in 1967 in New York. Watching Cream guitarist Eric Clapton’s guitar solos and Who leader Pete Townshend’s “guitar theatrics” made him trade in his school studies for a Gibson Les Paul.

“I would want people to remember me for being an artist who was always sincere,” Frehley said. “I’ve always been a person who has given it his all and have appreciated the fans’ support, and I’ll always be that person.”

Gene Simmons on '4th and Loud,' the Redskins Name Controversy and Donald Sterling

(4th and Loud Webisodes: Part 1: The Owners) (wsj.com) The latest stars to grace AMC aren’t dramatic anti-heroes like Don Draper or Walter White. Instead, it’s KISS bassist Gene Simmons and guitarist Paul Stanley. The two rockers star in the network’s new reality series “4th and Loud,” which follows the trials and tribulations of the Arena Football League’s newest expansion team, the L.A. Kiss.

Simmons and Stanley are co-owners and like everything that exists in the KISS world, they’re trying to take the band’s iconic brand into uncharted territory. And while it would be easy to imagine a show that follows B-level football players running around in KISS makeup, it’s not that at all. Simmons and Stanley strut their swaggering selves around, but “4th and Loud” is more about football hopefuls trying to make it at the professional level, even if the NFL doesn’t want them.

Unlike the KISS philosophy, which seeks to brand the band as wide and far as possible (after all, they have their own line of condoms and caskets), the players aren’t in it for the money – they love the sport and are holding on to the dreams of their youth before choosing different career paths. Speakeasy recently talked with Simmons about “4th and Loud,” the ups and downs of life as a football team owner, the Washington Redskins name controversy, and Donald Sterling. An edited transcript follows.

Los Angeles hasn’t had a football team in a long time. What was game plan to survive?

Lean and mean works. The NFL means well and they have a terrific product, but it takes billions to launch something. You have to buy buildings, accoutrements and other big words. We don’t have to do squat. We can get Navy Seals and sink a destroyer all by ourselves. We bring new fans, [the league] has their fans, we can access their fans, one and one equals three in this case. But we were delusional. Of course that’s our self-imposed mandate, to be delusional and reach for the stars. You’re not gonna touch the stars, but you have to reach for them nonetheless. And we hit the ground with hiring our coach, who had never lost a single season in his entire career. Well, he just lost his first one, OK. But he didn’t have a fair pick of the players – all the best guys were picked up by the other teams. Our point of view with this show was to just show it all.

Sometimes it gets personal. Remember you’re up close. And we made sure that any of our fans … look, they threw caution into the wind, they bought tickets, they came to see a team that had never played before. That’s the loyalty based on the pop culture sugarcoating, I understand that. But it was our responsibility to give a no-holds barred experience. That meant, when the ball was on the ground, huddling for the next play – we’d give them entertainment. We had dancers hanging from the ceilings in cages, we had fireworks, we had extreme biking guys ..anything and everything that a KISS show has, we stick in there.

It’s apparent in the first episode that the KISS brand was not going to infiltrate in an over the top way.

It’s gotta be real football. Initially, there was some comments from the peanut gallery like “Oh, it’s called LA Kiss, we know exactly what it’s going to be.” No you don’t. We know what to do, when less is more. When food is in front of you and it’s plenty spicy, the last thing you want to do is add salt and pepper.

Are KISS fans sports fans?

We want new fans. Sports fans will take care of themselves. This is family entertainment. We want you to bring your kids to their first sports experience. As soon as the season ended, 40% of our season ticket holders re-upped right away. They love it. “4th and Loud” was not my take for the title of the show; I wanted to call it “L.A. Kiss.” A brand is a brand is a brand. But “4th and Loud” is the point of view that AMC had, and perhaps rightfully so, is lets skew it as football. And perhaps they’re right. When you tune in, you’re going to see real stuff. Some of it gets ugly, some of it heartwarming.

KISS sold a lot of records and played huge shows. But in a lot of ways, the band members have been underdogs and so are the players in the AFL. Can you talk about that connection?

This is the thing: They have nothing to lose and everything to win. They have a lot to prove, to themselves, to the team and the fans. The tragedy of losing that first season…guys were crying. They don’t look at this as a job. [Pauses.] That means something. I paused a bit because it affects me too. Guys are crying like they’re a 12-year-old kid. It breaks your heart. It says this means more than my salary, it means more than my branding [deal] for some shaving cream – they want to win.

When you met the other AFL owners in the pitch meeting, did they immediately take you seriously?

Yeah. We immediately got up, gave a speech, and said “Look, we never lose. We’re gonna make you proud, we’re gonna be your Tiger Woods. If you let us be a member of your family, we’re going to take AFL to heights it’s never seen before, immediately.” So the AFL is thrilled. They’re getting more attention than ever. Whenever a team plays us, boom! They get that extra lift. On their own, respectfully, they wouldn’t get the time of day.

How much does it cost to get a team up and running?

It sounds like a few hundred thousand dollars and it winds up being a few million.

Did you make back what you put into it on the first season?

Oh, I own the money bag logo – the dollar sign with the bag. Does that answer your question?

Yeah. Ultimately, the team struggled in the first season, going 3-15. What happened?

We don’t have the best players. We don’t. They’re just not the top of the pop. But they have the heart of a lion. In the middle of the season, we had to get rid of our quarterback. It’s like the Olympics – you do your best and if you don’t make it, you’re out.

What do you think of the Washington Redskins name-change controversy?

Well, look. There’s sports, there’s business and then there are people. As a Jew, I wouldn’t be thrilled as “The Kikes.” And if you’re black, you wouldn’t be thrilled with a football team called “The Blacks.” I could use a worse word. Because “Redskins” was what the white man called them. So I understand if you’re a sports fan and if you’re white, you go “Hey, what’s the problem? We have a long history.” But if you’re an Indian, think about it. White dudes don’t have to worry about that stuff because [they] were always the majority in imperialist countries of the world. “Cracker” means nothing to white people. They had all the money and the power.

If people are talking about your brand as being racist, is that bad for business?

Bad for business? I don’t know. But whether or not it’s bad for business or not, you’ve got to make the change. It was launched at a time when white people weren’t sensitive to the idea that you’re actually insulting an entire race of people.

Did you follow the Don Sterling story?

I’m on the side of Don Sterling.

You’re on the side of him?

I’m on Mel Gibson’s side, Don Sterling’s side and anybody who has a racist or an expletive rant privately. The difference between this guy, who’s heinous of course, or anybody else is that they were caught. Everybody [says] jokes that are off- color, or when they’re drunk. The difference between Sterling and everyone else is that he was caught on camera, by the way, without his approval. He was ambushed. I think he should have done penance and paid a fine. Here’s what’s going to happen. They’re going to go after Sterling and he’s going to put a few million dollars out there, because he can afford it – and he’s going to ask the paparazzi out there to find videos of all the other team members talking trash and racist rants. And then it’s open season. And if, because you say an off color joke or make a racist rant privately, that causes you to lose a job – nobody would have a job! Black people do it, Jews do it, Christians do it – everybody does it! It’s called America. Free speech. Even if free speech insults other people. Privately. Publicly, that’s different. I’m on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home or privacy of the situation. Big brother has finally crawled in bed with us.

Social media has made people unaware of boundaries.

Well, laws have to catch up. This stuff has to catch up with technology. By the way, I don’t wait. When some of these kids shut down my site, I call my F.B.I. friends and they’re spending time, 15 years in jail. I go after them.

You have hackers hitting KISS sites?

Everybody has hackers. You may not know it, but you have it. And it’s not just hackers, people trying to get your ID numbers and your bank accounts – it’s lawless. There’s no laws about that.

But you take care of that?

Oh, yeah. Visit Langley. Make friends.

Has KISS thought about a follow-up to [2012’s] “Monster”?

Oh sure. We just need time. We have a restaurant chain called Rock & Brews, which is opening all over the world. We got the football team. We got the KISS Golf course, the KISS limo service. KISS World is around the corner – I don’t want to tell you what that is yet.

“4th and Loud” premieres on August 12 at 9 pm on AMC.

Kiss still going strong after 40 years

(newsday.com) Kiss always incites an extreme response from people -- they either love 'em or hate 'em. It's rare to find a casual fan. But with the group's painted faces, costumed personas and bombastic live shows, Kiss is still going strong after 40-plus years.

"The thing about Kiss is, it's unique. You have to take it or leave it," says bassist-vocalist Gene Simmons, who portrays the character of the Demon. "We ignore the pundits ... with regard to credibility. Who wins? We do."

When the band comes to play Long Island on Wednesday, Kiss will bring its 40th anniversary tour to Jones Beach with a stage that evokes a Transformer.

"I believe that this is the best stage we've ever had. We call it the spider stage because the lights are like legs dangling down," says vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley, aka the Starchild. "We are out there doing a victory lap even though the race isn't over yet. It's a celebration of everything we've done."

LIVE REPUTATION

Kiss is known as much for its live concerts as for its albums and hit singles. The group established a long-standing reputation in the music industry for putting on not just a rock show but a rock spectacle.

"We perform with a take-no-prisoners point of view. I'd like to think we earned it the old-fashioned way -- we work for it every night," says Simmons, 64, who is known for stage antics like spitting blood and breathing fire. "Our goal is for our fans to have the time of their lives."

Before the band hits the stage, an announcer hypes the crowd by shouting, "You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world ... K-I-S-S!" Immediately, the bar is set quite high.

"We started building a legacy with our very first show. It's never veered from that," says Stanley, 62, who flies over the crowd to a small stage mid-orchestra to sing "Love Gun." "The reason people still buy tickets is because they know we still deliver the goods. We don't have a bunch of dancers jumping over each other and a microphone that isn't turned on. When you come to see Kiss, you are seeing the real deal."

EARLY BEGINNINGS

Before Simmons and company were superstars, Kiss was a regular at The Daisy, formerly located at 124 Broadway in Amityville. The band's first show was held March 9, 1973, when the guys played two separate sets.

"The Daisy was really a second home for us," Stanley says. "From the first time we played there and nobody knew who we were to a few months later when people were breaking the windows trying to get in, it was all trial by fire."

"In those days, we did whatever had to be done. I started picking up the phone and making calls to clubs. Paul would design little posters," Simmons says. "I have no idea how we wound up on Long Island, but we just wanted to play our music."

By August 1975, the band moved up to the Calderone Theater in Hempstead before headlining its first Nassau Coliseum show on New Year's Eve the same year that launched the group into stardom.

ROCK HALL MIRACLE

This spring, Kiss finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after 15 years of eligibility -- a feat some fans never thought would come to pass.

"It was vindicating for our fans. This has been very important for them," Stanley says. "No small organization with a big name can call the shots or decide what is or isn't valid."

However, nothing goes down in Kiss without controversy. Although there have been 11 members of the band, only the original four -- Stanley, Simmons, drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley -- were inducted. Plus, Simmons and Stanley refused to play with the two at the induction ceremony.

"We are grateful and proud of the fact that Ace, Peter, Paul and myself put together the band that we never saw on stage. But that doesn't mean we want to play with Ace and Peter today," Simmons says. "We've done the reunion thing three different times. Ace and Peter were let go, walked out or fired -- take your pick -- three separate times. That's enough. We wish everybody the best, but not everyone is designed to run a marathon. Sometimes people just fall by the wayside because they have different DNA."

In yet another controversial move, Simmons and Stanley replaced Criss and Frehley with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer using their original makeup designs instead of developing new characters.

"We tried doing another character with Eric Carr -- the Fox and we felt it was diluting Kiss. So been there, done that," Simmons says. "The four personas are bigger than anybody who is in it. How many different people have been Batman? Batman is bigger than whoever plays him."

FANATICAL FANS

On top of its music and stage show, Kiss is famous for having rabid fans affectionately called the Kiss Army. Fans religiously show their worship of the band by painting their faces in solidarity and tattooing the characters on their bodies.

"They are our tribe," Stanley says. "We have fans from 6 to 16 to 60. This tour is for them. It's just a way to restate who we are and let people know that the legend lives."

At Mr. Cheapo's record stores in Mineola and Commack, there are two customers who clamor for Kiss items -- Nassau Vinny and Suffolk Vinny.

Nassau Vinny

Vinny Iadevaio, 42, of Franklin Square got into Kiss through his older brother and his cousins. He saw his first show at Madison Square Garden in 1985 and he's been hooked ever since.

"I'm a Kiss nut," he admits. "They are my all-time favorite band because they have their own unique sound and creative look."

His love of Kiss dates back to when he used to portray Gene Simmons for Halloween as a kid. Today he dresses his 17-month-old daughter in a Kiss Army onesie.

"I go see them every time they come. It's a tradition," says Iadevaio, who will be heading to Jones Beach Wednesday night for his 24th show. "As long as the music rocks and they put on a great show, I'm in heaven."

Suffolk Vinny

Vinny Gonzales of Brentwood saw his first Kiss show at the Academy of Music in Manhattan on New Year's Eve in 1973 by accident.

"I went to see Blue Öyster Cult, but when Kiss came on they blew me away," he says. "I was shocked when I saw Gene spitting blood. Forty years ago that stuff was really hairy."

Today, Gonzales has been to more than 500 shows, became a major collector and even befriended the band.

"I had everything -- over 46 gold and platinum albums, 20 guitars, costume pieces -- you name it," Gonzales says. "The bottom of my house was like a shrine."

After grappling with some medical issues, Gonzales, 57, sold most of his collection, which became legendary in the Kiss community.

His mother, Nancy Gonzales, 79, of Brentwood even makes the band homemade cookies and cream puffs, which she brings to them backstage. She's already preparing a batch for the Jones Beach gig.

"I do everything from scratch," she says. "They would be heartbroken if I didn't bring them."

Gene Simmons says Kiss movie 'Cadillac High' preparing for production in Michigan

Plans for "Cadillac High," a feature film based on KISS' 1975 visit to Cadillac, Mich. are still alive and expected to bring work to the state that helped the band get famous, rocker Gene Simmons told MLive.com.

The Michigan Film Office offered in 2012 film producer Philip Steuer a "conditional" $8.2 million incentive to shoot "Cadillac High" in Cadillac, Detroit and Pontiac.

It's unclear why there's been such a delay, but Simmons sounded eager over the phone Wednesday to see what the finished product will look like.

"It's now been fully funded and it's now in pre-production," Simmons said.

When pressed on the matter, Simmons said he has "no idea" what type of role the band will play in the film, when the movie could be released, and if another visit by the band to Cadillac is possible anytime soon.

"The only date or timeline (for a release) I can give would be a guess," Simmons said.

KISS is currently on tour this summer with Def Leppard and will make an Aug. 23 stop at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston.

"Our dance card is so full," Simmons said. "We're currently in the middle of the tour — the first half of it — and then we'll take a break in September.

"Then we'll do a short stint in Las Vegas; then a KISS cruise; then we'll fly to Mexico City to play a stadium down there; plans for a South American stadium tour, and just go around the world twice for two years."

Attempts Wednesday afternoon to reach the Michigan Film Office and Steuer to get the latest details about plans for "Cadillac High" were unsuccessful.

Steuer produced the "Chronicles of Narnia" films and "Oz the Great and Powerful," that was shot in 2011 at Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac (formerly Raleigh Michigan Studios)

According to the Michigan Film Office's 2011 Annual Report, an cost/benefit analysis of "Cadillac High" said the film was expected to hire 205 Michigan residents and spend just over $27 million dollars.

The dollar figure included, based on the report, $5.5 million on equipment and material rentals, $700,000 on food and over $534,000 on lodging.

"Cadillac High" is expected to emphasize the impact KISS made on the Cadillac High School Vikings varsity football team and the town as a whole.

In 1974, the Vikings, playing KISS albums in the locker room before and after games, won seven straight games and wound up conference co-champs.

Word spread to KISS of the team's success, and the band's members decided to visit Cadillac the next year for a raucous Homecoming weekend.

For more from Simmons, check out my full interview with him on MLive.com next week.

I asked him about the impact Detroit and the rest of Michigan made on the band, the future of KISS, the band's football-related reality show, touring with Def Leppard and more.

For more on KISS' 1975 visit to Cadillac, check out the YouTube video.

Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner dies

Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner died Wednesday of respiratory failure at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

The guitarist, who also played on seminal recordings by Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and Kiss, moved to Arizona in 2004 and had been living in Fountain Hills. He was 71.

"It really is so sad," said Susan Michelson, Wagner's manager and business partner in a company called Desert Dreams Productions.

"He survived so many things and we hoped he would do it again. He had asthma and he'd been complaining about his chest bothering him. But he went in to have a coronary procedure done that turned out to be more complex than they thought. He seemed fine for a couple of days and then his lungs just started to freak out.

"Then, he got much better and then worse again. It kind of went up and down a couple times. And then, the last five days, he was declining. It's still a complete shock because I'm used to him turning around."

Born in Iowa, Wagner was raised in the Saginaw, Mich., area. His early band, the Frost, released three albums on the Vanguard label — 1969's "Frost Music" and "Rock and Roll Music," as well as the following year's "Through the Eyes of Love."

In 1973, he and fellow guitarist Steve Hunter were recruited by famed Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin for Lou Reed's touring band. Wagner and Hunter were featured guitarists on Reed's acclaimed "Berlin" (1973) and joined Reed on the Rock 'n' Roll Animal Tour, as captured on "Rock 'n' Roll Animal."

His first appearance on an Alice Cooper album was "School's Out," which featured a classic Wagner solo on "My Stars." He also appeared on "Billion Dollar Babies" and "Muscle of Love" alongside Cooper's original bandmates. Wagner stepped in as a songwriting partner on "Welcome to My Nightmare," Cooper's first release without the original lineup, earning a co-writing credit on such classics as the title track and "Only Women Bleed."

Subsequent Cooper releases to feature Wagner included "Goes To Hell," "The Alice Cooper Show," "Lace and Whiskey," "From the Inside" " Zipper Catches Skin," "DaDa" and "Hey Stoopid." He also co-wrote a string of Top 20 ballads for Cooper — "I Never Cry," "You And Me" and "How You Gonna See Me Now."

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Cooper wrote: "Even though we know it's inevitable, we never expect to suddenly lose close friends and collaborators. Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable. His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner.

"A lot of my radio success in my solo career had to do with my relationship with Dick Wagner. Not just on stage, but in the studio and writing. Some of my biggest singles were ballads what I wrote with Dick Wagner. Most of 'Welcome To My Nightmare' was written with Dick. There was just a magic in the way we wrote together. He was always able to find exactly the right chord to match perfectly with what I was doing.

"I think that we always think our friends will be around as long as we are, so to hear of Dick's passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, Rock N Roll and to his family."

The guitarist's association with Ezrin also led to Wagner playing on KISS' "Destroyer" and "Revenge," Peter Gabriel's self-titled solo debut Hall & Oates' "Along the Red Ledge" and Burton Cummings' "Dream of a Child."

Gene Simmons issued a statement, printed in Billboard, which read: "Dick Wagner was the consummate gentleman axeman. (He) will be missed," while Paul Stanley was quoted as saying, "Dick was a stellar player and his work with Steve Hunter on Lou Reed's "Rock & Roll Animal" is legendary. He also did great work with Alice Cooper and uncredited ghosting on "Destroyer" and albums by some of our contemporaries. A huge talent with a huge tone and huge heart. A great unsung hero."

In 2012, Wagner's published an autobiography, Not Only Women Bleed, Vignettes from the Heart of a Rock Musician, which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Amazon.com's Hot New Releases in Biographies & Memoirs of Entertainers section.

Michelson says, "There's a reason that Dick Wagner's fans and friends call him 'The Maestro of Rock.' Dick's guitar playing was both wild and fluid. His songwriting, guitar playing and musical arrangements were uniquely rockin', majestic and orchestral. Listen back to his monumental arrangements on Lou Reed's 'Rock N Roll Animal' live album. He took Reed's Velvet Underground songs and turned them into ravishing arena rock."

The guitarist was still very active in music, playing lead guitar on "The Underture," on Alice Cooper's "Nightmare" sequel, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare."

"He was so on top of his game," Michelson said. "He played all these shows and book signing in Michigan in June, just played his ass off for cheering crowds, earning standing ovations. He would sing and play for two-and-a-half, three hours at a time.

"And then he would sign autographs for hours. He was just a hub of creativity and joy. Recording sessions. New sessions. He produced artists while we were in Detroit. He was extremely active and productive. He would write four, five, six new songs a month. Great songs. The same quality he'd always written, just monumental.

"And he was playing great guitar again. He had had a paralyzed arm for a couple of years, but he was the comeback kid so many times."

In addition to being an in-demand guitarist, Wagner was the kind of player people liked to have around.

"Dick has this huge heart," Michelson said. "He loved everybody, no matter who they were. He was just a very loving, giving guy with a brilliant, incisive mind."

Dick Wagner, Guitarist for Alice Cooper, Lou Reed & More, Dies at 71

Dick Wagner, the guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith, among others, died Wednesday (July 30) at the age of 71 in Phoenix.

Wagner, who was also part of the groups The Frost and Ursa Major, had been hospitalized after contracting a lung infection following heart surgery in early July. Though he had posted a Facebook message on July 21 saying "I can't wait to play for you all again one day soon" -- signed "Dick'N THE ICU" -- Wagner was in a medically induced coma at the time of his death from respiratory failure.

"Dick Wagner was the consummate gentleman axeman. (He) will be missed," Kiss' Gene Simmons said in a statement on Wednesday, noting that Wagner played the "blistering" guitar solo on the Destroyer track "Sweet Pain." Kiss frontman Paul Stanley had this to say: "Dick was a stellar player and his work with Steve Hunter on Lou Reed's Rock&Roll Animal is legendary. He also did great work with Alice Cooper and uncredited ghosting on Destroyer and albums by some of our contemporaries. A huge talent with a huge tone and huge heart. A great unsung hero."

Ray Goodman of the SRC and Detroit Wheels, who's known Wagner since the late '60s and has been his de facto band leader since 2011, told Billboard that "he was such a unique talent. I consider him the best and brightest of my generation. He could write a song about anything. He had the gift, something he was innately born with -- along with his very quick, droll sense of humor, another thing I'm going to miss dearly."

Wagner was born in Iowa and grew up in Saginaw, Mich., where his first band, the Bossmen, garnered some national radio play for its single "Baby Boy." Its successor, The Frost, released three albums for Vanguard Records and had a minor hit with "Rock and Roll Music" and was part of a robust Michigan music scene that included the MC5, the Stooges, the Bob Seger System, the Rationals and others. Wagner relocated to New York City in 1972 to start the band Ursa Major, whose original lineup included Billy Joel on keyboards.

Wagner's national breakthrough, came when he joined Reed's band for 1973's Berlin and the acclaimed subsequent live album Rock N Roll Animal, forming a stunning guitar tandem with Steve Hunter. On Wednesday, Hunter posted a Facebook note saying, "We had a thing when we played together like none other I've ever experienced. … We hardly ever had to work anything out. We just did it and it was always right. It was truly a phenomenon. ... The stuff we did together back in the '70s was really and truly magical."

Berlin producer Bob Ezrin brought Wagner (and Hunter) into the Alice Cooper fold for the School's Out album in 1972 and subsequently recruited Wagner to be part of Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare band, both for the album and the tour. Wagner co-wrote six of that album's 11 tracks -- including the hit "Only Women Bleed" -- and remained a collaborator throughout the '70s and into the early '80s, reuniting for 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare.

"Being a sideman was a definite choice I made," Wagner said in a recent interview. "I was going to pursue a solo career after The Frost. I always wanted to kind of be out front, but at heart I'm kind of shy. Being a star is not a big thing to me. I wouldn't want to be Alice Cooper and go through life like he does." Wagner released his first, self-titled solo album in 1978 and was also a hired gun for Aerosmith (the studio version), Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Burton Cummings, Grand Funk Railroad's Mark Farner and others. He also co-wrote songs for Nils Lofgren and Air Supply.

"He sang and played very well, which is obvious, but his songwriting ability was really good, and it was probably underestimated," said Scott Morgan of the Rationals, another friend of Wagner's since the mid-'60s.

Wagner was felled by a near-fatal heart attack in 2007, spending two weeks in a coma and awakening with a paralyzed left arm. He battled other health issues but managed to recover both physically and creatively, releasing a new album, Full Meltdown, in 2009 and publishing his memoir, Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician, in 2012. He also wrote three songs for the documentary Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story and was in the process of writing a concept album about a serial killer for Danish shock rocker Maryann Cotton. He was active in charitable concerns and was named the first Artist Ambassador for Guitars for Vets, as well as national spokesman for Hydrocephalus.org. He and his Desert Dreams Productions company created a video for a new, gospel-flavored version of "Only Women Bleed" to promote awareness of violence against women and children.

Wagner played his final show on June 29 in Owosso, Mich., and Ray Goodman noted that, "He was playing the best he ever has since (returning in 2011). We were really looking forward to picking this up in the fall."

Wagner is survived by his sons, Robert Wagner and Mark Schukmecht, and daughter Jasmine Dreame Wagner. A memorial will be held in Michigan, according to his personal manager and Desert Dreams business partner Susan Michelson, but details have not yet been determined.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley: A CSQ&A with the KISS Legends

(csq.com) Forty years is a long time for any partnership to survive, but in the music industry, when you think about artists from four decades ago, it’s nearly always in the past tense. Not so with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The founders and remaining original members of KISS are forging full-steam ahead on the heels of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with this summer’s 40-year anniversary, 42-city U.S. tour, with a stop at The Forum in Los Angeles on July 8. Although the output of new material has ebbed, the pair have been plenty busy – together and separately – with multiple projects, including reality television, memoirs, musical theatre, films, a music label, a new line of restaurants, and bringing football back to Los Angeles.

CSQ What was the impetus for not only putting your energy behind an Arena Football League team in Los Angeles but branding it LA KISS?

Gene Simmons It happened quite naturally. We were asked to play the AFL Arena Bowl. And then we became enamored with the AFL and found that there was no football team of any kind in Los Angeles. Opportunity knocked. We answered.

CSQ What will people see at an LA KISS game that they can’t see at any other sporting event?

Paul Stanley We try to fill the evening with a variety of entertainment so that you’re not waiting for half time that consists of somebody running around the field dressed like a hamster. We’ve got great dancers and I don’t mean cheer ones. We’ve got BMX stunt bike riders. We’ve got a live band. We’ve got dancers suspended from the ceiling. And we’ve got a football team that looks like Marvel superheroes. And all at a price that won’t make you mortgage your house.

CSQ How involved are you in decisions related to the team (i.e., uniforms, personnel, in-game entertainment)?

Gene We are involved in all the facets, without crossing the lines into certain managerial and coaching areas, which is best left to the professionals. Having said that, Paul designed the helmets and LA KISS Girls outfits.

CSQ How would you compare the lifestyle of professional athletes and professional musicians? Did either of you ever have aspirations to pursue sports?

Paul Most musicians are wimps. To do what I do takes discipline, hard work, and constant training. My injuries, including torn rotator cuffs, torn knees, and a hip that had to be replaced with titanium, says it all. I am a warrior, not a wimp.

CSQ Who were your sports idols growing up?

Gene I come from the dinosaur era. Mickey Mantle. Joe Namath. I always wanted sports figures that were stars on and off the field.

CSQ What initially attracted you to each other musically?

Gene I was immediately taken by Paul’s talent. He was not necessarily taken by mine, at least initially. But when we started the band 40 years ago, once we marched forward, we marched forward as one.

CSQ What is particularly special about still being able to perform these songs after 40 years?

Gene The astonishing thing is how generation after generation of new fans keeps coming to our shows. From five years old to 55.

CSQ What do you feel has been the band’s biggest contribution to the music industry?

Gene We raised the bar and expectations of anyone attending any kind of live music event. Country, rap, and especially rock. When you see any band, from Garth Brooks to Paul McCartney, using pyrotechnics live, where do you think they got that from? Air Supply?

CSQ Paul mentioned in a recent interview that the KISS brand supersedes any individual members of the band. How do you think you’ll be celebrating the band’s 50-year anniversary?

Gene Hopefully, onstage somewhere in the world, knocking the pants off of our fans.

Unified by their distinctive face paint, “The Demon” (Simmons) and “Starchild” (Stanley), prowled arenas around the globe throughout the ’70s and early ’80s before washing off the makeup for good in 1985. The band went through various iterations and reunions with original members “Space” Ace Frehley and Peter “The Cat” Criss. Yet plenty of other opportunities beckoned: In 1999, Stanley proved his considerable range by playing the lead in a Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera; Simmons expanded his pop culture cult of personality on reality TV.

In May, CSQ crossed paths with Simmons in a unique circumstance: The 64-year-old rocker was officiating a wedding at the El Segundo location of Rock & Brews, the craft-brewery and dining chain that he and Stanley launched in 2010 with Michael Zislis and Dave and Dell Furano. His face wrapped in dark shades and his body cloaked in a sable robe with the restaurant’s logo embroidered on the back, Simmons performed his first legal union ceremony, after which he admitted he was “nervous as hell.”

CSQ What caused you to re-evaluate your feelings about marriage?

Gene I have always been confident – some would call it arrogant – with a delusional sense of belief in myself. Over time, and I’m talking 30 years on, I learned that the mother of our children is a spectacular woman. And I need to be with her.

CSQ Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels ran for 7 seasons and 167 episodes. Why do you think the show was so successful?

Gene Well, if you could list the 10 reasons why our show outlasted I Love Lucy, then everyone would do those 10 steps and succeed. Either viewers like who they are watching, or they don’t. I guess they liked us. In 84 countries.

CSQ Paul, you wrote your book, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” to, in your words, ‘give an honest account of your life experience.’ What would you like people to take away from your story?

Paul We are never given the choice of the cards we are dealt. We only choose how we play with them. In life you can either be a victim and use the past as an excuse for the present and future or you can roll up your sleeves and make the life that hard work will give you. It’s up to you.

CSQ Who do you consider your mentors?

Paul There’s a difference between mentors and someone who serves as an inspiration. A mentor is a hands-on teacher. I have been inspired by many, but mentored by none.

Gene My mother is the most inspirational person I have ever met. Not the most educated person, not the world traveled, but the wisest by far.

CSQ Gene, you have multiple interests and facets of business that demand your attention. What’s the next step for you in terms of your entrepreneurial goals?

Gene The Gene Simmons Company has just entered into a partnership to enable it to finance motion pictures. [We plan] to start the first movie [this] summer and within 12 months have five or six movies under our belts.

CSQ What career would you have pursued if music hadn’t worked out?

Gene I would have succeeded – and continue to – in any area I choose. Invariably, it always comes down to hard work and perseverance. I never quit.

Paul I’ve found that staying committed and steadfast leaves little room for compromise or failure. I succeeded because I had to.

July 29, 1977: Kiss plays for 12,000 people third time in town

(edmontonjournal.com) When heavy metal rock band Kiss took the Northlands Coliseum (now Rexall Place) stage on this night, it was a completely different situation from their first go-round in Edmonton.

They were something of an unknown musical quantity in February 1974 when they kick-started their first North American tour in Edmonton — they didn’t even merit a review — playing for hundreds of fans in a cafeteria at the Lister Hall at the University of Alberta.

“We were a brand new band then, right out of New York and man we were ... well, green just isn’t the word for it,” lead singer Paul Stanley told Journal critic Joe Sornberger.

“I remember it was in a school lunchroom. There were signs up advertising ‘The Kiss’ with misspellings of our names.

“We were a brand new band out of New York and we had to start somewhere. They put us on a plane and said, ‘You’re going to Canada.’ We did places a lot of Canadians have never heard of. I’ll bet we played Grizzly Adams’s hometown.”

The Journal’s current music critic Sandra Sperounes recently blogged about bass player Gene Simmons, saying he shagged his first of 4,000 groupies after the Edmonton show.

Three years later, Kiss performed before 12,000 fans at the Coliseum, then played a second gig two days later at the same venue.

Members of the self-described “hottest rock and roll band in the land” were resplendent in chains, skin-tight leather outfits and painted faces as they wobbled around on their seven-inch platform shoes to “dazzle 11,494 of Edmonton’s finest 15-year-olds ... with a performance that was a large serving of gimmickry with a side order of primitively basic rock,” Sornberger, obviously not a fan, wrote in his review.

“Kiss, you see, is a group whose members figured out long ago that as only average players, they would never get noticed by doing what everybody else was doing. That by pounding at their guitars and drums like every other rock band in North America they’d get nowhere, slowly.

“They stunned the crowd, putting on a show that required nothing of the audience but the slack-jawed response they got. They dazzled these television babies with entertainment that required barely more than a 20-second attention span.

“They killed ’em with pizzazz.”

Musically, the band has but one message, he wrote, which is outlined in one of their songs: “Rock and roll all night. Party all day.”

“That’s all,” wrote Sornberger. “Just painfully loud, basic music — and I’m using the word music here loosely — draped across a bizarre stage. That’s all it takes. And the crowd, shielding its eyes from the smoke and the glitter and its ears from the noise, is impressed.”

Kiss, which continues to perform today, went on to sell more than 100 million records, making them one of the world’s bestselling bands of all time.

A Clean and Sober Ace Frehley Discusses Kiss' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Debacle and More

(guitarworld.com) This year started off innocently enough for Ace Frehley.

Just one week prior to Christmas 2013, the former Kiss lead guitarist learned that he and his comrades in the original Kiss lineup—Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss—were finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after 15 years of eligibility (and 15 years of outcry from the Kiss Army).

A cause for celebration, no doubt—and a golden opportunity for the four founding members of the legendary rock band to perform onstage together again for the first time since October 7, 2000, the final North American date of their Farewell Tour.

And then, somehow, it all imploded. In the weeks preceding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on April 10 in Brooklyn, New York, Kiss became the primary focus of every public and private discussion surrounding the event after they announced that there would be no Kiss performance—let alone a Kiss reunion—that night.

To make matters worse, the band members seized every opportunity to lambast one another in the press on a seemingly daily basis, effectively rendering what was supposed to be a triumphant reunion performance loaded with all the blood-spitting, fire-breathing, makeup-running pageantry that fans had been clamoring for all these years into a pitiful non-event.

“I was like, Jesus Christ, after 40 years of support you can’t give the fans 10 minutes?” says a still worked-up Frehley over a cup of black tea at Guitar World headquarters in New York. “The fans wanted it, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wanted it. But Gene and Paul didn’t. It’s sad. They definitely lost some fans because of this decision.

“I think the reason they didn’t want to get together with the original members was because they’re afraid of history repeating itself. When we did Unplugged in 1995, you saw what happened: because the fans were so excited about me and Peter playing with those guys, they had to scrap their last record [with then-current members Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer] and do a reunion tour [with Frehley and Criss in 1996]. Although at this point I don’t think Peter could do a two-hour show and a full tour. But I still got the chops. I definitely blow [current Kiss guitarist] Tommy Thayer off the stage.”

It’s obvious that Frehley is fired up, and with good reason. With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fiasco behind him, the clean-and-sober Spaceman is able to focus on the things in life that make him happy, like living in San Diego with his pretty, blond 47-year-old fiancé Rachael Gordon, writing books, working with Gibson on various signature guitars and recording new music. Space Invader, his first record since 2009’s top-notch Anomaly, is due out in a few weeks, and Ace couldn’t be more excited.

“I haven’t had a drink in more than seven and a half years, and I feel great now,” says the 63-year-old guitarist. “I’m writing great songs and I’m singing great, and I’m super excited about this new album. It’s gonna be even better than Anomaly. I played some tracks for a couple of guys I was considering using for mixing, and the first thing out of their mouths was, ‘God, your voice sounds like it did on your 1978 solo record.’ Unlike some other people, whose voices aren’t maybe what they used to be. Not to name names, or anything.”

Your love affair with alcohol during Kiss’ heyday—and, well, all through the Eighties and Nineties—is well documented. Do you miss it? Are there days when you want a drink?

No. I haven’t had the urge to drink in a long time. And I don’t miss the hangovers, I don’t miss the smells, the late nights at the bars, or the people. I was hanging out with some pretty shady people in my heavy-drinking-and-coke years. I was in some situations that really could have gone sideways. I was just lucky. And you have to realize that my fans used to emulate my behavior when I was a crazy man—“Ace is a party animal, let’s go get loaded!” Then they’d go crash their car, and I’d feel terrible.

Now it’s turned around. And when someone comes up to me and says that they haven’t had a drink in six months and that they’re doing well because I am, that makes my day. Maybe that’s one reason why God has kept me alive. By all rights I should have died a half dozen times already, so every day above ground I’m thrilled.

Did you think Kiss would ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

I knew that [the Hall] had to buckle to popular opinion. It was only a matter of time. We were first eligible 15 years ago, so I knew it would happen eventually. I mean, how can you exclude Kiss, one of the biggest American rock groups in history? Even though we didn’t perform, I’m still thrilled to be in it.

Where were you when you found out that you were being inducted?

I was at home in San Diego and got a call from my manager. Then, about a week later, I got the “congratulatory” call from Paul and Gene. And I could tell that there was some hesitancy on their part about the whole thing. I was asking them if we were gonna play, and Gene avoided the question by saying, “Well, we’re just looking forward to getting the four of us up there together and celebrating…whatever.” It was a noncommittal congratulatory call.

Then, about a week later, I was told that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame absolutely wants the four original members to reunite, and I said, “Great, I’ll do it.” And there was silence from Gene and Paul. And finally it was shot down. The next thing I heard is that Paul and Gene wanted to perform with the current Kiss lineup [with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer]. And I said, Well, that’s kind of a slap in the face. I mean, they’re not even being inducted. I have to sit through a Kiss cover band when I’m receiving an award? I don’t think so.

I also heard at one point that they wanted me to perform in makeup with Tommy at the same time. I really didn’t want to be onstage with Tommy, but I said I would do it, as long as I got to play the bulk of the songs and that I could wear the Destroyer costume. Then a few days later [it was], “No, we’re not gonna play at all.” It was almost like they were trying to bait me, so that if I said no to anything they would just blame me for there being no performance. I was almost going to boycott the whole thing.

The weeks leading up to the induction ceremony were filled with all sorts of public drama. A lot of negative comments were hurled back and forth in the press between the four original members of Kiss. Why do you think Gene and Paul are always so quick to disparage you publicly?

I don’t know. I think they’re just cranky. For years, when I was fucked up, Gene used to say that I was a drunk and a drug addict and that I was unemployable. Kick a guy when he’s down, right? But they can’t do that anymore, so it’s like they’re scratching their heads trying to come up with new ways to insult me. The most recent thing was that I’m anti-Semitic, that I’m a fucking Nazi. That’s just below the belt. Next I’ll be a member of the Ku Klux Klan. And my fiancé is Jewish! My whole life I’ve worked with Jewish people in all different capacities—my accountants, my attorneys, people on the road. Jesus Christ, I can’t believe the stuff that comes out of their mouths. But the truth is that I don’t want to be negative. I just want to keep everything light and be happy.

Paul has been so goddamn cranky lately. I mean, what’s wrong, Paul, aren’t you happy? I know they must be frustrated because people are always writing about how Ace was the real guy or Ace was the real deal. It’s gotta rub them the wrong way. They would like nothing more than for me to start drinking again, start taking drugs again and end up as a bum on skid row. But that’s not gonna happen.

Anybody who says anything bad about me is foolish, because a lot of people like me. You’re gonna make enemies when you put down Ace Frehley. And that’s because I’m a straight shooter—I tell it like it is. Gene is that way too. He’ll sit across from you in a room and say this or that and tell it like it is. Whether you like it or not, he lays it out, right to your face. Paul will tell you one thing, then walk out the door and stab you in the fucking back. That’s Paul Stanley. And now he’s trying to take credit for the fucking Kiss logo? Unbelievable. I designed the logo—all he did was draw straighter lines.

And you know, I told Paul to wear the star on his eye. Do you know what his makeup was before he put the star on his eye? It was a round circle. He looked like the dog from the Little Rascals [Pete the Pup, a.k.a. Petey]. It told him it looked kinda silly and that he should put one star on his eye. But do I go around taking credit for that? No. I let him say he designed it. Who cares, you know? Let’s not be petty.

You would think that if Gene and Paul had half a brain, they would realize what’s going on and start saying good things about Ace. I mean, keep bad-mouthing me. No one’s gonna show up at your fucking tour this summer.

Let’s talk about your upcoming solo album, Space Invader. It’s been five years since Anomaly. Why the delay?

I don’t know. [laughs] I’m not disciplined, and I can only create when I’m in the zone. I get preoccupied with other things—moving, family stuff, whatever—and then years go by. I had two record labels courting me, and I decided to go with E1 Music because of their reputation in the business and because they offered me more money. And when someone writes you a check, you gotta make the record! [laughs] The truth is, I work better when there’s a deadline. And I usually have to extend the deadline. But the end result is usually quality.

Do you enjoy the whole process of writing and recording?

Yes. I’m actually enjoying writing and recording more than ever, because I’ve become a lot more comfortable with Pro Tools, which means I can edit my own solos now. And that’s just fun. I prefer having an engineer there, but if there’s not one around, I can do my own editing and not have to depend on anyone else. Vocals too. I can do it all myself.

Which is quite different from recording with Kiss in the early Seventies.

With Kiss we used to do a slave reel. We’d mix down on two-inch tape, 24 tracks. [Producer] Eddie Kramer would mix down a stereo track of drums, and he’d give me a whole reel just to do solos. And Eddie was great at editing tape. But the flexibility you get nowadays with Pro Tools is just night and day compared to those days. Digital editing is a dream.

What was the songwriting process like for Space Invader?

You know, all my life I’ve never had a formula for writing songs. Sometimes it starts with a guitar riff, sometimes it’s a lyrical idea or just a melody. Sometimes I wake up with an idea. There’s no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I write on an acoustic, sometimes on a bass. There’s a song on the new album called “Into the Vortex.” It’s a riff song, but I wrote it on a bass guitar. Why? Because I write differently with a bass guitar in my hand than an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. When I feel creative, I just sit down and start playing.

Did you write differently in the early days of Kiss?

Yes. I wasn’t as structured as I am now. Even though I’m not really structured—I’m at least cognizant of what’s going on. [laughs] Back then it was more hit or miss—and when I hit, I hit big. You know, I go back and listen to my 1978 solo record, and it still holds up. My whole body of work that I’ve created over the years has withstood the test of time. I know that I still have the goods. And when this record gets released, everybody’s gonna say, “Well, Ace did it again.”

Were there things about Anomaly that you wanted to change with Space Invader?

I know that everyone is hoping that this album is heavier than the last one, and it is. I’m also doing an instrumental this time, called “Starship,” that isn’t slow. It’s a departure from the “Fractured Mirror” style. It’s more fast paced and has a lot of transitions in it.

You cover the Steve Miller song “The Joker” on the new album. How did that come about?

It was the record company’s idea, to be honest. And I was a little resistant when it first came up. But then I thought back to my 1978 solo record, when Eddie Kramer’s assistant said to me, “Why don’t you try this song?” And it was “New York Groove.” At first I said, “I don't want to do that,” and it turned out to be my biggest hit. So maybe history can repeat itself.

Where was Space Invader recorded?

I did most of the recording at my friend’s studio in Turlock, California, called the Creation Lab. Turlock is in the middle of nowhere—it’s like a farming community—and that’s why I loved it. I have Attention Deficit Disorder, and there are absolutely no distractions when working at this place. You record for eight or 10 or 12 hours, then you go back to the hotel and go to sleep. You wake up and go back to the studio.

There’s nothing else to do there, which means it’s the perfect place for me to record. Plus, I like working with the least amount of people, and this studio is great because it’s quiet and there aren’t all kinds of people walking through. I did most of this record with just me and a drummer, Matt Starr. For a couple of songs I brought in Chris Wyse from the Cult to play bass.

What guitars and amps are you using on the album?

I’m using a big variety of guitars. I have 35 or 40 different guitars hanging on the wall, and I just grab different ones. There’s a seven-string on one song, a Dobro, some 12-string acoustics… Sometimes I get the urge to use the double-neck. I like flexibility. The more variety, to me, the better. As for amps, it’s basically the same stuff I used on Anomaly: Marshalls and Voxes and Fenders.

The “Budokan” Les Paul replica guitar you did with Gibson in 2012 was a huge success. Are you planning another signature model?

I remember when I first did that deal and I went to the Gibson office to sign a bunch of the guitars, I said to [Gibson senior VP] Rick Gembar, “How are they selling?” And he said, “What do you mean, ‘How are they selling?’ They’re already sold. They were already sold before we put them out. Ace, anything you do turns to gold.”

That was a good feeling. I’m trying to figure out what to do next. I keep asking people what they think, and some say to do the three-pickup black Les Paul; some say to do the first one I had, the sunburst Standard. But I don’t have to make that decision today, so I’m not worrying about it. But Gibson does an amazing job with these guitars. I don’t know how they make guitars that look 30 or 40 years old, right down to the screws and scratches and little details.

I’m working on a design for a new amp right now that I think is just going to be too cool. I can’t talk about it yet because I haven’t finished the prototype. I also have a prototype guitar in the works that’s gonna be revolutionary. But that deal’s not done, so I can’t talk about that either. Amp and guitar—both completely different from anything else on the market. I’m always coming up with new ideas. I invented an electric guitar, like, 20 years ago. [laughs] My father was an inventor. It’s in my blood. I also have an idea for a really cool clock. But I can’t even talk about it because it’s so brilliant.

PodKISSt #92 "Dressed to Kill" Side 2

(Listen) PodKISSt #92 “Dressed to Kill” Side 2

We discuss “Dressed to Kill” Side: 2!

Bill Starkey (Commander & Chief of the KISS Army!) joins us.

Then Ken, Gary, Matt Porter, Chris Karem, Craig Cohen & BJ Kramp as we discuss this long requested album!

Decibel Geek Podcast: KISS Grab Bag - Ep147

(Listen) KISSMAS in July is now drawing to a close for 2014 and there were so many things we wanted to cover we figured, why not cover them all?

This week Aaron and Chris open up a KISS Grab Bag of topics to discuss. Listeners of the show submitted KISS-related subjects and your hosts give their take on those topics this week. Everything from discussion of KISS' merchandising reaching into things like Hello Kitty and arena football to favorite/least favorite albums, stages, costumes, songs, and much much more is covered in this free-form discussion. We also give an update on Vinnie Vincent, plans for more KISS-related shows later in the year and a track by track discussion of the Ace Frehley album 'Space Invader.'

A whole lot to cover to round out KISSMAS in JULY so take it all in and enjoy our talk on the Hottest Band in the Land!

Ace Frehley: 'Simmons And Stanley Pulled Hall Of Fame Show Over Reunion Demand Fears'

(contactmusic.com) Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons refused to regroup the original Kiss line-up for a performance at the band's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction because they were afraid fans would demand a reunion tour, according to guitarist Ace Frehley.

Stanley and Simmons pulled the plug on a performance at the big bash in April (14) after Hall of Fame bosses refused to honour their current bandmates alongside Frehley and drummer Peter Criss, so the live spectacular fans had hoped for was nixed - and now the group's original guitarist tells Wenn the Kiss army will never forgive his old bandmates.

He explains, "After 40 years, you think they could have given the fans 15 minutes that night. Peter and I wanted to perform, the Hall of Fame wanted us to do it, but Paul and Gene shot it down. It was a moment in history that was lost and some of the fans will never forgive them for that.

"But I'll tell you why Paul and Gene didn't wanna perform with me and Peter - they were afraid of history repeating itself. When me and Peter performed with them on the MTV Unplugged sessions in 1995, the place went completely crazy and they had to scrap their album that they had just recorded with Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer and they had to do a reunion tour.

"They're on tour right now with Tommy (Thayer) and Eric (Singer) and they didn't want anything to overshadow that. They were afraid that everyone was gonna demand a reunion again if we played."

And Frehley has used his new Wenn interview to respond to fresh criticism from Stanley, who recently stated his former lead guitarist was not fit "to wear the uniform" of Kiss, explaining, "If you no longer can uphold your end or live up to the stature that we set for ourselves in the beginning, if you are compromised by drugs or alcohol, if you've lost sight of how lucky we are to be in this position, then you no longer deserve to wear the uniform."

Frehley insists he was never as bad as his former bandmates paint him - and he hopes his new album Space Invader, his first in five years, will prove he's still got what it takes.

He adds, "It's a joke. In concert, I always delivered, and 95 per cent of the time I delivered on record. It's there, it's history. All they're trying to do is discredit me, so it validates the new line-up. They'll look foolish when my new album comes out.

"I think they're just cranky that every time they go on the Internet they have to read fans saying, 'Get Ace back'."

"FASHION ROCKS," A LIVE CONCERT CELEBRATING THE POWERFUL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASHION AND MUSIC, RETURNS TO CBS ON TUESDAY, SEPT. 9

FASHION ROCKS, a star-studded concert that honors the extraordinary relationship between fashion and music, returns Tuesday, Sept. 9 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) to the CBS Television Network. Emmy Award winner Ryan Seacrest will host the live show from Barclays Center in New York City. The evening will feature performances by some of music’s most innovative trendsetters, including Afrojack, The Band Perry, Duran Duran, KISS, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, Nico & Vinz, Rita Ora, Pitbull and Usher. Additional performers and presenters will be announced at a later date.

“FASHION ROCKS has all the makings of live event television,” said Jack Sussman, CBS Entertainment Executive Vice President of Music, Specials & Live Events. “Fashion and music are the perfect combination – great clothes and hit songs, along with music and fashion’s biggest stars, will come together for an amazing night, hosted by one of the best in the business.”

“FASHION ROCKS is the only show that celebrates the inextricable link between fashion and music, a relationship that is more relevant today than ever before,” said Richard Beckman, CEO of Three Lions Entertainment, which is producing the special with Don Mischer Productions. “For the first time we’ll air the event live during Fashion Week from Barclays Center. It will be a spectacular affair, featuring some of the world’s most talented musicians as well as today’s hottest fashions.”

“I’m always excited to be a part of live events, and FASHION ROCKS combines three of my favorite things – music, fashion and New York City,” said Ryan Seacrest. “I’m looking forward to working with CBS, Three Lions Entertainment and Don Mischer to make it an amazing and memorable night.”

Ryan Seacrest is the Emmy Award-nominated host of the primetime talent showcase “American Idol.” Also, he serves as host and executive producer of the annual New Year’s Eve program “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” On radio, Seacrest is host of “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his #1 nationally syndicated LA morning drive-time show, as well as a nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show.

Seacrest launched Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP) in 2006, which has since become an Emmy-winning entertainment production company creating unscripted, scripted and digital programming. Currently, RSP produces the hit series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and spin-off “Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons,” “Shahs of Sunset,” “How I Rock It,” “Webheads,” “The Speegle Life” and the upcoming drama series “Shades of Blue,” starring Jennifer Lopez. The company also produced the Emmy Award-winning reality series “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”

Seacrest will launch a tailored men’s clothing and accessories collection, Ryan Seacrest Distinction, at Macy’s this fall.

Seacrest’s philanthropic efforts are focused on youth-oriented initiatives, including serving as Chairman of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and Honorary Chair of the Grammy Foundation. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation has opened seven broadcast media centers – Seacrest Studios – in pediatric hospitals in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Orange County, Calif., and Philadelphia, with more on the way in 2014. He is also on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Tickets will go on sale beginning Friday, August 1, at 10:00 AM, ET and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Saturday, August 2 at noon (if tickets are still available). For information on individual suites, please call 718-BK-SUITE.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning on Monday, July 28 at 10:00 AM through Thursday, July 31 at 10:00 PM.

FASHION ROCKS is a production of Three Lions Entertainment in association with Don Mischer Productions. Richard Beckman, CEO of Three Lions Entertainment, Don Mischer and Ryan Seacrest are the executive producers.

The special previously aired on CBS in 2008.

ACE FREHLEY: 'Space Invader' Audio Samples

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in five years, will be released in North America on August 19 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The CD, which will be made available in Europe on August 18 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, will include 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music.

Audio samples of all the tracks that are set to appear on "Space Invader" can be streamed at Amazon.co.uk.

Decibel Geek Podcast: Top 10 KISS Guitar Solos - Ep146

(Listen) While Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are the 2 constant mainstays in KISS, the lead guitar position has faced the most changes of their 40 year history.

This week Aaron and Chris dissect and spin their Top 10 favorite KISS guitar solos. Aaron takes the Ace Frehley route for his list and Chris pulls his 10 favorite from the combined tenure of Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick, and Tommy Thayer. There's some very interesting and unexpected picks.

The KISS Room - July 2014 Episode

(Listen) Matt Porter is joined in the studio by:
• Chris Giordano (KISS It & KISStory) and we're talking to:
• Robert Fleischman (Vinnie Vincent, The Sky)
• Kathy Marra
• Mark Britton
KISS talk, KISS tunes and MORE!

One On One with Mitch Lafon Episode 28

(Listen) In episode 28 of One On One with Mitch Lafon. Mitch is joined by co-hosts Russ Dwarf (KILLER DWARFS) and Mark Strigl (Talking Metal). In this episode Mitch sits down with Peter 'Moose' Oreckinto and JR Smalling two of KISS' original crew guys. The three discuss working with the band in the early days, the importance of Sean Delaney & Bill Aucoin, the impressions of the original members (Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley), what it was like working for the band 'back in the day', the origins of the 'You Wanted The Best' tag line, their new book 'Out On The streets' and much more. For More visit: theoriginalkisskrew.com.

Q&A: Gene Simmons explains how he'd fix the Rock Hall

(tbo.com) Gene Simmons can't usually hold his tongue. But he did so when KISS met the media after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three-months ago. Simmons, who will turn 65 in August, and his co-conspirator Paul Stanley refused to field questions after being honored.

But Simmons, who will co-headline Wednesday at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater with Def Leppard, is more than willing to talk about refusing to play the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction concert, why Run-D.M.C. doesn't belong in the Hall, and he offers advice for the last true rock star.

Q: You act as if all of the media is against you. That's not so. In fact, I had the same experience Tom Morello, who eloquently inducted you into the Rock Hall, had. KISS was my first concert and initial visceral music experience.

A: Now look at you; you're a big journalist.

Q: I don't know about big, although I had a huge breakfast. A generation ago it was all about rock and Creem magazine.

A: Journalism was in a healthier state then. The Internet has made journalism more cold.

Q: You could say the same thing about music.

A: You could. I agree.

Q: Morello nailed it while inducting you. It was as if he was 12 years old again.

A: It was a tour de force. I was blown away.

Q: How was Morello selected?

A: He was not selected. Tom is connected with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame board and he kept pulling on (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame co-founder) Jann Wenner's tie, and we were inducted. But how can you have Madonna, Run-D.M.C. and Blondie in the hall. KISS is one of the most influential bands ever. Jann Wenner is just not a fan. Not everybody likes Jesus, either. We have no reason to complain. We're the luckiest sons of bitches to walk the face of the Earth. If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame added us or didn't, it didn't matter to us. We only did the induction with Ace and Peter because the fans wanted it. But it was a slap in the face that they didn't acknowledge (guitarist) Tommy Thayer and (drummer) Eric (Singer). They've been in the band longer than Ace (Frehley) and Peter (Criss). If the Grateful Dead can have 10 members in and out of the band and a lyricist, who was never in the band in the Hall, how can you explain that? Or how can the E Street Band get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? The E Street Band? Well, then why not the Silver Bullet Band or the Heartbreakers. I don't get it.

Q: What do you think about all of the hip-hop artists in the Hall?

A: The idea of Run-D.M.C. and other rap acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the height of ridiculousness. If KISS was inducted into the Rap Hall of Fame people would say, 'Man, that's crazy.' Exactly. KISS ain't hip-hop, and Run-D.M.C. ain't rock. They don't belong in the Rock Hall.

Q: KISS was the only band that refused to perform at the April Induction. If they let you play with Tommy and Eric, as well as Ace and Peter, would you have taken the stage?

A: I suggested it, but they turned me down.

Q: How can you beat the system?

A: Well, I was thinking of buying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Q: If anyone in rock could afford it, it would be you. How much is the Hall worth to you?

A: It almost doesn't matter (laughs). Almost.

Q: How would you change it?

A: The first thing I would do is move the bodies buried in the wrong place. I would bury them in the right place. I would put Run-D.M.C., who I believe are very good, and the rest of hip-hop into the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame. I would take Madonna and Donna Summer, who was a dear friend, and put them in the Disco or Dance Hall of Fame. I would put Deep Purple in the Hall. The fact that Blondie got in before Humble Pie is crazy.

Q: Why wouldn't you field any questions after being inducted?

A: There was nothing to say (to the media) after we made our speeches.

Q: How did you feel about Ace speaking to the media after you posed for photos as a group?

A: I wasn't there. We left early. ... His demons are his own. He leads a Jekyll and Hyde sort of existence. He has a new album coming out, and I wish him well. I wish Peter (Criss) well, too.

Q: If they ever cleaned up their act would you …

A: Not a chance. We've already danced that dance three different times. No way will we reunite. It wouldn't be fair to Tommy and Eric. It wouldn't be right.

Q: KISS was slammed back in the day for turning rock into a circus, but pyro is part of so many big shows.

A: Absolutely. If you see Garth (Brooks), Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones, you get pyro. Where do you think that came from, Air Supply? We started doing that stuff, and they (the arbiters of taste) hated it. We didn't care. We wanted to combine all the thrills and put them on stage. Rock is renegade music. They all caught up with us though. The Dead came out with the cherry vanilla ice cream (Cherry Garcia). So the hippies even came around.

Q: Whatever happened to the rock star?

A: It disappeared like the dinosaur. I would love it if (Lady) Gaga, who was the only real rock star two-years ago, would rock out. It would take King Kong size balls if she came out with her next album and made a stripped down rock record with no tapes, no Vegas dancers and just go and kick disco in the nuts. Get the tapes and the male strippers off the stage. They're not musicians.

Q: Gaga's shows have no momentum. She pontificates between every other song.

A: That's why I think a rock show would be the best thing for her. Go up there on a roller coaster and you don't get a chance to catch your breath until the end. Less is more.

Q: Less is more is the most unlikely phrase to ever leave your lips. What has ever been less than more at a KISS show?

A: We wanted to do a show with much more pyro this tour, so I guess less is more for us in that manner.

Q: How long can KISS exist as a touring band?

A: We can't do what the Stones do. They're in their 70s. Charlie (Watts) is 73 and sits on a chair. They perform in sneakers and T-shirts. I have 50 pounds of gear on. We have a few tours in us, though but we won't be doing this in our 70s.

Q: You stand out in an era when you sport gargoyle gear and other bands dress like they're hanging at the corner bar.

A: We do, but I guess what we do isn't for everyone. I love U2 but I don't think the Edge would look right in a cape. It wouldn't look good on him.

PodKISSt #91 "Dressed to Kill" Side 1

(Listen) Join us as we discuss “Dressed to Kill” Side 1! Join, Ken, Gary, Matt Porter, Chris Karem, Craig Cohen & BJ Kramp as we discuss this long requested album!

Guitarist DICK WAGNER Undergoes Heart Surgery

Former ALICE COOPER guitarist Dick Wagner was hospitalized on July 8 after he complained of breathing problems. He has since undergone surgery to have artery cleaned up and has gained 30 percent better blood flow, but was still suffering from a severe lung infection after the operation. He remains under observation.

Back in 2007, Wagner suffered a serious heart attack but made a full recovery and returned to the stage five years later.

Dick was most notably the guitarist and co-writer of many of Alice Cooper's biggest hits but was also featured on KISS' "Destroyer" and AEROSMITH's "Get Your Wings".

Wagner was Alice Cooper's right-hand man on the albums "Welcome To My Nightmare", "Goes To Hell", "Lace And Whiskey", "From The Inside" and "DaDa", helping in songwriting, composing, production and playing lead guitar. He also contributed to the making of "School's Out", "Billion Dollar Babies", "Muscle Of Love", "Hey Stoopid", and Alice Cooper's latest album, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare".

Decibel Geek Podcast: Conversation with Ken Barr - Ep145

(Listen) Some of the most memorable KISS discussions we've had are the ones we've conducted with crew members. This week's guest should prove to continue that tradition.

Kiss announces Vegas Hard Rock residency

(Promo Clip) Las Vegas wanted the best, it's getting the best.

Kiss, which has used a variant of that line in its introductions for more than 35 years, will play a nine-show Sin City residency this fall. Kiss Rocks Vegas brings the self-proclaimed "hottest band in the land" to The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino beginning Nov. 5.

"Whatever you're used to with Kiss, this will pump it up that much more," says guitarist Paul Stanley. "If Kiss is on steroids, this is a double dose."

Tickets for Kiss Rocks Vegas will start at $49.50 and go on sale Friday at AXS.com.

Vegas Hard Rock spent more than a year trying to book a Kiss residency, says Chas Smith, vice president of entertainment. The Joint previously has hosted extended stays by Santana, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard and Tiësto.

He's preparing the Hard Rock for a full-scale Kiss Army invasion. "The activation will encompass the entire property for the month they're out here — from the performances onstage to wrapping the hotel with Kiss stuff to having team members wearing Kiss shirts," Smith says.

Under the Kiss Rocks Vegas configuration, The Joint will seat about 3,200.

"Usually, going into a smaller venue means eliminating things," Stanley says. "The great thing about going into The Joint, it gives us the opportunity to add. Much in the same way as a Broadway show, when you have a permanent installation, you're not breaking down every night to travel. So we can do things we wouldn't normally do."

For the Vegas shows, Kiss will have a stage production "that's different from what they're touring with and make it one of a kind," says Smith, who is in discussions with members of the Kiss production team. "That's really exciting, considering what Kiss has done in the past. They've got some crazy ideas for what they want to do in this venue. In a smaller environment, doing some of those elements will almost make it like a 3-D atmosphere."

The set for the residency will incorporate elements of the "spider stage" the group is using on its current co-headlining tour with Def Leppard. "That being said, it's not going to be that show," Stanley says. "Here, we're in the enviable position of being able to do a Kiss show that we haven't been able to do. We will pack 10 pounds of gunpowder into a 5-pound bag."

Since 2000, Kiss, which consists of founding members Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons, along with guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, has sold more than 3 million tickets, and its tours have grossed roughly $200 million, according to Billboard Boxscores.

The band released its first album in 1974 and has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. In addition to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, it released a two-disc anthology, Kiss 40, in May. The North American tour with Def Leppard ends Aug. 31. The residency at The Joint begins the day after the end of Kiss Kruise IV, a five-day Bahamian cruise.

"We're used to riding the Kiss beast," Stanley says. "Sometimes, we just hold on, and it takes us where we're going.

"Anybody who sees the band sees four guys reveling in the smoke and fire. Every time we hit the stage, it's a victory lap. It's a race that's never over, but it's a race that we continue to win."

'KISS ROCKS VEGAS' DATES:
Nov. 5
Nov. 7
Nov. 8
Nov. 12
Nov. 14
Nov. 15
Nov. 19
Nov. 22
Nov. 23

TCA: Kiss Originals Shout It Out Loud - AMC's '4th And Loud' Is Arena Rock That Will "Pummel You"

The appearance of Kiss stars Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons at TCA today became part promo for their new AMC docuseries 4th And Loud — focused on the inaugural season of their LA Kiss arena football team — and part a personal statement on why the old band will never get back together again. The sixtysomething rockers were blunt when a questioner asked why they are the only original members left in the iconic hard rock band, with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss long gone.

“Why did you dump your best friend who became a crack addict and a loser?” Simmons replied. “We love and respect those guys, [but] they succumbed to the cliché of clichés: drugs and alcohol.” Yanking out a sports metaphor, he added, “If you pass the ball … and they can’t see the goal, they’ve got to leave.”

Stanley added that being a band member “is not a birthright. If you are compromised by drugs and alcohol, you don’t deserve to be on the team.”

There was another metaphor from Simmons about changing a flat tire, but time to move on to the rationale behind 4th And Loud, which the AMC announced will premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 12. The series will follow team owners Stanley and Simmons, along with additional owners — longtime Kiss manager Doc McGhee, managing partner/owner Brett Bouchy, and president-owner Schuyler Hoversten,– as they and the players and coaches work to turn LA’s first professional football team in years into a winning franchise.

“What we’ve brought to rock ’n’ roll we want to bring to sport,” said Stanley. The pair said their plan is to elevate arena football with spectacle, affordable ticket prices and an opportunity for family fun. “ We want to envelop you and pummel you.”

For example: Cheerleaders. In traditional sports, Simmons thinks cheerleaders “have become rather sexless. “We wanted to have girls who are not the girl next door but the girl you wish was next door,” he said.

Of course there are T-shirts and eventually there will be bobbleheads and all sorts of ancillary stuff, the pair said. But ultimately they are all about developing the sport of arena football in pro football-less Los Angeles.

The band members drew the line at having the players wear Kiss makeup. “Integrity isn’t just a big word like gymnasium,” said Simmons, already a veteran of the reality TV game. “These are semantics, but I’m not anti-semantic,” he added by way of a joke. Makeup would get in the way of playing legitimate football, he said. But Simmons added that the show will be football with “all the bells and whistles than make Kiss the iconic band of all time.”

'4th and Loud': KISS' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley out to do for arena football what Tiger Woods did for golf

KISS rockers Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are launching a reality show in August on AMC that will chronicle their journey of forming an arena football team in Los Angeles, the L.A. KISS -- and they're confident they are going to put the Arena Football League on the map.

"We're the Tiger Woods of golf. Before Tiger Woods, nobody cared about golf," Simmons tells the 2014 TCA press tour audience. He adds that what the show is not is an ESPN docu-series, however.

"The idea of being on AMC is a grand, whole new audience who may not be interested in the thing but we hope that they're going to be interested in the people and then fall in love with the L.A. KISS and that will benefit them and the AFL," says Simmons.

In bringing the show to TV, the goal is to combine football with what makes KISS so recognizable.

"We want the football to be legitimate and around it, we'll give you all the bells and whistles that makes KISS the most iconic band of all time," says Simmons. Stanley adds, "It's no secret that going to a sporting event nowadays means you have to either mortgage your home or sell your car ... we wanted to bring it down to where there's a $99 season ticket, where it hearkens back to a time where you went to a game and experienced something that was wholesome."

But not too wholesome, because Simmons says they want to get away from the "sexless" cheerleaders you often see nowadays at sporting events. The L.A. KISS cheerleaders are "not the girl-next-door, the girl you wish was next door."

Likewise, the team itself is much more rock 'n roll than a regular football team. "The uniforms hearken more to Marvel superheroes than athleticism," says Stanley. "This is arena football, this is much more in-your-face. Fans have a real chance for a player to land in their laps. There are no sidelines, it's a high-scoring game."

"4th and Loud" premieres Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.

Watch Carol Kaye give Gene Simmons a bass lesson

Studio legend Carol Kaye laid down the bass on some of the most iconic songs of the twentieth century. From the undulating grooves on Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright” to everything on The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” to playing guitar on Richie Valens’ “La Bamba,” she was everywhere in classic pop.

Her style and everything she represents was pretty much the polar opposite of Gene Simmons, the misogynistic bass player for Kiss who was always as short on sweet grooves as he was long on tongue. So it’s pretty funny to see her giving Gene a bass lesson in this outtake from the 2012 documentary “Sample This.”

She’s clearly the superior player. After watching Carol noodle Gene eagerly asks her to teach him how to play a particular lick. He’s not exactly an ace student, but it’s fun seeing a rock star with that much unbridled enthusiasm on his instrument. (Video)

KISS TO ROCK NEW LIVE NATION CHANNEL ON YAHOO

(Video) On Saturday, July 19, at 6:40 p.m. PT/9:40 p.m. ET, Yahoo Live will livestream KISS's concert from the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC.!

Yahoo and Live Nation Entertainment today announced the initial artist lineup for the new Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen -- providing fans with a free, all-access front row seat to a new live concert every day, all year long.

In additon to KISS, the Live Nation channel will also feature special performances including:

•A Very Special Evening with Dave Matthews Band at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

• John Legend performing Marvin Gaye's classic album, "What's Going On" in its entirety, with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the Los Angeles Philharmonic live from the Hollywood Bowl; and

• Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids performing their first ever concert in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen is part of the Yahoo Live experience, which also features instant sports highlights, stats and analysis, as well as live coverage of the hottest red carpet moments and blockbuster premieres. For more information and to view the calendar of upcoming live performances, visit yahoo.com/live.

ACE FREHLEY: 'Space Invader' European Track Listings And Configurations Revealed

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in five years, will be released in North America on August 19 from the via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The CD, which will be made available in Europe on August 18 (three days earlier in Germany and Scandinavia) through SPV/Steamhammer, will include 11 brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music.

"Space Invader" European track listings:

Limited digipack CD including 2 bonus tracks and poster

01. Space Invader
02. Gimme A Feelin' (radio edit)
03. I Wanna Hold You
04. Change
05. Toys
06. Immortal Pleasures
07. Inside The Vortex
08. What Every Girl Wants
09. Past The Milky Way
10. Reckless
11. The Joker
12. Starship
Bonus tracks:
13. The Joker (extended version)
14. Reckless (different remix version)

Standard Version
01. Space Invader
02. Gimme A Feelin' (radio edit)
03. I Wanna Hold You
04. Change
05. Toys
06. Immortal Pleasures
07. Inside The Vortex
08. What Every Girl Wants
09. Past The Milky Way
10. Reckless
11. The Joker
12. Starship

2 LP gatefold version including 4 bonus tracks, coloured vinyl, printed innersleeves
Side 1
01. Space Invader
02. Gimme A Feelin' (radio edit)
03. I Wanna Hold You
04. Change
Side 2
01. Toys
02. Immortal Pleasures
03. Inside The Vortex
04. What Every Girl Wants
Side 3
01. Past The Milky Way
02. Reckless
03. The Joker
04. Starship
Side 4 (bonus tracks)
01. The Joker (extended version)
02. Reckless (different remix version)
03. Space Invader (radio edit)
04. Gimme A Feelin' (explicit version)

Paul Stanley on Why KISS Outlived Their Critics

(dallasobserver.com) It's hard to imagine a time when KISS didn't exist. A friend wearing a Gene Simmons mask introduced me to their music when I was five years old, living in Germany. The Berlin Wall hadn't fallen yet. He revealed the KISS Double Platinum as if he were holding the holy grail of heavy metal. Since then, I've watched the band reach the height of their stardom in the late '70s, the nightmare of losing their makeup (and in essence their power), to the rise from the ashes in the '90s with the original member reunion.

Their painted faces mesmerized me, and I devoured their TV movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Starchild, Space Ace, Catman and, my personal favorite, the Demon battling evil robot doppelgängers: they were my superheroes.

They were a lot people's superheroes. "There are more people than I can count that have KISS tattoos," said Paul Stanley in a recent press conference with journalists from across the country and Canada. "That's like being a lifer in the Army. Anybody can put on a uniform and take it off, but when you tattoo yourself, you're in it for the long haul. So that's an incredible sign of dedication."

These "lifers" are part of the "KISS Army." Legend has it that a mob of fans once surrounded a radio station, demanding to hear KISS. Today, their legion is innumerable. "Knights in Satan's Service" is one of their more notorious monikers. But with soldiers from four generations of fans, it's not hard to imagine why people outside of the tribe would not look fondly on a bunch of people celebrating a fire-breathing demon onstage singing about the god of thunder.

"I think you can't have the dedication we have from our fans unless they sense the same dedication to them," said Stanley. "We may not always do what fans are happy with, but we stick to our guns and do what we believe in, and it's ultimately what we think is best for the fans."

It must be working. For 40 years, grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers, sons and grandsons have been descending upon arenas and amphitheaters like a tribe to watch what some would call, "The greatest music show on earth."

And now they're bringing the greatest music show on earth to Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas on Saturday, July 13, as part of their 40th anniversary celebration, which also includes the release of a Paul Stanley memoir, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, and a vinyl box set, KISSTERIA, a compilation of 40 tracks, one from every major album, live selections and an unreleased demo from 1977.

"Look, the band is firing on all cylinders," Stanley said. "We're out there to do a victory lap, although the race is not over yet. There will be more races. But this is a celebration of everything we've done to date."

It will also be a celebration of the band being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame since their newest members, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, weren't allowed to perform with their legendary band.

"The Rock Hall was really nothing more than a mosquito buzzing around my ear," Stanley said. "It will always be about the band, the music and our fans, and no small organization with a big name can call the shots or decide what is or what isn't valid or does or doesn't belong in the [Rock 'n' Roll] Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, no matter who may own the name, is ultimately what the people decide is in the Hall of Fame."

This year, the band is bringing what Stanley believes is their best stage design ever. They call it "The Spider Stage" because the lights are shaped like a spider with legs that dangle toward the stage. They wanted a setup where the lights and the stage were one.

The band is also celebrating outliving the critics, proving they're not just a fly-by-night disco band. "Time tells all," Stanley said. "What's happened over time is those critics and naysayers and people who were clueless to what we were doing... We were a pure rock 'n' roll band who didn't add anything to hide what wasn't there but only added to enhance what was there. The people on the street became the critics."

This takeover includes 28 gold albums, more than 40 million of them sold in the United States alone, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time, a list that also showcases such legendary acts as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

They are more than just a legendary band. They're iconic.

"What I remember of the first gig was that the commitment and conviction that the band had to itself in delivering what it believed was missing in music," Stanley said. "The focus, the sense of what we are and what we represent has never changed. It didn't matter whether we were playing for 20, 20,000 or 200,000 people. We are KISS. We started building a legacy at that very first show and it's never veered from that.

"Going out on our 40th anniversary tour," he continued, "is just a way to re-state who we are, put our eight-inch heels firmly back on the ground and let people know that the legend lives. Everything they heard remains true. This is a band unlike any other band and you only have to come see us to know it. When we started there were no shows like ours. Then it reached a point where many bands had 'KISS shows.' Any band with money can do a 'KISS show,' but no band can be KISS."

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 83 The Set List Game & Voice Mail - (Listen) - Episode 83, July 8, 2014. This week we turned a set list discussion into a set list game. You can take part in this game by voting on ThreeSidesoftheCoin.com. We also share the most amazing voice mail message, a message that we had to cleam up just a bit, lol. Mark Cicchini returns to share some more very rare KISS promotional items from the record label AND a rare official KISS toe nail clipper.

Decibel Geek Podcast: Conversation with Sher Bach

KISSmas in July - Decibel Geek Podcast: Conversation with Sher Bach

Star Apps: Kiss

(Cnet) Kiss has never been known for its humility. But there's no need for false modesty when you're one of the biggest rock bands of all time. Kiss has released 44 albums and sold 100 million of them over a 40-year career, and the band has an army of fans like no other. To mark its ruby anniversary, Kiss will hit the road with Def Leppard for a 40-plus-city tour that promises to be bigger and better than any Kiss concert before. I chatted with singer Paul Stanley about the summer tour, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, and his favorite apps.

What will we see on this tour that we haven't seen before?

I believe that this is the best stage we've ever had. We call it the Spider Stage, because the lights are actually in the shape of a spider and dangling down onto the stage, and they move. I wanted a stage where the lights and the stage were one. So the lighting and the stage are by far the best things we've done. The band is firing on all cylinders. So between that and celebrating our 40th year, it's the victory lap. But we'll be doing more races. It's the celebration of everything we've done to this day.

What makes Def Leppard a suitable touring partner?

We've always tried to have good bands on tour with us. We want to make sure people get their money's worth, and we more than do that. So to have a night of great music, songs that you know, songs that connect with you emotionally and serve as snapshots of times in your life -- it doesn't get better than that. Anybody can set off bombs and fireworks and all the rest. That just takes money. But nobody can be Kiss. That's why we go on tour. It's a huge vindication for us and celebration for our fans. Def Leppard is a great band, and it's a great way to spend an evening over the summer.

You've been playing certain songs for decades now. Do any of them take on a different meaning now than when you first wrote them?

All of these songs are songs of victory. They're all songs of celebration that we are here 40 years later, so singing these songs is a source of incredible pride and accomplishment. Each one of those songs is a celebration of going against all odds, going against the critics, going against the people who didn't like us, and winning. These are the songs of a battle won.

What makes this Kiss tour stand out from the many other summer tours?

There are countless acts nowadays who sing on a song that was put together on a coffee table on somebody's computer, and then auto-tuned, and you know damn well that those people are not going to be able to put on a show. So many artists that have downloads in huge numbers are not those that you want to see live, because they haven't learned the craft. Those with the money put on shows with a bunch of dancers jumping over each other and a microphone that isn't turned on. And I certainly don't want this nonsense that it's impossible to dance around and sing. Tell that to the Temptations, Ike and Tina, and James Brown. It's not, "I lip-sync because you can't sing and dance around." It's "I lip-sync because I can't sing." When you come to see Kiss, you know you're seeing the real deal and something that's proven time and time again.

You were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. What was that experience like?

It was not more than a mosquito buzzing around my ear. Ultimately, it was, is, and always will be about the band, our music, and our fans. No small organization with a big name can call the shots or decide what is or isn't valid or does or doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is ultimately about the people, so that was an interesting divergence from the heart and soul of what we do, in providing great shows and a great relationship with our fans that are more of a tribe because of how multigenerational it is. This is an organization that wanted our memorabilia so they could charge people to see it, but they didn't want us in their club.

What do you say to people who think you're all stage show and no real music?

It's unanimous and resounding: Be it rock, country, or rap, countless artists were influenced by us musically. I think people like Jan Wenner, who long ago lost any passion they once had for rock 'n' roll may miss the boat, but we are a rock band and have always been a rock band. We enhanced our music with a great show, but nobody will buy for decades music that isn't good. There were no smoke bombs or lasers inside of our albums. Those songs have stood the test of time. Anybody who fails to see that or denigrates us when they're introducing us, like Wenner did, "with their tight pants and makeup," or whatever he said, "here's Kiss" -- he's just embarrassing himself. He may have a few burnouts that share his view and snicker with him, but the joke's on him.

What was the actual evening like for the band?

It was vindicating in that it was vindicating for the fans. It's been important to them, so I wanted to share that moment, raise my statue up in the air, and say, "Yeah, we did it in spite of the people who didn't want us in, because of the people who wanted us in." For every clueless music executive, there's a list that is a who's who of music, and those are the people who want us in, and they couldn't be stopped by those who wanted us out. And those who wanted us out will also be out at some point.

How do you explain the longstanding dedication of the Kiss Army?

You can't have the kind of dedication that we've had from our fans unless they sense the same dedication coming from us to them. The only way you can be in Kiss is if you have the ultimate respect not just for the band but also for the fans, because they're intertwined. If you don't have that, then you have no place in Kiss. I think we've shown that over the years. We don't always do what makes each fan happy, but we stick to our guns and do what we believe in, and ultimately it's what's best for the fans.

Nothing compares to the Kiss Army. There are more people than I can count that have Kiss tattoos. That's like being a lifer in the army. When you tattoo yourself, you're in it for the long haul, so that's an incredible sign of dedication. And there's no army like a volunteer army.

How has the whole backstage experienced changed for the band over the years?

Clearly there was a time when backstage was hedonism at its finest. When you're given the keys to the candy store, you tend to eat a lot of candy, and I certainly had a sugar high. Over the years that obviously changed. But hopefully what floats your boat and what gets you off, the core of it stays the same. The reason the band got together was to make music. So to be able to have the privilege to go out on stage and do this 40 years later has been the constant.

I now look over to the side of the stage on certain nights and see my little ones in their pajamas, waiting for the show to be over so they can go to bed. And family, which at one point had no place in my life, or rock 'n' roll in general, has become commonplace. We've gone into a different realm of our lives. I've got a family, and the bacchanalia that was backstage at one point is not there anymore. But the celebration of life and the freedom to be who you are has never changed.

Which mobile apps do you celebrate?
1. Vivino is great when you're going to a wine store or in a restaurant. You take a quick photo of the label, and it tells you how much you should be paying and the ratings.
2. I am always trying to get better photos, so Camera+ is one of my go-to's.
3. It's all for me just practical. There's a MagnaLight, and I use that.
4. There's a FourTrack recorder for the phone that I use for the writing.

Paul Stanley Says Face the Music is the Most Honest KISS Autobiography Ever Written

(ocweekly.com) For KISS founding member Paul Stanley, living the past four decades in the spotlight has been the easy part. His autobiography, Face The Music, is different than many of the rock bios that populate the marketplace. Born Stanley Eisen, the singer/rhythm guitarist reveals his difficult upbringing in New York City and the traumatizing affects of being born with one ear, along with a dysfunctional, unsupportive family. Add to that being called "Stanley the one-eared monster" by the neighborhood children, the rocker was engulfed by insecurities even as his band was selling out stadiums across the globe.

Stanley's book completes the cycle of every original member of KISS penning his own take of what happened during the iconic outfit's formative years, which at this point, is Rashomon-esque. But Stanley's book traces his personal ups-and-downs even as the chaos that encompassed KISS swirled around him and the band hit peaks and valleys along the way. We caught up with the Arena Football team owning rock star shortly before his induction in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame to hear about his book, his insight on the band's history and what it feels like to finally be accepted by the rock elite.

You didn't waste any time jumping right into things and setting to the tone with a dark, revealing intro. Why did you decide to start the book off that way?

Because there was no other way to write it. Autobiographies, especially in the entertainment field, notoriously have a tendency to go towards self-congratulatory filler, imaginary accomplishment and stories of dubious factual basis. I had no time to waste to do that. So for years, I had no intention of writing a book. But then I started thinking that my life could possibly inspire somebody else, and could give someone else some hope or reinforcement and I'd like to write a book that my kids could read as they get older to understand what it took for me to become successful. That was the redeeming goal that made me want to write a book. It was the idea of being able to reach out and do something for other people including giving my children a better sense of who I am.

You're the last of the original KISS members to pen his own autobiography. Did that, in any way, have anything to do with the timing of the writing?

I think those other books, from what I've seen, veer from complete fantasy to distortion of reality. In two of those cases, it has to do with the reality that defense lawyers don't like to put drug addicts or alcoholics on the witness stand. Now when I say drug addict or alcoholic, it doesn't mean they currently are, but in any 12-step program, they'll tell you it goes on forever and it's a permanent illness. At its worst, it certainly distorts your thinking and perception of reality. So two of those books you have to take off right away. I think Gene's book was a bit focused more on a different area. I'm not looking to commend myself for what I've done, or what I've supposedly have done. All I was looking to do is document my life how I see it. It's not a book about KISS, though KISS is a part of it. The feedback I've had so far, and I've had some very reputable people read it, could give a rat's ass about KISS. But it's the inspirational and human element of the book that is more gripping and inspiring than anything else.

When you went into your childhood, it was deep and vivid, especially about the insecurities and emotional abuse you went through. Was it hard to rehash those memories and relive those moments?

I've been told that the book is brave and I've heard people say when I started writing it that it was going to be difficult and emotionally taxing. The fact of the matter is that I don't find it brave because it has a happy ending. I couldn't have written the book if I was still stuck there. For me, I found the book enjoyable to write. It wrapped up all of the loose ends for me and I'm acutely aware of my life and what's gone on so with no revelations it was a way of telling the story in a way that I thought people might be able to identify with. I think it's interesting for people to see somebody who they might hold in high esteem or look up to or idolize or pick whatever term you want, that is just as human as they are. The problems are the same and ultimately the solutions are the same.

What is it like driving down Sunset Blvd. and seeing the congratulatory billboard commemorating KISS selling one million copies of Alive!? Considering all you had been through to that point, between skipping school and hanging out by the guitar shops, was it the proverbial "Holy Shit!" moment or was it "okay, let's keep this thing moving?"

Of course it's holy shit how far have I come, not where I want to go yet. I've always maintained the drive to achieve and by 1975-1976, I hadn't felt like I scaled a mountain.

Fans may be surprised to learn of the amount of internal strife that was occurring during those years as well. You outline a number of incidents where you were fed up with different members of the band at various times, like Peter Criss going on a racist rant at a Chinese restaurant and quitting the band for a few days and crawl back as an example. Did you feel the need to take the firm ground with everyone early to keep your eyes focused on building a better band?

He didn't crawl back. He swallowed his pride and pseudo machismo and came back. But part of the dynamic of the band was to have to pragmatically deal with the fact that two of the guys were often times more interested in sabotaging the band, sabotaging Gene and I, than doing the right thing. And they (Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley) also wanted equal say when they didn't do equal work. Part of what we gave the public was the myth that the four of us did everything together and contributed equally. That was something we wanted to maintain in the spirit of the bands that we loved and pictured doing that. The problem was that the guys in the band began to believe it themselves!

And that's where the cracks began to form?

The cracks began when we met. (laughs) The chemistry and combustibility in the band is what makes it exciting and is also the cause of its demise.

Yet you and Gene have endured from your early days to now. What's it about you guys, considering you're opposite personalities, that keeps you guys together and allows you to maintain that friendship and brotherhood over 40 years later?

It's hard to define and distinguish between friendship and brotherhood. I certainly see him as a brother, although we don't always agree on how to treat your brother. At the end of the day, I know he will be there for me and me for him. My issues have always been more rooted in participating evenly and equally and still ending up with a equal share of money. I didn't want it with Peter and Ace, why would I want it with Gene? He wasn't doing his job and he was off doing other things and being paid for those things. I felt like if he's wasn't going to do his job and gonna go elsewhere. It was like he took less here or he gave me some of what he was doing elsewhere. That was an ongoing problem. But look, at this point we made the life for each other that each of us could only have dreamed of, and those lives have very little in common. I'm sure Gene would no more want to live my life than I live his. But there's a bond there because we made it possible for each of us.

What does it mean for you to get inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame after waiting 15 years for that call? Does the Hall's exerting over which members get inducted put a dark cloud, especially with the former band members putting up a stink, of the importance and significance of this crowning achievement?

Dark cloud? I see this whole thing as sunshine, and that's the key to success. There's no dark cloud here. We're inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, an organization that clearly seems to despise us and yet it's reached a point where it's so ludicrous that they had to induct us. Who they choose or don't choose is an injustice, but the fact remains we're inducted and whatever strife or ongoing spats we have with former members doesn't matter. We're here 40 years later and if you look at any pictures from the last tour, we're playing to 15-50-75-100,000 people a night. Our victory lap is years on and we've won.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 82 What If... KISS Took the Makeup Off for Unmasked? Would They Become a Pop Band?: Listen.

MELVINS Frontman Says STANLEY And SIMMONS Were Right Not To Let 'F**ked-Up Alcoholic Junkie Guys' FREHLEY And CRISS 'Ruin Them'

In a brand new interview with the Missoula Independent about his new acoustic record, "This Machine Kills Artists", MELVINS frontman Buzz "King Buzzo" Osborne — who has a history covering KISS tunes and mimicking album covers — was asked to weigh in on Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer dressing up as Peter Criss' and Ace Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas (designs owned by KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley) after Ace and Peter left KISS. "I couldn't care less," Buzz replied. "As far as I can tell, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are fucked-up alcoholic junkie guys. So I don't think Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley should let those two fuck-ups ruin them. Why should they? Okay, they chose to be alcoholics and fuck-ups, now in doing that they have to face the consequences. Gene Simmons didn't do it, why should he face the consequences? That's what I think."

He continued: "I think [Tommy and Eric] should be able to do whatever they want. I don't fault them at all for it.

"It's bullshit music, no one cares. It's not overly important. No music is.

"Music is an extra. It's an extra thing you do in your life. It's not really important. So I take stuff like that with a grain of salt."

Back in April, former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach told Ultimate Classic Rock that he understood why Simmons and Stanley refused to only perform with Frehley and Criss at KISS' induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

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

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

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

During a February 2014 interview on Cleveland's WMMS-FM radio station, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian also weighed in on KISS' Rock Hall controversy, saying "I'm a fan, just like everyone else, and would I wanna see, if I was going … the four original dudes back in makeup one more time? Of course I would, as a fan," he said. "But bands don't do things dictated by what the audience wants. A band would last about a year if that's how you worked. You have to do things the way you wanna do them."

Ian continued: "KISS has been around for 40 years and are bigger now than they were in 1977 because Gene and Paul make smart decisions — that's why. So, as a fan, and if you love them, you have to abide by the decisions that Gene and Paul are making for their brand and their band. So, why people get so upset over these things, I really don't understand.

"I think they made the right decision by saying, 'We're just not gonna play. You can't please everybody. We're just gonna shut it down and just not do it.' I get it. I understand."

AMC TO PREMIERE 4TH AND LOUD AUGUST 5

AMC today announced that its docu-series "4th and Loud," which follows the inaugural season of the LA KISS Arena Football League team, will premiere on Tuesday, August 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The 10-episode (60-minute) series will follow team owners Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, of KISS fame, along with additional owners, long-time KISS manager, Doc McGhee, managing partner/owner, Brett Bouchy, and president/owner, Schuyler Hoversten, as they and the dedicated players and coaches work to turn LA's first professional football team in years into a winning franchise.

"4th and Loud" is produced by Thinkfactory Media (Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Hatfields & McCoys), with Adam Freeman, Adam Reed, Chris Gillen, Erin Kelly and Leslie Greif serving as executive producers.

Peter Criss joins WindMill's 10,000 Hot Dogs

The WindMill's 10,000 Hot Dogs fundraiser just got a rock 'n' roll injection.

Peter Criss, the former drummer for Kiss, has signed on to be an honorary chairman of 10,000 Hot Dogs, a summer-long benefit for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean counties.

"Summer time is fun on a bun," said Criss, a resident of Wall, in a statement. "Help us feed our community and feed the hungry."

The 10,000 Hot Dogs kickoff featured a concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes atop of the iconic WindMill restaurant in Long Branch on May 23. Johnny and the Jukes performed for a half-hour and crammed in hits like "I Don't Want to Go Home," "The Fever," "Havin' a Party" and more.

Customers who make a $5 donation at the WindMill through Labor Day via the Website 10000hotdogs.com or by texting "hotdog" to 41444 will help the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties deliver 15 meals to those in need this summer. Also, hot dog maker Sabrett will donate up to 10,000 hot dogs, matching each $5 donation with a goal of raising $50,000. That would mean 160,000 meals for Monmouth and Ocean counties families.

Other honorary chairpersons include Shelli Sonstein, co-host of the Q104.3-FM "Rock and Roll Morning Show;" Rich Russo, host of the "Anything, Anything" radio show heard Sunday nights on WRAT 75.9-FM; Joe Klecko, former New York Jets great; and Southside Johnny Lyon.

"One of our original goals was to bring together local people to help raise awareness and dollars for the FoodBank," said Rena Levine Levy, CEO of the WindMill Restaurants, in a statement.

VIDEO: "KING OF THE NIGHT TIME WORLD"

(Video) Here's KISS performing "King of the Night Time World" at the opening show of their 40th Anniversary Tour in Salt Lake City, Utah.

KISS and Def Leppard launched their new Tour in a big way last night in Salt Lake City. The bands set an attendance record at the USANA Amphitheatre with a SOLD OUT crowd of over 20,000!

PodKISSt #90 JR Smalling - "Out on the streets"

(Listen) Join Ken and JR Smalling as they talk the upcoming book. “The Original Kiss Krew – Out On The Streets”

We release this episode on the anniversary of the passing of Mick Campese. June, 18th 2013. We dedicate this episode to you.

Find the original KISS Road crew on Face Book or online at theoriginalkisskrew.com.

PodKISSt #89 KISS Friends & say "Frehley"

(Listen) Ever have a friend that wasn’t into KISS? How do you convert some one? Sure it was easier back when we were all 12 and you could show your friend some KISS trading cards. Here is one story, share some laughs and KISS tunes with Ken & guests Craig Cohen & Jeff Hulit.

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) Ep. 81 What If Eric Carr Had Never Died - Episode 81, June 24, 2014. We discuss a couple viewer emails... WHAT IF... Eric Carr had never died. Would Revenge have been recorded? Would the reunion tour still happen? Would Eric Carr return to the band after Peter left? Would Eric wear the Fox makeup or the Cat makeup? This leads into some discussion about how we each felt about KISS during the 80's, well actually starting with The Elder. And... Mark Cicchini returns to share some very rare KISS buttons and badges from his collection.

NFL FILMS & KISS CONNECT FOR NEW SHORT FILM

Chris Weaver, NFL Films Presents

You wanted the best, and you got the best! The NFL Films tradition of covering rock ‘n roll continues, this time with KISS! We’ve shot the masked quartet during their Super Bowl XXXIII performance, and again when Gene Simmons sang the National Anthem at the 2013 NFL International Series game between the Vikings and Steelers in London. But this fall we’ll present our first short film exclusively on the band.

The forthcoming feature will be part of the NFL Films Presents series, which comes to Fox Sports 1 this football season. In this film you’ll see KISS on and off stage during their 40th anniversary tour, and get an inside look at how “the hottest band in the world” brought professional football back to Los Angeles through their ownership of the expansion LA KISS Arena Football League team. Tune in to see the fire and fury of the LA KISS in their inaugural season of action, as captured in classic NFL Films style.

NFL Films Presents: LA KISS will be produced by Tom Brant and directed by Chris Weaver. Follow @NFLFilms and @WeaverNFLF on Twitter for updates, including air-dates and times, and exclusive photos and content.

'Marketing And Finance Wizard' GENE SIMMONS To Release 'Me, Inc.' Book In October

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons will release a new book, "Me, Inc.: Build An Army Of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win In Life And Business", on October 21 via Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Official book description: "The quintessential self-made man, master of brand identity, New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning executive — KISS' Gene Simmons —shares his manifesto for business success.

"KISS did not become one of the most successful rock bands in history by accident. Long before they first took the stage, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had a clear-cut operating plan for their business. Over the past forty years, KISS has sold over 100 million CDs and DVDs worldwide and manages over 3,000 licensed merchandise items. In addition to KISS, Simmons' lucrative ventures include two hit reality shows, a professional sports team, a restaurant chain, and a record company. A recipient of the Forbes lifetime achievement award, this brilliant executive runs all of his businesses on his own — no personal assistant, few handlers, and as little red tape as possible.

"In 'Me, Inc.', the marketing and finance wizard gives aspiring entrepreneurs the critical tools they need to succeed. Simmons teaches you how to build a solid business strategy, harness the countless tools available in the digital age, network like hell, and be the architect for the business entity that is you. Inspired by 'The Art Of War', 'Me, Inc.' is organized around thirteen specific, easy-to-understand principles for success, drawn from Simmons' own triumphs and failures. From finding the confidence necessary to get started, to surrounding yourself with the right people, to knowing when to pull the plug and when to double-down, these principles can help you attain the freedom and wealth of your dreams."

Although Simmons has long portrayed himself as the brains behind KISS, his bandmate Paul Stanley's memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", paints a different picture, with Stanley claiming that Simmons was always more concerned with the Gene Simmons business. According to Keith Spera's review of "Face The Music" in The Times-Picayune, Paul writes in the book that he, along with his therapist at the time, realized in the 1980s that KISS' financial managers were acting in bad faith. Other managers — not Simmons — encouraged diversification into a wide and lucrative range of merchandising opportunities.

"I saw the term 'marketing genius' used in reference to Gene quite frequently .?.?. [and] it turned my stomach," Stanley wrote of Simmons. "Neither Gene nor I has had an active hand in any significant deals.

"He was no marketing genius. He just took credit for things. It was unwarranted, selfish, and hurtful, and there was no way to excuse it. Calculated strategist? Sure. Genius? No."

Despite the barbs directed at Simmons, Stanley said in a recent interview that his longtime bandmate and business partner "had no arguments with" the comments Paul made in "Face The Music". "We've always been very honest with each other," insisted Stanley.

KISS this 1988 Porsche 928 goodbye

(Video) Someone needs to buy this 1988 Porsche 928 S4 right now. Either buy it because it was once owned by Kiss member Paul Stanley or buy it because of the totally bitchin’ sales video.

The guy selling the car is not Paul Stanley, but he does have an epic mop of long blond hair and a kickass Kiss T-shirt. He also throws in a couple rock-out/devil-horn hands for good measure. We’re going to guess he was in a local hair metal band at one time.

This car will set you back $34,900, which might or might not be a good deal, depending on how many miles are on the car. We found some high mileage examples on eBay Motors for well below that asking price. Of course, none of those was owned by the Starchild or featured in the video for “Reason to Live.”

The 1988 928 began life with 316 hp from its 5.0-liter engine. Now, at 26 years old, it’s probably less than that. Hagerty has its average value listed at $15,434.

After a few minutes of Kiss’s “Reason to Live” in the sales video, the seller displays the title, the receipt from the paint job and some other papers noting the car’s rock ‘n’ roll provenance. He then fires up the car and revs it a bit.

You can email the seller at kbmasonry@gmail.com. Please, somebody buy this, and then sell it again with a video that’s even better.

Ace Frehley & Chris Caffery Demonstrate Guitar Soloing

(Video) The veteran guitarists also reveal plans for their upcoming solo albums and talk about their early influences. Hint: Chris picked up a guitar because of Ace!

In this week's new episode of Metalhead to Head, former KISS guitarist and current solo artist Ace Frehley meets up with Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Chris Caffery! Watch Part 1 of the new episode above and Part 2 below.

Caffery, who also began a solo career and has released three albums on his own since 2004, admits early on that the first record he ever purchased was KISS's breakthrough 1975 record, Alive! Frehley notes that it was "the record that made KISS" and notes Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin as influential artists in his early years of playing.

"I get it all the time: 'I play guitar because of you!'" Frehley says. "But I play guitar because of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page."

The Making of KISSteria

The Making of KISSteria: Video.

GENE SIMMONS Sings National Anthem At Dodger Stadium

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons teamed up with members of the USO for a vocal rendition of the U.S. national anthem ahead of a Los Angeles Dodgers game on Monday, June 16. Check out video footage of his performance at MLB.com.

What Rock Stars In High Heels Have To Do With The Future Of Your Brand - A Lesson From The KISS School Of Business

(forbes.com) Brands come and brands go. We’ve seen the business cycle get shorter and shorter in past decades (Facebook’s 10-year reign seems like a lifetime) and it makes it harder and harder to carve out a lasting niche for yourself. What’s the use, entrepreneurs wonder, if their brand will be yesterday’s news almost as soon as they’ve started building it?

It’s rare to see anyone break the endless cycle of launches that end in immediate obscurity. That’s why the hard rock band Kiss’ 40th anniversary is so impressive.

Yes, there are important business lessons to be learned everywhere, even when they involve levitating drum sets and strapped leather outfits. Kiss . . . has something special.

Their success defies logic. Most rock bands from the 70s are long gone, but Kiss just keeps getting stronger. They’ve sold more than 100 million records and have the most gold albums of any American rock band—ever.

So what’s their secret? And more importantly, how can we apply that secret to keep our businesses and brands from getting run over by the next fresh crop of entrepreneurs?

The answer: it’s all about identity.

I stumbled across the secret in an interview that Kiss bassist/vocalist did for The Toronto Sun. “A long time ago we decided not to try to be everything to everybody,” Simmons is quoted as saying, in response to a question about the band’s incredible longevity. “What we are is what we are . . . We’re a showy band that plays non-showy music.”

Kiss found their identity early on in the band’s life and decided to nurture it. They’re a “. . . showy band that plays non-showy music,” and they’re okay with that. If they weren’t, there’s no way Gene Simmons would still be running around in high heels—gimmicks don’t last that long.

Their identity is strong because it is built on what the band is, not where they sit in relation to other musicians. They know that the only thing that they can control is their contribution to the market, not the entirety of the market itself. Instead of trying to beat the competition, they devote all of their energy to putting on a show and producing the best musical product that they can.

Whether the members of Kiss knew this when they were getting started is unclear. But what is clear is that while the bands defined by their place in the market have come and gone, Kiss has always persevered. They’ve become one of the landmarks of the music world, a band by which other musicians can measure themselves. They’re like Ford or Microsoft MSFT +0.51%, shaping the market instead of being shaped by it.

It’s working for them. Here’s how that applies to you:

When you define your brand in terms of the market that it’s in, you doom it to eventual obsolescence. Markets change, after all! Are you the cheapest? Someone will figure out how to do it cheaper. The fastest? Someone will become faster. The most luxurious? Someone will find a way to squeeze even more caviar into that private amphibious rocket ship. The branding rat race is a losing game.

However, when you define your brand by the things that make it unique instead of focusing on where it sits in the market, you’re laying the groundwork for something real and long-lasting. As people get to know you, and what makes your brand stand apart, they start to care about what you do. You start to attract the kind of customers that you want—the kind that will still be coming to your shows in 40 years, the kind that will eventually be buying those Kiss-themed caskets for their grandparents.

And if your brand’s identity can stand on its own, no one will ever be able to beat you at it. There’s never going to be a band that can say, “We’re more like Kiss than Kiss is!” They might be louder, faster, flashier, younger, sexier, etc., but it doesn’t matter—they’ll never beat Kiss at being themselves.

Don’t get me wrong—speed, price point, value, quality, etc., are all important. You can’t just ignore the marketplace, set out what you have to offer, and experience instant success. Pay attention to all of those things when you’re designing your offer.

But a price point is not a brand. If you want to build a success story the way that Kiss has, then you’ll need to have something more. Your brand needs to have a unique, compelling identity at its core, something that can sustain it for the years ahead. You need something both timeless and compelling, like “. . . a showy band that plays non-showy music.”

Find that, and your brand will still be strutting around on stage in 40 years with wild makeup and four-inch heels.

The KISS Room - June 12, 2014

(Listen) KISS ARMY, to kick off the third season of THE KISS ROOM, Matt Porter is joined in the studio by Anthony Porter (Clashing Plaid), Brian Diehl, and Lenny Diehl. PLUS, we chat with Chris Epting, author of "All I Need to Know I Learned from KISS: Life Lessons from the Hottest Band in the Land" and MORE!

Three Sides Of The Coin'

(Listen) Ep. 80 Can't Get Any Closer to Talking to Bill Aucoin & Sean Delaney - This is as close as you can get to sitting down and talking with Bill Aucoin and Sean Delaney. We are joined by Mark Britton, Bill Aucoin's nephew, and Leon Delaney, Sean Delaney's brother. They share their personal stories and memories from the very beginnings of KISS to Bill and KISS separating. PLUS, we kick off a new weekly feature, Super Collector Mark Cicchini joins us to share something from his AMAZING collection. A true one of a kind item personally owned by Peter Criss.

INTERVIEW WITH 95.5 KLOS

Paul talks KISS/ Def Leppard Tour, Rock & Brews & LA KISS with 95.5 KLOS’s Derek Madden. CLICK HERE to listen to the interview now.

VIDEO: KEITH URBAN'S SURPRISE VISIT FROM PAUL STANLEY

VIDEO: KEITH URBAN'S SURPRISE VISIT FROM PAUL STANLEY

Kiss and Sell: How a Glam Band Makes Millions

(adweek.com) Gene Simmons, the bassist and most recognizable member of 1970s rock band Kiss, was once asked what he learned from his first job delivering newspapers in Queens, New York. “If someone likes you,” he said, “they’ll buy what you’re selling—whether or not they need it.”

Simmons learned that lesson at 13. Today, at 64, he and his band mates have proven just how far that nugget of wisdom can be taken. Simmons might be famous for his fire-spitting, serpent-tongued stage persona, but a big part of his $300 million fortune has come not from playing but licensing.

To date, Kiss has stamped its name and likenesses on an estimated 3,000 products—not just the predictable concert swag like T-shirts and belt buckles, but also beer, condoms, slot machines, a miniature golf course, a restaurant chain, a Hello Kitty franchise and even a branded coffin (the “Kiss Kasket”). As guitarist Paul Stanley unabashedly put it, “We will put our brand on anything.”

But as the ads here suggest, there’s more going on behind Kiss’ branding than the mere printing of money. Licensing 101 teaches that even the most inveterate name slappers observe some limits. Martha Stewart might endorse scores of home products but probably not a brand of motor oil. So how can a bunch of rockers who usually hawk clutter like $7 Johnny Lightning die-cast cars (shown in this 1998 ad) also manage to strike a pose for designer John Varvatos, whose suits (shown in this 2014 ad) sell for $895 at Nordstrom?

“Kiss is sliding up the scale, and it’s interesting that they’ve been able to do that,” noted Chris Raih, founder and managing director of Los Angeles-based marketing firm Zambezi. Raih attributes the veteran rock band’s plasticity—its rare ability to endorse lowbrow and high—to several factors. One is the seven-year run of A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which revealed the oversexed rocker to be an articulate family man whose kids attended private schools. “The show mellowed his image,” Raih said.

There’s also a burnishing that happens with the passage of time, especially when it comes to rock bands. Acts that were the stuff of parental nightmares 30 years ago have today become familiar, whimsical tokens of lost adolescence. Finally, Raih points out, Kiss has always “embraced the fact that they’re caricatures of themselves,” as willing to poke fun of their makeup and platform boots as their critics. That understanding gives this otherwise sleek Varvatos ad its dusting of humor.

In fact, for all the Kiss fans who grumble over the band’s commercialism, even the grousing has a hint of admiration in it. After all, the band is still making money and still playing rock—and what’s more American than that, damn it?

“Behind all the makeup and the shenanigans,” Raih said, “these guys know what they’re doing.”

When this 1998 ad appeared, Kiss had already been stamping its name on merchandise for over 20 years. That most of the merch had basically nothing to do with music wasn’t an impediment. Raih said the band understood that they were more about image than anything else and used that fact as an opportunity. “It allowed them to enter into deals less selectively,” he said, “and play all along the spectrum.”

(Photo) 1. Grayscale and gritty, this Brooklyn backdrop is an aesthetic nod to Kiss’ 1975 album, Dressed to Kill, which also featured the band in suits and was shot in New York. Only older viewers will get the reference, but the ad works without it, too.

2. Paul Stanley’s signature, sex-filled stare gives Varvatos’ suits a decided edge. Or, as Raih put it: “Kiss gives him rock ‘n’ roll authenticity.” Such a thing isn’t easy to buy, but if any band has it for sale, it’s Kiss.

3. Growing up in 1970s Detroit, Varvatos was “obsessed by the whole music thing” and has since dressed several rock gods, including Iggy Pop. But landing “super heroes” Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter was, Varvatos said, the high point of his career.

ACE FREHLEY's 'Space Invader' Pushed Back To August

"Space Invader", the first new solo album from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in five years, will has had its North American release date pushed back to August 19 from the previously announced June 24 via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). The CD, which will be made available in Europe on August 29 through SPV/Steamhammer, will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music.

Ace Frehley Talks About Recording ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and ‘Dynasty’

Ace Frehley Talks About Recording ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and ‘Dynasty’: video.

Paul Stanley: Jann Wenner embarrassed himself at Rock Hall

(post-gazette.com) Paul Stanley of Kiss is a on conference call right now with the print media. Here's what he has to say about his book, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," and tour with Def Leppard, which stops at the First Niagara Pavilion on Aug. 24.

Changes for this tour: "I believe this is the greatest and the best stage that we’ve ever had... We call it the spider stage, because the light are in shape of a spider and legs dangle down to the floor."

Residency in Vegas?: "Time tells all."

On Def Leppard: "Always tried to have great bands on tour with us. We want to make sure people get their money’s worth. A night of great music, songs that you know, that you connect with personally. Huge catalog of hits that all mean something."

Refreshing to be back to that after drama with Rock Hall?: “[Hall of Fame] was not much more than a mosquito buzzing around my ear... no small organization with a big name can call the shots ... Hall of fame is ultimately what the people decide is in the Hall of Fame. It was an interesting divergence of what we do.”

New book - Were you happy about how it turned out: “I would have to be happy about the way it turned out, because I wrote it ... It was great to document something that I believed could inspire other people.”

Loyalty of fans: “You can’t have the kind of dedication we have from fans unless they sense the same dedication [from the band]... We may not always do what makes every fan happy, but we stick to our guns. ... More people than I can count that have Kiss tattoos. That’s like being a lifer in the army... Kiss Army started on the street. No army like a Kiss army.”

Nashville: "I love what Nashville has grown into, which is an embrace of all music."

On the Information Age: "I think that certainly in all walks of life, there’s a certain mystique that is gone ... Not sure kiss could have accomplished what we did in this time ... We could make sure that photos weren't available ,,, we could create this mystique which was not unlike the mystique of Hollywood."

Tom Morello: "Saw him about 10 days ago. It was his 50th birthday. Tom was Moses in terms of having us inducted, or indicted. Tom did a stellar job."

Visit Hall of Fame?: "Up until now, I wanted little to do with it. " He said "it was an annex that wanted our memorabilia to [make money]. At this point, I would love to see it."

Fans and band: "We have outlived [the critics] and in essence have taken over."

Military: "Can't say enough about the people who served on our behalf... There's nothing corny about patriotism... You only see people going under the borders to get into this country."

Age ranges: "Source of pride for us that we can have a 6-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 60-year-old."

On loss of anonymity: "You don't complain about taxes if you win the lottery. It never was a source of stress or point of contention, but we in some ways are so much bigger now. Now we are Superman and don't have hide behind Clark Kent."

Kiss songs: "All of these songs as songs of victory, songs that celebrate our winning. That we are are here 40 years later is a source of incredible pride... These are the songs of a battle won."

Arenas vs. Sheds: "We try to be observant of low-flying planes ... It doesn't change anything because what we do comes from the heart. ... Being outside during the summer is a terrific dichotomy/contrast to what we do. We've been doing this for 40 years, the reason why people still buy tickets to see the classic acts is you know we will deliver the goods."

On autotune acts: "You know damn well they will not be able to put on a show.... Don't want to hear this nonsense that it's impossible to dance around and sing. It didn't stop the Temptations, Tina Turner, James Brown."

How big a factor was the spectacle in Hall of Fame induction: "I'm not here to defend what we've done or what we've accomplished, but it is unanimous and resounding ... countless artists were influenced by us, musically, not in terms of a stage show.... [mention Jann Wenner losing his passion for music and sarcastic intro -- "he's embarrassing himself, the joke's on him"] ... Nobody will ultimately buy for decades music that isn't good."

Hall of Fame: "It was vindicating for us, and vindicating for the fans. .. for every clueless music exec there are musicians, be it Tom Morello or Joe Perry or a list that literally is a who's who of music, those are the people who got us in.... It was the pencil pushers who wanted us out."

Ace Frehley's Real Life 'Spinal Tap' Story

Ace Frehley's Real Life 'Spinal Tap' Story: video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) Ep. 79 What's Bad with Carnival of Souls - Episode 79, June 10, 2014. What's bad about the Carnival of Souls vinyl release? What's great about the KISS 40 CD release? We are also joined by viewer Mark Smith as he auditions for the show. We share Mark's audition video, a remake of the KISS Exposed beginning. We also look at a couple video messages left for us. One from KISSfaq's Julian Gill and one from Ace fan John Davey.

When Woodfield, KISS and the '70s collided

(dailyherald.com) Forty years ago this week, Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall became the national epicenter of 1970s pop culture with a combined celebration of KISS and PDA (public display of affection).

The "Great Kiss Off" was both a promotion for fans to come and meet the world's most theatrical rock 'n' roll band, as well as a kissing contest that took an epic 114 hours and 1 minute to settle.

The couple that outlasted 10 others from across the nation were Louise Heath and Vinnie Toro of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where the coast-to-coast radio promotions leading up to the Schaumburg finale began.

The band KISS was there in full makeup, to meet with fans and sign autographs.

Jane Rozek, local history librarian at the Schaumburg Township District Library, has thoroughly researched the event but found no evidence the band actually performed.

Her longtime colleague at the library, Jane Davey of Hoffman Estates, was there with her 4-year-old son, Patrick, and a neighbor boy wearing a KISS belt buckle.

Davey is amused that two such young children were drawn to the event when her three teenagers were not. "I had no idea what the draw was -- I guess it was the costumes," Davey said.

Rozek's research found that the event began at noon on Saturday, June 8, with a big kickoff by WCFL radio and "Superjock" Larry Lujack.

Even at the start, some contestants fully anticipated the event would last more than 100 hours. The kissers got only a five-minute break every hour.

Over the course of days, couples began to drop out from a combination of exhaustion and feeling physically ill.

Even falling asleep wasn't necessarily a disqualifier, though, as long as couples could find a way to do so without their lips parting. Jeff and Sherry Moore of Charlotte, North Carolina, strapped their heads together with a pink plastic belt while they slept, according to the Daily Herald article of Monday, June 10.

The contest continued to draw an audience of thousands as the days went by, states a Daily Herald article dated Wednesday, June 12, 1974.

"I feel like I'm watching a bad film," said one woman with a mock look of guilt on her face.

"They ought to hold another contest, to see how long someone can watch it," said then 21-year-old Keith Steinleil of Schaumburg.

The runner-up couple of Duane and Doris Boudreaux of Houston, Texas, finally conceded to Heath and Toro at 6:01 a.m. on Thursday, June 13.

The winning couple had victory in their sights from the start, believing their yoga discipline, determination and a diet of shrimp, oranges and an occasional french fry or two would see them through.

"We'll be here as long as it takes," Heath told the Daily Herald on the second day.

The promised prize was a trip to Acapulco.

But Heath and Toro instead took the cash equivalent of $1,000.

When WCFL learned that Heath and Toro were donating their winnings to friends who'd just lost their New Jersey home in a fire, the radio station donated another Acapulco trip, Rozek said.

The nationwide contest began as a fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rozek said that according to the book, "And Party Every Day: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records" by Larry Harris, record company officials encouraged the crowd to donate money for the kids and spectators began throwing paper money from the upper level overlooking the center court of the mall.

People on the ground floor picked up the money, crumpled it up and threw it toward the stage.

In the end, about $5,000 was raised for the hospital.

Whatever happened to the relationship between Louise Heath and Vinnie Toro? Alas, we do not know. Neither could be reached for this story.

KISS Las Vegas Residency Coming This Fall

(Photo) KISS is rumored to be planning a Las Vegas residency at the Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel And Casino this fall.

Several signs hinting at the run of shows have been spotted around Vegas, including the one seen in the tweet below.

KISS frontman Paul Stanley confirmed late last year that the band was considering a Las Vegas residency.

DEF LEPPARD, MÖTLEY CRÜE and GUNS N' ROSES have all completed successful Las Vegas rock residencies, with the latter two acts having already undertaken their second stints at the Joint.

Residencies enable venues to say they have established relationships with certain performers, who have often tailored shows specifically for the residency period.

DEF LEPPARD's 2013 three-week "Viva! Hysteria" run in Sin City included a performance of the band's greatest hits, plus their 1987 album "Hysteria" in its entirety.

GUNS N' ROSES' fall 2012 "Appetite For Democracy" shows celebrated twenty-five years of "Appetite For Destruction" and four years of "Chinese Democracy".

ACE FREHLEY Performs KISS Classics With NIGHT RANGER, GEORGE LYNCH At 'Carnegie Rocks!'

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley performed with NIGHT RANGER and George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB, KXM) at the debut of the Carnegie Rocks! exhibit on Saturday, May 24 at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, California. Check out fan-filmed video footage of the performance here: Video1, Video2.

PETER CRISS Appears At 'Bonzo Bash' In New Jersey

Peter Criss made a special guest appearance with other top drummers at "Bonzo Bash" — an all-star tribute to late LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham — on May 31 at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey. Musicians that performed at the event included Zach Alford (DAVID BOWIE, B-52S, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN), Will Calhoun (LIVING COLOUR), Joe Franco (GOOD RATS, TWISTED SISTER), Jerry Gaskill (KING'S X), Danny Schuler (BIOHAZARD), John Hummel (LADY GAGA), Johnny Kelly (KILL DEVIL HILL, DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), Corky Laing (MOUNTAIN), Danny Lamagna (SWORN ENEMY) and Ron Lipnicki (OVERKILL).

Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below: Video1, Video2.

ACE FREHLEY Talks About 'Space Invader' Album (Video)

Ace Frehley recently spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock about his upcoming "Space Invader" album: Video.

Interview: KISS' Paul Stanley Slams Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Patti Smith

(radio.com) It’s not Paul Stanley who’s been ‘almost borderline racist,’ but that’s just one of a few things the founding member of KISS would like to clear up.

Last week, Radio.com posted our interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO/President Joel Peresman. In it, we discussed this year’s ceremony, which included KISS frontman Paul Stanley‘s acceptance speech, including his criticism or the organization for being somewhat elitist. “The people, I believe we’re speaking to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and what they’re saying is, ‘We want more,’” Stanley said from the stage. “They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don’t want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people.”

Peresman told us, “That speech was the best advertisement for [pointing out that] what we did was right. He’s been almost borderline racist, not in that speech, but in other interviews talking about how hip-hop artists shouldn’t be inducted because they don’t play instruments. It’s like, ‘What are you, kidding?’”

Paul Stanley contacted us and asked to respond to Peresman’s quote earlier today (June 2). Soon, we were on the phone with him discussing his thoughts about the institution.

He rightfully felt that Peresman was attributing Gene Simmons‘s comments about hip-hop and disco artists not belonging in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to him. (Simmons told us in March, “You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me! That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!”)

Stanley says, “Why not look at Joel Peresman’s credentials? What has he done to qualify him to run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What did he do? He worked at Madison Square Garden as a Vice President. Well, as far as I’m concerned, delivering newspapers doesn’t qualify you as an expert on literature.”

In our interview, Stanley did parallel Simmons’ sentiments about the kinds of acts that should be inducted into the Rock Hall, saying, “I’m the hugest Laura Nyro fan, but does Laura Nyro belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I’m not so sure. I would have to say no.”

He added, of punk icon Patti Smith, “What has Patti Smith ever done besides singing a song that Bruce Springsteen wrote most of?"

Stanley also had some choice words for Rolling Stone co-founder and publisher and Rock Hall co-founder Jann Wenner. “This guy forgot years ago why he loved rock and roll in the first place. Perhaps if he spent less time in the Hamptons and jet-setting, he could re-find his passion.”

In between barbs, Stanley made salient points about the members of the Grateful Dead being inducted (and other acts that had “courtesies that were not afforded to [KISS]“), and said that there’s hope for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “potential.” He will certainly vote for the artists that he feels are deserving in the future: Deep Purple, Yes, and Humble Pie.

Read the entire interview below:

Radio.com: So I understand you read our interview with Joel Peresman. What was your reaction to his critique of your speech?

Paul Stanley: I was smiling. Because look, the guy is clearly reeling from my exposing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for what it is. He’s doing damage control. But he’s obviously never had an adversary who could articulate a point of view like I could. And, in desperation, he’s attributing Gene’s quotes to me.

I never said anything that could be accused of racism. If [Peresman] wants to point a finger, those quotes were all Gene’s. It doesn’t change the basic truth of what I said. It’s interesting: instead of looking at my credentials, I would think, why not look at Joel Peresman’s credentials? What has he done to qualify him to run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What did he do? He worked at Madison Square Garden as a Vice President. Well, as far as I’m concerned, delivering newspapers doesn’t qualify you as an expert on literature.

Had you guys ever encountered him in the past when KISS played Madison Square Garden?

We probably also encountered the guy selling peanuts! But what relevance does that have to qualify you to be in a position to pass judgement on anything remotely associated with rock and roll?

Aside from the well-publicized issues, did you have a good time the night of the induction?

I wasn’t there to denigrate, I was there to give constructive criticism and to make use of a platform, to really voice the opinion of the masses, of the general population. Look: I’ve spoken first hand with other inductees, and former inductees, and the process leading up to their induction was filled with really appropriate courtesies that were not afforded to us. The rules that [the Rock Hall] hold to only seem to apply to people they don’t like. As far as the issue of what members and former members get in, it’s just nonsense. I don’t think anybody’s ever called Peresman on it with any articulate argument. Clearly, the guy is trying to punch his way off of the ropes. He’s stuck!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame went to the Grateful Dead and other bands and asked them [which members] they wanted to have inducted. They didn’t ask us! Hence, you get, what is it, fourteen members of the Grateful Dead, including their lyricist [Robert Hunter], inducted? Because the Grateful Dead’s people said, “It’s all or nothing.” Well, that’s a courtesy that wasn’t extended to us. And it’s easy to hide behind some alibi and rationale, like “It isn’t a science.” Well, being biased isn’t a science either. But it’s blatant and consistent. It had nothing to do with whether or not we wanted [current guitarist] Tommy Thayer or [current drummer] Eric [Singer], necessarily, inducted. But certainly this thin argument of “They’re wearing someone else’s makeup” can’t be used for [their late drummer] Eric Carr, or [former guitarist] Bruce Kuilick, who played on multi-platinum albums, and played to millions of people over a decade. Let’s call this for what it is. It’s clear to most people and obviously Peresman wants to use his platform to take some of the steam out of my argument. But I don’t go away.

It was a nice touch to have Bruce Kuilick sitting at the table at the induction ceremony, with you and Gene, along with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.

The Hall of Fame chose to make it a celebration of the first four members. As far as I was concerned, it was a celebration of the history of this band. I wasn’t going to ignore the contributions of other people who have been in this band.

You guys weren’t the only one with ex-member drama this year. I spoke with Chad Channing from Nirvana, who originally thought he would be inducted.

How about John Rutsey, the original drummer from Rush, who played on their first classic album? I’m not pointing fingers at anybody, or questioning their getting in, but [bassist] Robert Trujillo never played on any of the Metallica albums when he was inducted. And he was only in the band six years, so where do you draw the line? Clearly, where you choose to draw it. [Note: Trujillo had played on one album at the time of Metallica's 2009 induction: 2008's Death Magentic]

Gene has mentioned his issues with disco and hip-hop being included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it seems he was accused of racism based on that. But what do you say to someone who says “Paul Stanley is a racist?”

It’s ridiculous. It’s an act of desperation and I understand it. And Joel Peresman is, quite honestly, a pencil pusher, and he’s in a position of being able to voice the point of view of an organization which is questionable at best.

In your acceptance speech, you mentioned going to see acts like Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone as well as the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin.

It’s just silly, look, I’m not here to defend myself, I’m just here to shed light on the person doing the accusing. I have nothing to justify or clarify, my record speaks for itself. It’s ridiculous.What rock singer, whether they know it or not, hasn’t been influenced by David Ruffin [of the Temptations] or Sam Cooke? Without them, we wouldn’t have most of the great vocalists.

So, was your main point more about the members being and not being inducted, or about that fans should have more of a say in who gets in, or both?

Both, to some degree. the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in an effort to dupe the people, have allowed the people to vote, but their entire vote counts for just one vote. That’s a shell game. That’s deception.

Because some people were clever enough to trademark a name, gives it some sort of credibility that isn’t due. The fact that the masses scratch their heads every year about the majority of inductees speaks volumes. They’re clearly running out of their critics’ darlings, and now, unhappily, they’re having to look elsewhere. How many times can they nominate Connie Francis? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an opportunity to celebrate everything that is rock and roll, instead of a few people’s point of view, which, clearly, doesn’t reflect the public. I’m the hugest Laura Nyro fan, but does Laura Nyro belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I’m not so sure. I would have to say no. Patti Smith? Give me a break! What has Patti Smith ever done besides singing a song that Bruce Springsteen wrote most of? [He's referring to her 1978 hit "Because The Night," co-written by Springsteen]

Regarding your issue of the voting body being a small group that doesn’t necessarily represent the public, couldn’t you say the same for the Oscars, the GRAMMYs or any other pop culture awards?

I don’t think so. The ignoring of some of the cornerstones of rock and roll for now more than 14 years is so blatant, it can only be called what it is, and that’s personal bias. You’re gonna tell me that Deep Purple should be overlooked for this long? The list goes on. And the fact that all of these people that now must be considered have been preempted by disco acts? Or rap acts? I thought it was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You may be able to broaden it, but let’s build it on a foundation that’s solidly and undeniably rock.

When someone disparages hip-hop and disco, it can be misinterpreted as being racist. A lot of people get caught up on that.

In the case of Joel Peresman, he’s clearly grasping at straws. The truth of the matter is, I believe that before you consider the peripheral acts, you must consider the cornerstones and the foundation.

So, are you going to vote in the future?

I’ll vote, but unfortunately, I only have one vote! I will be a big mouth and I will champion who I think belongs in there. It’s a tough battle when you have bureaucracy, and a bunch of people [in the organization] who clearly aren’t enamored with me. To have Jann Wenner introduce us [at the induction ceremony] as “Tight pants and platform boots”… this guy forgot years ago why he loved rock and roll in the first place. Perhaps if he spent less time in the Hamptons and jet setting, he could re-find his passion. But to be one of his darlings would be an insult to me.

So, who will you vote for to be inducted in 2015?

Certainly Deep Purple belongs in there. Whether or not I’m a huge progressive rock fan, Yes has spanned and bridged progressive rock into radio rock, I think they belong in there. I would like to see Humble Pie inducted. It’s great that the Faces and Small Faces got in, the fact is that [Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman] Steve Marriott has been a major influence not only on me, but also…

Robert Plant!

Yeah, you only have to listen to the Small Faces “You Need Loving” to hear the connection. I saw Humble Pie at the Fillmore East. I was at the Fillmore East every weekend, that was church to me. There were people there that really embodied rock and roll and many of them have been forgotten, and criminally so.

The Hall of Fame added Tom Morello and Questlove to the nominating committee last year. Maybe a positive thing that could come out of this situation is that they’d offer you a seat on that committee as well.

If they invited me, I would be there in a heartbeat, because I believe that much in rock and roll, and I also believe in the potential of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So, absolutely. You put me on the committee, and I’m there! I would love to join forces to make this what it has the potential to be. Instead of what it has been, which is a stiff and stilted deception, or a fraud.

It’s no secret that it was Little Steven’s influence that got a number of acts in, the Dave Clark Five, the Hollies and the Rascals.

Not to tout my own background, but I grew up listening to everything from James Brown and Otis Redding and Solomon Burke and the Temptations and Stax/Volt to the British invasion to Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and there’s so much wonderful music that was inspired by that music. We need more people on the committee to shine a light on that, instead of looking elsewhere when there’s an abundance of musicians and acts that should be celebrated.

Have you ever visited the museum itself?

I haven’t been there. I had mixed feelings about it, and I also had mixed feelings about an institution that would like us to donate memorabilia, would charge people to see it, and yet didn’t want us in the Hall of Fame. You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. You want to make money off of our memorabilia and at the same time you don’t want us in your boy’s club.

Going back to the night of the induction itself, was interesting to see you guys sitting near Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band guys. For one thing, Tom Morello who did your speech was, at that time, touring as an extra member of the E Street Band. For another, a lot of people thought that Bruce’s song “Outlaw Pete” (from 2009's Working on a Dream) sounded a lot like “I Was Made For Loving You.”

When I heard it I quite honestly was amused and pleased. I went “Gee, that sounds a whole lot like ‘I Was Made For Loving You.’” I didn’t invent the wheel. “I Was Made For Loving You” isn’t that different from “Standing in the Shadows Of Love” by the Four Tops. “Call Me” isn’t that different from “I Was Made For Loving You” either. Originality: it’s few and far between.

I’d read that your song “Shandi” was based on the Hollies’ cover of Bruce’s “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy.)”

I knew it was a Bruce song. If you’re gonna borrow or steal, steal from the best!

I saw you tweet a photo of yourself from the night of the induction with Glenn Frey, it looked like you were having fun.

I must say that I had a sense of vindication from the bleachers [laughs], I had a sense of ambivalence from some of the people on the floor. But Glenn was terrific, and the Eagles, you can’t deny that these guys have written the American songbook. So to spend some time with him was cool. Carrie Underwood [was there] — the reach and the breadth of the music [that night] was just terrific.

Talk Is Jericho: EP44 - Bruce Kulick of KISS & WWE Payback Review

(Listen) Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick sat at Paul Stanley & Gene Simmons' table at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, and has plenty of stories to share about that night, and about his time in KISS! Plus, Y2J breaks down the WWE Payback PPV. How'd he do vs Egypt?

KISS Legend Ace Frehley Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?' - Part 2

KISS Legend Ace Frehley Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?' - Part 2: video.

'Kiss 40' Compilation Cracks U.S. Top 30

KISS's new compilation, "Kiss 40", sold around 7,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 30 on The Billboard 200 chart.

THE HOME & FAMILY SHOW: Paul Stanley

THE HOME & FAMILY SHOW: Paul Stanley - interview, cooking segment.

PAUL STANLEY Says ROCK HALL CEO JOEL PERESMAN Is 'Grasping At Straws' By Playing Race Card

Paul Stanley says that Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation CEO/President Joel Peresman was "grasping at straws" when he accused the KISS guitarist/vocalist of "borderline racism" for allegedly claiming that hip-hop artists shouldn't be inducted because they don't play instruments.

Last week, Radio.com posted an interview with Peresman in which he discussed this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, including Stanley's acceptance speech, which contained Paul's criticism or the organization for being somewhat elitist. "The people, I believe we're speaking to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and what they're saying is, 'We want more,'" Stanley said from the stage. "They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don't want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people."

Peresman told Radio.com, "That speech was the best advertisement for [pointing out that] what we did was right. He's been almost borderline racist, not in that speech, but in other interviews talking about how hip-hop artists shouldn't be inducted because they don't play instruments. It's like, 'What are you, kidding?'"

Asked in a brand new interview with Radio.com what his reaction was to Peresman's critique of his speech, Stanley said: "I was smiling. Because, look, the guy is clearly reeling from my exposing the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for what it is. He's doing damage control. But he's obviously never had an adversary who could articulate a point of view like I could. And, in desperation, he's attributing Gene's [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] quotes to me. [Simmons told Radio.com in March: 'You've got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? RUN-D.M.C. in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? You're killing me! That doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But they don't play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!"] I never said anything that could be accused of racism. If [Peresman] wants to point a finger, those quotes were all Gene's. It doesn't change the basic truth of what I said."

Regarding whether he had a good time at the the night of the induction — aside from the well-publicized issues — Stanley said: "I wasn't there to denigrate, I was there to give constructive criticism and to make use of a platform, to really voice the opinion of the masses, of the general population.

"Look: I've spoken first hand with other inductees, and former inductees, and the process leading up to their induction was filled with really appropriate courtesies that were not afforded to us. The rules that [the Rock Hall] hold to only seem to apply to people they don't like. As far as the issue of what members and former members get in, it's just nonsense. I don't think anybody's ever called Peresman on it with any articulate argument. Clearly, the guy is trying to punch his way off of the ropes. He's stuck!

"The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame went to THE GRATEFUL DEAD and other bands and asked them [which members] they wanted to have inducted. They didn't ask us! Hence, you get, what is it, fourteen members of THE GRATEFUL DEAD, including their lyricist [Robert Hunter], inducted? Because THE GRATEFUL DEAD's people said, 'It's all or nothing.' Well, that's a courtesy that wasn't extended to us. And it's easy to hide behind some alibi and rationale, like 'It isn't a science.' Well, being biased isn't a science either. But it's blatant and consistent. It had nothing to do with whether or not we wanted [current guitarist] Tommy Thayer or [current drummer] Eric [Singer], necessarily, inducted. But certainly this thin argument of 'They're wearing someone else's makeup' can't be used for [their late drummer] Eric Carr, or [former guitarist] Bruce Kulick, who played on multi-platinum albums, and played to millions of people over a decade.

"Let's call this for what it is. It's clear to most people and obviously Peresman wants to use his platform to take some of the steam out of my argument. But I don't go away."

When it was pointed out to Stanley that KISS wasn't the only band with an ex-member drama at this year's Rock Hall induction (former NIRVANA drummer Chad Channing originally thought he would be inducted), Paul said: "How about John Rutsey, the original drummer from RUSH, who played on their first classic album? I'm not pointing fingers at anybody, or questioning their getting in, but [bassist] Robert Trujillo never played on any of the METALLICA albums when he was inducted. And he was only in the band six years, so where do you draw the line? Clearly, where you choose to draw it." [Note: Trujillo had actually played on one album at the time of METALLICA's 2009 induction: 2008's "Death Magentic"]

Stanley last month called Hall Of Fame co-founder Jann Wenner a "spineless weasel" and said he and the rest of KISS were treated like "uninvited guests" during the band's Rock Hall induction ceremony.

"Our treatment at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame confirmed my worst suspicions," Stanley tweeted. "Wenner and the rest are spineless weasels." He went on to briefly explain that the band wasn't given passes or a schedule for the evening, but he didn't specify what kind of passes or schedules he was talking about.

Stanley told The Pulse Of Radio that ultimately what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and what KISS choose to celebrate are two very different things. "I certainly want to celebrate what we continue to do and what we have developed. What the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame decides they want to celebrate is purely up to them. But it doesn't dictate how I picture this, 'cause as far as I'm concerned, we've always been in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Not a private club, not a place with a self-appointed board, we've been in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because of the millions of fans who believe that's where we belong."

Three Sides of The Coin

(Listen) Ep. 78 Eric Singer Can of Worms - Episode 78, June 3, 2014. We found another can of worms, this time it's Eric Singer and his comments about Ace Frehley and Peter Criss being hypocrites with regards to others wearing their makeup. We are joined by Lonnie Weishaar who is auditioning to join the show, how does he fit in? We can let it slide that he is a BIG Ace Frehley fan, lol. We also review Gimme a Feelin the first single from Ace Frehley's new album Space Invader. And, we respond to some "constructive criticism" left for us in a YouTube video.

ACE FREHLEY, DUFF MCKAGAN, DEE SNIDER, ALICE COOPER Featured In ARTISAN NEWS' REVOLVER Special

Artisan News has uploaded a 70-minute Revolver Golden Gods black-carpet special featuring "complete" interviews with: Video.

Alternate Kisstory: Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer & Bruce Kulick Speak Out

(rollingstone.com) Rolling Stone's first-ever Kiss cover story mostly focused on the original lineup of the band: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. The Rock and Hall of Fame also chose to induct only those members – a decision Simmons and Stanley made quite clear that they opposed. They invited current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer, current drummer Eric Singer and former guitarist Bruce Kulick (who played in the band from 1984 to 1995) to join them at their table for the April 10th ceremony, and thanked them from the stage for their contributions. In that spirit, here are Kisstory-spanning conversations with each of those musicians, culled from the cover-story transcripts.

Tommy Thayer

When Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent wore makeup in Kiss, they had new characters. Did you have any discomfort about simply wearing Ace's makeup?

No, first of all, I didn't have any input on that. That was a decision that those guys made. There was not even a conversation about it, because I think it was so obvious, that they weren't going to introduce new characters 30 years into the band. I never thought that there should be some new designs or something. I thought that would have been ridiculous. And the only thing is, you've got a lot of push-back from some of the diehards. And that's understandable. Hey, you know, if you lived in the Seventies and Kiss was your favorite band, and that's what you grew up with, and suddenly there's another guy wearing that makeup, I can understand how some people, it might not have appealed to them as much. But as time as gone by, a lot of people have changed their mind.

You can imagine what Ace has to say.

He probably wouldn't agree with that, would he?

He told me, "A supergroup has one of the most dynamic, greatest lead guitarists in the world leave the band, and who did they hire to play lead guitar? Their road manager, who used to be in a Kiss cover band. How insane is that? You can't make this shit up."

[Laughs] You know, that's one way to… that's one way to put it, I guess, even though that's not really accurate. These guys like to say that, oh, he was the road manager. He never paid his dues. Well, you know, if you look back, I've been in music professionally for over 30 years now, and I've made just as many records as they have, probably. And it's not to detract from what he's saying as far as, he was iconic in the Seventies, you know? And he did influence a lot of guitar players, and he did record and write some great stuff. Specifically, the first three or four Kiss albums, up to Kiss Alive!

He feels that it's almost like trying to trick people that he's still in the band.

Yeah. Well, you know, I can understand him saying that, too, but I don't think that's really accurate. I don't think there's anybody going to a Kiss concert thinking that it's Ace Frehley on stage. I really don't. And if it is, then they're really not paying much attention at all. But the vast, 99.99 percent of people that are there, they know what's going on.

Your Eighties band, Black and Blue, opened for Kiss. What was that band like?

I started to play guitar about 40 years ago. I grew up in Portland, actually, Beaverton, Oregon, which is a suburb of Portland. And I had all the garage bands and played school dances and did all the typical stuff and played clubs in Portland. But by the time I was probably 22, 23, I had put together this band called Black and Blue. And we were kind of an Eighties hard rock band, on Geffen Records. We were the opening act on the Kiss Asylum Tour in 1985, and we did probably 25, 30 dates in all of 1985 and that's actually when I met Gene and Paul. Towards the end of that we were working on some demos for our third album, and we asked Gene if he would be interested in producing it. And as it turned out, he ended up producing our third and fourth album. So that's kind of where the main association with Gene started. And it just evolved from there and grew a lot.

Did you ever play in a Kiss cover band?

[Laughs] Yeah, I did, I actually did. One of the guys from Black and Blue, and a couple other friends, we were all Kiss fans, obviously, growing up, so back then when Black an Blue had kind of run its course, we said, let's get onstage at a club in Hollywood and play Kiss songs. And this is kind of before tribute bands became kind of common. People went crazy, because nobody had kind of done that thing. And then it was Halloween and for a goof we put makeup on, just for a laugh. And we did that for a while, but it was never like a serious career move or something.

People kind of use this fact against you.

It can be kind of misleading, because it was just for goofs. But then Gene and Paul and the guys came to a few of the club shows we were doing and they got a kick out of it. But I always tell people, it was like the minor leagues or something. It was my segue into Kiss, because I think once they finally decided they wanted a new lead guitarist around 2002, they knew I could do it. Because they had known me for a long time, they knew I was quite capable on the guitar, but they also knew I could put Kiss makeup on and get onstage and do a great job. So I think, in the back of their minds, I think that might have stuck a little bit.

You went to work for Gene and Paul, and in the Nineties you did everything and anything for them, right?

You read internet blogs, "Tommy, he got the coffee" and all these things, and people have a laugh about that, but it's true. I did whatever needed to be done at the time, and I'm proud of it. It's just my personality. When I jump into something, I don't have any limitations in my mind in terms of ego or something like that.

And where did you think this was all leading at the time?

You know, it's funny. I've heard people say, "Well, Tommy had this grand plan and he knew what he was doing all along," and that's really not true either. When I started working for those guys behind the scenes, I was completely committed to working as hard as I could to do that and be successful in the music business. And actually when [manager] Doc McGhee came on board, Doc kind of took me under his arm, and I think he had designs for me as well, possibly in management and being part of his company. I never was thinking, "This is all a means to an end to be the lead guitarist of Kiss."

You worked with Ace and Peter to help them prepare for the reunion tour.

They were off track and they weren't playing the stuff in the classic, signature way. So we had to help get those guys back into shape and it took a long time. It wasn't like it took a week. We spent a month or two working on that, before the actual four of them started rehearsing together as a unit. Ace was a little more on track, and his attitude at the time was a lot more easygoing that Peter's was, to be honest with you. Peter on the other hand would get more uptight and actually, he would get upset sometimes, with me giving him direction. At least, initially he was, and then he got more comfortable with it once we got going. But I couldn't believe how upset he got, because he basically said, "Don't you fucking tell me what to do."

You did eventually become the road manager. How did you get along with Ace and Peter in that role?

I started having to spend a lot of time and energy, extra time and energy, on things I would consider to be almost like dysfunctional. Not showing up, and being late, and suddenly we'd be sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for Ace for an hour just to come down so we could go to the gig, and everybody would just be sitting there. And it just became very difficult just to tour. And Peter's attitude was not great after a while either.

There was that one show where they had you in makeup ready to go because Ace was so late?

After a while, I did have an outfit, I did have boots, and stuff made and ready, just in case, as an insurance policy really. Because you can't go on tour, and start canceling shows potentially when there's millions of dollars on the line. I remember one gig in Irvine, California. I think it was the summer of 2000, and I was completely made up and ready to go because we didn't think Ace was going to be there. He was in another city still. So twenty minutes before we're going onstage, we're all standing there in makeup, and here comes Ace walking in. It was the weirdest thing. He just looked at me, and he goes, "Hey Tommy, how are you doing?'" Like any other day! It was really weird.

How did it start to become clear that Ace might be leaving and you might be taking over?

Well, there were a few more gigs where there were close calls. Finally, the band was scheduled to do this private concert down in Jamaica. Doc called me. He said, "Tommy, you gotta come to Jamaica. You're going to be on stage, you're gonna be on." He goes, "Ace is not coming." And I was just basically filling in, because I don't think they knew exactly what they were going to do long-term. But we all knew I was going to go down and do that gig, and step up, and do my first whole, real gig with Kiss. And that was really interesting.

And how did that feel for you?

Well, you know, in one way it felt very comfortable and normal, almost, because I'd been around these guys at that point for years, sitting in the dressing room when they're putting makeup on. And to be honest with you, I put makeup on as a kid also, you know, for fun, for Halloween. And then we did that tribute band. So it wasn't like it was totally foreign. But then there was a surreal aspect to it too, thinking, "I'm going on stage as the guitarist of Kiss in an hour." And that's kind of a mind-boggling feeling, because I grew up loving Kiss. I was a fan ever since I started getting into rock & roll music and playing guitar when I was 11, 12 years old, you know? It's like, "Wow." I was sitting there thinking, "Man, things have really come full circle, and this is almost unbelievable."

Eric Singer

You played with Kiss for a few years, and then they went off to do the reunion tour. How did you handle that?

I never burned the bridges with Gene and Paul. I never slammed them in the press. But I was mad. I was unhappy about the whole situation, but I've always told people, you know, you can't blame Gene and Paul for doing the reunion. It's like if I gave you the winning lottery ticket but I said, "You're going to get the money, but you have to do all this work first." That's what it was like for them. You have to do the touring, and I'd have done the same thing. I don't always agree with the way Gene and Paul do things at times, but I don't have to agree with them, it's their band. You hear people say, "Well if you want to do it differently, you have your own band." That is a true statement.

And then around 2000 you started to come back in the picture. How did that all come to happen?

I started hearing that there were some issues with Peter, but I was busy doing my own thing playing with Alice Cooper. Then one day my lawyer calls me up, I was in Japan, and he says, "Hey, I just got a call from Kiss's lawyer and they want you to come back and play in the band." And I remember I asked him, "So what am I going to do about the makeup? Are they going to have me come up with a new design?" He goes, "They haven't decided that yet." And this was the beginning of the week. That Saturday I got home, and he said, "Okay, here's the deal. The show's on, they're just going to have you keep wearing the cat makeup."

And how did you feel about that?

I didn't really give it much thought. I was like, "OK, whatever." I mean, honestly, I never looked at it emotionally like some people do. I don't look at it like it's sacrilegious. It's just a band. It's just music. No offense. And some people say, "You don't understand, though!" No, I do understand! Because I was a big fan of, not just KISS, but a lot of bands, myself, when I was younger. But then I became a musician, and I have a different perspective. I know what it's like to be a huge fan, really love a band, and then also know what it's like to be in that band. And that's a unique perspective. This is just music. It's not solving the problems of the world. You know, the most important thing is – I tell everyone – "Look around you. If you have a kid, look at your kid. Look at her smiling. Look at your family." That's life. That's what's really important. Not what some band does.

So you think people get too upset about this stuff.

I'm sorry, but I just cannot put so much value and importance on what a fucking band does. I'm sorry! And I don't mean that out of disrespect. If somebody loves a band, and has a passion for it? Great. It's because of fans having passion that bands have a career. But at the same time, you've gotta take a step back and look at the reality, and the reality is, it's just a band.

Some people see what you and Tommy Thayer do in Kiss now as almost an impersonation.

I know, but here's the thing that's ridiculous. I love when people say that, because the reality is, I'm not impersonating. Because I wear the makeup that he wore? Did they come up with their designs? Yes. Of course. But it's not an extension of their personality. Peter wasn't a cat. Peter Criss was a cat? They had to create a character. You know something? I don't know if he even had a pet cat. Come on, it's ridiculous.

Do you try to play like Peter onstage?

I've always played the way I play. I play like Eric Singer. I don't play like Peter Criss. I don't try to play like Peter Criss. I don't mimic him on stage. Bottom line is, though, am I playing KISS songs? Yes. Am I playing songs that were originally played by Peter, and learning parts that Peter played or originally wrote? Yes, of course. But guess what? I did the same thing when I played in Black Sabbath or played with Brian May or played with Alice Cooper.

When you were singing "Beth" in his makeup – how about that? That seemed to freak some people out.

But the thing is, I didn't go out there and do the same thing he did. I didn't bring out a drum stool and sit out there with a dozen roses. We did it in a different way. The point is, it's a Kiss song. I love when people try to say, "That's Peter's song!" or "This is an Ace song!" No, they're Kiss songs.

At the same time, your favorite version of Kiss is the band's early years.

I still have a fondness for Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace, those first tours that I saw. I saw them on the first album tour and on Hotter Than Hell, which was kind of going into Dressed to Kill because they put out two records, even, in a year at that point. There was something about them that reminded me of English bands like T-Rex, Bowie, Sweet, Slade. But they had this Black Sabbath, darker side to them as well. Some of the songs were heavy and just darker, and the imagery was real dark. Back then it was more black leather. My three favorite bands were Queen, Mott the Hoople and Kiss. So I saw them those first two years, in the very, very beginning, formative years, when they were this hungry, young band. Most people never got to experience that Kiss.

You've argued that there's a certain hypocrisy to Ace and Peter's criticisms of other people wearing their make-up, right?

This is something that I notice that nobody seems to point out. When I came in to play with the makeup, Ace was in the band, and had no problem with me playing with Peter's makeup while he went onstage and made that Kiss money. In fact, he loved it, and he didn't want Peter back in the band. And then go forward the next year, when Ace decided to leave. When we fast forward, all of a sudden they bring Peter back, and you got Tommy Thayer playing guitar wearing the Ace makeup, and all of a sudden, no one minded it was Ace's makeup design. Peter had no problem, did he?

How do you feel about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's decision to induct only the original line-up?

We know that was the one that created it all and was the most impactful. No one's gonna deny that. I'm not gonna deny that. I acknowledge it all the way. But the reality is Kiss wouldn't be here 40 years later if they would've stayed with them. The value and the importance that other people have contributed to Kiss should not go unrecognized and should be acknowledged as well. Just because it's not as important to some people as the original version, that's fine. That's okay. But to try to diminish or devalue it completely and act like, oh, people are just hired guns and they mean nothing? That's so completely unfair and ludicrous too. We wouldn't have Kiss today in 2014 if everybody didn't mean something.

Bruce Kulick

You joined Kiss in 1984, but you actually recorded with them before that, right?

I wound up doing some ghost guitar work before I joined the band, on Animalize, because they had Mark St. John, who was an overreaction to Vinnie Vincent. They had to move on from Vinnie because he wouldn't sign contracts or however that story goes, and that was the end of him. But Mark St. John was the wrong guy for the band. To play in Kiss, you should worship Jimmy Page. You shouldn't be worshipping a shredder, you know? No way. By December of '84, Paul and Gene sent Mark home, and asked me to join.

How did they want you to play?

I remember the conversation. Paul was very specific – "I want you to be competitive with all of the current guitar players and also be familiar with where we started." So I was the right guy, because I was definitely hip to what Eddie Van Halen did, yet my love of rock guitar came from Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, etc.

There was some conflict between Paul and Gene during your tenure in the band – Paul felt like he was carrying too much of the Kiss burden while Gene was off doing other things.

I was very happy that Paul was there to steer the ship. Because Gene's plate is always full. He'll do 50 things, and he'll throw everything against the wall. Paul's not that way. Paul is much more meticulous about what he wants to spend his energy on. Fortunately, he wasn't distracted with lofty, "I want to be a movie star, TV star, screenplay" – whatever it was that was so kind of fascinating for Gene. I mean, if you think about it, Gene really got his inspiration from movie people, movie horror people, Lon Chaney and all of that, right? I guess in Gene's mind, it was, "Well, I've conquered rock & roll, so now it's time to make a name as an actor." It's kind of ironic, even with all of the aggressive behavior in Hollywood, the only time he's had real success in that medium was the family TV show. And that's Gene the way most people don't see him, but it's much closer to the real him. And even though Paul resented when Gene was busy carrying on, I never felt like Gene didn't care.

How did you feel about the band's look in your era?

I don't like to make excuses for the Asylum era. That's what everybody was wearing! It was ridiculous. Paul, he's flamboyant with his clothes in any era, okay? So of course he went wild with it, and I fit in the best I could. Gene was lost, completely lost. You know, he buys a sequined, red top from a crazy woman's shop in Vegas and cuts it up and wears it. I'm like "Come on." He went through a period there he didn't know what to do.

Were you bummed that you never got to wear makeup?

When I joined the band they already took it off, the year before. Because they'd kind of reached the point where it was not even that interesting. I was kind of relieved that my whole era I didn't need to. In the reunion era, I was kind of in panic at times when I was hearing through the grapevine that Ace was potentially going to be exiting. I wondered if they would they ask me, and I was nervous, because what if I left Grand Funk, and then Ace wants back the next year? Who knows? It was stressful, for me. I wasn't looking forward to becoming the Spaceman if they offered it to me, I'll be quite honest.

Eric Singer did make that transition – he returned to the band and wears the Catman makeup.

Let's do the analogy. Eric only had five years. He's behind the drum kit, too, so it's not as critical. He did have to adjust his playing, but only slightly, because Eric could play any style. I never was served up, like, "Learn this note for note. If you're going to do ‘Cold Gin,' you've got to learn every riff that Ace did." Tommy Thayer was a perfect guy. Like an understudy.So I know when they went to Tommy, it was more like, the understudy can drop in here and nobody would know the difference. It would have been more of an adjustment for me. That all being said, do I miss being in Kiss? Yes. Because I fit really well with them, and I think my talent is very complementary to their style and what they represent and all. But I don't miss being the Spaceman. And then the bonus for me, as much as I'm not in Kiss, which I do feel sad about in that way, but if it was at the cost of that, I realize I enjoy being able to wave the flag for my era, when there were probably ten million records sold and countless successful tours.

The late Eric Carr was the drummer in Kiss when you first joined. How well did he fit in?

He was just, like, not real happy. Usually there were two limos for the gigs, and it was usually Gene and Paul in one and Eric and me in the other, and Eric would just be complaining about various things. And I'd be like, you know, you gotta shut up. You're killing me. You know how many people would want your gig right now? Every band needs a pecking order – Gene and Paul are kind of like the two presidents, and you're not gonna get the same power. And I think Eric didn't know how to fit in with that, just let it kind of bother him, and I just wanted to slap him around. But we became very close. He was the best with the fans, I gotta say. But it drove me crazy that he was that miserable. Now, in time, I got to see what some of the faults are of being part of the band. Things don't always go down the way you think they might go down. But in general, Gene and Paul run a very, very hard-working, focused kind of band. They're very dedicated to what they do and how they're perceived, and how to make it go from A to Z. That might mean your feelings might be hurt to make it happen. So be it.

Then Eric got sick, which must have been awful to deal with.

It was awful. I mean, I was definitely close to him. He really had a valiant fight against a very aggressive, difficult cancer. And it was a really hard time for everyone. It really was. I mean, I was really happy to see him do his last video with us, for "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You" with us. And he had more energy than me in that video, even though he was going through the chemo, and he was wearing a wig that really looked like an Eric Carr wig. His hair was always so hair-sprayed and crazy to begin with. The bigger the hair spray, the better. The bigger the hair, you know? "More hairspray! Bring it in." Eric's always been a part of my life, just emotionally, but also in some dreams, and some other things that have happened to me. I always feel like he's been watching over and he's a part of my life. So I feel very honored that I had that relationship with him.

After Unplugged, how did they break it to you that they were reuniting the original band and that you were out?

We literally just went to Gene's guesthouse. He just said, "Hey, since Unplugged, this is what's happened. And we're gonna do this. We're probably just gonna do it for a year, but it's now or never, and we realize we gotta do it." And I accepted that. But, you know, Eric [Singer] was in denial. He was like, "There's no way. No way Peter Criss could do this. No way!" I was like, "Uh, dude, they're gonna do it. They'll figure it out." And they did. And they did it well. Obviously, the cracks started to show after some time. And then the machine keeps going. And it's a big machine, what can you do?

The Long Kiss Goodbye: The Search for Vinnie Vincent

(rollingstone.com) Smyrna, Tennessee, is not a likely place to find a guitar god, or anyone in particular, which meant it was just about perfect for Vinnie Vincent. For a while anyway. The town of 42,000 people is roughly 25 miles southeast of Nashville, and full of non-descript McMansions and farmhouses kept watch over by lazily grazing goats and cows. There are cozy residential subdivisions, too, where children's bikes are strewn across the well-manicured front lawns of one-story brick ranch houses.

One property near the outskirts of town, though, sticks out amongst all the idyllic sameness. Behind a forbidding eight-foot-tall picket fence and a padlocked gate stand two houses. Paint cans, a television set and stuffed black garbage bags litter the driveways. This is where guitarist Vinnie Vincent — who gave life back into Kiss in the early Eighties, when the bandmembers had removed their makeup but seemed musically ready for embalming, and then became a hair-metal solo star in his own right — has lived in seclusion for the last 15 years. Or, more accurately, had lived. It's hard to know where Vincent is these days.

From the looks of it, the houses have been abandoned for some time. Knocks on the front door go unanswered, and multiple calls in to Vincent's lawyer inquiring about his client's whereabouts yielded nothing. It's not as if Vincent, 61, was ever a man about Smyrna. Up the road, a clerk at the gas station can't recall ever seeing the musician who once played for 137,000 fans in Brazil — Kiss' biggest concert. A next-door neighbor, Paul Sachtjen, says he'd never met Vincent face-to-face. He had, though, endured a battle over some pruned pear trees hanging across property lines, receiving angry letters and police visits, but never at the expense of Vincent's closely-guarded privacy. Years later, Sachtjen's son vandalized a convertible belonging to Vincent's wife, Diane. Soon after, surveillance cameras and mounted outdoor spotlights were installed on Vincent's property.

"I feel bad for him," Sachtjen says now. "He wants to be a recluse and left the hell alone."

But Kiss fans being Kiss fans, that is, somewhere between Deadheads and Trekkies on the obsessiveness scale, means that interest in Vincent is still strong. As the original replacement for founding member guitarist Ace Frehley, Vincent garnered a reputation as one of the band's most talented, influential, and divisive members in its 40-year history. From 1982 to 1984, Vincent's knack for cocky melodies and virtuosic guitar shredding revived an outfit that had limped into the Eighties with the release of the high concept, low quality Music From "The Elder." 1983's Lick It Up was the Kiss first album on which Vincent was credited as a member (uncredited, he'd subbed for Frehley on the previous year's Creatures of the Night). It was also the first time the band appeared without makeup, and as the writer of the title track and the musician responsible for the re-born Kiss' most jaw-dropping moments, Vincent helped frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons establish a post-grease paint identity, pushing the music in the chart-topping direction of Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard.

Despite his contributions, on April 10th, when Kiss receives their long overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vincent is about as likely to attend the ceremony as Syd Barrett would've been to fly on an inflatable pig over a Pink Floyd show.

"He's such a mysterious figure," says Bruce Kulick, who held down the lead guitar spot in Kiss for 12 years following Vincent's departure and who will attend the Rock Hall event. "In some ways, he's the Howard Hughes of Kiss. Vinnie has laid low for so long that it adds to his legend."

From his home in Smyrna, Vincent did send out occasional ripples into the world. He filed multiple lawsuits against his former bandmates, alleging unpaid songwriting royalties. There have been run-ins with the cops. And scorned soldiers in the Kiss Army have charged Vincent with intentionally ripping them off by offering products for sale that he then never delivered. It's because of those head-scratching moves, and the lingering echo of his jaw-dropping musical talent, that Vinnie Vincent still inspires others' curiosity. He just isn't interested in satisfying any of it.

Vincent John Cusano was born in 1952 to Alfonso and Terri, who worked as country musicians throughout his youth. Growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Vinnie's parents exposed him to the guitar, and by the time he was 10 years old, the boy, already fascinated with the Beatles, became enraptured with the instrument.

"I slept with my guitar as a kid and I didn't even know how to play it." Vincent said in a 1987 Guitar Player interview. "I loved the guitar more than anything and it's all I ever wanted to play."

Harboring dreams of a career in music, Vinnie paid the rent with a series of odd jobs, doing everything from selling vintage guitars to working in the incinerator room of a department store burning boxes. After scuffling through the early Seventies playing tiny solo gigs, Vinnie's his first professional break came when he met Connecticut-based former Rascals' singer Felix Cavaliere at a local session for an album by Blood, Sweat and Tears horn player Fred Lipsius.

"He was an incredible talent," says Cavaliere. "He used to do a lot of solo dates in Connecticut. He'd go up to these bars and little restaurants. He could play as subtle as you wanted. He could play acoustically where he doesn't drive a crowd out because they need to hear to eat. He could play anything."

Cavaliere subsequently befriended the guitarist, who he remembers as strangely guarded, and asked him to join his new rock band, Treasure, which in 1977 released a self-titled smooth-rock album on Epic that, except for a handful of majestic Vincent guitar solos, deservedly came and went. In 1980, Vincent, by this time married to his first wife AnnMarie Peters and the father of twin girls, headed to Los Angeles hoping to further his career. He landed at Paramount, where he worked on music for Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, among other TV shows. Not satisfied scoring the exploits of Fonzie and Ralph Malph, Vincent collaborated on rock material with eventual Paul Stanley co-songwriter Adam Mitchell and Robert Fleischman, lead singer for Journey before Steve Perry.

During these early L.A. days, Vincent exhibited little of his future eccentricity. "The first time I opened up the door [to meet him]," says Fleischman with a laugh, "he was standing there with a t-shirt, tennis shoes, and jeans and no makeup. He was very nice, very charming. Obviously, his ego got quite inflated [with Kiss], but he was never that way with me."

By 1982, Ace Frehley was well on his way out of Kiss, and Vincent was called in for a try-out. "The first time Vinnie came to the studio," recounted Paul Stanley in his recently released memoir, Face The Music, "he started doing a solo and got down on his knees. I thought it was one of the goofiest things I'd ever seen." Evidently, goofy was good. Vincent played all over 1982's Creatures of the Night and joined the band for its subsequent tour, where he appeared with his face painted in an "Ankh Warrior" ancient Egyptian motif — the design courtesy of Stanley.

The follow-up, to Creatures, the confidently swaggering Lick It Up, was the first Kiss album to go gold since 1980's Unmasked. Vincent was rightly proud of his role in rejuvenating the iconic band. "My chemistry with the band helped put them back on top and gave them a musical credibility that they'd never had before," he told Kerrang! magazine. But resentment, largely over songwriting royalties, was already festering. In the same interview, Vincent said, "I couldn't get the recognition I needed."

In concert, the guitarist was determined to get the attention he desired. A portion of the band's shows during its 1983 and 1984 tours was given over to a Vincent solo spot. Often dressed in a sleeveless, tattered shirt, tight black leather pants and high-heeled boots, Vincent would play impossibly fast flurries of notes, fall down to his knees, wring whammy bar dives and wails from his instrument and bust out finger-tapped triplets and power-chord riffs. He preened and pranced and drew screaming ovations. He wasn't Eddie Van Halen, but he wasn't far off.

The hotdogging did not go over well with the other members of Kiss, especially not when Vincent began ignoring the other bandmembers' cues to end his solos. Things came to a head in the Spring of 1984, when Vincent's solos spun well beyond the few minutes they were supposed fill.

"Onstage, Vinnie was hell-bent on using every solo as an opportunity to showcase himself," Stanley remembered. "We used to call it the high point of the show — because everybody in the audience left to go get high."

Once his unsanctioned bravado become too irksome to Stanley and Gene Simmons, Vincent's time in the band was short-lived. "It was torture working with him," Simmons wrote in his 2002 autobiography, Kiss and Make-Up. "He didn't like to be told what or how to play." The way Simmons and Stanley tell it, they had reservations about Vincent from the beginning. Stanley felt Vincent was "shifty" and told Simmons, "I just want to go on record saying that [working with Vincent] is a bad move." With each passing show, they came to loathe his self-indulgent mindset and standoffish attitude. "He had no sense of what to play or when," Stanley wrote, "and he had no ability to self-edit." Vincent's playing, felt Stanley, "was like puking — it just came splattering out."

Vincent, naturally, felt differently about his virtuosic displays. "I'm an over the top kind of guy," he said in a 1987 radio interview. "I like it. It's extreme and excessive. I think as spectacular as Kiss was with its live show, they were conservative musically. I think they were looking for more a generic, old school kind of guitar player. I think that's what they wanted me to do. But that wasn't in my blood."

Vincent and Kiss parted ways once the "Lick It Up" tour ended in March 1984. Simmons said the band fired him for "unethical behavior" — understood to mean he wouldn't sign the employment contract being offered. There were other issues. Speaking at 1995's Worldwide Kiss Konvention in Nashville, Stanley said that "Vinnie sold a fan a guitar he had never played and said it was his favorite guitar, a guitar he always played, and he sold it to a fan for more than it would cost in a store." For a band that above all valued its relationship — business and otherwise — with its fans, the ethical lapse, said Stanley said, "was totally unacceptable."

As the hotshot who'd given Kiss a kick in the ass, Vincent was in high demand after exiting the group. Chrysalis Records quickly offered his new band, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, a reported eight-album, $4 million contract. He recruited drummer Bobby Rock, bassist Dana Strum and, for touring, vocalist Mark Slaughter.

Things did not go smoothly.

An obsessive taskmaster, Vincent, on four separate occasions, made Rock entirely re-record his parts for the group's self-titled debut. The veteran drummer still considers the drilling to be "the most difficult recording experience" of his career. Vincent held himself to his own, perhaps impossible, standards. "He kept using the whammy bar on this one solo," says Robert Fleischman, who recorded vocals before being replaced by Slaughter for shows, "and he kept doing it and doing it, and it kept getting out of tune. He was just chasing his tail and going nutty." The guitarist got pissed off — literally. "He finally just got up," says Fleischman, "and smashed the guitar and he fucking pissed on it. And he's just pissing on it on a hardwood floor. It was just nuts. We couldn't go into the studio for, like, three days."

Despite the recording craziness, Vinnie Vincent Invasion sold respectably and earned a spot on Kerrang!'s 1986 albums-of-the-year list. In the years since, the album has become something of a hair-metal connoisseur's favorite, as tracks like "Boyz Are Gonna Rock" and "Animal" are peacocking party-rock exemplars. Kerrang! included Vinnie Vincent Invasion on its list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All-Time, and writer Chuck Klosterman praised it as an Eighties hair-metal classic. Vincent, wrote Klosterman, played like "a Tasmanian devil whirling toward vaginas and self-destruction." And he meant that in a good way.

After releasing the album, Vincent's band landed opening slots with Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden as well as embarked on a headlining club tour. But, in something of a pattern, conflict quickly arose. Vincent's bandmates felt the guitarist's showmanship detracted from the music. They attempted to hire a manager who could reason with Vincent. Vincent saw this as an attempted mutiny. "He took it badly," Rock says. "We handled it wrong." Despite the relationships having deteroriated, Vinnie Vincent Invasion released its sophomore effort, All Systems Go, in 1988 and embarked on a tour that was to be its last. Soon after, Slaughter and Strum broke off on their own. Performing as Slaughter, they went on to sell more than two million copies of their 1990 debut, the aptly titled Stick It to Ya. The Invasion was over.

Without a band, Vincent landed a publishing deal and tried writing adult contemporary pop songs. By chance, he ran into Simmons at a recording studio. "Vinnie Vincent came up to me and apologized for causing the band all the grief while he was a member," Simmons wrote. "He wanted to patch things up and wondered if I would consider writing some songs with him."

Vincent was brought back into the Kiss mix to co-write "Unholy," "Heart of Chrome" and "I Just Wanna" for the band's 1992 album, Revenge. Once the record hit shelves in 1992, Vincent quickly shed his penitent's skin.

"Vinnie was up to his old tricks again," fumed Simmons. "He reneged on a signed deal we had made and decided that he wanted to renegotiate. He eventually sued us and lost. As far as I was concerned, he was persona non grata forever."

He was also not proving to be musically productive on his own. A modest contract with Enigma Records gave Vincent the financial wherewithal to chip away at a third LP. He called on Robert Fleischman and drummer Andre LaBelle to help. "With recording," Labelle says, "Vinnie went extremely overboard and was never satisfied." The drummer says the meticulous guitarist had him work in six different studios over a two-year period and "blew money like crazy." He also says Vincent refused to let him take demos home and practice his parts off the clock.

After Vincent burned through his recording advance, Fleischman and LaBelle believe he tried to leverage his demos into a bigger record deal with a larger label and in the process scuttled his relationship with Enigma. Speaking at a Kiss convention in the mid-Nineties, Vincent said, "It was a small label, but they were spending quite a bit. I stopped production on the record and didn’t do anything with it. I let some time go by and I realized what I really wanted to do was launch my own record company."

With the exception of an archival 71-minute guitar solo dubbed Speedball Jamm, Vinnie Vincent has not released any new music in 18 years.

Due to waning general interest in hair-metal, Vincent left Los Angeles in the mid-Nineties, following the shifting stylistic winds to Nashville, where he hoped to land songwriting work and session gigs. At around the same time, Vincent began participating in Kiss Expo fan conventions as a way to earn some money. He'd sign autographs, pose for photographs and sell merchandise. The re-connection with the Kiss universe also paid-off personally: At a Chicago convention in 1995, Vincent met Diane Kero, a longtime fan of the band and one of Frehley's ex-girlfriends. The two married the following year.

According to veteran Kiss expo organizer Phil Elliott, he and two European promoters fronted Vincent more than $20,000 in early 1996 to headline a series of conventions in Atlanta and throughout Europe. The guitarist used that cash to re-launch his career. He readied Euphoria, a four-song EP that he self-released on his own label, Metaluna Records, that spring. The effort, he told fans, offered a preview of the impending full-length, Guitarmageddon, which he described in a fanzine as "the definitive guitar record."

Vincent began telling convention goers that Guitarmageddon would be available in late 1996. Both Elliott and multiple fan reports on message boards suggest he also started taking pre-orders — charging between $120 and $300 each — for a career-spanning cassette box set dubbed The Vinnie Vincent Archives. It appeared that Vincent's music career was getting back on track, and he worked out another deal to ride on a bus with Kiss fans to different Expos. But things went awry. Vincent told Elliott he felt increasingly unsafe about making public appearances and feared a deranged fan might shoot him. Elliott remembers him saying, "I need an armed bodyguard. Look what happened to John Lennon." The event promoters balked at the demands. In return, Vincent threatened to renege his contract and cancel his appearances. Elliott pleaded for him not. He says he told told the guitarist, "Vinnie, if you were to leave like you're threatening to, not only will you destroy your career, but nobody will ever touch you with a ten-foot pole ever again."

Vincent's reply? "It's nothing personal."

In 1997, Vincent made one of his final public appearances in Nashville. He held a press conference to announce his latest lawsuit against his former bandmates. He claimed Simmons and Stanley had pressured him to sign an "unconscionable contract" that would have cut his salary to a mere $1,000 per week and made him stay in hotels full of "addicts and prostitutes." He also demanded additional unpaid royalties. The erstwhile Aknh Warrior began to see himself as a cautionary tale, telling reporters at the press conference: "I don't want the kids out there with dreams of becoming another Vinnie Vincent, or Kiss, or any band they idolize, to fall victim to the music business." He said, "I don't want their dreams to turn into nightmares."

On the evening of May 22nd, 2011, Vinnie Vincent's wife, Diane Cusano, walked into the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 15 miles from her Smyrna home. She smelled of alcohol and was covered in blood. She told the on-duty deputy that her husband had slapped her face, grabbed her hair, dragged her through shattered glass and, as she tried to escape from their property, repeatedly hurled her to the ground. According to police, the two had been arguing over a conversation Vincent had had with another woman.

Working on an arrest warrant, a fleet of squad cars arrived at Vincent's home. As a precautionary measure, Rutherford County deputies closed off the subdivision and requested SWAT backup. After refusing to answer his door for hours, Vincent was finally led away by the police. The cops charged the one-time Kiss hero with aggravated domestic assault. He spent the night in jail and was released on $10,000 bond the following morning.

Upon entering Vincent's home, authorities found four dead dogs in sealed containers. His wife told police that some of their larger, more aggressive dogs had attacked and killed these smaller ones. Vincent told local authorities the same thing, adding that he had rescued 20 dogs from abusive situations and that bad weather had delayed their burials. No animal cruelty charges were filed.

In a statement released after the arrest, Vincent urged, "Please don't believe everything you read. I would never hurt anyone - ever. What has been reported is an absolutely inaccurate depiction of the events that occurred that evening. When it's time, the truth will be known."

Vincent agreed to attend anger management therapy and stay out of trouble, thus avoiding a potential courtroom battle and possible prison time. In return, the local judge expunged the incident from the public record.

Prior to the blowout, Cusano kept to himself and — aside from the occasional pear-tree dispute — lived in relative seclusion. One neighbor, speaking only under conditions of anonymity, said that "I thought originally it was just two women [living at Vincent's home] because of the way he dressed. It was very incognito." When the resident found out his neighbor was not, in fact, a woman but a solitude-seeking rock god, he remeberings thinking, "I was like, 'Really?!'"

Aside from the rare, futile fan pilgrimage, there were few clues that the man living beyond the tall walls and padlocked gates had a noteworthy past.

"He made a complete life change," says the Rascals' Cavaliere, a fellow Connecticut-to-Tennessee transplant. "I maybe saw him once, if at all. He just kind of disappeared."

Not quite. While Vincent aggressively avoided public contact of the flesh-and-blood variety, he still loosely maintained an online lifeline to his intensely devoted fan base, intermittently interacting with them via multiple activated, then deactivated, Facebook accounts and in the "Description" field of the videos on his YouTube account. He's also participated in conversations on Vinnie Vincent fan forums, and allegedly created fake user names and online personas to steer the discussion about him in different, more flattering directions.

"To all of the 'truly genuine' friends and fans," Vincent wrote in 2011, "who sent me their heartfelt messages of support and love during my hurting time, I will answer each of you. I ask that you give me some time. I will see u all on the board." (Vincent launched an "authorized" "Double V" fan forum. An annual membership costs $500.)

Promoter Elliott says Diane Cusano largely supported Vincent through her work for a Nashville realtor. Vincent also tried to earn money through merchandise sales on his website. He hired two different guitar luthiers to build an "Official Vinnie Vincent Model Guitar," offering them for as much as $12,000 through guitar reps at the 2011 National Association of Music Merchants show in Anaheim, California. Additionally, throughout the last decade, Vincent continued to engage in legal skirmishes with Kiss over royalties and the use of his image. His claims grew so frivolous that one judge reprimanded Vincent for pursuing them at a trial and ordered him to pay the band $81,000 in damages and legal expenses. At the 2013 Kiss Expo, Gene Simmons told Kiss fans that Vincent had recently brought forward his 15th lawsuit against him and Stanley.

"It's a shame," lamented Simmons, still being asked about Vincent all these years later. "He's talented beyond most people that you'd meet, but you get to sleep in the bed you make."

In January 2014, Diane Cusano passed away due to conditions stemming from chronic alcoholism. She was 47-years-old. Not long after, several neighbors report seeing movers pack up boxes on Vincent's property.

Standing in his driveway, Drew Waldron, a longtime neighbor, pointed to the nearby house, once surrounded by floodlights. "Those aren't on anymore," he says. Vincent is gone.

Vinnie Vincent's fans and former bandmates have different theories about his current whereabouts: He might be in Nashville, with family in Connecticut, or with some sympathetic female Kiss fan. Wherever he's gone, believes Phil Elliott, Vincent will make his presence known once the bills start to pile up.

"I don't know how he's going to stay afloat," Elliott says. "When he's desperate enough, he'll come out of the woodwork."

It's hard to imagine a situation in which Vincent would not choose to keep his connection to the music world and his fans strictly online, mostly one-way and entirely out of sight, if never truly out of mind. As Robert Fleischman — like so many alienated by Vincent long ago — puts it: "If he wants to be left alone we should leave him alone. I just don't think he really wants to be left alone."

If Vincent does resurface, digitally or otherwise, what kind of reception he'll receive when he does is anyone's guess. He drew the ire of some fans when he failed to issue refunds for pre-orders from his website. Some customers even threatened him with a lawsuit for alleged fraud for selling a product, The Vinnie Vincent Archives, which he never intended to deliver. As a sop, they received letters from Vincent's Metaluna Records, likely a one-man operation at this point, apologizing for the lengthy delay in sending out the compilation. Those apology letters came with a sales offer for a guitar pick used by Vincent on the "Creatures of the Night" tour. The asking price was $1,000.

On VVForums.com, rumors still swirl that Vincent will take part in celebrating the Kiss legacy he helped create, whether by acknowledging the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony or through some other, more idiosyncratic means. That idea that he might show up is certainly delusional, but it's also sweetly optimistic — the Kiss Army still loves the Ankh Warrior, and as anyone who knows anything about Vinnie Vincent can tell you, stranger things have happened.

ROCK HALL CEO Accuses PAUL STANLEY Of Being 'Almost Borderline Racist'

Joel Peresman (pictured), the CEO and President of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation, says that KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley has been "almost borderline racist" by allegedly stating in interviews that rap artists shouldn't be inducted into the Rock Hall because they don't play instruments.

Asked by Radio.com about KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' "surprisingly gracious" acceptance speech at this past April's induction ceremony, Joel said, "It was a lovely speech. It was actually kind of classy, as opposed to Paul's. That speech was the best advertisement for [pointing out that] what we did was right.

"[Paul has] been almost borderline racist, not in that speech, but in other interviews talking about how hip-hop artists shouldn't be inducted because they don't play instruments. It's like, 'What are you, kidding?'

"And he talks about the nominating committee, and how those guys don't buy records. Those guys buy records! They're fucking fans! Those guys are writers and critics and musicians. Those are the people who buy records and got into the business because they love music."

In a March 2014 interview with Radio.com, it was Simmons — not Stanley — who criticized the Rock Hall's inclusion of rap artists, saying: "A few people decide what's in and what's not and the masses just scratch their heads. You've got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? RUN DMC in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? You're killing me! That doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But they don't play guitar. They sample and they talk — not even sing."

Peresman also spoke to Radio.com about the controversy surrounding the exclusion of later members of KISS and former NIRVANA drummer Chad Channing (who played on the band's classic debut album, "Bleach") from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He said: "Whether it's KISS or whether it's NIRVANA, or any other act, there's people on the nominating committee who nominate the act, and there's also people that we go to who are scholars and who know that genre of music," he explained. "And when you go to them and you say why is this band being inducted and who should be inducted [from the band's lineups] and who are the artists who made this band what it was, it was really just the three guys who were inducted for NIRVANA. And the same thing with KISS. It was the original four. Granted, they had other people play with their band, they've had big success with tours, but there's a reason they got inducted and the reason is, those four guys… This isn't an exact science. But you really have to go to the people you trust who have strong opinions, and are very deep and knowledgable on certain genres of music, whether it's NIRVANA or KISS or THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND. You have to go with people who know the subject matter and you get those opinions and you make those decisions. It's not going to always please everybody all the time, but it's as 'right' as we can be."

Stanley last month called Hall Of Fame co-founder Jann Wenner a "spineless weasel" and said he and the rest of KISS were treated like "uninvited guests" during the band's Rock Hall induction ceremony.

"Our treatment at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame confirmed my worst suspicions," Stanley tweeted. "Wenner and the rest are spineless weasels." He went on to briefly explain that the band wasn't given passes or a schedule for the evening, but he didn't specify what kind of passes or schedules he was talking about.

Stanley told The Pulse Of Radio that ultimately what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and what KISS choose to celebrate are two very different things. "I certainly want to celebrate what we continue to do and what we have developed. What the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame decides they want to celebrate is purely up to them. But it doesn't dictate how I picture this, 'cause as far as I'm concerned, we've always been in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Not a private club, not a place with a self-appointed board, we've been in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because of the millions of fans who believe that's where we belong."

Preview Clips From HBO's ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Special

Clip1, Clip2, Clip3.

Early KISS Producer Kenny Kerner Dies at 66

(broadwayworld.com) Noted music producer/manager/journalist/educator Kenny Kerner, who was instrumental in the early career of iconic rock band KISS and whose credits include gold and platinum awards for Gladys Knight & the Pips and Stories, has died. He was found on May 27, 2014, at his home in Northridge, California. Kerner had suffered from diabetes. He was 66.

Born Kenneth Alan Kerner on July 27, 1947, in New York City, he co-produced, along with partner Richie Wise, the first two albums by KISS: the band's self-titled debut and Hotter Than Hell, both released in 1974. He also co-produced the Number One single "Brother Louie" by Stories and the Top Five records "I've Got To Use My Imagination" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" by Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Kerner also distinguished himself as a noted lecturer, author (Going Pro) and educator, teaching classes at UCLA Extension. During his lengthy tenure at music college Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, Kerner helmed MI's Music Business Program, offering fundamental classes to aspiring artists and industry professionals.

Other career credits include stints as a publicist with PR firm Kramer-Reiss-Patricola (comedian Jay Leno and actor Michael J. Fox), management creative consultant with Aucoin Management (KISS, Billy Squire), talent mentor (indie A&R company TAXI) and as an editor/journalist for music industry magazines Cashboxand Music Connection, where he served as Senior Editor. He interviewed such luminaries as legendary music executive Clive Davis and Beatle John Lennon and shepherded early cover stories on Nirvana and Guns N' Roses.

He is survived by his son, Demian, grandsons Jacob and Zachary and his beloved dogs, Girly and Asia.

A memorial service will be held Monday June 2 at 11 a.m. at Oakwood Memorial Park, 22601 Lassen St., Chatsworth, California

The 10 Best Things You'll See on HBO's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Special - And 5 Moments You Won't

The heart of rock & roll really is still beating.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame staged its 29th annual induction ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn back in April, and HBO will air excerpts of the event on Saturday. This year's inductees spanned six decades of music, including Nirvana, KISS, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, the E Street Band and, for the first time ever, two managers: The Beatles' Brian Epstein and The Rolling Stones' Andrew Loog Oldham.

Here are 10 highlights from the ceremony that will be shown on Saturday's special — as well as five backstage moments that viewers won't get to see:

1. Random celebrity sightings: While most of the action is obviously happening on stage, some of the best moments come from audience reaction shots as the camera scans the crowd. Some of the more head-scratching attendees? Bill Murray, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd and John McEnroe.

2. Chris Martin takes us to Sunday School: Coldplay singer Chris Martin introduces Peter Gabriel with clever remarks that put a new spin on Gabriel's time with Genesis. "I didn't know how to start my speech, so I remembered that as a kid my mom said, always turn to the Bible for guidance," Martin tells the crowd. "With that, I'd like to read to you from the Book of Genesis. It came to pass at that time that an angel of the lord descended and appeared before Phil the Collins. And Phil the Collins said to him, 'Who are you, O angel? And the angel replied, 'I am Gabriel. I bring you this good news. I am going solo.'" And so on.

3. Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour's "In Your Eyes": Singer-percussionist Youssou N'Dour — "the unofficial king of Senegal" — flew in from Africa to join Gabriel for an inspired rendition of Gabriel's hit "In Your Eyes." N'Dour, who also collaborated with Gabriel on the original 1986 version of the song, translates one verse into his native language, Wolof.

4. Star-studded Linda Ronstadt tribute: Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks,Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris join forces to fill in for Linda Ronstadt, whose Parkinson's Disease has left her unable to travel, according to her longtime friend Glenn Frey. "Some of the great female singers that Linda inspired are here tonight to pay tribute to her," said Frey, who inducted Ronstadt. The highlight of the ladies' set? Listening to them harmonize (with Frey also taking a mic) on Ronstadt's classic "It's So Easy."

5. Tom Morello's KISS speech: In the night's most impassioned induction speech, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello introduces KISS with remarks that make us wonder if he's ever considered a career in public speaking. Morello recalls himself and other KISS fans getting bullied "by the self-appointed arbiters of taste in middle schools and high schools across America" for worshiping the glam-rock band, and his telling of his first KISS concert experience is delivered with the gusto of slam poetry.

6. Cat Stevens has jokes!: The juxtaposition of Stevens — who abandoned fame in favor of a life of spirituality and now goes by the name Yusuf Islam — being inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside KISS and Nirvana is not lost on anyone, least of all the singer himself. Of the Hall of Fame's decision to include him, Stevens notes: "Considering that the judges have actually voted for someone who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't throw televisions out of hotel rooms and only sleeps with his wife, I'd say it was a very brave decision. And one which was unexpected, and strangely, outrageously rock & roll. Peace!"

7. Bruce Springsteen's mea culpa: During his introduction of the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen — who was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1999 — candidly recalls a conversation he had with guitarist Steven Van Zandt at that time. Though Van Zandt was pushing for the group to be inducted together, Springsteen refused. "I was proud of my independence," he admits. "We hadn't played together in 10 years. We were somewhat estranged. We were just taking the first small steps of re-forming, and perhaps the shadow of some of the old grudges still held some sway. It was a conundrum."

8. The E Street band honors Clarence Clemons: Springsteen and the other members of the E Street Band all pay homage to saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died in 2011. Clemons' widow, Victoria, accepts the trophy on his behalf. "He was known as the Big Man for many reasons," she tells the audience, and responds to the roaring laughter that ensued with, "You guys are so bad." (Not shown: She also played a voicemail she had saved, of the Big Man scat-singing in his car.)

9. Dave Grohl and Courtney Love make nice: Accepting for Nirvana are founding membersDave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well as Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain's mother and sisters on behalf of the late singer. (Absent: Love and Cobain's daughter Frances.) After Grohl and Novoselic speak, Love stepped up to the microphone, greeted by applause and a few boos. "I have a big speech, but I'm not gonna say it," she says. Though she and Grohl have had a notoriously fraught relationship since Cobain's death, they put aside their differences on this night, with Love warmly embracing Grohl on stage.

10. Nirvana's performance: The hands-down Big Moment of the night is the bittersweet reunion of Nirvana, with Grohl, Novoselic and Pat Smear playing four songs with a rotating lineup of female singers filling in for Kurt Cobain. Joan Jett kicks things off with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (see part of that performance below), followed by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordonhandling vocals on "Aneurysm," St. Vincent taking the mic for "Lithium," and Lorde exceeding all expectations with a show-closing performance of "All Apologies," with large images of Cobain looming over the band on a backdrop.

The best backstage moments you won't see:

1. Ace Frehley addresses the KISS reunion controversy: Though it isn't brought up during their acceptance speech, the reason KISS didn't perform was because the band members (both new and original) couldn't agree on which lineup should perform. Guitarist Ace Frehleyaddressed the controversy backstage, implying it was a less-than-unanimous decision. "It wasn't my choice [not to perform]," he said. "I wanted to do it. ... We're still brothers in rock & roll."

2. The E Street Snoozefest: It's no wonder Bruce Springsteen concerts typically last upward of three hours. The E Street Band's segment at the induction brought the ceremony to a grinding halt, lasting well over an hour as each member of the ensemble took a turn at the podium after a lengthy introduction by Springsteen himself. (Thankfully, they've been edited into a montage of sorts and overlaid over the band's performance for the broadcast version.) While individual members' tributes to deceased members Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici were touching, the band's longwinded remarks overall left the crowd feeling more than a little restless.

3. Hall and Oates knock Springsteen: You'll hear John Oates say, "Lucky for you, there's only two of us," at the start of his and Daryl Hall's acceptance speech, to enthusiastic applause from the crowd. But here's the backstory: Hall & Oates were the second-to-last act to be inducted at the end night, and took the stage around 11 p.m., after the E Street Band's segment had lasted well over an hour. Then, when Hall & Oates finally plugged in their instruments, technical issues forced them to stop playing about a minute into "She's Gone." Hall complained about the sound coming through his monitors and icily quipped, "Did Bruce blow them all out?" as the crew tinkered with the equipment. (He probably also won't be pleased that the band's performance of "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" has been edited out of the broadcast version.)

4. Michael Stipe recalls meeting Kurt Cobain: R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe fielded a few questions backstage as he was preparing to introduce Nirvana. Of the first time he met singer Kurt Cobain, Stipe said: " He and Courtney [Love] had moved into the house next door to my former guitar player, Peter Buck. They lived side by side. ... The first time I looked into his eyes, I just went, 'I get it. He is all that. He's a very special person.' He had really blue eyes."

5. Courtney Love makes an entrance: Spotted from the press room: Courtney Love careening into the backstage area like a whirling dervish, crashing into the ladies' room, emerging after a couple of minutes, and rushing out as quickly as she came in — literally running back out into the main arena moments before Nirvana was introduced.

The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airs Saturday at 8/7c on HBO.

Paul Stanley Kissed and Made Up With Eric Stonestreet

(Video) The Kiss vs. Eric Stonetreet (and his mother) beef is over ... so says Paul Stanley, who has even extended an invite to a Kiss concert as a show of friendship.

The social media battle between the "Modern Family" star and the makeup-clad rockers began when Stonestreet felt Stanley and Gene Simmons were rude to his mother on a flight from Los Angeles to Kansas City. Stanley and Simmons said the whole thing was a misunderstanding and Stonestreet calmed down.

This morning at LAX, Stanley reiterated that point and had nothing but nice things to say about Stonestreet and his mother ... but carefully danced around saying he was sorry about any of it.

Either way ... everybody's on the same page now. Until Eric gets on Twitter.

Gene Simmons -- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is a Sham!

(Video) Just because Kiss was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it doesn't mean Gene Simmons has to like it ... because he's raggin' on the honor, calling out -- among others -- LL Cool J and Nirvana.

The Kiss rocker told our photog ... he doesn't think rappers and disco artists have any place in the Hall of Fame.

He goes through a whole thing about Nirvana being overrated ... not nearly as influential as the Foo Fighters, he says.

Tough love.

Eric Stonestreet & Kiss Beef Over Perceived Mom Diss

"Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet called out Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley for being rude to his mother on a flight yesterday, but Stanley claims the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

Stonestreet ripped the rockers on Instagram, claiming Simmons tried to "bully" his mom out of her seat and then mocked her by asking for her autograph -- and even threw in an old lady jab, calling her ... "Aunt Bee."

But Simmons fired back ... claiming the whole thing was made up, and he "would never be mean, especially to mothers."

Stanley also tweeted that the whole mess was just a "misunderstanding of joking."

Stonestreet accepted the sort-of-apology with a white flag tweet, "Thank u for that. She did tell me you let her go first. I will tape my glow in the dark KISS posters back together now."

Stonestreet tweeted a separate response to Simmons, throwing his mother under the bus. He wrote, "Ok @genesimmons. Take care. I assure u, I will have a stern talk with my mom about making up stories. Old people, ya know? OUR apologies:)"

Hear Ace Frehley's Kiss-Like New 'Gimme a Feelin'' - Premiere

(rollingstone.com) Get the new Ace Single Gimme A Feelin' now on iTunes

Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was finishing up Space Invader, his first solo album in five years, around the time he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, with the album's release date of July 8th a little over a month away, the Spaceman is sharing the its hard-rocking first single, "Gimme a Feelin'."

Beginning with a ferocious blues-rock solo, the tune locks into a typically Frehley-like groove when he sings about a woman who's "got what it takes to jangle my brain," the swinging guitar riff and pounding drumbeat recalling late-Seventies Kiss.

Aside from the music, Space Invader has another through-line to Frehley's days with his old band: Ken Kelly — the artist who created the sleeves for Kiss' most popular records, 1976's Destroyer and 1977's Love Gun — designed the its cover. The album also contains a rendition of the Steve Miller Band's 1973 song "The Joker," and Frehley has compared its sound overall to that of his 1978 self-titled solo album, which contained the hit "New York Groove."

"I'm really excited about this record, because everybody that's heard the tracks just says they think some of the tracks are even better than [Frehley's 2009 LP] Anomaly, and even showing another side of me," Frehley told Rolling Stone in March.

He also said at the time that he was planning an album of cover songs similar to his take on "The Joker," and although he wouldn't name the songs he wanted to include, he offered up a list of musicians he hoped would contribute to the album. "[I want to] get some celebrity guests to play on it, some of the covers and stuff, get Slash, Mike McCready, my buddy from Pearl Jam. The list is endless," he said. "I might even get Gene [Simmons] to play bass on a track."

Get the new Ace Single Gimme A Feelin' now on iTunes - Listen here.

Former Kiss Producer Kenny Kerner Dies

(ultimateclassicrock.com) Kenny Kerner, the producer who acted as an early advocate for Kiss and co-produced the band’s first two albums with his production partner Richie Wise, has reportedly passed away due to complications from diabetes.

Kerner’s son seems to have confirmed the news of his death, which was lamented in a Facebook post from the band that reads, “We are shocked to hear of Kenny Kerner’s passing. He was an early supporter of the band and co-produced our first two albums. He additionally did some terrific work that produced numerous hits including ‘Midnight Train to Georgia‘ for Gladys Knight and the Pips and ‘Brother Louie‘ for Stories. He remained a friend till the end and we will never forget his contributions to our early years.”

Kerner first rose to prominence as the producer, manager, and lyricist for Dust, a proto-American metal trio whose two early ’70s releases brought him to the attention of Kama Sutra Records boss Neil Bogart, who brought him on as a staff producer — a gig that ultimately led to Kerner making the discovery of a career. “Neil would leave demo tapes for me outside of his office. And I would come by once a week, pick them up, take them home, listen to them and bring them back,” he told KissMonster.com during a 2010 interview. “One trip found me taking the Kiss demo tape out of the box … I listened to it and it just blew me away.”

Signed to Bogart’s new venture Casablanca Records, the band got off to a relatively slow commercial start with its first few albums, and tensions between the group’s team and the label came to a head after the release of 1974's ‘Hotter Than Hell’ LP. When the dust settled, Kerner and Wise had lost Kiss — but as he later claimed in the above interview, he always knew it was strictly a business decision on Bogart’s part.

“He took us away because he wanted to push a wedge in between us and the band. We continued to work for him for years after that. We continued to give him hit records. He just wanted Kiss. And he figured if he got in between us … at least that’s one thing out of the way. So he went in and did the ‘Dressed To Kill’ album, which didn’t really do much. Shows to go you, as they say, that all he was concerned about was getting his two feet in the door there.”

Looking back, mused Kerner, “I think Kiss was one of those bands of destiny that was supposed to happen because they had everything that the teenage rock audience wanted to hear. Mainly the amazing show … You know, I used to see that they would audition pyrotechnics guys and magicians, ‘How do I do this? How do we do that? We want the drums to fly.’ One person after another until they got exactly what they wanted … They are the greatest live performing band ever in the history of popular music.”

PETER CRISS To Appear At 'Bonzo Bash' In New Jersey

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss will make a special guest appearance with other top drummers at "Bonzo Bash" — an all-star tribute to late LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham — on May 31 at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey. Musicians scheduled to perform at the event include Zach Alford (DAVID BOWIE, B-52S, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN), Will Calhoun (LIVING COLOUR), Joe Franco (GOOD RATS, TWISTED SISTER), Jerry Gaskill (KING'S X), John Hummel (LADY GAGA), Johnny Kelly (KILL DEVIL HILL, DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), Corky Laing (MOUNTAIN), Danny Lamagna (SWORN ENEMY) and Ron Lipnicki (OVERKILL).

VIP packages are available at this location.

"Bonzo Bash" is the "celebration show" that John Bonham freak/worshipper/drum lifer Brian Thomas Tichy (WHITESNAKE, FOREIGNER, OZZY OSBOURNE, BILLY IDOL) put together to pay tribute to the one and only drummer he has never stopped listening to and being inspired by since he was 10 years old.

Kiss band member Paul Stanley discusses his new autobiography

(csmonitor.com) A couple of young Jewish guys in New York, armed only with ambition and chutzpah, overcome the odds to become pop-culture heroes. Along the way, fueled by insecurities, they imagine personas that turn their weaknesses and fears into instantly identifiable characters.

Those statements sum up Michael Chabon’s novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,” but they also provide a thumbnail sketch of freshly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Kiss. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons co-founded the band in 1972 and, two years later, the classic version of the group — with drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley — released its debut album.

Since then, critics have found Kiss as cartoonish as anything Kavalier and Clay conjured in their comic-book universe, while the band has sold more than 100 million albums and endless piles of merchandise. From condoms to coffins, and with plenty of T-shirts, posters and, yes, Halloween costumes thrown in for good measure, there is almost nothing Kiss hasn’t (or won’t) sell its legions of fans, known as the Kiss Army.

Despite numerous missteps, Kiss’s influence is hard to overstate. Garth Brooks, Nirvana and Pearl Jam have loudly proclaimed their admiration for Kiss while, for better or worse (okay, often worse), the MTV hair-metal generation led by Motley Crue borrowed liberally from Kiss concert theatrics such as extensive explosions and fireworks and elaborate staging.

Of the band’s early experiments with explosives, Stanley writes, “Pyro had not yet become a science. We just ‘auditioned’ a few maniacs who liked to blow [stuff] up.”

The band shows little inclination to slow down any time soon. On June 23, Kiss kicks off a summer-long US tour with Def Leppard. After plunging in popularity and relevance through much of the 1980s, the original quartet reunited in 1996, bringing back its signature makeup and stage show for several sellout tours.

Old tensions flared and the co-founders once again replaced Criss and Frehley. They’ve kept touring since, still a reliable draw at arenas and amphitheaters.

On April 10, they became Hall of Famers after 15 years of snubs. (The 2014 class also included Hall and Oates, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, the E Street Band, Cat Stevens, and Nirvana; the ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center premieres May 31 on HBO.)

At the induction, the band opted against performing, the result of lingering feuds over who would be on stage: the original members only, newer members or a combination. No one could agree, including the hall itself, so Kiss, the ultimate arena act, didn’t perform at an induction ceremony staged in an arena and held, in part, to honor the band’s raucous concerts. They did manage to make acceptance speeches together in civil fashion.

Stanley, the rhythm guitarist, and Simmons, who plays bass, have shared lead vocals on most of the band’s songs and wrote or co-wrote the majority. They also preside over the lucrative business of Kiss.

While the tongue-wagging, demon-faced Simmons long ago became the band’s focal point, Stanley’s Starchild, Criss’ Catman and Frehley’s Spaceman are familiar to at least a couple of generations of rock fans. This spring, Stanley became the last of the original band members to share the story behind the makeup, the theatrics, and the inevitable excesses and missteps of sudden wealth and fame in an autobiography.

Titled “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” Stanley’s account delves more into what he battled: deformity (he was born with a stump for a right ear and is deaf on his right side), indifferent parents, learning disability, and ample doses of depression and doubt. This being a celebrity memoir, there are bouts of narcissism, too. In one instance, Stanley complains of his first wife scoffing at a Mercedes he gave her (she preferred a different model) within pages of Stanley himself passing on bandmate Simmons’ offer of a Jaguar in favor of a Porsche. Oh, the angst of rock stardom.

Mostly, though, Stanley proves to be self-aware and blunt. He strips away any notion that any members of Kiss knew what they were doing financially and reveals that his therapist, of all people, alerted him to the reckless and irresponsible management being provided by the band’s lawyers and other advisers. And he makes it clear Simmons is more of a business partner than anything else, acknowledging frustration over Simmons’ forays into producing and acting during the 1980s while Stanley was left to hold the band and its rotating cast of lead guitarists and drummers together.

Stanley excluded Simmons from his 2005 wedding. Unlike Frehley and Criss, Simmons shares Stanley’s disdain for drugs and avoided the traps of addiction. They also share a strong work ethic, a trait that has helped Kiss weather storms of infighting, irrelevance, and incompetence (the last two seen in a disco song, a concept album, and a comically awful made-for-TV movie).

Again and again, the 62-year-old Stanley, now happily married with four children between the ages of 2 to 19, writes of his failure to find a sense of security despite the trappings of what seemed an enviable life: money, clothes, houses, world tours and trips to the Playboy mansion. In “Face the Music,” the man born Stanley Bert Eisen writes, “I needed the crowd to love me. Nobody else did. Not even me.”

He spoke to me about the Hall of Fame, his book, and what’s next during a recent interview.

Following are excerpts from our conversation:

On why he waited to write an autobiography: "I was vehement in my refusal to do a book or anything of that sort because you just have to look at the shelves of a bookstore to see how much crap there is. Autobiographies tend to be incredibly self-congratulatory and very often about things of dubious achievement, if they actually even happened. It wasn’t until I realized I could write a book for my kids, for my children, so they would understand what I went through to achieve what I did.

The best thing we can do as parents is lead by example. So I wanted them to have a document of what I had done and I also realized that my life could be inspirational to other people, which is exactly how it’s turned out. To grow up as I did and to go through some of the things I went through and to find a spectacular life when I didn’t really know one existed – well, that’s a great reason to write a book. I couldn’t have written it if it didn’t have a happy ending."

On his approach: "It took close to a year. I got together with a guy named Tim Mohr [his collaborator on “Face the Music”]. Tim and I would just talk and I would just reminisce and he would record everything, we’d transcribe it and then piece it together. Every word in the book is mine. I loved it when my son, who’s 19, read the book. He had this big smile. Other than saying he loved the book, he said, 'It’s you. It’s your words, it’s your humor.' I think the reason it resonates with so many people is because the truth sounds like it’s the truth because it’s the truth. When you read something that is clearly so, it’s pretty indisputable. There is a resonance and a gravitas to it that lets you know it’s real."

On the Hall of Fame induction: "It was everything I expected it to be. It’s a very elitist club, it dupes the public into believing that there is some credibility to it and that somehow the public has a voice in it, which they don’t. It’s a small group of elitist publishers and writers and record company people who reflect their own prejudices and preferences. So it was exactly as I expected and from the very beginning of their announcing our induction, they were arrogant and treated us dismissively."

On why he attended: "I went because there are many fans who see it as validation and vindication of their championing us and I wouldn’t miss it for the world because it was a celebration of them and for them."

On Steve Nicks of Fleetwood Mac saying Kiss should have performed at the induction: "I saw Stevie backstage, I love Stevie. Obviously, one can’t know the inner workings of one band just because you’re in another.

All I found myself saying when I was sitting with Gene [Simmons], I leaned over and said, ‘Thank God we didn’t play.’"

On reaction to his book from band members: I really, again, I’m not in contact with Ace and Peter. We certainly have achieved and started something that has gone on 40 years and that’s undeniable, but I don’t have ongoing relationship or communication with them.

Gene lives down the road. I certainly see him and we have a great relationship. Oh, of course, he read the book and he was very proud of it."

On fame: "There was a lot of pain and a lot of turmoil in my life. And I don’t forget that. That’s perhaps part of the reason I could move forward. When I was younger, I thought that becoming famous would be the antidote to my doubts, my unhappiness and my feelings of insecurity, my ear deformity, my hearing loss.

And I found once I became famous, nothing changed. We still keep the same secrets. We live with them. That was when I had to decide, what do I do now? People blow their brains out, some people put needles in their arms, and other people roll up their sleeves and get to work. I’m not a victim, don’t want to be a victim. I’m here to tell you that with a lot of hard work and a lot of exploration, you can have an amazing life.

I have a life I didn’t even know existed."

On not telling band members about his deformity and deafness: "I was very, very closed, kept a distance even when I was at my closest [with the band in its early days], kept a good arm’s length.

I grew up impacted by stares and ridicule and a home life, although it wasn’t intentional, wasn’t very supportive. [Stanley grew his hair, in part, to cover his deformity.] So magically having an ear wouldn’t change anything [in the 1980s he had several surgeries to construct an ear]."

On life on the road: "There’s not much downtime, to be honest. I try to time my tours to my children’s school vacations so I can take my family with me. That’s part of integrating your life. I know people who never want to go home. I’d rather bring my home with me."

On recent comments by Simmons in Rolling Stone that he has two or three tours left: "I don’t know that he was really saying two or three more tours for him. Could be, but I don’t really think so. I think it was a more a sense of him realizing you can’t do this forever."

On forays into art and starring in a Toronto production of "The Phantom of the Opera": "My vision is not very narrow. I don’t have tunnel vision. It’s a big world and the opportunities we all have are only limited by us. So to pick up a paintbrush or do theater, those are opportunities that don’t necessarily lead to success, but they certainly are opportunities I’d like to explore. And very gratifyingly, most of what I’ve explored I’ve done exceedingly well at."

On his own health struggles from years of touring, including serious injuries to his shoulders, hips and knees: "I feel great. I guess it’s like going into the auto body shop, I’m good for another 60,000 miles. I found that when I was fit, the better I felt (onstage and off).

But genetically, I’m pretty blessed. My dad’s 94. My dad will be outside throwing baseballs for my (7-year-old) son to hit."

On writing the book and re-living highs and lows: "I have to say it was tremendous fun. When people talk about, was it cathartic to write the book, I go, ‘No, it was cathartic to live the life.’

If an autobiography doesn’t have some sort of redemption, coming to grips with things, if it’s just a rambling travelogue, I’m not interested."

On what he’s reading: "I’ve been rereading books that I read during the '60s. And I’ve been sharing them with my [19-year-old] son, which has been very interesting. To go back and read sort of counterculture books, Richard Brautigan, 'Illusions' and 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' [by Richard Bach]."

One On One with Jean Beauvoir (interview - May 2014)

(Listen) In episode 13 of One On One With Mitch Lafon. Mitch sits down one-time Plasmatics bassist and Crown Of Thorns vocalist/guitarist, Jean Beauvoir. The pair discuss Jean's formative years as a musician and how it lead to a falling out with his father. Jean also talks about his days in The Plasmatics, Crown Of Thorns and assess the differences between being a writer, performer, producer and adapting to work with artists from different ilks such as The Ramones, Little Steven, Glenn Hughes, 'NSynch, John Waite and more. The discussion inevitably turns to the minutiae of working with KISS' on the band's Animalize and Asylum albums plus collaborations with Paul Stanley that remain unreleased to this day. Jean and Mitch also talk about Beauvoir's upcoming Beauvoir/Free project with Micki Free set for release at a later date.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 77 We Open a Big Ace Frehley Can of Worms: Listen.

PodKISSt #88 "Revenge" Side: 2

(Listen) Join us as we discuss “Revenge” Side: 2! Join, Ken, Gary, Matt Porter, Chris Karem, Chris Czynszak & BJ Kramp as we discuss this long requested album! And an appearance by Adam Perkins. Listen to the very end of the show for a smile on your face.

We play some cool tunes with some cool KISS talk!

ACE FREHLEY: 'I Definitely Blow TOMMY THAYER Off The Stage'

In the July 2014 issue of Guitar World magazine, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley speaks about the band's induction into the Rock And Rolll Hall Of Fame and the controversy surrounding the group's non-performance at the event. The Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

"I was, like, Jesus Christ, after 40 years of support you can't give the fans 10 minutes?" Frehley says. "The fans wanted it, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted it. But Gene and Paul didn't. It's sad. They definitely lost some fans because of this decision.

"I think the reason they didn't want to get together with the original members was because they're afraid of history repeating itself," he continued. "When we did 'Unplugged' in 1995, you saw what happened: because the fans were so excited about me and Peter [Criss, drums] playing with those guys, they had to scrap their last record [with then-current members Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer] and do a reunion tour [with Frehley and Criss in 1996]. Although at this point I don't think Peter could do a two-hour show and a full tour. But I still got the chops. I definitely blow [current KISS guitarist] Tommy Thayer off the stage."

Asked where he was when he found out that KISS was being inducted, Frehley said: "I was at home in San Diego and got a call from my manager. Then, about a week later, I got the 'congratulatory' call from Paul and Gene. And I could tell that there was some hesitancy on their part about the whole thing. I was asking them if we were gonna play, and Gene avoided the question by saying, 'Well, we're just looking forward to getting the four of us up there together and celebrating…' Whatever. It was a noncommittal congratulatory call. Then, about a week later, I was told that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame absolutely wants the four original members to reunite, and I said, 'Great, I'll do it.' And there was silence from Gene and Paul. And finally it was shot down. The next thing I heard is that Paul and Gene wanted to perform with the current KISS lineup. And I said, Well, that's kind of a slap in the face. I mean, they're not even being inducted. I have to sit through a KISS cover band when I'm receiving an award? I don't think so. I also heard at one point that they wanted me to perform in makeup with Tommy at the same time. I really didn't want to be onstage with Tommy, but I said I would do it, as long as I got to play the bulk of the songs and that I could wear the 'Destroyer' costume. Then a few days later [it was], 'No, we're not gonna play at all.' It was almost like they were trying to bait me, so that if I said no to anything they would just blame me for there being no performance. I was almost going to boycott the whole thing."

To purchase a copy of the July 2014 issue of Guitar World, go to this location.

Paul Stanley Opens Up About Overcoming Partial Deafness, Prepares for 40-Year Celebration

(music.yahoo.com) Dealing with the TV and film dalliances of Gene Simmons, the multiple fragmentation of the original KISS lineup, and conflicts with everyone from former managers to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is nothing compared to the traumas and trials Paul Stanley faced in childhood — the most daunting of which was growing up with a rare condition, Level 3 Microtia, that caused most of the cartilage on his right ear to be missing.

Largely because of his physical appearance he was bullied and ostracized, and survived by withdrawing and living much of his life inside his head, all of which he documents in vivid detail in his new memoir, Face the Music: A Life Exposed.

"Many people in the same position will end up with either a shotgun in their mouth or a needle in their arm," Stanley told Yahoo Music. "Really, it comes down a simple choice. Do you live as a victim, or roll up your sleeves and make a life for yourself?"

Even those who can't name the original members of KISS know the answer to the rhetorical question. Paul Stanley is one of the biggest success stories in rock music. As the band's main songwriter and vocalist for more than 40 years — not counting the time he, Simmons, ex-guitarist Ace Frehley, and former drummer Peter Criss spent in KISS predecessors Wicked Lester — Stanley helped pioneer the evolution of arena rock and, along with his bandmates, became icons of pop culture.

KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and along the way Stanley has indulged in every whim and rock 'n' roll fantasy — which for him, has not included drugs and alcohol, something he has spoken a great deal about in the past.

Incredibly, Stanley rose to the top and crafted some of the greatest rock anthems and ballads while half-deaf. In 1982 he underwent reconstructive surgery and had a piece of his rib cage molded into a makeshift ear. Even so, he still can’t hear normally. "As far as the music went, I never missed anything because you don’t miss what you've never had," he insisted. "I hear music the way I hear it. It's normal to me, but it's not the way you hear music. And one of the key issues is if there’s a lot of noise I can’t hear people talking in front of me because only one ear is taking all the sound in. And I also can’t tell direction of sound. So if I’m driving and a fire engine is coming I could just as easily drive into the path of it as away from it because I don’t know where it is. But that hasn't hurt me at all when it's come to writing songs for KISS."

At age 62, a time when many people's hearing is on the wane anyway, Stanley is still going strong. KISS were recently nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and will tour with Def Leppard from June 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah through August 31 in The Woodlands, Texas. Pretty much everything Stanley has strived for in his career has come to fruition. Interestingly, one thing he never wanted until recently was authorship of a book.

"I was adamant about not writing a book for decades," he said. "The world doesn't need another one of those 'look at me, I'm the coolest guy' nonsense that most autobiographies of entertainers tend to be. They tend to be overinflated, self-promoting, and, a lot of times, glaringly not accurate."

Stanley finally decided to sit down with co-writer Tim Mohr to discuss Face the Music because he's in a great place in his life, and wanted a document he could hand his four kids so they would understand where he came from and what it took for him to overcome the obstacles he has faced.

"Once I decided what kind of book I could write, it was very easy," Stanley said. "I don’t want to say it was cathartic because the catharsis came before I wrote the book. Some people say it's such a great book because it’s so intimate. I couldn't write a book if I was still in the midst of what was going on in the book. The book has a happy ending, and that’s why it was worth writing. After I was done with it, my son read it, and he said, 'It’s you. It's your voice, it’s your humor. It's you talking.'"

As Stanley continues to celebrate the success of his first book, he’s also looking forward to the release of KISS 40, a double-disc set consisting of 40 songs — one from every KISS release and four previously unreleased tracks (the 1977 demo “Reputation,” “Deuce” live from 2004, “Cold Gin” live from 2009, and “Crazy Crazy Nights” live from 2010. Elsewhere, there’s a career-spanning collection of songs, including the explosive 1975 live version of "Rock and Roll All Nite" from Alive, which took KISS to a new level of stardom,and the controversial disco song "I Was Made For Lovin' You from the 1979 album Dynasty.

"I can’t be anything but proud of ['I was Made For Lovin’ You,'] a song that was a top five hit around the world," Stanley said. "I can't be anything but proud of a song that, in spite of people having ambivalent feelings, is still probably the biggest crowd raiser in Europe when we play it."

Having said that, Stanley admits "I Was Made for Lovin' You" came during a turbulent point in the band's career. "Towards the end of the seventies, we were in the midst of being lost and not quite knowing who we were anymore and losing sight of what we loved and why we got into this in the first place," he said. "We had problems within the band. Peter was basically a non-functioning member who didn't play on albums at that point — Ace being in all kinds of trouble with drugs and drinking and Gene being distracted by Hollywood and me looking for the same validation from the wrong people — we started looking for credibility from people who didn't matter. We already had the credibility of the people who did. 'I Was Made For Lovin' You' was a result of a lot of things going on and it was an experiment on my part that turned out very well even though some people didn't like the result."

While Stanley has a fonder place in his heart for some KISS albums than others, he said that together they tell a story of a band that followed its path, made mistakes along the way, but ultimately enjoyed far more triumphs than failures. "My sense was always that KISS was about having no rules and although I hold the fans in the highest of esteem, I also expect them to understand that everything we do may not be to their liking, and the way they can show us is by not buying it. And they've spoken loudly and clearly when they didn't like what we've done. But we couldn't have done Creatures of the Night if we didn't do Music From The Elder. I don’t begrudge anything we’ve done because everything we do leads us to where we ultimately get."

Some KISS fans will always long for the reformation of the band's original lineup, which after the Hall of Fame debacle seems less likely than ever to happen. But Stanley insists his favorite lineup ever is the current one, which includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer: "It embodies everything I've always wanted this band to be — a four-wheel drive car where everyone feels blessed to be there and works for the benefit of the band and also realistically works within what they are capable of doing and doesn't try to be anything more than that," he said. "It's been great and it's a lineup where we socialize and have a great time together and play fantastically onstage. It’s really the band I've always wanted it to be. The original lineup was combustible, and combustibility is terrific until it implodes and that's unfortunate. The concept of combustibility is fine as long as it is harnessed. In the case of KISS it clearly led to the demise of the original lineup. That’s life."

VIDEO: KISS IN AMERICAN IDOL PRESS ROOM

VIDEO: KISS IN AMERICAN IDOL PRESS ROOM

KISS Performs With 'American Idol' Winner CALEB JOHNSON On Show's Season Finale

(Video) KISS performed with "American Idol" finalist Caleb Johnson earlier tonight (Wednesday, May 21) as he battled it out with Jena Irene on the Season 13 finale of the show. The program also saw Jena hitting the stage with PARAMORE.

The 23-year-old Johnson beat out 17-year-old Irene, who is from the Detroit area, to be named "American Idol" and win a record contract.

Johnson swapped lines with KISS frontman Paul Stanley on "Love Gun" and then sang backup on "Shout It Out Loud". Afterwards, host Ryan Seacrest brought Johnson's brother, Houston — sporting Paul Stanley "Starchild" makeup — to the stage to the meet the band.

In addition to performing with KISS, Johnson sang "Dream On" by AEROSMITH, "Maybe I'm Amazed" by PAUL MCCARTNEY and his single "As Long As You Love Me".

'American Idol' finale: Caleb Johnson won't wear KISS makeup

As fun as it would appear on television, Caleb Johnson isn't planning on donning any KISS face makeup for his performance with the legendary rock band on the "American Idol" Season 13 finale. The producers have discussed it, but the 23-year-old singer vetoed the idea.

"I would just look so, so stupid," he tells reporters backstage after the final "Idol" performance show.

What won't look stupid? The pricey pyrotechnics planned for his performance with the band. "I heard that they spent $25,000 on pyro for the show tomorrow," he says. "We rehearsed it and it was literally like Fourth of July just boom, boom, boom. Like, it's insane and we're going to have a blast and it's going to be the best."

Meeting some of his rock heroes was better than Johnson imagined. "They were just some of the nicest, funniest people I've ever met. They were so welcoming," he says. "They were so insightful and just gave me a lot of good feedback. Gene Simmons was like, 'Hey man, I'm not going to sugar coat this, but man you've got the goods.' And I was like, 'Wow.' That's an icon, like an icon of rock and roll. It was just crazy and I am so, so excited to get to perform with them."

First, though, Johnson is going to do a favor for his little brother. KISS is the younger Johnson's favorite band, so Caleb has something special planned. "I'm going to let my brother meet them and hang out with them."

5 Things to Look Forward to Seeing on the American Idol Finale

Finalists Jena Irene Asciutto and Caleb Johnson may have put on quite a show Tuesday night but the American Idol producers are pulling out all the stops for Wednesday night's finale.

Here are five things to look forward to during the final episode of season 13:

1. The three judges will finally perform together.

"It was a blast," Harry Connick Jr. told PEOPLE on Tuesday of pre-taping his performance of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" and Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" with his fellow judges, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, as well as mentor Randy Jackson. "Jen chose 'True Colors' but I don't know who chose Fleetwood Mac. Being up there with them performing after talking about it for so many months was just great."

2. Caleb Johnson will perform with Kiss.

"I rehearsed with Kiss last night and they were absolutely amazing. They are some of the nicest, funniest people I've ever met. They were so insightful and gave me a lot of good feedback," Johnson told reporters. "I heard that they spent $25,000 on pyro for the show tomorrow and we rehearsed it and it was literally like Fourth of July, just [boom, boom, boom]."

3. Jena Irene will perform with Paramore.

"I haven’t rehearsed with them yet, but it should be good," Ascuitto said. "I hope I get [lead singer Hayley Williams's] number so we can text all the time. I’m a fangirl a little bit. I’ve loved that band since I was 12 years old, so there’s going to be a lot of things that I would like to talk to her about, but so little time."

4. The Top 13's girls will perform with Demi Lovato – but without MK Nobilette.

"Hey everyone I won't be in the finale this year due to illness but don't worry! I will still be on tour," Nobilette (the FOX reality singing competition's first openly gay contestant) Tweeted on May 19.

But the rest of the girls are excited to perform with the "Neon Lights" singer.

"Demi is extremely hardworking. She came right into the rehearsal, said 'hi' to everyone and learned all of our names, which was really nice," Asciutto said. "You can tell that she wants to put on the best performance she possibly can."

5. The 13th winner of American Idol will be crowned!

"It is going to be close, I would imagine," Connick said of it coming down to Asciutto and Johnson. "It is like a boxer versus a puncher and it is so cool. I think it is a matter of preference, really. It is not a matter of who did better. It is who you like more and who is going to vote for their favorite."

The American Idol finale airs Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) on Fox.

A Conversation with Paul Stanley

(huffingtonpost.com) Mike Ragogna: Paul, how are you doing?

Paul Stanley: Good, give me one minute to sneeze. [sneezes] You got the brunt of that one. Wipe yourself off and then we'll get to work.

MR: [laughs] Dude, your book released at number two best selling on The New York TImes list. How does something like that feel?

PS: I'm not easily found speechless, but as much as I'd be able to articulate it, it's humbling and incredibly rewarding. I just found out that right now it's an international best seller as well. Clearly I wrote the book with a purpose and I wrote the book with a vision far beyond the idea of a KISS book. This is a book about my life story, being born deaf on one side without an ear, the scrutiny I went through, and coming from a family that--not intentionally--was minimally supportive or less and the quest for fame as a means of going in the hole and the sense of self-doubt and what came of that. I was lucky enough to become successful and at that point I realized although success was an incredible gift it didn't change anything in my life. Your secrets remain your secrets, other people may not know them, but then at that point you'll either be a victim in life and complain or you'll put a shotgun in your mouth or a needle in your arm or you'll roll up your sleeves and start excavating, you'll start demolition, tear things down and build a life that can be amazing. I think that's universal, and that's what I'm getting from people, it's not a book purely for musicians and it's not a book purely for Kiss fans, it's a book that resonates with a lot of people.

MR: Yeah, and what's nice is that you really humanized Paul Stanley. Fans may know so much about you, but they still don't know how much certain things affected your life, like that car accident. You talked about getting to realize the important things; that one was a big one for you, wasn't it?

PS: There have been so many moments in my life that you could call revelations and epiphanies, but that's because I'm fairly aware of the goings-on in my life and how they affect me, whether it's almost drowning in Hawaii and realizing that I'm struggling to stay above the water but life is going on on the beach and will continue whether I die or not, facing my own mortality and facing our own issues is something that everybody does at some point. I think one of the services, if you will, that I've done for people is to not only humanize me, but to let them know that they're not alone. People read the book and say, "That's me in the book." One thing we all struggle with when we have issues that we keep quiet is the idea that we're all alone. Once we see that we're not, and even better yet the people that we look up to are no different than we are, it's a huge win-win. It's a terrific, terrific gift to me to have that acknowledgement and it seems to be a gift to other people.

MR: With your second wife and your children, you've really been exploring and getting more out of life. That's been an important thing to you beyond the theatrics of KISS, right?

PS: Well I have to say, without naming names, that I know many performers and people in other bands who don't ever want to go home, who don't ever want to leave the stage because they have no lfe and because who they are is based purely upon how they are perceived by the public. I've never wanted that. Once I saw that that wasn't an answer, I decided to find out what was. There's a lot of people out there who just don't want to do that work, and they become slaves to their professions instead of basking in them.

MR: And you've seen it on both sides. You now embrace the more human side of Paul Stanley, but you also talk a lot in the book about who you are in KISS. KISS served a purpose for you, didn't it, in your life? It was cathartic for you, wasn't it?

PS: Well things came about interestingly. I've always been very driven to succeed. Success is something that does not come without committment and sacrifice. Those were all made in the name of acheiving what I wanted. Kiss has been the vehicle that allowed me to go the extra mile. It's a huge, huge milestone to reach the success level that I have had with the band, but it availed me the opportunity to go much farther. By acheiving what I did with the band it allowed me to see that it wasn't the ultimate answer to being happy. Contentment and ultimate happiness has to come from within, and it will be mirrored in what goes on around you. I'm a big believer that the best way to charge your condition is to look at your relationships. If the relationships around you are dysfunctional, it's a direct reflection on you. It's interesting how people can sometimes say, "I'm unlucky in relationships," but until they realize that relationships are based on their choosing, then once again they're victims instead of owning up to their responsibility.

MR: The name of the book is Face The Music: A Life Exposed. From your perspective, what was the biggest thing that you exposed?

PS: Hmm. I think it's a general term, because the book is just full of truth, raw truth. I was not uncomfortable telling any of it because it all led to a happy life. I could never have told this story if I was still in the midst of that quagmire or whatever you want to call it. It really is my story because I wanted my children to be able to read it and understand who their dad is and what I went through and perhaps it would serve them and other people with some life lessons.

MR: And I'm imagining it also exposed that life to yourself as you were going through the process.

PS: Well it's really beautiful when you let go of your secrets, but to let go of your secrets you have to feel secure enough within yourself. You can't get let go of secrets if you're worried about the impact or how they can be used against you. I'm totally comfortable in my life. It's the secrets that can harm you the most because they don't allow you to get on with your life.

MR: Paul, what is it that KISS supplied to American culture, something that totally resonated?

PS: What continues to resonate forty years later is a band that stands its ground, that bows to no one, that sings about self-empowerment and about following your own path, and celebrating life. It's interesting how when we first came on the scene it was seen as trite and trivial compared to what other people were singing about. The real fact of the matter is that we're here forty years later because what we sing about is timeless. You can't save the planet, you can't fix the ozone layer, you can't take on global warming unless you believe in yourself and have self empowerment. It all starts with you. The simplicity made the truth seem trivial, but it never has been. On top of that, the makeup and the iconic imagery resonates with children who don't even understand music yet. I think the experience that people over the years have had at our shows has made it into almost a tribal event. You bring your children to experience what you experienced and to share it with them. It's unlike other bands. Other bands have audiences that don't want their younger brother there, don't want their father there, don't want their neighbor there, they want to own something on their own. We are the largest cult in the world and people come with their chilrden, with their grandchilrden, with their neighbors, this is the secret society that everybody is welcome to.

MR: There's a huge connection between KISS and its audience. What do you feel when you look at them? What do you think they're feeling?

PS: I think they're feeling an incredible exhiliration, but that's what I'm feeling. We're both feeling an incredible sense of gratitude. I couldn't be more grateful for our following and their dedication to us and the fact that when we do something they don't like they let us know by not showing up and not buying it. It's not blind adulation. I think it's a relationship of reciprocity, I think it's a relationship that's healthy in that, let's face it, we love each other.

MR: What advice do you have for new artists?

PS: Particularly at this point, I would say if you're pursuing music because of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, find another occupation. The pot of gold has been made significantly smaller by music conglomerates that now will own a piece of everything you do from merchandise to touring, and the chances of you succeeding are infinitesimally smaller at this point because there's no nurturing of artists, which was something that happened in the times of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Janis Joplin, you were signed to a label that first of all loved what you were doing musically and believed in you enough to wait through a few albums to see what happened. Now you're lucky to get a single out without getting thrown off the company plank. So if you are not compelled to do it, don't do it. If you have to ask, "Should I do it?" then the answer is no, because you don't pursue music because you want to, you pursue music because you have to.

MR: It seems to me like you're the type of guy who would've been just as happy driving that taxi all this time as you are being part of the biggest group of all time, KISS. Is that true?

PS: It's hard for me to say because I've been a member of this band for so long. I will say that I wouldn't have been happy doing either if I didn't find happiness within and happiness within my private life. The lesson here is that the external is never the answer.

MR: So when should we expect Face The Music: A Life Re-exposed?

PS: I'm in this incredible position to have this best seller internationally at this point and to have the luxury of having my publishing company saying, "What do you want to do next?" which is something that I never had to consider before. I've been bitten by the bug and I have every intention to keep writing.

MR: So keep our eyes peeled.

PS: Yeah. Obviously there's always more life to write about, whether it's mine or just my view of life in general. In terms of Face The Music: A Life Exposed it had to end at some point because otherwise you'd be stopping the presses weekly to add something new to the book. But in the long run, what I'm doing is a point of view, and that can transcend and exist outside of an autobiography.

KISS: Promotional Clip For 'Kiss 40' 2-CD Compilation

KISS: Promotional Clip For 'Kiss 40' 2-CD Compilation.

PAUL STANLEY Guests On Arizona's 93.3 KDKB

PAUL STANLEY Guests On Arizona's 93.3 KDKB: Video.

ACE FREHLEY Enlists KISS 'Destroyer' Cover Artist KEN KELLY For 'Space Invader'

(Cover) Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will release "Space Invader", his first new solo album in five years, via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) on June 24. The CD, which will be released in Europe on July 7 through SPV/Steamhammer, will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music. Joining Frehley in the studio for some of the "Space Invader" sessions were drummer Matt Starr (BURNING RAIN) and bassist Chris Wyse (THE CULT, OWL).

The "Space Invader" cover artwork was created by Frehley's longtime friend, artist Ken Kelly, who designed the iconic cover art for two of KISS' best-selling LPs "Destroyer" (1976) and "Love Gun" (1977). Ken says: "It was very exciting when I was approached with the idea of doing an album cover for Ace."

Kelly, who is also widely known for his paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy subgenres, most notably for the Conan The Barbarian novels, continues: "I had spoken to Ace on a few occasions about the possibility, so I was delighted when it actually happened.

"I am very pleased with the results and proud to play a part of Ace's continuing successful career!"

Frehley adds: "I've been talking with Ken Kelly since 2007 about painting a CD cover for me and it has finally happened! I couldn't be more excited about the new 'Space Invader' cover, and the music behind it is also going to rock your world!"

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 76 Holy Grails of KISS Merchandise - (Listen) - Episode 76, May 20, 2014. Holy crap, our holy grails of collecting KISS merchandise. This week Tommy throws out the topic and we discuss what did we collect as KISS fans and why did we collect. We also discuss our holy grails. And, a special treat... Three Sides of the Coin listener Terri Bey asked Paul Stanley... Did Vinnie Vincent save KISS? We have his answer for you on video!

Paul Stanley gives a kiss with memoir, tour

(bostonglobe.com) It should’ve felt like a triumph: Kiss finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Instead, says Paul Stanley, founding Kiss singer-guitarist, it felt, at times, like an insult.

“If it takes somebody 14 years to invite you to a party, they obviously don’t want you at it,” says Stanley, on the phone from his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., not long after the induction ceremony in Brooklyn last month. “We were treated absolutely horribly, as unwanted guests.”

Stanley had nothing but praise, however, for former Rage Against the Machine guitarist and current E Street Band touring member Tom Morello, who inducted Kiss with a fiery speech defending the band’s legacy. (The ceremony will air in edited form on HBO on May 31.)

“Tom was great and really championed this whole movement” of getting the madcap, makeup adorned, multiplatinum original quartet inducted, says Stanley.

Backstage at the Barclays Center that night Morello said of Kiss, “They were our generation’s Beatles, our generation’s Elvis, our generation’s Rolling Stones. They made everyone who loved that band want to pick up an instrument. Also, it was a conscious act of rebellion to be a fan of Kiss. You immediately put yourself not only in opposition to authority figures, to parents, but to other kids in your school who wanted to beat your ass when you wore a Kiss T-shirt to school. So you had to stand up for yourself and what you believed in at a very young age and that made an impression on me later in my career.”

The band is celebrating its 40th year of rocking and rolling all night and partying every day and on the phone Stanley is brimming with excitement about everything from Kiss’s upcoming summer tour to his recipe for Brussels sprouts. (“Use really good balsamic,” he counsels of making the dish.) At 62, Stanley says he is “one happy man.”

One source of that joy is his best-selling new memoir, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” which he will sign copies of at Barnes and Noble on Boylston Street on Sunday.

In the candid autobiography Stanley writes extensively about the challenges of growing up deaf in his right ear, with only a stump where the ear itself should be, exposing him to endless ridicule. (He later had reconstructive surgery.) Troubles in school and with his peers and parents left him riddled with insecurity that could not be healed by hit songs and groupies.

“I couldn’t have written the book if it didn’t have a happy ending,” says the New York native of seeking help and settling into family life with his second wife, Erin, and his four children. “The point really is, we can hide our secrets but we can never hide them from ourselves, and the only way to find happiness is to let go of those secrets.”

“I was lucky enough to become famous because I thought fame was the answer,” he says. “And then once you come to the realization that you’re still miserable, you either put a shotgun in your mouth or you put a needle in your arm, or you roll up your sleeves and decide you’re not going to be a victim.”

Stanley is the last member of Kiss to release an autobiography, and he says he did not read those of his former drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley or remaining cofounding bassist Gene Simmons.

“It’s very hard for somebody to recall their past and their lives, when they are steeped in alcohol and drugs,” says Stanley of Criss and Frehley, who battled substance abuse during their tenures with Kiss and are now in recovery. “The idea of somebody writing a memoir when they can’t remember what happened yesterday is a little ridiculous. So no, I didn’t read them.”

But what of the famously sober Simmons, who has written several books?

“Yes, delusional, but sober,” he says with a laugh. “He sees life his own way and that’s very different.”

Although Stanley is joking, to a degree, and often calls Simmons a brother, he makes clear in the book that from the moment he met him, Simmons got under his skin.

“I think one of the great things in a band is combustibility,” he says. “If there’s too much that you have in common you don’t bring that much to the party. So I’m all for combustibility, we just have to be working toward a common cause. The combustibility in the original lineup was bearable until everybody wanted something different.”

Stanley believes “Face the Music” will appeal to more than fans of Kiss and his “Starchild” band persona.

“It’s really a book about struggling, finding yourself, and coming to a place of contentment against all odds and obstacles and that resonates with people far beyond whether or not they like Kiss,” says Stanley.

He’s also looking forward to Kiss’s summer tour with Def Leppard, hitting the Xfinity Center Aug. 1.

“In the most pragmatic sense, money becomes harder and harder for people to come by and the idea of being able to give them a night of great music from two bands benefits all of us.”

KISS To Perform With 'American Idol' Contestant CALEB JOHNSON On Next Week's Season Finale

KISS will perform with "American Idol" finalist Caleb Johnson as he battles it out with Jena Irene on the Season 13 finale next week. The show will also see Jena hitting the stage with PARAMORE.

After learning on this week's show that he was going to be performing with KISS, which is said to be one of his biggest musical influences, Caleb got so excited he jumped into the arms of his "little" brother, who's got several inches on him, according to USA Today.

The two-part Season 13 finale of "American Idol" will air on Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21, starting at 8 p.m. on Fox.

KISS' upcoming appearance on "American Idol" will not be the first time the band has played on the annual reality show and singing competition. KISS previously performed its classic songs "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock And Roll All Nite" on the 2009 season finale of "American Idol". They were introduced by finalist Adam Lambert, who sang the KISS classic "Beth" prior to the band taking the stage (with Adam joining in).

Paul Stanley: The Cream Interview

(nashvillescene.com) I have not had a chance to read your book yet. If you had to describe it in three words to somebody who hadn’t read it, what would those be?

I’ll have to use other people’s word’s: Inspirational [long pause]. ... How about four more words?

Four more?

How about “not a KISS book”?

That actually makes a lot of sense, that’s great. I think there’s definitely a lot of information out there already, and my next question is, as a longtime fan of the band, I remember how controlled the press and information about KISS was for the first 25 or 30 years. We really had to dig, and there were only a couple books out there. With the magazines, it seemed the management gave what information they wanted. But at some point the doors blew open, and now it’s all out there. How do you feel about that?

I think it’s terrific, but the creating of an image and keeping it consistent was I think imperative to creating the KISS legacy, certainly for the first few decades if not more. KISS can continue because the foundation was so clearly defined. At this point, it’s much more important to, just in this present day, to identify more the individuals and who they are. There was a time where it would only muddy the four personas, whereas now I think it enhances them.

My story, the story of the music, is one of struggle and transcendence and overcoming obstacles. KISS has always been about self-empowerment and self-belief, and I think it enhances that whole point of view to see that I, for one, have lived it. You know, to be born deaf on one side without a right ear and to grow up under the circumstances and family life that I did, and then to fight for success only to find it an incredible gift but hollow in terms of making my feelings of self-worth or my questions of inadequacy, it did nothing for them, so at that point it became a challenge of either being a victim and compromising my life and using other things as an excuse, or deciding to fight back and make a great life, and that’s what I did. And in some ways that mirrors KISS.

I would agree. And that leads perfectly into my next question. I love your mantra of, “Anything is possible with hard work.” That’s a recurring theme I’ve noticed in interviews with you. But aren’t there other factors at play? There are a lot of other bands that worked hard and never achieved KISS-like success. Does that necessarily make them failures? How do you see that?

That’s tough. I would have to say that because as far as I know, we don’t get a second chance, and this is our only trip through this world; we all need to do a brutal self-assessment, and it’s never only about hard work. If I were delusional, I would have said I’m going to work real hard and become a rocket scientist, but I didn’t have the capacity for that. No matter how hard you work, you can’t achieve what you’re not capable of. So hard work is what stands between you and success once you identify what you’re capable of doing, and if you’re fooling yourself, you’re the only one who pays the price.

This is true. I heard you address that a little bit in the interview at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. But I was just curious if there might be other factors, like a great management team or label, or other things that fell into place and worked in your favor.

But that’s all part of hard work. Those things didn’t fall into our laps. We fought them out.

Right.

People who are foolish enough to believe that talent is the sole end-all-be-all are the ones who are in for the shock of their lives when somebody who they think isn’t as talented as they are surpasses them. Really, ultimately, all the situations around us were because we were taking control of situations and steering them. People like to talk about luck — I think luck is seeing an opportunity where somebody else doesn’t. There’s opportunities all around everybody. When you grab one, or see something that somebody doesn’t see in the same room, they say you were lucky, I just say you were blind.

That’s a good way of putting it. My next question is about another band from the era who definitely did not achieve any level of success like you, but I was always curious about your knowledge of them. Did you know about the all-girl band The Runaways back in the '70s?

Absolutely. I was close with Lita during that early time. I knew The Runaways way back then, in the '77 time.

Once they were legal.

Yes [laughs].

I was surprised that KISS never had them open a show or a tour. It seemed like it would have made so much sense.

Well we knew them, and I don’t know that that would have served us well … offstage. In any case, we knew them, and they were terrific. I will measure my words, but they were terrific.

One of the most interesting things I came across doing some online research was about your love of cooking. And more specifically, you had a recipe for Brussels sprouts à la Stanley, which I’m definitely looking to try soon, as I love dried cherries. Do you use fresh or dried cherries? It’s dried cherries right?

Dried.

So is there any chance of a Paul Stanley cookbook at some point?

Everything is possible. What life is supposed to do is open doors, not close them. So did I think I would have a No. 2 New York Times bestseller? It wasn’t on my list — it’s now an international bestseller. Did I think I would star in Phantom of the Opera? It was something that I thought about. We either create opportunities for ourselves or avail ourselves of opportunities, and it’s a matter of what we do with them. Painting, theater, best-selling books — it’s all terrific, and I can’t imagine not pursuing every avenue of interest. I don’t want to live by anybody else’s limitations.

That’s a good philosophy. One last question, from a friend of mine who has read the book. Why was there no mention in your book of Live to Win and that period where you did a second solo album?

Well, because if I wrote about everything, then the book would have been 10 times as long. It wasn’t pivotal, although it was a great experience. You have to draw the line somewhere, because writing an autobiography is very much like turning a book into a movie. You have to paint the picture without telling every page.

I guess we’ll have to wait for the next volume. And I saw on the JCC interview that there’s a possibility of another Paul Stanley solo album. Is that true?

Sure, absolutely. I’m not done, so sure. The next one I guarantee will be much more guitar-driven. Live to Win was really me wanting to push the envelope of what people wouldn’t expect from me. But my next one would hearken back way more to the first, I’m sure.

Ace Frehley Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?' - Part 1

Ace Frehley Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?' - Part 1: Video.

GENE SIMMONS Says He Inherited Womanizing Ways

According to The Pulse Of Radio, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons, who claims to have bedded nearly 5,000 women during his lifetime, has learned that he's simply following in his father's footsteps. Simmons, who was born as Chaim Witz in Israel, was the son of Hungarian Holocaust survivor Flora Klien and a father, Feri Witz — who soon abandoned his family, leaving them penniless prior to emigrating to America in search of a better life.

Simmons told Classic Rock magazine, that he learned from his family in Israel that their father also had an infamous desire for sex. "My siblings are younger than I am, so they came through the four or five other marriages he had, not counting the girlfriends," he said. "When they found my father when he passed away, there was a 35-year-old Russian woman with him. I was afraid I'd turn into my father, and in some ways I did. There wasn't a female alive or dead that he wouldn't try to mount, and the same went for me. It may be a story that's common for the species and I'm no different, but I did not abandon my family and I never will."

In a 2011 episode of his reality-TV show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels", Simmons said he realized how much his anger at his father's abandonment had colored his workaholic ambition and need to be perceived as successful. "I've been arrogant about a lot of things, especially my father," he said. "I wanted to prove to myself and to everyone else and to my father that I didn't need him. So once I proved it and became successful, I wanted to stand stubbornly on my pride and not move. Unfortunately, I never saw my father again until I stood over his grave."

Simmons told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the roles that men and woman play are genetically predisposed. "Until the age of 12, the female of the species far outperforms the male of the species in science, in math, and everything else — I mean, by a few grades," he said. "As soon as puberty hits, she stops with science and math and everything else, and completely becomes dedicated to making herself attractive to the opposite sex. She takes up a new profession. The profession is? To make herself as valuable in her looks as possible, because — my assessment — that's her meal ticket."

Dave Grohl to Tour Recording Studios in New HBO Show

In an effort to presumably battle Questlove for Busiest Musician title, Dave Grohl will host and produce a documentary show for HBO set to premiere later this year.

Paul Brannigan, author of the Dave Grohl biography This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl, announced the news on Classic Rock magazine, noting that the series will find Grohl visiting and recording music at various studios around the world. The Foo Fighters frontman and Hall of Fame inductee will also interview select artists at each studio, including Kiss' Paul Stanley, Heart's Nancy Wilson, the Eagles' Joe Walsh and Fugazi's Ian MacKaye.

Brannigan didn't reveal the full list of studios documented in the as-yet-untitled series, but noted that Steve Albini's Electrical Audio, Don Zientara’s Inner Ear studios in Washington, D.C. and Rancho De La Luna — the California studio frequented by Queens Of The Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys — will all appear.

The show builds on Sound City, the 2013 documentary directed and produced by Grohl that focused on the famed Los Angeles recording studio of the same name. Asked last year if it was hard to teach himself to be a director, Grohl told Rolling Stone, "No. This movie was not hard to make. Apocalypse Now – probably. The Sound City movie was really getting together with friends and digging deep into what music means to each one of us, telling the story of a studio that's very close to me, and trying to give the viewer something that will inspire them to fall in love with music like I did.

"Sound City is about having kids see this film and be inspired to go to a yard sale and buy a guitar and start a band and play in the garage and then take over the world. Because that can still happen. It happens all the time. To me, personally, it's the most important thing I've done because it's not for me."

PodKISSt #87 "Revenge" Side: 1

(Listen) On this day in KISSTORY – May 14, 1992, KISS released their critically acclaimed REVENGE album. Join us as we discuss “Revenge” Side: 1! Join, Ken, Gary, Matt Porter, Chris Karem, Chris Czynszak & BJ Kramp as we discuss this long requested album! We play some cool tunes with some cool KISS talk!

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) Ep. 75 Our Best KISS Buying Memories - Episode 75, May 13, 2014. We remember and share our best KISS buying experiences... our memories of buying KISS albums. While revealing one of his memories Mike also reveals why he is loser, tune in and find out what he almost did when he was 13 years old.

Paul Stanley Mornings Australia May 2014

Paul Stanley Mornings Australia May 2014: Watch.

ACE FREHLEY's Real-Life 'Spinal Tap' Story

(Video) In the one-minute clip below, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley recounts a real-life "Spinal Tap" story to Ultimate Classic Rock.

"I remember once we were on tour, and I woke up in Canada," Ace recalled. "I had dinner in Texas, and then we ended up in Mexico City, because we had a stadium show the next [day] It was, like, three different countries in one day — breakfast in Canada, lunch in the U.S. and having dinner… And then I get to my hotel, and in my lobby was this really cute Mexican model, and she had blonde hair. Very rare in Mexico; most women have dark hair. So I invited her up to my room, and within an hour, we were having sex. And I look on the TV, and she's on the TV in a commercial, like, for some car or something. I just thought that was so bizarre. I was with this girl having sex with her and she's on the television doing a car commercial. Go figure."

Frehley will release "Space Invader", his first new solo album in five years, via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) on June 24. The CD, which will be released in Europe on July 7 through SPV/Steamhammer, will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music. Joining Frehley in the studio for some of the "Space Invader" sessions were drummer Matt Starr (BURNING RAIN) and bassist Chris Wyse (THE CULT, OWL).

The KISS Room - May 9, 2014

Listen to THE KISS ROOM, recorded live on Friday, May 9, 2014 and originally broadcast via MontcoRadio.com! Matt Porter is joined in the studio by: Chris Giordano (KISStory & KISS It!), David Snowden (David Snowden Promotions), Tony DeVille (Deville Ink) and Ken Mills (PodKISSt).

PETER CRISS Performs KISS' 'God Of Thunder' With ROB ZOMBIE At 93.3 WMMR MMR*B*Q

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss joined ROB ZOMBIE on stage last night (Saturday, May 10) at 93.3 WMMR MMR*B*Q 2014 at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey to perform a cover of the KISS classic "God Of Thunder". Zombie introduced Criss by telling the audience: "Ladies and gentlemen, if you are anything like me, you were very disappointed a little while ago, because I tuned into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and I did not get to see my favorite drummer get behind the motherfucking drums. So tonight, it is our great honor to bring to you the one and only Catman, Mr. Peter Criss."

After exchanging a hug with Criss, Zombie joked, "This might be a little awkward. I'm gonna sing [the KISS ballad] 'Beth' for everybody. Rob and his band kicked into "God Of Thunder", with Criss and ZOMBIE drummer Ginger Fish — who donned a Catman mask — both playing drums on the song.

Fan-filmed video footage of Criss' performance with ROB ZOMBIE can be seen here.

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS To Support KISS And DEF LEPPARD

Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based metallers KOBRA AND THE LOTUS have been tapped as support for legendary bands KISS and DEF LEPPARD this summer on their massive North American summer tour.

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS takes to the road in support of its new album, "High Priestess", due out in North America on June 24 via Titan Music. Produced by the Grammy-nominated Johnny K (MEGADETH, DISTURBED, THREE DOORS DOWN), the CD delivers a blend of fiery vocals, heavy riff-laden melodies and ferocious musicianship.

PETER CRISS To Join ROB ZOMBIE On Stage In Camden

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss will join ROB ZOMBIE on stage this Saturday, May 10 Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey to perform a "special song."

Paul Stanley takes us beneath the greasepaint with glam rock icons Kiss

(thenational.ae) By October 31, 1998, Paul Stanley’s band Kiss had already spent a quarter of a century in make-up. “Clown White” greasepaint was the foundation upon which they painted their comic-book alter-egos. Stanley was The Starchild, his fire-eating, blood-capsule chomping co-­frontman Gene Simmons was The Demon, and lead guitarist Ace Frehley was The Spaceman. Drummer Peter Criss – clearly trading his sticks for the short straw – had the risible whiskers and dinky little nose of The Catman.

After their show at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles that night, Kiss planned to decamp to the Sunset Marquis in Hollywood. They wanted to remove the make-up and outlandish stage outfits that had taken each of them the best part of two hours to put on. When their vehicle encountered the crowds forming the Hollywood Halloween parade, however, gridlock ensued.

“We were about seven blocks away when it dawned on me we could get out and walk,” recalls Stanley of the night the simple backdrop of Halloween enabled Kiss to stroll with the masses incognito. “Wow, man, great costumes!” commented one reveller at the time. “You really look like them!”

Stanley’s 462-page memoir is an eminently readable book. Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl big him up in the accompanying blurb, while, inside, a photograph of Lady Gaga wearing Stanley’s 7-inch, silver star-encrusted heels reminds us that the daft majesty of Kiss still has resonance for younger A-­listers.

Face the Music is both funny and highly entertaining. More surprising, perhaps, is learning just how much Kiss’s ascendancy depended on shrewdness and courage. There’s a telling moment where Stanley recalls deciding that “success wouldn’t happen by chance; it would happen by design”, and he doesn’t set much store by kismet. “In my experience, people who dismissed the success of others as luck were people who had failed,” he writes. “It was a way to absolve themselves of accountability.”

At root, Stanley’s book is a classic triumph-over-adversity story to ­rival that of Def Leppard’s one-armed drummer Rick Allen. When he was born Stanley Bert Eisen in 1952, Paul had microtia, a congenital deformity which meant he was deaf in his noticeably underdeveloped right ear. He details the trauma of other kids ­calling him “Stanley the one-eared monster”; home-life with his dysfunctional, decidedly non-touchy-feely family in Manhattan, then Queens, New York, does little to ease the pain. Unsurprisingly, he soon grows his hair long, this a way of disguising his ear and a badge of identification with Led Zeppelin and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, bands he’s greatly inspired by when he sees them perform in the US in the late 1960s.

It’s when Stanley meets Gene Simmons that the seeds of Kiss are sown, but Face the Music’s two-parts-disdain-to-one-part-respect take on the famously bumptious Gene is sustained throughout its pages. “He seemed arrogant and condescending, he could sing well and play bass well,” says Stanley of encountering Simmons for the first time in 1971, but he also teases-out the telling complexities of his and Simmons’s relationship. Writing about Gene’s adoring, Holocaust-survivor mother Flora, Stanley reports: “If I happened to call when he was in the bathroom, she would say: ‘The king is on the throne.’ I, on the other hand, couldn’t get a compliment out of my parents if my life depended on it.”

The book’s account of Kiss’s carefully calibrated rise is fascinating. No matter that Stanley and Simmons are chalk and cheese; their shared work ethic and unshakeable belief in Kiss is all the common ground they need.

Stanley says that one of the master strokes of the band’s first manager Bill Aucoin, a former cinemato­grapher, was to insist that Kiss were never interviewed in civvies. Live, the group’s superior grasp of theatricality owed something to Aucoin suggesting that they videotape their rehearsals. We also learn that the endearing slogan “You wanted the best, you got the best!” which still booms from PA systems whenever Kiss perform was coined by the band’s road manager, J?R Smalling.

Apropos Kiss’s extensive and groundbreaking use of pyrotechnics, meanwhile, Stanley affirms that, in the early days, health and safety didn’t come into it. “We just ‘auditioned’ a few maniacs who liked to blow [stuff] up,” he says. “We probably saved lives and property by hiring these guys and keeping [them] off the streets.”

He’s also very honest about Kiss’s limitations, acknowledging that they just “didn’t have the musical vocabulary” to stretch out arrangements à la Led Zeppelin. Thus, when Kiss employ the studio whizz Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed) to produce their classic 1976 album Destroyer, Ezrin must take the bull by the horns. “He wore a whistle around his neck and called us ‘campers’,” recalls Stanley of the sessions which yielded such Kiss classics as Shout It Out Loud and Do You Love Me? “He told us we didn’t know anything – which was true.”

While we best draw a curtain of discretion around the hotel room dubbed “The Chicken Coop” that Kiss rented to entertain female ­admirers, Stanley largely avoids the kind of graphic details found in books such as The Dirt, the collective autobiography of Mötley Crüe, a band greatly influenced by Kiss. He’s also honest about how, in the 1970s, the “bubble” of touring was particularly hard on long-term relationships. “Wives and girlfriends quickly became abstract realities because there were no cellphones and hotel phones were expensive,” he writes.

All through the book, Stanley’s frank and grounded account of where he is at, personally, runs parallel with the fantasy writ-large that is Kiss. “In truth, I [was] the Wizard of Oz: the awkward little man behind the curtain operating this huge persona,” he writes. Accordingly, he undergoes therapy to try to unpick the childhood traumas that have rendered him “­remote and inaccessible”, and ponders the gulf between his onstage surety and offstage ­emptiness.

Pricey acquisitions such as vintage guitars and Tiffany lamps (!) don’t scratch the itch. Neither do fame or “hot and cold running women”. But in the early 1980s, advances in medical science grant Stanley a life-changing experience. When he undergoes reconstructive surgery on his ear at a hospital in New Hampshire, even Simmons grasps the event’s import for his bandmate. “[Gene] was going through a period of being very afraid to fly,” writes Stanley, “so I gave him a lot of credit for visiting.”

Kiss fans will be intrigued to see how Stanley’s memoir treats Criss and Frehley, fellow founding-members that Stanley and Simmons came to see as a ­liability and let go (Criss was sacked in 1980; Frehley’s departure was “negotiated” in 1982). There are at least four sides to the story, of course, but Stanley makes a sound case for ousting Peter and Ace, painting the former as someone prone to quixotic and outrageous demands and the latter as “the laziest person I ever met”. Stanley also argues that, while he himself was moderate in his use of stimulants and Simmons was teetotal, the well-documented drug and alcohol problems of Criss and Frehley soon atrophied their gifts.

Be that as it may, nobody can resist the bucks on the table for a reunion tour beginning in 1996 (it grosses US$43.6 million [Dh160m]), even if subsequent tensions are inevitable. “These guys are just terrible,” says Kiss’s second manager Doc McGee when Criss and Frehley prove unreformed characters. “I run a management company, not the Red Cross.”

Kiss soon reboot themselves without Criss and Frehley, but the sense of peace that has long eluded Stanley only comes to him fairly late in life. In 1999, aged 47, he wins the lead role in a Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera and has an epiphany: “Was it possible that the Phantom was – in a way – me?”

When Stanley subsequently receives a letter from AboutFace, a charity helping children with facial differences, he knows he must get involved. “Here, perhaps, was a way to heal my soul,” he writes, and so it proves.

Face the Music is a unique and inspiring rock memoir. There’s plenty of substance beneath the greasepaint, and Stanley shows that there’s a lot more to him than lyrics laced in double entendres. At the book’s close he’s 62, happily married to his second wife Erin and pondering a future incarnation of Kiss that has none of its original members. “We’ve never subscribed to the limitations other bands impose on themselves,” he writes. “Kiss could – and should – go on without me.”

PAUL STANLEY LIVE VIDEO EVENT MAY 13

On Tuesday, May 13 at 12pm (PST) Paul Stanley will be hosting a special LIVE video event on Spreecast, where you, the KISS army, can ask him questions about his book, Face the Music! Purchase your copy today and get ready for what’s sure to be an exciting conversation. Visit here and click the “remind me” button to RSVP: http://bit.ly/1i3gVXW.

Episode 11: Paul Stanley of KISS | Heavy Metal Book Club

(Listen) On Episode 11 of the Heavy Metal Book Club (www.heavymetalbookclub.com) we are joined by Paul Stanley of KISS to talk about his great new book Face The Music: A Life Exposed. Paul talks about the timing of the book, his relationship with his band mates, and much more.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Paul Stanley's Book Q&A in San Francisco Three Sides of the Coin Attends: Listen.

ACE FREHLEY Claims He Does Not Take Personally Anything PAUL STANLEY And GENE SIMMONS Say

On April 23 at the Revolver Golden Gods awars show in Los Angeles, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke to Artisan News about the band's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame following the April 10 ceremony at Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center.

"Luckily, everybody was on their best behavior, and the vibe was pretty cool," Ace said.

Asked for his opinion on KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley's claim that Frehley and fellow former KISS member Peter Criss (drums) were anti-Semites who felt that the band was being "unfairly manipulated by money-grubbing Jews," Frehley said: "Paul's trying to make headlines, he's trying to sell [his recently released memoir, 'Face The Music: A Life Exposed'.]"

He continued: "I don't take anything Paul says — or Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] — personal." Video.

VIDEO: PAUL STANLEY AT JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER

Here’s Paul’s interview / Q&A from the San Francisco Jewish Community Center: Video.

Decibel Geek: Vinnie Vincent Special pt 5 - Andre Labelle (Ep 135)

Sometimes going back on your word can be a good thing...... This week we present you with the 5th installment of our Vinnie Vincent Special: Listen.

Rock 'N' Roll Samurai

(tokyojournal.com) From Legendary Rock and Roll Superstar to Business Warrior, Music Business CEO Gene Simmons Conquers All

Rock star, producer, publisher, actor, reality TV star, family man, professional sports team owner, entrepreneur and all-round marketing genius: what kind of steroids must one take to master so many ventures with dynamic energy and youthful enthusiasm for over 40 years? To find out, I drove to Gene Simmons’ Beverly Hills mansion. Meeting Gene Simmons was an educational experience from the get-go. Parking on the edge of the large circular driveway to this huge mansion - the kind you only see on a reality TV show - I looked up to see the towering KISS star on top of the staircase, yelling pinpoint directions to me about where to park. Before the interview; before I’d even parked the car, I knew this was a man who was in control. I couldn’t help but feel intimidated, but as I entered his palatial estate Simmons greeted me with a kind smile and, knowing that I had lived in Japan for many years, introduced himself in perfect Japanese using all the politest forms of the language. He offered me a cup of coffee and asked me to wait in his office, which doubles as a KISS museum. It includes literally thousands of unique KISS and Gene Simmons branded memorabilia – everything from motor scooters to pachinko machines!

TJ: I’ve lived in Japan for 20 years and I was surprised to hear how well you speak Japanese. Your pronunciation is spot-on!

SIMMONS: Well, I know enough to say to a girl, “Anata wa utsukushii. Anata wa saiko desu! Mina san hakushu!” and all that stuff. Just a few phrases. Let’s put it this way: if I landed in Japan, I could find the bathroom, get a good night sleep and tell a girl she’s beautiful, which is, after all, all you need!

TJ: It’s a sign of respect for someone’s culture when you make an effort to learn the language, isn’t it?

SIMMONS: Well, that’s exactly right. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When you go to another culture, it’s time to buckle your knees, bow and give respect because the people, the language, and the culture have been around forever.

TJ: So, Gene, you’re originally from Israel, right?

SIMMONS: Yeah, I don’t look Swiss, do I?

TJ: Why did you change your name from Chaim Witz to Gene Simmons? I think Witz sounded pretty cool.

SIMMONS: It doesn’t work.

TJ: No?

SIMMONS: Your name doesn’t either.

TJ: What?

SIMMONS: It doesn’t work!

TJ: So should I just use my first name as my last name – Anthony?

SIMMONS: What’s your middle name?

TJ: Mark.

SIMMONS: Well, there you go. Mark Anthony. You know what? It sounds pretty darn good and no one is going to ask you how to spell it. People have preconceived notions. So, when you go to a funeral, put on something dark. People judge you by the first impression, which is what you look like, your name, how you dress, how you walk, how you talk, people skills. You’re allowed to mix it up and get any reaction you want, but if you want to slide through and take the express... check out my next book. It is all about that: “ME, Inc.” Certain things [we] can’t change - our racial type, our height, etc. Those things that we can change, I decided to take control of. Dress British. Think Yiddish. The ones who survive in the animal kingdom are the chameleons who blend in, and nature does that - your skin pelt, your color, changes with the environment. There are no bright red or bright yellow animals who are landlocked. They might fly through the air but even that’s not a good idea because they can be seen by the hawks.

TJ: Did you just plug your book?

SIMMONS: This message was brought to you by Gene Simmons.

TJ: So, on with the interview. When was the first time that you visited Japan?

SIMMONS: KISS first went to Japan in 1977, and it was like Beatlemania. In Tokyo, the big arena was Budokan. The Beatles had played there, and sold it out three con- secutive nights. We played it five nights and broke the Beatles record. When we landed at the airport, there were literally thousands of fans. We came off of our 747 jet and it was a Pan Am, which at the time was a world leader. Pan Am was so excited by it that they put KISS on the side of the jet, so it was the KISS Clipper 747. The entire plane was filled with journalists and people from all over the world that we brought over on our dime. We stepped off the jet in full KISS makeup, because we knew the media was going to be there, and when we got to the Japanese officials, they were very gracious, but said, “You don’t look like the photos in your passports. You have to take the makeup off.” Here we are - we had spent two hours putting the makeup on, we had to take the makeup off, and then an official looked at the photos and our faces and said, “Yes, it’s you. OK, you can pass.” Then we had to go back to another room and put the makeup back on, because we knew the fans were out there. We then got into limousines and there was another set of limousines that drove off with imitators so that the fans would jump on them like locusts and start to shake the cars. Some figured out we were there when we came in with our makeup. It was an amazing time. We always go back to Japan. It’s an amazing place.

The complete article can be found in Issue #274 of the Tokyo Journal.

Watch KISS Drummer Eric Singer Talk Watches with Hodinkee

The guys at Hodinkee sit down with Eric Singer, watch enthusiast that happens to be the drummer for KISS. Singer loves watches but doesn’t buy them to show status; he collects them to document his triumphs and accomplishments. The piece that started it all — a gold Lecoultre Moonphase — came from his father who shares a passion for music as well. Check out the video here and learn a thing or two on how to collect like a proper gent.

CNN's Behind-The-Scenes Look At KISS Brand

CNN's Poppy Harlow recently took a behind-the-scenes look at one of rock and roll's most successful brands, KISS. Check out her report here.

Paul Stanley From KISS On What You Really Need To Stay Successful

(forbes.com) “It’s a pretty safe statement to say that most entertainers have self worth issues and image issues, inferiority issues.” That’s KISS’s Paul Stanley, talking to me about his new memoir, Face the Music: A Life Exposed. “ Let’s face it, getting up on a stage or getting up in front of people is not a normal thing to do ,” he continued. “You do it because you’re seeking approval on a mass scale when you don’t get it on a small scale. So if you’re not going to address that as you become successful then the clock is ticking because of all the possible poisons that will enter into your life. Unless you can look elsewhere to remedy whatever the problems are, you’re a fatality waiting to happen, if not in terms of your life then certainly in terms of your career.”

The statement isn’t too surprising given that KISS is increasingly known for their internal strife. The conflict over KISS’s legacy – and the people who go down in history as the architects of its success – has come to head over KISS’s recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Stanley’s refusal, along with co-founder Gene Simmons, to perform at the ceremony with the band’s original lineup.

The details of their beefs are available elsewhere. My conversation with Stanley focused on how he avoided the career suicide that led to the ousting of original drummer Peter Criss and the ungraceful exit of original lead guitarist Ace Frehley.

First was the realization that the flip side of success is the inevitable precipice you reach. Here is how Stanley describes it in his book: “I was being pulled up the big hill, knowing we were going to reach the top at any moment and then plunge down the other side, falling, screaming, with no control whatsoever. I could feel the momentum, the process of being pulled up the hill. I could tell we had reached a point of no return. All I could do was hold on real tight.”

But the inevitable fall wasn’t Stanley’s real problem. The real problem was that he had nothing to hold on to, no loved ones to ground him. The relationships he did have were, for the most part, toxic.

“Success breeds sycophantic relationships,” he said. “Success breeds leeches. Success breeds people who tell you what you want to hear. And success breeds people who will cripple you either through chemicals or through alcohol or through deceit.” At the peak of KISS’s success, Stanley was surrounded by yes-men and casualties of drugs and, worse, ego.

He realized that these people were not giving him the kind of love and attention he really needed.

Looking back now, Stanley’s advice for people coping with success is to surround themselves with people who have their best interests at heart. “Anyone who is pursuing success knows how lonely it can be and that having a support team or people who are blazing the path with you is very reassuring and gives you a shoulder to cry on and a team to celebrate with,” he said. “No victories are won by individuals. The key to success is always teamwork.”

Perhaps the most important lesson offered in Stanley’s book is that the trappings of fame and stardom will never replace the love of a family. For many years, all Stanley would think when he left the stage was, Now what? At home, he felt a hunger for what success could not give him: love.

“The most sobering thing can be for somebody who is unhappy that seeks success as a way to fulfill their insecurities is to find out that it changes nothing,” he told me. “What do you do then? You either medicate yourself or you decide to find out what you really need. My story is about finding out what I really needed.”

Ironically, what Stanley found was that his needs are the same as the rest of us: being loved for who he is, fathering children, and finding a place to call home.

Has finding love killed the spirit of his music? He doesn’t think so. “There is a commonality between people. If you do something that you deeply feel fulfills the need in you, it will fulfill a need in somebody else,” he said. “I have the same passion for life and the same passion for creating. What’s missing is the turmoil.”

MARK SLAUGHTER Says VINNIE VINCENT Is 'An Incredibly Talented Musician, Writer, Guitar Player'

Music writer Joel Gausten recently conducted an interview with singer/guitarist Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER, VINNIE VINCENT INVASION). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Joel Gausten: SLAUGHTER still maintains a very prolific performance schedule. I can still remember watching "Headbangers Ball" in 1990 when they focused on the KISS "Hot In The Shade" tour, which was your first time on the road with SLAUGHTER. It's been about 25 years since then. How has touring evolved for an artist like SLAUGHTER, who clearly still has a market you can serve on the road?

Mark Slaughter: We've never been an ego-based band; we never had three buses. We always did things very conservatively, and that's how we're doing it now...We fly in, do the show and fly back home, so it's not like this giant expense of doing things, and it makes it so there's less wear and tear on the band and it's a lot easier for a better performance because you're not spent... Flying in and flying out is not that difficult unless there are shows in a row. To me, I've always looked at [the performance] as we play for free and we get paid to travel. The travel is what's the pain in the rear. We always love performing; we love to make music. If I wasn't doing this for a career, I'd still be making music on the weekends. You have to have a love for it, first and foremost.

Joel Gausten: We're here talking about your new single, SLAUGHTER's very busy and KISS just went into the Rock Hall. This extended family of musicians is obviously still very active, but we're still waiting for Vinnie [Vincent, former KISS guitarist] to do whatever he's going to do next musically, if ever. Because you worked with him and gained some insight into his character, what do you think it might be about him — either in his personality or creative process — that has led to the fact that for basically 20 years now, we're still waiting for him to come out with his next thing?

Mark Slaughter: Vinnie is a very talented individual. I have not seen him since 1988. We walked off the stage in Anaheim, California, and I never saw the guy ever again. What's funny is that you're saying "neither has anybody else." He's done a couple of KISS conventions and things like that… I think that Vinnie's absolutely brilliant to the point where he's a perfectionist who will not let art be abandoned. Art is never finished; it's just abandoned. You get to a point to where you just have to walk away from your art and go, "That's good enough." I think that he's just re-painting and re-painting and re-painting, and that's what he gets in. I hope he does do some music; it's long overdue. He's an incredibly talented musician, writer, guitar player. I think a lot of the stuff I've seen him do hasn't even been recorded properly. In fact, [guitar maker] Grover Jackson and I were talking about this the other day. People don't know how talented he really is, but it is what it is. For some reason, he just hasn't put something out. I don't know anybody who knows him; I'm not at all in his circles. He's just in his own world, so who knows?

Joel Gausten: One creative relationship that seems to have worked very well for just shy of 30 years now is the one you have with [SLAUGHTER basist] Dana Strum. The music industry isn't really known for stability in personnel, but you guys have worked together for decades. What it is about your relationship that has enabled both of two to weather this industry for as long as you have and still continue to work together?

Mark Slaughter: Obviously, you start with friendship, first and foremost. The other thing is respect. I respect who Dana is as a musician and as a person, and likewise. I know where I stand with him, and he knows where he stands with me. The fact and he has been working with Vince Neil, and that the rest of my band's been doing all that stuff, is great. What's a better example of how talented these guys are then to be able to go and do that? That's when I got into my [solo] recording process; I thought, "Well, they're doing that. I'll just stay home and write some songs and record," and that's what I've been doing. SLAUGHTER still plays about 50 shows a year, which is quite a few. As far as us having this relationship for such a long time, I think it's because you get to point where basically we remember the things that people want us to forget. Both Dana and I have very good recall with people, places and things. We were able to do the [first] SLAUGHTER record ["Stick It To Ya"] without having anybody else tell us what to do. We had complete creative control. Everything that we did was from us. When you have music that wasn't written by an outside writer and it's something that comes from your heart, I think it's a little bit different than something [where] you're going through the motions and doing somebody else's songs.

Read the entire interview at JoelGausten.com.

ACE FREHLEY: 'Space Invader' To Receive European Release Via SPV/STEAMHAMMER

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley will release "Space Invader", his first new solo album in five years, via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) on June 24. The CD, which will be released in Europe on July 7 through SPV/Steamhammer, will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker". This album is the first release under Frehley's new universal deal on eOne Music. Joining Frehley in the studio for some of the "Space Invader" sessions were drummer Matt Starr (BURNING RAIN) and bassist Chris Wyse (THE CULT, OWL).

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

KISS rockers' restaurant coming to Albuquerque

(abqjournal.com) The men of KISS don’t just want to rock you — now they want to feed you, too.

The band’s frontmen, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, have announced plans to expand their Rock & Brews restaurant brand with a new Albuquerque franchise.

Work already has started on the restaurant, a nearly $3 million project that will take over the old Coronado Crossing spot on Montgomery, just west of San Mateo. It should open in August, joining just a handful of other locations around the world.

Simmons and Stanley are expected to attend an official grand opening party in September, according to the company.

“Rock & Brews is a concept that excites rockers of all ages in a family-oriented, rock-inspired atmosphere that invokes a celebratory sense of community gathering,” Simmons and Stanley said in a joint statement.

Franchisee Rock & Brews Southwest LLC is bringing the chain to the Duke City through an agreement to open locations in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. Partners in the venture include Matt McMahon, who brought Outback Steakhouse into New Mexico in the mid-1990s, and Tim Tracy, former general manager of the Outback at Interstate 25 and Jefferson. Brett Anz and Perry Mann are principal owners.

“I think we’re going to fill a niche for the people of Albuquerque that is not currently being filled,” McMahon told the Journal.

While the thought of KISS may conjure images of guitars, bare chests, leather and Simmons’ tongue, Rock & Brews touts itself as family-friendly. The food — sandwiches, pizzas, salads and burgers — is made fresh and runs about $7-$15 per plate, McMahon said.

The restaurant has a full liquor license but its emphasis is beer, particularly craft brews. McMahon said craft selections, including some local varieties, will fill about 40 of the restaurant’s 52 taps.

Naturally, everything is served against a backdrop of rock-and-roll music and imagery.

“The design is very interesting and the food and execution are truly impressive. We plan to have the best patio in Albuquerque and the interior is like an art gallery of rock,” Anz said via email.

Hart Construction already has begun transforming Coronado Crossing into a 6,000-square-foot Rock & Brews with a patio. Owners estimate the complete overhaul will run close to $3 million. There are no plans for additional Albuquerque locations.

“I don’t see this concept being (replicated throughout the city),” he said. “I think it’s special, and I want to keep it this way.”

Rock & Brews remains a relatively young brand. The first opened in the Los Angeles area in 2012, and there are six open today — three in Southern California, and one each in Hawaii, Los Cabos, Mexico, and Kansas.

In addition to Simmons and Stanley, Rock & Brews’ founders include Michael Zislis and Dave and Dell Furano.

ACE IS SUPPORTING ART + ROCK ‘N ROLL AT THE CARNEGIE ARTS CENTER ON MAY 24

Ace Frehley was asked by his rock ‘n roll buddy, Matt Swanson to support a cause close to his heart, The Carnegie Arts in Turlock, CA. Like Ace, Matt’s passion is rock ‘n roll…well, that and collecting iconic KISS memorabilia pieces.

On Saturday, May 24th Ace will be jammin’, meetn’& greetn’, autographn’ photographn’ and debuting the CarnegieROCKS! exhibit with the best of NorCal . Night Ranger and George Lynch are confirmed to attend, rub elbows and perform as well… and 107.7 The Bone's Nikki Blakk will be emceeing. This will be an exclusive, up close affair with only 200 tickets available. Yea, we got a show.

Carnegie ROCKS! exhibit highlights include Ace’s Cherry Sunburst played during the Love Gun album and legendary Budokan Hall concert in 1977…. Original John Elder Robison Light-Up guitar from KISS’ Dynasty Tour….and “Space Ace” costume from the KISS Farewell Tour. Peter Criss’ KISS Reunion Tour drum kit is just one of the highlights…amongst dozens more one of a kind items…

Event tickets are limited and selling out fast, get yours at carnegierocks.eventbrite.com before it’s too late!

Can’t make it to Turlock on May 24th, but want to support Art + Rock ‘n Roll? The Carnegie Arts Center has established a “Carnegie Music Fund” to raise money to offer musical education in the community. Take a moment, please check out and donate to the Carnegie Music Fund here: http://bit.ly/PLM9Ms

Also, don’t forget to check out Ace’s new solo album SPACE INVADER that is scheduled to release June 24, 2014 Click here to learn more: acefrehley.com

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) Ep. 73 KISS Cover Artwork - Episode 73, April 29, 2014 this week we dig into Michael's rack of KISS vinyl and look at the cover artwork of all the KISS albums. Which ones suck? Which ones are iconic? Which one's did Tommy rate a big fat zero? Yeah we missed Psycho Circus, we will get that one next week.

Promo Video: DEF LEPPARD & KISS - Summer Tour 2014

Promo Video: DEF LEPPARD & KISS - Summer Tour 2014.

PodKISSt #86: KISS on Jimmy Fallon & "Girl Talk"!

Join Ken and Gary as they discuss KISS on Jimmy Fallon and Ken talks to some cool female KISS fans to see what it is like to be a Lady in the KISS Army! We play some cool tunes and Ken & the Gals enjoy a PodKISSt slumber party! Listen.

How KISS Frontman Paul Stanley Keeps Fit

(mensfitness.com) If you take away the black and white face paint, flashy stage outfits, and smoking guitars, KISS frontman Paul Stanley is an average guy—or at least he’s got average-guy priorities: staying fit, having fun, and enjoying his family. We recently caught up with the 61-year-old rocker, who told us why he stopped eating like a kid, how he balances his family with his tour dates, and his secret to avoiding drugs and alcohol when a rock-and-roll lifestyle practically spoon feeds you opportunities to indulge.

How would you say your diet and fitness routine today differs from your lifestyle in the 70s and 80s?

My routine then was: Eat whatever’s in front of you. Youth is incredible because you really do feel invincible. I had no real routine as far as diet; I ate what I wanted to. Back then I tended to eat a lot of sugars. I ate a lot of cookies, a lot of ice cream; I didn’t eat a lot of proper food. I started working out, doing a formal workout right around 1980. That’s when I really decided I needed to get in shape and it may have been because you just start to see a decrease—a change in your body. The workout I was doing then would kill me today.

What is your routine? Do you do it with a trainer?

It really depends. There’s certainly a time before a tour where you start to count days until you’re leaving and that’s crunch time—no pun intended. My workout is always with a trainer because, quite honestly, I don’t think most people are motivated enough to do what they need to on their own. You either need a spotter or you need a trainer. You need somebody there to push you to get that extra five.

Your performances often seem like workouts in themselves.

You can’t do that unless you train for it. You can’t enter the Olympics unless you do your routine to get in shape for it. The idea of going out on stage on a tour without having prepped for it would be suicide, literally.

How did you avoid alcohol and drugs in a culture that is surrounded by it—and it’s almost expected of you?

Common sense. You just have to look around you, and you have two choices. You either go “Gee, I want to be just like him!” or not. In the music business, I always go back to, if all those vices and excesses were so great, you’d probably be doing this interview with Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix or John Belushi—but you’re not. If someone were to come over to me and say, “Hey, I’ve got something really cool for you to ingest. It’s going to make your teeth rot. It’s going to make you impotent. It’s going to make you lazy. It’s going to wreak havoc with your body and there’s a good chance that you’ll come down with hepatitis.” Well, gee, sign me up!

Between KISS’ debut and now, a lot has changed. How have you managed to balance a rock lifestyle and integrating to family life, more traditional life?

The whole idea of rock and roll lifestyle is a cartoon. It’s a caricature. And at times, it’s made up of people emulating others; a few who actually live that lifestyle and many who claim to live that lifestyle. Don’t kid yourself; the guy who’s onstage in ripped-up jeans is wearing as much a costume as I am. Sex, drugs and rock and roll...for a long time I said, “That’s great, you keep the drugs, I’ll take the sex and the rock and roll.” I want to remember tomorrow what I did tonight if it’s that good. I’d rather be alive and enjoy the rewards. And it applies to everyone in every life. It’s discipline, it’s understanding that passion for something is the key to success because passion will not only get you to success, but passion also gets you through failure. Those are the defining focuses of who I am and ultimately nothing’s more important than family.

Does it get more difficult when you’re on tour?

I try to integrate the two. I don’t go away for any length of time where I don’t get to be with my wife and kids. They either come out or I take a break and go home. I used to think it was important for them, I realize now it’s important for me too. Why was I late to call you? I was out with my 16-month-old daughter. Where was I this morning? I was driving my other one to school. At the end of the day, sooner or later, it comes down to family.

Any advice for budding musicians or artists to stay healthy and not fall into a life of drugs or alcohol?

You should always remember that the person who wants you take that extra drink or toke or share drugs with them isn’t doing it for you. They’re doing it because misery loves company.

ACE FREHLEY: First Photo From 'Space Invader' Promotional Campaign Unveiled

The first promotional photo for the "Space Invader" album campaign from original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley can be seen below.

The session, which took place on April 8 in New York City with photographer Jayme Thornton, saw Ace wearing something from the first KISS album photo session to make the occasion extra special.

Reads a posting on Ace's Facebook page: "Don't worry if you can't spot it, just yet... numerous cool photos from this session will reveal it soon!"

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

PAUL STANLEY: 'The ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Hates Us'

(Video) KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley has once again slammed the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, saying that the organization "hates" the band and that the Hall Of Fame had "no choice" but to induct KISS after the group's fans demanded it.

In his halftime speech during yesterday's (Saturday, April 26) LA KISS Arena Football League game against the San Jose SaberCats at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, Stanley — who brought out his Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame award and was holding it in his left hand — said (see video below): "I want you to know something, in case you didn't know already. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame hates us. You've gotta know that when it takes 14 years to get invited to a party, they don't want you at the party, but you insisted, you demanded, and they had no choice. This is your award. Nobody sitting behind a desk with a suit and tie is gonna tell you what rock and roll is. You are the ones who decide, and we honor you. And it is my pleasure and my privilege to say thank you for this award."

Paul Stanley Livestream

Paul Stanley - Friday, April 25 at 7:00 pm - Watch here live!

ACE FREHLEY Performs At 'The Ox & The Loon' Event

Ace Frehley performed last night (Thursday, April 24) at The Ox & The Loon event at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Videos: 1, 2, 3

GUNS N' ROSES, ALICE COOPER, ROB ZOMBIE, Ex-KISS Members Interviewed By HardRockChick.com

(Video) Members of GUNS N' ROSES, ALICE COOPER, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, ROB ZOMBIE, JANE'S ADDICTION, as well as Ace Frehley (KISS) and Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) were interviewed by HardRockChick.com on the "black carpet" at the sixth annual Revolver Golden Gods awards, which was held this past Wednesday, April 23 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California. Chek out the footage below.

Paul Stanley: "The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Is Pretty Much A Sham"

Billy Kidd talked to Paul Stanley of KISS about his new book, ‘Face The Music: A Life Exposed’, and in the interview Paul talked about his fans, what he thinks of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and of course why he wrote the book: Listen.

NEW FACE THE MUSIC SIGNINGS ANNOUNCED

Paul Stanley is excited to announce that he will be signing copies of his new book at the following locations:

Friday, May 2 – Beaverton, OR - 6:00 PM
Powell’s Books
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005
503- 228-4651

Monday, May 5 – Denver, Colorado - 7:00 PM
Tattered Cover
2526 E. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
303-322-1965

Tuesday, May 6 – Tempe, Arizona - 6:00 pm
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283
480-730-0205

Promo Video: Face the Music by Paul Stanley

Promo Video: Face the Music by Paul Stanley

Celebrate KISS' Induction into the Hall of Fame & Face the Music at this Saturday's LA KISS game!

The festivities begin at 5pm at the Bud Light Party Patio which is located at the Honda Center Grand Terrace above the Southeast entrance.

Fans are encouraged to show up early to receive the unique opportunity to take a picture with KISS’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trophy.

Fans who bring a copy of Paul Stanley’s book “Face The Music” will receive the opportunity to get it signed by Paul.

The LA KISS will try to accommodate as many fans as possible for pictures and book signings until 6:45pm. Paul will only be signing copies of Face The Music.

The celebration will continue at Half Time with a special presentation on the field.

Tickets for the game are available at ticketmaster.com.

ACE FREHLEY Interviewed By ARTISAN NEWS At ROCK HALL Induction

Original KISS Guitarist ACE FREHLEY Interviewed By ARTISAN NEWS At ROCK HALL Induction: Watch.

One On One with Four By Fate's Tod Howarth

(Listen) Tod Howarth of Four By Fate (Former Frehley's Comet) goes One On One With Mitch Lafon to discuss his new band Four By Fate (with John Regan, Sean Kelly & Stet Howland) as well as talk about his time in Ace Frehley's post-KISS outfit, Frehley's Comet. Tod reminisces about first joining the band, the recording of the first and second albums, his reasons for leaving, the 'vault' of unreleased songs and more. Tod also mentions his time in Cheap Trick and focuses on the upcoming live shows and new album by Four By Fate.

Kiss co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley set Rock & Brews opening in Overland Park

(kansascity.com) Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS plan to open their new Overland Park Rock & Brews on April 29. They also are planning an area fundraiser on May 29.

The Rock & Brews restaurants offer craft beers, premium wines and a full bar. The menu includes “opening acts” like chipotle chili cheese fries, Mexican street corn and Bavarian pretzels; “VIP” salads including Tuscan Kale and Tequila Sunrise steak; hand-crafted burgers and “Headliner” sandwiches like pulled pork or sesame-seed crusted seared Ahi; “frontrow” specialty pizzas; and other items like fish and chips, Memphis-style baby back ribs, chocolate-filled French doughnuts with raspberry sauce, and “real” beer floats.

On May 29, Simmons and Stanley also will host a private luncheon for more than 100 “wounded warriors, veterans and active military,” as well as an evening gala that will benefit the Kansas City VA Hospital and will be open to the public.

The gala will feature a live performance by the Kansas City-based tribute band Almost Kiss, along with a “few surprises.”

Tickets for the gala are $100 per person and include a red-carpet arrival, two adult beverages per person or soft drinks, a sampling of Rock & Brews cuisine, a chance to mingle with Simmons and Stanley, and a “rockin’ good time.”

All the gala proceeds will benefit the adaptive sports programs at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. The adaptive sports programs help disabled veterans participate in highly specialized sporting events across the nation by providing necessary transportation and housing.

To buy tickets, visit eventbrite.com

Kirk Williams is the local partner in the new Rock & Brews. He recently signed the first multi-unit franchising agreement with Rock & Brews, and plans to open five of the rock-themed restaurants in Kansas and Oklahoma over the next five years. He also has an option for an additional five restaurants in Missouri and Nebraska.

Prairiefire, a 58-acre, mixed-use development at 135th Street and Nall Avenue, will feature casual and fine dining venues, retail, entertainments, luxury residences, office space, a luxury boutique hotel, and outdoor recreational space. Prairiefire will also be home to The Museum of Prairiefire, featuring renowned exhibitions and authentic artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History of New York.

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) Ep. 72 Paul Stanley's Book Our Thoughts - Episode 72, we give two thumbs up to Paul Stanley's new book Face The Music A Life Exposed. Our favorite moments in the book. What impressed us the most. What does Paul have to say about Gene Simmons. We also begin the show by discussing a fan comment that lead us into talking about the "magic". What is magic to each of us.

PodKISSt #85 "KISSteria" Set & Tour with Def Lep!

(Listen) Join Ken & Jason Herndon/KISS FAQ’s “downboys” (KISS Fan Vinyl connoisseur) as we discuss his KISStory , The new KISS releases and we play the KISS/Def Leppard press conference.

So brace yourselves, KISS Army; it’s looking like 2014 is gonna be a wild ride, and we hope to celebrate it with you right here on PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!

Listen to Ace Frehley's Long-Lost Pre-KISS Acetate Demo Found in a Barn

Listen to Ace Frehley's Long-Lost Pre-KISS Acetate Demo Found in a Barn: Listen.

Paul Stanley on his autobiography, lesson learned from playing 'Phantom' in Toronto

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley feels a strong connection to the title character of "The Phantom of the Opera," and not just because he's spent nearly 40 years onstage with his face covered in paint.

"Here's somebody who has a disfigurement that they're covering and they're trying to reach out to a woman and, as much as they want to do it, they don't know how. Well, that pretty much summed up my life, you know. Only I wasn't living in a dungeon under an opera house," Stanley said.

That's because the 62-year old musician was born with a congenital deformity that left him deaf in one ear, making it hard for him to communicate or do well in school.

The recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer describes his long, and sometime painful, journey from his "less than optimal childhood" in New York City to the mega-success of rocking all night and partying every day with Kiss in his autobiography, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed" (Harper One).

"This isn't a Kiss book. This is really a book about my life. I was steadfastly against the idea of doing it for decades, because the great George Orwell once said that the autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction," Stanley said. "But I realized it could be inspiring to people."

Stanley wants to show people that despite having the deck stacked against them, it's possible to overcome adversity. But it took him a long time to do so.

"I was an angry, dysfunctional kid with a real image problem and a hearing problem that put me under constant scrutiny," Stanley said. "Growing my hair was the start of covering it up."

Stanley says stardom and wealth only masked the problem, and it wasn't until realized that the key to his own happiness was through family and friends.

Along the way, he also found a calling in a different type of stage performance when he appeared in the Toronto production of "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1999.

Despite his long career in one of music's hardest rocking bands, Stanley said his musical appreciation always covered a lot of ground, including being an ardent fan of musical theatre.

"I grew up with a greater appreciation of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Stephen Sondheim," Stanley said. But he regards the composer of "Phantom of the Opera" above them all.

"Andrew Lloyd Webber is actually more than rock. He's much closer to, I believe, Puccini and Verdi. Some music snobs would take issue with that, but that's why we're not on the same wavelength," Stanley said.

Stanley regards his stint as the Phantom as a turning point in his career. After seeing the London company perform the show in 1988, he said it changed his life.

"I had this momentary revelation, an epiphany where I went, 'Wow, I can do that,'" he said. "And it was the same thing I did when I saw the Beatles. I was a fat little kid who couldn't play an instrument but I looked at them and said, 'I can do that.'"

Eleven years later, Stanley got a call from his agent asking if he'd be interested in auditioning for the part of the Phantom and got to play him with the Toronto company, what he calls "the hardest work I've ever done." When that ended, he went back to concentrating on his highly successful band, but gained an even greater appreciation for the art form.

After the experience of performing eight shows a week, Stanley had this to say: "Anybody in rock 'n' roll who actually complains about the discipline and the workload should actually be flipping burgers because we have a lucky, lucky life."

KISS ARMY, are you ready to rock?

(Listen) Listen to the latest edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded live on FRIDAY, APRIL 18, and originally broadcast via MontcoRadio.com! Matt Porter is joined in the studio by Chris Giordano and Eric Toddorocks Carr

Better-Quality Footage Of ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Speeche

s Better-Quality Footage Of ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Speeches: Video.

Bloomberg: PAUL STANLEY ON OVERCOMING HIS DEMONS

(Watch) KISS guitarist, vocalist and frontman Paul Stanley discusses his tough childhood, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and his role in "Phantom of the Opera." He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock."

Four By Fate - John Regan (April 17th 2014 Interview)

(Listen) Four By Fate - John Regan (April 17th 2014 Interview) (Ex-Frehley's Comet)

NY Times Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction

#2 FACE THE MUSIC, by Paul Stanley. (HarperOne.) A memoir by the Kiss rhythm guitarist.

NY Times Bestsellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction

#3 FACE THE MUSIC, by Paul Stanley. (HarperOne.) A memoir by the Kiss rhythm guitarist.

David Ellefson Interview - April 15th 2014

(Listen) MEGADETH bassist, David Ellefson, goes One On One with Mitch Lafon to talk KISS as well as MEGADETH's 2014 tour & recording plans, ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE (with ANTHRAX's Frank Bello), AC/DC, and much much more.

Frehley at Carnegie ROCKS! Exhibit Opening

Some rock history will be rollin’ into Turlock when the Carnegie ROCKS! exhibit opens May 24, with special guests Ace Frehley of KISS, the band Night Ranger, and George Lynch of Dokken in attendance for the VIP opening night.

The Carnegie Arts Center exhibit features more 40 one-of-a-kind guitars played by some of biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll history, from a private collection owned by Turlocker Matt Swanson.

Frehley, Night Ranger, and Lynch will be in attendance for the opening night of the exhibit. Tickets are required to be part of the one-night VIP opening.

Tickets for the VIP opening night are currently on sale here, beginning at $250. Admission includes a private Night Ranger concert at the Carnegie Arts Center, an exhibit tour and Q & A with Swanson, as well as food, drinks, and a commemorative Pilsner glass.

There are also sponsor packages ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, which also feature meet-and-greets with Frehley, members of Night Ranger, and Lynch.

All funds raised by the VIP opening night will benefit the Carnegie Arts Center.

The collection on display features electric and acoustic guitars and amps, spanning from the 1930’s to the present, including:
- A 1974 Cherry Sunburst Les Paul guitar played by Frehley in KISS during the mid-late ‘70s.
- A Marshall stack used by Steve Vai on David Lee Roth’s “Eat ‘Em and Smile” tour.
- A 1959 Telefunken microphone used by Les Paul.
- A Red Fender Stratocaster used by Brad Gillis on the Ozzy Osbourne and Night Ranger tours.
- The last costume worn by Frehley in performance with the original members of KISS.
- A Monteleone guitar.
- A vintage sign saying “The Iridium Proudly Presents Les Paul” from the Iridium Jazz Club in New York.

The exhibit will also have several video stations where visitors can see the items on display being used in performances.

The exhibit will be on view at the Carnegie Arts Center, located at 250 N. Broadway, from May 25 through Aug. 17.

KISS - We Are One (Fan Video)

KISS - We Are One (Fan Video).

Paul Stanley on His Childhood: 'I Was Simply Determined to Find My Way Out'

Paul Stanley on His Childhood: ‘I Was Simply Determined to Find My Way Out’: Read the interview here ultimateclassicrock.com.

Paul Stanley faces the music, drops the mask

(musiconthemenu.blogspot.ca) There’s a perception that a “biography” can be more revealing than an “autobiography.” A biography, some say, will offer more insight because the subject of the book will be more highly scrutinized, while with an autobiography, the reader will only get what the subject wants you to know. With an autobiography, the author - writing in the first person about their own life - will naturally try to paint themselves in the most positive light. And really, if you were going to write a book about your time on this earth, who wouldn’t want to do that?

But as a reader, I’ll still take an autobiography over a biography any day. The best source to tell your story is you, and with “Face The Music: A Life Exposed,” KISS frontman Paul Stanley truly unmasks for the very first time. It’s a remarkable and inspiring story, and offers much more than simply further projecting the bold mage of “The Starchild,” who can still have 20,000 people in a sold-out arena responding to the snap of his fingers. Sure, we’ve all known what Paul Stanley looks like since 1983, when KISS officially unmasked from its trademark makeup. But the perceived image of Paul Stanley as the gallivant rock star and the true life of the man himself were, for most of his life, about as different as KISS “Alive!” and “Music From The Elder.”

Perception was not reality.

Stanley, his text reveals, was born with a condition known as microtia, which left him with only one ear and deaf on one side. And though, by the late ‘60s, as he grew older and it was fashionably acceptable, he was able to hide the deformity by growing his hair, that was not the case when he was a child. And that made life very difficult. There was relentless teasing from other children, which shockingly, was met with little support from his parents, who were bogged down in a cold marriage and also had a mentally ill daughter to deal with. This left him feeling isolated - a feeling that would stay with him until much later in life.

Of course, there are also plenty of interesting stories about KISS, the band he helped found and that went on to become one of the most successful rock groups of all-time. Stanley is the last of the original members of KISS to pen an autobiography, and like Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, he doesn’t hold anything back in sharing his perception of his bandmates. And though the disconnect he feels with Frehley and Criss was well known prior to the publication of the book, the text reveals, for the first time, some keen insight into his relationship with Simmons. Though they’ve remained musical and business partners for more than 40 years and Stanley sees Simmons as a brother, they too have had their ups and downs, which Stanley - again for the first time - describes in some detail.

With any book dealing with KISS – especially one written by the band’s greatest sex symbol - you’d also expect some stories about sex, and though Stanley talks about a few ex-lovers and groupies, he’s too much the gentleman and probably too respectful to his family today to take you between the sheets. One interesting tidbit he does share is that his first sexual experiences came when he was about 17 and were with much older women from his Queens neighborhood. The Starchild, we learn, had himself a “Mrs. Robinson” and a “Maggie May.” Actresses Donna Dixon and Lisa Hartman are noted as significant others who had stepped into his life, and it was on a date with British pop star and pinup girl Samantha Fox that he first saw the theatrical production of “Phantom of The Opera.” This would later have a tremendous impact on his life.

Stanley also talks about the frustrations of his first marriage, which he admits he rushed into as he approached the age of 40, and he shares the joys of his second marriage to his wife, Erin. She, and his four children, are the centerpiece of his life.

Throughout the book’s 456 pages, Stanley weaves effortlessly between tales of his personal and professional life. The stories about KISS are plentiful, and it’s fascinating to read his accounts of some of the most memorable moments in the band’s career. In doing so, he gives plenty of praise to those who helped launch that career, and when he feels necessary, properly deflects credit that he and Simmons sometimes get and that he feels is undeserved. He admits the band made some mistakes in handling the illness of drummer Eric Carr, who died of cancer in 1991, and he shares his frustrations with the band’s record label, particularly in the ‘80s. (Seriously, how could “Reason To Live,” from 1987, not have been a Top-40 hit? That’s me asking. Not Stanley.) Fans here in Northeastern Pennsylvania will find humor in a story he shares about a 1974 show at The Paramount Theater in Wilkes-Barre (now the F.M. Kirby Center) and he talks candidly about how it didn’t take long after the band’s triumphant 1996 reunion tour with its original members for things to become unglued.

But again, it’s the unmasking of the playboy rock star image and his telling of how the scars of a tormented childhood stayed with him for decades that is most interesting. He tells the story of KISS playing a concert at Madison Square Garden in 1977, but rather than taking home some groupie after the show or partying with his bandmates, he went to a deli on 36th street and had some soup. Alone.

Stanley’s search for inner happiness, he reveals, didn’t really end until he was in fifties.

It was in 1999 during his starring role in the Toronto production of “Phantom of The Opera” that things began to change. Though he’d had plastic surgery in the ‘80s to help correct his ear deformity, he still felt a strong connection to the play’s maimed central character. A woman who’d seen his performance and knew nothing about his own prior condition wrote to him, saying she “had the impression I identified with the character in a way she hadn’t seen with other actors.” She then asked him to get involved with AboutFace, an organization that helps children with facial differences cope with their situations. Stunned by her astute observation about him, he reached out to her, got involved with AboutFace, and in many ways, helped transform his life. Helping others helped him heal. That, and the love for his wife, his children that he adores, and the strength of a revamped KISS, has brought Stanley to where he is today: a happy man, comfortable in his own skin.

In 1978, KISS’ original members all released solo albums on the same day. It was an unprecedented move in the record business. In the case of their respective autobiographies, they spread the releases out over a 12 year period, with Stanley’s coming last. And though he’s admitted he was always the most reluctant to do so, with “Face The Music: A Life Exposed” it is he that probably revealed the most.

BID ON KISS GUITARS / VIP PASSES

(Bid here!) Auction proceeds will go to The John Varvatos 11th Annual Stuart House Benefit

Meet KISS with 2 VIP Passes & More to a 2014 Summer Concert of Your Choice Plus Gene Simmons Signed Guitar & Paul Stanley Signed Guitar

Are you a KISS fan? Bid now to meet the band with 2 VIP passes to the KISS/Def Leppard Summer 2014 Tour! You will also take home a Gene Simmons signed guitar & Paul Stanley signed guitar!

The ultimate KISS package includes:
2 Tickets to the show of your choice (located in the first 10 Rows and pending availability)
Exclusive Private Meet & Greet with KISS
Gene Simmons signed guitar
Paul Stanley signed guitar
Personal Photograph with KISS in makeup
Autograph Session with KISS
KISS Pre-Show Soundcheck Acoustic Set
Specially designed Tour Shirt
Collectable Silk-Screen Tour Poster (numbered, limited edition)
Official set of KISS Guitar Picks (with case)
Official Meet & Greet Laminate
On-Site VIP Host
Pair of KISS Pajamas
Exclusive KISS merchandise Donated By: KISS

Gene Simmons: An Entrepreneur Who Rocks!

(Video) He’s more than just the tongue wagging, demon-faced bass player for the legendary band KISS. Reality show star Gene Simmons is also a master marketer and entrepreneur who recently opened the third location of his “Rock & Brews” restaurant franchise. We sat down with him at his home to talk about his business philosophies in this Learning from the Pros.

PAUL STANLEY SHARES INSIGHT IN NEW BOOK

(Video) Musician and author Paul Stanley stopped by KCAL9 Tuesday to tell viewers about his new book “Face the Music”. In the book, Stanley reveals for the first time what it was like to rock and roll every night and party every day. He will be at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a book signing.

TRIBUTE BAND MR. SPEED TO PERFORM ON AXS TV

KISS Tribute band MR.SPEED will be performing "live" on national television at the world famous Whisky a Go Go on The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA on Monday, April 21, 2014 at 8 PM(PT) / 11PM(ET). Tune-in to Directv 340, Dish 167, UVerse 1106, Verizon 569…check local listings and www.axs.tv for other provider channels.

AXS TV's hit series "The World's Greatest Tribute Bands" Season 3 finale will feature MR.SPEED in full 1977 KISS regalia. Hit after bombastic hit will explode from your TV like never before as MR.SPEED straps you in on a roller coaster ride through Kisstory.

Over their 20 year career MR.SPEED have performed with various members of KISS past and present such as Ace Frehley, Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick. Collectively the members of MR.SPEED have seen KISS in concert no less than 125 times.

In 2012 MR.SPEED competed against over 200 KISS Tribute Bands from around the world. In spite of what seemed like insurmountable odds MR.SPEED took home the title of "The World's Best KISS Tribute Band" at the competition held at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Tommy Thayer of KISS judged the competition that saw MR.SPEED stand platform to platform against tribute acts from Dallas, Texas, Budapest, Hungary and Sydney, Australia.

MR.SPEED have continued to forge ahead writing their own back story, one that is vibrant and alive. Currently about to begin their 20th Anniversary Tour MR.SPEED is coming off of their most successful year to date. Along with a revamped stage set, brand new costumes and a renewed sense of pride in themselves MR.SPEED have risen to the top with sheer determination, sweat, tears and a belief that they did it their way.

AXS TV is the premier destination for live events and as-they-happen trends in music and pop culture. The network’s AXS TV Concerts brand is the #1 source on television for 100% live music. From multi-day festivals to stadium tours to club acts, AXS TV delivers an unparalleled experience for fans of all genres, from rock and hip hop to country, jazz, and metal. Now in over 40 million homes, network partners include Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS.

Band members : Rich Kosak as The Starchild; Joe Hess as The Spaceman; Andrew Sgambati as The Catman; Danny Ayala as The Demon.

PAUL STANLEY INTERVIEW WITH DENNIS MILLER

Paul Stanley talked about his book "Face the Music" with Dennis Miller: Listen.

ACE FREHLEY Talks ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Ceremony

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock about the band's April 10 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. You can now watch the chat here.

Paul Stanley Talks About His Book 'Face The Music: A Life Exposed'

Paul Stanley Talks About His Book 'Face The Music: A Life Exposed': KTLA Video

The BOB & TOM Show - Bruce Kulick, Formerly of Kiss, Calls In

(Listen) Bruce Kulick has played with Meatloaf, Grand Funk Railroad, Blackjack, and has recorded many solo albums. But he is best known as a former member of Kiss. He shares his thoughts on not being inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

Tom Harper (roadie & studio bassist) talks KISS (April 2014)

(Listen) Tom Harper (who was Paul Stanley's roadie on the Dynasty tour and bass player on the KISS song, Shandi from Unmasked) goes One On One with Mitch Lafon. In this hour long interview, Tom discusses how he became KISS's roadie on the Dynasty tour, how circumstance led him to play on KISS' song, Shandi, as well as going on to work with Judas Priest on their Screaming For Vengeance Tour, Hall & Oates, Supertramp and more. Tom also talks about the band members' relationship in those turbulent days and the Peter Criss Out Of Control tour that failed to launch back in 1980. We also chat about the Eric Carr/KISS drummer auditions of 1980 and Tom's latest EP, Vintage UK.

Catching Up With Paul Stanley

(pastemagazine.com) KISS has outlived most things its age (and probably more than a few cockroaches), as the rock and roll entity rolls into its 40th year. That means I’ve just entered my 36th year as a member of the KISS Army (does this make me a five-star general yet?). Of course, I’m not alone. KISS fans are as devoted (or gullible, depending on who you ask) as they come.

2014 is shaping up to be a big year for the most divisive band in the world. After 15 long years of eligibility, the four original members—Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley—are finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band is reissuing its entire catalog (complete with cardboard Love Guns and posters) on vinyl. And Stanley—the Starchild and the glue who has held things together all these years—finally penned an autobiography, making him the final of the four originals to do so.

While there are plenty of nuggets about KISS’s early daze, Stanley doesn’t belabor the sex, drugs and minutiae that most KISS fans probably know anyway (although there are points early in the book, where it feels like Stanley whizzes through rock and roll’s impact on him). Instead the Starchild digs deep into the human condition, starting with his upbringing, where his parents were going through the motions themselves and found little time for young Stanley Eisen, who was dealing with his own insecurities (he was born with only one ear, and to this day is deaf on one side).

Things get particularly interesting at the low points in KISS’s career, which force Stanley to explore his relationships—personal and intra-band—and discover what he’s truly lacking in his life. And the later years, once Stanley starts a family, deal with divorce and the beginning of a new chapter with his current wife, Erin Sutton, all while keeping the KISS machine afloat.

For Stanley and the devoted members of the KISS Army, the band’s longevity perhaps offers some validation for decades of being the underdogs. At this point KISS has been part of my life so long, it’s hard for me to even explain what it all means. All I know is, I finally got to talk to Paul-goddamn-Stanley who, ever the rock-and-roll politician, was forthcoming, articulate and funny.

Paste: So, I rifled through the book. There’s a lot to chew on.

Paul Stanley: Well, you know, good meals should be savored and enjoyed.

Paste: So how did you decide what to include in the book, especially which details to include about yourself and your bandmates?

Stanley: Well, anything that’s in the book could have been expounded on ad infinitum. I wanted to give a clear picture of both my circumstance and my situation, without becoming redundant. So my goal was to write a book that could inspire other people, that could let other people know that even the people who you hold in esteem or aspire to be like may have stories that are more like yours than you know. I came from a dysfunctional background. I had a birth defect that brought me under a lot of scrutiny and ridicule. I’m deaf on one side. And yet over the years I found ways, or ultimately found the way, out of it. I [believed] that success and fame and wealth would be the answer to my problems. I was fortunate enough to succeed and attain those so I could see starkly that that wasn’t the answer. I’ve always been a survivor. And I wanted to document my life in a way that my children could read at some point and understand what I had gone through and what it takes to find happiness.

Paste: One of the themes in the book is that you say you overcame being judgmental toward people. Has it made you more sensitive to things like addiction, which your sister Julia, and obviously Peter and Ace, have dealt with?

Stanley: I think that addiction is a horrible end to, perhaps, a predisposed condition, disease or set of circumstances. The best way for people to deal with potential addiction is to get to the bottom of the issues that are fanning the flames. I’m a big believer in therapy. I’m a big believer in not sweeping anything under the rug, and confronting your issues, confronting your life and building a support group to make that possible. One of the issues and problems with addiction is that by the time people go to get help, it’s too late.

But just in general, it’s very easy to be judgmental because it makes us feel safe, and it makes us feel better than, and it makes us feel secure, when we’re really not. If we were, we wouldn’t be judgmental. Who are we to judge the person on the street who is begging, regardless of why they’re there? The disdain of looking at somebody and saying “Why don’t you get a job?”—we’ve never walked in their shoes. We don’t know what these people have been through. And, whether or not we can help them by giving them food, or a dollar, or whatever you want to give them, what’s wrong with a momentary reprieve from what they’re going through? Now, all that may sound very new age-Kahlil Gibran, but it’s true.

Paste: The book also touches on the fact that for a good portion of your life you were kind of a lonely guy…

Stanley: [laughing] I wasn’t kind of lonely—I was lonely!

Paste: [laughs] I was trying to be delicate with it. But as someone who’s listened to KISS most of their life, I could sort of sense that in some of your songs. You always seemed like a romantic in search of love. Do you think the book sort of solidifies what many KISS fans already knew?

Stanley: I think what it does, perhaps, is explain what some of them may think they know, and explain the reasons I am the way I am.

Paste: You take Gene to task in the book. There are even parallels to his attitude in the early-’80s and Ace and Peter’s—that, in your words, they were delusional as far as their contributions to the band. Why do you think yours and Gene’s relationship survived that?

Stanley: That’s really interesting. I mean, I just left him 20 minutes ago. There is a respect for each other. I don’t necessarily approve of everything he does, but how something affects you has nothing to do with the other person. It’s all about how you take it in. There are things about Gene that over the years may have annoyed me, and that’s OK. There are other times certainly where he did things that I felt a betrayal, and that he was taking advantage of me. But at the end of the day, Gene and I are brothers. We’ve been together 40-plus years. I know I can count on him in any situation, and we’ve only grown closer. Certainly we’ve had our—I don’t even want to say moments—we haven’t had moments, we’ve had weeks and months. Years. At the end of the day, both of us have always been about trying to do what’s best for the band. But, look, you know, a strong relationship gets tested from time to time.

Paste: Yeah, it’s like a marriage.

Stanley: Yeah, and perhaps the things that have tested our relationship have made us stronger. We are both blessed to have made possible the lives we both wanted, by each other. The life Gene has now is not a life I would want, and I’m sure it’s vice versa. But how fortunate we are, that we’ve come to this point, and have a future to look at. It’s phenomenal. We both started out living at home with our parents, and here we are with grown children, at a very fulfilling part of our lives. Although very different from each other.

Paste: Both you and Gene have said that Ace and Peter are both important to the foundation of KISS. But where do you think the band would be today if they hadn’t agreed to do the reunion back in 1996? I mean, obviously, they had a lot to gain as well.

Stanley: I would have to say not where we are now. By putting it back on it allowed us to reclaim those four iconic characters and move on from there. So the reunion tour was very important. Absolutely. It was the ground on which we reclaimed our legacy.

Paste: Do you think KISS would be still be here if it didn’t happen?

Stanley: KISS would always be around, because if it ever comes down to it, I am KISS. I don’t mean that with disregard to Gene. It ultimately means that no matter what anyone does, I covet this band and will keep it going.

Paste: I think a lot of KISS fans understand that with no Paul Stanley, there’s no KISS. Does Gene recognize that? [Laughs] I mean, does he thank you for that?

Stanley: Oh yeah, he acknowledges it now probably more than before, because I think he’s more comfortable in his own skin. I do believe that getting married and looking at his past, seeing why he is the way he is, has made him more open to acknowledging that, which is great.

Paste: You refer to KISS as your “life raft” in the book. Do you think if you’d found something like acting or theater during those tough times that you would have fought as hard for KISS?

Stanley: I had opportunities to pursue things, or explore things, but I always did it with deference to KISS. I always deferred to what was going on with the band. I’d never put the band on hold for what I wanted to do. I did The Phantom [of the Opera, in which Stanley took lead in the Toronto production in 1999] because we were on a break.

Paste: On to something lighter, is there a certain KISS record that has grown on you that maybe you didn’t care for back in the day?

Stanley: No. [long pause] No, nothing has grown on me. I can only go back and go, “nope!” [laughs]

Paste: Which leads to my next question. Has your opinion of Music From “The Elder” changed at all in 30 years?

Stanley: Not at all. I think that in some ways it was symptomatic of a bunch of guys who were clueless, who were fat—if not physically, mentally—with success, and became concerned with outside elements that shouldn’t have had any bearing. And the result was something that I believe is shallow, superficial—no matter how it purports to be conceptual or deep, I just find it lacks depth because there’s no truth in it.

Paste: Why do you think KISS fans still gravitate toward that record?

Stanley: [laughs] Let’s be honest, not all KISS fans gravitate toward it.

Paste: Not all, but there is a good segment out there—including myself—who like that record. I guess for me it’s well-produced, I think there are some really good songs on there, and it’s good to hear KISS doing something outside their wheelhouse.

Stanley: Well, then you answered your own question. You know, you answered it better than I could. You can do the rest of the interview. [laughs]

Paste: [laughing] Anything you wanna ask me?

Stanley: What’s for dinner…I don’t know. I think that some people may like the Elder because they feel that it validates us as something more than just a typical rock band. Perhaps that’s part of it. And some fans may like it because it surprises them in its content. I, unfortunately, was there. And it wasn’t a pretty time. So I know it, warts and all.

Paste: There’s more baggage for you, obviously.

Stanley: Well, sure. It’s not an album that I just put on blindly. It’s an album that I was there from its inception.

Paste: I guess we should talk about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I know it was your intention to include everybody, and obviously the Hall did not want that. How do you think it would have logistically gone down? It gets a little tricky. I mean, you can’t expect Ace and Peter to want to perform with Tommy and Eric in their makeup.

Stanley: Well, let’s start right there. That makeup meant nothing to those guys. Those guys thought we were idiots to buy it from them. They sold it as bargaining chips. So to suddenly covet that makeup because someone else is not only wearing it, but making other people forget the other people who wore it, that’s gotta be strong medicine. So, how would it have gone down? Look, we were asking them to consider some of the members—including Eric Carr, who played on multi-platinum albums and toured with the band, and Bruce Kulick, who did the same. We were asking for something to be considered that we were told was a non-starter. Now when pencil-pushers—for lack of a better description—are telling me—who played the guitar and has been successful for 40 years—what a non-starter is, I find it more than arrogant. At least give me the consideration to talk it over. Clearly KISS is such a bitter pill for them to swallow in the first place, they wanted that pill as small as possible.

And then on top of it, they tried to strong-arm us—which is a joke—into playing with Peter and Ace in makeup and KISS gear. And that wasn’t going to happen. I never quit the band once; I never quit the band twice. When I put that gear on, I do it with confidence and pride in everything that I’ve done. And to stand the chance of jeopardizing that for the sake of this organization’s nostalgia—it wasn’t gonna happen. The best thing to do is to go there and accept the award for the fans, who—despite their ambivalence and feelings—want us to be in the Hall of Fame.

Paste: My take on it is that I was used to the fact that KISS wasn’t in there, and that it was more a sense of pride not being in the Hall of Fame. At the same time, if there’s something called a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then KISS has to be in there.

Stanley: One would think so! So, all that being said, we should all be there to accept, and I am united with the other three guys on that night. But the differences we have, we have and will continue to have. And if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chooses to make it a night, as they have, of celebrating the original four members, that’s their choice. As far as I’m concerned, we’re celebrating 40 years of the band.

Paste: Well, I’ll be there, too. So does it sound like the four originals will be there to accept and call it good?

Stanley: Yeah! I know two of us are going to be there, and I imagine all of us will be there. We deserve to accept the award together.

Paste: You mention in the book that you hid behind the makeup and the personality for years. What does the Starchild mean to you in 2014?

Stanley: He’s more integrated into who I am. It’s not the Starchild, and then there’s me—he is an aspect and a part of who I am. It’s a much nicer relationship than turning into the Wolfman.

Paste: You’ve mentioned that you see KISS going on without you and Gene. My question to you is, do you think fans will buy it?

Stanley: Of course. They may not know that they’ll buy it now, but they’ll accept it if it’s great. Look, I was included originally saying that the four original guys are the band, until people started leaving the band. Then it’s, well we’re going to continue anyway. The fans who thought it had to be the four of us are now 50 percent wrong. Well, they’ll be 75 percent or 100 percent. The truth of the matter is that the band is bigger than its individual members, and there are other people out there who can do what I do, although they’re probably not known right now. And somebody will come along who’s terrific.

Paste: But I mean, it’s like when I see Queen performing without Freddie Mercury, I’m like “ehhh, you just can’t replace a guy like that.”

Stanley: Obviously, they haven’t found the right person that gelled with the band. So it wasn’t a band. It was somebody fronting Roger and Brian. The difference is when we go on stage now—and I just saw pictures of us playing on the last tour for 30-50-75,000 people—nobody’s holding up signs asking for former members. No disrespect to them, but the reality is that most of the audience that’s there today doesn’t miss Ace and Peter any more than somebody going to a Yankees game misses Babe Ruth.

Paste: I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Stanley: Hey! It always goes on.

Paste: By the way, I’m going to try out your Brussels sprouts recipe [mentioned in the book]. I’m a big Brussels fan, and it sounds delicious.

Stanley: Oh, it’s awesome. Get a good balsamic. Don’t get that shit that they’re selling at the supermarkets. You need something that’s thicker, you need something that’s more of a reduction. All right? But it’s awesome.

Video: PAUL STANLEY Signs Copies Of 'Face The Music' Memoir In Ridgewood

On Wednesday, April 9, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley signed copies of his new memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", at Bookends in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Video footage of the event can be seen here: video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

(Listen) EP. 71 Thank God the HOF is Over! Thank God the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is Over! We can now move past all the crap, or can we? What do we think about what happened? The Hall of Fame's video clip they played to introduce KISS? Tom Morello's induction speech? The band member's thank you speeches? We wrap up talking about how the Hall of Fame has split the KISS Army.

Episode 12: Richie Fontana

(Listen) 70s Kiss Podcast | Richie Fontana, talks about his early bands Piper, Scatt Bros, playing drums on the Paul Stanley solo album and recording at Electric Lady Studio during the Kiss Love Gun sessions.

PAUL STANLEY Calls ROCK HALL Co-Founder 'Spineless Weasel', Says Induction Ceremony Confirmed His 'Worst Suspicions'

KISS frontman Paul Stanley as slammed Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame co-founder and Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner as a "spineless weasel," claiming that the guitarist/vocalist and the rest of the band were treated like "uninvited guests" during Thursday night's induction ceremony.

"Our treatment at the [Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame] confirmed my worst suspicions," Stanley fumed via Twitter. "Wenner and the rest are spineless weasels." He went on to say that the people behind the Rock Hall gave the members of KISS "no passes" or "schedule" for the evening, but didn't elaborate on what exactly he was referring to. He concluded: "We were great and [Wenner] remains a small man."

Stanley's bandmate, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons, also took a couple of shots at Rolling Stone on Twitter, mocking the magazine's original critical review of LED ZEPPELIN's first album, writing "Rolling Stone. Idiots then. Idiots now." He then posted a link to a video from the early 1970s band CHRISTOPHER MILK, which featured John Mendelsohn, the writer who penned the negative reviews that appeared in Rolling Stone of each of the first two LED ZEPPELIN LPs.

Stanley ended his Hall Of Fame speech on Thursday by calling the evening "vindication" for the fans. He also took a dig at the Hall Of Fame by saying, "The people, I believe, are speaking to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and what they're saying is, 'We want more.' They deserve more. They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don't want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people. Choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not. Let's not forget that these are the people that make it all possible. We just benefit from it."

KISS did not perform at the ceremony — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Stanley insisted on the current lineup performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was taped and will air on May 31 on HBO.

Videos: Web Extras: The Tonight Show | NBC

Hotter Than Hell & Firehouse
Black Diamond
Deuce
King of the Night Time World

Ace Frehley 'Thrilled' By Rock Hall Induction, Readying Solo Album

(Video Q&A) "It's like we had never been apart and we're brothers in rock'n'roll," Frehley says of Kiss' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction experience.

With Kiss' surprisingly drama-free Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction now in the rear-view mirror, former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley visited Billboard for a video interview to reflect on the Rock Hall experience, reveal his least favorite Kiss album, discuss his new album "Space Invader," due in June, and more.

Rather than the drama that surrounded the lead-up to Kiss' overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley finally entered the Hall at the April 10 gala, preceded by mega-fan Tom Morello's take-no-prisoners speech and wild fan cheers. It was a rock'n'roll moment 40 years in the making, one where the foursome reunited to praise each other for what they contributed to the band. Simmons said of Frehley, "This iconic guitar player has been imitated but never equaled by generations of guitar players around the world."

What did Frehley think of Simmons' kind words?

"I couldn't hear anything," he says. "I can't wait to go back to the hotel [after this interview] and hear the speeches because where I was standing, the PA's in front of me, there was no monitors, so I don't know what any of then said. I've been getting bits and pieces. I heard Gene said something really sweet about me."

Leading up to the induction, much was said about who should be included, who should play afterward and who did what to whom during the past four decades of Kisstory. But Frehley says that before appearing onstage, his former bandmates "were all very gracious and we got along famously. It's like we had never been apart and we're brothers in rock'n'roll. The press builds this enigma that we hate each other and all that kind of insanity but it's really not true."

Now that the evening is behind him, Frehley can more fully concentrate on the upcoming release of his new solo album, "Space Invader," which is due June 24 on eOne Music. While the final track listing hasn't been publicly confirmed yet, a post on Frehley's website from March stated the album will contain a cover of "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band.

"There's going to be a real interesting instrumental, there's gonna be some catchy riff songs, there's gonna be some straight-ahead rockers and everything in between. The only real guests I have [are] Chris Wyse from The Cult and my drummer Matt Starr, who I used on my last U.S. tour. And pretty much I'm playing all the instruments and doing all the lead vocals. I'm a one-man show," he says with a chuckle.

Questlove on Kiss' Influence: 'I Was Obsessed'

When Questlove enters Rolling Stone's interview suite to talk about inducting Hall & Oates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Thursday night, he has other immediate concerns. "Who else has spoken?" he asks, looking at the room's television, which is displaying Kiss' acceptance speeches. "What did Gene say?"

Like everyone, the Roots drummer and bandleader was expecting a different scene than the original Kiss members' peaceful onstage reunion. He watches for a bit and takes a minute to reflect on how Kiss got there from his perspective, beginning with an impassioned speech by Tom Morello at a Hall of Fame boardroom meeting. "He sold all of us on why they deserve to be in it," Questlove says, citing Morello's call to arms for a changing of the guard within the Rock Hall and the fact that most Gen-X bands would cite Kiss as the reason they started their band. "I thought about it, because even with me being connected to hip-hop, my greatest story in my book Mo' Meta Blues is how I met these guys at the age of 7. I was obsessed with them."

How did you meet Kiss when you were 7?

I was at a hotel in Buffalo, and my mom and dad [musicians Lee and Jacqui Andrews] were on the stage doing their last set. I go on the dresser to get 50 cents to get a soda, and I go up to the soda machine. Suddenly, the doors open – beep – out walk Ace and Peter and all their guards, sans makeup and they have all their Kiss memorabilia on, but still it's Ace and Peter. And I look I went, 'Aaaaaaah!' And then I ran so fast. I kept circling, screaming my ass off. And then, my dad did the most logical thing ever. He took me into the game room. Paul Stanley was playing a sit-down pinball game. Was there a group called Boston?

Yeah.

Did they have a big fat guy? Anyway, I was 7 years old. So it's Boston, Kiss and Kansas. And Paul was playing pinball and said, "I heard about this guy. This guy was scared and screaming and woke up the neighbors." And I got his autograph and I got Ace's autograph. I didn't get Gene's autograph. I didn't see Peter Criss after that. But it was the first time I saw that Almost Famous hedonistic debauchery atmosphere, all the women there. They basically took over the whole game room. And I got their autograph. That was my story all fourth grade. "I met them! I met them!" So to see them finally get this, they even affected me. So I'm so happy.

So you're happy to have contributed to getting them in the Rock Hall.

Yeah, and that's the first thing I asked about when they asked me to join. "Well, what if I vote for Kiss?" It was like the "funny idea." But once Tom gave that speech, I gave up all my choices. I'll fight for Sonic Youth next year.

Being a big Kiss fan, how do you feel about Gene Simmons' comments about rap music in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

There's a checks-and-balance system. The world would be so boring if everyone got along. It's supposed to piss your parents off. Now they're the parents. So I feel like I see the art in the Bomb Squad for Public Enemy. I see the art in 2 Chainz. And sometimes you just have to be in a certain mindstate to want to be open to new ideas. Some people in music are open; some people aren't. But we're not finished. It's not like, "Let's pack our bags and go home, guys. We're not allowed here." Nah. I'm here to make changes, and hopefully I can pull a Morello next year.

You mentioned Sonic Youth. Who do you want to get in?

I would like to see LL Cool J get in. After reading Rick James' autobiography, he was probably more rock, more arrogant, more brash. . . Rick James, I feel is worthy of it. Link Wray. Once I got the list [of nominees this year], then I was like, 'Jesus Christ.' Even one of the guys on the committee, was like, 'Yo, how come you're not championing your father?' Six is so hard to choose. If they would do 10, it would be so much easier. Because now that we're entering the Nineties, it's gonna get even crazier. Who knows?

Video Of TOM MORELLO's Entire KISS ROCK HALL Induction Speech

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Tom Morello inducted KISS into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this past Thursday night (April 10) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Video footage of Morello's entire speech can be seen here.. A transcript follows.

"Good evening, I'm Tom Morello.

"They are four of the most recognizable faces on the planet, and one of the most iconic and badass bands of all time. Tonight is the night that KISS enters the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

"Growing up, KISS was my favorite band — and it was not easy being a KISS fan. Just as KISS were relentlessly persecuted by critics, their fans were relentlessly persecuted by the self-appointed arbiters of taste in middle schools and high schools across America. Arguments and even fistfights were not uncommon. I recall as a 15-year-old telling one bully, 'You can kiss my KISS-loving ass!' because KISS was never a critics' band, KISS was a people's band.

"And so I waited in a long line on a bitter cold Chicago morning to buy a ticket for my first concert, a KISS concert. I was especially thrilled because imprinted on the ticket were words that hinted that it was going to be a special event. The ticket said 'A partial view of KISS.' I was certain this meant the band were going to reveal some new secret corner of their artistic souls. In reality, it meant that my seat was behind a pole. Still, that concert was the most exciting, cathartic, loudest and most thrilling two hours of live music I've seen to this day.

"While there is a often debate about who should and shouldn't be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I think the criteria are actually quite simple: impact, influence and awesomeness. KISS have all three in spades.

"Impact? KISS have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. They have 28 gold albums in the United States alone. That's more than any other American rock band in history. Their theatrics were indisputably groundbreaking, but it was KISS' music that had an impact on me. All four guys wrote great songs. All four guys were great lead singers. They practically invented the live album with 'Kiss Alive!' Then came 'Destroyer', 'Rock And Roll Over', 'Love Gun', 'Alive II', 'Dynasty', all exploding with killer riffs, anthemic choruses and screaming solos that for 40 years have been filling arenas and stadiums around the world.

"Influence? Simply put, KISS is the band that made me and millions of others love rock and roll. What Elvis and THE BEATLES were to previous generations, KISS were to us. They propelled millions of young people to pick up instruments. Their influence is everywhere. From METALLICA to Lady Gaga, KISS have inspired thousands of artists of diverse genres, some of whom may be on a Hall Of Fame trajectory themselves. They've been a formative influence on members of TOOL, PEARL JAM, ALICE IN CHAINS, SLIPKNOT, Garth Brooks, PANTERA, FOO FIGHTERS, MÖTLEY CRÜE, Lenny Kravitz, WHITE ZOMBIE, SOUNDGARDEN, NINE INCH NAILS… and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, to name just a few.

"OK. Impact? Check. Influence? Check. And the final criteria? Awesomeness. There's a simple test for that. What if you had never seen or heard KISS before? What if you had never heard a note of their music, never viewed a YouTube clip, never seen a reality show featuring any of the members? And what if you wandered into a divey club in your hometown and saw KISS in all their glory thrashing the place to the ground? One guy belching fire and spraying blood past his gargantuan tongue. A drum riser bursting through the roof. A guitar player so incredible his axe billowed smoke and shot rockets. A frontman flying back and forth across the joint like a superhero Tarzan. All of them in frightening horror movie/comic book superstar, sexifying kabuki make up. All of them in black and silver warrior bondage gear and seven-inch platform heels. The place blowing up with explosions, screeching with sirens, raining confetti, all to the pounding soundtrack of bareknuckle badass heavy duty liberating rock and roll. What would you say if you saw that? You'd say, 'That band's fucking awesome and deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame!!' That's what you'd say.

"Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer have all been important in extending and expanding KISS' impressive legacy and they deserve a round of applause. But tonight we honor the fearsome foursome; the four original, founding members of KISS. The Demon, Gene Simmons — he's the God Of Thunder, he's Dr. Love. He's BEATLES-like bass on the bottom, a bat lizard Bela Lugosi on the top. The Starchild, Paul Stanley — the heart throb ringmaster of KISS' Psycho Circus. His vision, talent and dedication over four decades have made KISS the band it is today. The Space Man, Ace Frehley — my first guitar hero. He designed the band's iconic logo and blazed unforgettable, timeless licks across their greatest records. And The Cat, Peter Criss — jungle rhythms, jazz fills, and the writer and singer of the band's biggest hit, the world's first power ballad, 'Beth'. Tonight we also honor the fifth member of the band without whom this night could never have happened. Tonight we honor the Kiss Army, generations of fiercely loyal fans who are celebrating this long overdue induction all over the planet tonight.

"Tonight proves, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the high school bullies and the critics were mistaken. We, KISS fans, were right. So let's celebrate.

"I misspoke earlier when I said that tonight KISS enters the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. That's almost right. Because tonight…it's not the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Tonight it's the Rock And Roll All Night And Party Every Day Hall Of Fame. And so without further ado… Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss.

"You wanted the best and you got the best, the hottest band in the world… KISS."

All four members of the original lineup of KISS — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — delivered warm, nostalgic and even sweet-natured speeches that put aside the simmering tensions for at least 12 minutes.

Gene Simmons spoke first, saying, "We are humbled — all of us — to stand up on this stage and do what we love doing. This is a profound moment for all of us." Simmons then spoke kindly about each of his original bandmates, while also mentioning former and current members as well as late drummer Eric Carr and late guitarist Mark St. John.

Peter Criss said, "I'd like to thank the Hall Of Fame for this honor; I never thought this could happen in my life. Thank you." He also went through a list of people he wanted to thank, while also revealing that he has been free of male breast cancer for seven years. Criss concluded by saying, "I want to say that, even out of makeup, I'll always be the Catman. God bless each and every one of you — I will remember this the rest of my life. Thank you so much."

Frehley joked that he couldn't read his speech because his sunglasses weren't prescription, then ran through his own list of thanks and revealed that he has been sober for seven and a half years. Like Peter Criss, he thanked the band's original manager, the late Bill Aucoin, as well as the late Neil Bogart, who signed them to Casablanca Records in 1973. Frehley ended by saying, "Only by the grace of God I'm here… Life's been good to me; hopefully I've got 10 or 20 more years to go."

Paul Stanley ended the speeches by thanking Morello, "who's championed us shamelessly and unapologetically," and by calling the evening "vindication" for the fans. He also took a dig at the Hall Of Fame by saying, "The people, I believe, are speaking to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and what they're saying is, 'We want more.' They deserve more. They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don't want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people. Choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not. Let's not forget that these are the people that make it all possible. We just benefit from it."

KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Stanley insisted on the current lineup performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was taped and will air on May 31 on HBO.

Tom Morello Salutes Kiss Army in Rock Hall Induction Speech

(rollingstone.com) Tom Morello may be currently touring with new Hall of Fame inductees the E Street Band, but on Thursday night at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the former Rage Against the Machine guitarist saluted the Kiss Army while inducting Kiss into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Given the dichotomy between Morello's left-leaning worldview and Gene Simmons' take-no-prisoners brand of capitalism, it was ostensibly an unlikely pairing. But Morello cast aside his political views to praise his "first guitar hero," Ace Frehley, though, perhaps because he couldn't help himself, he did manage to work in one "power to the people" plug.

"Tonight, we honor the fifth memeber of the band: the Kiss Army," he said of the band's loyal fanbase. "This night proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bullies and critics were mistaken. Tonight this is the 'Rock and Roll all night, and Party Every Day' Hall of Fame."

As the guitarist told Rolling Stone before the ceremony, he first saw Kiss play when he was 12 and attended their shows religiously during his formative years. "I've known Gene and Paul for some time and I'm a huge fan of the band and have been an advocate — a noisy, fist-pounding advocate for years for Kiss to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," said Morello. "One of the all-time great bands is being rightly enshrined.

"When those records were released, focus was shifted because it was a band in makeup or because it was band with explosions," added Morello. "But those are great anthemic songs with badass riffs. There's a reason why Kiss sold 100 million records around the world. There was no one spitting blood in your living room when you were listening to them. I was rocking out hard to them."

In 1994, the guitarist teamed up with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, RATM/Audioslave drummer Brad Wilk and Faith No More bassist Billy Gould as Shandi's Addiction to cover the group's 1976 song "Calling Dr. Love" for the compilation Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved.

Thursday capped off months of discussion and speculation surrounding every aspect of Kiss' induction. Simmons and Stanley have frequently expressed their displeasure with the Rock Hall's decision to only induct the band's four original members. (Simmons told Rolling Stone that he invited current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer alongside guitarist Bruce Kulick to sit at his table at the ceremony).

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Hall of Fame CEO Joel Peresman countered Simmons. "I totally understand his point of view," said Peresman. "What he's failing to understand is that there are certain acts that are nominated and brought in on their entire body of work, up until the day before the nominating committee meets. With Kiss, there wasn't a single person we spoke to that didn't feel the reason these guys were being inducted was because of the four original members."

Hall of Fame induction 'vindication' for fans

(today.com) Still fresh off their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday night, the members of KISS took time from rock and rolling all night and partying every day to speak to TODAY Friday about an honor 40 years in the making.

"It was really vindication because the fans have wanted this for so long,'' lead singer Paul Stanley told Matt Lauer, as the band joined TODAY on the plaza decked out in their costumes and iconic facepaint. "It may not have meant as much to us, but it meant a lot to them. We were very happy to be there. We have 40 years of legacy, and it's a proud time for us."

Stanley was joined by guitarists Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer. The lead-up to the Hall of Fame induction was not without controversy, as original drummer Peter Criss and original guitarist Ace Frehley, who both split from the band in the early 1980s, traded shots at Simmons and Stanley in the media. While there was no reunion performance on Thursday, the members were courteous to one another in their acceptance speeches.

"Yesterday is yesterday,'' Simmons said. "We've never won a race looking over our shoulders in the past. Winners always look straightforward. There are no solutions, there's only we get to decide who and what KISS is. We love Ace and Peter, and they were very gracious yesterday in accepting the award to be part of the beginning, but we move on. This is a 40-year proud history, and Eric and Tommy make every day on that stage a wonderful, wonderful experience, not just for us. We like being together and bonding onstage, but it's an experience for the fans."

KISS announced their 42-city North American tour in honor of their 40th anniversary, where they will be joined by Def Leppard. They also are looking to hire two military veterans as roadies to work their 2014 Heroes Tour as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Capital One’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.

"People have to realize that the freedoms and the liberties that we enjoy here, we take for granted,'' Stanley said. "The people that make it possible are part of the world's greatest volunteer army. These people risk limbs, they risk their lives for us. We owe them everything, so if we can hire a few of them, just to bring attention to the fact that we owe them everything. They are the ones whose uniforms are even more important than ours."

Another group in uniform who got to meet up with KISS on Friday was a group of four high school seniors from Montgomery, N.Y., who were sent home from school by administrators last month for dressing up as the members of KISS.

Derek Chomyn, Tyler Fisher, Dylan Schoonmaker and Mike Carmody wore the famous KISS greasepaint as the Demon, Space Ace, Starchild and Catman and were dismissed from Valley Central High School's "Senior Celebrity Day,'' prompting one of their moms to tweet about it to Simmons, who retweeted it.

The group went to the Hall of Fame induction on Thursday and were speechlees when they met their idols in person on Rockefeller Plaza on Friday.

A candid chat with Paul Stanley of Kiss

(utsandiego.com) Like other rock stars, Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley has been the recipient of loud cheers and jeers over the years. Unlike those other rock stars, however, he could only hear them in one ear.

Due to microtia, a rare congenital deformity, Stanley was born without a right ear.

This is the most startling disclosure he makes in his no-holds-barred memoir, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed” (HarperOne). It will be published Tuesday, just two days before Kiss, the band he co-founded in 1973, is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On April 17, he will sign copies of his memoir at Warwick's in La Jolla.

Paul Stanley book signing:

When: 7 p.m. April 17

Where: Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla

Admission: Free, in a manner. You must purchase a copy of Stanley’s memoir from Warwick’s in advance to be admitted and get it signed by him. In order to do so, you must buy a ticket in advance, for $31.31, for which you will receive a copy of the book and admission for two adults.

Phone: (858) 454-0347

Online: warwicks.com

“Face the Music: A Life Exposed” was co-written with Tim Mohr. It offers a classic, if often sobering, rags-to-riches chronicle of Stanley's life. A New York native, he is the son of Jewish immigrant parents who were emotionally distant at best and cruel at worst. His childhood and teen years were full of anguish because of his microtia and the relentless teasing and bullying from other kids that resulted. His highly dysfunctional family, which included his deeply troubled sister and unhappily married parents, further compounded matters and fueled their troubled son's desire for an escape to something better.

"I believed that my ticket out of my unhappiness, or issues with my growing up, or my birth defect, or my hearing loss, was becoming famous and successful," Stanley told U-T San Diego in a recent interview from his Beverly Hills home. " I was fortunate enough to become famous and successful, so I could see that wasn't the answer. At that point, you have to decide: 'What do you do?' "

There has been considerable controversy over Kiss' pending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which will be televised in May on HBO. Stanley and fellow Kiss mastermind Gene Simmons have refused to perform at the induction ceremony with Kiss’ other two original members, drummer Peter Criss and San Diego-based guitarist Ace Frehley, unless the band’s current lineup also can perform.

The Rock Hall rejected that proposal, which means that Kiss won't perform in any form at the ceremony. Moreover, the Rock Hall will only induct Kiss’ original four members. This has angered Stanley and Simmons, who is described in “Face the Music” as Stanley’s brother-in-arms, as well as a cheater, goofy, dishonest, unhappy, selfish, hurtful and worse.

Stanley, 62, will perform here with Kiss on July 6 at Sleep Train Amphitheatre. A married father of four, he spoke to us at length about his book, Kiss, the band’s pending induction, its former and current members, and more. Here are excerpts from that conversation:

Q: It’s hard to imagine the pain and taunting you endured growing up without a right ear, an experience you vividly detail in your book. Given the reconstructive surgery you had in the early 1980s and recent advances in medical technology, can you now at least partially hear on your right side?

A: I can’t. There have been technical breakthroughs, in terms of stimulating the auditory nerve, and surgeries to create ear canals. But my brain is wired this way at this point. And anything that goes against it just confuses it. I can’t imagine hearing like you hear (with both ears), because what I have is my idea of normal. I can’t tell direction of sound, never could, and that has a lot of impact on you as a child. You always have a sense of vulnerability, because you can’t triangulate (sound) if you can’t see somebody. Or, if you hear a firetruck, you could walk into its path, because you don’t know where it’s coming from.

Q: I don't mean to be indelicate. But since you have three young kids, if they want to get away with something, do they plot together while standing to your right, so that you can't hear them?

A: (laughing) No! I'm not totally deaf. I can hear with my left side. My kids are spectacular, stellar, little people. And my oldest son is in the Tisch School of the Arts program at New York University, which accepts 40 only students a year. So I'm a big proponent of hands-on parenting and building self-esteem, setting boundaries and expectations. And the results speak for themselves. It may be oversimplifying things, but children start out as blank slates.

Q: Your childhood, as your book makes very clear, was filled with anguish.

A: It was not a good one. It was lonely and scary. My parents loved me, but they didn’t know the right way to love. The idea of toughening a kid up by not complimenting them, by not acknowledging their achievements, by telling them everything is OK when it’s not, doesn’t produce a tough kid. It produces the opposite. ... My parents certainly loved me, but didn’t know how to do it in a constructive way.

Q: The book feels, to the reader, like a cathartic journey. Does it feel that way to you?

A: More the process of living it was cathartic. Writing about it was more a feeling that, by opening up my life, I might help somebody else. The word that keeps coming back from people who read the book, and who are not necessarily Kiss fans, is "inspirational." The only reason I wrote the book is because I thought that perhaps people could find a little inspiration or strength in seeing that they are not that different than I am. I think people tend to look up to their idols, or the people who they emulate, and think: "Those people are perfect."

The truth is, we're all pretty much the same. I believed that my ticket out of my unhappiness, or issues with my growing up, or my birth defect, or my hearing loss, was becoming famous and successful. I was fortunate enough to become famous and successful, so I could see that wasn't the answer. At that point, you have to decide: "What do you do?" Some people self-medicate, and we know where that leads. Or, you live life as a victim, or you roll up your sleeves and move forward. I'm a great believer in self-improvement and self-survival. The book felt great, because my revelation was that the less judgmental you are of others, and the less controlling and more giving you are, the more you get, and -- ultimately -- happiness comes from within you and your family. No matter how many people admire you, you have to go home with yourself.

Q: And what would you have said if someone told you that when when you were 25 or 35?

A: I would have said: "Yeah? Who's the cute blonde?" In other words, I don't believe we learn from other people telling us things. we learn from experiencing things. So I'm telling my story, but I'm not implying I have the key for anybody else...

Q: Your book is very detailed, but you make no mention in it of Lou Reed's participation in (the 1981 Kiss album) "Music from the Elder." Why not?

A: Lou’s participation was, I don't want to say peripheral, because he came in and (album producer) Bob Ezrin had a very long relationship with Lou, having done (the 1973 album) "Berlin," and they were every close. Lou came to pre-production rehearsals, and Bob asked if he had any ideas. And he came in with a lyric for “A World Without Heroes" and part of a lyric for "Mr. Blackwell," or at least the shape, the direction of those lyrics. And there are other (Kiss song) co-writers, and other people who are not a part of the book.

But writing a book about your life is somewhat (like) making a film of it. You can't tell the entire story. You have to give enough instances to flesh out and tell the story, but -- as in making a book into a movie -- you have to omit some things. The idea is not to omit anything of great value.

Q: You are extremely candid in the book and don’t seem to pull any punches, about yourself or anyone else. Was there anything simply too personal that you left out?

A: No. There wouldn’t be any point in the book if that were the case. There’s nothing vindictive or said to be hurtful.

Q: But, at one point, you describe Peter and Ace as “barely sentient beings.”

A: I’m sure that will ruffle feathers, but that is secondary. How somebody accepts, or is affected, by my assessment is not as important as telling the story. And that was: “Look, neither one of those guys really had much at heart, in terms of priorities, other than themselves.” So I’m not losing any sleep over my characterizations or assessments.

Q: What reaction have you had from other band members?

A: Gene read it. And, from everything I’ve heard from other people, he loved the book and acknowledged, certainly, the accuracy of what I said and my assessment of him. Again, nothing was said to hurt or denigrate. It was just my point of view. And, in my book, I must be honest. He thought it was great. And for a few people who read it, I think it’s probably painful for (them) to read it, and I understand that.

Q: Is a rock band, by definition, dysfunctional?

A: I think there is something that comes from combustibility in a band. And the problem with combustibility is, unless it can be harnessed for the common good, it causes (the need) for change. The band, as it is today -- and has been for over a decade -- is four individuals who are very much motivated to further the band and the cause; four people who say: "How can I make the band greater?" And that's how you become greater. But when you have people whose main objective is to make themselves greater, then everybody suffers. I think combustibility is a great thing. Look, Gene and I have been together 44 years at this point, and we're very different (people). But, at the end of the day, generally speaking, we have always been motivated by trying to do as best as we can for the band.

Q: Kiss will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Thursday. Do you have mixed feelings about it?

A: We will all be there, together, and will accept the award together. I believe, for many reasons, the Rock Hall is a disgrace. And to grudgingly induct us 14 or 15 years (after Kiss was first eligible), because they look ridiculous otherwise, I don’t get any great honor or pride from that ...

I don’t know that they’ve ever dealt with people like us, who not only have a different point of view but can actually articulate it. You have people on that (Rock Hall of Fame) board who have vocally and vehemently stated that they would fight our induction. You have a burn-out like (music critic and author) Dave Marsh, whose recollections and romanticizing of New York bands is pure fantasy. The bands he seems to champion from the period of our inception (in the 1970s) are bands that sucked. They failed. The reason nobody knows about them is they weren’t any good.

So to have somebody like that making one of his quests to keep us out of the Hall of Fame — anybody who has the perception the Hall of Fame is a reflection of the people in the street is sadly mistaken.

Gene Simmons tells the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone to KISS OFF!

Gene Simmons tells the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone to KISS OFF: Video

Ace Frehley on Kiss' Rock Hall Induction: 'We're Brothers in Rock'

(rollingstone.com) Almost as soon as Kiss were named as inductees for the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the drama began. Although original guitarist Ace Frehley told Rolling Stone he didn't see any bad blood between his ex-bandmates, the group's current original members – Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons – decided that no lineup of Kiss would perform. In the end, the four original members reunited peacefully onstage and were humbled by the award. After their acceptance speeches, Rolling Stone caught up with Frehley – who is working on his first solo album in five years, Space Invader – to find out just how things really went down onstage.

How did it feel to finally get up there?

It felt great, you know? Look at the company I'm with. The room is full of celebrities and rock stars. It's like another milestone in my career. But the body of work that I've created over the years has stood the test of time. It's a very special time for me.

After all the controversies leading up to the induction, how did it feel to be onstage with everybody again?

It felt like I just saw those guys yesterday. We're brothers in rock & roll. The press seems to amplify the fact that we hate each other, and we really don't. We've had our differences over the years, but every rock & roll band does. Tonight, it felt like I had just left those guys the other day, and they were very gracious considering what we've been creating over the last 40 years.

When you look back at those 40 years, what are you proudest of?

I think we're probably gonna go down in history as the greatest theatrical rock group in the world. I think that's probably gonna be an undisputable fact. And now that we're part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that just cements our place in history even better. And the cover on the Rolling Stone [Laughs]!

How long have you wanted this?

We could have been inducted 15 years ago. We were eligible. So they took a while. They made us sweat. But tonight's the night. I'm the kind of person, I'm very optimistic. I don't want to think about negativity. The past is the past. We're in. We're here. We're gonna have a great time.

You mentioned that you have been sober seven years in your speech and that you think people should be educated on addiction. What should happen?

It needs to be decriminalized. People who are addicts and alcoholics shouldn't be thrown in jail for a year because they were born with a disease that they can't help. Governor [Peter] Shumlin in Vermont is doing a great job. In fact there’s an article in the new Rolling Stone about it. Everybody should follow in his steps decriminalizing addiction.

I'm an addict. I've been an alcoholic my whole life. But I've been sober seven and half years. Only by the grace of God am I sitting here today. I just spoke to Ron Delsener, New York's biggest [concert] promoter and he's going, "Hey, so I thought you would be dead!" I said, "Nope, I'm here, I'm alive and I'm kicking." And I have a beautiful fiancée, Rachael Gordon. She cowrote two songs with me on the new record, and life couldn't be better. So one day at a time, I'm getting through.

What have you not done yet that you want to?

I'd like to score a sci-fi film. That would be fun. Or maybe make another movie. God, what's his name? John Belushi, God rest his soul, a dear friend of mine, before he passed away, he told me he was putting me in his next movie because I was one of the few people that could make him crack up. And unfortunately we know what happened.

You started doing press right after you got offstage. How did you leave off with Gene and Paul?

They were congratulating me on the stage. But I had gotten calls from them a couple months ago when this first went down. We created something that no one can take away from any of us, and it withstood the test of time.

KISS / DEF LEPPARD HIRING HEROES

Rock Bands KISS and Def Leppard Commit to Hire Two Veterans as Roadies as Part of U.S. Chamber’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes Program

Following Nationwide Search, Two Veterans will Join Bands for 2014 Summer Tour

Rock bands KISS and Def Leppard today announced their commitment to hire two veterans as roadies for their 2014 summer tour as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Capital One’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. The bands made their hiring announcement live on the NBC Today Show in New York after deciding jointly to dedicate their upcoming summer tour to the military community. Following a nationwide search, two veterans will be chosen to support the bands’ production team on the 42-city North American tour.

This will be the second time KISS has carried out a nationwide search for a veteran roadie. Two years ago, Army veteran and longtime KISS fan Paul Jordan was chosen to join a summer tour after a review of 1,900 applications sent in from coast to coast. He went on to tour 44 cities with the band, helping with the set up and breakdown at each stop. Looking back after the tour closed, Jordan said, “I know now that life exists after military service. You just have to find something you’re passionate about and go get it. There is a world of opportunity out there.”

"It is our privilege to draw attention to the obligation we all have to the brave men and women who volunteer to risk their own lives to protect the liberties and freedom that we all take for granted. We should all jump at any opportunity to provide any assistance needed by our warriors. Heroes deserve jobs!" said Paul Stanley, lead vocalist/guitarist of KISS.

“Having our own wounded warrior in Rick Allen, we’ve always had a close tie with the military,” said Joe Elliott, lead vocalist of Def Leppard. “To carry on and further our contribution by giving a little back, and hopefully helping fulfill a dream or two, we’re more than happy to show our support.”

KISS and Def Leppard announced the 2014 summer tour last month during a press conference at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Both groups have agreed to donate $2 of every ticket sold to various military nonprofits, including Hiring Our Heroes, the USO, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundation, Augusta Warrior Project, and Wounded Warrior Project.

“We are thrilled to work with KISS, Def Leppard, and all of the great partners teaming up to find two veterans for this amazing opportunity,” said Eric Eversole, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. “Our team saw firsthand how much Paul Jordan’s life changed when he toured with KISS. We applaud both bands for their continued dedication to the military community, and we hope others are inspired to follow their lead and hire military members and their spouses.”

Veterans who wish to apply for the positions can go to Military.com/Heroes for more information. All applications must be received by Friday, May 9th at 11:59 p.m. Military.com will work with KISS and Def Leppard to select the final two veterans.

Hiring Our Heroes launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. The goal of the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign with Capital One is to engage the business community in committing to hire half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy and the global business environment.

KISS Inducted Into ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

(Tom Morello's induction speech: Pic1, Pic2) (Videos: Speeches, Ace Backstage) RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Tom Morello inducted KISS into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame earlier tonight (Thursday, April 10) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The guitarist told the crowd, "You can kiss my KISS-loving ass because KISS wasn't a critics' band. It's the people's band." He added: "Tonight proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the high school bullies and critics were wrong. KISS fans were right. Impact, influence and awesomeness — KISS have all three in spades." He concluded by saying: "Tonight, this isn't the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. It's the Rock And Roll All Nite And Party Every Day Hall Of Fame."

After that, the four members of the original KISS lineup took turns in addressing the crowd.

Gene Simmons: "We are humbled — all of us — to stand up on this stage and do what we love doing.

"This is a profound moment for all of us.

"We are humbled that the fans gave us the chance to do what we love doing. And so I'm here just to say a few kind words about the four knuckleheads who, 40 years ago, got together and decided to put together the band that you see on stage, critics be damned.

"To Ace Frehley: his iconic guitar playing has been imitated, but never duplicated, by generations of guitar players around the world.

"To Peter Criss, whose drumming and singing... Well, there's not a guy out there who beats the sticks who sounds just like Peter. Nobody's got that swing and that style.

"Something happened, 40 years ago: I met the partner and the brother I never knew I had — Paul Stanley. You couldn't ask for someone more awesome to be on the same team. I am humbled.

"I was going to say a few kind words about Eric Carr, rest in peace. Mark St. John, rest in peace. Vinnie Vincent, the great Bruce Kulick, and of course, here we are 40 years later with the great Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, and we continue on.

"However, we wouldn't be here today without the initial Fantastic Four.

"God bless you all.

"May I introduce the powerful and attractive — Peter Criss!"

Peter Criss: "I want to say it's great to be home in Brooklyn.

"I'd like to thank the Hall Of Fame for this honor; I never thought this could happen in my life. Thank you.

"I'd like to thank everybody that had to do something with my career and the band's career. For 50 years, I've been doing it; 40 years, we've been doing it. Jesus — from the grips, to the truck drivers, to the great producers, to the great managers, to the great people who were just all there for us through all the years and the hard times. God bless you and thank you so much.

"I definitely want to thank our first manager, Bill Aucoin. We would not be here if it wasn't for Bill. Sean Delaney, the great Joyce Bogart, and the great Neil Bogart — who with Casablanca Records... Those were the great days, and I thank them all.

"I'd like to congratulate the band, of course — Mr. Stanley, Mr. Simmons, and the one and only Spaceman, Ace Frehley.

"I'd also like to say I'm now seven years male breast cancer-free. Thank you — I'm very proud that I have... [I would like to thank] my doctor, who saved my life in the first place. Thank you so much.

"I would like to thank my family — my sister Donna who I know is out there. All my friends who have come...and God, I'd be here all night. I'd like to thank my lovely wife Gigi, who makes my life really, really a lot easier. Lemme tell ya: walking through life with her is a blessing. I love you, baby.

"I got my first lesson from my best friend, Jerry Nolan of the NEW YORK DOLLS. And boy, that's what started it all off.

"I want to say that, even out of makeup, I'll always be the Catman.

"God bless each and every one of you — I will remember this the rest of my life. Thank you so much.

Ace Frehley: "I have a speech here, but these [glasses] aren't prescription, so I can't work it out. [laughs]

"It's so great to be here with all these celebrities and other musicians.

"I want to thank Paul, Gene and Peter.

"Thank you so much, Tom, for that beautiful introduction.

"I want to thank the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for inducting us; thank you very much.

"When I was 13 years old, I picked up my first guitar, and I always sensed that I was going to be in for something big. Little did I know, a few years later, there it was. I experienced the Summer of Love. [Laughs] Alright. That was before I met these clowns. Several years later, we got together — you know the story, it's all KISS-tory.

"A few quick names — Bill Aucoin, Joyce Biawitz — who used to manage us in conjunction with Bill, then ended up marrying Neil Bogart. We wouldn't be here without Neil Bogart and Casablanca Records. Everyone at Casablanca Records, everyone at ATI, Jeff, and Wally. Everyone at the press office; Carol and Al Ross; Carol Kaye; just to name a few. If I named everyone who helped us through our career, I'd be here for another half an hour. It's great to be here.

"I wanted to touch on the fact that I've been sober now for seven and a half years. We still need to educate the people in this country about sobriety because some people think it has to do with willpower. But unfortunately, most addicts are born that way and people need to be educated about that.

"My sponsor, he used to have a good saying, to try and explain what it's like to be an addict: when people would say to use willpower, he'd say, 'Try using willpower when you're having diarrhea.'

"So, only by the grace of God I'm here. I want to thank my first wife Jeanette, my daughter, my current fiancée Rachael Gordon.

"Life's been good to me; hopefully I've got 10 or 20 more years to go. Thank you very much."

Paul Stanley: "I can make this short and sweet because everybody said everything and has been much funnier than I'll ever be.

"So, I got to thank Tom, who's championed us shamelessly and unapologetically. Took a lot of balls, and God bless you.

"For us, this is a special night, but it's really a special night for all of our fans — this is vindication. We couldn't have done this without you.

"To Peter, Ace, Gene — we are the original four, so we could not have done this if we didn't start this together.

"Everything we've done is built on the past.

"We've got a great, great legacy. We've got Bruce here, we've got Tommy, we've got Eric...

"When I first started listening to music, I was lucky: I saw a lot of people I loved. When I was a kid, I saw Solomon Burke, I saw Otis Redding, I got to see THE YARDBIRDS. I got to see LED ZEPPELIN; Jimi Hendrix; SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE; the list goes on and on. What I loved about all these musicians is that they had the spirit of rock and roll.

"I believe that the spirit of rock and roll means you follow your own path regardless of critics, and regardless of your peers. I think we've done that for forty years.

"Here we are tonight, basically inducted for the same things that we were kept out for.

"The people, I believe, are speaking to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and what they're saying is, 'We want more.' They deserve more. They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don't want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people. Choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not. Let's not forget that these are the people that make it all possible. We just benefit from it

"So, I look out here and I see all these people. I see faces that over the years inspired me. People who made me what I am. So I am here tonight because of the people who inspired me, but I'm also here because of the people I inspired. So God bless you all; it's been a wonderful night."

Morello told Rolling Stone before the ceremony that he first saw KISS play when he was 12 and attended their shows religiously during his formative years. "I've known Gene and Paul for some time and I'm a huge fan of the band and have been an advocate — a noisy, fist-pounding advocate for years for KISS to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame," he said. "One of the all-time great bands is being rightly enshrined.

"When those records were released, focus was shifted because it was a band in makeup or because it was band with explosions," he added. "But those are great anthemic songs with badass riffs. There's a reason why KISS sold 100 million records around the world. There was no one spitting blood in your living room when you were listening to them. I was rocking out hard to them."

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony was taped and will air on May 31 on HBO.

Rock Hall plants a wet one on Kiss - finally

(usatoday.com) The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of its most controversial inductees Kissed and made up, sort of, at the 29th annual induction ceremonies Thursday night.

The original four Kiss members —— Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — who had been eligible for induction for nearly 15 years before the hall finally opened its arms, accepted their honor from guitarist Tom Morello, then laid down a populist manifesto.

"Kiss was never a critics' band. Kiss was a people's band,'' Morello said, a sentiment echoed by the four musicians — dressed in suits and tuxes and sans their trademark makeup — as they embraced and made their remarks at the Barclays Center.

Simmons described his bandmates as "four knuckleheads who got together" and pointedly mentioned other members from the group's 40-year history who were not inducted by the hall.

Ex-drummer Criss, referring to no longer being allowed to don his costume, said, "In or out of makeup, I'll always be the Catman. You've got to forgive to live."

"This is vindication," said co-founder Stanley. "People want and deserve more. They want to be part of the nominations and the inductions. They don't want to be spoon-fed the choices. The people buy albums. The people buy tickets. The people who nominate do not.''

Then, without playing a note, they were off, as clips played of Cat Stevens, the next inductee.

Earlier, Peter Gabriel, inducted for the second time (he was welcomed in 2010 as a member of Genesis), kicked off the performances with Digging in the Dirt.

Coldplay's Chris Martin, who joined him on Washing of the Water, did the honors, with a funny riff on the Book of Genesis, quoting "Phil the Collins."

"And lo, the angel Gabriel ascended up Solsbury Hill to the Hall of Fame," Martin said.

Bruce Springsteen ushered in his E Street Band, leading them in a gritty take on The River and a long, blazing blast from their past, Kitty's Back.

Inductees Daryl Hall & John Oates, though plagued by sound problems, rebounded for punchy, funky versions of She's Gone and You Make My Dreams.

Other highlights included a spectacular selection of inductee Linda Ronstadt's hits (she did not attend) by Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks, who blended voices on When Will I Be Loved and It's So Easy.

R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe inducted Nirvana, saying of its late leader: "That voice, that voice ... Kurt (Cobain), we miss you.'' Bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic accepted their statuettes with Grohl acknowledging the four drummers who came before him. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, accepted on his behalf. "I just want to give this to Frances, our daughter, who's not here tonight because she's ill," Love said.

A parade of edgy female vocalists joined Novoselic, Grohl and Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear for Smells Like Teen Spirit (Joan Jett), Aneurysm (Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth), Lithium (St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark) and All Apologies (Lorde).

The show airs May 31 on HBO.

Kiss Peacefully Reunite for Hall of Fame Induction

(rollingstone.com) The four original members take the high road and focus on support of fans

Kiss fans may not be getting the reunion performance they hoped for at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but the four founding members of the band did stand together at the podium to give their acceptance speeches, marking their first public appearance together since the conclusion of the American leg of their "Farewell Tour" in October of 2000.

Despite taking endless nasty shots at each other in the press during the past few months, the group — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley — was remarkably courteous to each other. Peter Criss spoke first, thanking everyone from "the grips to the truck drivers" to the "doctor that saved me from breast cancer." The former drummer also commemorated his iconic makeup. "In and out of make-up, I will always be the catman," said Criss.

Guitarist Ace Frehley spoke next, recalling, "When I was 13 years old and picked up my first guitar, I always figured I'd be into something big. Life's been good to me. Hopefully, I got another 10 or 20 years to go."

Even Stanley - who recently accused his former bandmates of anti-semitism - took the high road, focusing on the band's fans. "Here we are tonight, inducted basically for the things we were left out for," said Stanley. "The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not."

Current Kiss members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer sat in the crowd near former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick. The Hall of Fame's refusal to let them in, along with other former members of Kiss, incensed Stanley to no end. "I don't need the Hall of Fame," he recently told Rolling Stone. "And if there's not reciprocity, I'm not interested. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, practically every member was inducted, and virtually all 175 members of the Grateful Dead. Rules need to apply to everybody."

The group initially wanted to perform with their current lineup, but they were told that wasn't an option. "We heard, 'We would like Ace and Peter in makeup,'" said Stanley. "And we said, 'That's not going to happen.' That band is long gone. I question what Ace and Peter would look like in those outfits. We've spent 40 years building something, and to dissipate what we've done, or confuse it by sending mixed messages? What we offered was to play with Tommy and Eric and then bring out Ace and Peter to play with us."

Criss and Frehley made it very clear they would have boycotted the ceremony had other musicians played in their signature makeup. "I won't be disrespected," Criss told Rolling Stone. "How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That's an injustice. To the fans, too."

The mere fact that all four of them stood together at the podium was a small miracle, and, in all likelihood, it'll be the final time anyone sees the four of them together again.

Peter Gabriel, Kiss lead new class into Rock Hall

Kiss, thumbing their noses at critics who disdained them, entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday in a class that included Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

The original four members of Kiss didn't perform at Brooklyn's Barclays Center due to a dispute between active original members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley and retired members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. But the original four made peace and saluted each other in their induction speeches.

"Critics be damned," Simmons said.

The theatrical quartet put on makeup, belched blood, shot fireworks out of Frehley's guitar and sang about wanting to "Rock and Roll All Nite." They weren't trendy, but Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello said that Kiss inspired him and their concert was the first he attended. He even fought high school bullies who ridiculed him for liking Kiss.

"Tonight proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the high school bullies and critics were wrong," he said. "Kiss fans were right."

Stanley, to the cheers of the Barclays crowd, called for fans to be involved in the Rock Hall induction process.

Gabriel was inducted by Coldplay's Chris Martin, who later sang with him on Gabriel's "Washing of the Water."

Martin said he turned to the Bible for inspiration in his speech, "the book of Genesis," referring to the band with which Gabriel started and with which he was inducted into the Hall in 2010.

"An angel of the Lord descended and appeared to Phil the Collins," Martin said, telling Genesis' drummer that Gabriel was starting a solo career.

He credited Gabriel with creating a cathedral of sound and "he helped John Cusack get back his girlfriend in the movie 'Say Anything.'"

That movie's climactic moment featured Gabriel's song "In Your Eyes," and Gabriel performed a soaring version Thursday to celebrate his induction.

Gabriel said aspiring musicians should surround themselves with brilliance and, noting his early failures as a drummer, shouldn't be afraid to try different things.

"Dream big, and let your imagination guide you," Gabriel said. "Even if you end up dressing as a flower or a sexually transmitted disease."

Cat Stevens, the 1970s era singer of "Morning Has Broken" and "Wild World," was inducted by Art Garfunkel, who said his breakup with Paul Simon helped pave the way for Stevens' entry into the charts.

"Thanks so much to my fans for believing," said Stevens, who gave up music and converted to Islam, going by the name Yusuf. "I can still see some skeptical faces, but my fans believed."

Nirvana is being inducted in its first year of eligibility. The trio's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" hit like a thunderclap upon its 1991 release, briefly making the Pacific Northwest rock's hottest scene before the band ended abruptly with singer Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994.

The Philadelphia-bred duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates is known for a string of blue-eyed soul hits including "Sara Smile," ''Rich Girl," ''Private Eyes" and "Maneater." Another Philly musician, Questlove of the Roots, was to offer the induction speech.

Linda Ronstadt, the sexy siren of the Los Angeles rock scene in the 1970s, was not expected at her induction because her Parkinson's disease makes travel difficult. Glenn Frey, who performed in her backup band with Don Henley before they formed the Eagles, was due to induct her.

Springsteen's 1999 entrance into the Rock Hall without the E Street Band was a sore point for some of its members. Thursday they were to get their due in the sidemen category, although it will be a posthumous honor for saxman Clarence Clemons and keyboard player Danny Federici. Springsteen was set to perform with the band.

The 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was being taped by HBO to air in May.

The first two artist managers were inducted into the Hall: the late Brian Epstein, of the Beatles, and Andrew Loog Oldham, of the Rolling Stones.

Nirvana, KISS among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Grunge band Nirvana, flamboyant rockers KISS, country-rock singer Linda Ronstadt and chart-toppers Hall and Oates were among artists being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday , at a ceremony marked by expectations that many inductees will either not perform or show up at all.

Ronstadt, who revealed last year that she is battling Parkinson's disease, will not attend, while neither KISS nor the surviving members of Nirvana -- founder Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994 aged 27 -- is expected to perform.

That leaves only British singer-songwriters Peter Gabriel and Cat Stevens, and duo Hall and Oates as performing inductees, although Chris Martin, Glenn Frey, Michael Stipe, Questlove, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Asher and Tom Morello are set to appear -- though not necessarily perform.

Stevens, who goes by the name Yusuf Islam, was confirmed just days ago after the folk singer had trouble securing a visa to travel from London. His induction, he wrote in the current issue of Rolling Stone, "will no doubt do much to heal the scars that many years of separation have caused and help to reconnect people to my legacy, which still speaks loud and clear in my music."

And it could signal a return to the spotlight for the "Wild World," "Peace Train" and "Moon Shadow" singer after decades of not performing.

Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow will appear in a musical tribute to Ronstadt, who is being inducted by Frey at the 29th annual ceremony, to be aired on HBO on May 31.

Stipe will induct Nirvana, which was chosen in its first year of eligibility, 20 years after founder Cobain's death.

Gabriel, 63, lead vocalist for the progressive rock band Genesis, itself a 2010 inductee, went on to a solo career that included hits such as "Sledgehammer," and is set to perform.

The E Street Band, the group behind Springsteen, will be inducted by the rocker through the Award for Musical Excellence, and will perform, but the Hall of Fame has not formally announced whether The Boss himself would sing.

As for KISS, the 1970s shock-rockers known for their outrageous costumes and makeup and hits such as "Rock and Roll All Nite," founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have said they won't perform at the gala because the Hall of Fame opted to include only the original members, eschewing current bandmembers Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.

In past years the Hall of Fame has included varying mixes of past and present members of bands like The Grateful Dead and Metallica which have had evolving rosters.

The fray recalled the 2007 ceremony when original Blondie members Frank Infante and Nigel Harrison made an on-stage entreaty to lead singer Debbie Harry to perform with the band, and were flatly, and awkwardly, turned down by the star.

Brian Epstein, the music entrepreneur who managed The Beatles before he died in 1967, and Andrew Loog Oldham who managed The Rolling Stones, will both be inducted with the Ahmet Ertegun Awards for lifetime achievement.

But Oldham said on Twitter last week that he would not attend. "Like Brian Epstein, I was not consulted as regards this matter," he said, "& like dear Brian I will not be going."

The inductees, who will join the Hall of Fame's 719 other musicians and executives as members, were chosen by more than 700 voters from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Fans were allowed to cast votes online for the artists they believe were the most deserving of induction, with three of their top five choices making the cut this year.

MESSAGE FROM PAUL STANLEY

Congrats Gene, Ace & Peter for what we created & ALL members for taking it forward! This will be fun!- Paul

Paul Stanley Calls Kiss the Rock Hall's 'Worst Nightmare' (Video Q&A)

(billboard.com) "It's a small group of people who decide who they want in their little club," he says. "They're pencil pushers and I play a guitar"

It's taken 14 years, but pyro-glam rockers Kiss are finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After being passed over for so long, it was already a major story that the New York quartet (born of equal parts ambition, determination and desperation) had finally made the cut.

But since the four original members -- singer-guitarist Paul Stanley, singer-bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss -- haven't been shy about expressing how they think the induction and celebratory performance should be handled, Kiss' Hall of Fame entrance has become one of the most talked-about rock stories this spring.

Stanley, who co-founded the band 40 years ago with Simmons, sat down with Billboard to discuss the buzz surrounding the induction, which he believes is the Rock Hall's "worst nightmare."

(Video) "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not the hall of fame of the people, or of other bands," he said. "It's a small group of people who decide who they want in their little club and who they don't. The fact that they would only induct the four original members -- and when I asked about that it they said it was a non-starter -- is interesting. Because they're pencil pushers and I play a guitar. So for them to tell me what is a non-starter is arrogance."

He added, "I don't know if I was inducted or indicted. But I really don't care. I'm going because there are fans who it means something to."

He also opened up about his new autobiography, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," where he discusses the history of Kiss and his own formative years. Born deaf in his right ear, which was deformed, the resulting social ostracism he experienced as a child burdened him with feelings of inadequacy for decades before he finally faced his demons. The book about Stanley's life is just as candid as his interview here.

PodKISSt #84: "Right Here, Right Now"

(Listen) What a time to be a member of the KISS Army! The hottest band in the land is about to embark on a co-headlining tour celebrating their 40th anniversary… Paul’s autobiography is rocking the bookshelves, accompanied by a promotional tour from the Starchild himself… KISS are about to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… and at long last, KISS are on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine!

Amidst this maelstrom of exciting happenings, PodKISSt is taking a look back at the past 10 years of KISStory. Ken and Gary are joined by Andrew Sgambati (drummer for renowned tribute band Mr. Speed) for an in-depth discussion of an era that represents one quarter of KISS’ career, and a KISS lineup that’s stayed together longer than any other.

So brace yourselves, KISS Army; it’s looking like 2014 is gonna be a wild ride, and we hope to celebrate it with you right here on PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!

Paul Stanley on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Snafus, His New Memoir, and Baboon Hair

(vulture.com) Certain kinds of musical acts — the Springsteens, the U2s, the REMs — get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as soon as they become eligible, 25 years after the release of their debut recording. And then there are hugely influential and successful bands that, for entirely arbitrary reasons that many music writers, fans, and the belated inductees themselves have taken issue with, are made to wait years until they’re allowed into rock’s self-proclaimed Valhalla.

Kiss, being inducted at this week’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at Barclays Center along with Nirvana, Hall and Oates, and others, falls in the latter category, somehow deemed worthy of inclusion after 14 consecutive snubs. But what might have been a celebratory moment for the band has turned into another PR issue for the museum’s gatekeepers. First, the Hall insisted that the original quartet — front man Paul Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley, and drummer Peter Criss — be the only four inducted, with no love given to the six other musicians who have been official members of Kiss over the years. Making matters worse, they were told that only the estranged original lineup could perform at the ceremony, when Kiss leaders Stanley and Simmons had hoped to be accompanied by the stronger musicianship of Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, Kiss members for the past decade. Besieged on one side by an institution bestowing recognition grudgingly and on another by disgruntled Criss and Frehley partisans, Stanley and Simmons resolved that Kiss will not play at the ceremony at all. On the eve of the induction ceremony and publication of his autobiography, Face the Music, Kiss front man Paul Stanley spoke to Vulture about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fracas and the fraught relations with Peter and Ace.

What’s the main issue with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Well, the Hall of Fame can barely stomach us, so their way of letting us know who’s boss is only inducting the four original members of Kiss, and not giving consideration to other members of the band performing on platinum records and world tours. This organization went to the Grateful Dead and asked them which minor members should be inducted, like their lyricist (Robert Hunter). And the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ current guitarist (Josh Klinghoffer) had been in the band for two years before he was inducted. Clearly the rules apply only when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame feels like it.

Why isn’t Kiss playing the induction ceremony?

Kiss isn’t like other bands; we don’t perform in blue jeans and T-shirts. When most people see those iconic character designs, they don’t think “that’s Ace and Peter,” they think “that’s Kiss.” I’m not going to roll the dice on a lineup where the musicianship could be substandard, or to dress Ace and Peter up in outfits they haven’t worn in over a decade at the whim of an organization that doesn’t want us there. Gene and I wanted to play with the two guys who we depend on and have done so as the guitarist and drummer in Kiss for a decade, as well as Ace and Peter.

Won’t it be uncomfortable standing up at the podium with them?

In spite of differences that will never be resolved, there is no denying what the four of us created together. I can pick up the phone and call Peter and say, ”We continue to disagree about almost everything, but let’s make the most of this.”

It seems like your fans, as well as people who do not dismiss hard rock and heavy metal out of hand, care more that Kiss will be in the Hall than you do.

I’m going to the ceremony on behalf of the fans who have stood by my side for 40 years. They do care more than we do, and that’s good enough for me. But you know what? Kiss is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, more than any organization of old hippies and record executives could ever be. Look at the inducted artists, and past a handful, you have to scratch your head. It’s clearly a matter of trying to fill slots, because they don’t want to acknowledge artists, bands, and genres they don’t like. I don’t care if you like rap or disco, but this is not the rap or disco Hall of Fame.

Well, disco and hip-hop are a lot more rock and roll than your fellow 2014 inductees Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt.

Okay, I respect your opinion, but if a band like us or Deep Purple are not in, there’s something wrong.

And right before the induction ceremony comes the first-ever Kiss cover story in Rolling Stone. The magazine has always held you at arm’s length, but now they come calling.

Not coincidentally, the same people are behind both Rolling Stone and the Hall of Fame. We agreed to cooperate with the story to make a buck, but let’s be clear, we’re dealing with the same people who recognize Kiss only grudgingly. Rolling Stone did not mention the death of Eric Carr, our drummer for 11 years, in 1991.

It could be argued that the Hall’s gatekeepers and people who came of age in the 1960s downgraded Kiss’s importance owing to Gene Simmons’s unapologetic, crass capitalism. But it’s clear that your own priority has always been making the best rock and roll music you can.

I understand someone not accepting the merchandising and other aspects outside of the music itself. But I will stand by the fact that Kiss is rooted in bands I saw at the Fillmore East, like the Who and Led Zeppelin. Although we had more visual appeal, than, say, the Doobie Brothers, it was never to compensate for a lack of musical power.

You were always considered, out of the classic lineup, the one who would never write a book. Offstage, you are much more introverted than the other three, all of whom have written autobiographies. What changed now that you’ve written Face the Music?

Writing a book was completely off the table for me: Autobiographies tend to be love letters to the self. I changed my mind when I realized that I could offer people a road map to get through their tough times. I had been hiding my birth defect for most of my life, but I realized that success isn’t the answer, and you can hide anything you want from the public or people around you, but you can’t hide from yourself. So the idea that my story could be of assistance made the writing the book compelling And I wanted my kids to know who their dad is and what it took for me to succeed.

Your birth defect is microtia, a deformity wherein the afflicted are born without an external ear. You were mocked mercilessly as a child as “Stanley the Monster,” and you grew your hair so that the stump where your ear would have been would be hidden.

I had five surgeries to craft an ear out of my rib in the early ’80s. Beyond the pain and constant recovering, the result was terrific, but the things we think are solutions are oftentimes not. It took me another 15 years to truly come to terms with it, and move on.

When you were in bed with someone you would never see again, wouldn’t that shit-ton of hair flip up so that she could see that you had no ear?

[Laughs.] I made sure when I was with girls that I had enough hair to not only cover my head, but could cover a baboon’s entire body.

In his 2001 book Kiss and Makeup, Gene claimed that you are more image conscious, and that he is more concerned with the end result. In your book, you say the opposite.

Well, that’s what it may seem like, but anyone who’s been around us knows that Gene is always about a given impression, and I am always about content. He wants great sizzle and I want great steak.

He had a great line in his book: “The Italian mother says to her kids, ‘If you don’t do what I say, I’ll kill you.’ The Jewish mother says, ‘If you don’t do as I say, I’ll kill myself.’”

[Chuckling.] Well, he poached that from me.

You’ve said that Kiss as a live band should and will outlast your own and Gene’s active participation. Have you seen anyone from the many Kiss tribute acts who could inhabit the StarChild character?

I haven’t seen anyone yet, but I know somebody — probably more than one — will come forward. I am the product of all my influences, and it would be no different for anyone who takes my place as the front man of Kiss.

Paul Stanley addresses controversy surrounding band's Rock Hall induction

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

It’s great to talk with you.

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

What are some of your earliest memories of playing Cleveland?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are there other things that you regret?

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

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

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

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

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

70s Kiss Podcast | Bill Baker

70s Kiss Podcast | Bill Baker, Talks about his first experience being a 70s Kiss fan, Ace Frehley's Guitar tech, friend as well as owning memorabilia: Listen.

CBS New York: KISS Icon Paul Stanley Faces The Music

CBS New York: KISS Icon Paul Stanley Faces The Music: video.

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

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

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

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

Video: Part 1, Part 2.

Kiss not the first to tell Rock Hall to kiss off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAUL STANLEY Says 'It Will Be Fun' To See ACE FREHLEY And PETER CRISS At ROCK HALL Induction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even Ace Frehley Thinks Kiss Is a Circus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apparently he thinks you and Peter are anti-Semitic.

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

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

Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Stanley on the KISS legacy, Rock Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you still in therapy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And thus no performance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any plans for another KISS studio album?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kiss Army's original generals rock on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the Kiss Army?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAUL STANLEY INTERVIEW ON JIM KERR SHOW

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

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

Three Sides Of The Coin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kiss Frontman Paul Stanley's Precise Makeup Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GENE SIMMONS CAMEO IN WELCOME TO SWEDEN

GENE SIMMONS CAMEO IN WELCOME TO SWEDEN: video.

70s Kiss Podcast | Lydia Criss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How the Rock Hall decides which bandmates get in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case' Video Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

70s Kiss Podcast | Joey Criscuola

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

PAUL STANLEY'S "ASK ME ANYTHING" SESSION ON REDDIT

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

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

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

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

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

How do you do it?

* Paul_Stanley: Don't do it every night.

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: I'm with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can't wait to see you too!

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]areolyd:

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Photograph.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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vh7884: What is your favorite KISS guitar solo?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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VIParadigm: The name. How did it come aboot?

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

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: I love Detroit Rock City!

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

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

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Strutter!

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

*Paul_Stanley: I'm not a gear geek.

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coolbeansbrah: Do you Live to Win?

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: I have no idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Yes they are mine. And thanks!

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Many.

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

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

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

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

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

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Kknowsbest: Who was your role model growing up?

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

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lpyankee2 What was your first concert?

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Idiots calling us "satan worshippers."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Live forever!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: Nothing I'm going to share!

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

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

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tidja: when was the first time you saw gene?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Paul_Stanley: I'll bring my swimsuit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Stanley tells all in new memoir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rock and roll football, sealed with a KISS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Stanley's response to Peresman's statement as posted on KissOnline.com:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GENE SIMMONS: PAUL STANLEY 'Is The Soul Of KISS And I'm The C*ck'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready Talks Kiss Obsession and Influence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KISS Underground's John Jeffrey (Interview April 2014)

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

Gene Simmons Celebrates Kiss' 40th Anniversary With Crowdsourcing Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KISS VOTED #1 LIVE ACT OF 2013 IN BURRN! READERS' POLL

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

NEW KISS PHOTO BOMB APP

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

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

ACE FREHLEY

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

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

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

VINNIE VINCENT

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

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

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

MARK ST. JOHN

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

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

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

BRUCE KULICK

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

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

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

TOMMY THAYER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Sides Of The Coin

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

Bruce Kulick BW&BK interview

Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3.

Full Current Kiss Lineup to Attend Hall of Fame Induction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huh?

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

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

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

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

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

Am I living in an insane asylum?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flight missed.

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

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

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

Okay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Martin among presenters at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

PAUL & GENE "IN THE STUDIO" INTERVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, go to this location.

Pucker up for a big fat Kiss anniversary year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kiss feels dissed by the Rock Hall of Fame

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

Kiss feels dissed.

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

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

Simmons and Stanley wanted that fuller Kisstory acknowledged.

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

Also a non-starter. Simmons and Stanley refused.

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

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

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

The Rock Hall rejected a compromise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So why attend the ceremony?

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

Roman Fernandez talks BILL AUCOIN & KISS (March 2014)

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

Style My Space Announces $225,000 Contract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACE FREHLEY To Appear At 'Texas Frightmare Weekend'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beatlemania's MITCH WEISSMAN talks KISS (March 2014)

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the clip.

Ace Frehley Preps First Solo Album in Five Years

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

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

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

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

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

ACE FREHLEY To Release 'Space Invader' In June

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frehley told 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 Forever: 40 Years of Feuds and Fury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"No," Stanley says, smiling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In any case, Frehley started to self-destruct very early in the band's career. Kiss became superstars with the Alive! double album, the first of the Seventies' blockbuster live albums (though they heavily doctored it in the studio). Afterward, they sought to make their first fully produced studio album – their previous LPs could be thin-sounding and demolike. They brought on Bob Ezrin, the formidable taskmaster behind Alice Cooper's hits. Frehley clashed with Ezrin, and had trouble coping with a certain readily available substance. "There was so much cocaine in the studio with Bob Ezrin, it was insane," Frehley recalls. "And I hadn't even done coke before that. I liked to drink. But once I started doing coke, I really liked to drink more, and longer, without passing out. So I was really off to the races. I made my life difficult because there were so many times I'd walk in with a hangover, or sometimes I wouldn't even show up."

Frehley had moved out to Connecticut by that point, and simply making it to the Manhattan studio was a major hassle. "Musically, he was much more about freestyle," says Ezrin. "He was much less organized and structured than I was asking him to be. And he was feeling pressure and resentment from the other guys. In their eyes he wasn't holding up his end of the bargain, whereas he wasn't sure he'd actually even made the bargain." In an ominous omen for Kiss' future, they ended up bringing in session guitarist Dick Wagner to play a couple of solos.

Not long afterward, the band filmed Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, a campy semi-horror movie that was like an Ed Wood version of A Hard Day's Night. Frehley's attendance was once again intermittent: A stuntman wears Frehley's makeup in one scene, which is all the more obvious because the guy happened to be black. That was the least of the problems. "None of us read the script," says Stanley. "They threw us our lines from off-camera. It was a farce."

Soon, Frehley was threatening to leave the band for a solo career. "We were this heavy rock group," he says, "and now we had little kids with lunchboxes and dolls in the front row, and I had to worry about cursing in the microphone. It became a circus." Their manager, Bill Aucoin, came up with a genius solution: They'd all record solo albums, and release them on the same day. Frehley, whose songwriting had been pent up, George Harrison-style, made the best record, all sleek hard rock. It also had the biggest hit, "New York Groove." (Simmons claims his solo LP – which included a cover of "When You Wish Upon a Star" – outsold Frehley's. "Fuckin' Gene," says Frehley, laughing. "Those fuckin' guys are trying to rewrite history.")

Soon afterward, Frehley voted, "reluctantly," with the rest of the band to remove Criss, whose playing had deteriorated under the influence of pills and coke. Criss took revenge in his book, going into great detail about Frehley's bisexual experimentation in the Seventies, in an apparent effort to freak out the band's less-open-minded fans. Frehley shrugs it off. "When you're high, you'll do anything. So what? It means nothing. I've always been heterosexual. I've lived 10 times as much as people live in one lifetime.?.?.?.?I've done every drug, I've done the ménage à trois and everything else in between. I've tried being bisexual. It's stupid! It's not for me!"

Frehley quit the band in slow motion, as his bandmates tried to persuade him to stay. "I was mixed up," he says. "I believed that if I stayed in that group I would have committed suicide. I'd be driving home from the studio, and I'd want to drive my car into a tree. I mean, I walked out on a $15 million contract. That would be like $100 million today. And my attorney was looking at me like, 'What are you, crazy?'"

Each member of Kiss had designed his own makeup. Criss relinquished the rights to his character when he left (although he's confused about the circumstances), and Frehley maintains that he licensed his. He says he's due to get the rights back soon, a claim Stanley called a "fantasy": "We own it. He sold it." In the meantime, Thayer, who once worked as the band's road manager, wears Frehley's makeup. Says Frehley: "I mean, a supergroup has one of the most dynamic, greatest lead guitarists in the world leave the band, and who did they hire to play lead guitar? Their road manager, who used to be in a Kiss cover band. How insane is that? You can't make this shit up." He is, in general, unimpressed with the band's current state: "Paul's voice is shot." (Thayer, whose Kiss cover band was just a goofy side project while he was in a major-label metal band, responds, "These guys like to say, 'Oh, he was the road manager.' I've been in music for over 30 years.")

The band's current drummer, Eric Singer, points out that Frehley never complained during the portion of the reunion era that had him playing with Singer – in full Catman makeup – instead of Criss. "Well, Peter sold his makeup," Frehley says with a shrug.

Frehley called his autobiography No Regrets, and he needed to interview old friends to recover enough memories to write it. He has since remembered more, and is working on a sequel. "The working title," he jokes, "is Some Regrets." He throws his head back and laughs.

Peter Criss is at home when I ring the doorbell of his big house in Monmouth County, New Jersey, which sits at the edge of a snowy, unshoveled walkway. But he doesn't answer the door. (There's a small sign next to it that reads IN CASE OF FIRE, PLEASE RESCUE CAT) I have to wait a couple of minutes before his wife of 16 years, Gigi, a former model, comes home to let me in.

Criss, who's cozy in his finished basement, wearing tinted glasses, a pale-blue T-shirt, black jeans and white athletic socks, has a policy of not coming to the door. He last did so a few years ago, and he didn't like the results.

"I opened up, and there's these six, like, skinheads from Norway," he recalls, in his thick, old-timey Brooklyn accent. "And they've got tattoos on their heads and black T-shirts. They look right from white supremacy. And they're like, 'We want your autograph! We flew all the way here from Finland.' They could've killed me. We're livin' in a crazy world. After John Lennon got it, and George Harrison gets stabbed in his own house?"

Criss has already died and been revived, at least twice. "I am a cat, and my lives are going out. I'm losing 'em," he says. He died for the first time after his Porsche crashed into a pole (his friend Fritz was driving, though Simmons blames Criss for the accident). And the other? "Oh, God, I can't even remember. Somethin' else stupid." He also survived breast cancer not long ago, and has become an advocate for other men with the disease.

Criss' basement could pass for the rec room of a prosperous New Jersey dentist who loves Kiss and dabbles in drums: There's a gleaming kit in the corner, along with guitars and amps for visiting players, plus a relatively modest collection of Kiss memorabilia. "I've been to those guys' houses," says Criss, settling in his easy chair, "and I get a feeling where I don't even know what to touch or where to sit. I don't like to live in a showplace."

Somewhere upstairs is Criss' most prized showbiz achievement, a People's Choice Award for "Beth." Criss co-wrote the song with an old bandmate, the late Stan Penridge, and Ezrin then heavily tweaked and arranged it for the Destroyer sessions. Criss is desperately proud of the song, but Stanley claims the drummer had little to do with its creation. "Peter can't write a song, because Peter doesn't play an instrument," Stanley argues. "Penridge came up with [sings], 'Beth, I hear you calling.?.?.?.' Peter had nothing to do with it. Because if you write one hit song, you should be able to write two. That's the reality. Devastating? It's the truth. It was a lifeline that Peter hung on to validate himself, but it wasn't based on reality."

"I don't think that I can break this tie," says Ezrin, who was originally presented with a song called "Beck" that was less sympathetic to the woman in the lyrics. "I wasn't there when he was working with that co-writer."

"God forbid you get that credit," says Gigi, who sits by Criss' side during the interview, occasionally amplifying or correcting his answers. ("You said that already!") "Paul is so full of fucking shit," says Criss, "'cause as a lead singer of the band he never got to write the hit. That's his problem. They hated the fact that I wrote a hit record and won a People's Choice."

Criss grew up in tough parts of Brooklyn, where his drumming – first inspired by Gene Krupa's playing on "Sing Sing Sing" – was the only thing that saved him from a life of crime: He had joined a gang called the Young Lords, and his book is full of Mean Streets-worthy adventures. "I think I'm the first drummer, next to Mitch Mitchell and Charlie Watts, that incorporated jazz fills in rock & roll. There's not many of us."

Criss was intimidated by Simmons and Stanley's drive and book smarts, and they didn't go out of their way to make him feel comfortable. "If you're going to treat me like I'm a piece of dirt, then I'm going to be mean," he says. "And I would have to pull that out of my bag of tricks 'cause I didn't go to college. I didn't have the knowledge they had. And they would use that constantly, use words I didn't understand. I'm a kid from Brooklyn. I was not the smartest bulb in the band. They would literally embarrass me in front of people. You can only take so much of that after a while."

He doesn't deny that his playing was slipping under the influence of drugs, but he feels the band could have given him more chances. But like Frehley, what really kills him is that someone else is bringing the Catman to life. "I'm not upset that they got the bigger barrel of the monies and the bigger homes and the bigger cars and the bigger watches," he says. "But I'm pissed at myself that my makeup slipped through my hands. That's my cross that I bear."

On some tours, Singer has even sung a version of "Beth," which breaks Criss' heart. "How much more can you slap me?" he says. "How hard do you want to hit me? It's my baby – no one sings it like me. And I said to Gigi, 'You know what, it's like the Lone Ranger: You can take his mask off and put it on another guy, but it'll never be Clayton Moore.'"

Unlike Frehley, Criss remained relatively sober for the reunion years. "I wanted to prove to the fans that I was cool, I was better, I wasn't on drugs anymore, I was a new man." But they both bristled at their salaried status, and Criss was horrified when Frehley drunkenly confessed that the guitarist was making $10,000 more per night. Criss took to drawing a single tear on his cat makeup as the tours wound down.

Stanley and Simmons point out that Criss made millions of dollars, but he says that's not the point. "Come on, simple as this: Look at their houses; look at my house. I was being treated like a freakin' slob. They treated my wife like a whore."

Despite it all, he dearly wishes they could all get it together for one more performance. "I just wish there wasn't so much bad blood," he says. "I said to the Hall of Fame, 'Look, I don't own the makeup anymore, but if they would lend it to me, I would be happy to put it on.'"

On my way out, Criss shows off his collection of Kiss stuff. There's an amazing photo of the band in full makeup backstage with all of their parents in the 1970s; there are long rows of gold and platinum records, plus a plaque commemorating 500,000 8-tracks sold of Alive! He picks up a small, framed black-and-white promo shot of the band, just four young rock & roll superheroes snarling companionably together for the camera. "That's a great shot of us," he says, and sighs. "What can I say? I still love my band."

This story is from the April 10th, 2014 issue of Rolling Stone.

Kiss and Tell: Comparing the Original Band Members' Memoirs

There are two sides to every story. Unless, of course, you're talking about Kiss, in which there are now four. With the April 8th publication of Paul Stanley's Face the Music: A Life Exposed, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees will have seen each of its original members publish a tell-all memoir. Paul's book follows in the platformed footsteps of Gene Simmons' Kiss and Make-Up (2001), Ace Frehley's No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir (2011) and Peter Criss's Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss (2012). But in certain instances, the bandmembers appear to have some diverging memories of key moments in the group's history. We hit the books to try and figure what happened.

DESIGNING THE KISS LOGO

Ace: "Being excited about my new band, I roughed out a sketch of the original Kiss logo in no time at all. It wasn't a whole lot different than the logo as it appears today. My original concept featured the twin S's in jagged detail, like lightning bolts, and a small dot in the shape of a diamond over the letter 'i.' I then transferred the logo to a button using a felt-tip pen and presented it to the group . . . Everyone loved it. Paul was a trained artist, so when things got really serious he polished my design, making everything nice and neat."

Paul: "[Ace] was a pretty decent artist. I took his sketch and used it as the basis for a series of Kiss logos I designed, ultimately arriving at the one that has adorned all things Kiss for the past forty years. I vividly remember sitting on my parents' sofa while they were out of town and drawing up the final version on thick white stock using a straightedge and a drafting pen . . . Ace's concept was closer to the Nazi SS. I certainly suspected that was his inspiration, and the fact that a few years later he bought Nazi memorabilia on our first tour confirmed this in my mind."

Gene: "I remember very clearly when our picture went up on the outside of the club [the band was playing], Ace took a marker and wrote our new name right on the picture. The way he drew it was pretty crude, but it resembled our logo, with the two S's like lightning bolts at the end of the word."

Peter: "Ace is a great artist, and his Kiss rendition, with the last two letters as lightning bolts, was totally bitching. And contrary to some people's opinions (and later the opinion of the government of Germany), the Ss didn't symbolize the Nazi SS . . . Then Paul refined the logo, made the K a little straighter, and we had a name and a logo."

RECORDING ALIVE!

Gene: "There have always been rumors that the Alive! record was substantially reworked in the studio. It's not true. We did touch up the vocal parts and fix some of the guitar solos, but we didn't have the time or money to completely rework the recordings."

Ace: "We all went into Electric Lady, and for the better part of three weeks we tinkered and tweaked . . . and sometimes completely overdubbed songs. None of us got off the hook completely. There were times when [producer] Eddie [Kramer] was unhappy with Paul's singing or Gene's singing . . . As the studio sessions went on we became increasingly flexible in terms of what we considered to be acceptable doctoring."

Peter: "In the end we wound up keeping only my drum tracks, my vocals, and Paul's between-song raps. Everything else was re-created in the studio."

Paul: "Yes, we enhanced it. Not to hide anything, not to fool anyone. But who wanted to hear a mistake repeated endlessly? Who wanted to hear an out-of-tune guitar? For what? Authenticity?"

KISS GOES DISCO

Paul: "When I heard 'I Was Made for Lovin' You' being played back in the studio, I was blown away. Yeah, it wasn’t 'Detroit Rock City' or 'Love Gun,' but it was undeniable . . . It was universal, something that grabbed you the first time you heard it."

Gene: "'I Was Made for Lovin' You' had a certain driving force and a catchy melody. I didn't really see it."

Peter: "The cruelest blow of all was Paul’s attempt to write a contemporary hit for Dynasty. He came up with 'I Was Made for Lovin' You,' Kiss's first out-and-out disco track. What little credibility we had left was flushed down the toilet when we did that."

Ace: "Yeah, it became a hit single and I could appreciate the polish behind it, but I never liked the song and frankly hated playing it live — hammering out that chucka-chucka-chucka chord for five minutes straight was not only monotonous, but often gave me a cramp in my wrist."

PETER CRISS LEAVES THE BAND

Gene: "We started playing, and [Criss] was worse than ever. So we had a meeting afterward, and we said, 'Peter is unhealthy. He's going to kill himself. He's got to leave the band and get some help.' So, after much deliberation, everybody, including Ace, voted him out of the band."

Ace: "I wanted to give [Criss] another chance, but my hands were tied. I was outvoted, and the decision was made to move forward without him, so I accepted the decision reluctantly."

Paul: "Ace can say whatever he wants now, but he voted to fire Peter without any prodding or strong-arming. It's a tribute to Ace that he did."

Peter: "I was about to eat crow and ask to come back to the band. 'Yup,' they said. 'Well, I fucking quit!' I yelled. Now I was really hurt. I looked over at Ace, and he couldn't look me in the face. Paul and Gene actually looked like they were gloating. I was furious. They got up to leave, and Ace was the last to exit. 'Hey, Cat, I'm not happy about this, man, but you were out of control,' Ace said."

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 68 Personal Memories of Bill Aucoin: Listen - Episode 68, March 25, 2014. We are joined Bill Aucoin's partner Roman Fernandez. Roman shares his personal stories and memories of Bill. An insightful and touching look into the life of one of the men responsible for KISS' success. You get a glimpse into who Bill Aucoin is as person. We also discuss Peter Criss' appearance on That Metal Show and the upcoming KISS Vinyl Box Set release.

KISS And EPIC RIGHTS Partner To Launch All-New Global Merchandise, Branding And Digital Media Program

Epic Rights, a full-service, global branding, merchandising and rights management company, announced today that it has entered into a multi-year merchandise, licensing, e-commerce and digital media agreement with legendary rock band KISS.

Epic Rights is joining forces with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons to build the KISS global franchise in a highly integrated manner through a combination of touring, music sales, merchandise, licensing, social media and promotional partnerships.

"Epic Rights Founder and CEO Dell Furano has worked with us for over 25 years, and he is the best in the business," said Stanley and Simmons in a joint statement. "We are confident that Dell and his Epic Rights team will lead us to the Promised Land."

"Paul and Gene are definitely the dream team, and it's very exciting to continue to work with them," added Furano. "The bottom line is that we are looking to grow the KISS brand and generate substantially increased revenue. Loyal KISS fans are now beginning to introduce their teens to the band, spawning an entire new generation of ardent KISS lovers."

Doc McGhee, KISS' longtime manager commented, "KISS is entering the most prolific period of their career with their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; the release of Paul Stanley's autobiography by HarperCollins; the L.A. KISS Arena Football team's inaugural season; the Jon Varvatos 'Dressed To Kill' ad campaign; the rapidly growing Rock & Brews restaurant chain and the recently announced three-month summer tour with DEF LEPPARD."

KISS' attorney for more than two decades, William Randolph, commented, "KISS long ago evolved from a band to a brand, and Dell Furano is the right man at the right time to move KISS to new heights." Randolph added, "Paul's book, 'Face The Music', is not a typical autobiography. It is a page turner that will grab your attention and keep you up late at night."

In addition to CEO Dell Furano, long known as an innovative leader in the music and entertainment merchandising and licensing industry, Epic Rights' executive team is also comprised of President and COO Phil Cussen, a highly accomplished senior financial and operations executive with over 30 years of experience in the music industry; EVP of Brand Development Brad Auerbach, an expert in global rights acquisition and brand extension marketing.

In addition to full branding, marketing and licensing services, Epic Rights will provide full-service music merchandising, including concert merchandise, retail/licensing, VIP ticketing, fan experiences as well as managing music artists' official websites, online shops and social media.

Kiss Finally Get the Cover of Rolling Stone

(rollingstone.com) (Cover) After 40 years, the original members of Kiss make their first appearance on Rolling Stone's cover

You wanted the best? It took a while, but you got the best: Forty years after the release of their debut album, Kiss have finally made the cover of Rolling Stone. Marking the band's upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the cover image is a classic 1975 photo of the band's original lineup: Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, plus Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, who were both gone from the band by the early Eighties.

The cover story, by Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt, tells the sad, hilarious and triumphant story of one of the biggest rock bands ever, taking an in-depth look at the founding members' lives and careers. Hiatt hung out with all four original members in their homes (in San Diego, Beverly Hills and Monmouth County, New Jersey) where they shared fond memories and, inevitably, some intense backbiting. "I keep thinking about Ace and Peter," Simmons admits. “"What are they doing now? Where are they?’ It’s gotta be close to the end. How do you make any money? How do you pay your bills?"

Even Stanley and Simmons have had their differences. "We've always seen each other as brothers," says Stanley. "What we seem to be at odds at is how you treat your brother. Gene’s priority, by far, has always been himself. And he’s not one to let anyone else’s feelings or contributions get in the way."

They also explain precisely why they won't be reuniting for a performance at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Stanley and Simmons offered to allow the former members to jam with Kiss' current lineup, featuring guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, but Ace and Peter found that proposition deeply insulting. "I won’t be disrespected," Criss says. "How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to go sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That’s an injustice. To the fans, too."

Simmons counters that Frehley and Criss "no longer deserve to wear the paint." "The makeup is earned," he adds."Just being there at the beginning is not enough… And if you blow it for yourself, it's your fault. You can’t blame your band members. 'Oh, look what happened to me. Oh, poor me.' Look at my little violin. I have no sympathy."

Frehley suggests another reason for the current members' reluctance: "The reason they don’t want to perform with me and Peter is because the last time they did, they had to do a reunion tour. We play three songs, the fans go crazy. They don't want to open up a can of worms." Frehley, meanwhile, says he licensed – rather than sold ­– the rights to his Spaceman makeup to the band, and suggests that he’s due to get the rights back sometime soon.

Also in the story, Simmons says his touring days are almost done. "I’m 64 now," he says. "Three more tours. Two, if I have a life change of some kind."

For much more on Kiss, check out the cover story, on sale Friday, March 28th — and online tomorrow, March 26th.

March edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded LIVE on Friday, March 21!

(Listen) KISS ARMY, listen to the March edition of THE KISS ROOM, recorded LIVE on Friday, March 21!

MATT PORTER is joined by:

• The starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISS IT and KISStory!
• ANTHONY PORTER from CLASHING PLAID!
• ANDREW SGAMBATI from MR SPEED!
• ALANA MAUGER from The Grunge Garage
• ERIC TODDOROCKS CARR etrcthefox.com
• PAULETTE TYRELL
• KISS talk, KISS tunes and MORE!

The next LIVE show is Friday, April 18 Streamed live via montcoradio.com.

Former KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK Interviewed On 'Talking Metal' Podcast

(Listen) On the latest episode of the "Talking Metal" podcast (web site), former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick reveals that his three solo albums will soon be released on iTunes for the first time. He also mentions that the iTunes release of the "BK3" album will have two new bonus tracks. Other interview topics include GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, Michael Bolton, JUDAS PRIEST, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Mark St. John, Paul Stanley, Vinnie Vincent, Eric Carr, Ace Frehley and Bruce's recent wedding.

KENNY KERNER talks KISS (March 19th 2014)

(Listen) Producer KENNY KERNER sat down with rock journalist Mitch Lafon to discuss his involvement in KISS first two albums: 'KISS' & 'Hotter Than Hell'. The albums both released 40 years ago in 1974 were co-produced by Kerner and Richie Wise. During the interview Kerner reminisces about KISS' showcase concert at New York City's Le Tang's Ballet Studio in 1973, picking KISS' demo tape out of a box left outside Neil Bogart's office, working on KISS' first and second album, working with Richie Wise, managing, music business advice, his impressions of all the members of KISS as well as Neil Bogart, Sean Delaney and his particular fondness for longtime KISS manager, Bill Aucoin. Kerner also offers his opinion as to why the first two KISS albums weren't commercial successes and why he was fired and thus prevented from being involved in KISS' third album, 'Dressed To Kill'. This one hour interview explores in depth two of American rock's most iconic albums from one of rock's most iconic bands, KISS. Kenny also talks about his current venture 'The Cool School - For Music Business Studies'

Gene Simmons 1980 UNMASKED interview

(Listen) In June 1980, at age 11, rock journalist (or kid at the time) MITCH LAFON sat down with KISS' GENE SIMMONS to discuss the following topics 'Why does KISS wear make-up?' and what were 'Gene's thoughts on bootleggers'. However, the interview starts off with Marianne Stenbaek (Mitch's mom) speaking with Gene about KISS' 'new' album UNMASKED, their new style in music and concert presentation, and was KISS more about the show than the music. Gene, for his part, brings up The KISS World travelling amusement park, The KISS Unmasked World Tour, The 'possibility' of a Peter Criss solo album and answers the question on everybody's mind back in those days - why did Peter Criss leave?

The interview took place at AUCOIN management in New York City (June 1980) and Gene was NOT wearing make-up. Interestingly, Peter had left the band, but Eric Carr had not been publicly named as his replacement yet. Also, the July 25th 1980 'Palladium' show in NYC was more than a month away. In this video, I have included a picture of the signed PROMO vinyl album that Gene handed my mom (and signed to her) as well as my ticket to the July 25th 1980 PALLADIUM show.

Dick Wagner talks KISS, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and more

Dick Wagner discusses (with Mitch Lafon) his time with Alice Cooper, KISS, Lou Reed as well as his new charity single, If I Had the Time (I Could Change the World), for St Jude Children's Research Hospital - (recorded on Nov 12th 2013): Watch.

KISS: Cadillac Michigan 1975

In October 1975, Cadillac High School (in Cadillac, Michigan) had KISS play at their homecoming. Mitch Lafon chats with Jim Neff - the person responsible for making it all happen. This Interview was recorded on April 3rd 2013: Listen.

In Studio with drummer Allan Schwartzberg

In Studio with drummer Allan Schwartzberg: Part 1, Part 2.

This Week's Episode of VH1 Classic's "THAT METAL SHOW" Rock N' Rolls All Night with Peter Criss

(concertblogger.com) VH1 Classic’s centerpiece in original programming “That Metal Show” returns this week with their biggest episode of the current season to date. In the midst of the controversy around Kiss not allowing two of it’s original members to perform on stage during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 10th, Kiss original drummer Peter Criss shares how he really feels about this matter with hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine. Peter also recounts the joyful early days of Kiss, his battle and triumph over male breast cancer, and the joy he felt when playing with Ace Frehley again at host Eddie Trunk’s recent 30-years –in-radio celebration. In “Put It On The Table,” Peter answers which band he wishes he could be in if it wasn’t Kiss, the song he wishes he wrote, and the best concert he ever attended. The episode ends with Criss addressing the Kiss Army telling them how sad he is that he won’t be able to play for them one more time and, as he so eloquently says to Paul and Gene, “What’s wrong with giving ten minutes of your time, for the forty years that you’ve given us?” Episode ten of “That Metal Show” airs this Saturday, March 22nd at 11:00PM ET/PT.

PETER CRISS TO KISS: “What’s wrong with giving ten minutes of your time, for the forty years that you’ve given us?”

Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy drops by the show to take on the coveted guest musician job. Christy showcases his drumming skills while performing in front of his childhood hero, Criss. At one point Richard thanks Peter saying that if it wasn’t for Peter and Kiss, Richard would not be playing drums today. Christy also lets us know that he is currently in the studio working on the new Charred Walls of the Damned album, which will be out some time next year.

Episode ten also features the usual fan-favorite segments: The “TMS Top 5” tackles the Top 5 Kiss Songs with all 3 hosts only agreeing on one song, the epic “Black Diamond.” Peter then adds a few of his own that were missed. This week’s “Throwdown” pits the Kiss classic live albums Alive against Alive II. The decision is unanimous as the original Alive wins the title. This week’s “Stump The Trunk” finds Eddie battling to regain his dominance over the audience questions with the end result being lots of camera time for everyone’s favorite Miss Box of Junk, Jennifer.

Since the January 18th premiere of Season 13, “That Metal Show” continues to bring their audience the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. With only two original episodes left in Season 13, the upcoming episodes include super-group The Winery Dogs (Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy, Richie Kotzen), past great TMS guest Vinnie Paul (formerly of Pantera), and guitar genius Joe Satriani. The guest musician for the final two episodes of the season will be guitar virtuoso, Yngwie Malmsteen.

This season marks some monumental changes for the show as it has returned to New York City for Season 13. Previously the show was taped over several days over a course of a week at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. The new season is shot at Metropolis Studios on Tuesday nights for broadcast that Saturday. Season 13 also consists of 12 new episodes making it the longest season in the series history. Fans can also catch the complete season 12 and brand new exclusive bonus clips at ThatMetalShow.VH1.com and on the new VH1 app. New episodes of season 13 launch on the web and in the app every Sunday morning following the show’s on-air premiere.

Author & Musician Gordon Gebert discusses Ace Frehley

(Listen) Author and musician, Gordon Gebert, sat down (on Feb. 6th 2014) with rock reporter, Mitch Lafon, to discuss his tell all books on original KISS Space Man, Ace Frehley. Having been a source of great debate and controversy, Gebert addresses many of the fans' concerns over his KISS & TELL and KISS & TELL MORE books. Gordon also discusses the KISS & TELL (Special Deluxe Edition) and ends the conversation with a special message for Ace.

GENE SIMMONS Doesn't Know Who Is Suing KISS Over ERIC CARR's Royalties

During a brand new interview with Radio.com, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked about a lawsuit for unpaid royalties that was filed against the band by a group claiming to be late KISS drummer Eric Carr's heirs.

Carr's sister issued a public letter to KISS frontman Paul Stanley thanking him for coming forward and denouncing the lawsuit and Stanley immediately tweeted a response calling the people behind the suit incredulous and vowing to get to the bottom of it.

Asked who the guys are that are suing KISS, Simmons told Radio.com: "We don't know, we have no idea, our lawyers are trying to find out who these people are. The Caravello family — Eric Carr's family — released a statement along with us, saying we have no idea who these people are, these are lies and we intend to find out who they are, and why they're saying these things. For one thing, it's slanderous. They're saying that Eric hated being in the band. What? He was the sweetest guy in the world. Eric and the family and the fans have been slapped in the face by these people and we intend to make sure that there's justice."

Carr — best known to fans as "The Fox" — replaced Peter Criss behind the drums on the road in 1980, and was first heard on the band's 1981 concept album, "Music From 'The Elder'". Illness forced Carr to step down from the band in 1990, and he died at age 41 from complications from a rare form of heart cancer on November 24, 1991 — the same day as Freddie Mercury.

SLASH Says It's 'None Of His Business' Which Members Of KISS Get Inducted Into ROCK HALL

During an appearance at this year's South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, legendary guitarist Slash, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012 as a member of GUNS N' ROSES, was asked by Artisan News about the Rock Hall's decision to induct only the original KISS lineup and not honor KISS' longtime guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.

"It's one of those things where, having been in that sort of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame situation, where original members and not original members, and this and that and the other… They're gonna do what they wanna do and it's none of my business to have a real public opinion about it," Slash said (see video). "I mean, I'd like to see the original [KISS] guys there."

KISS frontman Paul Stanley told The Pulse Of Radio that for the April 10 induction ceremonies in Brooklyn, the Rock Hall was unbending in its decision to ignore the other members of KISS that joined following Peter Criss and Ace Frehley's respective departures.

"Bringing up the idea of inducting other members other than the original four, which is a very valid argument considering that there are people that played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important to the continuation of this band," he said. "The fact that when this was brought up, it was shut down as a non-starter. I don't appreciate that as somebody who is a self-appointed expert."

Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have Thayer and Singer dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas (designs owned by Simmons and Stanley).

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10 at Barclays Center.

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

Details Of Vinyl Remasters, '40' Compilation, 'Kissteria' Box Set Revealed

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of rock and roll giants KISS and in true KISS fashion, the band plan to make 2014 the biggest and loudest, non-stop rock and roll party of the century.

Rock legends KISS were the first signing to Neil Bogart's newly formed Casablanca Records label after he saw and recognized their talent and showmanship during their spectacular performance at a showcase concert at New York City's Le Tang's Ballet Studio in 1973, offering them a contract on the spot. Four decades after releasing their self-titled, major label debut, KISS will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April, proof of the unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" as they rallied together to have the band included in this year's induction ceremony.

Having earned 28 U.S. gold albums along with 40 million U.S. and 100 million in world sales, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, with longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are stronger than ever with a legacy that continues to grow, generation after generation. Their last album, "Monster", proved that they are still at the top of their game with impressive sales and topping the charts worldwide debuting at No. 3 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart and Top 10 in twenty other countries.

To celebrate their incredible 40-year recording career and their upcoming, long-overdue induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will kick off the celebration on April 1, 2014 with the first batch of 10 individual KISS remastered albums on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl with 18 more vinyl titles coming through the first half of 2014. In May, fans can look forward to a 2-CD "Kiss 40" compilation with one track from every major album release, live selections and an unreleased demo from 1977. And finally, starting today, the definitive KISS vinyl box set, "Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case", featuring 34 KISS LPs — including titles never before issued on vinyl, six exclusive albums to the box set and a plethora of collectibles only available in "Kissteria" will be available exclusively for D2C pre-order at Go to www.kissteria.kissonline.com.

Millions of people around the world originally discovered KISS when they brought home an album and put it on their turntable for the first time. Now, those original KISS albums will be available remastered and on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl prior to KISS' induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

A new compilation, "Kiss 40", a 2-CD set featuring forty tracks spanning KISS' incredible forty-year recording career. This set includes one track from every major album release (studio, "Alive" and hits collections) plus three live selections from the 2000 era and features the band's biggest songs including rock and roll anthems such as "Detroit Rock City", "Love Gun", "Beth", "Rock And Roll All Nite", "Psycho Circus", "Forever", "I Was Made For Lovin' You", "Lick It Up", "Heaven's On Fire" and "Hell Or Hallelujah". First time commercial CD release live recordings of "Deuce" (from 2004 tour), "Cold Gin" (from 2009 "Alive 35" tour), "Crazy Crazy Nights" (from 2010 "Sonic Boom Over Europe" tour) and the previously unreleased 1977 demo of "Reputation" round out the set for the KISS Army.

And for a ultimate KISS collector, with only 1000 copies being produced worldwide, "Kissteria - The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case" is a highly-collectible vinyl road case box set featuring 34 KISS LPs including nineteen studio albums, all five of the "Alive" releases, the four original KISS solo albums, each with exact replicas of the original inserts, plus six exclusive vinyl titles that will not be made available individually. All albums are pressed onto audiophile 180-gram vinyl and are newly remastered from the ultra-high definition Direct Stream Digital transfers from original analog tapes to bring out maximum fidelity of these iconic albums.

Exclusive "Kissteria" extras include eleven 11"x17" archival posters, including the band's very first promo poster; a KISS vinyl cleaning cloth; a KISS turntable mat; a set of KISS dominoes; four band lithographs highlighting four decades of the band; and a certificate of authenticity displaying the limited edition number for each of the individual box sets.

Forty years ago KISS released their eponymous debut album, which would propel the band to the top of the rock and roll hierarchy where they have reigned for the past four decades making the KISS legacy a global brand with more than 3,000 licensed merchandise products, including a recent partnership with the Arena Football League as owners of the Anaheim-based expansion team LA KISS.

KISS Vinyl

Release date: April 1, 2014
* Alive!
* Animalize
* Destroyer
* Dressed To Kill
* Dynasty
* Hotter Than Hell
* KISS
* Lick It Up
* Revenge
* Unmasked

Release date: May 6, 2014
* Asylum
* Creatures Of The Night
* Love Gun
* MTV Unplugged
* Psycho Circus *

Release date: May 27, 2014
* Rock And Roll Over
* Alive III
* Music From The Elder (first vinyl release in concept album sequence)
* Crazy Nights
* Hot In The Shade
* Alive: The Millennium Concert *
* Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions *

Release date: June 24, 2014
* Alive II
* Ace Frehley
* Gene Simmons
* Peter Criss
* Paul Stanley

* First Time on Vinyl

"Kiss 40"

Unless indicated, all selections are album versions

CD 1
01. Nothin To Lose
02. Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
03. C'mon and Love Me
04. Rock And Roll All Nite (Live)
05. God Of Thunder (Demo)
06. Beth
07. Hard Luck Woman
08. Reputation (Demo) (previously unreleased)
09. Christine Sixteen
10. Shout It Out Loud (Live)
11. Strutter '78
12. You Matter To Me (Peter Criss)
13. Radioactive (Gene Simmons)
14. New York Groove (Ace Frehley)
15. Hold Me, Touch Me (Paul Stanley)
16. I Was Made For Lovin' You (Single Edit)
17. Shandi
18. A World Without Heroes
19. I Love It Loud
20. Down On Your Knees
21. Lick It Up
22. Heaven's On Fire

CD 2

01. Tears Are Falling
02. Reason To Live
03. Let's Put The X In Sex
04. Forever (Remix)
05. God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II
06. Unholy (Live)
07. Do You Love Me? (MTV Unplugged)
08. Room Service (Live)
09. Jungle (Radio Edit)
10. Psycho Circus
11. Nothing Can Keep Me From You
12. Detroit Rock City (Live)
13. Deuce (Live 2004) (previously unreleased commercially)
14. Firehouse (Live - 1999/2000)
15. Modern Day Delilah
16. Cold Gin (Live 2009) (previously unreleased commercially)
17. Crazy Crazy Nights (Live 2010) (previously unreleased commercially)
18. Hell Or Hallelujah

"Kissteria - The Vinyl Road Case"

Custom ANVIL Road Case to house 34 KISS LPs and a plethora of extras.

* KISS
* Hotter Than Hell
* Dressed To Kill - Includes Embossed Front & Back Jacket Covers
* Alive! - Includes 8 Page Color Booklet
* Destroyer
* Rock And Roll Over - Includes Sticker Sheet
* Love Gun - Includes Paper Gun with "Bang" Sheet
* Alive II - Includes Tattoo Sheet & 8 Page Color Booklet
* Ace Frehley (Solo Album) - Includes "Ace" Interlocking Poster
* Gene Simmons (Solo Album) - Includes "Gene" Interlocking Poster
* Peter Criss (Solo Album) - Includes "Peter" Interlocking Poster
* Paul Stanley (Solo Album) - Includes "Paul" Interlocking Poster
* Dynasty - 22" x 33" Poster
* Unmasked - 22" x 33" Poster
* Music From The Elder - First Vinyl Release in Concept Album Sequence
* Creatures Of The Night
* Lick It Up
* Animalize
* Asylum
* Crazy Nights
* Hot In The Shade
* Revenge
* Alive III
* MTV Unplugged - Includes 24" x 24" Poster
* Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions - First Vinyl Pressing Ever
* Psycho Circus - First Vinyl Pressing Ever will include a 12"x12" Lenticular Cover
* Alive: The Millennium Collection - First Vinyl Pressing Ever
* Monster

Exclusive vinyl titles for the Road Case:

* Double Platinum - Includes Embossed front & back jacket covers + Embossed platinum award insert
* Greatest Kiss - Includes First Vinyl Pressing Ever. Will combine all exclusive tracks used worldwide into one package
* Killers - Includes First U.S. Release Ever. Will combine both Japan and Australia track lists into one package
* You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best
* Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
* Kiss Symphony: Alive IV

Exclusive Bonus Items for Vinyl Box:

* Eleven 11"x17" Archival Posters in a poster tube:
* First Band Promo Poster
* Hotel Diplomat Concert Poster
* "Asylum" Promo Poster
* "Lick It Up" Promo Poster
* KISS 1984 Promo Poster
* "Alive III" Promo Poster
* "You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best" Promo Poster
* "Smashes, Thrashes & Hits" Promo Poster
* "MTV Unplugged" Promo Poster
* Live 1996 Tour Poster
* "Psycho Circus" Promo Poster
* KISS Vinyl Cleaning Cloth
* KISS Turntable Mat
* KISS Dominoes
* Four Band Photo Lithographs
* Certificate of Authenticity with Exclusive Box Number

Interview: Ace Frehley Talks Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(revolvermag.com) As reported earlier, even though KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, the band will not perform at the ceremony in any form. Recently, Revolver‘s Jon Wiederhorn spoke to former KISS guitarist-vocalist Ace Frehley about the nomination and controversy behind it.

REVOLVER What happened, from your perspective, in regards to a possible KISS reunion performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction?

ACE FREHLEY Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted. Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul and Gene decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer]. And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, “Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.” It was shot down, but I think I led the fans to believe there was going to be a reunion. With tickets going on sale the following Monday, I decided to go on Ed Trunk’s show a couple weeks back when I was in Las Vegas recording. I just wanted to let the fans know that last I heard, Paul and Gene decided not to perform with me and Peter [Criss] and opted to perform with Tommy and Eric. It got a lot of people pissed off, but I had to lay it out because I didn’t want fans buying tickets for an event they weren’t going to see. Last I heard, there’s going to be no performance. There has been a lot of negotiating behind closed doors and I’m sworn to secrecy. But last I heard, there’s just going to be no performance. I don’t know what the reason is. And at this point, I don’t care because it was renting so much space in my head, it was affecting my creativity and finishing up my record.

You got onstage with Peter at Eddie Trunk’s birthday party. That was the first time you had played with him in 13 years. Did you see that as a litmus test for future performances together?

Since me and Peter have gone our own ways, we haven’t made any plans to tour together in the future. But it was just a special event for Ed, and both myself and Peter are good friends with Eddie Trunk. He has always supported our careers with KISS and without KISS. So it was something I wanted to do for Ed and it was a lot of fun. I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don’t have it anymore, which is a load of crap. We proved otherwise at Eddie’s party, but aside from that, it’s very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don’t have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is–it’s half a KISS cover band.

But the event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members. Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent–yeah, why not.

Why didn’t the Hall of Fame nominate everyone who has been in the band? Paul had some complaints about that earlier, saying everyone who has ever played on a Red Hot Chili Peppers record has been nominated, why not everyone who has ever played with KISS?

I don’t want to take any potshots at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a cool organization. But it is what it is. Obviously, Paul brought out the inconsistencies. They bend their own rules. I don’t want to get political though because I hate politics. I’ve always said to keep politics and music separate.

PAUL RESPONDS TO HALL'S COMMENTS TO BILLBOARD

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to attempt to restore its questionable credibility and glimpses behind the facade with nonsense and half truths.

The truth is Joel Peresman and the rest of the decision makers refused to consider the induction of ANY former KISS members and specifically the late Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick who were both in the band through multi platinum albums and worldwide tours and DIDN'T wear makeup.

There is no getting around the reality that the Hall of Fame's favoritism and preferential treatment towards artists they like goes as far as ASKING the Grateful Dead how many members THEY wanted the hall to induct and following their directive while also including a songwriter who was never in the actual band.

Let's just accept the truth as it is and move on. - Paul Stanley

Rock Hall Defends Curbing Kiss: New Guys 'Took On Personas Created by Ace and Peter'

(billboard.com) With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony looming closer, neither Kiss nor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation seem ready to relax the entrenched positions that led to the group's decision not to perform April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Kiss, according to frontman Paul Stanley, is upset that the Rock Hall plans to induct only the group's founding lineup and tells Billboard that discussions about subsequent members "was shut down as a non-starter."

Nevertheless, Stanley says Kiss feels that honoring the other six musicians who have played in the band is "a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band. And clearly when you've got a busload of Grateful Dead (members) who have been inducted and guys in the Chili Peppers who nobody knows who they are because they played on the very earliest albums are inducted...The list goes on and on of the inconsistencies. Now, I'm not pointing fingers at any of those people, but I'm certainly pointing a finger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we're being treated unfairly, I have issues with that."

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman says that the decision about who to induct from any band is made by the Rock Hall's nominating committee as well as an adjunct group of "scholars and historians" familiar with specific inductees and genres. "This isn't chemistry or physics; it's not an exact science," Peresman acknowledges. "Sometimes there's an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it's a specific period of time that established the band as who they are. With Kiss there wasn't one person here who didn't agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the 70s with Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul and Gene (Simmons). That's what put them on that map."

Peresman adds that Kiss "is a unique situation where you have artists who wear makeup as part of what the band's about," but the Rock Hall felt that the later members -- including current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who are wearing Frehley and Criss' makeup, respectively -- "are fine musicians who...basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It's not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter." Persman notes that last year Heart was in a similar position, where the Rock Hall chose to induct the original 70s sextet and not later musicians that played in the band.

But Stanley feels the situation with Kiss is a bit more personal. "That it's 14 years on (of eligibility) and we're getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a clear indication that the people who hide behind that moniker don't like us, but it reached a point where it was so absurd and ludicrous (to exclude Kiss) that they caved," he says. "It's like them swallowing a teaspoon of medicine they don't want. It's a bitter pill for them to swallow, so they're making it as small as possible."

Stanley says that the Rock Hall asked Kiss to perform as the original quartet, in make-up, but he and Simmons -- who have been playing with three-time Kiss member Singer again since 2002 and Thayer since 2004 -- were not confident the performance would be up to standard. "Honestly, I don't want to roll the dice and possibly negatively impact on what I personally have been involved in building for 40 years," he explains. "I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed." Peresman, meanwhile, says the Rock Hall has no plans for a performance stand-in for Kiss at the ceremony. "We have other artists, other inductees showing up and performing when they can," Peresman says. "We're very hopeful that Ace and Peter and Paul and Gene come and accept their award. We're obviously honored to have them inducted."

And Stanley expects that to be the case.

"There's been a lot of issues, and perhaps the best way to deal with them is to celebrate the four original guys and go there and get our award and to look past the differences that will always be there," he says. "It doesn't change the big picture; we have differences and we will continue to have differences. It doesn't change who I want to play with and who represents Kiss. There are a lot of people who are great inspirations to me, and still are, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for that reason and the fact that fans want us in there, I graciously and vigorously will be there to accept the award. We should salute and enjoy an evening that celebrates what the four of us started. But just because I'm getting inducted doesn't mean it's turned into a love fest."

This week, Kiss announced a co-headlining tour with Def Leppard. Stanley, meanwhile, publishes his autobiography "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" on April 8, with book signings being put together throughout the month.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 67 Sean Delaney's Nephew Russ: March 18, 2014. We are joined by Sean Delaney's nephew Russ. Sean is seen by many KISS fans as the fifth member of KISS. Russ grew up as a young child in the presence of KISS and he shares his memories and stories of KISS and his Uncle Sean. We also share our early thoughts on the KISS Def Leppard 2014 tour: Listen.

KISS / DEF LEPPARD PRESS CONFERENCE

KISS / DEF LEPPARD PRESS CONFERENCE: Video.

KISSTERIA: THE ULTIMATE VINYL ROAD CASE

KISSTERIA: The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case

*The most insane KISS offering for MEGA FANS
*Limited Edition Vinyl Box Set: 1,000 units worldwide
*Authentic Anvil ™ Road Case
*Thirty-Four LPs with EXCLUSIVE Merch and Vinyl included

CLICK HERE for pre-order information.

Gene Simmons: Rappers don't belong in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

KISS star Gene Simmons has taken aim at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bosses for inducting rappers into their Ohio museum.

The bass player and his band will be added to the Hall of Fame in April after a series of near misses in recent years, but the rockers aren't exactly thrilled about the honour.

Simmons and bandmate Paul Stanley feel they should have been inducted years ago - and they're annoyed that rap acts like Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy got in before them.

Speaking to Radio.com, Simmons says, "A long time ago it was diluted. It's really backroom politics... A few people decide what's in and what's not. And the masses just scratch their heads. You've got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Run-DMC in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? You're killing me! That doesn't mean those aren't good artists. But they don't play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!

"If you asked Madonna, 'What kind of artist are you?' do you think she would say, 'Oh, rock!' So what they hell are they doing in the Hall of Fame? They can run their organisation any way they'd like, but it ain't rock! It just isn't! If you don't play guitar and you don't write your own songs, you don't belong there."

Earlier this month, singer Stanley revealed KISS would not be performing at the induction ceremony.

Kiss celebrates 40th anniversary with reissue bonanza

How does a band celebrate the 40th anniversary of its recording career? With more recordings.

Kiss, which released its self-titled debut and Hotter Than Hell in 1974, will kick off a year of anniversary festivities with the April 1 arrival of 10 remastered Kiss albums on vinyl. Another 18 titles will be unleashed by mid-2014.

In May, the band delivers the two-CD Kiss 40 compilation containing one track from every major album, plus live cuts and an unreleased demo from 1977. The set includes such Kiss classics as Detroit Rock City, Love Gun, Beth, Rock And Roll All Nite, Psycho Circus, I Was Made For Lovin' You and Lick It Up.

And today, the foursome serves up Kissteria — The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case, a vinyl box set holding 34 Kiss LPs including titles never previously issued on vinyl. The limited-edition mother lode of Kiss music boasts 19 studio albums, all five Alive releases, the four original Kiss solo albums and six exclusive vinyl discs that will not be sold individually. Among the extras are 11 posters (including the band's first promo poster), a Kiss vinyl cleaning cloth, a Kiss turntable mat, Kiss dominos and four band lithographs. The box can be pre-ordered here. Visit KissOnline.com for details on all things Kiss.

The band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10. The group is announcing a tour with Def Leppard today.

Kiss, Def Leppard announce 2014 summer tour

Kiss and Def Leppard will team up this summer for a 42-city North American tour that will "deliver good news and excitement," says Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley.

The tour begins June 23 in West Valley City, Utah, and wraps up Aug. 31 in Woodlands, Texas. Tickets go on sale starting Friday.

The groups announced the tour Monday at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.The press conference was streamed live via the Live Nation website.

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he and Gene Simmons first discussed the idea of the two bands touring together when he and the Kiss bassist played some South American dates two years ago as part of a rock-and-roll all-stars tour. "It's finally happened, which is fantastic," Elliott says.

It'll be the first time the two bands have shared a bill, though Stanley says, "We've run into each other at festivals. It just seemed to be a natural fit." Stanley also noted that one of guitarist Phil Collen's pre-Def Leppard bands, Girl, opened for Kiss in the U.K. during the early '80s.

Kiss did a similar co-headlining tour with Motley Crue in 2012.

Kiss released its first album, Hotter Than Hell, 40 years ago, and the band will commemorate the anniversary with a slew of archival releases, including a 34-LP vinyl box set and a two-CD compilation called Kiss 40. The group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame April 10.

Def Leppard has been writing music for the group's next album. "We all camped out at my house last month and wrote songs, which you will hear none of this summer," Elliott says. Collen says he expects that album to come out in 2015.

Simmons says a dollar from each ticket sold on the tour will go to to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits. Those charitable partners include the USO, Hire a Hero, Project Resiliency/The Raven Drum Foundatio, and The Augusta Warrior Project. "Politicians fart through their mouth," Simmons says. "Only the military makes freedom possible."

Stanley adds that the group also plans to hire vets for its crew. "We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team," he says. "This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the Kiss Army."

Elliot says he doesn't see any rivalry developing between the groups while they're on tour. "It's two great bands that are going to be playing for the same amount of time," he says. "It's joint forces. I don't see it as competitive at all."

Kiss, Def Leppard pair up for summer tour

Kiss and Def Leppard are joining forces for a summer tour.

The legendary bands will embark on a U.S. tour June 23 in West Valley City, Utah. They will play more than 40 dates, including Los Angeles; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Atlanta; and Tampa, Fla. The tour wraps Aug. 31 in Woodlands, Texas.

Tickets go on sale Friday.

"You have two bands who to one degree or another have stood the test of time and put them together and you'll have a great night of music," said Paul Stanley of Kiss in an interview. "We're living in a time now where everyone wants more for their money, and that's understandable. So, when you can get two bands to collaborate together, we couldn't pick a better band for this tour than Def Leppard to go out with us."

Def Leppard's Joe Elliott said it's not likely the two bands will perform together.

"We're not jam bands either of us," Elliott said in an interview from Dublin. "It's very theatrical what Kiss does to a lesser extent obviously 'cause we don't do the makeup thing, our show runs like a military operation for sure. It's not like the Grateful Dead and Phish touring or something."

Kiss and Def Leppard are partnering with various military companies for the tour to support U.S. troops, including the United Service Organizations Inc. and Hiring Our Heroes.

Kiss will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month. This year marks Kiss' 40th anniversary.

Elliott will release a new album with his band Down 'N' Outz called "The Further Adventures Of..." on April 21. He said Def Leppard recently went into the studio to write new music.

KISS & DEF LEPPARD: ROCK'S BIGGEST BANDS TO TOUR

KISS & DEF LEPPARD - THE WORLD’S BIGGEST ROCK BANDS SET TO TOUR THIS SUMMER

Tickets On Sale Starting Friday, March 21 Through Live Nation Mobile App and at LiveNation.com

LOS ANGELES – March 17, 2014 – This summer two of the world's greatest rock bands, KISS and DEF LEPPARD, are set to deliver a massive tour dedicated to fans who wanna rock and roll all night! These two legendary rock bands spanning two continents announced today that they will launch the tour as KISS celebrates their 40th year in music. The summer's biggest hit-fueled rock tour, promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will storm through 40-plus cities throughout North America kicking-off on Monday, June 23 in West Valley City, UT at the USANA Amphitheater. Tickets go on sale starting on Friday, March 21 through the Live Nation mobile app and at www.livenation.com.

With combined album sales of over 200 million, KISS and Def Leppard are more than just iconic; they remain TODAY'S dominant powerhouses of rock tallying 30+ chart-topping hits, countless sold out MEGA tours and awards and accolades from around the globe. Known for their elaborate and spectacular stage shows, each band plans to give fans the ultimate summer concert experience with the most impressive lighting and sound production ever along with KISS' signature over-the-top pyrotechnics.

KISS consists of vocalist/bassist Gene Simmons, vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley, lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer. Def Leppard consists of vocalist Joe Elliott, guitarist Vivian Campbell, guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick “Sav” Savage and drummer Rick Allen.

Paul Stanley: Kiss miffed at Rock Hall over snub

Paul Stanley of Kiss wants to shout it out loud: The band is miffed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for not inducting members Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer along with the original lineup.

Kiss is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock Hall on April 10 in New York City. But Stanley said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press that he doesn't think the Rock Hall is being fair and that the organization has altered their rules for other acts.

"We have continuing issues with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, starting with the fact that they chose to only induct the original lineup when that's hardly the case with other bands," he said from Los Angeles.

"In the Grateful Dead's case, (they) also inducted a writer who never played an instrument," said Stanley, referring to Robert Hunter's inclusion when the band was inducted in 1994. "Or they've inducted rap artists, or they've inducted people who have been in the band for seven years as opposed to ... 25 years or 20 years — whatever their criteria of this week is."

A representative for the Rock Hall didn't immediately return an email seeking comment. Acts become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record.

Kiss wrote on its website last month that it would not perform at the Rock Hall induction.

The original members from 1973 — Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley — are scheduled for induction. Criss left the band in 1980 and Frehley left in 1982. Other members joined during the 1980s, but the current lineup includes Singer, who joined in 1992, and Thayer, who came on board in 2003.

Stanley, 62, said the Rock Hall "tried to strong-arm us into playing in original lineup," but the band wouldn't do so.

"Their craving of nostalgia or for wanting to have us play by their rules in many ways jeopardizes what we have spent 40 years building," he said. "I've been there since the beginning, and when I put on my Kiss gear, I do it with great pride, and anything that may jeopardize that by going out with a lineup that I might question is a nonstarter for me."

Thayer and Singer should be inducted, he said, because they "have been in the band for decades and played on multiplatinum albums and toured the world."

He ended with this: "So, in this case, very clearly the tail doesn't wag the dog, and Kiss is a big dog, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a small tail."

Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens will also be inducted at the 29th-annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclays Center. Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and the late Beatles manager Brian Epstein will receive Ahmet Ertegun awards, a nonperforming honor. And Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band will get an award for musical excellence.

The event will air in May on HBO.

KISS, DEF LEPPARD: More '2014 Heroes Tour' Details Revealed

According to MilitaryOneClick.com, the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes is looking to have 200 veterans and service members (preferably in uniform) come to the House of Blues in Hollywood for a special event/announcement.

On Monday, March 17 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, KISS and DEF LEPPARD will announce the "2014 Heroes Tour" — and the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes wants you to be a part of it.

The "2014 Heroes Tour" will help change the lives of veterans and military families across America. That's why KISS and DEF LEPPARD are teaming up with the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program to make this special announcement in front of an exclusive audience of the men and women who have proudly served our country.

Guests will be able to take photos with the bands and participate in a question-and-answder session with the bands and giveaways for KISS items (subject to availability).

RSVP as soon as possible to hohspecialevents@gmail.com (let them know if you can come in uniform).

KISS and DEF LEPPARD's joint summer U.S. tour is set to kick off in late June and run through the end of August. The trek will see KISS closing all dates.

With their signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like "Rock And Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City", KISS is the very personification of rock stars. In 2014, the band celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, "Kiss". After four decades of scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie, the iconic band remains one of the most influential artists in the history of rock and roll. At the top of American bands with the most gold albums, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide — including their chart-topping 20th studio album, "Monster", produced by Paul Stanley and released in 2012. In support of that album, the band performed their worldwide "Monster" tour with sold-out-out shows in Australia, Europe, South America, North America and Japan as once again KISS, and their loyal followers in the KISS Army, rocked the globe.

DEF LEPPARD's influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums — including two of the best-selling albums of all time, "Pyromania" and "Hysteria". Most recently, the band released their first live album, "Mirror Ball: Live & More", which rose to the Top 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album captures the group's legendary concert experience, bringing together live versions of classic LEPPARD hits such as "Rock Of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Foolin'".

With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, DEF LEPPARD — Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) — continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, have become synonymous with their name. For the past thirty years the band's concerts have become must-see events and have quickly made them an institution in the touring industry, as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.

PodKISSt#82 - PRC & Is it possible to Love Ace & Tommy?

It’s Crossover time with the PodKISSt and Podcast Rock City. Joe Polo and Ken discuss the possibility of being a fan of Ace and Tommy, is that possible? Listen.

Original PETER CRISS '73-'74 KISS Tour-Used Drum Kit Hits Auction Block

KISS may not be performing at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, but fans and collectors will definitely get VIP access to historical and some never-before-seen pieces of KISS memorabilia in the upcoming Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction, hosted by Backstage Auctions. The online auction event contains over 200 auction lots of rare KISS memorabilia dating back as far as back as 1973 and is filled with historically relevant KISS relics.

If you are looking for something in the "Holy Grail" range, Peter Criss' personal drum kit that he used from 1973 to 1974 while on tour with KISS should definitely be on at the top of your list of items to procure. As far as epic, historic and downright mind-blowing KISS collectibles go, it is hard to imagine something more prestigious than his complete Ludwig drum kit, which was his very first official KISS kit.

Criss premiered the kit in December of 1973 and played it all the way through 1974, before it was replaced by a stretch of Pearl kits. In addition to the super-cool, 24-inch glitter logo bass drum, it also contains the snare, various tom-toms, cymbals, cowbell, drum stool and even some of the original road cases.

But wait… there is more, so much more. The auction will also feature an original Kiss Army jacket given to Peter by Paul Stanley when he and his daughter Jenilee made a surprise appearance at the 1995 KISS convention in Burbank, California. During that appearance, Criss joined KISS for two songs and the jacket he received is one of the most valuable KISS collectibles from the past 20 years. Add in the provenance of this particular jacket, collectors are sure to aggressively go after this piece for their personal collections. It has been said that this single event, helped lay the foundation for the "MTV Unplugged" session later that year which then propelled into a full-blown five-year KISS reunion tour.

For the curators exclusive pop culture artwork, the original Eraldo Carugati painting used for Peter Criss' solo album should be given serious consideration. In 1978, Bill Aucoin commissioned the artist to paint the images of all four band members to be used for the solo albums. To this day, the four solo face images are used on everything from posters to t-shirts and everything in between.

This is the first time in history that one of the original paintings will be publicly made available to the collectors market.

"So often we think we have hit the peak of rare Kiss memorabilia and then another collection comes along, and collectively the pieces featured in this auction have moved us to a new summit with the private collections of Debra Svensk-Jenson (previously married to Peter Criss), Linda West and the late Ken Anderson, both of Aucoin Management, and rock photographer Chip Rock," says Backstage Auctions founder Jacques van Gool.

The auction will feature a wide range of KISS memorabilia appealing to everyone's taste and budget, including gold and platinum RIAA awards, rare t-shirts, jackets and crew attire, artist signed items, rare ephemera and personal notes, hand-written lyrics, sticks, picks and passes, rare vinyl and more. "There is enough historical KISS memorabilia in this auction that it would be worthy of a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame exhibit," says van Gool.

The Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction will also include hundreds of rare hard rock and heavy metal memorabilia from the private collections of David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Frank Bello (ANTHRAX), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Scott Ian (ANTHRAX), John Tempesta (THE CULT, EXODUS, TESTAMENT), Page Hamilton (HELMET), Sean Yseult (WHITE ZOMBIE) and several industry professionals.

The online auction starts March 30 and will run through April 6. A special VIP All Access preview of the entire auction catalog will be available beginning March 23.

For more information and to get your VIP All Access Pass for the event, visit www.backstageauctions.com.

Gene Simmons blasts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for KISS treatment

(ew.com) The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be having its next induction ceremony on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but do not expect new inductees KISS to be performing. Founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have decided against it to protest the Hall’s decision of inducting only the original line-up of the group (which includes departed members Peter “Catman” Criss and Ace “Space Ace” Frehley) while ignoring other longtime (and current) bandmates like Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. I asked Simmons about his decision when he called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to chat about his appearance tonight on CBS’ CSI (where he will be playing himself).

“Paul and I got on the phone and called Ace and Peter,” Simmons explained of what happened right when they found out about the induction. “‘Hey, congratulations. It was an honor to stand alongside you then and we’ll be proud to stand alongside of you at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to accept the award.’ And they were gracious and happy and God bless, and all of that, and we went off our separate ways. And then we found out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will only be honoring the original lineup with Ace, Peter, Paul and myself, and we said, ‘Oh okay, then we won’t be playing there. We’ll just accept the award. Thank you very much.’ And they go, ‘What are you talking about?’ and I said, ‘Well, you have a group like the Eagles who continue to be our contemporaries…and every member that has even been in the Eagles has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But you’re only gonna honor the first lineup that was together for seven years? We’ve been around forty years. Tommy and Eric have been in the band 20 years — two and a half times longer than Ace and Peter. You’re going to slap them in the face and we’re supposed to get you a sandwich and make sure you burp at 9 o’clock at night and get up on stage and do it? No, that’s not going to happen.’”

Simmons then went on to draw a comparison to fully illustrate his point. “So imagine you’re being invited to be inducted at an award ceremony and you get to bring only the first person you ever went out with in your life. The one, your beloved right now? She can’t come, or he can’t come. They get to stay home, They don’t get honored. ‘And while you’re there, can you get me a sandwich?’ Really? That’s not going to fly.”

Okay, first off, I’m not sure what the sandwich thing is about. Maybe he was just hungry. Yes, Simmons has a point that it would kind of be a bummer for longtime members to be excluded. But he also has to know that the band is being honored for what they did when they ruled the rock world back in the 1970s, a time when the band included Criss and Frehley. Those are the four people everyone wants to see on stage together, just like when the original lineup reunited back in 1996. In any event, you can listen to the full audio below, in which Simmons drops another bombshell. Apparently, he’s been offered a role in the new Entourage movie!

Who Is Drumming Up KISS Royalty Dispute?

(hollywoodreporter.com) A fight breaks out over who is representing the estate of the deceased band member Eric Carr.

A developing royalty dispute concerning the rock band KISS has become a tad strange.

On Monday, The Kiss Company, Gene Simmons Worldwide and Universal-Polygram were taken to New York Supreme Court by the claimed estate of Eric Carr, the KISS drummer who died in 1991. The action was reported in the media as a lawsuit, although technically what was filed was a petition for pre-action disclosure. In advance of a legal claim, the estate was seeking discovery. The filing regarded alleged missing royalty payments from representatives of Kiss and UMPG and the copyright re-registration of the composition "Little Caesar" without Carr's name.

Then on Wednesday, KISS' official website published a "statement from Eric Carr family," which quoted attorney Mark Abbattista, said to represent the Carr family.

"It came to our attention through a variety of different media outlets that a legal proceeding was filed against the band KISS purporting to be on behalf of the ‘The Estate of Eric Carr’ and the ‘late KISS drummer’s heirs,’" said Abbattista. "This proceeding was filed by a non-related third party without any knowledge, authorization or consent of anyone in the Carr family.”

Abbatista added that a cease and desist was sent out to stop further actions from the claimed Carr estate.

We spoke to Robert Garson, the attorney representing the petitioner. He calls the demand "complete rubbish" and maintains he was "validly instructed by executors of the estate." He adds that "this chap" Abbattista "represents Eric Carr's sister, Loretta Caravello," but that she's not in control.

Abbattista, the same entertainment lawyer who was featured in the 21st season of CBS' reality show The Amazing Race, declined to say anything more than the statement already given.

Although it's nearly impossible to verify the legitimacy of the petition filed in New York court, the petition does include fairly detailed notes about contract agreements and communications with Kiss parties. In addition, the petitioner has lodged exhibits including a pay statement, portions of the songwriter agreement, and emails from Universal Music Publishing Group and a Kiss representative.

KISS And DEF LEPPARD Summer Co-Headlining Tour To Be Officially Announced On Monday

KISS and DEF LEPPARD will announce their joint summer U.S. tour at a press conference on Monday, March 17 at 2 p.m. ET, to be livestreamed via LiveNation.com. The trek, which is set to kick off in late June and run through the end of August, will see KISS closing all dates.

With their signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like "Rock And Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City", KISS is the very personification of rock stars. In 2014, the band celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, "Kiss". After four decades of scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie, the iconic band remains one of the most influential artists in the history of rock and roll. At the top of American bands with the most gold albums, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide — including their chart-topping 20th studio album, "Monster", produced by Paul Stanley and released in 2012. In support of that album, the band performed their worldwide "Monster" tour with sold-out-out shows in Australia, Europe, South America, North America and Japan as once again KISS, and their loyal followers in the KISS Army, rocked the globe.

DEF LEPPARD's influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums — including two of the best-selling albums of all time, "Pyromania" and "Hysteria". Most recently, the band released their first live album, "Mirror Ball: Live & More", which rose to the Top 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album captures the group's legendary concert experience, bringing together live versions of classic LEPPARD hits such as "Rock Of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Foolin'".

With 100 million records sold worldwide and two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, DEF LEPPARD — Joe Elliott (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass) and Rick Allen (drums) — continues to be one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the course of their career, the band has produced a series of classic groundbreaking albums that set the sound for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group's spectacular live shows, filled with powerful melodic rock anthems, have become synonymous with their name. For the past thirty years the band's concerts have become must-see events and have quickly made them an institution in the touring industry, as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.

PAUL STANLEY FACE THE MUSIC AUDIO & INTERVIEW CLIP

Paul Stanley’s autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, is scheduled for release on April 8. Listen to an excerpt — plus a few words from an interview — from Harper Audio Presents via SoundCloud: Listen.

SIMMONS On HALL OF FAME: It's Dishonorable To Not Include KISS Members Who've Been In Band Longer Than Original Lineup

Earlier this week, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was interviewed on "Elliot In The Morning", a morning radio talk show hosted by DJ Elliot Segal. You can listen to the chat in the YouTube clip here.

Ex-KISS Guitarist Bruce Kulick to be featured on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Tribute

(Listen to the Demo) Mark Peace Thomas is known for his DJ-MC services for weddings throughout Southern California but 2013 would see “DJ Peace” crossover from playing recordings to recording artist. His First CD “ManSmarts: The Music” was released on October 15, 2013. DJ Peace planned on including a cover of the KISS song “Do You Love Me?” for the release but had twelve original songs written.

A month earlier, Mark ran into one of his hard rock heroes and former guitarist for KISS: Bruce Kulick at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, CA. This lead to Mark approaching Bruce about playing on a “DJ Peace” cover of “Do You Love Me?”. Bruce agreed and liked the contemporary EDM-infused version of the song. "Bruce adds that classic KISS sound to the track which is very contemporary sounding," stated producer Jeff McCullough. He added "DJ Peace has arranged the song with a Zep-style guitar riff and added a solo that was never there which really makes the song rock!" DJ Peace is treating his new recording as a tribute to KISS with a release date of April 10, 2014, which is the day the founding members of KISS (Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss) will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bruce recorded and toured with Kiss for over twelve years. Gene Simmons has already stated that the band will be accepting the honor on behalf of all former members. Fans can continue to rock and roll all nite with two new DJ Peace tunes to celebrate Bruce's legacy with KISS. Coming to exclusively to CD Baby.

DJ Peace official website is dj-peace.com.

ERIC CARR's Family Says Lawsuit Against KISS Was Filed Without Their Knowledge, Authorization Or Consent

Mark Abbattista, an attorney for the family of the late KISS drummer Eric Carr, has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:

"It came to our attention through a variety of different media outlets that a legal proceeding was filed against the band KISS purporting to be on behalf of the 'The Estate of Eric Carr' and the 'late KISS drummer's heirs.' This proceeding was filed by a non-related third party without any knowledge, authorization or consent of anyone in the Carr family. The filing party's attorney has been contacted and ordered to cease and desist from any further statements, actions or allusions purporting to be on behalf of, or in any way relating, directly or indirectly, to Eric Carr and/or the Carr family."

Abbattista continued: "[KISS leaders] Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons know that Eric's family is not involved in this matter. However, due to the litigious society in which we live and the unfiltered proliferation of inaccurate online discussion, it is imperative to address the matter publicly, set the record straight and let the fans know that we are unified in our response to preserve and protect the honorable and beloved legacy of Eric Carr."

Added an Eric Carr family member: "We've known each other for almost 35 years and we have the highest respect for KISS and keeping Eric's memory in a positive light."

Meanwhile, KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley tweeted the following message after the news of the lawsuit broke yesterday: "Eric Carr's family is shocked by a lawsuit filed without their knowledge or support. We will deal with this attempted scam appropriately."

A copy of the complaint, filed on March 10 by attorney Robert Garson in New York County Supreme Court, can be downloaded as a PDF file for a $35 fee from the Courthouse News Service.

Carr joined KISS in 1980 after the departure of the band's original drummer Peter Criss. He recorded eight albums with the group, starting with "Music From 'The Elder'" in 1981. His last recorded appearance with KISS was "Hot In The Shade", released in 1989.

LETTER TO PAUL STANLEY FROM LORETTA CARAVELLO

Hi Paul,

This is Eric's sister Loretta, my family and I would like to thank you for coming out so quickly in my families defense.

We were just as shocked as you, When we saw that nonsense article in the paper. I was at a loss, we knew nothing about this.

So thank you for helping to put out the fire and hopefully stopping the negative comments online about my family.

My brother loved KISS and would have never done anything that would hurt the band . We have respected that and will continue to keep his memory with KISS in a positive light.

Congratulations on the Hall of Fame! We know you are trying, to include all, but no matter what may happens, We know Eric is smiling and proud to have been in such a great band)

Sincerely, The Caravello Family

Paul Stanley Q&A: Kiss Frontman On 'Destructive' Childhood, New Book and Why the Rock Hall Is Like a 'Distorted Bar Mitzvah'

(billboard.com) In April, Stanley embarks on a book tour for his memoir "Face the Music: A Life Exposed"… The rocker talks why he finally put his life on paper, the inaccuracies of Gene Simmons' own book, and what actually went down with the Rock Hall of Fame

Few bands know how to celebrate better than Kiss; it coined the concept "rock and roll all night and party every day," after all. And this is a time of celebration for the group, with this year marking the 40th anniversary of its first two albums, the launch of the Arena Football League's L.A. Kiss and its upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (though not without drama; read on) on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Best of all for frontman Paul Stanley is the April 8 publication of his autobiography "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," a revealing memoir in which he writes frankly about the travails of his youth and the triumphs and tribulations of both Kiss and his personal life.

Stanley lights out on a six-city book tour that begins April 7 at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble in New York with subsequent stops at the Barnes & Noble in Staten Island (April 8); Bookends in Ridgewood, N.J. (April 9); Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles (April 16); Warwick's in La Jolla, Calif. (April 17); and the San Francisco Jewish Community Center on April 25.

With all that going on, it's not surprising our conversation with the Starman was wide-ranging and characteristically forthright.

You're the last of the original Kiss members with a book of your own. Just a slacker?

It really had nothing to do with the band as far as being first, last, middle. It wasn't with any of that in mind. The truth of the matter is I had sworn for, literally, decades not to write an autobiography. I always go back to George Orwell, who said the autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction. And I would say 90-plus, 95 percent of the autobiographies by any of my contemporaries would be better suited on a roll of soft paper, so at least you could use it for something, 'cause they're nothing more than self-serving fantasies or delusions or love letters to themselves. They serve no purpose. What I finally came to grips with was the idea that my life could be inspiring to other people... and almost more importantly I wanted something that my children could read when they got older to understand what it took for me to succeed and a better understanding of who I am and perhaps what they need in their lives to move forward. So there was a real purpose to this as opposed to just some sort of bragging rights.

That purpose being...?

I guess my book is about never quitting and about never losing sight of where you're going. Truly, obstacles are what you see when you lose sight of your goals. I've always been driven and, at my core, I've always been about my own survival and, for lack of a better word, how I can make it better. And certainly I couldn't have written this book if it didn't have a happy ending! (laughs)

There is a lot more struggle in your book, especially in your youth, than many would expect -- family dysfunction and especially the misshapen right ear and being deaf on that side. That's something you kept quite for decades. Why?

It was too painful. You can only reveal things and you can only deal with things when you're ready to. My experiences as a child were so debilitating and destructive that the best way for me to deal with my ear was to cover it and to, at least on the surface, ignore what was going on -- although that really wasn't an answer. Luckily, as an adult I found different ways to resolve some of those issues and also to find some surgical relief and modifications.

You go into depth about a lot of relationships, especially within the Kiss camp, but maybe the most fascinating is what you have to say about Gene. It seems very much like brothers -- obviously bonded, but not always happy with each other.

Oh, sure. Over the years that's been an ongoing theme in our relationship. There have been times where I've been very angry and resentful -- and I'm not saying momentarily. I'm saying for long periods of time. But time is the ultimate judge, and the fact that we've been together at this point for, my gosh, 44 years almost says volumes. We ARE brothers, and I know that in a pinch I can count on him and he knows the same, and that doesn't take away from the fact I think he's done some pretty crummy things. But that is because of who he is and his issues.

Did you read Gene's book, and the others'?

No. I read parts of Gene's book and I thought it was told from his point of view, but Gene puts himself in the epicenter of everything, and that might be because he's an only child. But that doesn't mean it's accurate. I want credit where credit is due, but I don't want credit for things I didn't do and I want to share the accolades with the people who make things possible, and I don't think (Simmons') book did that. So after reading some of it and having been present at much of what went on in that book, it just wasn't accurate so I didn't read it. In the case of Peter or Ace, there is a reason that defense attorneys don't put alcoholics or drug addicts on the witness stand; now, I'm not saying that they presently are, but that is a condition that lasts a lifetime. My point is that memories and recollections and the accuracy of people who were in altered states during much of what they purport happened is subject to question. And the small bits that a few people pointed out to me were absolutely outrageous to the point that I wondered if (Frehley and Criss) actually believed them.

So what actually went down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and your decision not to play at the ceremony?

Oh, it starts decades go. That it's 14 years on (of eligibility) and we're getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a clear indication that the people who hide behind that moniker don't like us, but it reached a point where it was so absurd and ludicrous (to exclude Kiss) that they caved. But they're only going to induct the original four (members), and bringing up the idea of inducting members other than the original four...was shut down as a non-starter. It's a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band. And clearly when you've got a busload of Gratefful Dead (members) who have been inducted and guys in the Chili Peppers who nobody knows who they are because they played on the very earliest albums are inducted, and when the original drummer of Rush, John Rutsey, who played on a classic album, isn't inducted. The list goes on and on of the inconsistencies. Now, I'm not pointing fingers at any of those people, but I'm certainly pointing a finger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we're being treated unfairly, I have issues with that.

Any idea of why they're drawing such a hard line with Kiss?

Well, it's like them swallowing a teaspoon of medicine they don't want. It's a bitter pill for them to swallow, so they're making it as small as possible. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is kind of like a distortion of a bar mitzvah. Just 'cause I'm getting inducted doesn't mean this has turned into a love fest.

You could just play with the original four of you, of course.

They wanted the original four guys to play, in makeup. But, honestly, I don't want to roll the dice and possibly negatively impact on what I personally have been involved in building for 40 years. I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed. So there's been a lot of issues, and perhaps the best way to deal with them is to celebrate the four original guys and go there and get our award and to look past the differences that will always be there. It doesn't change the big picture; we have differences and we will continue to have differences. It doesn't change who i want to play with and who represents Kiss. There are a lot of people who are great inspirations to me, and still are, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for that reason and the fact that fans want us in there, I graciously and vigorously will be there to accept the award. We should salute and enjoy an evening that celebrates what the four of us started. But there's always a lot of cloak and dagger stuff and a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes.

After that, we'll see Kiss on the road this year?

Yes, in June. We'll go on tour and do what we do, and that is do great shows. Arguably this is the best stage show we've ever done; the Spider stage just takes everything to another level. So we're just gonna get out there and do what we do.

Do you see another album on the horizon?

Not at the moment. I can't rule it out. The other ones came about very naturally and seemed like the right time. I certainly thought that we needed to claim our ground and put our stamp on the present and the future with our feet still planted in the past. They felt great to do because the band has been that great. Where we go from here as far as recording, I don't know. There are no plans at the moment -- and that could change tomorrow.

You end "Face The Music" with the notion that Kiss can continue without you, and Gene. Do you really mean that?

One hundred percent! Why wouldn't I? It's absurd for me to think that this incredible band, brand, point of view, lifestyle, philosophy shouldn't exist without me. I'm not essential to it. I've laid the groundwork and written the bible, so to speak, but I'm not big-headed or delusional enough to believe that there isn't somebody out there, and more than one person, who could do this every bit as well and better than I do and bring something else to it, based on what I've done. The people who believed the band can't exist or continue without me or Gene, well, a lot of those people in the late 70s believed the band couldn't continue without the original four -- at this point they're 50 percent wrong.

This is not something the Beatles could have spoken about doing, though, or the Rolling Stones.

Of course they couldn't -- because they're not Kiss! We've broken the rules from day one. We were never supposed to succeed in a lot of people's eyes. We've never been defined by the limitations of other people's bands, so why would we lower the bar based on what other bands can or can't do. We've moved forward and not only survived but thrived based on a philosophy and point of view and a certain music. It's really about that way more than it is about the individuals. I mean, I'm a big fan of mine, but I didn't invent the wheel.

Late KISS drummer's heirs say band stiffed them

Update from Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) Eric Carr's family is shocked by a lawsuit filed without their knowledge or support. We will deal with this attempted scam appropriately.

(nypost.com) The heirs of the late KISS drummer Eric Carr — who replaced founding band member Peter Criss — have slapped the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-bound band with a lawsuit over unpaid royalties.

Carr’s heirs say the group, including founding frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, has stiffed them on untold payments stretching back to the Brooklyn-born musician’s death from cancer in 1991.

The suit says the estate is entitled to between a 5 and 50 percent cut on four lesser-known songs that Carr wrote — “Breakout,” “Carr Jam 1981” “Car Jam 1991” and “Little Caesar.”

Carr joined the band — known for its Kabuki makeup and pyrotechnic stagecraft — in 1980 and recorded eight albums.

For years the heirs believed they were only due royalties from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

“They thought they were getting it all from one source,” the estate’s attorney, Robert Garson, told The Post.

The heirs — a friend and a relative of Carr’s whom Garson declined to name — realized that they should have been receiving payments from Kiss entities including the current group, two publishing firms and Gene Simmons Worldwide Inc.

Reps for KISS stonewalled his attempts for information—blaming the delays on the band’s touring schedule and overworked accountants, records show.

Included in the Manhattan Supreme Court suit is a 1989 receipt Garson unearthed from KISS Co. to Carr for over $4,000 in payments from foreign use.

Garson wants to know where those funds went following Carr’s early death.

Carr, who took the stage wearing the facial makeup of “The Fox,” joined the band in 1980 and recorded eight albums with the group.

The “Rock and Roll All Night” band has recently enjoyed a resurgence with Stanley releasing a biography “Face the Music: A Life Exposed” this month and menswear designer John Varvatos hiring the band for his spring ad campaign.

But it’s also dealing with a rift among the original quartet over a reunion performance at the sold-out ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction at Barclay’s arena on April 10.

Hall of Fame organizers wanted the founding members to play—but Simmons and Stanley balked, claiming the performance would amount to an awkward KISS-and-make-up session with an ex-wife.

Fans are still hoping the foursome will get together for a jam session at the end of the night– ticket prices on the secondary market are up to over $2,000 each.

The band did not immediately return requests seeking comment.

Rock group Kiss tackles tricky spectacle of indoor football

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band Kiss put down their instruments, wiped away the face paint and unveiled their own arena football franchise on Monday, promising to pair the niche sport with the pyrotechnic theater of their concerts.

Seated outside the Honda Center arena in Anaheim, California, the two sixty-somethings stayed true to their trademark self assurance and bravado in their plan to turn an indoor version of American football played on a smaller field with a heavy emphasis on high scores into a top entertainment draw in Southern California.

"We don't compete with anybody else. We set our own trail," Stanley told media assembled outside the arena, which is home to hockey's Anaheim Ducks and only a few miles down the road from Walt Disney Co's Disneyland theme park.

They aim to go where others have failed in a place with no shortage of entertainment and recreation alternatives.

The LA Kiss will be the fourth attempt to establish a franchise in either Los Angeles or nearby Anaheim since the league began in 1987. The team begins their season on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.

Games will have a carnival-like atmosphere with elephants, fire-breathers, stilt walkers, little people and go-go dancers.

"We are trailblazers, whether it's in rock and roll or now football," added Stanley, who along with Simmons purchased the franchise with two other investors last year. "There's no rivalry because no one can rival us. We're going to stake our claims and mark our territory."

LA Kiss will give the 14-team Arena Football League another shot at making the sport stick in Southern California, the country's second-largest sports market, which has not had an NFL franchise in 20 years.

Arena football depends on players whose professional prospects in the NFL, the country's most popular sports league, never came to fruition.

Simmons, 64, and Stanley, 62, form half of Kiss, one of the top-selling rock groups of the past 40 years best known for their white-and-black face paint, garish costumes, and songs like party anthem "Rock and Roll All Nite" and ballad "Beth."

"ENTERTAINMENT" NOT SPORT

They are not the first rock and roll owners in arena football. Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi is a former owner of the Philadelphia Soul franchise.

The league has made concerted efforts to court consumers in small and mid-markets such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Spokane, Washington, so far passing on renewing its past bets in competitive places like New York and Boston.

"There's no reason that we won't deliver exactly what we said we would," Simmons said. "Anyone else who has failed in the past may have tried valiantly, but trying isn't good enough."

The last franchise in the region, Los Angeles Avengers, folded in 2008 after nine seasons when the financially struggling league canceled its 2009 season.

"It's a fair way down the sports or economic food chain," Allen Sanderson, an economist at the University of Chicago, said about the league. "I think one should probably look at it as more of a hobby than an investment."

But franchise co-owner Brett Bouchy is steadfast that the LA Kiss should be viewed as an entertainment brand rather than a sports franchise like the NFL.

"We're going the other way. ... We are trying to differentiate ourselves from everything else out there in sports," he said.

LA Kiss will be able to seat about 15,000 people at the Honda Center, and Bouchy said the team has already been able to sell more than 7,000 season ticket packages with a goal of reaching 10,000 before the team's first home game on April 5.

But the franchise's marketing plan has its own inherent risks as well, said Keith Willoughby, a business professor at the University of Saskatchewan, drawing a comparison with the failed XFL football league that attempted to fuse the sport together with the over-the-top sensibility of pro wrestling.

"The challenge the XFL ran into was that it wasn't football enough for the football fan and it wasn't entertainment enough for the wrestling fan," he said. "You're trying to straddle two different cultural markets, and the inability to do both is a recipe for disaster."

Interview: Larry Russell

Interview: Longtime Ace Frehley friend, Larry Russell: Part 1, Part 2.

Producer Richie Wise talks Dust & KISS

Producer Richie Wise talks Dust & KISS (March 7 2014): Listen.

Interview: Carl V. Dupre

Interview: Screenwriter - Carl V. Dupre (KISS' Detroit Rock City 1999): Listen.

Bruce Stephen Foster Talks KISS

Bruce Stephen Foster Talks KISS (Feb 18th 2014): Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 66 Mitch Lafon Leaves, His Last Show: Listen.

Episode 66, March 11, 2014. This show was recorded three days before Mitch Lafon announced he had quit Three Sides of the Coin. We start this show with a statement as to what happened, why Mitch left, what will Three Sides do to replace Mitch. During the show Mitch did announce he would no longer do KISS Shockers from Mitch's Locker. The topic of the last show is our memories of the albums KISS, Alive!, Lick It Up and Hot In The Shade. We are also joined by fan Scott Lawrence who won or Sensers Treasure Hunt.

Mexican state draws fire for halting heavy metal concert

A Mexican state's decision to cancel a two-day heavy metal concert with top bands like Kiss, Twisted Sister and Guns N' Roses is drawing fire from fans and organizers, who say they suspect that political motives, corruption or discrimination are behind the move.

The Mexico state government says the March 15-16 "Hell and Heaven Metal Fest" concert planned for a fairground just east of Mexico City did not have adequate safety plans, posing a risk to concert-goers. The Web pages of all three of the metal bands still showed the concert on their tour schedules.

The state sent about 300 riot police to surround the fairgrounds Friday in the township of Texcoco. The state civil defense office, and its federal counterpart, said in a statement that it had cancelled the organizers' plans "for 70,000 to 80,000 people and 50 musical groups, because safety conditions for potential concert-goers were not ensured." It cited a lack of fire safety and evacuation plans, and inadequate planning for fireworks.

But concert organizers noted that the same fairgrounds are used each year for the Texcoco International Horse Fair, which is essentially a big concert drawing crowds nearly as large, with groups that perform songs directly related to violence, like narco corridos, which celebrate the exploits of drug cartel leaders.

For decades in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, the Mexican government effectively blocked most outdoor rock concerts, apparently fearful of gatherings of rebellious youth. But in Mexico, it is drug cartel violence that has cost tens of thousands of lives in recent years.

The town of Texcoco is governed by the leftist Citizens' Movement party and it still supports the Metal Fest. Town spokesman Francisco Vazquez said he believes the state government, which is in the hands of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, may have cancelled the concert for political reasons.

"I can't rule that out," said Vazquez. "This is discrimination against Texcoco."

But lingering suspicion of heavy metal in socially conservative Mexico may have played a role.

Texcoco market vendor Juan Portugues told the Milenio television network that local residents were leery of the festival. "We think that this event, this metal event, will be attended by a certain type of people, gangs will come," he said.

Juan Carlos Guerrero, the spokesman for the concert organizers, said, "I don't know if this is discrimination against the metal community, I couldn't prove that's the case, but there are some things that make you wonder, and one is that massive 'grupero' (another northern Mexico genre) concerts have been held in Texcoco, with as many as 200,000 people."

Another of the concert's organizers, Javier Castaneda, vowed the show would go on. "This is not a question of discrimination against heavy metal, it is more about political and financial interests," said Castaneda.

GENE SIMMONS And PAUL STANLEY Announce Franchisee For ROCK & BREWS In Kansas And Oklahoma

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS announced today that they plan to expand their Rock & Brews restaurant brand into Kansas and Oklahoma. The rock icons have signed a franchise agreement for five new locations, with the first set to open in May in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.

Joining the Rock & Brews family as the first multi-unit franchisee is Kansas native, Kirk Williams, president of Legacy Restaurant Group, an established restaurant operator who currently owns 21 Wendy's restaurants in Kansas and Missouri. Williams has formed Kanbrews, LLC to develop, open and operate the five Rock & Brews in Kansas and Oklahoma over the next five years, and has the option for an additional five in Missouri and Nebraska.

"Rock & Brews is unlike any full-service restaurant company I have experienced," said Williams. "The concept is very family and neighborhood friendly, offering superior classic American cuisine at affordable prices, an unparalleled selection of international and craft beers and an atmosphere that is energized and welcoming. After one hour at the company's flagship location near Los Angeles International Airport in California, I knew that we needed to bring this dynamic brand to the Midwest."

The new Rock & Brews in Overland Park will be part of the highly anticipated Prairiefire development, a 58-acre, mixed-use, "city-within-a-city" that will feature luxury residences, office space, a luxury boutique hotel, casual and fine dining, retail and entertainment facilities, and vast outdoor recreational space. Prairiefire will also be home to The Museum of Prairiefire, featuring renowned exhibitions and authentic artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History of New York, one of the world's most celebrated museums.

"Prairiefire, like Rock & Brews, is a truly unique destination experience and a perfect location for us," said Stanley. "Our goal is to provide a sensory experience for rockers of all ages with incredible food, a broad selection of craft beers and an exciting rock-themed environment."

Stanley and Simmons, along with their co-founding partners, restaurateur and hotelier Michael Zislis and concert industry veterans Dave and Dell Furano, are thoughtfully planning for worldwide expansion of the brand. The franchise agreement with Williams is the first of a handful of select regional, multi-unit franchise partners that Rock & Brews will engage for the expansion.

"We have opportunities around the world, and are carefully reviewing each and every one of them and interviewing appropriate partners," said Simmons. "While the demand is high, we will expand the brand cautiously because, like every one of our concerts, each restaurant is special."

Rock & Brews Overland Park will join the brand's growing roster that includes three Los Angeles-area locations, including its flagship location in El Segundo, one in Redondo Beach, and one at LAX Terminal 5; its first international location in Los Cabos, Mexico, and its newest location in Paia on Maui. In addition to Overland Park, several Rock & Brews restaurants are in development in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and Texas.

The more-than-6,000-square-foot Rock & Brews Overland Park will feature the brand's signature casual American cuisine, a full bar that includes a broad selection of premium wines and international and craft beers, and an atmosphere reminiscent of a family-friendly concert environment, featuring concert lighting, multiple televisions and concert-style rock music. Guests can dine indoors or al fresco on heated patios. And, with something for everyone, Rock & Brews Overland Park will be dog-friendly and offer a lively play area for children.

Rock & Brews Overland Park will introduce 75 new full- and part-time jobs for restaurant employees and dozens of construction jobs.

While the restaurant is expected to open by May 1, grand opening activities hosted by Simmons and Stanley and their co-founding partners are set for May 29 and will include a luncheon for wounded warriors, veterans and active military and an evening gala.

For information, visit www.rockandbrews.com.

David Hasselhoff, Gene Simmons featured on 'Celebrity Home Raiders'

For those who have always wanted to see David Hasselhoff's house, Lifetime has a series for you. In conjunction with Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions, the network will debut "Celebrity Home Raiders" on Thursday at 10 p.m.

The premise couldn’t be simpler: Stars put personal belongings up for sale, with proceeds going to the charity of their choosing. Here’s the twist: While the host, Kit Hoover from "Access Hollywood," gets the celebrities to put a dollar value on their memorabilia, Julien’s co-owners Darren Julien and Martin Nolan roam through the residence looking for goodies.

“Closets and the drawers in the bedroom furniture are always interesting,” said Julien, who found a gold record behind a sofa and "Baywatch" dolls in the cupboards of David Hasselhoff’s Malibu rental. (That episode airs March 13.) “If a celebrity has Stickley furniture, we will sell it, but the iconic and personal items bring the highest bids. And seeing the celebrity on TV with the item that’s going to auction is the best form of authenticity.”

At the end of each show, one of the Julien’s co-owners determines the auction estimates for the items. "Martin and I can be the bad guys that give them the reality check,” Julien said. “Some of the celebrities are not happy with the evaluations, and it shows.”

"Darren is a cool guy,” said Hasselhoff, with a laugh. “It gave me a chance to tell all the amazing stories, but he undercut me on my 'Baywatch' pinball machine.” The actor also donated items from "Knight Rider" and his appearance in the "Spongebob Squarepants" movie.

“They built a 12-foot replica of me,” he added. “I was either going to turn it into a mailbox or a headstone, but I kept it in my screening room to scare people.” Bidding for the "Hoff" effigy will begin at $500 during the April 11-12 Hollywood Legends auction in Beverly Hills, which features items from Hasselhoff and "Celebrity Home Raiders" guest stars Fran Drescher and Ice-T and Coco.

Julien got a serious fright at Gene Simmons' Beverly Hills mega-mansion, which is featured in the series premiere. While scouring the house for collectibles, he opened a door, only to come face to face with the tongue-wagging Kiss bassist. "Gene wasn’t too happy that his personal space was invaded,” Julien said. “That look on my face was not acting.”

Simmons’ memorabilia — including items from his wife, actress Shannon Tweed — will be auctioned alongside items from the series’ other pop star participants: Debbie Gibson, David Cassidy and 'N Sync’s Lance Bass at the May 17 Music Icons auction at the Hard Rock in Times Square.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Bring an Arena Football Team, LA Kiss, to Anaheim-and They're Already Winning

(ocweekly.com) The first week of January is supposed to be slow on the Santa Ana College campus: no students, no classes, just maintenance workers, administrators and the stray professor. That meant it was the perfect time for the LA KISS, the newest franchise of the Arena Football League (AFL), to unveil its quixotic campaign toward pigskin relevancy—or at least a great payday for everyone involved.

"Once we commit to doing something, it becomes 'How do we make this succeed?'" Paul Stanley says. "We've always gone against the grain and played by our own rules."

Around 9 a.m. on a clear, chilly morning, hulking figures methodically make their way onto a soccer pitch transformed into a 200-foot-by-85-foot, arena-football-regulation field—about half the size of a standard gridiron. As players wearing team-issued orange shirts and black shorts head onto the field, multiple camera operators stand by the entrance, capturing their every move. They graciously smile and acknowledge the non-team personnel while stretching and preparing for morning practice.

What they don't know is that on this day, the men who sign their checks—and will draw more attention to them than the average AFL player can ever hope to experience—plan to address them.

Suddenly, the players' attention shifts to a gentleman sauntering onto the field. He has long, flowing black hair and is wearing a leather jacket and jeans. After exchanging handshakes with several execs, he looks at his watch.

"Where's Gene?" KISS founding guitarist/singer Paul Stanley asks his manager/co-owner Doc McGhee.

"Soon," McGhee responds.

"That's right—he drives like an old lady," Stanley adds before the two share a laugh.

Finally, Gene Simmons, the legendary KISS bassist/singer, arrives. He parks his black Lincoln Navigator at the adjacent lot and hustles—clad entirely in black—onto the field so that practice and filming can finally commence. There's chatter, but some of the players don't recognize the rock icon without his trademark Kabuki makeup and rock-god stage attire.

After Simmons is mic'd, he joins Stanley, McGhee, co-owner Brett Bouchy and team president Schuyler Hoversten as they casually stroll toward the team huddle, where head coach Bob McMillen is outlining his plans for practice. The morning's action is being captured as part of an upcoming reality show that will chronicle the team's first season; it's scheduled to air on AMC in July.

Since their emergence in the early 1970s, KISS have been known as much for their genius commercialization and branding as for their music and devoted fan base. Over the years, the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees have licensed the band's name to a wide range of products, including mini-golf courses, Hello Kitty dolls and even caskets for fans who want to represent the KISS army in the afterlife. But their latest venture might be the most ambitious of all: bringing a football franchise to Orange County, an area that produces some of the best high school talent in the country. It is a far different beast than opening up another Rock & Brews restaurant.

The stakes are high for Simmons and Stanley. If the LA KISS can succeed, both by winning on the field and providing an exciting entertainment experience, their pockets and that of the AFL will benefit. Having recently signed a national television contract, the league could become a fixture on the spring sports calendar and achieve the lofty goals that seemed far-fetched when it re-formed in 2010.

And if they fail?

"Once we commit to doing something, it becomes 'How do we make this succeed?'" Stanley says, unapologetically. "We've always gone against the grain and played by our own rules. If winning is the worst we've ever done, well, that's what we've always aspired to."

* * *

After the initial made-for-TV speeches the owners give to the squad, the players shake hands with their bosses.

"Winning comes from teamwork," Stanley tells the team off-camera. "Nobody wins on their own, and if we can instill a sense of band of brothers, which is what it took with KISS, with them, they will be successful."

When talking with Bouchy and McGhee, the players shake hands with stoic expressions. Meeting and greeting Simmons and Stanley is different. The players gravitate toward them wearing smiles; some of them shake like teenagers backstage at a mid-1970s KISS concert. They continue talking to their rock-icon bosses even after the cameras stop rolling, but then McMillen's loud whistle signals them that it's time to get to business.

The LA KISS split into offensive and defensive practices, while the owners, with camera crew in tow, head for a set of bleachers 30 feet away.

Early on, practice is crisp and fluid, appearing as if the team has taken Stanley's message to heart. McMillen claps loudly and barks at the players to keep up the strong showing. As a Hall of Fame AFL player, the coach knows how to get his message across to players, who respond to his upbeat personality. Grueling agility drills are completed multiple times without complaint. After each player finishes a set, the coach shouts encouraging words. Early in the practice, he's focused on the defense. On the other side of the field, passes are mostly on target, with few dropped balls.

At this point, Simmons and Stanley can be excused for checking out early, managing their empire from afar and leaving the dirty work to underlings. Instead, Simmons' eyes are locked on several massive defensive linemen seamlessly weaving around the small orange cones during footwork drills.

"Wow! Did you see him move?" Simmons asks, his eyes lighting up. "I never knew humans could be that big, that fast and that quick on their feet. I'm out of wind just watching them!"

Yet, had it not been for an exploratory phone call from then-Orlando Predators owner Bouchy to McGhee, Simmons says, KISS wouldn't have expanded its brand into the AFL.

"Brett Bouchy is a champion," Simmons remarks. "All four of us—it's the unholy quartet."

Knowing the veteran music manager through a mutual friend, Bouchy originally wanted to chat with McGhee about the possibility of having KISS play a show during the 2013 Arena Bowl festivities in Orlando. "I wanted to create a Super Bowl-type atmosphere," Bouchy elaborates during a phone call a few weeks after the practice. "I wanted to turn it into a weekend event with a concert, and KISS were the obvious choice for it."

However, Bouchy had other ideas, too. He wanted to gauge whether McGhee would consider joining an ownership group for an expansion team in Nashville. For kicks, Bouchy also asked McGhee if he'd ask Simmons and Stanley if they wanted in; when they surprisingly said yes, Bouchy decided to ditch Nashville, shoot for Los Angeles and name the team after the band. With no football team presently in Los Angeles and no serious prospects on the horizon, Bouchy's idea made sense to the rock veterans from a financial perspective as well; during his tenure with the Predators, the team was always one of the league's most profitable.

In the four months after Bouchy's first call, what seemed as far-fetched as a successfully executed fumblerooski began taking shape. First, they needed to find an arena to house the team. After considering several locations, the foursome struck a deal with the Honda Center thanks to KISS' relationship with the venue.

"[It's] a world-class arena," Stanley says. "We've seen enough arenas to know what the top tier is. Quite honestly, they not only welcomed us with open arms, but they made it very clear to us that they wanted us there."

Even though the team is headquartered in Anaheim, the team was given the LA moniker to represent the football-starved region. Nevertheless, Stanley vows to not ignore Anaheim. "We're very much about community," he explains. "Whether it's outreach to hospitals or community service, we are committed to Anaheim. Historically, where a team plays isn't necessarily its identification for that team. If that idea of where you play is the name of your team, you would have the Bronx Yankees. We are of this neighborhood and have shown that to be the case."

What Simmons and Stanley lack in knowing how to run a successful sports team is gained in Bouchy and Hoversten's (recently of the Los Angeles Dodgers) experience. "[The band members] know what we know, and we know what we don't know," Simmons says in his New York accent. "That's why we brought the best people onboard."

As for their individual responsibilities, Stanley designs the team's uniform ("It's what you'd expect from a KISS team," he says) and selects the cheerleading squad. Simmons is involved with what he does best: promotions and branding. Simmons and Stanley regularly make the hour-long drive from their Los Angeles homes to attend meetings. The duo speaks daily with Bouchy and Hoversten about the team's operations. They are even involved in the tough choices when it comes to making critical player personnel decisions.

"When we're reviewing with Coach Bob the team, with the players' names on a big board," Simmons remembers, "we came down to one of the names who was a little slow in returning our calls and wasn't available. On the spot, we erased his name. This is legitimate, and you've gotta commit to it."

In order to carry through with ownership's proclamations of an in-your-face brand of football, the LA KISS went out and acquired the best available talent. Leading the squad as quarterback will be Colt Brennan, the former Mater Dei High quarterback who went on to become NCAA's single-season leader in touchdown passes. He acknowledges the LA KISS is unlike any other team he's played for, but he's upbeat and excited about the team's prospects on and off the field.

"The reality-show aspect has been a little bit different, but it hasn't been anything crazy," Brennan say. "We've been in a football mentality since we showed up."

After being seriously injured in a car accident, the Laguna Beach native wants another crack at the NFL. Initially apprehensive about joining an AFL team, he was sold about playing for the LA KISS after speaking with ownership. "This is an adult league, and we're treated like professionals," the quarterback says. "This is definitely going to be another pathway to get back to the NFL, and the level of talent in the Arena League is top-notch and will hopefully show someone in the NFL to give me a shot again."

* * *

Seeing the rock stars in person has brought out the best in the team. The wide receivers run precise patterns and drop only a handful of passes after being thrown hundreds of reps that morning. Running backs bob and weave past tackling dummies, treating each carry as though it will clinch the Arena Bowl.

As they head toward the team's locker room, located in the college's P.E. center, Stanley and Simmons gush over the team's performance. Simmons continues spouting superlatives about the defensive linemen's agility, while Stanley is impressed with the zip and accuracy of quarterback J.J. Raterink's passes.

"Even when the games aren't on, [when] practice isn't happening, the amount [the players] need to do to keep up with their athleticism is back-breaking stuff," Simmons says as he shakes his head. He removes his sunglasses and wipes his forehead. "I'm out of wind just watching them, and we're"—he points at Stanley and himself—"in pretty good shape!"

Unlike other professional sports leagues, in which owners treat newcomers with caution and distrust, afraid that any new ownership will attempt to uproot a league's existing order, the AFL welcomed the LA KISS with open arms. "We've been embraced immediately," Simmons says, referring to the league's owners and front office. "We understand that part of it is about celebrity, and that's fine. But just being famous doesn't mean anything because some people are turned off to it. We're very lucky our reputation precedes itself and we handle everything professionally."

Stanley praises the team's fellow owners, saying they understand what the LA KISS brings to the sport and how the franchise is an asset to the league. So far, he has been right. Since the team began operations in August, the AFL's profile has increased. It has secured an additional national television contract with ESPN on top of its existing deal with CBS Sports Network, inked before the 2013 season. It's coming back from the ashes of 2008, a year that saw the season canceled, two teams fold (including the Los Angeles Avengers, which was averaging more than 12,000 people per game at Staples Center), two commissioners resign, its collective bargaining agreement with players expire, and almost $14 million in debt.

Simmons and Stanley are well aware of the AFL's checkered past. Saying the league has learned from its mistakes, Simmons vows it is focused on doing "only AFL things" and becoming an entity that's an alternative to the game that dominates America's fall calendar. The AFL's popularity is predicated on its video-game-type scores, with teams racking up numbers in the 40s, 50s and even 60s. "You can't get those scores in NFL football," Stanley laments. "And we want to give them more."

LA KISS games will come with all the spectacle of a KISS concert, Simmons says. Instead of the traditional running onto the field out of a tunnel, the team might be lowered onto the field from the ceiling using a device KISS had created for their live show but never used.

"We're looking to have a Cirque du Soleil type of halftime show, in which we're lowering people on cables from the roof, which is as nontraditional as any halftime experience in professional sports," Stanley says. "If you don't have people rappelling down from the ceiling during halftime, I'll do it."

Will Simmons and Stanley join in the theatrics? Simmons shakes his head quickly, giving the "No thanks" signal with his arms.

"Oh, c'mon, Gene," Stanley interjects. "You know if there's a spotlight on you, you'd definitely do it!"

"Well, that's different," Simmons says wryly as his tone of voice changes. "If there's a spotlight? Then absolutely."

Brennan says the players are aware of the owners' ambitions and will do what it takes on the field to ensure a winning atmosphere. "Man, thinking about what they're going to do to the Honda Center on game [nights] with musical acts, it sounds like a really fun thing," he gushes. "This will be an environment not only where we'd have a great time playing the game, but seeing live music after a game, who wouldn't want to go? It's going to be really fun."

This isn't the legendary band's first foray into sports entertainment. In the late 1990s, KISS sponsored a WCW wrestler based on Simmons' Demon stage persona. While the Demon ultimately wasn't a wrestling success, it piqued the interest of a younger audience who may not have heard of KISS outside of the stories their parents may have shared about rock music. "People who aren't familiar with football should be able to go to see the LA KISS and have the time of their life," Simmons says. "Even if they don't know the specifics of what the rules are, the experience should still kick your ass. We want it to be about the team, but also the spectacle of it."

"To put the KISS name and logo on something, we have to be very, very comfortable that it will reflect well upon us," Stanley adds. "We don't put our name on something and say good luck. Make no mistake: This is football and not rock & roll, and we want to bring something to the sport that it may be missing."

Season-ticket prices start as low as $99 each, which includes nine regular-season games, plus one playoff game. So far, according to Bouchy, the signs have been encouraging. "We've surpassed 5,000 season tickets, and the trends are only looking up," he says. "The biggest problem we've encountered is hiring enough ticket salespeople to keep up with the demand."

"If there's one thing we know, it's how to give people bang for buck," Simmons says. "Football has become prohibitive in the sense that you have to mortgage your house or sell your car to go to Super Bowls. What we're trying to do is make this successful and, at the same time, available for families."

As an additional carrot to lure fans to the arena, there will be Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley bobblehead nights. Season-ticket holders will get a free KISS concert at the end of the season. And after each game—win, lose or draw—the players will stick around for a meet-and-greet session with fans. But Simmons and Stanley know that, despite all their celebrity and showmanship, luring fans to the Honda Center ultimately boils down to winning. By hiring the reigning Coach of the Year, McMillen, formerly with the Chicago Rush, and signing Brennan, Simmons and Stanley believe the two men accurately depict what the LA KISS will stand for.

"Hearing our coach wax poetic about the nature of character is refreshing," Simmons says. "The first thing he started with is that 'You're the representative of our team. When you meet the people who kindly gave us this facility, you're our emissary. Be nice to people.'"

"The AFL is misunderstood," Stanley adds. "Some people don't even know the Arena Football League exists. Other people think it's a bunch of second-rate players. They're not. We want people to see this as a springboard. If they want to get to the NFL, bless 'em. If they want to wear the crown in the AFL, so be it. It's a pretty good place to warm up, and it's definitely not the bullpen."

* * *

As Simmons walks across the Santa Ana College campus, he sees two students gazing his way, so he waves and says hello. They seem confused and look at each other with a sense of disbelief. After an awkward pause, they continue on their way without responding.

"If I had the makeup on, they'd know who I was," he says with a chuckle, pointing to his face.

But something else seems to be on Simmons' mind as he excitedly divulges details about the reality show. He can't find his car keys. He stops talking about the LA KISS and pats himself in an attempt to find them. He thinks he left his keys on the field, but he isn't sure.

We approach the field, and Simmons realizes he's made a rookie mistake. In his mad dash to make the call time, Simmons left his keys dangling from the ignition of his Navigator; the engine is still running. He looks down and shakes his head, seemingly disbelieving his own actions.

"This is what happens when you have too many exciting things going on," he says as he motions a fake gun to his head. "It's funny: I can remember our roster, but I can't remember my car keys. Go figure."

Gene Simmons snubbed by 'Game of Thrones' star

(Photo) Yup, that was awkward.

Lena Headey is clearly not a big Kiss fan. At Tuesday night's premiere for 300: Rise of an Empire, rocker Gene Simmons found that out the hard way after Headey snubbed his aggressive social advances.

It was a scene that would have fit in perfectly on the rocker's canceled reality show.

Simmons tried in vain to pull Headey, one of the 300 stars, away from an ongoing black carpet interview . He wanted to introduce her to his son Nick Simmons, 25, who was waiting with a pained expression a few feet away.

At first Headey smiled politely as Simmons assured her that she would much rather meet his son than continue an interview.

Then Simmons joked lamely about the AP microphone in front of him. ("I have an app on my phone," he said.) No one laughed.

Then he found out that Headey was not going to move despite being guided by his left hand on her back. Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones and Spartan Queen Gorgo in 300: Rise of an Empire, stood her ground and continued her interview.

Simmons eventually moved away as Nick Simmons offered an apology of sorts before the family continued into the premiere.

The interlude did bring up the question: What was Gene Simmons doing on the 300: Rise of an Empire black carpet anyway?

Turns out both father and son are big fans of the 300 franchise, giving the rocker a chance to continue railing about critics. But this time it wasn't critics who don't like Kiss; it was those who didn't like the 2007 original 300.

"That was my favorite movie that year," said Simmons. "All the Vincent Canbys and The New York Times critics mean nothing. Because the people always rule. I think the rule of thumb here is ignore critics."

12 memorable moments from 2014 big-event games

The 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday wrapped up in memorable style an impressive slate of big-event games by the NHL this season.

The Heritage Classic, in which the Ottawa Senators used an impressive comeback to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2, was the final of a six-game slate of special-event games which begin with the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1. The 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series was crammed in the middle. Featuring a game at Dodger Stadium, a pair of contests at Yankee Stadium and an unforgettable night at Soldier Field, the four-game series was a hit in every possible way.

The two-month extravaganza of gala regular-season games entertained more 375,000 fans in person and countless others watching on television, providing a variety of memorable moments and an experience fans and players alike will cherish.

Here's a look at a dozen moments, in no particular order, from the six special-event games this season:

1. Sea of (red and) blue: Ever wondered what an NHL game would like with 105,000 friends? Michigan Stadium proved to be an incredible setting for the Winter Classic, with quality sightlines and an amazingly intimate atmosphere despite easily the most patrons ever to watch an NHL game. The fan bases of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs did their part, packing the stadium and proudly displaying their favorite team's colors, which made for incredible visuals.

2. California, here we come: Playing a game at Dodger Stadium always was considered the biggest experiment among these outdoor games, and Chavez Ravine provided an amazing backdrop for a wonderfully Southern California experience. The area on the field inside the stadium that wasn't covered by ice had beach volleyball, street hockey, yoga, Frisbees and the kings of spectacle, KISS. Legendary broadcasters Vin Scully of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Bob Miller of the Los Angeles Kings welcomed the players to the field, and Scully narrated a spine-tingling segment at the start of the television broadcast. This game didn't need snow to provide stunning aerial images and a poignant party atmosphere.

3. Hall of Fame connection?: On a day where New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr passed former teammate Mario Lemieux on the League's all-time assist leaderboard, he provided the engine for one of the prettiest goals scored in any of the NHL's outdoor games. Jagr collected a pass on the left wing and swooped past four New York Rangers defenders before splitting them with a perfect pass to a trailing Patrik Elias for a goal at the edge of the crease to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.

4. Big day for JVR: James van Riemsdyk had a New Year's Day he won't soon forget when the Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings on Jan. 1. Not only did van Riemsdyk learn he will represent the United States at the Winter Olympics for the first time during a postgame announcement on the ice at Michigan Stadium, but he also scored the goal of the game. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard denied his first two attempts but van Riemsdyk swatted the second rebound out of the air and into the net.

5. Bravest and Finest: The walk from the dressing rooms to the ice has become a staple of the outdoor-game pageantry, and it will be tough to top how the Rangers and Devils were welcomed to the playing surface at Yankee Stadium. Members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums and the NYPD Pipes and Drums played as the players walked past en route to the ice and a crowd of more than 50,000 serenaded both clubs with a mixture of cheers and boos befitting a passionate, New York-based rivalry.

6. Hiller stones Kopitar … twice: The most memorable part of Jonas Hiller's night at Dodger Stadium might be the bright orange pads he wore to match his team's uniform, but the Anaheim Ducks goalie also wowed with his performance. Hiller stopped all 36 shots by the Kings, and the two most impressive were 1-on-1 saves against Anze Kopitar. The Slovenian star had a penalty shot and a clear breakaway, but Hiller turned aside both to further frustrate the struggling Kings offense.

7. Fight on and palm trees: Speaking of player entrances, it was another part of the pregame spectacle at Dodger Stadium that was perfect. The Ducks and Kings walked from center field through two rows of palm trees before splitting off to their respective ends of the ice. The instructions were something like, "turn when you reach the band," because the University of Southern California marching band was playing as the players walked toward the ice.

8. Winter wonderland: The first NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo provided indelible images because of the snowfall during the game. "Snow globe effect" became an accepted phrase when discussing hockey games played outdoors after that day at Ralph Wilson Stadium. A steady snow fell during the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium and kept members of the NHL's ice crew busy during stoppages of play. It was even snowier at Soldier Field for the Stadium Series game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins, forcing the ice crew to perform a Herculean job with the snow removal.

9. Rangers hit a "grand slam": The first period between the Devils and Rangers at Yankee Stadium was wide open and saw the teams combine for five goals. It was all Rangers in the second as New York put four goals past New Jersey's Martin Brodeur to take control of the contest en route to a 7-3 victory. The Rangers scored the most goals by any team in an NHL outdoor game.

10. Signature move: Outdoor games aren't remembered too often for highlight-reel goals, but that all changed during a raging snowstorm on March 1 at Soldier Field. Despite a coating of snow on the ice, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews collected a pass in the neutral zone and stickhandled his way into the attacking zone before deking Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik with a dazzling inside-out move. Toews finished the play by tucking the puck through the legs of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the first of his two goals on the night.

11. Rock and Roll All Night: "You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy!" the members of KISS screamed into their microphones during a performance at the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, issuing a challenge the fans on hand were only too happy to meet. Walking the red carpet before the start of the game, band member Gene Simmons was asked what could be expected from KISS during their appearances before the game and during the first intermission. "Look up more in the dictionary and there will be a picture of KISS next to it," he growled. "That is who we are and what we do." The rock and roll legends, who go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, delivered on Simmons' bombastic promise.

12. Target practice: After falling into a two-goal hole against the Canucks at the Heritage Classic, the Senators found their range with some serious sharp-shooting from their biggest stars. Defenseman Erik Karlsson used a fake slap shot, followed by a perfectly placed shot along the ice to catch the inside of the far post to beat Eddie Lack for the tying goal. Later, Jason Spezza finished off a transition rush by snapping a wrister off the far post and in for the winning goal.

The Michael Des Barres Show – with Gene Simmons!

The Michael Des Barres Show – with Gene Simmons! – 2-27-14 | TradioV Los Angeles: Listen.

PodKISSt #81 Is the KISS Army dead?

On this edition of PodKISSt we are joined by Bill Starkey for an in-depth discussion about the state of the KISS Army. Are we in danger? People are threatening to burn their KISS Army cards! What should we do??? PodKISSt says KEEP ROCKING! Listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 65 We Discuss YOUR Hate for KISS: Listen.

Kiss Guitarist Paul Stanley Talks Ace Frehley, Peter Criss and Being Ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(guitarworld.com) This is an excerpt from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus an interview with Gene Simmons and much more Kiss (not to mention the Scorpions, three kings of acoustic shred, the hottest gear from the 2014 NAMM Show and more), check out the April 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

Rock and Roll Hall Nite: In celebration of their upcoming Hall of Fame induction, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons take off the makeup for a pair of revealing interviews about their 40 years in Kiss.

Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the merchandising. Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just the music itself. Whatever the source, it is safe to say that few bands have inspired as much fervent devotion—and also rabid derision—as the self-proclaimed “Hottest Band in the World,” Kiss.

But love them or hate them (and really, is there any area in between?), Kiss—and in particular its stalwart co-founders, visionaries and greatest proponents and protectors, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—continue to not only exist but also scale greater heights.

Here we are in 2014, and the band, now roughly 10 lineups in with current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are experiencing yet another renaissance. Their most recent (and 20th) studio album, Monster, was an unusually strong effort, more energetic and enjoyable than should reasonably be expected from any band at this stage of its career.

Meanwhile, on the live front, Kiss continue to push the limits of just how much of an over-the-top spectacle a rock and roll show can truly be (for evidence, check out videos of recent performances that feature their newly designed Spider stage).

But 2014 is also offering up another nice pair of victories for the band. This year marks Kiss’ 40th anniversary (their self-titled debut was released in February 1974), and in April, Stanley and Simmons, along with former, and now estranged, original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To celebrate these dual milestones, Guitar World met separately with Stanley and Simmons at their Los Angeles homes to discuss just a few of the many triumphs and tribulations that led the band here.

Below is an excerpt from our interview with Paul Stanley. In the new issue, the guitarist opens up about firing Ace and Peter and why Kiss took off the makeup—and put it back on.

Congratulations on your long-awaited Hall of Fame induction. Along with Rush, who were inducted last year, there is possibly no other band that has been both as successful in music and as ignored by the Hall as Kiss.

But to ignore somebody with the kind of fervor that we’ve been ignored, that’s clearly a conscious decision. For better or worse, that’s not being ignored at all. When it happens year after year, that’s a choice. But on the other side of it, to me rock and roll has always been about doing what you want to do and ignoring not only your critics but also your peers. For 40 years, we’ve rarely wavered from that. So I would have to say that the same criteria that has kept us out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the same criteria that now has gotten us inducted into it.

The debate over whether or not Kiss deserved to be in the Hall of Fame was in a way a microcosm of a larger and much longer-running argument about Kiss’ artistic merits in general. The classic “Kiss Army vs. the Critics” battle, if you will.

But ultimately, who gives a shit about the critics? To pontificate or pass judgment on what’s good or bad, I leave that to the audience. And let me say this: the makeup and the stage show have never been there to cover anything up; it’s there to embellish and enhance what we do. I’ve seen us onstage without any makeup, I’ve seen us play in a club setting. We’ve got the goods. If some people are turned off by the way we look, that’s their prerogative.

How did you and Ace work together as guitarists in the early days?

What we had at the beginning was magical. Not because we were virtuosos. Magic in rock and roll isn’t dependent on virtuosity. Ace and I played great together. But in my mind it’s a crime what Ace did. He threw away incredible potential and talent. The Ace I played with when the band first started out was a comet. And not [Frehley’s late-Eighties band] Frehley’s Comet! But he was burning bright and really had the ability—and this would rub him the wrong way—to be a real contender. But he stopped practicing. He got involved with a whole lot of things that really diluted and diminished his craft. I saw that comet grow dim.

By the turn of the Eighties, Ace and Peter were on their way out, and Gene was off trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood. Did you feel like you were on your own in Kiss?

Totally. Absolutely. I didn’t feel it. I was. There wouldn’t have been a band without me. Because when your partner is off doing all kinds of questionable side projects and not only taking time but also involvement away from the band, sure. For me it ultimately came down to, I love what I do; I don’t want this to end. So I decided to bail water, for my own survival.

How did that make you feel?

It certainly was more lonely and more stressful to know that the only person who was going to get us through the icebergs was me. But I didn’t mind that. I only minded the fact that I was still splitting the income and royalties as though I had a partner. That bothered me. The fact that I was running things? Honestly, that’s probably what got us through that decade.

As far as navigating the icebergs, as Kiss’ popularity declined, it was your idea, in 1983, to take off the makeup in order to reinvigorate interest in the band.

I didn’t see any other choice at that point. And I take my hat off to Gene that, although he was uncertain about it and maybe less comfortable with it, he came to realize that it was the right move. Or at least he saw that I was very committed to the idea. I felt that we had diluted everything the band was to the point where it was becoming a farce. What happened was, we kicked Peter out of the band—“we” meaning Ace, Gene and myself.

But rather than saying, “We’ve built these iconic figures together and we’re going to continue on with what we built,” we bought into the idea of, “We have to have a new character.” That watered it down. Some people may argue with me, but I feel that Batman is Batman whether he’s played by George Clooney, Christian Bale, Val Kilmer and on and on.

For the rest of this story, plus an interview with Gene Simmons and much more Kiss (not to mention the Scorpions, three kings of acoustic shred, the hottest gear from the 2014 NAMM Show and more), check out the April 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

KISS is happy with its lineup and OK with the Rock Hall

(latimes.com) The sideshow at Dodger Stadium is about to begin as Paul Stanley emerges from his backstage trailer, shirtless and in full kabuki drag: bright red lips, his face painted harlequin white, a black star over his right eye. The singer-guitarist is here to perform with his band KISS but hears his name and walks over to a crowd gathered at the fence.

"Arriba!" yells one fan, and Stanley reaches over to shake hands, as dozens of cellphones take snapshots. "Let me see your shoes!" shouts another, and Stanley half-climbs the fence to swing a tasseled silver-and-black platform boot over the top. "Thanks, Paul!"

In less than an hour, Stanley and his musical partner of four decades, Gene Simmons, will lead KISS through two short sets of hooks and hard rock riffs as halftime entertainment for an ice hockey game between the Kings and the Ducks. It's another strange gig in the ongoing saga of KISS, which long ago evolved from band to lucrative brand, ready for high-profile special events, reality TV and cradle-to-grave business ventures in the form of KISS Hello Kitty Dolls, KISS comics, books, T-shirts, action figures and restaurants as well as KISS caskets and KISS urns.

Designer John Varvatos recruited KISS for his Spring 2014 advertising campaign, putting the band in sharp suits to echo the 1975 album cover for "Dressed to Kill." And next month is the unlikely debut of an arena football team called the L.A. KISS, co-owned by Simmons and Stanley (with band manager Doc McGhee and sports exec Brett Bouchy). This is not standard rock 'n' roll behavior.

"This is what I do for a living," jokes Stanley, 62, greeting a friend backstage. "Got to put the kids through school."

In one more way, 2014 could be the band's most surprising year since its initial 1970s pop culture explosion, beginning with KISS' induction April 10 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It welcomes the hard-rock quartet into the critical pantheon that has at times violently rejected KISS and acknowledges the band's huge impact on rock spectacle.

The band's stagecraft has grown only bigger and louder, with eruptions of fire and smoke, and members standing like comic book heroes in two-tone makeup and "uniforms" of armor and shades of silver and black, singing anthems of rocking out and getting the girl — and then getting another. The band's hard-charging, catchy guitar rock took the genre to new theatrical heights while helping set the stage for the glam-informed look and sound of the Sunset Strip in the '80s and beyond.

"I still believe the heart and soul of this is a band. The music is imperative," says Stanley, who has produced the last two KISS albums and next month releases an autobiography, "Face the Music: A Life Exposed." "Maybe our horizons are broader because we have an opportunity to go other places. Why not? Whether it's a football team or restaurants, people say that's not rock 'n' roll. Let me tell you what's rock 'n' roll: Winning is rock 'n' roll."

Being voted into the Hall of Fame is a victory that comes 15 years after the band's initial eligibility and annual outrage from fans. But next month's ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn also means dealing with old wounds and complications that began with the final exit of founding guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss more than a dozen years ago. In their place ever since are lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, 53, and drummer Eric Singer, 55, who both wear the makeup designs of their predecessors (designs owned by Simmons and Stanley).

"The naysayers, and some of them are loud, talk about Tommy or Eric being impostors. I think an impostor is a guy up there doing it for a paycheck," says Stanley, back in his trailer and now dressed in his full stage regalia, with black feathers on his shoulders and medallions over his chest of a guitar pick, a feather, a star. "We've never been happier."

Any hopes for a reunion in makeup of the four founding members at the Hall of Fame ceremony ended last week with a band decision to not perform in any capacity. A statement on the KISS website read: "This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone."

Negotiations with the Hall of Fame stalled, say Simmons and Stanley, who wanted to include Singer and Thayer, while the Rock Hall wanted a reunion of the original quartet in makeup.

"Imagine getting onstage and playing with a lineup that does not exist," says Simmons, 64, comparing the situation to a forced reunion with an ex-spouse. Both have bad memories of years of substance abuse by their former partners but say they are happy and proud to accept the award with the former members. Putting the original quartet in makeup was "a nonstarter," says Stanley.

Simmons and Stanley questioned whether the former members were up to performing. Reached via email, both Criss and Frehley are working on solo albums and say their problems with drinks and drugs are behind them. Frehley has been sober for seven years.

"We should of been able to work it out as grown men; it's a shame we couldn't," writes Criss, who also survived a 2007 breast cancer scare.

"My guitar playing, singing, writing, performing and producing skills are as good or better than the past," Frehley writes. "For years, Gene and Paul have been trying to minimize my contributions to the band, even though I designed the famous KISS logo … and designed the trademarked makeup for the Spaceman character."

All four said they were open to joining the night's traditional jam session at the end of the night. "That's what the celebration is all about," Frehley writes.

Long before being voted into the Rock Hall as a band, Simmons and Stanley were outspoken critics of the rock institution and its rules. "We had issues before this happened. It doesn't turn into a love fest now," says Stanley, but acknowledged, "There are some people who are angry or hurt by this, and I don't want to see that."

In the canyon mansion made through seven seasons of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" on the A&E network (the show was canceled in 2012), Simmons sits behind a desk stacked high with evidence of his place in the universe. There are KISS comics and rolls of KISS Hello Kitty toilet paper, DVDs and an array of magazine covers declaring him a financial wizard.

But at the moment, Simmons is somewhere else. His eyes are closed, and he gingerly taps a beat on imaginary drums, then riffs on air guitar and sings along to an old recording of his: "This time I'll get it right / Just give me one more chance tonight."

These aren't lightning bolts from the God of Thunder but melodic rock tunes that could have shared the late '60s Top 40 of the Beach Boys or the Animals. The songs are demos from 1977.

The controversies over the Hall of Fame and newer members wearing classic makeup are issues mainly for older fans with an emotional attachment to the original band. Simmons calls up a photo on his computer from a stadium show in Stockholm, then another from Lima, Peru. Both show ecstatic young fans in the front rows.

"Can you see the faces? That's about 90,000," he says of the crowd. "You see a bald head in there? You think they … about Ace and Peter? They're going, 'Who?' We've been around 40 years, and only two members stayed there the whole time, never quit, no drugs, no booze.

"KISS is bigger than anybody in the band."

The crowds didn't always come. After KISS' initial round of fame as pop culture figures in the '70s, the band's popularity began to fade. Criss and then Frehley soon left.

"What people don't realize is that you don't get any warnings," Stanley recalls of that time. "Nobody says, 'Hey, tomorrow you're not going to fill the arena. Tomorrow your album isn't going to sell.' You fall off the cliff. That is a stunning and stark realization. I don't think anything can prepare you for it."

KISS took off the makeup and became MTV stars in the hair-metal era with "Lick It Up" in 1983 and were platinum once again. "The idea was, if we can't exist as a band without makeup, then we don't deserve to exist. Let's take it off and see what we can do."

The makeup returned in 1996. In 2009, KISS began recording "Sonic Boom," this time with Singer and Thayer as full members. "Monster" followed in 2012, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart, though it hasn't reached the gold or platinum status typical of their first decades.

"It's very different out there," says Stanley. "If somebody's putting out an album thinking they're going to sell millions, they're going to be disappointed. We didn't do it for that. We did it to reclaim our territory and to see if we could contribute to the KISS legacy. Instead of just living and celebrating our past, being creative and moving forward but still firmly committed into what we've always done."

Family matters

KISS has a history at Dodger Stadium. The band launched its 1998 "Psycho Circus" reunion tour there on Halloween night. At the end of the show, the quartet slipped away in a van while fans were cheering but got stuck in traffic on the way to their hotel.

Stanley remembers KISS getting out of the van to walk the rest of the way on Sunset Boulevard, still in makeup. "People were going, 'Great costumes!'"

This time, the band exits before the main event is over. Thayer steps out of the trailer without makeup looking refreshed. Stanley walks hand-in-hand with his youngest children — ages 2, 4 and 7 — and proudly notes the blues-guitar skills of his 19-year-old, Evan Shane Stanley.

"Sooner or later, you'll realize that nothing is more important than family," says Stanley, who no longer hangs a single gold or platinum album award on his walls at home. "If you fight it, you're an idiot."

Simmons steps out with all his armor and makeup removed, looking pleased in his socks and a robe, a towel draped over his head. Mission accomplished, he waves goodbye and slowly walks toward the gate and a waiting car with his family to take him back home into the canyons.

Engelbert Humperdinck Pairs With Gene Simmons, Elton John on First Duets Album

Engelbert Humperdinck decided to do an album of duets -- a two-disc, 23-track duets set with Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Il Divo, Willie Nelson, Kiss' Gene Simmons, Wynonna Judd and more -- for one simple reason: He'd never done it before.

"I figured this'll be my 80th album, and I've never done a duets album, so it was kind of a change for me," Humperdinck, who releases "Engelbert Calling" on March 17 in the U.K. and later this spring in the U.S., tells Billboard. "It was a big change and a great honor to work with all these legendary people. All of (the songs) are pretty personal; I wouldn't have chosen them if I didn't particularly like them. They all have a certain significance attached to them that relates to my life and to (the other singers)."

Humperdinck credits John, with whom he sings "The Way You Look Tonight," with the "Engelbert Calling" concept -- and title.

"He said on one of his live CDs that in the early days, when he was a struggling writer in London, 'I used to live in a little flat with my partner Bernie Taupin, writing songs and hoping and wishing that one day an Engelbert Humperdinck would call and take one of my songs.' So we finally called, and that's why we called the album 'Engelbert Calling,' and Elton John was the first to answer, and it was a delight to work in the studio with him."

Humperdinck says "quite a few" of the tracks were recorded with both singers in the room, wrapping up with Judd and Johnny Mathis -- "Two of my favorite people. And Mathis is out of this world; I've been a big fan of his since the beginning of time."

Judd, meanwhile, had the honor of cutting a new version of Humperdinck's signature hit "Release Me," which the two "re-did in a modern fashion." And he's well aware that Simmons in particular sticks out on his list of collaborators.

"Not only do I like his band -- I like him," Humperdinck says of Simmons, who joins him for "Spinning Wheel." "He was just an amazing person. He's got a great personality, a lot of pizzazz to it and a great sense of humor. And he helped me a little bit by telling me, 'Why don't you do this? Why don't you do that?' and I'd think, 'yeah, that's a great suggestion.' Coming from him, I would take it."

Robinson, meanwhile, was perfectly happy to let Humperdinck have his way with "You've Really Got a Hold On Me." "I said to him, 'I Know this was a super big hit, but can we do it this way?' And he said, 'It's your time, it's your song, you go ahead and do it the way you want to do it, man,' " Humperdinck recalls with a laugh.

Humperdinck, who continues to tour regularly, says he'd like to recreate "Engelbert Calling" in a live setting at some point.

"A lot of them have said, 'Any time you ever need us to do anything, we'll be happy to oblige," he says. "The first one, of course, was Elton John, and Gene Simmons said he would do that, too. So therefore we've got those two people to start with. And of course Willie Nelson for sure, and Kenny Rogers -- quite a few of them." And Humperdinck says his next recording project "will probably be another duet album I think. And we'll probably call it 'Re-Dialed.' "

The full track list for "Engelbert Calling" includes:

Disc 1

"Something About The Way You Look Tonight" with Elton John
"Since I Lost My Baby" with Cliff Richard
"Never Never Never" with Olivia Newton-John
"Spanish Eyes" with Il Divo
"Make You Feel My Love" with Willie Nelson
"Spinning Wheel" with Gene Simmons
"I Need You Now" with Lulu
"You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me" with Smokey Robinson
"Real Love" with Shelby Lynne
"She Believes In Me" with Kenny Rogers
"Better" with Louise Dorsey

Disc 2

"Ain’t That Peculiar" with Andrea Corr
"A Certain Smile" with Johnny Mathis
"After The Lovin’" with Beverley Knight
"The Hungry Years" with Neil Sedaka
"It Matters To Me" with Dionne Warwick
"She" with Charles Aznavour
"Kiss Me Honey" with Tini
"It’s Impossible/Somos Novios" with Armando Manzanero
"Quien Te Dijo Eso" with Luis Fonsi
"Release Me" with Wynonna Judd
"Something To Hold On To" with Ron Sexsmith
"Father And Son" with Bradley Dorsey

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Says KISS 'Made The Right Decision' By Not Playing ROCK HALL Induction

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has defended KISS leaders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for their announcement that no members of KISS will be playing at the April 10 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn. Their statement came on the heels of Ace Frehley explaining to fans that neither he nor Peter Criss are invited to play with Simmons and Stanley.

Speaking to "Rover's Morning Glory", a syndicated hot-talk/comedy radio show airing weekday mornings on Cleveland rock station WMMS (100.7 FM), Ian joked: "Look, I've got Gene Simmons tattooed on my leg, so whatever Gene says is what goes."

He continued: "I'm a [KISS] fan, just like everyone else, and would I wanna see, if I was going… I'm not going to the Hall Of Fame thing, so would I wanna see the four original dudes back in makeup one more time? Of course I would, as a fan. But bands don't do things dictated by what the audience wants. A band would last about a year if that's how you worked. You have to do things the way you wanna do them.

"KISS has been around for 40 years and are bigger now than they were in 1977 because Gene and Paul make smart decisions — that's why. So, as a fan, and if you love them, you have to abide by the decisions that Gene and Paul are making for their brand and their band. So, why people get so upset over these things, I really don't undertand. Like, if they decided they were playing with [current KISS members] Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums], so fine. That's what they're doing. This is their band. This has been the lineup for a long time now.

"I get it — those two guys [Tommy and Eric] aren't the guys who are getting into the Hall Of Fame [with Paul and Gene], it's Ace and Peter… you know, I get it.

"So I think they made the right decision now by saying, 'We're just not gonna play. You can't please everybody. We're just gonna shut it down and just not do it.' I get it. I understand."

Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current KISS lineup —Thayer and Singer — dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "spaceman" and "catman" personas.

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Simmons and Stanley.

February edition of THE KISS ROOM!

KISS ARMY, listen to the February edition of THE KISS ROOM! Matt Porter is joined in the studio by
• The starchild CHRIS GIORDANO from KISS IT!
• Tribute artist ERIC TODDOROCKS CARR
• KEITH & JENNIFER PAYNKEWICZ
• KISS talk, KISS tunes, a winner in our contest
• and MORE! thekissroom.com

Original KISS Drummer PETER CRISS Speaks To MODERN DRUMMER Magazine

Modern Drummer magazine's Sandy Gennaro recently conducted an interview with original KISS drummer Peter Criss. You can now watch the chat in three parts below. In part one, Peter watches a never-before-shown video that former WHITESNAKE drummer Brian Tichy — a lifelong KISS fan since he first picked up drum sticks — made just for him. You can see Peter was very touched by the sentiment. Also, Robin Diaz, DAUGHTRY drummer and another huge fan of Peter's, texts in a question.

In part two, Peter talks about KISS' album "Destroyer", released in March of 1976, and helmed by legendary producer Bob Ezrin. The LP became the band's most commercially successful studio effort due to Criss' ballad "Beth", the B-side of "Detroit Rock City". The hit single became the band's first Top Ten hit, won a People's Choice award, and went triple platinum. On February 18, 1977, the New York-based band made its Madison Square Garden debut — a dream come true for Peter, as he explains in part three.

KISS fans are up in arms over Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley's announcement that no members of KISS will be playing at the April 10 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn. The statement came on the heels of Ace Frehley explaining to fans that neither he nor Peter Criss are invited to play with Simmons and Stanley.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current KISS lineup — guitarist Tommy Thayer and longtime drummer Eric Singer — dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "spaceman" and "catman" personas. The Pulse Of Radio asked Simmons what it feels like to turn around and see the spitting image of his former bandmates — yet it's someone else. "Y'know, we still have a tug of the heart," he said. "It's like your drunken dysfunctional father who was a bum and you finally had to get rid of him — but you still remember the beginning when he was a good dad. Ace and Peter are beloved, as they should be, for the beginning. For helping launch the band — if you don't mind me saying so — that changed the face of rock 'n roll, literally and figuratively speaking. But equally as important part of the beginning of KISS, it's also important to know that with them in the band today, KISS wouldn't be around."

Video1, Video2, Video3.

Original KISS manager's partner speaks out on Rock Hall controversy

(hennemusic.com) The partner of original KISS manager, the late Bill Aucoin, has issued a statement regarding the controversy over the band’s induction into the 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have pulled the plug on a KISS performance at the band’s April 10th induction following news that they would not reunite and perform with original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss at the event.

Eddie Trunk reports Aucoin’s former partner, Roman Fernandez, has released the following statement regarding the situation:

“I’m going on record.

I normally stand by the sidelines quietly watching the scrimmage in silence, but now, I feel I have to speak up.

My late partner, Bill Aucoin, bothered enough in 1973 to wager his entire career as a successful television producer and bet all the money he had, as well as money he didn’t have, on 4 kids from the streets of New York. He unfortunately can no longer speak for himself on the subject of KISS and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bill Aucoin gave KISS their start, as well as some of the best years of his life. KISS would, in fact, despite all his other successes, come to define Bill in the eyes of millions of fans and in the eyes of the industry. An industry that to a great degree didn’t give KISS the time of day when it mattered the most. No one did except for Bill, Sean Delaney and Neil (and Joyce) Bogart. All no longer with us except for Joyce. But, Bill and I spoke about this subject on several occasions before he passed. Bill Aucoin was not the type to reflect in regret, and he harbored no animosity. But he was convinced that due to politics within the board of the Hall of Fame, the day would never come that saw KISS inducted. I’m pretty certain he was OK with that.

But had Bill been alive to see the day it was announced that the group would indeed, despite every notion to the contrary, be inducted, might have been a nice parting gift for him. But it’s done. He’s gone. It could have just as easily been Paul, Gene, Peter or Ace. But they’re still here. And I’m pretty sure this is what Bill might have said in light of all this nonsense: ‘(….unintelligible noises) Look it, find a compromise, put everything aside for one night, be the larger than life rock stars you know you are, and then…. Onward and upward!’

I don’t believe Bill would begrudge any reasoning for the band members feeling however they may about one another. But, I also believe he would have recognized this as one singular night to put unresolved issues aside. Bill is no longer with us. If Paul, Gene, Peter or Ace were not here, this conversation would not even be possible. Life is too short to waste such a precious opportunity. If for no other reason, do it for Bill Aucoin. And for Sean. And for Neil. Love to all members of Kiss past and present. Onward and Upward guys.”

KISS To Play Rare Acoustic Show Without Makeup

KISS will play a rare acoustic show on Thursday, April 3 at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland, California.

Billed as "Kiss: An Acoustic Evening And Stories With Kiss", the concert will feature the band performing stripped-down versions of its classic songs without makeup and telling stories, a setup that is said to be "not unlike" the "MTV Unplugged" episode the band filmed nearly 20 years ago.

Tickets are $65-$75 and go on sale Friday, February 28 at 11 a.m. via Ticketmaster or at the box office at San Manuel. You must be 21 or older to attend the show.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 64 Paul Stanley & the Hall of Fame: Listen.

2ND ANNUAL KISS MINI GOLF ANNIVERSARY BASH

Our 2nd Anniversary Bash on Sunday March 30, 2014 -FREE EVENT!

Starts at 11am Till....Outside and Inside At KISS by Monster Mini Golf Featuring:

Our 4th Rock And Roll Swap Meet, the Finals of "Rock or Dare"The Ultimate Music Trivia challenge and live music by: LUST OF KISS And....Count's 77 Rockin' Band featuring Danny Count Koker of History’s Hit Show Counting Cars with Special Guest Bruce Kulick of KISS and Grand Funk Railroad!

Kiss says it won't play at Rock HOF induction

Kiss won't rock and roll all night — or at any point during the day, either — when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, the band said Sunday.

The 40-year-old group is unable to agree on which lineup should perform during the April 10 ceremony in New York City, and has decided not to plug in at all.

The dispute concerns whether original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would join Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in a live performance, or whether the current lineup of Stanley, Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer would play instead.

In a message on its website, Kiss said it won't perform with any lineup, calling it "an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone."

"Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of Kiss and give credit to all members, including longtime present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame's point of view," the band wrote on its web site. "Although Kiss has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning."

The band made no mention of former guitarists Vinnie Vincent, who helped kick off the band's unmasked era, or Mark St. John, who was with the band briefly in 1984 and who died in 2007.

"It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in makeup and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced," Kiss wrote on its site. "To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up, and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame."

The festering dispute was brought to a boil when Frehley called into Eddie Trunk's syndicated radio show Friday night to say that Simmons and Stanley had rejected a reunion with the original four members for the induction.

"They just shot down any type of reunion with us," Frehley said during the broadcast. "It's very frustrating. It's what the fans wanted, it's what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wanted, and it's not gonna happen. You don't want to do something for the fans after 40 years of them supporting you?"

The band's statement said it has never refused to play with Frehley and Criss.

Criss, who lives in Wall Township, N.J., said he wanted to let fans know there would be no reunion before they bought tickets for the induction ceremony, which range from $120 to nearly $600.

"This is disgraceful, and I feel bad for the fans who were looking forward to the four of us being inducted together," he said.

Criss did not indicate whether he would attend the induction; Frehley said he is unsure whether he'll be there.

Kiss began in 1973, and the original lineup played together until 1980. They reunited from 1996 to 2000, but the band has continued with replacement members wearing the Frehley and Criss makeup and costumes.

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME STATEMENT FROM KISS

To All Our Fans In Regards To The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Out of respect, Ace and Peter's recent statements demand a quick response to you, our fans.

Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members including long time present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's point of view.

Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning.

It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in make-up and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced. Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter.

We have spent 40 years dedicated to building KISS without quitting or wavering as the band has moved forward with huge tours and platinum albums through different important lineups for forty years, to this day.

KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands.

This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone.

To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

We are excited and are looking forward to seeing you all on the KISS 40th Anniversary worldwide tour.

PETER CRISS Says It Is 'Disgraceful' That Original KISS Lineup Won't Perform At ROCK HALL Induction

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss has released the following statement:

"To KISS fans,

"It's disappointing to have to say to you, the fans, that as of today, [original KISS guitarist] Ace [Frehley] and I have been denied a performance with [fellow KISS founding members] Gene [Simmons] and Paul [Stanley] for our Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. Tickets go on sale on Monday, February 24, and I wanted to make sure that fans understood that no original performance, in or out of makeup, has been offered to us before they purchased their tickets. This is disgraceful, and I feel bad for the fans who were looking forward to the four of us being inducted together.

"God bless, Peter Criss – The Catman"

ACE FREHLEY Says Original KISS Lineup Will Not Perform At ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Induction Ceremony

It's official: The original lineup of KISS will not perform at the band's upcoming induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, scheduled for this April at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The news of the legendary group's non-reunion at the event was broken by former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley during an appearance on last night's edition of "Eddie Trunk Rocks" (formerly "Friday Night Rocks") radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM.

"I don't think KISS fans are gonna be too excited and happy about the news, 'cause at this juncture, [KISS leaders] Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] have decided to perform with [current KISS members] Tommy [Thayer, guitar] and Eric [Singer, drums], and it looks like the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is going along with it," Frehley said.

Ace, who said that he was informed "in the last 24 to 48 hours" of Stanley's and Simmons' decision to perform with the current incarnation of KISS rather than the original lineup, continued: "The last time I was on [this radio show], it was a very exciting and happy call. And the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was very excited about having the four original members who are being inducted to perform at the ceremony. And that was shot down by Paul and Gene. And now it's kind of, like, if I'm not gonna put on the makeup and do a three-song reunion for the fans, then what am I gonna do? And right now I'm not even sure if I'm gonna show up for that, you know?!"

According to Frehley, Stanley and Simmons "shot down doing any type of reunion with [original KISS drummer Peter Criss and me] — with makeup, without makeup," while Frehley himself ruled out performing alongside KISS' current lineup, saying, "I'm not gonna get on the stage with Tommy wearing my makeup. That's absurd."

He added: "It's a shame. I know [the original lineup reunion is] what the fans wanted. I know it's what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted. [But] it's not gonna happen."

Asked if he had any idea why Stanley and Simmons are so opposed to the idea of performing with the original KISS lineup at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Frehley said: "I don't know, and at this point, I really don't give a shit. [Laughs] I really don't care. It's, like, enough already.

"You don't wanna do something for the fans after 40 years of them supporting you?

"It's something the fans wanted, it's something the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame asked of all four of us. They shot it down.

"It is what it is. I don't completely understand it, but those guys do a lot of things that don't make sense to me. It's unfortunate for the fans.

"We're being inducted because of the fans. And I feel like the fans are being let down. And I'm upset about it; I've gotta be honest with you. But I'm trying not to let it get to me because, like I said, I've gotta finish [my new solo] record and I've gotta think positive. And I wanna move forward. But it's upsetting.

"I'm working on my second book. I've got [my] new [solo] record [coming out]. What will be in the future will be. No matter what happens, I'm fine. And I'm having fun. And I'm creating great music. My life's great. And I can't let any negativity… I've gotta just let it roll off my back and continue doing what I've been doing — making great music.

"I'm at the tail end of [making my new solo] record… and this has just been a thorn in my side, because every day there's a different story: 'Yeah, maybe you can come and get up and do 'New York Groove'. And if you don't do it with KISS, you can do it with a celebrity lineup.' And that was shot down. It's very frustrating. It's also distracting my attention from the most important thing right now that I'm doing, [which] is working on music and creating. So it's very frustrating and a little disheartening."

Frehley also revealed the main reason he wanted to spread the message that he wasn't going to perform at the Rock Hall induction.

"It was very important that I let the fans know that because the tickets are going on sale on Monday, and I didn't want people buying tickets thinking that they were gonna see a KISS reunion, and then be disappointed," he explained.

[Note: American Express card members can purchase tickets to this year's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony before the general public beginning Monday, February 24 at 9 a.m. EST through Friday, February 28 at 10 p.m. EST. Tickets will be available to the public at Ticketmaster.com beginning Saturday, March 1 at 10:00 a.m. EST.]

Simmons last year said he had no interest in playing with Frehley and Criss again. Simmons explained that both co-founders have repeatedly blown their shot to share the stage with him and Paul Stanley, telling Radio.com: "How many chances in life do you get? When you stick your hand in the fire, you get burned the first time. Fire and nature doesn't care if you're a good guy or a bad guy. Both of these guys had three chances to be in the band and three times they fucked it up. They were every bit as important as we were at the formation of the band and they would have been the ruin of the band had they continued in it… When you have a cancer in your system, it's best to cut it out as fast as you can. It used to be a part of your body, then it turned into cancer, so you gotta cut it out."

Simmons went on to say: "I believe that both Ace and Peter are happier now. They are healthier, they look fine. When they were in the band, they were both on junk, or crack, or alcohol. Clearly not a healthy place for them. They belong doing autograph shows in clubs — they're happier."

This past December, Simmons told Rolling Stone: "KISS is Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. It's like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, 'Wait, where are all the other wives?' It's like, 'Yeah, I was married to them and now I'm here.'"

He went on to say that he was open to performing with Criss and Frehley at the Rock Hall ceremony, stating, "They were equally important in the formation of the band. When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn't delete or minimize the important. Hey, 'You have gave birth to this thing, KISS, with Ace, Peter, Paul and Gene.'"

Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.

Criss claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004.

Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

Frehley and Criss have opted out of appearing in what's being billed as the definitive KISS documentary, "You Wanted The Best You Got The Best". Classic Rock magazine spoke to director Alan G. Parker, who's behind the officially sanctioned film, and he shed light on why the two co-founders are staying away from anything having to do with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, explaining, "Gene and Paul were shocked at first, but now they don't seem to be. There's been so much bitchiness down the years, and so much said about and done to Ace and Peter that they interpreted the request to be in the movie as a favor to Gene and Paul. Because of that they won't go anywhere near it. The negotiations were interesting, to say the least."

KISS, which has been passed over by the Hall since 1998, is taking its long-overdue induction with a grain of salt, with Stanley telling Classic Rock magazine that it feels like a case of a little too little and a little too late to mean anything for him, explaining, "It was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don't realize that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It's a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame' and gave it credibility."

Stanley added: "So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts.

"So was it an honor to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans, and I understand it, because it's validation for them. So for that reason, I accept graciously and accept on their behalf."

The 29th annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 10 at Barclays Center.

The television broadcast will premiere on HBO on May 31.

10 GREAT MOMENTS IN KISS MARKETING

(money.cnn.com) On Feb. 18, 1974, Casablanca Records released Kiss's first album, Kiss. It didn't do very well. Critics and listeners who had followed rock music in its post-Beatles era turn into serious, high-minded stuff dismissed the band as a novelty act. Upon seeing them perform for the first time, executives from Warner Bros. dissolved their partnership with Casablanca. Despite a considerable amount of tinkering and several attempts at releasing a single that would catch on with pop listeners it initially sold only 75,000 copies, a flop at the time.

Forty years later Kiss's debut is ensconced firmly in the rock canon, and after years of being passed over for acts with more critical respect the band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this April. Some of the credit goes to the music itself, which blended bits of glam and heavy metal with unexpected pop hooks. But mostly the album, and the group that made it, were a success because of some of the most brilliant and successful marketing the music industry's ever seen. From makeup to caskets, here's a look back at Kiss's marketing strategy.

Makeup: Alice Cooper had been wearing outlandish makeup for years by the time Kiss came around, and David Bowie had already popularized glittery spaceman costumes, but there was something about the way Kiss pulled them together that transcended their influences. Never allowing themselves to be seen by the public outside of their sci-fi kabuki getups, the members seemed somehow more than human, and helped add a bit of mythical heft to their unpretentious musical arrangements and frequently juvenile lyrics. Without the makeup Kiss could have been successful, but they never would have been as big as Kiss.

Comic Books: Along with their distinctive costumes and makeup, each member of Kiss came up with his own supernatural alter ego: Gen Simmons was the Demon, Paul Stanley was Starchild, Ace Frehley was the Spaceman, and Peter Criss was the Catman. While the stage personas were only vaguely sketched out, they were more than enough for the creative staff at Marvel Comics to develop them into full-on comic book superheroes in 1977, complete with superpowers and interactions with the X-Men and Dr. Doom. Twenty years later, Kiss collaborated with Image Comics on a series tied into their Psycho Circus album that ran for an impressive 31 issues.

Action Figures: Kiss's many critics liked to dismiss the band as kids' stuff compared to, say, Lou Reed and Todd Rundgren, who also released records the same week as Kiss.

A band more concerned with their critical reputation wouldn't have signed on to release action figures through the Mego company in 1978, but Kiss was strictly focused on the commercial end and embraced the segment of their audience that happened to overlap with Saturday morning cartoons. Reed and Rundgren may have made more important music, but they never had their own lines of toys.

Pinball: In 1978 pinball still had a juvenile-delinquent edge, so it was perfectly synergistic to give the band that confused and outraged parental types more than any other of the era its own machine. From a strictly pinball perspective it wasn't anything special, but the fact that it had the faces of Kiss plastered all over it has meant there are still a remarkable number of them that fanatic owners have kept in playable condition.

Live Albums: The live album had been around for ages by the time Kiss released Alive! in 1975, but few acts before or after exploited the format as effectively as they did. Although the rumors about tapes being tinkered with extensively in the studio afterward call into question whether or not it technically qualifies as a live recording, Alive! managed to finally capture the band's on-stage energy that the previous three studio albums couldn't, and finally got them a break with a mainstream pop audience. Considering its massive success, it's not surprising that they've released six more live albums since.

Solo Albums: Musicians in popular acts release solo albums all the time, but only an act as willing to push the limits of their audience's budgets as Kiss would contrive to release one solo album per member (complete with coordinating sleeve art) on the same day. That there was only about one LP's worth of good material spread over four of them seriously tested their fan base's limits, but the sheer hubris of the act has made it a legendary moment in music business history.

KISS Army: Pop culture fan clubs are mostly aimed at teenage girls and sci-fi geeks, but when the Kiss marketing machine was at the peak of its powers it transformed a two-man fan club in Terre Haute, Ind., called the Kiss Army into an organization with an estimated 100,000 members that allegedly brought in $5,000 a day, whose emblem hardcore rock fans proudly displayed on their jean jackets.

KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park: Kiss was a multimedia entertainment company before "multimedia" even existed. It only made sense that at some point they'd try their hand at filmmaking. Produced by Hanna-Barbera (the studio best known for making Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones) and aired on NBC, 1978's Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park was a complete mess that would eventually become legendary among pop culture aficionados for its all-encompassing badness, but even in its massive failure it's a tribute to the band's willingness to think big.

Removing the Makeup: When your brand identity is so intrinsically tied to one element, like only appearing in public wearing full-face makeup, when the gimmick's novelty runs out the smart move is to make a big deal out of getting rid of it. That's what Kiss did in 1983 when they released Lick It Up, appearing on the album cover and in public au natural (or as close as 1980s rock got to it) for the first time in the band's existence and causing a brief but massive media explosion. Although it only gave a temporary boost to a band that was faltering (Frehley and Criss had left by then), the spectacle the act generated is an excellent lesson in PR judo.

KISS Kaskets: From the start Kiss' commercial ambition was considered unseemly, even by the crass standards of the 1970s music industry, and that reputation has remained one of the only constants in its existence. In 2001 they stirred up a fair amount of popular outrage by unveiling the Kiss Kasket, a Kiss-themed coffin retailing for nearly $5,000 that wasn't intended strictly as a novelty item but as a legitimate option for devoted Kiss fans to be buried in. It's proven so popular that the band now sells two different designs, and for those who'd prefer to be cremated there's also a Kiss urn.

Ex-KISS Guitarist BRUCE KULICK Interviewed On 'Krazy Knights' Podcast

Former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick was interviewed on the latest installment of the Australian KISS podcast "Krazy Knights". You can now listen to the chat here.

LA KISS Hire Entertainment Specialist HARLAN HENDRICKSON As Executive Producer

The LA KISS announced today the hiring of Harlan Hendrickson as the organization's executive producer of entertainment. In this new role, Hendrickson will consult the organization on all entertainment-related matters during the upcoming 2014 season. He will directly oversee all in-game entertainment, including concerts and special appearances, at all home contests.

Hendrickson is an innovative marketing professional who provides a deep entertainment background. Outside the sports world, he is the brainchild of the Monsters Of Rock brand, a nationally syndicated radio show which airs in over 60 markets across the country.

"LA KISS will pioneer the fusion of entertainment and pro sports and there is nobody better in the business to bring our vision to life than Harlan," said LA KISS President Schuyler Hoversten. "His creativity and risk taking approach to sports entertainment is a perfect fit for the organization as we design an experience never before seen by sports fans."

Hendrickson is well known for his ability to integrate entertainment and sports across varying media platforms. He developed best practices in several leading sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Arena Football League and the National Lacrosse League. He also directed four ArenaBowls for the AFL.

"Collaborating with Gene, Paul and Doc is truly an honor," said Hendrickson. "They will bring a perspective and vision for our games that will truly set a new bar for pro sports entertainment. KISS has become synonymous with spectacle and I'm thrilled to be part of ensuring our games deliver this."

Hendrickson currently serves as Palace Sports & Entertainment's Vice President of Marketing, overseeing the Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Theater in "Detroit Rock City".

Not Fade Away: KISS's Debut Album Turns 40

(news.radio.com) And launches New York City's first "worldwide musical phenomenon."

In Not Fade Away, we take a look at the legacy of some of the greatest albums of the past few decades – some iconic, some lesser known – as they celebrate significant anniversaries. Here, we look back at KISS‘ 1974 debut album which turns 40 this week.

About two years ago, Bruce Springsteen started his epic keynote speech at South By Southwest by discussing some of the most divisive artists in rock music. He mentioned Phish, he mentioned himself, and he mentioned KISS. He said there are two ways you can look at the self-proclaimed “hottest band in the world.” He said, “You can say, ‘Early theater rock proponents, expressing the true raging hormones of youth,’ or ‘They suck!’” And that’s pretty much how it is with KISS: you can love them, or hate them, but they’re very hard to ignore. However, that wasn’t always the case.

Although the band’s principles, Gene Simmons (bass/vocals) and Paul Stanley (guitar/vocals) are from New York City, there’s a reason that one of their biggest hits is written not about any of the five boroughs, but about Motor City, U.S.A. “We didn’t make it in New York,” Simmons told Radio.com in a recent interview. “We made it in Detroit. New York is a little too high-falutin, too full of itself.”

“It bears noting,” he says, “That New York City, perhaps the most important city on the face of the planet, never gave the world a worldwide musical phenomenon that could play stadiums and arenas around the world, other than KISS. Not one,” perhaps forgetting about Jay Z and Alicia Keys, to name two. “There’s the (New York) Dolls, the Ramones and other club bands. Blue Oyster Cult was from Long Island, and even they never played stadiums. New York City gave the world nothing. Detroit – not a major city – gave the world Grand Funk Railroad, which played Shea Stadium. Not a New York band ever played there,” although, Long Island’s Billy Joel had, in fact, headlined the former home of the New York Mets.

“Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, there were a ton of bands out of Detroit,” he said, although to again play devil’s advocate, Nugent hasn’t been an arena headliner in a few decades. “England gave the world thousands of bands: the Beatles and the Stones. Even Jimi Hendrix, an American, came out of England. New York City gave the world nothing. New York City gave the world KISS: one band and we didn’t make it in NY, we made it in Detroit. New York is like going to a restaurant and seeing 100 things to order, you can’t wrap your mind around what you want. You go to a restaurant with a half a page (menu), ‘I’ll take that one!’ It’s more focused! Even with black music: Detroit gave us Motown! Stax/Volt came out of Memphis! Didn’t come out of New York, there’s not a musical scene that came out of New York, not disco, not rock, nothing! Liverpool – Liverpool! – gave us the Beatles.” Of course, there are some that might argue his point about disco not coming out of New York, but we digress.

This leads to another of Simmons’ usual targets: music critics. “KISS is a heartland band, we completely ignored critics, they meant nothing to us. I buried them in my backyard, they’re fertilizer for my greenery! They’re the guys who never got laid in school who have pus-filled pimples who still live in their mother’s basement. They’re not even journalists! It’s a completely unnecessary lifeform. If critics cease to be, nothing changes.”

And with that business out of the way, we were able to discuss the band’s classic debut album. “Nothing To Lose, our new book, goes into how in the early days, we didn’t know anything, we were just four kids off the street,” referring to himself, Stanley, drummer/singer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley. “We started making $75 a week salary, which to me was a king’s ransom, because I could quit my job. Even though I was making three times that much at my former job, I didn’t have to wake up early in the morning, and on $75 a week you could be in a band.” Despite the fact that the man now sits atop an empire which includes a veritable cornucopia of KISS-themed items, and even a football team, he still describes that time with genuine wonder.

KISS was the first band signed to Casablanca Records, a label that would end up being more well-known for disco. The label provided them with the producers for their first album, Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise. ”When we met Kerner and Wise, they were assigned to us by a brand new label called Casablanca, we were the first act on Casablanca, and nobody was particularly awed by the talent or the direction. We just tried to be who we are. I think the first two records were ok, sonically they’re not great, but the one thing we were able to maintain was our soul. This is who we are. Not as ‘fidelic’ as it could have been, because live, the band sounded much better. In the studio we sounded smaller and less ambient and less ‘live.’ So, in a way, it sort of helped , the ‘fidelics’ weren’t high level, so when people saw us live, we were better than we were on record. Often, the bands that spent a lot of time in the studio sounded better in the studio than they did live.”

Simmons is a lot happier with the “fidelics” of later albums, but he says some of the more well-known producers that they worked with later on would not have been the right choice for their debut. “[Eddie] Kramer would have given those records a much more ‘English’ sound, and English records were just better. And even Bob Ezrin would have been the wrong producer in the beginning, because they would have gotten too arranged. We had to get those early, innocent, straight out rock and roll songs out of our system. And they were not written to be better arranged. It wasn’t until ‘Detroit Rock City’ and some of the other songs that it had the size and the width and the breath to be arranged with solos and harmonies and things like that.”

Four decades later, it may be difficult for some to separate the music from everything else — the marketing, the reality shows, Simmons’ larger than life personality — to be able to enjoy the music. And as Simmons is quick to remind anyone who will listen, KISS isn’t just a band, it’s a brand. That b[r]and is finally getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, after fifteen years of eligibility. They are one of the most influential rock bands to emerge from the ’70s, so what took so long for them to get voted in? It seems that, as Springsteen said, for every huge fan, there’s a detractor who says “They suck!” As for Gene and Paul: they don’t care what you think. And really, they never did.

KISS AT HOUSE OF BLUES LOS ANGELES

(Donate) KISS AT HOUSE OF BLUES LOS ANGELES: Video.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Ep. 63 Where's Drago from the KISS Debut: Listen here.

Kiss slam the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

(classicrockmagazine.com) Kiss singer Paul Stanley has called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame “tainted, corrupted and distorted” on the eve of the band’s induction. The New York band have been eligible for the last 15 years, but were only accepted after a huge push from their fans. Speaking exclusively to Classic Rock, Stanley explains just why he’s unimpressed by the accolade – and whether Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are invited.

Did you feel honoured at being inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

No, it was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don’t realise that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It’s a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard ‘Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’ and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts. So was it an honour to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it’s validation for them. So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf.

My feelings and my ambivalence about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame hasn’t changed any. Their attitude is elitist and it doesn’t reflect the public. It reflects a small group who dictate who meets the criteria that they set up as ‘rock and roll’. I’ve always felt the spirit of rock and roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way. I think we’ve done that pretty much with few exceptions for forty years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in. I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group.

Nonetheless I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and The Who and the Beatles and the Stones is company I don’t mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them, it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted.

Are you looking forward to playing it?

Honestly, I have no plans at the moment to do anything, and that includes playing with Ace and Peter or anyone else. My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award. Anything else, we’ll see how it unfolds or unravels. It was interesting to me, or offensive to me, that when the question was broached with the hierarchy about inducting additional members it was shut down immediately as ‘a non starter,’ which to me is arrogant. People who sit behind desks need to respect the people who are actually either inductees or possible inductees into this so-called hallowed organization. So the fact that there are 30 or 40 or 50 or some absurd number of Grateful Dead members all inducted, the fact that all of the Chili Peppers, including people who played on early albums that never amounted to very much are not inducted, the fact that John Rutsey, the drummer on the first Rush album is not inducted, the fact that Rob Trujillo, who’s a great guy but didn’t play on any of the classic Metallica albums, was inducted after being in the band six years makes me wonder exactly what are the rules? If the rules don’t apply to everybody then they’re not rules.

Do you plan to bring Ace and Peter up on stage with you?

Of course it goes without saying that Ace and Peter deserve this moment in the spotlight. We wouldn’t be here without them. We couldn’t have built what we did without them at the foundation. That being said, we couldn’t have built what we built without a lot of people who followed them. We couldn’t have been here without them and we couldn’t be here today with them. So absolutely, of course they deserve and belong up there.

Ace and Peter jammed together at recent party for That Metal Show presenter Eddie Trunk. How did you feel about that?

I didn’t feel one way or the other. I don’t own those songs, I only wrote ‘em. There’s nothing to guard or lock away. Those songs are public domain and they played on those songs so why wouldn’t they play them? For that matter, why wouldn’t anybody play them?

KISS DLC Pack Now Available For UBISOFT's 'Rocksmith 2014 Edition'

Ubisoft has announced today that the KISS DLC pack for Rocksmith 2014 Edition is now available for download on Xbox LIVE for Xbox 360, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and Steam for PC and Mac.

Songs included in this pack are "Detroit Rock City", "Heaven's On Fire" and "I Was Made For Loving You".

Individual songs are available for $2.99 or the complete 3-song pack for $7.99.

New music packs continue to be released on a regular basis so please continue to watch for updated information.

Rocksmith 2014 Edition is the sequel to 2011's immensely popular Rocksmith, which taught over 1.5 million players how to play the guitar by enabling players to plug any real guitar or bass with a standard ¼" jack directly into their Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Sony PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, PC or Mac. Rocksmith 2014 Edition includes new features, new modes, optimized tracking and responsiveness, and completely redesigned interface, new techniques and tunings, and much more. Aspiring guitarists can now learn to play guitar in just 60 days with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

BRUCE KULICK Wedding Video

BRUCE KULICK Wedding Video.

KISS WILL HEADLINE MENDING KIDS ALL-STAR CONCERT

Arsenio Hall, Tom Jones, and Natasha Bedingfield are also slated to perform at the Mending Kids International event.

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.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Don Jamieson from VH1 Classic That Metal Show Joins to Talk Growing Up a KISS Fan: listen.

Three Sides Of The Coin

SPECIAL EDITION!! The Story Behind the Vinnie Vincent T-Shirts & Official Facebook Fan Page: Listen.

PodKISSt #80 H.I.T.S. Part 2!

Join us for a Round table discussion on “Hot In The Shade” Part 2

“H.I.T.S.” celebrates 25 years! Join Gary & Ken along with Matt Porter, BJ Kramp, Chris Karem and Joey Hayne as we go round on H.I.T.S.

Listen here.

PAUL STANLEY Recording Audio Version Of 'Face The Music' Memoir

KISS frontman Paul Stanley is in the studio recording an audio verion of his memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed".

Stanley tweeted a photo from the session earlier today (Friday, February 5), writing, "Recording spoken word version of my autobiography 'Face The Music'. 180 pages done and 230 left to go!"

"Face The Music: A Life Exposed" will be released on April 8 via HarperOne The 432-page hardcover will feature rare photographs of the legendary rocker and detail his hard-partying lifestyle as one of the co-founders of the heavy rock band who has sold over eighty million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world.

AMC Orders Arena Football Reality Show With Gene Simmons

(hollywoodreporter.com) AMC is hoping TV's love affair with football will extend to its latest unscripted order -- and bringing a bankable reality star along for the ride.

The cable network, which continues to make inroads into reality, has ordered 10 episodes of a new unscripted series following the inaugural season of arena football team the Los Angeles KISS. The show will include team owners and namesakes, KISS frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

Simmons, of course, is no stranger to a camera crew. The bass guitarist starred on his own reality show, A&E's ?Gene Simmons Family Jewels?, for seven seasons.

“We are thrilled to partner with AMC in bringing our show to the viewing public,” said bandmate and business partner Stanley. “Anyone who knows Gene and I knows we have never played by the rules. This opportunity to see the making of our team of rebels, the LA KISS, from behind the scenes will once again show everyone that we play to win.”

In addition to the duo and other members of the team, the show will also feature longtime KISS manager Doc McGhee.

“We look forward to capturing all the trials and tribulations of launching a sports franchise in a great sports city like Los Angeles,” AMC senior vp unscripted programming Eliot Goldberg. “These are incredibly dedicated athletes, coaches and management who want to win, and the fact that the team has rock and roll royalty in the owners box just adds another great dimension to the series.”

Still untitled, the one-hour series is produced by Thinkfactory Media (Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Hatfields & McCoys) and will launch summer 2014. Executive producers include Adam Freeman, Adam Reed and Leslie Greif. Goldberg, Marco Bresaz and Andrea Beckerman will oversee for AMC.

February sees the launch of AMC's latest reality foray, Game of Arms. Small Town Security, Comic Book Men, Freakshow and The Pitch are among its other unscripted offerings -- though the network remains best known for its dramas.

BRUCE KULICK Talks To PREMIER GUITAR At NAMM

Premier Guitar conducted an interview with former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, which took place January 23-26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat here.

PodKISSt #79 H.I.T.S. Part 1!

Join us for a Round table discussion on “Hot In The Shade” as it celebrates 25 years! Join Gary & Ken along with Matt Porter, BJ Kramp, Chris Karem and Joey Hayne as we go round on H.I.T.S.

It’s the 79th installment of PodKISSt… the KISS fanzine for your ears!

Listen: http://podkisst.com.

BRUCE KULICK Interviewed By BackstageAxxess.com

David "Gus" Griesinger of BackstageAxxess.com conducted an interview with former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, which took place January 23-26 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat here.

Three Sides of The Coin

The Show About Nothing & Everything and a Pillow: Listen.

PAUL STANLEY ANNOUNCES BOOK SIGNING DATES

Paul Stanley will be signing copies of “Face the Music: A Life Exposed” at the following location:

Monday, April 7 – New York - 6:00 pm
Barnes & Noble Tribeca
97 Warren Street
New York, NY 10007

Tuesday, April 8 – New York - 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
2245 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY

Wednesday, April 9 – New York/New Jersey - 6:00 pm
Bookends
211 E. Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ

Wednesday, April 16 – Los Angeles - 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble
The Grove
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Thursday, April 17 – San Diego - 7:00 pm
Warwick’s
7812 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Friday, April 25 – San Francisco - 7:00 pm
Q & A and Signing
Jewish Community Center
3200 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

PAUL STANLEY To Sign Copies Of His Memoir In Los Angeles

KISS frontman Paul Stanley will sign copies of his memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", on April 16 at Barnes & Noble at The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, California beginning at 7:00 p.m. For more information, go to this location.

'CSI' Snags KISS' Gene Simmons for Guest Spot

CSI is adding a rocker.

KISS frontman Gene Simmons is heading to CBS' long-running procedural during the 14th season in a cameo, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

“We're really excited to have Gene Simmons guest-starring on CSI, playing himself in a rock-and-roll-themed murder mystery," said executive producers Don McGill and Carol Mendelsohn in a joint statement to THR.

Simmons will appear in the 17th episode tentatively scheduled for March 12.

Simmons is repped by CAA. He starred in the A&E reality series Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, and has appeared as himself on Castle and Ugly Betty.

KISS FEATURED IN NEW GOOGLE PLAY TV COMMERCIAL!

Check out this great new Google Play TV Spot featuring KISS! The spot began airing Monday night and will continue to air on Network and Cable TV over the next two weeks.

The multi-million dollar ad campaign includes airings on FOX, NBC, CBS, TBS, AMC, Discover, USA, History, Comedy Central, Fuse, VH1 and TNT.

KISS IS ON CHIDEO

We are excited to let you know that we just joined the new charity platform Chideo (charity+video). It is a new way to raise awareness and donations for the

Augusta Warrior Project, a cause that we are very passionate about. Check it out here.

Chideo lets you get up close and personal with us by asking questions about our life, our current projects...anything! Vote and be sure to share your favorite suggestions with your friends. The more votes, the better chance we’ll make it into an exclusive video on Chideo! Follow our page and we’ll let you know when we release new videos on Chideo. Donate to watch and help us raise money for a great cause.

We are in incredible company with many of your favorite actors, athletes, musicians, and tastemakers and we are grateful to be able to help support the holistic approach to veteran care.

Join us on Chideo and together we’ll WATCH THINGS CHANGE.

Minions Rock and Roll all nite

Minions Rock and Roll all nite: Video.

Decibel Geek Podcast - Episode 119 & 120- Gary Corbett Part 1 & 2

Gary shares his experiences in the music business working with Cinderella and KISS: Part 1, Part 2.

Three Sides Of The Coin

Chris Lendt Talks about The Elder, Creatures of the Night & Lick It Up What Was Going On: Listen.

VIDEO: KISS ON THE STADIUM SERIES RED CARPET

LA Kings Vision caught up with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on the red carpet before the Stadium Series game on 1/25/14: Clip1, Clip2.

PAUL STANLEY's Memoir 'Face The Music: A Life Exposed': Book Cover Unveiled

KISS frontman Paul Stanley's memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", will be released on April 8 via HarperOne The 432-page hardcover will feature rare photographs of the legendary rocker and detail his hard-partying lifestyle as one of the co-founders of the heavy rock band who has sold over eighty million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world.

The cover for "Face The Music: A Life Exposed" can now be seen here.

Pre-order here: Hardcover or Kindle.

“Paul Stanley proves himself as an artist in music and on canvas and now with a great book.” — Jimmy Page

“Both honest and inspirational. Amazing tales from one of rock’s great frontmen.” — Sir Elton John

“Paul is a great man who has achieved great things. From the Popcorn Club all the way to the Hall of Fame, his story is inspiring and motivating for anyone who dreams big.” — Dave Grohl

“An entertaining yet piercingly honest journey from self–conscious child to the world’s most visually famous rock band, to, finally—with the makeup wiped away—a place of peace as a father and a man. Paul Stanley’s story is both ordinary and extraordinary, which makes it inspiring.” — Mitch Albom, author of The First Phone Call From Heaven and Tuesdays With Morrie

KISS INTERVIEW FROM DODGER STADIUM

Kings Vision's Carrlyn Bathe spoke with KISS after their performance at Dodger Stadium for the Stadium Series game on 1/25/14: Video.

Stars come out for Stadium Series game in L.A.

(Video: J.R. with KISS) Only in Los Angeles could a red-carpet event at a hockey game produce the kind of palpable buzz that was so evident two hours before puck drop Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

There was KISS in full costume and makeup, Alyssa Milano talking about her love of sports, particularly hockey, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson sporting his long beard, and Wayne Gretzky photobombing actor and entertainer Tom Arnold.

"This is a wonderful night, a spectacular event, only a positive for hockey and a positive for sports in California," Gretzky said. "It's an opportunity, too, to show people how great a hockey city this is."

Before the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks took the ice to play the first game in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, hockey and Hollywood meshed in the Lexus Dugout Club underneath the stands behind home plate at Dodger Stadium.

Actor Jon Hamm was wearing his St. Louis Blues hat with his wife, Jennifer Westfeldt, beside him. Gold-medal winning beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings was there with her husband and kids.

Former ballplayer Nomar Garciaparra, who played parts of three seasons with the Dodgers, talked about his appreciation for the fitness that goes into hockey and the science that goes into ice-making. Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was there talking about how Dodger Stadium has played host to the pope, The Beatles and now outdoor hockey.

"Let's not forget one thing, L.A. is the sports capital of the world," Lasorda said. "Right here in Los Angeles and don't ever forget it."

"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak was there. A veteran of the first five NHL Winter Classic games, Sajak didn't attend the game earlier this month at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., because he knew he'd be able to come here to see his beloved Kings play the Ducks.

"You're either a hockey fan or you're not; (there are) those who are rabid about it, and those who aren't I think are missing out on a terrific sport," Sajak said. "This kind of gets the message out about this game to the casual fan, and it's hard to do that."

Grammy Award-nominated singer Jordin Sparks, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner," posed for photos. Actor Colin Hanks, in his Kings hat and jacket, talked about how he used to like the shootout but now he wouldn't mind seeing it out of the game.

Oh, and did we mention Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of KISS were there in full makeup and costume talking about hockey and signing commemorative Stadium Series goalie masks.

There were multiple sightings of Simmons' famous tongue.

"We're as excited about it as you are to see us," Simmons said of the opportunity to play Dodger Stadium before the game and during the first intermission.

Asked what he thought about the NHL, the Kings and the Ducks making hockey cool in Southern California, Simmons said it should happen and it is happening.

"The mountain is not going to come to you Mohammed, you're going to have to go to it," he said. "The same old, same old is gone. A woman playing an organ at a baseball game, 'Take me out to the ballgame,' that's yesterday. You're either going to attract new fans or you're going to be grandma's sport. That includes everybody. You've gotta reach it out, make it hip, make it cool."

GENE SIMMONS SURPRISES ARSENIO HALL

The show was going well. Arsenio joked about Gene Simmons, the audience laughed, and then Gene walked on set: Video.

Simmons: KISS, NHL take no prisoners

(Video) Gene Simmons talked about the upcoming Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium, and the link between Kiss and the NHL.

Gene Simmons On Playing LA's Outdoor Hockey Game: KISS Is Ready To 'Shake The Heavens'

This Saturday, Dodger Stadium is being transformed into an full-fledged hockey stadium for the firs