KISS News Archive Part 1

KISS FREEDOM OF ROCK TOUR TV AD

KISS FREEDOM OF ROCK TOUR TV AD: Video.

KISS ANNOUNCES 2016 SUMMER AMERICAN “FREEDOM TO ROCK” TOUR

36+ CITY TOUR TO KICK OFF JULY 7TH IN BOISE, IDAHO – TICKETS ON SALE BEGINNING FRIDAY APRIL 15TH

America’s # 1 Gold Record Award Winning Group of all time KISS, has announced its 2016 Summer American “Freedom To Rock” Tour and will visit 36+ cities nationwide with more markets being announced soon. The long-awaited & highly anticipated “Freedom To Rock” Tour will kick off on July 7th in Boise, Idaho and will travel the country throughout July and August and will close September 10th in Huntington, West Virginia. Tickets will go on sale beginning Friday April 15th for all concert dates (The Grand Rapids, MI and Youngstown, OH shows go on sale Monday April 18th). A KISS ARMY Fan Club Exclusive Presale will begin April 12th.

The KISS “Freedom To Rock” Tour will bring epic rock to 25+ cities it hasn’t been to in over 10+ years and four brand new cities as well. KISS specifically wanted to take the “Freedom To Rock” Tour to its fans in markets that haven’t had the chance to see them in some time or ever at all. This 36+ city tour will rock those markets and allow fans across the country to see America’s favorite rock band of all time, KISS.

Opening for KISS will be Recording Artist Caleb Johnson (American Idol Season 13 winner) for shows July 7 – August 10 while the All-Star rock band THE DEAD DAISIES will open for KISS for shows August 10 – September 10. The “Freedom To Rock” Tour is produced by: National Shows 2 (nationalshows2.com), Frank Productions (frankproductions.com), and CMoore Live (cmoorelive.com).

Date City Venue
7/7/2016 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
7/9/2016 Eugene, OR Matthew Knight Arena
7/10/2016 Kennewick, WA Toyota Center
7/15/2016 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
7/16/2016 Bozeman, MT Breeden Fieldhouse
7/18/2016 Colorado Springs, CO World Arena
7/20/2016 Independence, MO Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
7/22/2016 Lincoln, NE Pinnacle Bank Arena
7/23/2016 Springfield, MO JQH Arena
7/25/2016 Wichita, KS Intrust Bank Arena;
7/27/2016 Sioux City, IA Tyson Events Center
7/29/2016 Cheyenne, WY Cheyenne Frontier Days
7/30/2016 Minot, ND North Dakota State Fair
8/1/2016 Mankato, MN Verizon Wireless Center
8/3/2016 Duluth, MN Amsoil Arena
8/5/2016 Moline, IL iWireless Arena
8/6/2016 La Crosse, WI La Crosse Center
8/8/2016 Milwaukee, WI BMO Harris Bradley Center
8/10/2016 Green Bay, WI Resch Center
8/12/2016 Fort Wayne, IN Allen County Memorial Coliseum
8/13/2016 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
8/15/2016 Saginaw, MI Dow Event Center
8/17/2016 Springfield, IL Illinois State Fair
8/20/2016 Rockford, IL BMO Harris Bank Center
8/22/2016 Dayton, OH Nutter Center
8/24/2016 Toledo, OH Huntington Center
8/26/2016 Youngstown, OH Covelli Centre
8/27/2016 Erie, PA Erie Insurance Arena
8/29/2016 Rochester, NY Blue Cross Arena
8/30/2016 State College, PA Bryce Jordan Center
9/1/2016 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair
9/3/2016 Worcester, MA DCU Center
9/4/2016 Portland, ME Cross Insurance Arena
9/7/2016 Bridgeport, CT Webster Bank Arena
9/9/2016 Richmond, VA Richmond Coliseum
9/10/2016 Huntington, WV Big Sandy Arena

** Additional markets to be announced soon

Ace Frehley Interview

Monday Rock City: Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Ace Frehley Talks Sobriety, Space Travel & Making Peace with KISS: Read here.

Gene Simmons on Kiss Makeup Controversy: 'Why Wouldn't We Use It?'

(rollingstone.com) For over a decade, Kiss' Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have both worn makeup associated with the band's founding guitarist and drummer, respectively. Although the move has sparked some controversy among Kiss fans, singer-bassist Gene Simmons tells Rolling Stone it doesn't bother him

"Why wouldn't we use the classic makeup?" he says. "We own it."

The subject came up during an interview regarding the 40th anniversary of Kiss' Destroyer album, when Simmons bemoaned founding guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss' acrimonious departures from the group within its first decade.

"The saddest thing of all is here we are, top of Mt. Olympus with all this cool stuff happening, really enjoying ourselves, the fans are thrilled, and nobody ever holds up a sign, 'Where's Ace and Peter?'" he says. "Anybody that's in a band goes, 'Oh, they can't exist without me.' They are sadly mistaken. Whether you're AC/DC or Van Halen or anybody, they can actually not only exist without you. Even if you're the lead singer, they can actually get twice as big.

"Even if you're in Genesis: 'Oh, they can never do it without Peter Gabriel.' Oh, sure they can," he continues. "In fact, we'll get a guy who doesn't have any personality and doesn't put on masks or anything and just sings songs, and they'll play stadiums. And Peter Gabriel, with all of the great masks and the things, never played that."

The band had previously encouraged band members who joined in the early Eighties to create new personas – guitarist Vinnie Vincent became the Ankh Warrior and drummer Eric Carr was the Fox – but after the band decided to "unmask" Simmons, the musician says the band decided new personas were not valid. So when Frehley and Criss departed the band's reunion tour in 2002 and 2004, respectively, the group – which owns rights to the makeup – bequeathed it unto Thayer and Singer.

"In retrospect, it was the right decision," Simmons says. "There's always going to be five percent or 10 percent of people who were there at the beginning who will complain about anything. And listen, I think that's valid from their point of view. But people get onto a train at different times.

"If you go to see the Stones live today and poke the guy next to you and say, 'Ron Wood, he's not Brian Jones,' the guy says, 'Who the fuck is that?' He wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. He came into the Stones 10, 20, 30 years after you did."

Rolling Stone reported in 2014 that Peter Criss relinquished the rights to his character when he left the band. "I'm pissed at myself that my makeup slipped through my hands," he said. "That's my cross that I bear." Frehley said he licensed his and would get it back, though singer-guitarist Paul Stanley called that notion a "fantasy."

Kiss have announced three live dates so far this year. On July 29th, they will play Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and on the following day they play the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, North Dakota. On November 4th, they will headline their own Kiss Kruise VI, which travels from Miami to Cozumel and the Grand Caymans.

Additionally, Ace Frehley's upcoming covers record Origins Vol. 1 sees the guitarist playing alongside Stanley for the first time in nearly two decades. They tackled Free's "Fire and Water" together on the record. "We've always been friends," Frehley told Rolling Stone in February. "The press seems to amplify negativity. I guess it makes good copy."

Ace Frehley on "Elliot In The Morning"

Ace Frehley on "Elliot In The Morning": Listen.

'Kiss Rocks Vegas' Concert Movie Trailer

'Kiss Rocks Vegas' Concert Movie Trailer: Video.

Ace Frehley’s second Kiss tell-all on the way

Former Kiss guitar god Ace Frehley is deep into writing a follow-up to his 2011 best-selling tell-all, “No Regrets.”

The rocker told us he’s already six months into the new book, and that it will dish on more tales from the road with the original Kiss members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss.

Frehley was in the band from 1973 till 1982.

There will also be “tons of stories” of growing up in The Bronx before he joined Kiss, he told us while on tour for his new solo album, “Origins, Vol. 1.” Stanley appears on the album.

Ace Frehley: Five Songs I Wish I Wrote

(rollingstone.com) Ace Frehley's new album, Origins Vol. 1 – due out April 15th – finds him covering songs by Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy and other artists that have inspired him over the years. The LP also features his first recording with Paul Stanley, an impassioned interpretation of Free's "Fire and Water," in nearly two decades (Other guests on the record include Slash, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Lita Ford and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5). It was fitting then that we recently asked him to pick five songs that he wishes he had written – find out his picks below.

The Who, "My Generation"

It's the first Who song that really grabbed me. I can't think of another rock song where the bassist takes the solo.

Led Zeppelin, "Stairway to Heaven"

This is Jimmy Page at his best. I don't even know how to categorize it. It might be in its own category.

Kiss, "Deuce"

This is the first song that Gene, Paul and Peter played when I walked into the audition. It just grabs your attention right away.

Cream, "White Room"

Cream had a huge influence on my playing. This is a classic wah-wah song. I'd play it on my upcoming tour, but I don't use pedals because I might trip over them.

Thin Lizzy, "Emerald"

This is a real heavy song that just barrels through and has a cool breakdown with dual guitar leads playing the harmony part. It just has an awesome ambience.

Gene Simmons on Donald Trump: 'He's Good for the Political System'

(rollingstone.com) Gene Simmons has been enjoying watching Donald Trump subvert the presidential race, calling it the most fascinating election he can remember and saying it was "bound to happen" in what he calls the "Age of Kardashian." "He is the truest political animal I've ever seen onstage," the Kiss vocalist-bassist tells Rolling Stone. "He has no speechwriters, no editing, no nothing. He's actually on tape going 'motherfucker.' You cannot turn away."

Simmons is quick to point out that he's not saying he's supporting Trump. "He has said some very vile, unkind things," he says. "But don't kid yourself. He speaks off the cuff, and what you see is what you get. And he'll double down. If you ask him about building a wall [between the U.S. and Mexico] he'll say, 'Fuck you, I'm going to make it 10 feet higher, just because you asked me.' He's not there to be your friend."

What fascinates Simmons is Trump's ability to root out people's feelings. "He's good for the political system," he says. "The middle, the centrists, they can say, 'What do you think of this?' because everybody is sick and tired of being politically correct. Secretly, tens of millions, perhaps 100 million people may actually have some positive feelings about a wall.

"Macedonia is building a wall between Greece and Macedonia," he continues. "There's a wall between Israel and a neighboring country. There was a Berlin Wall. There was the Great Wall of China. So whether they're good or bad for people, walls actually work. It's unkind, but in terms of pragmatics, it actually works ... The Pope has said the wall is unkind, but it's interesting that at the Vatican there's a wall. They don't want people on the outside coming into the Vatican."

Ultimately, Simmons feels it will be up to Americans as individuals to make a private decision about Trump's wall and his ability to be president. One thing he feels he knows for sure, however, is that "this guy has changed politics forever in America." Showbiz has become politics, the singer says, referencing the way Marco Rubio felt a need to reference the size of Trump's penis – and Trump replied.

"What you can say about politicians is that they're politicians," says Simmons, who previously voted for Barack Obama and "in a lot of ways" felt dissatisfied with his decision. "Trump is not a politician. He does not need your money, and he will speak his mind, God damn it, whether you like it or not. And he has no problem saying 'Fuck off.'

"I like that," Simmons continues. "Even if I disagree."

ACE FREHLEY Says It's 'Ridiculous' To Think KISS Could Continue Without Any Original Members

During an interview with the "Karlson & McKenzie" show on Boston's WZLX 100.7 FM radio station, former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was asked about the possibility of the band one day carrying on without any original members, including main songwriter Paul Stanley.

"That's the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard [Stanley and KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons] make," Ace said (hear audio below). "I think the only reason they make those statements at this juncture is to try to validate the fact that they have two other guys in the band that aren't the original members. So they're trying to rationalize to the fans, 'Well, you know, we replaced Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] and we replaced Ace, and eventually we're gonna replace ourselves. That's like [THE ROLLING STONES singer] Mick Jagger saying, 'Yeah, after me and Keith [Richards, THE ROLLINGS STONES guitarist] die, THE STONES will continue on with two other guys.' I mean, it's a joke."

It was back in 2005 that KISS manager manager Doc McGhee first told the New York Times that the group had "been toying with the idea of recruiting an entire band to... don the band's famous makeup." McGhee said, "KISS is more like Doritos or Pepsi, as far as a brand name is concerned. They're more characters than the individual person. I think (new members) have a legitimate chance to carry the franchise."

Simmons didn't necessarily disagree with that idea. He told Launch that the concept of original members isn't widely held by fans, and it isn't really accurate anyway. "There's no question that there's a core of fans — five-10 percent, my sense is — who believe in original members," he said. "And yet, when you look at original members, THE BEATLES are not original members — Ringo is not an original member; THE [ROLLING] STONES — barely. You know, they've had so many members come and go, but it's the STONES; and AC/DC's aren't original members; and VAN HALEN; and JOURNEY...you go down the list of every — almost every band you can think of."

In a 2012 interview with The San Diego Union-Tribute, Stanley reaffirmed KISS' intention to continue after he and Gene Simmons depart.

"The band is bigger than its members," said Stanley. "And it only takes, in this case, four like-minded people with a similar outlook and talent to further the cause and continue KISS. It makes perfect sense to me. It may not make sense to other bands, but we're not other bands. We don't live by those rules. We never have.”

ACE FREHLEY: Why GENE SIMMONS Doesn't Appear On 'Origins Vol. 1'

ACE FREHLEY: Why GENE SIMMONS Doesn't Appear On 'Origins Vol. 1': Listen.

Ace Frehley LIVE on AOL BUILD

Ace Frehley LIVE on AOL BUILD: Video.

Watch Ace Frehley Tell ‘Epic Rock Tales’

Watch Ace Frehley Tell ‘Epic Rock Tales’: Video.

ACE FREHLEY On Reunion With KISS:' I'm Not Ruling It Out'

1on1 Mitch Lafon - 204 ACE FREHLEY (March 2016): Listen.

KISS To Rock Movie Theaters Worldwide With New Concert Film 'Kiss Rocks Vegas'

Back in November 2014, the helicopter descended upon the infamous Hard Rock Hotel as KISS invaded Las Vegas for an historic nine-show run. Now, for one night only on May 25, fans will be able to experience this spectacular night for themselves as "Kiss Rocks Vegas" hits cinemas across the globe. From this blistering live show, fans can expect sky high flames, ear-bursting volume and a few drops of blood! Includes exclusive interviews with band and footage you will only see in the cinema.

Famed for their iconic face paint and stage attire, KISS was formed in New York City in 1973 by Paul Stanley (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Gene Simmons (vocals, bass guitar). Their sensational live performances feature fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics to spare. Tommy Thayer (lead guitar, vocals) and Eric Singer (drums, percussion, vocals) round out the band's powerful lineup. Tommy is also producer of the film "Kiss Rocks Vegas".

Said Stanley: "See us on the big screen with the awesome power of Surround Sound. Feel like you are in Vegas and don't be shy to 'shout it out loud!'"

Added Simmons: "Jin us for a 'crazy crazy night' in your cinema!”

Stated Thayer: "We are all tremendously proud of this production; it captures a truly unique performance. You need to see it in a cinema to get the full on experience."

Said Singer: "We rocked The Joint at Hard Rock in Las Vegas. You get up close and personal with KISS. You're going to love it."

A select number of cinemas worldwide will also be screening the concert in Dolby Atmos, providing a powerfully immersive and moving audio experience for the cinema audience.

For more information and to book tickets for the cinema event please visit www.kissmycinema.com.

Speaking to Las Vegas Weekly, Stanley stated about how the idea for the KISS residency came about: "To spend as much time as we do in Vegas and to live as close as we do, the idea of doing a residency and leaving our stage setup, as opposed to breaking it down nightly, was really appealing."

He continued: "We just finished 42 cities and played for 600,000 people, but that meant that every night the show got disassembled and moved. There’s something appealing and challenging about building a set that doesn’t have to be moved. You don't have to take into account the practicality of it, being able to be broken down constantly and reassembled. So this was something that we had wanted to do for quite a while; it was just a matter of making sure we found people who were in agreement on how to do it. The Joint was the natural place to do it."

Gene Simmons Skewers Pop Charts, Is 'Looking Forward to Death of Rap'

Gene Simmons Skewers Pop Charts, Is 'Looking Forward to Death of Rap' Read the Rolling Stone article here.

PAUL STANLEY, JUDAS PRIEST To Take Part In This Summer's 'Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp'

Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp celebrates its 20th anniversary with two amazing summer camps — rock icons Paul Stanley (KISS) along with Don Felder (formerly of THE EAGLES) June 23-26 and JUDAS PRIEST - "Vol. 2: Hell Bent For Hollywood" on August 4-7.

As headliners at Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp, attendees will jam and perform with Paul Stanley and members of JUDAS PRIEST at the Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp facility, as well as at the legendary Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. They will also jam with Don Felder and Mark Farner at the Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp facility on some of the biggest rock and roll songs in history.

Said JUDAS PRIEST in a statement: "We had such a blast last time with the fantasy camp, it's time for an encore! Four of JUDAS PRIEST are primed to bang out some more metal adventures at this one of a kind experience!"

Over the course of four days, attendees will be placed into bands led by rock star counselors including Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE), Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH) and many more. Musicians will hone their stage presence, learn to play some of music's greatest songs, get tips and hear stories of life on the road from their rock star counselors, attend master classes and jams rooms with these renowned musicians and then perform live with their band in front of a packed house at the infamous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip.

"To be part of Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp isn't just a fantasy for the people who are here, it's my fantasy too, it's really a gift to me as much as anybody else," said Paul Stanley.

For more than 30 years, Paul Stanley has reigned supreme as one of the single-most recognizable front men in the history of rock and roll. He continues to be the chief songwriter, driving force and unwavering voice of KISS.

Don Felder is renowned as a former lead guitarist of THE EAGLES, one of the most popular and influential rock groups of our time. A member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame since 1998, Felder served as a member of THE EAGLES for 27 years. Felder originated the music and co-wrote THE EAGLES' biggest hit — the iconic, Grammy-winning smash "Hotel California".

Also participating in the amazing experience will be former lead vocalist of the blues rock band GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, Mark Farner. With hits such as "American Band", "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "I'm Your Captain". GRAND FUNK RAILROAD has sold millions of records throughout their career.

JUDAS PRIEST has sold over 45 million albums to date. MTV ranked them the second greatest metal band of all time. This hard and heavy camp features four members of JUDAS PRIEST, including vocalist Rob Halford, bassist Ian Hill, guitarist Richie Faulkner and drummer Scott Travis.

"Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp is where adults come to live their rock and roll dreams and jam with their musical heroes, and where our Jr. rockers come to begin their rock and roll dreams," said David Fishof, owner of Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp. "The camp is open to all levels of musicians, vocalists, from beginners to expert. There is a spot in a band for everyone."

Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp is a non-competitive atmosphere designed for all levels of musicians and music enthusiasts. Participants are placed in bands with like-minded people and skill level to make for an off-the-charts experience.

For additional information, go to www.rockcamp.com or call 888-762-BAND.

The Oral History of Kiss' 'Destroyer': 'It's a Miracle We're Alive'

The Oral History of Kiss' 'Destroyer': 'It's a Miracle We're Alive'. Read the Rolling Stone article here.

ACE FREHLEY To Discuss 'Origins Vol. 1' Album At 'BackStory' Event In New York City

BackStory has teamed up with original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley for a live interview event focusing on his new album, "Origins Vol. 1", on Wednesday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. at AOL studios in New York City.

Guests will enjoy a seat at an exclusive live interview, a limited-edition autographed poster, a meet-and-greet with Frehley, plus complimentary beverages.

The interview will be conducted by Brad Tolinski. Best known as the editor in chief of Guitar World magazine for 25 years, Tolinski is a respected journalist and the author of "Light And Shade: Conversations With Jimmy Page".

For more information, go to this location.

Q&A: Ace Frehley

Q&A: Ace Frehley: Las Vegas Magazine.

ACE FREHLEY Featured In 'Me And My Guitar' Interview With TOTAL GUITAR

ACE FREHLEY Featured In 'Me And My Guitar' Interview With TOTAL GUITAR: Video.

Paul Stanley talks KISS & SOUL STATION with INDIEPOWER TV

Paul Stanley talks KISS & SOUL STATION with INDIEPOWER TV: Video.

Ace Frehley Announces New LP, 'White Room' Cover, Paul Stanley Reunion

(rollingstone.com) Ace Frehley is beginning the new year by looking back. The former Kiss guitarist's new LP, Origins Vol. 1 – due out April 15th – finds him covering songs by Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Thin Lizzy and other artists that have inspired him over the years. His heavy-hitting take on Cream's "White Room" is premiering here. The LP also features his first recording with Paul Stanley, an impassioned interpretation of Free's "Fire and Water," in nearly two decades. Other guests on the record include Slash, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Lita Ford and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5.

"I'm really thrilled with the whole thing," Frehley tells Rolling Stone. "I'm excited about it, and probably somewhere down the road there'll be a second volume."

"White Room" holds a special place in the guitarist's heart, since he attended Cream's New York City concert debut when he was about 15 – one of Frehley's first concerts. "Eric Clapton has always been a big influence on me," the guitarist says. "They were opening up for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. The Who was on the bill, too. Clapton had a big afro then and that painted guitar. It was pretty cool and different. I always liked 'White Room.'" Frehley's drummer, Scott Coogan, joins him on vocals for the song.

Frehley shrugs off any residual tension between himself and Stanley. "We've always been friends," he says. "The press seems to amplify negativity. I guess it makes good copy."

Both founding Kiss members were fans of Free and the song "Fire and Water," the title cut of the "All Right Now" group's 1970 LP. Frehley had wanted to do a version of it since the Seventies, so he recorded the backing tracks with his band and sent them to Stanley about a month ago, with the Kiss singer sending his recorded parts right back.

"I thought Paul did a fabulous vocal on it," the guitarist says. "He jumped at the chance to do this because it's something that's outside of Kiss and his character in Kiss, and it gave him a chance to, you know, sing. With Paul, you usually think of him singing in a slightly higher register and on 'Fire and Water,' he's singing deep from his diaphragm, and it's a real cool vocal. Everyone's who heard it was just thinks it's the shit."

Frehley also enjoyed lining up his other guests on the album. McCready plays on Kiss' "Cold Gin," a tune Frehley wrote, but Gene Simmons sang originally. "I've been a big influence on Mike, at least that's what he tells me," the former Kiss guitarist says. Slash plays on Thin Lizzy's "Emerald," and he contributed to the recording by suggesting both he and Frehley play live at the same time, something they did 15 times. "It took me three days to pick the best takes," Frehley says, "and I think it came out great."

Lita Ford joined him on the Troggs' "Wild Thing." "It has almost a garage-band flare to it," the guitarist says. And finally, John 5 wowed Frehley with his playing on Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Music" and Kiss' "Parasite," another Frehley-penned song he's singing for the first time on Origins. "John 5 was amazing to watch," he says. "He inspired me and obviously I inspire him. It was a lot of fun."

Frehley will be supporting the new record with a North American tour. See the dates below the track list.

Origins Vol. 1 Track List
1. "White Room" (Cream)
2. "Street Fighting Man" (Rolling Stones)
3. "Spanish Castle Magic," feat. John 5 (Jimi Hendrix)
4. "Fire and Water," feat. Paul Stanley (Free)
5. "Emerald," Slash (Thin Lizzy)
6. "Bring It on Home" (Led Zeppelin)
7. "Wild Thing," feat. Lita Ford (The Troggs)
8. "Parasite," feat. John 5 (Kiss)
9. "Magic Carpet Ride" (Steppenwolf)
10. "Cold Gin," feat. Mike McCready (Kiss)
11. "Till the End of the Day" (Kinks)
12. "Rock and Roll Hell" (Kiss).

Legendary KISS collaborates with traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e art

In celebration of Grammy Week, on Saturday, February 13th from 6 to 8 PM, Morrison Hotel Gallery at the Sunset Marquis Hotel will honor KISS with a ca-reer-spanning photographic exhibit, and debut the first edition pieces from the KISS + UKIYO-E Project. From 6:00 to 6:30 PM, KISS founders and rock n' roll icons Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will make a very special appearance.

Morrison Hotel Gallery salutes the Grammys and the legacy of the seminal rock band with an exhibition that will feature iconic and revealing images of the group along its journey from fiery upstarts to megastars. The exhibit will also include the debut of the KISS + UKIYO-E Project which showcases a unique selection of stun-ning multi-colored wood block prints, representative of one of Japan's most revered traditional genre of art. The KISS Ukiyo-e are first edition prints, limited to only 200, and are signed by the band. The 'KISS Ukiyo-e' project started in fall of 2014 as the first of its kind collaboration with a team of Japanese master artisans, and has culminated in these wonderful pieces of fine art being displayed here in their first comprehensive international feature exhibit. Widely popularized during the 1600s in Edo era Japan, Ukiyo-e famously depicted current events and often illustrious entertainment industry figures and scenes, and thus this contemporary collaboration with KISS is the perfect modern day continuation of the Ukiyo-e tradi-tion.

The photographers that are a part of this exhibit have shaped the careers of many artists, and have become pop culture legends in their own right. They include Bob Gruen, Danny Clinch, Lynn Goldsmith, Neal Preston, Norman Seeff, Patrick Harbron and Travis Shinn. The images display the group dominating the stage, captured by Patrick Harbron's anthemic perspective, Norman Seeff's snapshots of the blood-thirsty young band, and Neal Preston's playful holiday shots. Also included are se-lect images from Lynn Goldsmith's catalog, which span the glory years of 1977 thru 1980. Danny Clinch and Travis Shinn contribute more recent images, showcasing KISS in a victorious elegance as international ambassadors of rock n' roll. Repre-senting KISS's worldwide adulation is a series of Japanese prints that marry the traditional art of Ukiyo-e with KISS iconography for a dazzling cross-cultural ex-change.

The slogan "You wanted the best, you got the best!" has become synonymous with the rock band KISS right before they hit the stage. For 43 years, the band has de-livered on the promise of defying trends and weathering lineup shifts to consistent-ly provide anthemic rock n' roll, performed and packaged with majestic brilliance.

Grammy week is a time to reflect back on achievements in music, and to celebrate the artists that have made those achievements. No band around today has a histo-ry, or rather, a KISS-tory, like KISS. They were nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1999 for Psycho Circus.

Paul Stanley Interviewed in Uncle Joe's Garage

Paul Stanley Interviewed in Uncle Joe's Garage: Video.

Paul Stanley & Soul Station Special

Paul Stanley & Soul Station Special: Listen.

Me And My Guitar interview with Tommy Thayer

Me And My Guitar interview with Tommy Thayer: Video.

CNN Video: Gene Simmons Talks David Bowie

CNN Video: Gene Simmons Talks David Bowie.

PETER CRISS To Appear At TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND

Original KISS drummer Peter Criss will attend Texas Frightmare Weekend on April 29 - May 1 to meet and greet fans in a rare appearance.

In addition to playing drums in the band, Peter also provided lead vocals for a number KISS's most popular and memorable songs, including "Beth", "Black Diamond" and "Hard Luck Woman". Peter's "Catman" persona is an instantly recognizable icon in pop culture.

"After hosting an appearance by Ace Frehley at our 2014 event, we've been flooded with requests to bring in Peter Criss," says Texas Frightmare Weekend founder Loyd Cryer. "Our event has always been about fulfilling fans' requests and we are honored that Peter has agreed to attend."

Peter Criss will attend the event on all three days, giving his fans plenty of opportunities for autographs, photos and meet and greets.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase now at this location: texasfrightmareweekend.com.

Texas Frightmare Weekend is presented in association with Fangoria magazine. 2016 marks the event's now entry into its second decade as the Southwest's premier horror convention and film festival. The annual event hosts celebrity appearances, autograph signings, screenings, exclusive parties and horror memorabilia vendors from all over the country.

Criss first left KISS in 1980. Since then he's worked with other bands and released solo albums. He teamed up with KISS again for a few gigs in the 1990s and most recently in 2004. He was replaced by Eric Singer.

Criss, who was known as "Catman," released his last solo CD, titled "One for All", in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of "Late Night with David Letterman". The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "Send in the Clowns".

The four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2014 by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello.

KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

SLASH, PAUL STANLEY, JERRY CANTRELL, JOHN 5 Featured In 'Turn It Up!' Documentary

(Trailer) Celebrating the electric guitar, the full-length documentary film "Turn It Up!" will be released on January 22. A cinematic and auditory tour de force, the film — shot in high definition — is a combination of stunning photography, musical performances, world-class collections, and in-depth interviews – from international legends to "everyman" collectors. Released by 71st Street Entertainment, "Turn It Up!" will be available as a two-disc DVD set, two-disc Blu-ray set (with second disc in standard definition only), and as a digital download (does not include bonus set).

Created and directed by Robert Radler ("Best Of The Best 1 & 2", "SS United States: Lady In Waiting", "The Substitute"), "Turn It Up!" is an emotional exploration of the electric guitar and the people who fall under its spell. Narrated by actor/musician Kevin Bacon, the film features interviews with an array of guitar royalty: the late Les Paul and B.B. King (in one of his final interviews), Slash, Robby Krieger, Paul Stanley, Steve Lukather, Nancy Wilson, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Albert Lee, Ana Popovic, Jerry Cantrell, Steve Howe, John 5 and many others.

The "Turn It Up!" DVD and Blu-ray sets not only include the full documentary film, but the "Conversations And Extras" bonus disc, which boasts extended interviews; scenes with the Burst Brothers; mini-documentaries on RKS Guitars and Seymour Duncan; Robby Krieger noodling on his guitar; and a performance of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter from the film "S.S. United States: Lady In Waiting".

"Turn It Up!" simultaneously honors the beloved electrified six-string and recognizes the rich bond between musician and instrument, and the pilgrimage to find the ultimate guitar and perfect tone. From the mouths of those who invent them, build them, sell them, collect them, and those who make them sing, the film reveals the deep cultural love affair of the world’s most popular instrument, and explores its past, present, and future.

It's the sound of rebellion, heartbreak, joy, fear, madness, pain, and all-out exuberance — the electric guitar has been a beacon of self-expression for generations, and "Turn It Up!" details exactly why.

The DVD, Blu-ray, and digital download will be available online and at physical retailers (through Sony RED Distribution).

Ace Frehley, Paul Rodgers, Night Ranger to Headline Rockfest 80's

A celebration of hard rock's big hits and big hair will take place next spring in south Florida at the two-day Rockfest 80's. Headliners include former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, Bad Company, Free and Queen singer Paul Rodgers and Night Ranger, who are best known for power ballad "Sister Christian." The festival will take place at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida on April 2nd and 3rd.

Ratt, the Romantics, Warrant, Cinderella's Tom Keifer and Geoff Tate are some of the other acts to be part of the nostalgic lineup. Firehouse, John Waite, Lynch Mob, Autograph and Slaughter will also perform. More acts to be announced in 2016. The bands will be playing more of their classic hits for fans over the two-day show.

"Rockfest 80's is a project over a year in the making," the festival's producer Larry Offsey said in a statement. "We are excited to launch our brand and create a true South Florida rock festival event."

Tickets for Rockfest 80's will go on sale December 21st. More information can be found at the festival's official site.

Last year, Ace Frehley released his first solo album in five years, Space Invader. He was also inducted alongside Kiss into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in early 2014. Paul Rodgers released a new solo LP, The Royal Sessions, last year, when he sang soul and R&B hits by Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding and others. As for Night Ranger, the hard rock band released their 11th album, High Road, in 2014. They were also referenced during an episode of Parks and Recreation last year, with Yo La Tengo playing a Night Ranger cover band called Bobby Knight Ranger.

KISS SIGHTING: Australian Financial Planning commercial!

Australian Financial Planning commercial: Video.

KISS SIGHTING: Volkswagen Commercial features "Beth"

Volkswagen Commercial features "Beth": Video.

Video: KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY Sings National Anthem At San Antonio Spurs Game

Video: KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY Sings National Anthem At San Antonio Spurs Game

Now Up For Auction – KISS Eric Singer stage-played Pearl Drum Kit

In honor of our friend Karl Cochran, who suffered a stroke last year, KISS has donated the drum kit that Eric Singer played during the KISS KRUISE V Alive! shows.

An auction to win the KISS drum kit is running now through next Saturday, Dec. 19th. 100% of the money raised goes directly to help Karl with his medical bills.

Bidding will start at $7,500, and any interested parties should e-mail to contact@rocknrecovery.net.

Here is the list of the drums the winning bidder will receive:

PEARL drums (Black Gloss Finish)
6"-8"-10"-12"13" Concert Toms
14 x14 Floor Tom (double headed)
16x16 " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "
18x16 " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "

13" x 7" Chrome over Steel snare drum (Limited Edition)

ALL Pearl Hardware (for all drums and 6 cymbals)
PEARL Double Pedal
PEARL Drum Throne

LP Chrome Cowbell
ZILDJIAN Cymbals
(1)20" ride
(4) 19" Crash
(1) 17" China Type

KISS "logo" front Bass Drum Head (autographed by the band) included along with 6 pairs of Eric Singer "KISS" Signature drum sticks!

Shipping cost at "Buyer's" expense - shipped directly to you from KISS (or local pick-up in Los Angeles area).

Please bid now to help Karl. You can also make a tax-deductible donation at http://rocknrecovery.net/news/.

SIGHTING: The View TV Show - GLORIA ESTEFAN'S KISS CRAZY GRANDSON

SIGHTING: The View TV Show - GLORIA ESTEFAN'S KISS CRAZY GRANDSON: Video.

KISS frontman to serve up craft beer, national anthem at Spurs game

A bona fide rock god will be singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and touting craft suds Friday at the AT&T Center.

Paul Stanley, the Starchild of the legendary rock act Kiss, will be at center court before the Spurs play the Los Angeles Lakers. He’ll be in town for the grand opening of Rock & Brews, the new classic rock-themed restaurant and craft beer pub at the renovated arena. Stanley and bandmate Gene Simmons are among the cofounders of the venture launched in 2012.

This is the first Rock & Brews at a sports arena, and the Spurs want that fact shouted out loud.

Rick Pych, Spurs Sports & Entertainment president of business operations, said the organization is honored to have the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer in the house.

“Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have utilized the same passion and enthusiasm that made Kiss a rock legend to create a fantastic restaurant experience,” Pych said.

Bill Summersett, a San Antonio native and Kiss memorabilia collector who for decades was a diehard member of the Kiss Army, said the family restaurant will be a hit.

“I’m sure it’s gonna draw a ton of people,” said Summersett, who has been to more than 30 Kiss concerts. He has caught guitars Stanley broke and threw off stage, and he has owned items such as a Kiss pinball machine, Kiss condoms and Kiss comic books printed with red ink that included the group members’ blood.

“Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are marketing geniuses. There’s nothing they haven’t made,” Summersett said.

Rock & Brews combines Stanley’s love of cooking, local produce and classic rock. Away from Kiss, he plays with the soul and R&B revue Soul Station.

Stanley recently talked by phone about craft beer, culinary possibilities and being grateful for rock ’n’ roll.

Did you ever imagine the rise of craft beer culture?

Beer has become the new wine. Beer is crafted, at this point, by people who understand notes and where it hits you on the palate. The care that’s put into it has been a long time coming. It’s very interesting to see beer go beyond something that you guzzle at a sports event or that you drink for a buzz.

Which is trendier, rock ’n’ roll or food?

One doesn’t rule the other. Rock ’n’ roll is essential. The foundation of Rock & Brews certainly is a love of classic rock. But then that foundation is used to build something very unique, almost a lifestyle, where people can enjoy great beer, great food, and I don’t mean franchise slop. (It’s) a food experience where if you want to bring your children out for the day, you don’t have to eat cardboard pizza served by somebody dressed as a rat.

What’s your favorite Rock & Brews craft beer?

I love a rich, dark lager. But we have samplers where there are multiple glasses and it’s great to sample in the same way you might sample different wines.

How about the food?

I think the fish tacos are awesome. The burgers are off the charts. We have pretzels. Everybody is used to soft pretzels. But our pretzel dough comes in from Germany. We have a beer cheese that’s awesome to dip in.

No orange cheese nachos?

There’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve all sat at games and had that cheese food product. God only knows what it is. Why not enjoy something that’s really, really good? Once you elevate your taste buds a bit there’s no going back.

Why are you so active in the promotion?

I don’t believe in putting my name on anything I don’t believe in.

What about the national anthem?

I did it at Dodger games. I starred in “Phantom of the Opera.” So I consider myself a singer that sings rock as opposed to a rock singer. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a real interesting one in that people tend to obliterate it when they do it and turn it into a showcase for vocal gymnastics instead of singing it as it was written. If you’re looking for showboating, you’re not going to hear it. The anthem should be sung with respect.

Best Collaboration 2015 MTV JAPAN VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

WINNER! Momoiro Clover Z and KISS - Best Collaboration 2015 MTV JAPAN VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

Rivermen to wear KISS-themed jerseys March 4

(pjstar.com) (Pic) The Peoria Rivermen will deliver a KISS to their fanbase on March 4 at Carver Arena.

The team has added a theme night centered around the legendary band. The Rivermen will skate in special KISS jerseys and auction them after the game.

Rivermen players participated in choosing from several jersey design options for the event. You can see the jerseys online with this story at pjstar.com.

“We are excited to be working with OT Sports, and KISS, on this special jersey night,” Rivermen co-owner Bart Rogers said. “There’s not much that hasn’t been tried in the specialty jersey/theme night industry. I think we are producing some fun nights this season with our special jersey themes, and this is just icing on the cake for us.

“OT Sports created three KISS styles to choose from, and we let our entire organization vote on which one to use. We’ll have some other related things happening at the game that night, and will announce them soon.”

Video: 40th Anniversary KISS Homecoming in Cadillac

Video: 40th Anniversary KISS Homecoming in Cadillac.

Video: ROCK AND BREWS VETERAN'S DAY CELEBRATION WITH GENE SIMMONS AND PAUL STANLEY OF KISS

Video: ROCK AND BREWS VETERAN'S DAY CELEBRATION WITH GENE SIMMONS AND PAUL STANLEY OF KISS.

Cops shut down private Gene Simmons concert

Gene Simmons couldn’t rock and roll all night.

The KISS frontman, 66, co-hosted a party on Saturday night at pal Rohan Oza’s sprawling LA mansion to raise money for a children’s charity.

Forgoing black-and-white stage makeup, the rocker surprised the crowd — including Randy Jackson and Maria Menounos – with a private concert until uniformed Beverly Hills police showed up to shut down the raucous sounds.

“The sound from Gene’s performance travelled all over Beverly Hills,” a source told Page Six. “The cops showed up because of the noise.”

Known for throwing exclusive parties in Tinseltown and NYC, venture capitalist Oza didn’t let a visit from the 5-0 end the glittering night — which benefitted the Children Matter Foundation, an organization focused on improving the lives of kids around the globe.

“Gene put down the guitar, but the party continued with a DJ,” added the source.

This wasn’t the first time Simmons has rocked a charity event benefiting kids. Earlier this year, the bassist joined Johnny Depp for an impromptu number at a MendingKids.org party in LA.

KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY: Video Footage Of Solo Acoustic Performance From 'Kiss Kruise V'

Comin’ Home
Hard Luck Woman
Shandi
Hide Your Heart
Hold Me Touch Me
Nowhere To Run
C’Mon And Love Me
Magic Touch and Tonight You Belong To Me
Ain’t Quite Right
Mistake (Demo)
Talk Me

Paul Stanley featured in new Mitch Albom Book

(Video) Paul Stanley is featured in the latest book from world renowned author Mitch Albom. If you love music and mystery you'll LOVE it. The soundtrack features Creatures of the Night is also released today! http://features.aol.com/video/get-first-look-mitch-alboms-new-book-magic-strings-frankie-presto

KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY Addresses 'Persistent' Gay Rumor

Robert Scott of New Zealand's The Breeze conducted an interview with KISS frontman Paul Stanley ahead of the band's Auckland concert. They chatted about Paul's view on reviews, what's kept KISS going for all these years, what's left to achieve, working with Gene Simmons, drugs, his sexuality, his kids, retirement and New Zealand wine. You can now watch the chat here.

Hollywood Flashback: John Stamos, Gene Simmons Recall Insane 1986 Bomb 'Never Too Young to Die'

(hollywoodreporter.com) He plays a playboy grandpa on Fox’s Grandfathered, but in 1986, John Stamos was a hunky spy facing off against Gene Simmons — in drag.

The movie was Never Too Young to Die, a low-budget campfest that Stamos — then 22 and still a year away from being cast in ABC's Full House — mistakenly thought would be his ticket to movie stardom.

In it, the Kiss bassist plays “evil hermaphrodite” Velvet Von Ragner, who kills Stamos’ secret-agent father (George Lazenby, spoofing his one-off role as James Bond). Stamos’ character, prep-school senior Lance Stargrove, avenges his dad’s death with the help of secret agent Danja Deering, played by Vanity (of Prince fame).

"I had to shave and wax my chest, wear a prosthetic set of boobs and all sorts of other indignities — respectfully, to those that enjoy that sort of thing,” says Simmons, who drew “whistles and catcalls from the Teamsters” whenever he emerged from his trailer.

Simmons, 66, cites a song by the transgender punk rocker Jayne County — upon whom Hedwig and the Angry Inch was based — as his Velvet Von Ragner inspiration: "It Takes a Man Like Me, to Be a Woman Like Me."

"It was scary," says Stamos, 52, of Simmons' transformation. "I guess it was supposed to be like a Rocky Horror 'Sweet Transvestite' thing. I think I had nightmares about it, because it was Gene's big face with all that makeup and stuff. It was a trip."

Simmons for his part has a good sense of humor about the gender-bending turn. "Ah, the folly of youth," he muses. "I was offered two parts in Never Too Young to Die: the role of Marine commander and a hermaphrodite. ... That'll teach me to read scripts before accepting roles."

When Never Too Young came along, it had been two years since Stamos had walked away from a regular gig on General Hospital — and the young heartthrob had big dreams for his career.

"I just thought, 'This is my shot! A young James Bond!' I thought it was going to be the biggest breakthrough. 'I’m done with TV — I’m going to be a movie star!' And then I did that piece of shit," he says.

The actor threw himself into the role, taking gymnastics lessons and breaking his ankle in the process: "I worked so hard to make it great."

Stamos' first memory of Vanity, who played his onscreen love interest (she douses herself with a garden hose while he munches on an apple in one seduction scene) is a vivid one.

At the cast meet-and-greet — a dinner held at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood — the “Nasty Girl” singer “put her hand down my pants before the appetizers started coming out,” he recalls. “She completely seduced the shit out of me.”

"I thought, 'Wow, this is going to be a great movie,'" he says.

Vanity, who fronted the group Vanity 6, has turned to born-again Christian evangelism since 1994, when she nearly died from a crack-cocaine overdose. But back in 1986, there was little holding her back.

"I don’t want to say anything bad about her because I know she’s straightened out her act, but she was pretty wild," Stamos recalls, adding that the singer gravitated to any prop weaponry she found around the set. (“She was like Al Pacino in Scarface, blasting these f—ing machine guns all over the place,” he says. “We weren’t even rolling!”)

The two never ended up dating ("I was overwhelmed by it all — she was kind of a big star, I guess"), and as filming went on, some friction developed between them.

"Her real name was Denise," says Stamos of Vanity, who now goes by her given name, Denise Matthews. "I remember thinking I couldn’t put up with her anymore: 'Vanity! Call me Vanity!' I remember telling her off: 'Lighten up, Denise!'” But, he adds, "we did have fun — she was really nice to me." (Matthews did not respond to several emails requesting comment.)

The movie found a buyer at the 1985 American Film Market, but bombed upon release. “It was hard to find in theaters but was playing at a nearby drive-in. I brought a chick,” Stamos says. “Didn’t do me any good.”

The B-movie embarrassment came and went without notice, but, with a little time and distance, Stamos developed a certain fondness for the material.

"I’m at the point in my career where I can look back at things that were really fucking stupid and go, 'Oh my God, I’m so glad I did that!,'" he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I can really have a laugh about it, and this is certainly one of the biggest. I would love more people to see it."

At the urging of Simmons, Stamos has made several attempts to buy the rights to the film over the years, with an eye toward building a cult audience. That hasn't happened yet — but Stamos is still seriously thinking about it.

"It's the perfect midnight-movie, where people can come and dress up. It’s — what’s the term I’m looking for? — the best worst thing you will ever see," he says.

But you don't have to wait for a midnight screening. A complete print of Never Too Young to Die has been uploaded to YouTube.

KISS Electric Sail Away Setlist - Oct 2015

Flaming Youth (First time played live since 1976)
I Stole Your Love
Ladies Room (First time played live since 1978)
Comin' Home
Plaster Caster
Mainline
Take Me
A World Without Heroes
Shock Me (followed by Alive II solo abbreviated)
Love Her All I Can
Strange Ways (First time played live since 1975)
Mr. Speed (First time ever played electric)
Goin' Blind
All the Way
Christine Sixteen
La bamba (Ritchie Valens cover) (Partial, Paul smashes his guitar)

Encore
Makin' Love
All Hell's Breakin' Loose (snippet)
Hide Your Heart
Shout It Out Loud

Author out to solve age-old 'Detroit Rock City' mystery

(freep.com) “Detroit Rock City” has become an anthem around these parts, a hard-rocking, much-loved Kiss classic whose title gave the Motor City another enduring nickname.

And here’s something you probably didn’t know: That 1976 track, a tribute to Kiss’s favorite concert town, seems to have been inspired in part by a tragedy far outside Michigan, for years shrouded in mystery.

Nailing down that vexing detail has become an obsessive, ongoing quest for author James Campion, whose just-published book, “Shout It Out Loud,” chronicles the making of the band’s iconic “Destroyer” album.

At 380 pages, Campion’s book digs in deep, exploring the backstory of an album that many regard as Kiss’s best, with plenty of info about “Detroit Rock City,” the album’s epic lead-off track. (One anecdote from producer Bob Ezrin: The band sang about driving "down 95," inadvertently substituting the East Coast highway for Detroit's I-75. Kiss tried to divert attention from the screw-up by changing the printed lyrics to "doin' 95.")

As the veteran New York journalist readied his final manuscript earlier this year, he realized there was one crucial factoid he’d not yet tracked down:

What was Paul Stanley referring to when he said that “Detroit Rock City” was based on a fatal fan wreck after a Kiss show in the Carolinas?

The obscure tidbit had been mentioned by Stanley in a handful of old interviews, usually with a uncertain reference to a show in Charlotte. The band had gotten word of this fatal wreck, Stanley would say, and wove it into the story line of “Detroit Rock City.”

There’s no doubt that Stanley, the song’s co-writer and vocalist, had set out to salute Detroit from the start. Early demo tapes reveal a raw but purposeful composition that hammers on the “Ya gotta lose your mind in / Detroit rock city” refrain and its celebration of concert partying.

"It truly is the rock city," says Campion. "It's where rock 'n' roll became rock. It's that heavy MC5 sound. It's where Alice Cooper went. It's where Kiss had to go when other people were booing them off stages."

Still, the demo versions were far from the Ezrin-polished track that wound up on “Destroyer.” At some point, Stanley fleshed out the tragic final twist: the song’s young, revved-up narrator is killed in a car accident on his way to a Saturday night concert. The album version is bookended with a grim news report and the jarring noise of a crash.

“It’s a great rock song,” Campion says, “but it’s also a beautiful, melancholy tribute to (the idea) that no matter how young and invincible you feel because of rock music, there’s mortality involved.”

But who was this fallen Kiss fan? Aside from bits of speculation among diehard fans online, there were few details to be found. No date, no locale, no name.

With his book’s deadline looming, Campion began an intensive search. He tracked down Kiss’s 1975 tour schedule, zeroing in on dates in and around Charlotte. He plowed through public death records, solicited help from bemused police departments and dug into old newspaper archives, looking for key details in accident reports: What time did it happen? Did the vehicle include a group of teens?

"I became a macabre detective,” he says.

Coming up short, Campion began to have doubts about Stanley's story. This was a band, after all, that had invented mythology for decades.

But then, why would Stanley bring up Charlotte at all? Why not just say Detroit? “If you are going to lie, lie big,” as Campion writes in his book.

“It must have happened, or at least he really did think it happened,” he says.

Campion kept digging, moving his focus to 1974 thanks to word from a former Kiss roadie. And that's when a handful of candidate names emerged, several of them with ties to Fayetteville, N.C., where Kiss performed on Nov. 30, 1974 — two days after Charlotte. He lists them in his book.

"Fayetteville is the ground zero of this story," he says now with confidence. "I'd be shocked if it was not."

Campion's detective tale doesn't have a satisfying ending — at least not yet. He's hoping that his new book, and articles like this one, will spur a lead that brings a conclusive answer: Which Kiss fan's death inspired one of the band's best-known songs?

"I want to get to the bottom of this," he says. "If for no other reason than it's haunting me."

'Shout it Out Loud: The Story of Kiss’s "Destroyer" and the Making of an American Icon'

By James Campion - Backbeat Books, $24.99

GOLD104.3's One on One with Gene Simmons

GOLD104.3's One on One with Gene Simmons: Listen.

Cadillac unveils monument on 40th anniversary of Kiss visit

In October 1975, Kiss visited a small northern Michigan community where the high school football team had credited the rock band's music for its success on the field the previous year.

Now residents in Cadillac are giving something back to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers known for wearing makeup that masks its members' faces: a black granite monument celebrating the 40th anniversary of the visit.

The Cadillac News and WWTV reported that the monument was unveiled Saturday, although members of the band weren't able to attend. A tribute band performed some Kiss hits as part of the event.

The monument reads in part: "The renowned bond between Cadillac and Kiss endures to this day."

It also says the event on Oct. 9, 1975, "attained worldwide acclaim as one of the most iconic stories in rock and roll lore."

"On that day, Kiss came to Cadillac, and a legend was created," the monument says.

Kiss rode in the homecoming parade and performed in the school gym. The group ultimately departed Cadillac from the football field in a helicopter, showering fans with hundreds of "Kiss Loves You" cards.

"I think we were stunned," Lucy Best told WWTV. Best was a student at Cadillac High at the time.

"I think we didn't believe it at first ... and as it got closer and people started making plans to paint faces and it started to become real and then they showed up and it really was real," Best said.

Then-assistant football coach Jim Neff spearheaded efforts in 1975 to get Kiss to town. In 1974, the football team played Kiss songs before games. It had a seven-game winning streak and became conference co-champions, according to the monument.

Neff and former head football coach Milo Brines pulled away the tarp from the monument Saturday at the school's football stadium.

TOMMY THAYER TALKS KISS WITH RADIO NEW ZEALAND

TOMMY THAYER TALKS KISS WITH RADIO NEW ZEALAND: Audio.

KISS - Channel 9 - Morning Show - Australia - 2nd October 2015

KISS - Channel 9 - Morning Show - Australia - 2nd October 2015: Video.

PETER CRISS Gets Behind The Kit At New York City's 'DW Day 2015'

(Video) On October 3, original KISS drummer Peter Criss got behind the kit during his appearance at "DW Day" at Guitar Center's Union Square location in New York City. Check out video footage and photos of the event below.

Criss first left KISS in 1980. Since then he's worked with other bands and released solo albums. He teamed up with KISS again for a few gigs in the 1990s and most recently in 2004. He was replaced by Eric Singer.

Criss, who was known as "Catman," released his last solo CD, titled "One for All", in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of "Late Night with David Letterman". The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "Send in the Clowns".

The four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2014 by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello.

KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

KISS expands licensing roster with wealth of new partners

Off the back of a sell out worldwide tour, Epic Rights is leveraging the growing legions of KISS fans with multiple new deals and renewals for the glam rockers.

Epic Rights has secured a number of new licensing partnerships for the Hall of Fame glam rockers, KISS.

The firm has also renewed a slate of existing licensees for product lines across a number of categories, citing the growing legion of KISS Army fans across the globe.

New partnerships will see the KISS brand launch into footwear from Charlotte Olympia, t-shirts, electronics and collectables in the US from Four Seasons Designs and accessories and home décor in the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand from Bradford Exchange.

Furthermore, Iconic Concepts will launch a range of mini-replica guitars, scarves, collectables and barware, Legends Socks will develop men’s and women’s socks and Silver Buffalo will deliver drinkware, blankets, wall art and more.

Rounding out the list of new licensing partners, Yusef will develop KISS lip balm and lip gloss in the US, Distribuidora de Ropa Viva will deliver t-shorts, tank tops and sweatshirts in Mexico and Winning Moves International will launch a KISS-themed Monopoly board game worldwide.

Meanwhile, existing licensees renewing their KISS brand agreement include ACCO with decorative wall calendars, Kurt S Adler with Christmas décor and Funko with vinyl toys and collector edition t-shirts worldwide.

FIPO will continue to roll out apparel, accessories, bedding and towels in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland and expanding to include Germany, Austria and Switzerland, while CID will deliver t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, leggings, dressings and baseballs across Europe.

Completing the list and Angotti Designs will continue to produce children’s apparel in the US, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Mexico and Spain.

The slate of new deals and renewal of existing partnerships arrives off the back of a sell out KISS world tour, visiting stadiums in Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand.

“The KISS brand continues to exceed our expectations for appeal as well as performance round the globe, a true testament to the brand’s music and continued fan engagement,” said Epic Rights executive VP of global licensing, Lisa Streff.

“The KISS multigenerational fan base is passionate and loyal and continues to drive demand for a broad range of products and services, which is truly a rarity in today’s licensing environment.

“This level of consumer support attracts a consistent stream of new and current licensees that continue to fuel the brand’s growth and visibility around the world.”

KISS partners with Legacy Australia

For more than a decade, legendary rock band KISS has worked passionately with several programs in the US assisting returned servicemen and women.

KISS are keen to continue this very valuable work whilst in Australia and today, are pleased to announce they will be doing so on their national tour – courtesy of Legacy Australia.

In the US, KISS are active supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project, which is a non-profit organisation assisting men & women who have incurred service connected injuries, and the Hiring Our Heroes program, a US initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment.

KISS has raised awareness for both programs by regularly visiting recovering wounded veterans, raising money through donating proceeds from concert ticket sales and by giving returned veterans the opportunity to work as “KISS Roadies” on their tours. To date KISS has raised upwards of two million dollars in funds and millions more in awareness from media for their support of military veterans causes.

Most recently KISS hired three servicemen to be roadies during their three week residency at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, and prior, servicemen were hired to be “KISS Roadies” on the entire KISS/Def Leppard US summer tour, 2013 the KISS/Motley Crue tour and band’s UK tour.

In Australia, the band’s initiative will take on a slightly different feel! As Legacy’s main priority is the welfare of the widows and families of servicemen and women, it is widows around the country who will be given the unique opportunity to become a “KISS Roadie For A Day”.

When made aware of the incredible work Legacy does in Australia for war widows and their families, the band felt very passionately about recognising their strength and courage.

At each of the band’s seven Australian concerts starting in Perth on Saturday (October 3), Legacy Australia has selected a woman for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The ladies will work with the KISS team in the VIP Packages area. They will prep and build the area at each venue, meet and host the VIP fans who attend a special afternoon acoustic session, and help manage the VIP band photo opportunities. And of course, after all that hard work, sit back and enjoy the show!

The women are of various ages and have lost husbands or partners in different conflicts, including Shelley Kovco who lost her husband Jake in Iraq in 2006. She was left with two very young children on her own after his death and Legacy has assisted her with school fees, uniforms, books as well as much-needed emotional support for the whole family.

Shelley and Melbourne Legacy CEO, Mikaela Stafrace, met KISS in Melbourne last night. Shelley will be the KISS Roadie working at the Rod Laver Arena show next Thursday October 8.

Legacy Australia Chairman, Mr David Gray said it is a fantastic opportunity to be supported by one of the most famous rock bands in the world, helping raise not only awareness but give some of our very special ladies a “money can’t buy experience”.

“It really is such a tremendous opportunity, and we can’t thank KISS enough for the support they are giving our organisation while touring in Australia and helping raise awareness around the world,” he said. “KISS have a very close affiliation with service men and women in the US and we are very happy they have decided to support our vital work here in Australia. These ladies have made such a huge sacrifice and it is fabulous we are offering them something very, very, special in return.”

The first KISS Roadie will be ex-soldier Naomi Nary, who lost her Special Air Service Regiment husband David in a motor vehicle accident in Iraq. Naomi has two kids and has received significant support from Legacy.

Legacy is liaising with ladies from other states now, with the complete list being finalised over the weekend.

KISS perform Shout It Out Loud on Grand Final of the AFL Footy Show?

KISS perform Shout It Out Loud on Grand Final of the AFL Footy Show?: Video.

PAUL STANLEY TALKS WITH ABC AUSTRALIA

PAUL STANLEY TALKS WITH ABC AUSTRALIA: Video.

KISS perform Rock And Roll All Nite on Grand Final of the AFL Footy Show

KISS perform Rock And Roll All Nite on Grand Final of the AFL Footy Show: Video.

KISS are back in Australia!!! - Stephen chats to Tommy Thayer

KISS are back in Australia!!! - Stephen chats to Tommy Thayer: Listen.

Paul Stanley Looks Back on Five Key Kiss Albums

(rollingstoneaus.com) Legendary rockers Kiss kick off their Australian tour in Perth this Saturday. Vocalist Paul Stanley took some time out to re-evaluate five albums from the band's back catalogue.

Dressed to Kill (1975): "Dressed To Kill was an interesting album because at that point we were still trying to break nationally, and with each album that didn't do it we quickly went into the studio to do another album. And Dressed To Kill was done under duress in terms of needing to get another album out, and we actually went into the studio without all the songs completed or written. Gene [Simmons, bass/vocals] and I would go in the morning sometimes and write songs and when Peter [Criss, drums] and Ace [Frehley, guitar] would come in we'd tell them today's song is called "Two Timer", and we would teach them the song. I think the songs are better than the sound. I have an issue with a lot of the early albums because they didn't sonically represent what the band was. If you ever saw the band live early on we were bombastic, and those albums don't sound it."

Unmasked (1980): "Unmasked I know was very popular in some countries including Australia, but it was an album for me where the band was in turmoil. Peter didn't play on the album, he didn't play on [1979's] Dynasty either, not because of personality problems but because the producer deemed that his ability was in question. So we were at that point where I think we had lost sight of why we started this in the first place, and that was because we loved rock & roll. At that point we had lost our teeth and were gumming the music instead of biting it."

Lick It Up (1983): "Lick It Up was an interesting album because I had wanted to take off the make-up on [1982's] Creatures Of the Night because I thought that people at that time were listening with their eyes and didn't like seeing the band as it was anymore, and didn't perhaps believe in the band visually anymore, and it affected how they listened to the band. And as good an album as Creatures was, it was kind of overlooked, so I knew that when we took the make-up off that the next album would be better received. It sold multiple times what Creatures had sold. People wanted Kiss but they didn't want Kiss looking as they did."

Hot in the Shade (1989): "Hot in the Shade was more than a little disjointed because by that point Gene and I were very much in our own camps so to speak and writing separately, and I think he may have been bringing in songs he had very little to do with because he was involved in other outside interests. I think that there are some good songs on there but overall it's a scattered album with no real focus to it."

Revenge (1992): "Revenge was a great album, in that we got back together with [producer] Bob Ezrin at a time when he was in great shape again. We tried working together earlier and it was a disaster, but Revenge was a time when the band was focused and Bob was focused and we turned out a great album."

Gene Simmons Interview

@genesimmons says when it comes to political correctness you should be able to say whatever you want #pmlive: Video.

Gene Simmons Live on The Project TV, Australia

Gene Simmons Live on The Project TV, Australia: Video.

Paul Stanley Interview! - WKLT

Paul Stanley Interview! - WKLT: Listen.

Gene Simmons Interview! - WKLT

Gene Simmons Interview! - WKLT: Listen.

KISS Frontman Paul Stanley Becomes Shareholder In Badlands Pawn, Gold & Jewelry

There is no better endorsement for an entertainment complex with the tagline “Guns, Gold & Rock N Roll” than one of the world’s top selling rock & roll legends wanting to be a part of it. KISS’ Paul Stanley, one of the most recognizable front men in rock & roll as well as an artist, songwriter and businessman, has become a minority owner in Badlands Pawn, Gold & Jewelry in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The 70,000 square foot retail, business and events center opens Thanksgiving Day and includes dozens of entertainment options including a pawn shop, radio network, television network, shooting range and concert venue.

Stanley is a long-time friend of Badlands founder and CEO Chuck Brennan. The Badlands family of companies also includes Badlands Entertainment, Guns, Gold & Rock N Roll Radio Network and Badlands Motor Speedway. Brennan is a philanthropist and businessman who founded several businesses including Dollar Loan Center and the non-profit Brennan Rock & Roll Academy in Sioux Falls, SD.

Stanley said Badlands Pawn, Gold & Jewelry is an entertainment destination unlike any other in South Dakota. “Sioux Falls has never seen anything like this,” said Stanley. “The country has never seen anything like this. The first one is in Sioux Falls and it is a template for more to come. It’s very exciting to see and be a part of.”

Stanley became an owner in Badlands following his most recent trip to perform with the Badlands House Band at their world premiere concert. “The concert almost didn’t happen because the city was completely flooded that night,” said Brennan. “Paul and Jack Blades from Night Ranger were guest performers and really showed their commitment to music and our success by waiting more than two hours until the power was restored and they could go onstage. Paul’s friendship over the years and support of the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy and now Badlands, really means the world to me. If Paul Stanley says what we are creating is outstanding, consider it outstanding.”

Following his performance with the Badlands House Band, Stanley toured Badlands Pawn and the Badlands Motor Speedway before deciding to invest in Brennan’s vision for Sioux Falls. “He opened up his checkbook and bought all the remaining shares of the original offering,” said Brennan. “I couldn’t be prouder to work with Paul, and our incredible team of entertainers and professionals, to bring my vision for Badlands to fruition.”

“I admire Chuck,” said Stanley. “He grew up here and wants to give back here…with the Brennan Rock and Roll academy and now Badlands. This will become a nationally-known tourist attraction. It will be a destination that will boost the local economy with jobs and commerce, and a tourist destination that people will come from all over the world to visit.”

Stanley said he was especially impressed with community-minded efforts that were planned as a part of Badlands Pawn, Gold & Jewelry. “For me, a place that comes into a community has to justify itself by being a member of that community, giving back and being a good neighbor,” he said. “The state-of-the-art shooting range will give members of law enforcement a chance to practice free of charge and provide firearm lessons to citizens.”

Stanley said every part of Badlands is being designed with the most important element in mind—fun. “If it’s not fun, it might not be worth doing,” he said. “Everything about Badlands is fun. It’s revolutionary. It’s terrific!”

Badlands Pawn, Gold & Jewelry, opening Thanksgiving Day, will become one of the state’s largest tourist destinations in the heart of the newly coined ‘Sioux Falls Sports & Entertainment District.’ Badlands Motor Speedway, formerly Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD, is set to become a premiere sprint car facility and home of the prestigious $250,000 Rock & Roll Gold Cup, an annual 3-day racing event. It will officially open at the start of the 2016 racing season.

For more information, visit www.badlandspawn.com and www.badlandsmotorspeedway.com.

INTERVIEW – TOMMY THAYER, KISS – September 2015

INTERVIEW – TOMMY THAYER, KISS – September 2015: Read the interview here.

Inside the "Gene, Ace, Peter & Paul" KISS book

Inside the "Gene, Ace, Peter & Paul" KISS book: Video.

Singer-Guitarist Ace Frehley Talks About How Sobriety Has Helped Him Focus

(clevescene.com) When we went looking for the Spaceman, we found him in Green Bay, Wisconsin, believe it or not. That’s where former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was on Tuesday afternoon when we caught up with him via phone for a brief conversation. He comes to Northeast Ohio on Saturday night to perform at Hard Rock Live.

Space Invader, Frehley’s latest solo album, continues the successful comeback story for the 64-year old veteran guitarist who scored a Top 10 debut on the Billboard charts when the album was released last year in August. The chart debut added another milestone to Frehley’s career, as he became the first KISS member to have an album debut in the Top 10 as a solo artist. Anomaly, his previous solo album, released in 2009, peaked at #26 on the album charts.

The artwork for Space Invader came from Ken Kelly — well-known in the KISS universe for creating the cover art for the classic Love Gun and Destroyer albums. Frehley had been keen to have Kelly work on art for one of his projects and he finally got his wish with the new album and he says that the space theme that populates some of the material on the record began to take shape as he was in the midst of discussing album art ideas with Kelly.

“It kind of started up with the cover idea,” he says. “I wanted to get Ken Kelly to paint something and then we figured that [it should have] me coming out of the spaceship and it just snowballed from there.”

Frehley assembled the bulk of the album in less than a year, writing 11 songs in the process, something that demonstrated that he still had creative mojo that he thought he might have lost.

“You get to a certain age and you just think that sometimes you can’t recapture some of the things that you had in your youth,” he says. “One of the comments that I got a lot on this last record was that my voice still sounds like it did in my twenties, which is kind of funny, you know? Sobriety,” he adds, “has really helped me focus and be more creative. It was kind of fun towards the end as the songs started falling into place and we got really hot on the space theme. ‘Space Invader’ was the last song that I wrote for the record and it just kind of came together during the mixing process [which] was a big surprise and a nice surprise.”

Guitarist Richie Scarlet, a longtime former associate, is back in the fold, touring with Frehley for the first time since the ‘90s, one of several changes that Frehley made to retool his touring band. “I gave Richie a call last year when we went out in November, because I decided to replace my old guitar player, Todd [Youth] and it was the same thing with my old bass player, Anthony [Esposito], who I replaced with Chris Wyse, who used to play bass for the Cult,” he says. “So we had two [new] people and I also got back my old drummer, Scot Coogan, so it was nice and the chemistry is really good onstage. I think by far, this is probably the best live band I’ve ever assembled. I’ve known Richie forever, so we just trade off licks at the end of a couple of songs and nothing’s rehearsed. It’s all impromptu. It’s nice to be able to do that, you know? You can play outside of the box a little bit.

The Rocksino show will feature a diverse setlist featuring material from Space Invader, plus a good number of tracks spanning his entire solo career and a healthy selection of KISS favorites. Frehley admits that it’s tough putting the set lists together.

“It really comes down to that you only have so many minutes to perform and you know, you want to perform the songs that are going to be the most well-received,” he says. “I get a lot of requests for songs that I’ve never done live or songs that are a little more obscure, but you know, the bottom line is that some fans, sure they’d love to hear them, but they’re not going to be as well-received as some songs that are more well-known. So I try to do the songs that I think are going to please most of the people most of the time.”

Frehley has a few projects on deck, including an upcoming covers album that will trace his early influences, tentatively featuring his version of songs from Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Rolling Stones and others.

“We’ve got most of the songs tracked already,” he says. “I’m just finishing up some overdubs and doing some rough mixes and then I think they’re planning to release it in the spring, so we’re on schedule with that. The most exciting thing with that record has been getting Slash in the studio and trading off on a Thin Lizzy song. We did ‘Emerald’ [from Thin Lizzy’s 1976 Jailbreak album] and we did an extended solo section that gave us a lot of leeway to just kind of go off and get crazy and we did.”

He’s working to finish the material and then he says he’ll look at potentially inviting some additional guests to play on the album. One name that has been mentioned is Gene Simmons, and Frehley says it’s still something that he’d like to pursue.

“If I can coordinate my schedule with his schedule,” he adds. “You know, he’s always running around doing this, that and the other thing.”

Looking back on the band’s 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Frehley calls it a “great night.”

“I had a lot of fun and giving the acceptance speech was a gas and doing all of the press backstage,” he says. “You know, my only regret was that we didn’t perform and it’s unfortunate, because me and Peter [Criss] really wanted to perform and as you probably know, Paul [Stanley] and Gene decided not to perform with us.”

But he still retains lots of fond memories of his glory years with the band, including the experience of recording the group’s landmark Alive live album, which remains a fan favorite to this day and one which Rolling Stone recently placed high on their list of the Top 50 Classic Live Albums.

“You know, when I think about KISS Alive, I think about the live performances, but I also think about [being in the] studio with Eddie Kramer, doing overdubs to try to clean it up a little,” Frehley says with a hearty laugh. “He had these crazy mic stands with long tape loops, you know, it was before digital equipment, so everything was on tape and we’d have these long tape loops with different audience sounds, so on and so forth. It was pretty wacky. But we had a lot of fun doing it. It was one of the highlights of my career, working with Eddie and doing something that crazy. You know, the packaging was right, the timing was right and it’s still one of our biggest records to date, if not our biggest. KISS is known for our live show and our theatrics and the Alive record captured that. It captured the explosions and the crowd response and all of the other mayhem that went along with the rock and roll circus that we presented in the ‘70s. I think that’s why it was so well-received.”

After the current tour and working to complete the upcoming covers album, Frehley has no shortage of things on his plate.

“I’m still writing original material and you know, I was just offered another studio album deal so I’m probably going to pick up that option and I’m always planning ahead,” he says. “I’d like to do a soundtrack for a film. I just got offered a tour in South America, which I’m probably going to fine tune and do next year. We’ve got a cruise happening in mid-January of 2016, the Rock Legends Cruise. That’s going to happen January 15th. It’s good to be busy and stay active. I don’t know many years I’m going to have at this, but you know, so far, so good.”

Gene on GMA

Gene Simmons on Good Morning America: Video.

KISS - AMERICA'S #1 GOLD RECORD AWARD WINNING GROUP OF ALL TIME

(riaa.com) KISS (Rock And Roll Hall of Fame), now celebrating its 40th anniversary, has earned more Gold Album Record Awards than any American band in the history of The Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA's) Gold & Platinum Awards certifications. In the last 41 years, KISS has earned 30 Gold albums (26 KISS albums + 4 Solo Albums that were all released simultaneously -- a feat never before achieved by any band.) KISS has 14 Platinum albums, with three albums being multi-Platinum.

“Congratulations to KISS – the new Gold standard for albums by American bands,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO, RIAA. “What an extraordinary achievement for an enduring band. Forty years later and the band is still rocking. Congratulations to KISS on their Gold album milestone and continued success."

KISS remains one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. Decades of record-breaking tours around the globe have included high-profile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Rockin' The Corps concert dedicated to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, special guest appearance on the 2009 American Idol finale that boasted 30 million viewers and a 2010 Dr. Pepper Super Bowl commercial and advertising campaign in support of their Hottest Show On Earth tour.

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. The unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" is a striking testament to the band's unbreakable bond with its fans.

KISS is currently celebrating two other major milestones, their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April of 2014, as well as the band’s 40th Anniversary. KISS 40, an album celebrating 40 years of Rock ‘N Roll is available now.

New KISS-Related Book 'Gene, Ace, Peter & Paul' Explores 1978 Solo Albums

On September 18, 1978, the four members of KISS made music history when they simultaneously released their solo albums. The albums were backed by an unprecedented, multimillion dollar marketing and publicity campaign, and a total of more than 5.3 million units were shipped to retailers, creating KISSteria and representing perhaps one of the last examples of record industry excess in the '70s. "Gene, Ace, Peter & Paul: A Detailed Exploration Of The 1978 KISS Solo Albums" is based in large part on a 2013 KISSFAQ.com celebratory retrospective that commemorated the 35th anniversary of the solo albums.

"Gene, Ace, Peter & Paul: A Detailed Exploration of the 1978 KISS Solo Albums" puts the four KISS solo albums under the microscope like never before. More than 30 brand-new interviews were conducted with various individuals who either worked directly on the solo albums or have a strong connection with the projects. These interviews offer readers fresh first-hand perspectives straight from studio musicians, producers, engineers, and songwriters, and the creative professionals working in the KISS camp at the time.

A supporting series of topical features further illuminates KISS'activities in 1978 while dissecting the albums and offering in-depth analysis and biographical information on the albums' participants.

Visit www.kiss78soloalbums.com for more information.

Kiss' Paul Stanley Croons Unadorned R&B Classics at Soul Station Debut

(rollingstone.com) (Video: Could It Be I'm Falling In Love) There were no fireworks or kabuki makeup, no lightning bolts or platform heels, but Paul Stanley of Kiss found some genuine emotional power in a set of classic Sixties and Seventies R&B Friday night at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. It was the first public performance of Paul Stanley's Soul Station, and it was clearly a labor of love for the singer, way outside his usual rock comfort zone of bombast and shouting out loud. The Starchild had come to share his true love of Motown and Philly soul.

The songs were ancient hits by Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, Al Green and the Isley Brothers, and the performances painstakingly re-created the original arrangements, with only occasional nods to Stanley's other gig. "We're paying respect, with reverence, to some of the great songs," Stanley said early in his 75-minute set, dressed in shades and a tuxedo jacket, swaying in cowboy boots of fire-engine red.

"There was a time not that long ago when you would turn on the radio and you'd hear songs written by real songwriters, songs sung by real singers, played by real musicians," he explained to the whistling, cheering crowd at the 500-capacity club on the Sunset Strip. "These songs mean a lot to us. They're beautiful songs. You could sway and touch the person next to you — you could also get punched in the face. I think you're going to like this."

He began with the Temptations' "Get Ready," singing in falsetto, as he would the entire set, reaching for high notes and subtlety that would be a challenge for almost anyone not named Smokey. His vocals could have been louder in the mix here, but Stanley found his own power and confidence as the set rolled on, blending elegantly with a trio of gifted backup singers: Nelson Beato, Ayana Layli and Crystal Starr.

Stanley and his singers went full a cappella to begin Robinson's sweet, tearful "Ooo Baby Baby," singing into retro chrome-plated microphones. "We got great, great singers. I would be nothing without these singers," Stanley said admiringly. Behind them was a six-man band that included Kiss drummer Eric Singer, and they obviously had been rehearsing hard for this moment, reviving the warm bass lines and glancing guitar riffs of the Temptations' "Just My Imagination."

That song's chorus also prompted the first of many spontaneous sing-alongs from the crowd, many dressed in Kiss shirts and hats, but no one shouting for any tunes from Stanley's other band. In a corner booth of the club's VIP section were two fans cheering as loudly as anyone: Kiss fanatic Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine) and Stanley's musical life partner, Gene Simmons.

"He's great because he loves that music and he understands it," Simmons said, grinning from behind his sunglasses. "Great songwriting is great songwriting."

Stanley introduced the Smokey Robinson and the Miracles hit "Tracks of My Tears" by speaking in awe of the distinctive opening melody: "I'm going to be transported as soon as I hear it." He tapped into the Hi Records sound of Memphis soul on Green's "Let's Stay Together," as the crowd clapped to the beat, followed by the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and the slippery funk guitar on the Isley Brothers' "Who's That Lady?"

These were love songs performed at human scale, with emotions that soared, no special effects necessary. Pulling off his tuxedo jacket, Stanley joked with the crowd, "You don't have to be shy. We know each other."

For the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," Stanley picked up a tambourine and handed lead vocals to Crystal Starr, who nailed the tune with searing passion and skill.

Before the Roxy show, Soul Station had played just twice before at benefit events for the school attended by one of Stanley's children. Now he plans to tour the band between his ongoing dates with Kiss. At the end of the night, he summed up the sound and tradition he hoped to share with his fans: "Real musicians, real music, really cool."

Set List:

"Get Ready"
"La-La (Means I Love You)"
"Just My Imagination"
"Ooo Baby Baby"
"Sideshow"
"You Are Everything"
"Tracks of My Tears"
"Let’s Stay Together"
"Betcha by Golly, Wow"
"The Way You Do the Things You Do"
"I Want You Back"
"Who’s That Lady?"

Encore:

"O-o-h Child"
"This Old Heart of Mine"
"Could It Be I’m Falling in Love"

Video: PAUL STANLEY's R&B Band SOUL STATION Performs Live

Videos: Just My Imagination, Jackson 5 Cover.

Paul Stanley's New 10-Piece Band Plays Soul Classics, Not KISS Songs

Paul Stanley's New 10-Piece Band Plays Soul Classics, Not KISS Songs: Read the L.A. Weekly interview here.

Paul Stanley Returns To Talking Jericho

(Listen Here) It's the 40th Anniversary of "KISS Alive!" and Paul Stanley is here to celebrate the milestone event! He remembers whose idea it was to do a live album, why they decided to do it, and what they added in the studio before it was released! Hear stories about the infamous 70's KISS road crew, why KISS died their hair blue-black, and how they really felt about the choreographed "Deuce" moves! Plus, Paul has a special message for Dee Snider!

ACE FREHLEY, STEVEN ADLER, LITA FORD To Appear At 'All Things That Rock Fest'

Imagine 20,000 square feet of CDs, records, videos, music memorabilia and pop culture collectibles from the 1950s to today plus celebrities from the world of music, live entertainment gathered in one place for two days only. It's the second annual All Things That Rock Fest — like comic-con for rock and roll — an event for entire family, featuring over a hundred vendors from around the world buying, selling and trading virtually every rock and roll lifestyle collectible at incredible prices. The All Things That Rock Fest blasts off on Saturday, October 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks, Pennsylvania (PA Turnpike to Route 202S to Route 422W).

The All Things That Rock Fest also features celebrity guest appearances by the likes of original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley; former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler; Carl Palmer, drummer for the supergroups EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER and ASIA; Lita Ford, original guitarist for the influential band THE RUNAWAYS as well as acclaimed solo artist; and Frankie Banali from QUIET RIOT. These artists and others will be meeting fans, signing autographs, and posing for photo opportunities.

Lee Wysocki, personal friend of Les Paul, will display and give people an opportunity to play a collection of Les Paul's personal guitars, including Les's 1935 L7, the Jimmy Page prototype and more! Attendees can also tour the Gibson Guitar Bus plus the Rock Girls Bikini Bod Squad will also be there to entertain the guys.

Without question, the All Things That Rock Fest is a true music lifestyle fair, bringing the most comprehensive collection of pop and rock music items ever assembled under one roof — new and used, rare, collectible, and common records, CDs, DVDs, tapes, 45s, 12-inch singles, posters, t-shirts, books and memorabilia in all types of music, including rock, metal, jazz, R&B, alternative, classical, new age, blues, soul, show, soundtracks, folk, comedy, disco, new releases, imports, out of print, and much more.

Artist schedules, newly added guests and advanced tickets are available at www.AllThingsThatRockFestival.com.

KISS Frontman PAUL STANLEY Performs With RON KEEL's BADLANDS HOUSE BAND

Video: Detroit Rock City, Love Gun.

REBEL RELEASES “KISS ME” FEATURING SOPHIE SIMMONS VIA CASABLANCA RECORDS

(Listen) REBEL takes on Sixpence Non The Richer’s “Kiss Me” [feat. Sophie Simmons], released today via Casablanca Records. You purchase it HERE!

On the track, REBEL ignites a different spark within Sixpence None The Richer’s 1998 smash of the same name. It’s a special moment for Casablanca Records as well since Sophie’s father, KISS founder and front man Gene Simmons, was the label’s very first signing in 1973. It brings everything full circle for the modern era of the brand.

The singer, actress, model, designer, and writer comments, “I am honored that Casablanca, REBEL, and the whole team over there thought of me for this project. Of course, I jumped at the chance. This song was my childhood. When I was little, I would sing it imagining what my first kiss would be like. It’s rare to hear a song about romance these days. I hope I did Sixpence None the Richer proud!”

Republic Records Senior Vice President of A&R and General Manager of Casablanca Records, Brett Alperowitz adds, “We love Sophie as a singer and an artist, and the fact that she is Gene Simmons’s daughter is an added bonus. It’s really important to us to bridge Casablanca’s storied past with its exciting future. Her presence at the label enables us to solidify that link in the best way possible—through the music.”

Buzzing worldwide, REBEL continues to turn heads. His remix of James Newton Howard’s “The Hanging Tree” [feat.Jennifer Lawrence] drummed up impressive airplay in early 2015.

Simmons and Stanley Weigh In on Kiss Guitarists Past and Present

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

Bruce Kulick: ‘Have Guitar, Will Rock!’

Bruce Kulick Interview: Read here.

A Conversation With Eric Singer

A Conversation With Eric Singer: Read here.

ON THE SECOND SEASON PREMIERE OF “SCORPION,” MONDAY, SEPT. 21

“Satellite of Love” – The new Director of Homeland Security reunites the team when a nuclear powered Russian satellite is knocked out of orbit and must be diverted before it detonates over Southern California. Also, Paige and Walter must face their feelings for each other after hospital footage reveals Paige kissed him, on the second season premiere of SCORPION, Monday, Sept. 21 (9:00-9:59 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Alana De La Garza guest stars as the new head of Homeland Security and KISS frontman Gene Simmons makes a cameo appearance as himself.

Gene Simmons -- Home Raided for Child Porn ... Gene NOT a Suspect

(tmz.com) Gene Simmons' house was raided Thursday morning by cops looking for evidence of child porn, although we're told neither Gene nor anyone in his family is a suspect.

The LAPD's Internet Crime Against Chidren's Task Force executed a search warrant at 8 AM, and we're told cops seized computers and other evidence.

Law enforcement sources tell us, someone downloaded child porn either on one of their computers or using their internet access. We're told neither Simmons nor anyone in his family are considered suspects or persons of interest. Gene was away on tour when the downloads occurred.

It's unclear who, if anyone is considered a suspect. We're told the family is fully cooperative.

VIDEO: KISS AUSTRALIA 2015

VIDEO: KISS AUSTRALIA 2015.

Flying V “Tribute to the Alive! 75 Tour”

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the KISS Alive! Tour, Paul Stanley will add some Gibson Flying Vs into his arsenal of stage played guitars during both KISS Kruise V Alive shows!

One of these iconic guitars can be yours!

You’ll get:

– A staged-played Gibson Flying V guitar autographed to you, in person, by the Starchild!

– Your Flying V will be played for multiple songs during the show you attend aboard the KISS Kruise! (Paul will play your guitar for a minimum of four songs)

– You’ll also get to attend Paul’s intimate acoustic performance aboard the KISS Kruise V! Paul will perform a relaxed, acoustic set sharing memories about his music and the stories behind the songs spanning his incredible career.

– You and up to three guests will enjoy a private meet-and-greet with Paul Stanley aboard the Kruise. Bring your camera for photos of you and your guitar! After the show, you will pick up your guitar and take it home with you.

– Paul will also sign five collectibles of your choice (NO GUITARS or pick guards.)

CLICK HERE to buy one of these special guitars now!

L.A. Kiss QB -- Team Left Me Homeless ... And Stole My Wife's Meds

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley's arena football team is getting blasted by its own QB ... who says the L.A. Kiss kicked him out of his home just because he suffered an injury during a game.

Matt Bassuener went down with a broken hand during a loss in May and says the Kiss showed no mercy. According to a new lawsuit, the team's doctor cleared him to play in July -- but Bassuener insisted on a 2nd opinion from his own doc, who put the kibosh on him suiting up again.

That's when the trouble started. Matt and his wife live in corporate housing ... an apartment subsidized by the team. But in his suit, Matt says the team forcibly entered the apartment in August -- and went through their stuff, changed the locks ... and even stole stuff.

He says the missing items included his wife's passport, immigration papers, and her epilepsy medication ... which she needs to take twice a day.

Bassuener says she missed 3 doses before the team allowed them to pick up the meds and some belongings, but other items are still in the apartment.

Matt's suing to get back in their crib, but he's persona non grata with the team ... which insists he's been cut.

Johnny Depp, Gene Simmons rock together for kids' charity

(Pic, Pic2, Pic3) Johnny Depp didn't say a word as he stepped onto a small stage inside the Lucky Strike bowling alley. He just strapped on a guitar and started playing with the band.

One song later, Gene Simmons joined in.

The superstar pairing capped off a fundraising concert Sunday for MendingKids.org, an organization that provides hundreds of free corrective surgeries each year for children around the world. Besides Depp and Simmons, the event also featured a surprise reunion of rock group Extreme for a performance of their 1991 classic "More Than Words."

After appearances by various musicians, Depp quietly joined the house band to play Alice Cooper's "School's Out." (The 52-year-old actor announced last week that he is forming a band with Cooper and guitarist Joe Perry called Hollywood Vampires that will release a self-titled album next month and donate proceeds to charity.)

His hair slicked back, Depp wore jeans and an oxford shirt topped with a gray vest. He played a white electric guitar.

Simmons was the last to take the stage. A supporter of MendingKids.org for several years, the 65-year-old entertainer invited anyone with $1,000 to donate to the organization to come up and sing with the band. About 10 donors took him up on the offer, including his son and daughter, and they shared the stage with Depp, Simmons and the rest of the band during the closing number, the Kiss hit "Rock and Roll All Nite."

After the show, Depp waved to fans and disappeared out a side door.

Johnny Depp rocks for charity in bowling alley

(Video) Johnny Depp's two performing personalities — movie star and rock star — were on wild display this weekend.

First he was slurring "Captain Jack Sparrow" swaggering around Disneyland in eyeliner and dreads on Saturday. Then he slicked back his hair, donned a buttoned-down shirt and gray vest and strapped on a white electric guitar to join Gene Simmons for a charity gig in a Los Angeles bowling alley Sunday night.

According to the Associated Press, Depp didn't say a word as he stepped onto a small stage inside the Lucky Strike bowling alley, where he and Simmons and other musicians played a fundraising concert Sunday for MendingKids.org, an organization that provides hundreds of free corrective surgeries each year for children around the world.

The event also featured a surprise reunion of rock group Extreme for a performance of their 1991 classic More Than Words.

Depp quietly took the stage to play Alice Cooper's School's Out. Depp, Cooper and guitarist Joe Perry are now part of a superband, the Hollywood Vampires, scheduled to play two charity gigs next month and release a self-titled album, with proceeds earmarked for charity.

A supporter of MendingKids.org for several years, Simmons invited anyone with $1,000 to donate to the organization to come up and sing with the band. About 10 donors took him up on the offer, including his son and daughter, and they shared the stage with Depp, Simmons and the rest of the band during the closing number, the Kiss hit Rock and Roll All Nite.

After the show, Depp waved to fans and disappeared out a side door.

On Saturday it was a dramatically different story: He dressed up as his Captain Jack Sparrow character, from his latest, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, to take part in a promotion presentation at Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

You know the look: tri-corner hat, lots of makeup and rings, long hair, puffy shirt under a long vest, knee-high suede boots, big wide belt.

"Where are we?" he mumbled. "Disneyland," replied the Disney exec Sean Bailey. "Never heard of it," Depp snapped.

Johnny Depp, Gene Simmons rock together for kids’ charity

(Pic) Johnny Depp didn’t say a word as he stepped onto a small stage inside the Lucky Strike bowling alley. He just strapped on a guitar and started playing with the band.

One song later, Gene Simmons joined in.

The superstar pairing capped off a fundraising concert Sunday in LA for MendingKids.org, an organization that provides hundreds of free corrective surgeries each year for children around the world. Besides Depp and Simmons, the event also featured a surprise reunion of rock group Extreme for a performance of their 1991 classic “More Than Words.”

After appearances by various musicians, Depp quietly joined the house band to play Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” (The 52-year-old actor announced last week that he is forming a band with Cooper and guitarist Joe Perry called Hollywood Vampires that will release a self-titled album next month and donate proceeds to charity.)

His hair slicked back, Depp wore jeans and an oxford shirt topped with a gray vest. He played a white electric guitar.

Simmons was the last to take the stage. A supporter of MendingKids.org for several years, the 65-year-old entertainer invited anyone with $1,000 to donate to the organization to come up and sing with the band. About 10 donors took him up on the offer, including his son and daughter, and they shared the stage with Depp, Simmons and the rest of the band during the closing number, the Kiss hit “Rock and Roll All Nite.”

After the show, Depp waved to fans and disappeared out a side door.

Video: ACE FREHLEY, SEBASTIAN BACH, GILBY CLARKE Take Part In All-Star Jam At CATHOUSE LIVE AT IRVINE MEADOWS

(Videos: Deuce, Shock Me) Ace Frehley (KISS), Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW), Gilby Clarke (GUNS N' ROSES), Evan Seinfeld (BIOHAZARD), Michael Starr (STEEL PANTHER), Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME) and Phil Lewis (L.A. GUNS) are among the musicians who took part in an all-star jam at last night's (Saturday, August 15) Cathouse Live At Irvine Meadows festival at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (recently known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) in Irvine, California. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.

Riki Rachtman created the original rock dance club that dominated the Hollywood scene from 1986 until 1993. Now, along with Live Nation and Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE), he brought Cathouse Live to a much larger audience with this decadent music and lifestyle festival.

Said Rachtman: "I recently started a Cathouse Hollywood Facebook page and everyone was asking, 'Why don't you do another Cathouse?' I loved the idea and mentioned it on Twitter. So many bands told me that they wanted to be a part of it that I knew that I had to bring it back on a much larger scale. It was too big for a club, so we decided to do a festival."

The original Hollywood Cathouse was known for its edgy, underground, dirty rock 'n' roll vibe that was rooted in punk. It reeked of raunch and pure decadence. Patrons would freely indulge. The DJ played rock 'n' roll between unannounced performances from bands like GUNS N' ROSES (Cathouse regulars who performed live at the club in 1986 just before their debut record was released), Sebastian Bach, Stephen Pearcy, L.A. GUNS, FASTER PUSSYCAT, JUNKYARD, JETBOY, BANG TANGO, SAIGON KICK, BLACK 'N BLUE, LITTLE CAESAR, and many more. GUNS N' ROSES' video for "It's So Easy" was shot at the Cathouse, and Alice Cooper played the club one Halloween.

When Ice-T was banned from every Los Angeles club, Riki invited the rapper's band BODY COUNT to play Cathouse.

"It wouldn't be uncommon to see GUNS N' ROSES one week and ALICE IN CHAINS the next — so many bands played before they were huge," said Rachtman. "It was also the kind of place where you'd find Robert Downey Jr. rubbing elbows with AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler.

Kiss' Gene Simmons on Giving Back & Why He's 'Thinking of Buying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame'

(billboard.com) Outspoken Kiss icon Gene Simmons is a journalist’s dream, always good for colorful quotes on a variety of subjects. Like when the subject turns to Kiss’ place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Simmons questions why acts like Madonna and Donna Summer are in there. And he wonders: “When is Led Zeppelin going to be in the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame?”

But Simmons has a softer side as he talks about his many philanthropic endeavors. He’ll be participating in two charity events. The first is Aug. 16 at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, where he and Johnny Depp will bowl and lead an all-star jam that also includes Gilby Clarke, Nuno Bettencourt and more to raise funds for Mending Kids, an organization that raises money to send doctors around the world to perform operations on kids in need. The second event will take place Aug. 18, where Simmons will be interviewed at the Grammy Museum following stand-up sets by the likes of Bill Burr and Jim Jefferies as part of Comedy Rocks. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Sophie’s Place, a charity set up by his daughter Sophie Simmons, which also benefits children.

Simmons spoke to Billboard about the importance of giving back, as well as his plans for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tell us about the event Sunday.

Mending Kids does great work. All the funding comes in from contributions, and MendingKids.org sends doctors, on their dime, around the world to provide free operations to children with physical deformities, facial, spinal, anything, where otherwise they would have a life of pain and suffering and perhaps death. So Johnny Depp and I are gonna bowl August 16 at Lucky Strike in Hollywood, so people should go get their tickets. Space is limited, it’s not one of those huge events, so there’ll be high-end people and a rock band, everybody’s gonna jump up and jam. Johnny will play a few songs, I’ll play a few songs, a few other knuckleheads will jump up, and all the proceeds go to MendingKids.org to provide children with operations that they would normally never have.

Have you ever jammed with Johnny before?

No. We’ve met and chatted some, but never been onstage with him.

Are there covers you’d be particularly excited to do with him?

We have no idea. We’re just gonna do it loosey-goosey -- which is not a bad name for a band, not a good name come to think of it. But you get up there and just let it roll. There’ll be a good bunch of musicians; it’s gonna be a good night. But anything you do too slick doesn’t come off heartfelt. It’s less about the show and the celebrities and more about the good and what we’re all trying to do for kids.

How did you first ever get involved with the organization?

A few years ago, I was introduced to Mending Kids by a friend. It started off as business, and then the more I looked into it, the more I saw these are legitimate doctors who contribute their time and effort and they try to raise funds.

You did a benefit for them at House of Blues with Kiss and Tom Jones as well.

I put the deal together, negotiated with the House of Blues to give us the space for free, I booked Arsenio Hall and Tom Jones and the guys in Kiss contributed their time. I called Penn Jillette, who hosted the evening, and I called Mark Cuban to broadcast the event on AXS. It was a big night, raised a lot of money, and then as we all do, we get busy with the rest of our lives. Then Mending Kids called me about a month back and said, “Look, we’re having this event, can you please promote it?” They said they have Johnny Depp. I said, “That’s all you need, but I’ll be happy to step up and I’ll bowl and you can auction me off and we’ll jam and do all that.”

What do you look for in charities you work with?

The most important thing is that most of the money goes to help make a difference. There are large organizations that cost a lot of money for offices and staff, I tend not to get involved with those because enough of the money goes to buy people cars and pay office rent and stuff like that. They’re well-meaning, but they’re expensive. The lean, mean organizations that don’t have a high overhead means that more of the money gets to help people. Children are my soft spot, actually.

Has that always been the case for you, or became more of an issue for you as you got older and became a parent?

I’m not from America [Simmons was born in Israel], and when I was a kid, we had nothing. We had an outhouse out in the woods that was a hole in the ground and that’s where you went. We didn’t even have toilet paper; we had rags and you’d wash them and reuse them. That’s where I came from. I never saw a toilet or a toothbrush until I was about 9. And I’m not tugging on anybody’s shirt sleeves to get any kind of sympathy. Six months after the country became independent, I was born. And so in the beginning, there was very little infrastructure. And one day a care package showed up and there were cans of peaches and a Bugs Bunny book; not a comic book. I still remember it: Bugs Bunny is going over the hill and he’s being hunted by Elmer Fudd and all that. Of course I couldn’t read English at the time and there was a torn sweater. And when that care package came in, all of a sudden I had the sense that somebody cared, and it started there.

Are there moments you’ve gotten to see the effects of what you do?

We’ve worked with Wounded Warriors for years, and a tour or two ago, a buck out of every ticket was given directly to Wounded Warriors. And the last tour in America we found a vet who had nothing when he came back home. He had three kids and a wife and they were trying to figure out where they were gonna live, so we pooled all the money and brought him up onstage during a show. We talked onstage about how we all think Superman and Spider-Man are cool, but the real superheroes actually volunteer and risk life and limb for an idea, which gives us the freedom we have. I don’t want to get too cornball about it, but there’s nothing like our armed forces. So onstage we surprised our vet with a brand-new house all paid for. To watch the joy and the tears of the family and the vet was something. The entire audience was cheering and happy and crying, it was a thing to behold.

And you have another charity event next week, correct?

Two days later at the Grammy Museum. I was asked by Bill Burr and a few of the other very funny guys to come up there and either be made fun of or joke back and forth and some of the proceeds are going to Sophie’s Place. That’s SophieTSimmons.com for anybody that wants to contribute and save some lives.

Who have been the comedians you really admire and enjoy over the years?

The guys I liked were dangerous and they weren’t politically correct, some of them were racist, some had anger issues and drugs and all that stuff. But because they were dangerous they were really funny. Sam Kinison I thought was just a killer. I knew Andy Kaufman, and he got a bad rap. But at his height, no matter how politically incorrect and how insensitive he was, Andrew Dice Clay -- I’d never seen anything or heard anything like him. In his own way, George Carlin must have pissed off lots of people. There are a lot of guys. But basically I’m not a fan of comedians who talk about why did the chicken cross the road. I don’t want humor my mom would get off on. I like humor that you can’t believe what comes out of the guy’s mouth.

Like many comedians, Kiss has always been very outspoken and it took so long for you guys to get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Never cared about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Do I care that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided to bring Madonna and LL Cool J into it before us? No. I have no idea what those artists have to do with rock and roll. When is Led Zeppelin going to be in the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame? But stranger things have happened, and I’m the last guy in the world to complain about anything. In fact, I was thinking of buying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MITM Clips: Paul Stanley Makes Andy’s Day

MITM Clips: Paul Stanley Makes Andy’s Day: Listen.

Music Is On A Mission With Gene Simmons

Music Is On A Mission With Gene Simmons: KTLA Video.

Video: Paul Stanley Announces First-Ever SOUL STATION Concert on KTLA 5 News

Video: Paul Stanley Announces First-Ever SOUL STATION Concert on KTLA 5 News.

Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Famer PAUL STANLEY Announces First-Ever SOUL STATION Concert at the Roxy, September 11th

Soul Station is a ten piece coalition of some of today’s leading musicians paying tribute to an era of great soul music.

“When I was a boy, before I ever saw the Who or Led Zeppelin, I saw Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. I saw the Temptations. It’s tragic to think that so many people are missing out on experiencing the power of so many great bands, artists and that incredible music,” said Stanley. “That music is part of the foundation of all the music I’ve made and Soul Station is my chance to celebrate it for a night that’s real and live.”

To clarify further he adds, “I don’t play guitar in the band and we don’t do a single KISS song. That's not what this is about,” Stanley continues. “It’s magical to hear those songs played right and we’re making magic.”

“We’re living in a time of being fed canned pre-programmed backing tracks and lip syncing in place of the electricity and passion of real live R&B,” says Stanley. “When I was a boy, before I ever saw the Who or Led Zeppelin, I saw Solomon Burke and Otis Redding. I saw the Temptations and all that music is part of the foundation of the music I’ve made. Soul Station is my chance to celebrate it for a night that’s real, live and faithfully recreates the sound with the respect it deserves. Whether it’s the Stylistics, the Dramatics, the Temptations, Smokey and the Miracles, Blue Magic and on, these songs, arrangements and sound just blow you away.” To clarify further he adds, “I don’t play guitar in the band and we don’t do a single KISS song. That's not what this is about,” Stanley continues. “It’s magical to hear those songs played right and we’re making magic.”

September 11, Soul Station debut at Los Angeles’ legendary Roxy Theatre.

Tickets for the show will go on sale beginning 3pm ET/2pm CT/noon PT today, August 4th, at www.ticketfly.com.

Stanley's legendary band members will include: Rafael "Hoffa" Moreira (guitar, backing vocals), Sean Hurley (bass), Alex Alessandroni (keyboards), Ely Rise (keyboards), Eric Singer (drums, backing vocals), Ramon Yslas (percussion), Nelson Beato (backing vocals), Crystal Starr (backing vocals) and Ayana Layli (backing vocals).

SLASH And ACE FREHLEY Record THIN LIZZY Classic For Upcoming Covers Album

(Pic) Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash has recorded a guest appearance on a cover version of a THIN LIZZY classic for original KISS axeman Ace Frehley's forthcoming covers album, due later in the year via SPV/Steamhammer.

A photo of Slash in the studio with Ace's drummer Matt Starr and their engineer can be seen below.

Slash wrote on Twitter: "Had a really fun, live session with @Ace_Frehley last night jamming on a #ThinLizzy tune for his new covers album. Good times!"

KISS Cadillac Homecoming 40th Anniversary Celebration

On October 9-10, 2015, Cadillac will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the KISS Homecoming at Cadillac High School. The legendary rock band KISS visited the small town of Cadillac in 1975 to connect with their football team and perform a concert in the gym, a story that has become iconic in Rock and Roll history.

This year’s homecoming coincides with the 120th Anniversary of Cadillac Viking football, so special festivities are being planned. The weekend will include: The homecoming football game, KISS-themed additions to the homecoming parade, a re-creation of the concert in the gym (featuring the World’s Best KISS Tribute Band – Mr. Speed), the unveiling of a permanent KISS monument, walking tours of KISStorical markers at significant spots around town, promotions by local businesses, and much more.

Joy Vandrie, Director of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, expects the weekend will have great appeal to KISS fans. “This event will garner world wide attention and not only attract many visitors to Cadillac for this unique weekend, but also establish Cadillac as a permanent KISS tourism destination.”

The KISS Cadillac Homecoming is a collaborative event with Cadillac Area Festival & Events, Cadillac Area Public Schools, the Cadillac Sports Boosters, and the Cadillac Band Boosters. All NET proceeds from the event will benefit the two booster clubs.

A committee of local citizens and many volunteers are working hard to make this event a success. Committee member Jim Neff, the person responsible for bringing KISS to Cadillac in 1975, adds: “We have the total backing of KISS and their management at McGhee Entertainment. The goal for everyone involved is to do something positive for the City of Cadillac and the students at Cadillac High School.”

A schedule of events, ticket information for the KISS tribute concert featuring Mr. Speed, sponsorship opportunities, and ways for KISS fans to donate to the monument fund will be forthcoming.

Continuing information updates will be on the event website at kisscadillac.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/KISSCadillac, on Twitter at twitter.com/KISSCadillac, in the Cadillac News in print and on cadillacnews.com. Event details and information about visiting Cadillac will be on the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau website at cadillacmichigan.com.

Anton Fig Shows A Different Side With "Figments"

Having spent the last 29 years as the house drummer on Late Night With David Letterman and its successor The Late Show With David Letterman, and even longer as one of New York’s most in-demand session drummers, Anton Fig is one of America’s most widely-heard musicians. The veteran player unveils an entirely new set of musical skills on Figments, his first-ever album under his own name.

In addition to tapping new dimensions of his percussive abilities, Figments showcases Anton Fig’s talents as a songwriter and producer, with 13 adventurous self-penned tunes that reveal his considerable melodic gifts and distinctive rhythmic sensibility. He’s joined by an impressive cast of musicians and vocalists that demonstrates the breadth of Fig’s musical vision as well as the esteem in which he’s held by his peers.

Figments’ stellar cast includes Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson, whose heavenly multi-tracked harmonies are featured on the hauntingly bittersweet “Hand on My Shoulder,” which also features a persuasive lead vocal by former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin; Ivan Neville, who adds his soulful vocals and keyboards on the funky “Inside Out”; the late Richie Havens, whose one-of-a-kind voice drives the heartfelt “More Than Friends”; and KISS guitar hero Ace Frehley, longtime Frehley cohort Richie Scarlet and Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, who lend their presence to the epic, soaring “Know Where You Go.”

Also on board are such notable figures as keyboard legend Al Kooper, Booker T and the MGs bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, English guitar icon Chris Spedding, veteran singer-songwriter Chip Taylor, acclaimed R&B vocalist Catherine Russell, noted jazz guitarist Oz Noy, renowned bassists Richard Bona, Tony Garnier and Bakhiti Kumalo, distinguished horn men Chris Botti, Randy Brecker, Ronnie Cuber and Lew Soloff, Fig’s longstanding Letterman bandmates Paul Shaffer, Felicia Collins, Will Lee and Sid McGinniss, and former late-night rival Jimmy Vivino on guitar.

Figments’ material was drawn from a healthy backlog of songs that Fig had written or co-written over the years. “At a certain point, I looked back and realized that I had accumulated all these songs,” he explains. “So I decided that it was time to realize them by matching each song with the right musicians and singers, with my drumming and production as the through-line.”

Originally issued in a limited-edition pressing in 2002, Figments came to life through a homespun birth cycle that was appropriate to the project’s personal nature, with most of the recording done in Fig’s digital home studio.

“About 80 per cent of the record,” he says, “was done in my apartment in Manhattan. People just came over and sang and played. It was beautiful to have Richie Havens singing in the bedroom. The danger of working that way is that it’s easy to fix everything and take the life out of the performances, so I worked hard to keep it sounding spontaneous and organic. I was interested in making it sound good, not making it sound perfect.”

For Anton, one of the project’s highlights was a field trip to California to record Brian Wilson’s vocals. “That was just incredible,” he says of the experience. “Brian asked me to sing the top line or him, and then he asked, ‘Do you want four-part harmony or five-part harmony?’ I didn’t want to be greedy, so I said four. He brought a whole wall of harmony from the top down, and gave the vocals that little twist so that it sounds just like him. He did this all in a very short time; the harmonies were there in his head, and he just laid them down.” An additional audio memento of Fig’s collaboration with Wilson is the additional section of his unaccompanied harmonies that’s included as an unlisted bonus at the end of the album.

In many ways, Figments is a summation of the myriad musical experiences that Anton Fig has amassed during his long and colorful career. Growing up in a musically inclined family in his native South Africa, he began drumming at the age of four. Early in life, he became acutely aware of the injustice of his homeland’s apartheid system of racial segregation.

“As a white person growing up in South Africa, you knew that something was very wrong,” he recalls. “The country felt very isolated, and the government purposefully cut people off because they didn’t want people to see how the rest of the world was living. So there was no television. But people would go overseas and bring back records, and we’d pick up the BBC on shortwave radio, so things would get through and give you a glimpse of what it was like in other places.

“Another thing was that it was illegal in South Africa for blacks and whites to play music together in public,” he adds. “But when I was very young, my parents would have lots of parties and have tons of musicians of color come and play, and they’d wake me up and I’d come down in my pajamas and I’d get to sit in with them.”

His early experiences inspired Anton to look to America as a beacon of musical freedom, and he jumped at the opportunity to attend the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. After graduating with honors, he headed for New York, where he soon became one of the city’s busiest drummers, achieving some early notoriety playing with urban troubadour Garland Jeffreys and guitar pioneer Link Wray. He also recorded two albums and toured widely as a member (and frequent songwriter) of the early-’80s new-wave band Spider, which also launched the career of hit tunesmith Holly Knight, and which was managed by legendary KISS impresario Bill Aucoin.

His work with Spider led to Anton drumming on Ace Frehley’s first solo release and on KISS’ albums Dynasty and Unmasked, as well as serving a subsequent three-year stint as a member of Frehley’s post-KISS combo Frehley’s Comet. Over the next few years, he racked up an impressive session resume, playing on albums by the likes of Joan Armatrading, Rosanne Cash, Joe Cocker, Rodney Crowell, Bob Dylan, Robert Gordon, Mick Jagger, Cyndi Lauper and Ronnie Spector.

In 1986, Anton accepted an offer to join Late Night With David Letterman’s house band, a gig that would last for nearly three decades and approximately 5,400 shows, continuing when Letterman moved from NBC to CBS with The Late Show With David Letterman. In addition to being seen nightly by millions of viewers (and occasionally acting in comic sketches), the show also gave him the opportunity to back a wide array of musical icons, while allowing him time to continue his studio career.

During his Letterman years, Fig recorded and/or performed live with such legends as Tony Bennett, Booker T and the MGs, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies, Miles Davis, Marianne Faithfull, Al Green, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Madonna, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Satriani, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder and Warren Zevon. He played in the house band for Bob Dylan’s historic 30th Anniversary concert celebration, and joined with his Letterman cohorts in the house band for multiple Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies, as well as the landmark Concert for New York City benefit. He also published In the Groove, his own instructional drum video/book set.

The diverse strands of Anton Fig’s stellar musical adventures come together memorably on Figments, whose reemergence in 2015 coincides with Letterman’s retirement and the swan song The Late Show, and the drummer’s return to touring for the first time in decades, playing with blues guitar phenom Joe Bonamassa, with whom he’s been recording since 2007.

“It’s gonna be different going out there again,” Anton says of his return to the road, adding, “David Garibaldi, the drummer from Tower of Power, recently told me, ‘Everything you’ve done in your life is just to prepare you for what you’re about to do next.’ So that’s how I’m approaching it. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m looking at it as an exciting adventure.”

BG Thayer: From the US Army... to the KISS Army?

BG Thayer: From the US Army... to the KISS Army?: Read the article here.

Promo Video: KISS NEW ZEALAND 2015

Promo Video: KISS NEW ZEALAND 2015.

Video: Interview with KISS in Ecuador

Video: Interview with KISS in Ecuador.

Exclusive @PaulStanleyLive Collectors' Club @TheKISSKruise V Performance

Exclusive @PaulStanleyLive Collectors' Club @TheKISSKruise V Performance: Poster Ad.

Video: KISS "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" from San Manuel ICasino

Video: KISS "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" from San Manuel ICasino.

Gene Simmons talks Kiss acoustic show, music

(http://www.pe.com/articles/kiss-773654-fans-san.html) When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23

Where: San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, 777 San Manuel Blvd., Highland

Admission: $65-$75, plus fees, 21 and older only

Information: 800-359-2464; sanmanuel.com

Setlist of songs at the Kiss San Manuel show in 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" and "Rock and Roll All Nite."

With or without makeup, Kiss is still Kiss.

The same can be said for the group’s ability to rock plugged in or unplugged. Following up a successful acoustic performance at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in 2014, the legendary rock group will be returning to the Highland casino for a repeat performance Thursday, July 23.

Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the guys will perform a stripped-down set of some of their classics without all the pop and pizazz of a regular Kiss show. Simmons talked about the group’s show, music and more in a recent telephone interview.

Q: When you did the acoustic and storytelling-style show at San Manuel last year, Paul remarked a few times that you didn’t know if you’d ever do it again. What made you decide to bring it back?

A: We enjoyed it. Like all things that we do, we do it only if we want to. Sometimes it takes a lot of work. Sometimes it’s just seamless. Like when we do the Kiss cruises, it’s a lot of work. You’re talking, making sure every person gets personalized signed stuff, pose for photos with every person and do a few shows. Playing at your place (San Manuel) is seamless. You sort of get up and it feels like somebody’s in your living room, compared to the stadiums we play in. It’s easy and we get a chance to not worry about the pyrotechnics and technical stuff. It feels informal.

Q: In an intimate way?

A: Yeah. It’s not so much showbiz. It’s a chance to peel off the outer layer and let the fans see more of the real people.

Q: Does that help you make a deeper connection with the fans?

A: The result is probably that, but it’s not intentional. There doesn’t seem to be a big master plan; there never has been. Although people give us a lot more credit for. We do what we like and, often, what we like works. Big time.

Q: Are there songs that work best for an acoustic set?

A: We’re rehearsing in a couple of days and will dust off some nuggets that we haven’t played. We’re probably going to play some stuff we’ve never played live. We may do a balled we’ve never played live. That’s a kick for us, too.

Q: Does that keep things fresh and interesting, not just for you, but the fans as well?

A: We take our lead from the fans. We’re very much connected to our bosses and despite the fact that we’re the ones on stage getting the accolades, ultimately we understand that if the fans weren’t there I’d probably be asking the next person in line ‘would you like some fries with that?’”

Q: What is it about the music and what you guys have done that has created this deep connection with fans? People are still painting their faces to this day and now even getting new generations involved.

A: You got it. The coolest thing of all is when a five year old discovers Kiss for the first time. That is something that is more than just band and fan. It’s a beginning of a relationship. Our songs are used in weddings. Our fans tattoo our faces on their bodies. They have Kiss conventions and tribute bands.

Q: Any chance that Kiss will be working on new material soon?

A: Paul may think there’s not going to be another record; I suspect there will be. We never force the issue. There is no one to answer to except our own gut. I recently wrote a song called ‘Your Wish is My Command’ and it feels like Kiss. It came out pretty easy. When there’s enough material, we’ll look at each other and say ‘you wanna?’

Blastr.com: KISS talks about collaborating with Scooby Doo

Blastr.com: KISS talks about collaborating with Scooby Doo: Video.

New KISS Song 'Don't Touch My Ascot' Debuts In 'Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock And Roll Mystery' Movie

KISS recently recorded a new song for the the animated film "Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock And Roll Mystery", available July 10 on digital HD platforms and July 21 on Blu-ray/DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The track, "Don't Touch My Ascot", was written by Tony Cervone, Greg Collins and Jared Faber, and is performed by KISS, Greg Collins and Jared Faber. Check it out in the YouTube clip below: Listen.

Scooby-Doo! & Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery by Entertainment Weekly

Scooby-Doo! & Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery by Entertainment Weekly: Listen.

Scooby-Doo - Scooby-Doo! & Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery Interview - Comic-Con 2015

Scooby-Doo - Scooby-Doo! & Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery Interview - Comic-Con 2015: Video.

Videos: Scooby-Doo! & KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery Sneak Peeks

When a ghoul begins to terrorize an amusement park, the Mystery Inc. gang come head to head with the legendary rock group, KISS, who claim they're also there to solve the mystery. Now the two groups must learn to work together as the clues lead them on a cosmic journey to another dimension.

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL JULY 10. ON DVD AND BLU-RAY™ JULY 21

(Video1, Video2)

Gene Simmons is Secretly a Huge Comic Book Nerd

KISS' Gene Simmons busts out an encyclopedic knowledge of comic history and sheds some light on his own band's unusual...contribution to comic canon: Video.

KISS and 'Scooby Doo!' Cast Talk New Animated Crossover

KISS and 'Scooby Doo!' Cast Talk New Animated Crossover: Video.

'Scorpion' Nabs Kiss Frontman Gene Simmons to Guest Star

(hollywoodreporter.com) Scorpion has nabbed a musical superstar for its season premiere: Kiss lead singer Gene Simmons.

Executive producer Nicholas Wootton? announced the news at Comic-Con, noting Simmons -- who is currently at the Con, too -- will cameo in the second season opener.

And that wasn't the only big news of the hour -- Scorpion will have a super-sized 90-min installment after the Supergirl series? premiere on Monday, October 26. (Supergirl airs 8:30-9:30 p.m. that night, while Scorpion will close out the night from 9:30-11 p.m.)

As the show looks towards its second season, expect Walter (Elyes Gabel) and Paige (Katharine McPhee), as well as Happy (Jadyn Wong) and Toby (Eddie Kaye Thomas), to continue to awkwardly dance around their feelings.

"I love the fact that these guys have no idea how to navigate their love lives," Thomas said, noting it was one of his favorite parts of the show. "It's something we can all relate to."

"You're seeing a lot of our real-life relationship with how we mess with each other," Thomas added, noting in the beginning, he was a bit afraid of co-star Robert Patrick, but now he they like to goof around with each other.

Guitarist Tommy Thayer of KISS lists his rock-star worthy home at Lake Sherwood

(Pics) KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and his wife, Amber, have listed their house in the Ventura County community of Lake Sherwood at $2.695 million.

Rock-star cool features include a brick barrel ceiling in the gallery, two sets of 10-foot tall doors in the living room and a bedroom that was designed as an apartment.

The custom-built Mediterranean, constructed a decade ago, was remodeled and upgraded by the couple in 2009. They bought the property in 2008 for $1.815 million.

KISS lead guitarist and songwriter Tommy Thayer has listed his Lake Sherwood home for sale.

A formal entry, a breakfast area, a loft, four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms are within the 4,492 square feet of interior space.

Six patios, one with an outdoor fireplace, extend the living areas out of doors. Expansive views from the third-acre lot take in the lake and the mountains.

Thayer, 54, was first with the glam metal group Black ‘n Blue and in 2002 joined the hard-rock band KISS, known for their stage makeup, big hair and pyrotechnic-laden performances. He co-wrote 10 songs for the band’s 2012 album “Monster.”

Jerry Adams of Land Marketing Inc. is the listing agent.

VIDEO: KISS GRAND FINALE AT DOWNLOAD

VIDEO: KISS GRAND FINALE AT DOWNLOAD.

Everlasting KISS: The Branding of the World's Most Commercial Band

(highbrowmagazine.com) More than 40 years after their initial formation in New York City in 1973, the band KISS is still living – and selling – large. Since their misleadingly-named “KISS Farewell Tour” in 2001, the group has toured consistently nearly every year, performing over 450 concerts in stadiums and amphitheatres across North and South America, Europe, and Japan; their merchandise sales alone within the same 15-year span topple $500 million.

The particular KISS brand – and the merchandise that so often accompanies it – has long been a site of either fascination or derision, depending on who you ask. The band’s aggressive marketing schemes and gimmicks – from their pyrotechnic stage show to their extensive line of licensed goods that includes action-figure dolls, comic books printed with traces of blood, branded condoms, a line of ladies’ perfumes, and, perhaps the granddaddy of them all, the KISS Kasket – seem proof enough that the band is nothing more than a “sell-out,” an artless grab for commercial profit that, to some, desecrates the good name of rock’n’roll. But this doesn’t seem to trouble the band members’ consciences at all: “Yeah, we sell out,” bassist Gene Simmons says in their VH1 Behind the Music special; “we sell out [our concerts] every night.”

Working and thriving under such auspicious, blatant commercial aims, unabashedly proud – sometimes even arrogant – of their successes, KISS is typically cast as everything authentic rock music ought to be against; the genre’s critical tastemakers and gatekeepers tend to view them only as laughable, unrefined, and unworthy of serious consideration. For example, KISS was only just inducted into Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2014, more than 15 years after their initial eligibility (even Swedish pop group ABBA got in before them) – and, until that very same year, they had not once graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. “Here we are tonight, inducted basically for the things we were left out for,” frontman Paul Stanley said at the Hall of Fame ceremony honoring them, referring to the alleged 100 million records KISS has sold worldwide. “The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not.”

To their fans, who are notoriously loyal, devoted, and even militant – the “KISS Army” began in earnest when fans in Indiana surrounded their local radio station and demanded they play more KISS records – the band is obviously more than just four overgrown men in black leather spandex, platform boots, and full-faced makeup – though that’s clearly a huge part of their appeal. The four original “characters” – Gene Simmons’ “Demon,” Paul Stanley’s “Starchild,” Peter Criss’ “Catman,” and Ace Frehley’s “Spaceman” – are some of the most instantly recognizable faces in the history of popular music. In fact, they even overshadow their own creators: no one knew what the actual faces of the band members looked like until a dramatically staged “unveiling” on MTV in 1983.

This is exactly what made the group so immediately powerful, and what no doubt has contributed greatly to their enormous longevity. Essentially, it’s not Simmons, Stanley, Criss, or Frehley who are the true members of KISS; it’s the characters who make up the band. And unlike their flesh-and-blood counterparts, these characters never age, never get tired; they don’t have drug problems, day jobs, spouses, or joint pain. They exist entirely within one dimensionality, and with one sole purpose: to rock your face off.

KISS is not so much a band as it is a brand – a brilliantly capitalistic take on rock music that has proved to be both a blessing and a curse for its progenitors. The logics of branding and the rock-star character creations allowed KISS easy extension into the world of merchandising in unprecedented ways, building a nest egg of brand recognition and free advertising through the sheer extent of their line of goods. It’s hard to imagine, for example, a series of Bob Dylan action figures – not only because such capitalistic schemes inherently go against deep-seated romantic notions of rock music’s “authenticity” and the artist’s selfless pursuit of truth and beauty, but also because Dylan is a full, three-dimensional person that cannot be so easily contained within molded plastic. But the Catman exists only as the drummer for KISS – and when you buy his toy likeness, you can put him in any pose you want.

While branding, marketing, and merchandising helped the band accrue their massive crop of fans in the 1970s, it also served as a point of tension within the group. Drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley were dismissed from the band or resigned, respectively, by the early 1980s, Frehley later telling Behind the Music that it was “too much merchandising and not enough focus on the music for me… I consider myself an entertainer second and a musician first.”

Remaining members Simmons and Stanley’s attempts to create new characters with new band members, however – including Eric Carr’s Fox and Vinnie Vincent’s Wiz – coincided with a gradual waning of the group’s popularity. Their “non-makeup years,” from 1983 to 1996, earned for the band relatively steady commercial success, but still diminished compared to their initial prominence. In many ways, non-makeup KISS was simply not the same band as KISS; today, few songs from that era are even performed at KISS concerts.

Simmons claims he was motivated in the mid-‘90s to reunite the original four members – with full makeup – because he noticed the growing popularity of KISS tribute bands and KISS conventions, where people dressed and made themselves up in the old ‘70s look. “We just shrugged our shoulders and said, ‘this is probably what the fans want,” he told VH1.

But KISStory, like history, has a habit of repeating itself. When the four original characters got back together, so did their same problems. Criss was again dismissed from the group in 2001 over contract disputes and Frehley left in 2002, again citing artistic frustration. This time around, however, Simmons and Stanley found a new way to keep the ball rolling: in a move they both apparently now regret, Criss and Frehley sold (or licensed – there appear to be some conflicting views) the creative rights of their character makeup to Stanley and Simmons. Now, anyone can be a Cat or a Spaceman – or, indeed, a Demon or Starchild. Stanley and Simmons, both now in their 60s, told Rolling Stone a few years ago that they planned to eventually replace their own characters with new actors, effectively allowing KISS to go on forever.

This makes good business sense, on one hand. There’s clearly money to be made in franchising out KISS; Simmons estimates the brand’s value in terms of multiple billions of dollars. And in many ways, a revolving door of rock band members should not seem so strange; after all, this is how we routinely experience staged plays, musicals, ballets, and even orchestras. Yet there is something about rock music that seems to recoil from the idea that a rock star could be replaceable – indeed, willingly want to replace himself.

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sought to induct KISS, they only intended to honor the four original members – a symbolic gesture Simmons and Stanley adamantly argued against. Because where the institution of Rock – embodied within the Hall of Fame – likes to think of its artists as unique, original, irreducible representatives of genius, KISS steps in to declare just the opposite. On Planet KISS, it doesn’t matter so much who’s behind the mask of makeup or wearing the platform boots, so long as the audience is having a good time. In fact, even as Stanley and Simmons tour with their fellow current band members, there are hundreds of officially-sanctioned KISS tribute bands performing across the world. Like a food franchise – Starbucks, or McDonald’s, for example – all these KISS bands deliver the same menu of rock’n’roll in a way that is comforting in its instant recognition. Above all, it’s what the people want.

KISS has always put their fans first – and for that, they’ve been accused of lacking integrity, artistic merit, and authenticity. And in fact, these are precisely the ideas about rock music KISS seeks to undermine. Even from their humble beginnings, KISS sought to spread their particular vision for the ultimate rock’n’roll group as far as possible. “What we were doing was undeniable,” Stanley told VH1 about their early days in New York; “we knew that we would take over the world.”

Kiss Drummer Eric Singer to Judge Luxury Watch Awards

(bloomberg.com) Eric Singer, drummer for the rock band Kiss, has been named to the jury of watchmaking's highest awards, the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). He is a well-known collector of eclectic timepieces and will join the rotating group of 26 jurors in Geneva this November as they select the best watches of 2015.

The GPHG is now entering its fourth year and has quickly become the most prestigious award ceremony in watchmaking, covering categories from grande complications to high jewelry on down to watches for less than $5,000. Brands must opt in to participate, and few well-known brands abstain (Rolex being the notable exception). Smaller brands, such as Ressence, use the GPHG as a way to earn some name recognition.

While Singer is a new addition, this year's jury is composed of many returning members, including jury president Aurel Bacs, of the new Phillips watch department. They're joined by such industry notables as René Beyer of Zurich's Beyer watch shop, Lebanese jeweler Claude Sfeir (who was the underbidder on the $24 million sale of the Patek Philippe Supercomplication), super collectors such as John Goldberger, as well as such journalists and writers as Elizabeth Doerr and Nick Foulkes. Singer's spot has previously been occupied by musician John Mayer and designer Philippe Starck, other famous watch lovers.

Breguet took last year's top prize, so per tradition, Breguet Vice President Jean-Charles Zufferey will also be joining the jury and Breguet will be ineligible for the Aiguille d'Or, or Golden Hand, award. This year's shortlist of competing watches will be announced July 15.

A swanky celebration of racing and classic cars

(Pic) Aristocratic car collectors, aging rockers, tech moguls and art dealers descended upon Lord March’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, England, over the weekend.

Spotted during the festivities, which included a black-tie dinner for 1,200 and a Cartier luncheon, were: Apple design guru Jony Ive, artist/designer Marc Newson, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Princess Margaret’s son David Armstrong-Jones, gallerist Adam Lindemann, Prince Michael of Kent, William and Annabel Astor, Anthony Bamford and Stirling Moss.

Gene Simmons played during the weekend of racing and a classic car auction. A 1935 Aston-Martin sold for an eye-popping $4.6 million.

KISS Guitarist TOMMY THAYER Doesn't Rule Out New Studio Album

KISS Guitarist TOMMY THAYER Doesn't Rule Out New Studio Album: Video.

Kiss' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley On Kiss Kaskets And Their Best Advice

(forbes.com) There are KISS coffins (or KISS Kaskets, to be precise), KISS bath towels, KISS slot machines, KISS knives, KISS credit cards, and even LA KISS, an arena football team.

KISS may often seem more like a brand than a band, but founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley tell Forbes that all the licensing (around 3,000 items, by the way) would mean nothing if the music wasn’t there.

“There’s no way that a band or an artist can last for 40 years unless that foundation is built on great music,” Stanley says. The group, which has sold more than 100 million albums and continues to sell out stadiums around the world, was presented the Founders Award by ASCAP recently in recognition of its contributions to the world of music.

“People keep pointing to the sizzle and it’s OK with us,” Simmons adds, “but when we started 41 years ago, we didn’t even have a name for the band. We started writing songs. There wasn’t a sit-down session with marketers or radio programmers [on] how do you write a hit single and stuff. We just never played the game.”

What KISS did do is play it smart. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers surrounded themselves with a team who looked out for their business interests while they were taking care of the creative side.

“What we did in the beginning we did right. We happened to fall into this make-up thing. There was no grand design, we just said, ‘hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we did this,’ and the make-up that we put on then and continue to put on on every night with our own two hands, we created,” Simmons says. “The logo, originally thought of by [former band member] Ace [Frehley], but Paul actually sat down with a ruler, and, it’s not perfect, drew the actual logo that we still use today. The smartest thing that our manager did at the beginning was trademark everything right at the outset.”

Simmons’ best advice to acts coming up today is to be “duly diligent” and trademark everything. “Figure it out in the beginning, you can’t come back years later and say, ‘In retrospect…’.”

Stanley seconds that and adds have a great team from the start. “Did we come up with the idea to trademark or copyright the makeup? No. But we’ve had a keen eye to surround ourselves with people who enable us and help us achieve the goals that we want.”

When it comes to signing off on the licensing deals, by the time the item gets to Simmons and Stanley, their team has already vetted it. “What do we say yes to? Things that appeal to us. When you try to second guess the public, you’re going to lose,” Stanley says. “Sooner or later you’re going to bet on knowing what the public wants, you’re going to fail and kick yourself for not doing it your way, so I always figure that if we do something we love, someone else will love it. I think that’s the bottom line, do what you love, embrace things that mean something to you and they’ll mean something to someone else.”

The pair credit their ardent fans, collectively known as the KISS Army, with keeping them honest. “They will not give us an inch,” Simmons says. “They demand the best and that’s what you want. You want someone who loves you so much that they’ll tell you your breath sticks. They take the time to say, ‘I don’t like that song on the set list. That thing you dod on the last show’.”

“I think is’s great to have an audience that’s not full of blind adulation,” Stanley says. “They love us when they love us and they also tell us when they don’t like what we’re doing, but we’ll take the lumps."

They swear they’re having just as much fun now as they always have and who wouldn’t be? MusicRadar’s readers just voted them the best live act in the world. “There have been generations of fans that have grown up with our stuff. Kids are named after our songs, there are KISS conventions, we have the KISS cruise, for God’s sake,” Simmons says. “We just came back from playing a stadium full of people. Try to get that rush.”

ACE FREHLEY: 'The Music Always Came First For Me, And The Visuals Were Second'

ACE FREHLEY: 'The Music Always Came First For Me, And The Visuals Were Second': video.

The King from Queens: Bruce Kulick on KISS, KKB and Beyond

The King from Queens: Bruce Kulick on KISS, KKB and Beyond: Read.

Gene Simmons and Steve Wright Like It Loud

Gene Simmons and Steve Wright Like It Loud: listen.

Paul Stanley Hosts Food and Beer Festival to Benefit Maui Food Bank, July 11

Rock & Brews Paia, the family-friendly, rock-inspired restaurant co-founded by KISS front men Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, has joined forces with Maui Brewing, Co., to host a food and beer festival from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on July 11 benefiting Maui Food Bank. The event will be hosted by Paul Stanley of KISS, who is also a co-founder in Rock & Brews and Garrett Marrero, founder of Maui Brewing Co.

The event will feature a sampling of Rock & Brews’ quality American comfort food and 10 of Maui Brewing Co.’s finest beers. Tickets are $25 per person, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Maui Food Bank.

For more information about Rock & Brews Paia’s Rockin’ Food & Beer Festival and to purchase tickets visit www.RockandBrewsPaia.Eventbrite.com or call 808-579-9011. Rock & Brews Paia is located at 120 Hana Hwy.

KISS Helicopter Charter to Download Festival

Video: KISS Helicopter Charter to Download Festival.

KISS SIGNING AT ENTERTAINMENT EARTH BOOTH DURING COMIC-CON

Shout It Out Loud! 'KISS' members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are scheduled to sign autographs at the Entertainment Earth Booth #2343 during San Diego Comic-Con International on July 9, 2015 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.

All signings at the booth are free, but require a ticket. Check out the Entertainment Earth booth for details on how to obtain a randomly distributed ticket as well as all the KISS product convention exclusives. Among which is the new KISS Classic Tin Tote Gift Set.

Pre-Order all the KISS exclusives online at EntertainmentEarth.com: http://eearth.us/?l=1cbm4t.

"East Meets West" July 1-3 In Los Angeles, KISS to Play with Momoiro Clover Z at Anime Expo 2015

Legendary superstar rock band KISS will welcome the current # 1 Pop Sensation in Japan, Momoiro Clover Z (MCZ,) a singing group comprised of five young girl singers, to Los Angeles during the week of June 29th, concurrent with the 2015 Anime Expo. As part of MCZ’s Anime Expo activities, the group will perform live during a special concert at the Microsoft (formerly Nokia) Theatre on July 2, with KISS co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley introducing the group. To be held at the LA Convention Center, the Anime Expo is the largest and most popular convention in North America for fans of the anime and manga artforms, and of Japanese pop culture. Over 100,000 people are expected to attend.

Tickets for this special Concert are available now and only to Badge Holders for attendance to the Anime Expo. Tickets can be purchased at www.anime-expo.org/momoiro-clover-z-ticket-sales-opening-up/ under “Latest Updates.”

In addition, KISS will receive the prestigious 2015 “Special Commissioner’s Award” from Japan’s International Short Shorts Asian Film Festival, one of Asia’s largest and most popular international short film festivals. KISS is receiving this award for the music video they produced in 2014, entitled “Samurai Son,” in which they appear together with MCZ. The award will be presented to Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on July 2nd at the Nokia Theatre, prior to the start of the MCZ concert that evening.

This “EAST MEETS WEST” cross-promotional campaign is the direct result of KISS’ decades-long affection for Japan and the Japanese culture, along with an unprecedented recent collaboration between KISS and MCZ. In early 2015, MCZ’s release of the Paul Stanley written song "Yume no Ukiyo Ni Saitemina,” (“Samurai Son,”) along with MCZ’s cover of the KISS classic “Rock N’ Roll All Night,” were both included on MCZ’s # 1 EP in Japan. This # 1 EP concurrently marked KISS’ first # 1 record in the band’s 40-year history. The # 1 EP was listed on Japan’s Oricon Chart and Japan’s Amazon Pop Chart. MCZ appears on King Records.

Between February 23 and March 3, 2015, KISS performed to over 1.3 million fans during the band’s five-date tour of Japan (at venues in Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Sendai.) On March 3rd, KISS performed at the Tokyo Dome to over 30,000 fans. To mark the end of that show, KISS welcomed MCZ on-stage to perform two encores: MCZ performed their smash hits “Yume no Ukiyo Ni Saitemina” and “Rock N’ Roll All Night.” The Video of this Performance will make its World Premiere during the MCZ Concert on July 2 at Nokia Theatre.

During their performance at the Nokia Theater on July 2, MCZ will also perform songs from the upcoming feature films Dragon Ball Z: Ressurection F, produced by FUNimation, coming to U.S. theaters in August, 2015, and Sailor Moon, which will be released in the U.S. later in 2015.

From its very start in the 1970s, KISS paid tribute to the Japanese influence of Kabuki as evidenced by the famous makeup worn by the four members of the band: Starchild, Demon, Catman and Spaceman. KISS has adopted Japanese iconography into its DNA, and has now become Uykiyo-e, a 400-year old art form whose master woodcarvers total only nine living artists! Ukiyo-e, the world renowned Japanese traditional woodblock printing culture, is struggling to survive in the modern world. Through KISS’ involvement, the “UKIYO-E PROJECT” has created brand new Ukiyo-e artwork prints inspired by the four KISS characters. The hopes of this Project are to resurrect this amazing art form and to help pass these techniques to the next generation. So far, there have been two KISS Ukiyo-e designs released. KISS and MCZ collaborative Ukiyo-e artworks will be revealed at the Anime Expo.

“Ukiyo-e, that’s Nippon, that’s tradition, that’s history, that’s Kabuki, that’s deep, deep culture,” says Gene Simmons. “We respect it.”

KISS and Momoiro Clover Z postage stamps, recently issued through the Japanese Postal service, will also be on display backstage prior to the MCZ Concert on July 2nd.

Watch process of making a KISS pinball machine

Watch process of making a KISS pinball machine: Video.

KISS on monetizing their brand

(bworldonline.com) The US band recognizes it has escaped the worst impact of the availability of cheap music online thanks to the fact that its glory years were in the 1970s and 1980s, when the Internet was in its infancy.

Now, while exploring other ways to profit from its huge following, the band is also standing up for new, unknown talent struggling to win financial backing from music companies.

“It doesn’t hurt us, it only hurts new bands, and that’s the sad part,” said Gene Simmons, the 65-year-old bass guitarist and co-lead singer, his face streaked with demon-like paint.

“Where’s the next Beatles? Where’s the next Stones? Where’s the next Elvis? Where’s Prince? Where’s anybody?” he asked.

Eric Singer, KISS’ 57-year-old drummer, whose makeup was done in his trademark cat face, said: “The mentality of young kids, they just think it’s OK, it’s common to go ‘Oh, I’ll just go online and get the music.’ They don’t realize you’re supposed to pay for it.”

He added that “rock ’n’ roll’s not dying because of the bands or fans not buying it -- it’s because there’s not a business to support it.”

Singer boasted that KISS had pioneered the exploitation of its brand, blazing a path that many other top artists now follow in a bid to prop up sagging record sales.

“There’s no doubt almost everything you see in a live rock or pop setting performance stagewise and all that, merchandise and everything… at the forefront was KISS.”

“If you’re in Las Vegas, go and play golf at our golf course... If you want to hop into a limo, hop into our limo service: KISS Limos… (and) we’re doing the KISS Kruise,” Simmons said.

The cruise sails from Miami to Jamaica later this year on board the Norwegian Pearl, “the central hub for all KISS maniacs worldwide,” according to the KISS Kruise Web site.

“What’s more rock ’n’ roll than mini-golf?” the Web site for the band’s Las Vegas branded mini-golf course observes blithely.

Singer added that a lunch with “Lord Simmons” was also available, for a price.

‘UTTER IDOLS’

The pair spoke to AFP just before performing at a Paris concert midway through a worldwide tour.

The tour is celebrating the band’s 40 years of performing, but the songs that drew the biggest welcome at the Paris concert were standards from its early years.

People in the venue, the 6,000-place Zenith in northeast Paris, cheered loudly when “I was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Rock and Roll All Nite” wrapped up a show that featured the band’s signature stage pyrotechnics and over-the-top posing.

One of their revenue-spinning activities could be seen backstage before the concert: around 100 people lining up to get individual photos with the band as part of a VIP package costing €1,000 ($1,100) each.

“They are our utter idols. This is a boyhood dream,” said one French fan, an 18-year-old student named Lucas Chaplin.

ACE FREHLEY Talks Upcoming Covers Album, Follow-Up To 'Space Invader'

ACE FREHLEY Talks Upcoming Covers Album, Follow-Up To 'Space Invader': Video.

Gene Simmons offers America advice on debt, investing

Gene Simmons offers America advice on debt, investing: video.

Q&A: Paul Stanley, co-founder and singer/songwriter of KISS

(sportswearnet.com) Paul Stanley, co-founder and singer/songwriter of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, KISS, will launch his own lifestyle and fashion brand, Paul Stanley: Royals & Rebels. Here, he talks about his attitude towards fashion and style and his aim to also design womenswear at some point. Interview by Melanie Gropler.

You designed the band’s costumes. Why did you decide to start a commercial fashion collection?

I have always been excited by finding new ways to express myself creatively, and my successes point to a general affirmation of those outlets. My individual Look, whether more formal or casual, has always been based on a combination of elements rather than mirroring fashion. Fashion makes creating a style possible using various pieces, looks and eras, but on it’s own, fashion is better served on a printed page as art rather than something that looks organic to the individual who might wear it. My hope is to take some of the work out for the consumer by creating pieces that are compatible.

Do you see yourself as a part of your design?

I have no desire to endorse anything that isn’t conceptually mine. The idea is to develop my point of view in a broad range of areas starting with men’s apparel.

What will be the look and the feel of the collection? What’s the heart of it?

Style over fashion. Fashion is momentary. Style is timeless.

You’ll start with men’s fashion. Can you imagine to design women’s wear as well? Women have always loved and commented on what I wear and I have always had a great eye for helping women find ways to project a comfortable look that is sexy without looking contrived or obvious so my answer is a confident “YES."

Kiss is well known for their extraordinary costumes and performances. How important is fashion for you personally?

Clothes don’t make the man but done properly they perhaps allow you to put forward a first impression that is indicative of who you are or in other cases, how you would like to perceived.

What pieces in your wardrobe do you like best and why?

A pair of black Levi’s 511 Jeans fit great and work with almost anything. I love the timeless tailoring of a two button Brioni Suit. I love the shoulders and drape of their Jackets and whether you wear the suit or just the jacket it exudes confidence. I love a lot of what John Varvatos does. His point of view and touchstones are clothes. I wear a lot of his white wing color shirts. It’s one of my "go to’s" and work with anything. Everyone is now making great men’s shoes. I like to wear something a bit colorful and wild with blue jeans but you can’t go wrong with a great black shoe. I also need a pair of trainers or running shoes but for me they have to have black soles and trim to work with everything.

What’s your favorite designer?

Varvatos, Brioni, Christian Lacroix do some nice pieces. Actually there’s loads of great stuff out there. It’s all a matter of what you mix.

Kiss: A rock'n'roll fairytale

(theherald.com.au) KISS have never done things by halves. From the cartoon make-up and the costumes to the elaborate theatrics of their live shows - we're talking fire breathing, blood spitting and fireworks-shooting guitars - the KISS philosophy has never equated to less is more. The iconic rock band returns to Australia in October, bringing their spectacular The Spider stage production to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and - for the first time - Newcastle.

The spider - which can be motioned up and down like a giant puppet - weighs 43,500kg, with 220 automated lights and 100 multi-coloured LED lights. If that wasn't enough, the show uses 900 pieces of pyrotechnics, 20 flame machines and 300kg of dry ice. It is the ultimate, epic rock show.

"Yeah, well, that's what we're known for," KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer says with a laugh.

"There's no such thing as less is more and we take pride in the fact we probably shoot off more pyro than any other act out there. And it should be noted that KISS was actually pioneering in all that stage effects stuff, like pyro, that everybody uses now. It all started with KISS and so we are the originators."

Thayer had spent the morning rehearsing with KISS - Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Eric Singer - when he spoke to Weekender last month from Los Angeles. The band was preparing for the European/UK leg of the band's world tour, which kicked off in the US last year, taking in Canada, Japan and South America before heading to Europe (they perform in Vienna tonight) and, finally, Australia.

Like everything associated with KISS, the European/UK tour is huge - arena venues and a headline spot on the bill at British heavy rock festival Download that draws 120,000 through the gates over three days.

It is an incredible position for a band to be in 42 years after it played its first show to an audience that, according to Simmons, had less than 10 people in attendance.

Thayer, a life-long fan who joined the band officially in 2003, says KISS are "bigger than a band."

"It's a phenomenon. It's iconic. Those characters, the make-up, the outfits, the show, I think it's something that is legendary in a way," Thayer says.

"When you get to that level in a band people just come in droves, they want to keep coming to see it. KISS is one of those rare bands that is at that point where it's become iconic and it just keeps going.

"Of course we need to do a great job, we need to play really well and put on great shows and we work hard at that, but with that in mind, people keep wanting to come and see KISS and see the show and hear the music and see the spectacle."

It was during the band's 2003 tour of Australia that Thayer played his first concert as an official member of KISS.

The band performed with the 70-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for a concert at the Telstra Dome (now Etihad Stadium) which was recorded and released as a live album, Kiss Symphony: Alive IV.

Thayer said moments like that make him pinch himself. "That was a big introduction to me into the band - it's not bad being in arguably one of the biggest, most legendary groups ever," Thayer says.

"KISS is a band that I've had my eyes on ever since they first came out in 1973 when I was younger. I was always a fan and I've always felt KISS is one of the most outrageous, over-the-top, dynamic bands that ever existed.

"So being in the band is a complete honour and sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind myself that I'm actually in it.

"It's every guitar player's dream come true to be in a band like this."

KISS are among the big rock acts of the '70s that inspired Thayer to pick up a guitar as a 13-year-old kid growing up in Portland, Oregon.

He is what you could describe as the ultimate fan and his journey into the world of KISS is the perfect rock'n'roll fairytale.

In his early 20s, Thayer formed hard rock band Black 'n Blue who played around Portland before relocating to California, where they built a following around clubs on LA's Sunset Strip and landed a recording deal with Geffen Records.

The band released its debut album in 1984 and scored a spot opening for KISS on a two-month tour the following year.

Thayer developed a friendship with Stanley and Simmons, the latter of whom produced Black 'n Blue's next two albums.

The band split in 1989, however Thayer remained close with Stanley and Simmons, co-writing songs for the band's album, Hot In The Shade.

At one point, Thayer even played in a KISS cover band but he downplays it as not being a serious job, simply as "a bit of a goof".

By 1994, Thayer had been hired by Stanley and Simmons to work for them, doing everything from making coffee to odd jobs.

"I kind of needed a job so they offered me a part-time job to come work in the KISS organisation and I just did odd jobs and then I ended up working full-time by the mid-90s," Thayer recalls.

"When they started the reunion tour [in 1996] I was the road manager, so I was just more focused on getting into the music business at that point because you don't get many more chances as a musician.

"When you get a record deal and that record deal runs its course, you don't usually get too many more shots at it and so I was looking at more of a business approach or management approach to my career.

"Things just came full circle and after a few more years I became the lead guitar player."

Thayer, 54, says the notion that he orchestrated his move into the band is simply not true.

"It's funny because people have always said 'Oh Tommy, you had a grand design' or 'You planned this out perfectly and you're so smart' and all this sort of thing.

"But it really didn't work out that way."

Thayer first performed with the band in 2002 when he was on stand-by to fill in for original guitarist Ace Frehley who had returned to the band after first splitting in 1982 and rejoined for the reunion tour in 1996.

Frehley would often turn up late to go on stage - or not turn up at all.

His unreliability had become so common that Thayer had his own "Spaceman" outfit - the one worn by Frehley - ready to go backstage in the event that the guitarist would fail to show up.

In 2002, KISS was booked to play a private show in Jamaica.

Frehley refused to play, so Thayer got the call that he was needed.

"Doc McGhee, the band's manager, had called me and said 'The other guy's not gonna show up for this gig, we know that now for sure, so we want you to make sure to be ready to play and come down and don the make-up, put the Spaceman outfit on and do this gig'," Thayer recalls.

"So the first gig was really as a fill-in. We didn't know where everything was going at that point but then, by the time we got to the beginning of 2003, I was officially in the band.

"They said 'We want you to do this' and so it was as simple as that."

That's not to say his introduction into the band as the Spaceman has gone without controversy.

Last year, Frehley spoke out against Thayer in an interview, describing him as "just a guy up there copying me and trying to move like me and trying to sing like me and trying to play like me".

Thayer is aware of Frehley's comments.

"I don't want to get into a back and forth but I'm sure you can kind of assess what you think when you hear all that," Thayer says.

"I think he had every opportunity in the world to continue in KISS and be in KISS as long as he did the right thing, but it worked out better for me and he has to lead his life.

"As far as the jabs and all that, he can say that stuff and I'm not going to say anything bad about him.

"I just wish all the best to everybody in whatever they're doing."

KISS emerged in the '70s to become one of the biggest-selling acts of the decade.

It was as much about the theatrics of the band as it was the music that earned them a fanatical base of followers, who became christened as the KISS Army, with thousands of members all over the globe.

The tongue-wagging Simmons formed the band in New York with frontman Stanley in 1973, drummer Peter Criss finalising the original line-up alongside Frehley on guitar, with each adopting their own cartoon-style character, complete with signature make-up.

The band has released 20 studio albums, with sales topping the 100 million mark, and boasts a back catalogue of classic rock anthems: Rock and Roll All Nite, I Was Made For Loving You, Love Gun, God Gave Rock'n'Roll To You, Shout It Out Loud, Detroit Rock City.

In 2014, KISS finally had their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If the band has it their way, KISS could go on forever.

Stanley was recently quoted as saying he would like to see KISS become "immortal" and continue on after he is finished.

Thayer says there is every chance it could happen.

"It's possible, I mean, it's already kind of happened with half the band, to be truthful," Thayer says.

"But it's hard to imagine KISS without Paul or Gene. But at the same time, who's to say somebody won't come along that blows everybody away and they could take over and continue on.

"Anything's possible, you never say never and I think part of the KISS philosophy is there are no rules and anything could happen."

A conversation with Grand Funk Railroad's Bruce Kulick

A conversation with Grand Funk Railroad's Bruce Kulick: Video.

Tickets go on sale Friday for Kiss acoustic concert at San Manuel Casino

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Kiss is set to return to the San Manuel Casino for another acoustic concert set for July and tickets go on sale Friday.

The band’s last gig at the casino was in April last year, billed as a no makeup, stripped down kind of show to feature “stories and songs.” This year’s show is simply being touted as a makeup-free “acoustic evening with Kiss.”

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. July 23 at the Highland casino. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Tickets are available for purchase starting at 11 a.m. Friday via Ticketmaster.

The current lineup features original members Paul Stanley (guitarist, singer) and Gene Simmons (bassist, vocalist) as well as drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer.

Last year, attendees were given free hats of the Arena Football League team L.A. Kiss, which is sponsored by the casino. The team is co-owned by Stanley and Simmons and the show was used to publicize the team’s inaugural season.

Kiss is known for songs like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.”

For more information, head to www.sanmanuel.com.

KISS conservative styling good-bye in custom Corvette

(detroitnews.com) (Pic) Quiet is not a term you’d likely use to describe the rock group KISS. Loud and in your face, for sure, and that includes not only the group’s music and fire-breathing, pyrotechnic performances, but the bold, face-painted graphic makeup that turns musicians into characters that look like they’ve emerged from some sort of nightmare — or perhaps from the pages of a comic book.

The band’s co-founder and front man is Paul Stanley, who also is an accomplished artist whose original paintings can demand six figures and whose prints sell for $2,000 and more.

Which brings us to today’s subject: A 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray created in a joint effort by Stanley and the Chevrolet design staff. Like KISS and its music, you’re likely to have a love-it or hate-it reaction to the graphic revisions made to the sports car.

But don’t judge too quickly. My initial reaction was to hate it when I saw the car at the most recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. But over the course of five days I walked by the car over and over again and it’s bold graphic started to grow on me and now, as I review my photos from the show, I actually think the car looks pretty terrific.

So what did the musician-artist want in his Paul Stanley Concept Corvette? Well, a rather shocking — but what else would you expect — two-tone paint scheme, though not in black and white as are the dominant colors in KISS’ makeup. For his Corvette, Stanley chose an almost shockingly deep and dark P.S. Candy Red exterior color. But that was just the start: He also had the roof, rear hatch panel, spoiler, rearview mirrors and grille covered in Midnight Glaze Silver.

To further set his car apart, it rides on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear Chevrolet Accessories wheels painted in a dark Carbon Flash Metallic color and wrapped with all-out, high-performance summer-season tires.

While the exterior may be sinister in appearance, the interior is the standard 3LT trim setup in Jet Black, well, except for the carbon-fiber gauge cluster surround, the carbon-fiber steering wheel spoke cover, and with unique quilted Parchment leather seating surfaces with dark red accent stitching and Parchment leather accents in the door panels, passenger dash board and center console.

The car also has the optional Z51 performance package — dry-sump oiling, electronic limited-slip differential, larger front brakes, and differential and transmission coolers — as well as a Performance Data Recorder to track lap times on track days.

So, do you love it or hate it?

Or to put it another way, does it make you want to rock ’n’ roll all night and drive every day?

Kiss comes 'Alive' in toy form at Comic-Con

(usatoday.com) (Pic) Perhaps you can't take Gene Simmons home with you, all rocking out and such. Entertainment Earth might have the best thing, however.

At San Diego Comic-Con next month (July 8-12), the online pop-collectible retailer will have available for attendees a box set of Kiss action figures by Bif Bang Pow complete with a stage inspired by the iconic rock band's 1977 live album Alive II. Priced at $160, the Comic-Con exclusive is limited to 1,500 units and is also available for preorder at EntertainmentEarth.com for those who can't make it to the convention.

The toy for each of the band members has nine points of articulation for concert-ready poses that rock and roll all night and party every day, plus they all have character-specific outfits such as Simmons' fabric "Demon" cape. He, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley all come with guitars, and drummer Peter Criss has sticks and a paper-craft drum set.

Packaged in a box with album artwork, the set also includes Kiss temporary tattoos similar to the ones that came with the Alive II record plus a stage with manually rising platform and a mini wireless speaker you can hook up to a device to stream hits like God of Thunder, Detroit Rock City and Shout It Out Loud. And for the true over-the-top experience, the colorful backdrop includes an animated light-up Kiss logo.

Other Entertainment Earth exclusives at Comic-Con include a Saturday Night Live Weekend Update set of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler action figures, Star Trek IV whales with Mr. Spock bobblehead, and an Adventure Time tin tote.

KISS' Tommy Thayer: 11 records that changed my life

KISS' Tommy Thayer: 11 records that changed my life: read.

BRUCE KULICK Releases New KKB Single 'Got To Get Back'

Before Bruce Kulick became a member of the legendary rock band KISS, touring and recording many hits during the 12-year non-makeup era of the band, Kulick started out in New York city, fantasizing about being on stage, recording and having the world hear his passion for music. Little did he realize that every musical experience he encountered, especially in his teenage years, would actually prepare him for accomplishing his dream of being a world-renowned lead guitarist.

Kulick was a huge fan of the British rock invasion of America in the '60s, with bands like THE BEATLES, CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN and THE WHO leading the charge. These bands inspired him to play guitar, and to seek out other players in the Jackson Heights area of Queens, New York, hoping to make some original music that could satisfy his creative appetite. Enter neighbor Mike Katz, who lived on the same street as Kulick. Katz, who was also heavily influenced by the bands of that era, was a consummate bassist, who sang and wrote music in a style that was easily interpreted for Kulick's lead playing. A local drummer named Guy Bois rounded out the trio in proper fashion with his powerful drumming, and his parents' basement was the breeding ground for all the rehearsal and creation of music to follow.

Although the band had no name, Kulick, Katz and Bois created a unique blend of power trio rock, with progressive stylings and melodic hooks. After many rehearsals, the three young players booked a New York studio to properly record their musical concoction. The end result, in September 1974, was music that felt urgent, intense and compelling. Sadly, with no clear direction for the group to follow this recorded music, the band never played together live and the trio all went their separate ways.

The reel-to-reel tape of those sessions sat gathering dust in Kulick's home, until a garage sale discovery of a Teac tape recorder gave new life to the hidden musical treasure. Friends with whom Kulick shared the recording all agreed: "You must release this music for people to hear." The tape was transferred and, after some cleaning up of the tracks, Kulick released "KKB 1974" in 2008. The limited-run CD sold out quickly.

An unexpected new chapter for KKB happened in 2013, when Katz found the original tapes from Sudden Rush Studios. By using the actual tracks recorded, Kulick had the opportunity to remix, remaster and get creative with this music once again. But the discovery sparked something substantially more interesting than simply polishing up "old" music — the desire for Katz and Kulick to create a new song for KKB, 40 years after its genesis.

"Got To Get Back", the result of KKB's rekindled fire, is a total throwback to the '70s. Each band member recorded their parts in a local studio — Bois in Paris, Katz in New York City, and Kulick in Los Angeles — completing their tracks for the brand new tune. The result was sublime. Further adding to KKB's renaissance, a string quartet scored by Jeremy Rubolino, Kulick's longtime collaborator, was added to the ballad "Someday", giving the song a shine that couldn't have been imagined in 1974.

"This music represents a time in my career that I feel helped define the potential of my guitar playing," Kulick says. "It gives me chills to hear it. The interplay with Mike on bass and Guy on drums was expertly executed, filled with passion that defined our age. To think that so long ago I was involved in something this powerful that sat in my closet unheard for nearly 35 years made me furious. My intense desire to share this music that is relevant now, more than ever, is a huge accomplishment. Play it loud and imagine three young men pouring their hearts out making music, never concerned about anything but the music. That was the intention. It was pure, it was real. And now it's available for all to enjoy."

For more information, visit Kulick.net.

KISS opens 2015 European Tour at massive Rockavaria festival Saturday in Munich

KISS opens 2015 European Tour at massive Rockavaria festival Saturday in Munich: Video.

Paul Stanley and Epic Rights to Develop and Launch New Paul Stanley: Royals & Rebels Brand

(Pic) Paul Stanley, Co-Founder and singer/songwriter of legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, KISS, has teamed up with the music industry’s leading branding and social media marketing company, Epic Rights, to develop and launch Stanley’s all new lifestyle brand, Paul Stanley: Royals & Rebels, at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June. The announcement was made today by Epic Rights CEO Dell Furano and Paul Stanley.

From Stanley’s signature designs of musical instruments to his fine art paintings, both of which have generated millions in sales, the brand Paul Stanley: Royals & Rebels is synonymous with fashion forward, cutting-edge style and an independent spirit. Epic Rights has been charged with building the Paul Stanley: Royals & Rebels brand into a new licensing program, including men’s fashion apparel and accessories, footwear, food, spirits, home decor, cookware and more. Epic Rights anticipates debuting the Paul Stanley: Royals & Rebels brand at retail in fall 2016.

“Paul is the definitive Rock Renaissance man with a sense of style in arts, fashion, design and food that is unrivaled in the music industry. His creativity, marketing savvy and personal style truly sets him apart,” said Furano.

“Over the years, Dell and I have worked closely on the strategic developments and partnerships on the KISS brand, as well as more recently with Rock & Brews and my paintings,” said Stanley. “I am excited to watch Dell and Epic Rights’ great team of branding professionals seek out and find opportunities and outlets that will reflect a lifestyle and point of view that I am passionate about and do it imaginatively and creatively in the years to come.”

Stanley, one of rock’s most acknowledged and respected front men as lead singer and guitarist for KISS, is a driving force and unwavering voice for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band. Ensconced in the media as both an unequivocally sophisticated fashion trendsetter and creative visionary, Stanley has designed KISS costumes, album covers and stages in addition to its iconic KISS logo, instantly recognizable around the world for the past 40 years!

As an author, Stanley’s autobiography Face The Music, soared to #2 on the New York Times Best Seller List. His concept for Rock & Brews, an energized dining and entertainment venue continues to expand with new locations being launched around the country. Recently, both Stanley and Gene Simmons were recipients of the ASCAP Founders Award, a prestigious honor given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius, which will enrich generations to come. Additionally, Stanley was honored at the Open Hearts Foundation Gala for his direct involvement in both raising funds to pay for needed surgeries for children afflicted with various birth defects and giving support to the parents of those children.

About Epic Rights: Epic Rights is a full service global branding, licensing and social media marketing company dedicated to building celebrity and entertainment brands via its broad global network of retailers, licensees and agents. Working with a roster of top clients and brands, Epic Rights’ services includes licensing/branding, music merchandising, social media management, VIP ticketing and fan clubs. Epic Rights also oversees sponsorships and endorsements, digital archiving of all creative/photo/media assets and manages worldwide e-commerce for its clients in addition to providing in-house legal resources for trademark registration and audit management. Epic Rights is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Podcast: Ace Frehley- I hate the business of music!

Podcast: Ace Frehley- I hate the business of music!

Frontman Paul believes band can move forward without writing more music

(classicrock.teamrock.com) Kiss frontman Paul Stanley says it’s not necessary for the band to record another album.

He believes they had good reasons to make 2009’s Sonic Boom and 2012’s Monster – but that their tally of studio outings might stop at 20.

Stanley tells Classic Rock’s Paul Brannigan: “There has to be a purpose to us doing an album. There was a time when we did albums because the contracts said so. But I only want to work now when it’s justified.

“Sonic Boom was an album that very much needed to be done, and Monster just felt like, ‘Well, we did Sonic Boom – let’s see where we go from here.’”

He adds: “Having accomplished that, I feel we can move forward without new music. There are enough things going on in Kiss that right now it doesn’t feel utterly necessary to make a new album.”

That doesn’t mean the position won’t change. “Anything is possible,” says Stanley. “But at the moment I don’t see it on the horizon. I’m not one to ever say ‘never.’”

Kiss close this year’s Download festival at Donington next month – and the frontman insists they’ll deliver. “If we have the honour, you better believe that we need to bring it, and need to justify being the last band everyone’s going to see. As a band that’s never been known for subtlety, believe me, we’ll be pulling out all the stops.”

Asked whether he’d consider following other bands down the route of creating their own festival, Stanley says: “I really have no desire to do anything of that magnitude. I’d be dealing with too many idiots.”

Momoiro Clover Z Idols to Perform at Anime Expo With KISS Rockers

(animenewsnetwork.com) The Japanese idol group Momoiro Clover Z will perform at Anime Expo in Los Angeles in July. They will hold a live concert on July 2 at the Nokia Theatre, the same venue that hosts the Grammy Awards. The concert will feature as special guests Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, the founding members of the rock band KISS.

Momoiro Clover Z and KISS collaborated on "Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina," the single Momoiro Clover released on January 28.

Momoiro Clover Z previously sang theme songs for Sailor Moon Crystal, Bodacious Space Pirates, Joshiraku, and Pokémon: Black and White. (When the group had six members instead of five, they sang themes for In Solitude Where We Are Least Alone and Dragon Crisis! under their original name Momoiro Clover.) The idols not only sang the theme song for this year's Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' film, but also recorded the song in English and voiced characters in the film.

Momoiro Clover Z has held other overseas events, including Japan Media Arts Festival in Dortmund, Germany in 2011, and Japan Expo in France in 2012.

Simmons Remebers B.B. King

Simmons Remebers B.B. King: Video.

Paul Stanley Endorses Humorous 'Music-Recycling Project'

Paul Stanley Endorses Humorous 'Music-Recycling Project': Video.

Ace Frehley to play UB Center for the Arts in September

Ace Frehley, iconic guitarist and founding member of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Kiss, will bring his band to the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Frehley, on tour behind his latest solo album, “Space Invader,” will perform a mix of solo favorites and Kiss classics. (Yes, that includes “New York Groove.” And quite likely, Shock Me” and “Rocket Ride,” too.)

Tickets are $29.50-$42.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through the UBCFA box office and Tickets.com.

VIDEO: KISS SPANISH CONCERTS COMMERCIAL

VIDEO: KISS SPANISH CONCERTS COMMERCIAL.

ACE FREHLEY: Video Footage Of Perth Concert

Rocket Ride, Toys, Gimmie a Feelin', Parasite, Snow Blind, Love Gun, Breakout.

SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY COVER ARTWORK

SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY COVER ARTWORK: pic.

PAUL STANLEY HONORED BY OPEN HEARTS FOUNDATION

From http://www.openheartsfoundation.org/:

PAUL STANLEY – Mending Kids

For more than 30 years, Paul Stanley has reigned supreme as one of the single-most recognizable front men in the history of rock and roll. Although preferring to live his off stage life out of the media spotlight he continues to be the chief songwriter, driving force and unwavering voice of KISS.

Off the stage, Paul has shared his personal experience with the birth defect known as microtia. Microtia is a deformity of the outer ear and for Paul it resulted in additional loss of hearing on his right side.

Now aligned with Mending Kids, Paul is directly involved in both raising funds to pay for needed surgeries for children afflicted with various birth defects including microtia and giving support to the parents of those children. Mending Kids deploys teams of volunteer surgeons and recovery staff to developing countries to perform free life-saving or life-changing surgeries and teach locals to build sustainable programs. American children receive free surgeries from volunteer doctors in California, and children from outside the country are flown here for more complex procedures. www.mendingkids.com

KISS accepts the ASCAP Founders Award - 2015 ASCAP Pop Awards

KISS accepts the ASCAP Founders Award - 2015 ASCAP Pop Awards: Video.

VIDEO: KISS VERONA, ITALY CONCERT COMMERCIAL

VIDEO: KISS VERONA, ITALY CONCERT COMMERCIAL

Videos: New KISS Pinball Machine Announced

New KISS Pinball Machine Announced: Video1, Video2.

ACE FREHLEY: Fan-Filmed Footage Of Entire Sydney Concert

ACE FREHLEY: Fan-Filmed Footage Of Entire Sydney Concert.

KISS Concert Trailer - Rock in Vienna

KISS Concert Trailer: Rock in Vienna.

Paul Stanley talks Arena Football with Larry King

Paul Stanley talks Arena Football with Larry King: Video.

Video: ACE FREHLEY Performs In Sydney

Love Gun, 2000 Man, Shock Me & Rip It Out.

Dave Grohl Hails KISS at ASCAP Pop Awards: Read His Speech in Full

You could draw a straight line from KISS in its 1970s heyday to the Foo Fighters' ascent 20 years later -- both arena acts delivering rock with a purpose -- so it was fitting that Foos frontman Dave Grohl was chosen to present Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley with the ASCAP Founders Award. What those in attendance at Wednesday's ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood might not have expected, however, is the continuing connection between the two camps: their kids' grade school.

Taking a light, reflective and personal approach, Grohl delivered a solid homage that began from his own childhood days as a proud cadet in the KISS army. The sentiment of the speech was clearly appreciated, as Simmons later declared, "Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters are carrying the flag that we hope will inspire the next generation of young kids."

Read Grohl's tribute in its entirety below.

Picture this: Springfield, Virginia, 1976. A skinny young boy with shaggy brown hair on a yellow yard sale bicycle brings home a copy of the album Destroyer, his first KISS record. Everybody remembers their first KISS record, and this is how I remember mine.

Up until that point, it had been mainly Beatles and Carly Simon, maybe a little Phoebe Snow, f---in’ 10cc. But the album cover alone was enough to make me break my old piggy bank into a thousand pieces and scrape up enough lawn-mowing money to give it straight to Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

With nuclear anticipation, I let the needle drop on that legendary intro to "Detroit Rock City," perhaps the greatest introduction to any rock 'n' roll album ever recorded. It filled my speakers and my imagination. Thirty-four minutes later and 27 seconds later, KISS had filled my soul. I was now a member of the infamous KISS army.

Before long, my room had become a f---ing shrine. Posters of these four musical monsters lined my walls action figures filled my shelves and KISS albums overtook my once A.M,-friendly record collection. I was converted…

Every morning, I would wake up in my tiny bedroom and take a good look at my superheroes before walking to school. They got me through those years and ultimately inspired me to follow this unreasonable dream of becoming a professional rock 'n' roll musician.

One hundred million albums. One hundred million f---ing albums. Countless hit singles, record-breaking concert attendance. They even made fuckin’ disco look cool with “I Was Made For Lovin You.” Raise your hand if you can say the same thing.

I remember the KISS radio, which they just showed on screen -- I'm so happy that they actually have remnants of this f---ing masterpiece of technology. I remember the KISS radios advertised on TV -- "Hear all of your favorite KISS songs on your official KISS radio!" I imagined it was futuristic piece of technology and my direct link to my musical gods, so I ordered one... C.O.D., without even asking for permission from my struggling schoolteacher mother.

I'll never forget the day it arrived. The mailman knocked on the door, my mother took one look at this thing and said, I didn't f---ing order that. Then she sent it away.

Forty years later, my love of KISS is still strong. And these days I still spend every morning before school with Paul Stanley… in the parking lot of our kids’ f---in’ elementary school, chatting about Zeppelin and Electric Lady and touring and school fundraisers. So I'd say that my unreasonable dream definitely came true. And I finally got my KISS radio -- it's the cheapest f---ing A.M. radio I have eve seen in my life! With the KISS logo on it. Nice one, Gene.

So without further adieu, it is my great honor to say: you wanted the best, and you got the best. The hottest band in the world -- KISS!

Kiss' Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on the Next Generation of Rock Stars: 'They Don't Have a Chance'

(billboard.com) For 40 years, Kiss has built a legacy on being a must-see live spectacle, with elaborate makeup, costumes and pyro that can still pack arenas and stadiums around the globe. And indeed, the band’s founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons had finished a sold-out South American stadium tour just hours prior to returning to Los Angeles.

The occasion? The ASCAP Pop Music Awards, where Simmons and Stanley accepted the ASCAP Founders Award, an annual honor given to a music pioneer. Though Kiss will continue to tour throughout the year, with treks that are about to take them into Germany, the Czech Republic and Australia, “it was always about the songs,” Stanley said in his acceptance speech. “For bands that last 40 years, it’s not about the smoke, it’s not about the makeup, it’s about the songs."

Stanley, 62, and Simmons, 65, are the only founding members who still tour as Kiss, though they did reunite with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss for the band’s 2014 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But in an interview with Billboard, the seemingly ageless rockers didn’t spend much time dwelling on the importance of certain trophies. Instead, they seemed genuinely grateful to be in the position of being a still-vital draw on the road that, Stanley says, can crank out some solid new tunes when the inspiration strikes.

Billboard: Congrats on receiving the ASCAP Founders Award. Given all the attention paid to your live show, what does winning a songwriting-based award mean to you?

Paul Stanley: I believe we come from a philosophy that really covets and looks up the source, whether it was the Brill Building and Goffin and King or Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, or the Gershwin Brothers or Lennon-McCartney, it really comes down to a great song. For us to be feted this way, join the company that have come before, it doesn’t suck.

How did Dave Grohl come to be selected for your introduction tonight?

Stanley: I’m friends with Dave, and really when I said would you come and do this he jumped at it. Look Dave is arguably the last major rock star of the last three decades. He’s filling stadiums worldwide because he understands his roots and that’s what we’re about. Some people have forgotten where we started and who inspired us.

It’s been just over a year since you received another distinct honor, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A year out, what does that recognition mean to you now?

Gene Simmons: I’m not sure. When you’re busy doing your own stuff it’s like running a race. You try not to look over your shoulder to see who else is in the race, you do the best you can. I think there’s a decided difference between the pop songwriters who are magnificent in their own way. I could never do what they do, which is to sit down and write a song and figure out which artist is gonna sing the song. I can’t do that. I think what we’re best at is writing songs for who we are. It’s an individual sort of approach, it’s defined, it’s for the fans. I don’t know that you can be all things to everybody, which is why there are different kinds of music. There are balladeers and guitar slingers and so forth. If your songs connect with the fans and they pump their fists in the air and go, “Yeah!!” that’s when a song really works. That’s the electric church of it. The glory hallelujah of it.

How much time do you still spend these days writing new music? And has that process changed from when you first started out?

Stanley: I think at this point I write when there’s a reason to write. To sit down, there are so many outlets to be creative and certainly the recording industry or what’s left of it is really in shambles. The only reason to record at this point or write songs is to make a statement about the current band, and that we don’t only rely on our old catalog. I think we’re very fortunate to have come out when we did, and to not be relying upon an industry that has basically committed suicide.

Simmons: We’ve been around for 41 years, but you know what Paul just said is actually true. Don’t misunderstand, we’re not complaining. We have very good lives, the arenas and stadiums fill up, we can go anywhere in the world and we have a ball. It is really -- maybe profoundly is the right word -- but it’s really sad for the new artists. Where’s the next Elvis, where’s the next Beatles, where's the Zeppelin? They’re out there but they don’t have a chance. They don’t have a chance because once upon a time we had record companies, and they would support you and have point of purchase material and they would give you advances. In other words, they gave you the air to breathe to find yourself and spend the time to learn how to run.

Stanley: Well they championed you and nurtured you.

Simmons: And that’s what’s missing. So the next big band, the next Zeppelin, what are they gonna do? Give away their music for free? They’re gonna be living in their mom’s basement, unfortunately, and they’re never gonna get the chance that we did which is the saddest part of all for the new bands because there should always be a new generation of bands.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of KISS as a band. Will you be celebrating that milestone?

Stanley: It’s interesting because for us, everyday is a celebration, everyday is a milestone. The idea that 40 years is more significant than 39 was? It doesn’t affect us. We literally got off a plane yesterday morning from Sao Paolo, 70,000 people were at the show. And all the other shows were comparable to that. So the idea of going out and making some sort of extra celebration? Every night we hit the stage is a celebration. It’s a victory dance, it’s a victory lap. Against all the people who said it would never work, against all the people who said it was ridiculous. We won.

KISS Fetted at ASCAP Pop Music Awards

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) honored KISS, the Doobie Brothers and St. Vincent on Wednesday during the 32nd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

In addition to honoring the three artists, the invitation-only event awarded top songwriters Max Martin and Toby Gad and publishers Sony/ATV and Prescription Songs LLC.

Legendary musician Dave Grohl presented the Founders Award to KISS, putting the band in the company of previous recipients including Elvis Costello, Sir Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell. Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers accepted the Voice of Music Award given to members whose music gives voice to the spirit of a generation. ASCAP also recognized indie pop-rocker St. Vincent with the Vanguard Award, previously awarded to Arcade Fire, Björk and Diplo among others.

For the fifth consecutive year and eighth time in his career, Martin was named songwriter of the year for his work on some of the year’s top hits including “Bang Bang” by Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, “Break Free” by Ariana Grande ft. Zedd, “Dark Horse” and “Roar” by Katy Perry, “Problem” by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea and “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. Smash hit single “All of Me” recorded by John Legend earned Gad the song of the year award.

Sony/ATV was named publisher of the year for having a hand in 25 hit pop songs in 2014. Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier accepted the award with the Sony/ATV creative team. Beka Tischker, Senior VP of publishing for Prescription Songs LLC accepted the independent publisher of the year award on behalf of the organization.

Musical performances during the festivities included Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities performing the band’s song “Safe and Sound,” Maureen “MoZella” McDonald performing her Miley Cyrus hit, “Wrecking Ball,” Richie Sambora and Australian guitarist Orianthi performing the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water” and “What a Fool Believes” and singer-actor Constantine Maroulis performing a medley of KISS’s “Detroit Rock City,” “Love Gun,” “Shout it Out Loud” and “Rock and Roll All Nite.”

Iron City Rocks Episode 265: Tommy Thayer of KISS

Iron City Rocks Episode 265: Tommy Thayer of KISS.

SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY

SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY: Trailer.

Gene Simmons from Kiss: 'I live to make more money'

(bbc.co.uk) Rock star Gene Simmons says that when it comes to making money he is like a great white shark.

And that despite being worth more than $300m (£202m), he will never stop wanting to make more.

The bassist and co-vocalist of stadium-filling, costume-wearing and face-painted US band Kiss, says: "Life is business, and I approach life the way sharks approach life - they must keep moving or else they will drown.

"I'll never stop hunting more money, I'll never have enough."

With Kiss now in South America on the latest stage of a two-year sell-out world tour, Simmons, 65, took time out to speak to the BBC about his long career in the music industry, and his host of other business interests.

Although famous for sticking out his very long tongue, and past womanising - he claims to have slept with 4,800 women - what is much less well known is that Simmons has always been the financial brains of the band. He is its de facto chief executive.

Ever since the four-piece band formed in New York in 1973, it has been Simmons who has kept his eyes on the finances. And it was his incredibly lucrative idea for the band to sell as much merchandise as possible.

For while Kiss have sold 100 million records around the world, the band has actually made more money from selling licensed products.

Over the group's 42 year history, it has authorised more than 5,000 different items of merchandise, everything from rock band staples such as T-shirts and hats, to comic books, pinball machines, credit cards, and even condoms and coffins.

Not forgetting jewellery, ashtrays, lunchboxes, Halloween costumes, baseballs and beach towels. And a golf course and coffee shop.

It is a business empire which under Simmons' stewardship just keeps on growing.

This has led to the band's critics - and there have been many over the years - accusing the group of being too commercially-focused, of cheapening itself at the expense of its music.

The calm and quietly spoken Simmons says he has no respect for such people.

He says (after a liberal amount of swear words have been edited out): "All our lives Kiss has been hounded by people who haven't achieved anything. And we buried them long ago.

"I call selling merchandise 'the Kiss business', and every band sells T-shirts, every band sells merchandise. They just don't do as good a job of it as us."

Lifetime teetotaller

The son of a mother who survived the Holocaust, Simmons was born in the Israeli city of Haifa in 1949. His birth name was Chaim Witz.

Describing his family as "dirt poor", he first showed his entrepreneurial spirit as a seven year old, when he and a friend started to pick wild fruit which they then sold on roadsides.

He says it was his first lesson in the importance of working hard and making money.

The family then emigrated to the US a year later, and growing up in New York, Simmons was inspired to start a band after watching the Beatles on television.

In 1973 Kiss was formed, with Simmons on bass, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley on guitars, and Peter Criss on drums.

With Simmons and Stanley sharing the vocals, each band member painted his face with a different design, and took on a stage name.

Simmons' name was "The Demon", and on a white background he drew black flames around his eyes. Not forgetting putting on platform boots and body armour.

Fuelled by catchy hard rock songs, and the outlandish make-up and outfits giving the band a major promotional push, within a few years Kiss was enjoying soaring sales and sell-out tours.

The music critics were often hostile, with many accusing the group of being all image over substance, but Kiss built up a massive fan base around the world.

Yet despite living a multi-million dollar lifestyle for four decades, Simmons says he has never drunk alcohol, taken drugs, or even smoked a cigarette.

"As a young man at parties, I'd look around and see all the other men completely drunk, behaving like idiots, and unable to talk to the beautiful girls," he says.

"What a complete waste of humanity... booze or drugs have never done anything for me, but I fully uphold people's right to have a completely loser life."

Workaholic

Although original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are no longer in the group, Kiss continues to tour the world with Stanley as the musical leader and Simmons as the businessman.

He describes his stewardship of the current world tour as like "driving a truck".

"I'm driving and I keep an eye on everything," says Simmons. "But open the hood and I don't have a clue what is going on with the engine.

"Thankfully I hire people who can do all that for me. Paul and I always have a great team with us... and every night we put on one hell of a show. We are deadly series when up on stage."

In addition to looking after Kiss, Simmons' other business interests now include everything from a restaurant chain, to an American football team, reality TV shows, a new horror movie production company, book and magazine publishing, public speaking, and language translation services.

He says he is able to find the time for everything because he loves working, and is never hungover.

"Think about how much time most people waste doing nothing - weekends, nothing, holidays, nothing, Christmas, nothing. That all adds up.

"Me I'm always working. When I'm on tour, I'm constantly on my computer working."

When at home, Simmons lives in Los Angeles with his long-term partner Shannon Tweed, an actress and former Playboy playmate, which whom he has two children.

He says: "I'm like [billionaire investor] Warren Buffet - he gets up every day and goes to work even though he doesn't need the money.

"I live to make more money. People who say that money is the root of all evil are morons, a lack of money is the root of all evil."

KISS comes to Argentina: interview - Telefe Noticias

KISS comes to Argentina: interview - Telefe Noticias

VIDEO: KISS URUGUAY CONCERT AD

VIDEO: KISS URUGUAY CONCERT AD

Kiss meets Scooby-Doo in new film

(Video) (Pic1, Pic2) They'll be selling Scooby Snacks soon in Detroit Rock City.

The super-sleuthing canine and "the hottest band in the world" are teaming up in the animated film Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery, available July 10 on digital HD platforms and July 21 on Blu-ray/DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Kiss members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer voice their own characters in the movie, which centers on a Halloween concert at the group's amusement park Kiss World. Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang drop by to hear some tunes but wind up partnering with the musicians to take on the Crimson Witch, a spooky lady with a nefarious plan to summon the evil and powerful Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria.

The cartoon Mystery features six classic Kiss numbers plus a new song by the band just for the film, which features guest voice stars Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Darius Rucker, Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, Jennifer Carpenter and Pauley Perrette.

This isn't the first time Kiss and Scooby have shared screen time: The band also appeared on a 2003 Halloween episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo?

Video: ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE'S KISS ARMY COLOMBIA REPORT

Video: ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE'S KISS ARMY COLOMBIA REPORT.

Video: SEBASTIAN BACH, TOMMY THAYER, ERIC SINGER, JACK BLADES Perform AC/DC's 'You Shook Me'

Video: SEBASTIAN BACH, TOMMY THAYER, ERIC SINGER, JACK BLADES Perform AC/DC's 'You Shook Me'

TOMMY THAYER SOUNDCHECKS IN QUITO

TOMMY THAYER SOUNDCHECKS IN QUITO: video.

BRUCE KULICK 'Waves Flag' For KISS's Non-Makeup Years

BRUCE KULICK 'Waves Flag' For KISS's Non-Makeup Years: video.

RECAP OF GENE SIMMONS BOOK SIGNING AT R&B EL SEGUNDO!

VIDEO: RECAP OF GENE SIMMONS BOOK SIGNING AT R&B EL SEGUNDO!

Kiss Singer Gene Simmons' 5 Favorite 'Elevated' Horror Movies

(rollingstone.com) When Gene Simmons and WWE Studios announced they had teamed to make what they called "elevated" horror movies, the word "elevated" raised some eyebrows – and not in a Vincent Price kind of way. So Rolling Stone spoke with Kiss' resident Demon to find out just what he meant. "It's not gonna be slasher films and gore, because the easy way out is the cheap, stupid stuff," he says. "Texas Chainsaw? That's fine. Fine for some people. Not my style."

Although Simmons is a fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street, he thinks making "blood and guts" films is too easy. "Horror just means you get the bejesus scared out of you, and I think there are some good modern examples," he says. "Insidious was a great film."

The first movie to be made by Erebus Pictures, Simmons' new company with WWE Studios, is Temple. It centers around a commando team investigating a futuristic supercomputer that has begun behaving strangely. "It feels like Three Days of the Condor meets H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos," Simmons says. "'Temple' is what they call this kind of supercomputer that can do all kinds of things that we never thought of, except there are things that are happening there that no one can understand. Slowly find out, layer by layer, what the hell is going on."

The production company has two other scripts ready to be produced, though Simmons won't tease them ("You don't want to find out what you're getting for Christmas in July, right?"), and he has two he's specifically picked that are waiting in line. Currently, the singer-bassist has no plans to appear in Temple, but he's leaving the door open for cameos in the future movies.

Here are Simmons' five favorite "elevated" horror films.

1. Psycho (1960): "Psycho is a wonderful, elevated horror film, and it doesn't necessarily have monsters or ghosts," Simmons says. "You ever see Psycho? I'm embarrassed to say that there are people out there who don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Shame on them. It's interesting to note Psycho had murders and all this kind of wacky stuff but you never saw a knife go into a body. You never saw a body actually bleed. I think that made it even more horrific. Sometimes the scariest things are what human beings are capable of."

2. M (1931): "It's German expressionist film directed by Fritz Lang that broached pedophilia. Peter Lorre played a crazed madman who killed and molested children and all kinds of other stuff, and there was a child playing with a ball in one scene when she meets Lorre's character. Even more horrific than anything else after she disappears, the camera shows the ball rolling down a hill until it finally stops moving. Your mind takes over, and does much more horrific things then the screen can. I think being obvious and throwing blood and guts at the screen is stupid."

3. Village of the Damned (1960): "It has all these blue-eyed, blonde little children who aren't really from here. George Sanders plays the father who eventually has to lead the children to try to save society, after a meteor passes, and all of a sudden every female in the town is pregnant. I think that's an amazing opening for a movie, and it's smart."

4. The Exorcist (1973): "The step-by-step horrific setup of the film is just great filmmaking. The movie starts, and you're on a movie set, and this actress is bringing her daughter along with her to Boston, because she has broken up with her husband. So while she's busy working, [actress] Linda Blair is at home, doing whatever, except the home is haunted, and eventually the evil spirit, a demon takes over her, and her mom doesn't believe in it. Sure, you get the punch in the gut and the kick in the nuts when her head spins around and she spits out pea soup and everybody just flips out, but leading up to that is a very well-written script. It's easy to do the action sequences. You sit down, and say, 'OK, we're gonna have a head pop off here, and then I'm gonna have a ghost dive off somebody's ass, and use them like a hand puppet.' OK, I get it. Those are all gonna be good hand-puppet scary moves, but what's the script? You have to care about the characters, and stuff. That's what we mean by elevated."

5. The Omen (1976): "It stars Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as a couple who gives birth to the Bad Guy's son. And how do you know? Well, he's got 666 somewhere on his skull, and you got to move the hairs apart. I mean, it's just very scary stuff, but when you really think about it, not a lot of blood and gore. There's a scene where a guy is walking with the intent of hurting [the son, Damien], and then all of a sudden the truck rolls down a hill and decapitates the guy. You're kind going, 'What the Hell?' And layer after layer of the story peel away until finally, later on, you understand."

New Mitch Albom novel a story of world-famous guitarist

Mitch Albom's next novel will have strings attached.

Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Wednesday that Albom's "The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto" will come out Nov. 10. The title character is a world-famous guitar player whose life takes readers through a mini-history of modern music, from Duke Ellington and Hank Williams to Carole King and KISS.

Harper is calling the book a "'Forrest Gump'-like romp."

Albom is known for such best-sellers as the novel "The First Phone Call from Heaven" and the memoir "Tuesdays With Morrie."

KISS To Receive ASCAP Founders Award

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will present rock heavyweights KISS with the prestigious ASCAP Founders Award at its 32nd annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on April 29 in Hollywood. The exclusive, invitation-only gala takes place at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The ASCAP Founders Award goes to ASCAP's pioneering songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Past recipients include Sir Paul McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Patti Smith, STEELY DAN, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (AEROSMITH), Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.

KISS is one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all-time, selling over 100 million albums worldwide in their 40-year career. Formed in the early 1970s, KISS has achieved staggering career milestones, boasting decades of record-breaking tours around the globe. Today, the KISS "brand" has infiltrated pop culture with its unforgettable personas Starchild, Demon, Spaceman and Cat. With hits like "Strutter", "Shout it Out Loud", "Detroit Rock City", "Rock And Roll All Nite", "Christine Sixteen", "I Was Made for Lovin' You" and "Beth", KISS has 28 gold albums, the most of any American rock band, and in 2014 they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. As the band continues their 40th Anniversary World Tour with 2015 tours in Japan, South America and Australia — founding band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons also celebrate 40 years as members of ASCAP.

The 32nd ASCAP Pop Music Awards precede the 10th annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO, the only national conference dedicated to the craft and business of songwriting and composing. The EXPO takes place April 30 - May 2 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Many of the biggest names in music have shared their wisdom and music at the EXPO, including Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham interviewed by Sara Bareilles, Dr. Luke, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Quincy Jones, Randy Newman, Katy Perry, Tom Petty, Carly Simon, Justin Timberlake in conversation with Bill Withers and Ann and Nancy Wilson (HEART).

PAUL STANLEY: 'Charity Is Never An Option, It's Always An Obligation'

PAUL STANLEY: 'Charity Is Never An Option, It's Always An Obligation'

TOMMY THAYER Discusses Epiphone White Lightning Les Paul Video

TOMMY THAYER Discusses Epiphone White Lightning Les Paul: Video.

Ace Frehley Working on Covers Album Before Taking Touring Break

(billboard.com) Guitarist wants to recast Kiss classics "Parasite" & "Cold Gin," along with Led Zeppelin, Beatles & Who tracks.

In April, Ace Frehley will make the very long flight to Australia to play there and New Zealand for his Invading Down Under tour. He’ll follow up with June dates in Europe, including a June 13 Download Festival appearance. He’s looking forward to both jaunts since he didn’t play New Zealand the last time he was Down Under in 2010. “I’m really excited about going back to England and doing Download. I haven’t done it since 2008 or ’09,” he adds. “Europe’s gonna be a gas.”

Being a veteran traveler, the Space Ace is prepared for the rigors of flying: He passes the time with books, his laptop and sleeping. When he winds down at his hotel, room service is crucial: “Room service is really important. You want it the way you order it,” he says. “A lot of times it doesn’t come out that way. I’m prepared for that. I always order one extra meal if my order isn’t right. At least I have a spare.”

Meanwhile, Frehley is in the early stages of recording his next album, which is a covers project. The set follows up 2014’s Space Invader. The critically lauded album debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, surpassing the No. 26 peak of his 1978 self-titled solo debut. “The album’s going to be about my influences,” says Frehley. “I’m probably going to do a Rolling Stones song, a Who song, possibly a Led Zeppelin song, maybe a Beatles song. Stuff from bands that I grew up on and greatly influenced me. Those are the songs I’d redo, besides vintage Kiss stuff and a Frehley’s Comet track.”

Frehley hasn’t thought to ask former Beatle Paul McCartney to join him in the studio if he does cover the Fab Four — Frehley chuckles at the idea — but he has put the ask out to guitarists Lita Ford, Slash and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. “I was actually going to ask [former Kiss bandmate] Gene Simmons to play bass on a track and sing with me. I haven’t gotten to that stage yet,” he says.

Frehley says he has done some overdubs and intends to track another six to eight songs, then pick the best 12 to focus on. The album’s track list isn’t solidified, but he says he’s “probably going to redo both ‘Cold Gin’ and ‘Parasite.’ On Kiss records, I’m not singing lead. So I’m going to sing lead on them like I do live so there’s [studio tracks] out there with me.”

He doesn’t have a set idea about how he wants the updated versions of the songs to sound, either. “That’s something I don’t plan. I just go in and do it. Try a couple different ways. It’s obviously going to be a lot heavier than the original, and the production is going to be far superior because technology has advanced so much [to a] higher state since we tracked a long time a go in the ’70s. Those are going to be the major differences. Obviously, Peter Criss isn’t going to be playing drums on it. I’m going to be using my touring drummer, Scot Coogan.”

Since he enjoys working in the studio, in the future, Frehley would like to produce music for other artists besides himself. “I have a wealth of knowledge. I’ve worked with some of the greatest producers and engineers over the years, and it’s knowledge I want to share with a younger band,” he says. “I’ve learned so much from guys like Eddie Kramer and Bob Ezrin and miking techniques, the way to put together a song, layering harmonies. Even working with [former Kiss bandmate] Paul [Stanley] and Gene, I learned a lot about harmonies, because those guys are good at layering harmonies. It’s a lot of knowledge I’d like to pass on to another band.”

Sealed with a KISS - Interview with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons

Sealed with a KISS - Interview with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons: Video.

WWE, Gene Simmons Tag-Team To Launch Horror Label

The sultans of slam and God of Thunder are conspiring to terrify you. WWE Studios and Kiss mogul Gene Simmons have paired up to launch Erebus Pictures, which will finance and produce horror films. The venture has pinned a three-picture co-production deal that will kick off with writer Matt Savelloni’s Temple. Erebus, named for the Greek god of darkness, will shop worldwide rights on all titles and will use WWE’s numerous platforms to market its titles.

“The horror genre continues to fascinate me as it proves to be endlessly thrilling and engaging for audiences,” rocker and reality star Simmons said. “I am so thrilled to be working with the masterminds from WWE Studios in launching Erebus Pictures.” Said WWE Studios President Michael Luisi: “Horror films fall into a genre that thrives on genuine passion, and I believe this partnership truly capitalizes on that sentiment and supports our vision.”

Temple follows a team of highly trained operatives who find themselves trapped inside an isolated military compound after its artificial intelligence is suddenly shut down. They begin to experience strange and horrific phenomena as they attempt to uncover who or what killed the team previously stationed at the compound. A director will be named soon, the parties said. Erebus’ second features will start production later this year.

Gene Simmons blasts artists who mime

(news.com.au) KISS rocker Gene Simmons wants “dishonest” bands who use backing tapes to include that fact on their concert tickets.

Simmons claimed some of the world’s biggest performers are relying on prerecorded music or vocals in concerts.

“I have a problem when you charge $100 to see a live show and the artist uses backing tracks,” Simmons said. “It’s like the ingredients in food, if the first ingredient on the label is sugar that’s at least honest. It should be on every ticket — you’re paying $100, 30 to 50 per cent of the show is (on) backing tracks and they’ll sing sometimes, sometimes they’ll lip synch. At least be honest. It’s not about backing tracks, it’s about dishonesty.

“There’s nobody with a synthesiser on our stage, there’s no samples on the drums, there’s nothing. There’s very few bands who do that now — AC/DC, Metallica, us. I can’t even say that about U2 or the Stones. There’s very few bands who don’t use (backing) tracks.”

Simmons also has little time for most of today’s pop acts.

“I liked the new song Rihanna did with Kanye West and Paul McCartney (FourFiveSeconds) — she sounded better singing a real song. Umbrella-ella-ella? I don’t get it. Lots of people do, that’s great.

“Lady Gaga I like, she’s the real deal. She’s come to our shows, what she’s done with Tony Bennett show that above the backing tracks and dancers from Las Vegas on poles she can really sing. I’d like to see Gaga come out with a real rock band and do a rock record. She is the real deal, unlike all the others. She can do what Madonna can’t — she can sing.”

But Simmons did have sympathy for Madonna’s recent fall at the Brit Awards.

“That was unfortunate, but she got up, on with the show. It’ll happen. That’s not embarrassing, it’s embarrassing when the backing track dies.”

Meanwhile Australian Kiss fans have snapped up almost all of the $1250 packages to meet the band on their October tour.

Kiss sell 60 of the VIP meet and greet packages at each show, most of which were available through their fan club and sold out within minutes.

A handful of the packages still left for each show but expected to sell out immediately when they go on sale on Thursday.

The $1250 package provides access to an intimate acoustic set, performed without make-up, in front of just 60 fans. It also comes with one platinum ticket to the concert, early entry to the venue, a photograph with the band in full make-up, autograph and VIP merchandise including T-shirt, poster and guitar picks.

Kiss play Perth Arena October 3, Adelaide Entertainment Centre October 6, Rod Laver Arena October 8, Allphones Arena October 10, Newcastle Entertainment Centre October 12 and Brisbane Entertainment Centre October 13.

Tickets on sale at 2pm on Thursday, March 26 from Ticketek.

LA KISS 2015 Media Day At Honda Center

LA KISS 2015 Media Day At Honda Center: Video.

'The Decline Of Western Civilization' Films To Receive Deluxe-Box-Set Release This June

The highly celebrated and long-awaited trilogy known as "The Decline Of Western Civilization" will receive a deluxe box set release on June 30 from Shout! Factory. The four-disc set will be available in both Blu-ray and DVD formats, and will contain Penelope Spheeris' "The Decline Of Western Civilization" (1980), "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" (1988) and "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part III" (1998), a 40-page book containing an essay written by rock historian Domenic Priore ("Riot On Sunset Strip: Rock 'N' Roll's Last Stand In Hollywood"), rare stills, and bonus features, including extended interviews, a commentary recorded by Dave Grohl in February 2015, and more. This is the first-ever official Blu-ray or DVD release of the films. The set is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and ShoutFactory.com.

"The Decline Of Western Civilization" box set features a new 2K high-definition scan of each film, supervised by Spheeris. In keeping with the spirit of the rebellious times in which they were shot, the vintage aspects have been respected, and the films retain their original feel.

Spheeris, who also directed "Suburbia", "Black Sheep" and "Wayne's World", regards the "Decline" films as her most personally rewarding work.

"I am so grateful to the fans of these films, and the bands that appeared in them, for their loyalty and patience," she said. "This is my life's work, and I like to think that when I go to my grave, 'The Decline' is what I'll be remembered for."

In 1981 Spheeris was able to book only one midnight screening for the Los Angeles premiere of "The Decline Of Western Civilization". Even though mainstream Hollywood didn't get it, thousands of fans showed up, spilling onto Hollywood Boulevard, and over 300 policemen arrived on scene. "This was a 1,200-seat theater," she remembered, "and they had to add another show at 2:00 a.m. to avoid a riot. Both shows sold out." Police chief Darryl Gates wrote the filmmakers a letter banning further screenings in the city. However, times change, and in 2014 the three "Decline" films were restored by The Academy Film Archive, and screened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Part of the appeal of "The Decline Of Western Civilization" was its appearance in the midst of a backlash against disco, and slick, mainstream music films. The film garnered rave reviews from press, becoming one of the most written about movies of 1980. Perceived as shocking and outrageous, the film captured the essence of the punk scene, and provided a front row seat to the mosh pits, violence, humor and anti-establishment view of the world, as well as unparalleled access to some of the most influential and innovative musicians and groups of all time, including X, CIRCLE JERKS, BLACK FLAG, FEAR and GERMS. Largely unknown to the mainstream world at the time, many of the punk bands first seen here have become legendary.

The second in Penelope Spheeris' music documentary trilogy, "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" (1988) takes a fast-paced look at the outrageous heavy metal scene of the late '80s. Set in Los Angeles, the film explores fascinating portraits of struggling musicians, fans and star-struck groupies. Featuring Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, POISON, members of AEROSMITH, KISS, MOTÖRHEAD, and perfomances by MEGADETH, FASTER PUSSYCAT, LIZZY BORDEN, LONDON, ODIN and SEDUCE, this raucous and uproarious chapter also chronicles the lonely naiveté of the striving bands, and the endless flow of alcohol and drugs.

Legendary moments from the film include Ozzy Osbourne's straight talk about the pitfalls of the industry while he struggles to pour orange juice into a glass, an outspoken Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. lounges in a pool and pours bottles of vodka on his head, a comparison of outlandish groupie stories, and LONDON setting a soviet flag on fire, all contrasted by a down-to-earth Lemmy offering some sage insight into the decadent rock lifestyle.

Vogue crowned Spheeris the Margaret Mead of headbangers, adding that the film works best "when these purveyors of white noise are dragged offstage and separated from their codpieces." She was able to get to the heart of the musicians themselves, exposing what drives them with uncensored honesty.

In 1998, the last in the series, "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part III", hit select theaters but was never released in any home video format. A disturbing social commentary on homeless youth who have often left home due to abuse or neglect, the film has themes of alienation and alcoholism.

Spheeris personally financed the film, bringing to the screen the real-life squatter lifestyle and angry rejection of mainstream society two decades after she wrote and directed the cult classic "Suburbia". Sadly, there are plenty of tragic endings in this story, overdoses, a squat fire, and the murder of a kid named Squid, who was thrilled to be included in the film because he thought it might turn his life around.

A fitting last chapter in the "Decline" trilogy, this film includes performances by FINAL CONFLICT, LITMUS GREEN, NAKED AGGRESSION and THE RESISTANCE and won the Freedom Of Expression award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. In 1999 Spheeris went on to direct "We Sold Our Souls For Rock 'N' Roll", which premiered at Sundance.

Capturing the zeitgeist of a movement or a time is an all-but-impossible task. And though the three movies in this collection are very different and reflect different times, one of the things they have in common is how adroitly they do exactly that. Compelling, revealing and ultimately moving, "The Decline Of Western Civilization", taken as a whole, is an arresting look at who we were and who we are.

The experience of interfacing with homeless kids for "Decline III" instilled in Spheeris a desire to become a foster parent, and she now has her California state license.

For years the fans have asked why it has taken so long for the three "Decline" films to be available as a collection. Spheeris says there are two major reasons and for both, she apologizes. "First, I was not able (until now) to get 'Decline III' released, without giving up the rights to the first two movies," she said. "Second, I always like to look forward in life, not back."

Spheeris credits her daughter, Anna Fox, for not only encouraging her to get the movies out there for the fans, but also for doing most of the incredibly complex expanse of work that was required. For this, she is eternally grateful to Anna.

Special features:

* New 2K scan of each film supervised by director Penelope Spheeris
* Commentary by Dave Grohl
* Tawn Mastrey of KNAC interviews Penelope Spheeris
* Never-before-seen original footage, performances and interviews
* Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive interviews Penelope Spheeris
* Theatrical trailers
* 40-page booklet featuring rare stills and text by Domenic Priore

Kiss' Peter Criss leads celebs in fight against cancer

They raised money all night so cancer patients can party every day.

Peter Criss, a founding member of Kiss, and other celebs came to town to fight cancer in the Beauty Foundation for Cancer Care's 9th annual Beauty Ball, held Saturday, March 14 at the Robert J. Collins Arena on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.

Criss, a male breast cancer survivor, presented the Peter Criss Man of Courage Award to Connor Phelps, a 21-year-old Arizona college student who is currently battling Leukemia.

"I try to get the awareness to men that we get it," Criss said. "Men don't know. What annoys me is that it's called breast cancer. Bingo, right off the bat, it's breast cancer. Why isn't it called pec cancer?"

Criss was diagnosed in 2007. He's since become an advocate to raise awareness about the disease.

"Every year I meet 20 18-year-old boys (who have breast cancer) and they don't know what to do," said Criss, who lives in Wall. "They're embarrassed. It's a chick's disease. Only girls get it."

"My battle is I just want guys to know they can get it, and if they can detect it immediately (they can be cured,)'' Criss said. Early detection "saved my life and I've now become very involved. These lovely girls (of the Beauty Foundation) invite me every year to give out the Peter Criss Man of Courage Award and it's a legacy. I started Kiss, but this is really cool; this is important."

Criss, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was the award's first recipient in 2013.

"We wanted to spread the word about male breast cancer because 1 percent of the breast cancer cases are men -- that's a lot," said event co-chair Krista-Olsen Dibsie. "That's 100,000 cases each year in this country."

The Tinton Falls-based Beauty Foundation seeks to ease the financial strains associated with battling cancer, and to allow patients and their families to focus on beating the disease. More than $300,000 was raised at the black-tie event, which also featured appearances by Bo Dietl, a Fox News contributor, his fiancee Margo Urban of the Cover Girls singing group, celebrity photographer Mark Weiss and GiGi Criss, Peter Criss' wife.

"A lot more people are coming down with cancer and it's certain it's caused by environmental stuff,'' Dietl said. "I'm no environmental freak, but there are certain things we have to watch because otherwise future generations will not exist."

Visit www.beautyfoundationnj.com for more information.

GENE SIMMONS AT FIRST-EVER ROCK 'n' ROLL FANTASY CAMP IN CANADA

The legendary Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp that has been making dreams come true in the U.S. for the past 18 years is now launching in Canada. The first-ever Canadian camp will take place in Calgary, Alberta from May 14th - 17th, 2015, and features the Rock Legend, singer-songwriter, businessman, arena football co-owner of the LA KISS and media icon – Gene Simmons.

Simmons will be visiting Calgary to excite the Rockers of Canada and bring awareness to this life-changing experience. The Rock Legend has been involved with previous Rock Camps, and is excited to pass on his knowledge and Rock out with Canadian Rockers like you!

"Mentoring adult and young rockers at the fantasy camp has always been an amazingly rewarding experience for me," says Simmons. "I enjoy teaching and handing over lessons I've learned from the business to musicians and upcoming talent".

CLICK HERE for full details on Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp Calgary.

Gene Simmons on latest Talk is Jericho

NOW on TALK IS JERICHO!!! The God of Thunder, himself.... Gene Simmons!!!!!!

Oh yeah! The God of Thunder meets the Pod of Thunder for an in-depth discussion on fire breathing, bass playing, big words like gymnasium, songwriting, The Beatles, rock is dead, drugs & alcohol, KISS break-ups & reunions, 5,000 pieces of merch, dying wishes, and tombstone epitaphs. And then there's a fascinating look inside Gene Simmons' KISS museum aka Los Angeles home!

Check it out NOW on PodcastOne!

PodKISSt #103 Side 1 of Psycho Circus!

PodKISSt #103 Side 1 of Psycho Circus: Listen.

Decibel Geek Podcast: Albums Unleashed Carnival of Souls

Albums Unleashed Carnival of Souls: Listen Part 1, Listenb Part 2.

PodKISSt #102 1998 and the rise of the Psycho Circus!

PodKISSt #102 1998 and the rise of the Psycho Circus: Listen.

PodKISSt #101 Ace put the Ace in SPACE INVADER

PodKISSt #101 Ace put the Ace in SPACE INVADER: Listen.

PodKISSt #100 8 Years of KISS TALK!

PodKISSt #100 8 Years of KISS TALK!: Listen.

PodKISSt #98 and #99 "CRAZY NIGHTS"

PodKISSt #98 and #99 "CRAZY NIGHTS": Listen Part 1, Listen Part 2.

PodKISSt #98 LOVE GUN DELUXE

PodKISSt #98 LOVE GUN DELUXE: Listen.

SUNRISE AUSTRALIA INTERVIEWS PAUL STANLEY & GENE SIMMONS

SUNRISE AUSTRALIA INTERVIEWS PAUL STANLEY & GENE SIMMONS: video.

Arabella Carter gets ear surgery and post-op celebrity visit

(Pic) Arabella Carter, the little girl from Prince Albert, Sask. who was born without external ears, has had reconstructive surgery. The youngster and her family were in Los Angeles for the procedure and were treated to a morale boosting post-op visit by music celebrity Paul Stanley, who supports a charity for children with microtia.

Bilateral microtia is the technical name for the condition of being born without external ears.

Arabella's surgery took place March 6, according to a posting on the Facebook page Ears for Arabella.

"Arabella is out of surgery," the post said, adding the four-year-old was recovering "safely in our arms."

The next day, Kiss band member Paul Stanley was at the child's bedside providing well wishes for Arabella.

Stanley was also born with microtia and waited over 30 years for his ear to be constructed. He is now closely associated with non-profit group Mending Kids, which raises funds to help children around the world access reconstructive surgery.

The musician said the cause is very close to him and in interviews he has spoken about the teasing he endured as a youngster who was different.

Today (Australia): Ace Frehley of KISS

Today (Australia): Ace Frehley of KISS: video.

KISS AUSTRALIAN TOUR - OCTOBER 2015

Australia - are you ready?

Ready for one of THE greatest bands in rock’n’roll history with one of THE most spectacular shows Australia will see this year?

Ready for a stage production called ‘The Spider’, moved by 38 computer controlled winches, featuring 220 automated lights, weighing in at 43,000 kgs, incorporating 900 pieces of pyrotechnics and powered by 400,000 watts of sound?

Add in showmanship that continues to thrill audiences around the world, some of the best damn rock anthems in music history and there’s only ONE band we can be talking about....... KISS!

Get your face paint ready Australia because Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer are on their way Down Under in October as part of their 40th Anniversary world tour. Kicking off at the Perth Arena on Saturday October 3, then to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and for the first time ever Newcastle, it’s the news the rabid KISS army fans have been waiting for!

AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
Saturday October 3 PERTH Arena
Tuesday October 6- ADELAIDE Entertainment Centre
Thursday October 8- MELBOURNE Rod Laver Arena
Saturday October 10- SYDNEY AllPhones Arena
Monday October 12- NEWCASTLE Entertainment Centre
Tuesday October 13- BRISBANE Entertainment Centre

KISS fan club members presale - Monday 16th March 2.00pm - Wednesday 18th March 10.00pm.

Tickets on sale - Thursday March 26 at 2.00pm from www.ticketek.com.au & 132 84

KISS are heading to New Zealand too! All the details will be announced next week.

Kiss-signed Japanese calligraphy works on sale, get the paperwork for a second mortgage ready

(rocketnews24.com) As you may have noticed, KISS have recently made their way back to Japan and it’s always a treat when they do. This year we’ve already seen them make a well-received cross-genre music video with Momoiro Clover Z and release a line of skin smoothing facepacks with the Japanese cosmetic brand Isshin.

If those weren’t surprising enough, now KISS has collaborated with shodo calligrapher Ryugen Sobukawa for a limited collection of KISS-themed works each autographed by a member of the band.

Oh, and they cost a small fortune…

In total there are only 80 of these works made, but they are divided into four types based on each member of the band. First the canvas has a stylish writing of “KISS” in English next to a kanji interpretation of a character’s name.

Each of the 20 originally made works for each member was also autographed by them. Gene Simmons even did it in full make-up and costume. You know the feeling of being the only person to a “costume party” who actually wore a costume. Something tells me that’s a constant nightmare for KISS.

Each piece of art is very beautiful and blend the edginess of the rock group with the elegance of classical Japanese calligraphy perfectly. In an interesting twist, although rock is considered a new art compared to shodo, each of the artists are transposed in age. The 35-year-old Sobukawa (pictured above next to Simmons) wasn’t even alive when KISS first appeared on stage in Japan.

Okay! So I’m sure all you KISS fans are champing at the bit to get some of these limited-edition writings. The good news is they’re all ready to be ordered from Sobukawa’s website linked below!

The bad news is they cost 432,000 yen (US$3,570) a piece. Now of course the true KISS fan will need to get all four which if my abacus is correct will run you about 1,728,000 yen ($14,280). Come on, what are you waiting for? It’s not like you’re going to be buried in your KISS coffin with all your money. Might as well enjoy it.

Ryugen Sobukawa & KISS website (Japanese) Includes links to purchase the works.

Decibel Geek Podcast: Jay "Hot Sam" Barth

KISS Road Stories with Jay "Hot Sam" Barth: Listen.

KISS Performs Acoustic Version Of LED ZEPPELIN's 'You Shook Me' During Fan Meet-And-Greet In Tokyo

The full setlist for the acoustic concert was as follows:

01. Comin' Home
02. Christine Sixteen
03. Hard Luck Woman
04. If I Fell (THE BEATLES)
05. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (THE BEATLES)
06. Calling Dr Love
07. Sukiyaki (KYU SAKAMOTO)
08. Got to Choose
09. You Shook Me (Muddy Waters / LED ZEPPELIN)
10. Beth

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN Stopped Being A KISS Fan After 'Alive II'

(Video) During the latest "That After Show" segment of "That Metal Show" on VH1 Classic, ANTHRAX members Scott Ian (guitar), Charlie Benante (drums) and Frank Bello (bass), along with Alex Skolnick of TESTAMENT, spoke about when they stopped being fans of KISS's music.

Said Ian: "I was already way into AC/DC [by the time KISS released 'Dynasty' in 1979] and my taste had kind of changed. I went to see [KISS] at Nassau Coliseum [in Uniondale, New York], I think, on [the 'Dynasty'] tour, with [JUDAS] PRIEST opening, and me and my friend left after PRIEST. I mean, I was 15, and my taste had kind of changed already at that point. Don't get me wrong: from the first album to 'Alive II', that period, to me, still means as much in 2015 as it did, to me, in 1977. Like, that's what an imprint it made on me. That still means everything to me."

Ian last year defended KISS leaders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for their refusal to perform with only the band's original lineup at KISS's April 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in Brooklyn. Scott said: "I'm a [KISS] fan, just like everyone else, 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."

He 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 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."

KISS on MUSIC STATION (Japan)

KISS on MUSIC STATION (Japan): video.

Jeffrey Hayzlett Interviews Gene Simmons

EP 1: Gene Simmons (Listen) Jeffrey Hayzlett butted heads with Gene Simmons on Celebrity Apprentice and they eventually gained a mutual respect. Now Jeffrey talks to Gene about his life experiences in business and what has driven him to a lifetime of success.

KISS Admits To Using Backing Tracks While Performing New Single 'Samurai Son'

(Video) Legendary rockers KISS, who are currently taking part in a brief tour of Japan, have admitted to using backing tracks while performing their new single, "Samurai Son", one of two songs they recently collaborated on with Japanese pop group MOMOIRO CLOVER Z.

Said KISS in a tweet: "Recorded 'Samurai Son' for Japan. To reproduce production here, we play live with extra tracks. Nothing to hide."

While announcing KISS's 2012 tour with MÖTLEY CRÜE, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was particularly critical about pop artists who use pre-recorded backing tracks in their live shows. He said: "We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them. The guys you see on stage are playing their instruments. No fake bullshit. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A.'"

KISS's first collaboration with MOMORIO CLOVER Z was released on January 28. The track "Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina" was composed by KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley and Greg Collins, with lyrics written by Yuho Iwasato. MOMOIRO CLOVER Z performs the song, with KISS providing background vocals and instruments. It was released in two versions — "Momoclo Edition" and "KISS Edition" — via iTunes in 120 countries. A music video for the track, featuring both bands, was shot in Las Vegas.

Both the "Momoclo Edition" and "KISS Edition" of "Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina" feature the title track and one same coupling song, but the "KISS Edition" includes the track titled "Samurai Son", which was made using "Yume No Ukiyo Ni Saitemina" as its base. It is sung by KISS while MOMORIO CLOVER Z members participate on vocals. The "Momoclo Edition" comes with a Blu-ray disc which contains the music video for the title track instead.

"Samurai Son" is also available on KISS's Japanese compilation "Best Of KISS 40", alongside 19 tracks spanning the band's four-decade career and a DVD featuring three exclusive live performances.

MOMORIO CLOVER Z will open for KISS on March 3 at the Tokyo Dome.

@KISSOnline: Recorded Samurai Son for Japan. To reproduce production here we play live with extra tracks. Nothing to hide.

KISS Setlist at Nippon Gaishi Hall, Nagoya, Japan

KISS Setlist at Nippon Gaishi Hall, Nagoya, Japan
Detroit Rock City
Creatures of the Night
Psycho Circus
Parasite
War Machine
Do You Love Me
Deuce
Hell or Hallelujah
I Love It Loud
Lick It Up
Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies)
God of Thunder
Hide Your Heart
Love Gun
Black Diamond
Encore:
Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made for Lovin' You
Samurai Son (Live debut)
Rock and Roll All Nite

KISS / Momoiro Clover Z Press Conference

Video: KISS / Momoiro Clover Z Press Conference.

KISS FAN Q&A AT TOWER RECORDS IN TOKYO

VIDEO: KISS FAN Q&A AT TOWER RECORDS IN TOKYO.

VIDEO: "SAMURAI SON" FROM KISS JAPAN REHEARSALS

VIDEO: "SAMURAI SON" FROM KISS JAPAN REHEARSALS.

BRUCE KULICK Records New Music For 'Dreams In The Witch House'

Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, W.A.S.P. lead guitarist Douglas Blair, heavy metal cellist Tina Guo and esteemed Swedish actor Stefan Sauk ("The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") have recorded new music for "Dreams In The Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera" at Stagg Street Studio in Los Angeles. More sessions to continue next month in Stockholm, Sweden, with the addition of MOTÖRHEAD's Mikkey Dee on drums.

On January 20, Sauk recorded the voice of the role of Father Iwanicki in a new song for "Dreams In The Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera", a hard rock concept album, jointly produced by Swedish and American music producers, based on HP Lovecraft's 1933 horror tale of the same name.

A CD with the same title, "A Lovecraftian Rock Opera", also featuring Kulick, was released in October 2013 and was lauded as a "dark, evocative musical journey" by American horror publication Fangoria and "a masterpiece" by XXL-ROCK. Sauk joins the production as the concept album is now being developed into a motion picture in Hollywood.

The new song is composed by Swedish music composer Anders Ringman. Titled "The Refuge of Penitence", it covers a plot point not present in the current rock opera adaptation of the source story. Sauk, portraying a Polish catholic priest, sings a cautionary tale of mankind's temptation with technological advancement, rejection of faith, and their negative consequences leading to an impending doom; thematic subject matter quite familiar to heavy metal. Kulick and Blair provide lead guitar work which mutates from a faith-based acoustic lead-line (Kulick), into something much more sinister and trans-dimensional (Blair on electric). Rounding out the L.A. session was Tina Guo, with over 40 Hollywood film score credits, as well as performances with the FOO FIGHTERS, SLAYER and Carlos Santana. A separate track from the rock opera, titled "Signum Crucis", already featuring Bruce Kulick on lead guitar, will include Mikkey Dee on drums.

For more information on the rock opera, go to WitchhouseRocks.com.

Ex-KISS Member To Guest On 'That Metal Show'

With the recent announcement of Geddy Lee (RUSH) and John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER) on the season premiere of VH1 Classic's centerpiece in original programming "That Metal Show", more guests have been confirmed for what promises to be the most diverse season in the show's history. Recently confirmed guests for this season are Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian of ANTHRAX, John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON), Chris Jericho (FOZZY), Kerry King of SLAYER, Dave Lombardo (ex-SLAYER), Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), Michael Schenker, Ace Frehley (KISS) and Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT). This season marks first-time appearances for punk rock legend Marky Ramone, rap icon Darryl McDaniels of RUN-DMC, Gary Holt of SLAYER and EXODUS, Taylor Momsen of THE PRETTY RECKLESS, Max Cavalera of SOULFLY, Mark Farner of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, and Andy Biersack of BLACK VEIL BRIDES. MOTÖRHEAD and David Coverdale from WHITESNAKE are confirmed to appear on the show via the "Metal Modem". More guest confirmations will be announced at a later date.

Known for having the best musicians in music perform each week on "That Metal Show", Season 14 will continue the trend, with Petrucci making his first-ever appearance on the debut episode. Other confirmed performers are Alex Skolnick of TESTAMENT, John 5, Joel Hoekstra of WHITESNAKE, and Frank Hannon of TESLA. Making their "That Metal Show" musical debuts will be Mike Orlando of ADRENALINE MOB, and "That Metal Show" favorite Zakk Wylde. "That Metal Show" first-timers will be double-neck shred-master Michael Angelo Batio, Rich Ward of FOZZY and STUCK MOJO, Damon Johnson of THIN LIZZY and BLACK STAR RIDERS, and Nita Strauss of ALICE COOPER and THE IRON MAIDENS.

Kicking off what's guaranteed to be the best season of "That Metal Show" yet, Lee has been confirmed for the debut episode. He will be making his second appearance on the acclaimed hard rock/heavy metal talk show, hosted by Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine. The episode will premiere on Saturday, February 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, repeating at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same evening.

The new season of "That Metal Show" will consist of 12 all-new episodes and will be shot at Metropolis Studios in New York City on Tuesday nights for broadcast that Saturday. Audience tickets for upcoming tapings are now available via Gotham Casting at this location. Upcoming guests will be announced in the near future.

If previous seasons are any indication, season 14 will be the biggest season of "That Metal Show" to date. Last season marked some monumental changes for the show as it returned to New York City. Previously the show was taped over several days in a course of a week at Sony Studios in Los Angeles. But Season 13 was shot at Metropolis Studios on Tuesday nights, for broadcast the following Saturday, which will be the same for this new season.

Fans can watch previous episodes and other exclusive bonus clips at ThatMetalShow.VH1.com and on the new VH1 app.

KISS welcomes new partners across sportswear, infant clothing and more

Glam rock band KISS is expanding its licensing portfolio further, with a slate of new deals across sportswear, infant clothing, accessories and more.

In a raft of new partnerships secured by Epic Rights, the new line-up will launch across the US this year.

Within adults clothing and accessories, The Factor.e is developing KISS activewear for men and women, while H3 sportgear is fashioning KISS headwear.

Elsewhere, Hypnotic Hats is developing KISS novelty socks, backpacks, tote bags and luggage.

Airwaves will manufacture a line of KISS infant onesies and Stepping Stones will create newborn, infant and toddler KISS footwear and infant KISS gift sets.

Just Funky will produce a line of KISS housewares, including throws, blankets and more, while across music accessories, Perri’s Leather will launch a line of KISS guitar straps, guitar picks and guitar bags.

“KISS has an incredibly passionate core group of fans numbering in the millions and their popularity continues to rise, especially here in the US,” said Lisa Streff, SVP, licensing, Epic Rights.

In addition to the new products, Epic Rights will also be launching a social media campaign to introduce new products and promotions to target the 13 million plus KISS Army Fans this year.

Celebrity Drive: Paul Stanley Loves His 'Vette

(motortrend.com) Quick Stats: Paul Stanley KISS front man, author, painter

Daily Driver: 2015 Corvette Stingray (Stanley's rating: 9 on a scale of 1 to 10)

Other cars: See below

Favorite road trip: Interstate 95 from New York to New England

Car he learned to drive in: 1963 Ford Galaxie

First car bought: 1961 Rambler American

Kiss front man Paul Stanley is a bit of a Renaissance man as a singer-songwriter, painter, New York Times best-selling author, star of "Phantom of the Opera," and, in a former life, a New York City cab driver.

He can add styling a Corvette for General Motors to the list after working with the automaker on a 2015 Stingray for the SEMA show in a car that would also become his daily driver.

"I've yearned to be driving an American car without apology," he says. "I like driving a car that says 'Corvette' on it. I like driving an American car because we've always had capabilities to turn out great cars, and for reasons that are lost to me, we chose not to. But as the competition became stiffer and as the car industry seemed to be folding, I guess the message was resounding, and lo and behold, here were some great cars."

PAUL STANLEY Says BECK 'Should Have Kicked' KANYE WEST 'Right In The Nuts'

KISS frontman Paul Stanley says that Beck "should've kicked Kanye [West] right in the nuts" following the rapper's unexpected appearance onstage during Sunday night's (February 8) Grammy Awards when Beck's "Morning Phase" was announced as the surprise winner of "Album Of The Year." Although many at first assumed West was jokingly re-enacting his storming of the stage when Taylor Swift won a few years back, the hip-hop star later blasted the Grammys in a rant in which he suggested that Beck should have given his award to Beyonce.

"Beck should've kicked Kanye right in the nuts and said, ‘Get the fuck off MY stage!'" Stanley wrote on his Facebook page.

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Beck told Us Weekly, "I was just so excited he was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody. How many great records has he put out in the last five years, right?" As for beating out Beyonce for the award, Beck added, "I thought she was going to win. Come on, she's Beyonce!"

Beck was nominated for "Album Of The Year" twice before, in 1997 for "Odelay" and 2001 for "Midnite Vultures", and lost both times.

West said after the ceremony, "I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain't gonna play with them no more… and Beck needs to respect artistry and he should've given his award to Beyonce."

West didn't back down, saying on Monday morning (February 9), "Beck knows Beyonce should have won… I love Beck. But he ain't have album of the year."

According to The Pulse Of Radio, GARBAGE singer Shirley Manson weighed in on the issue with an open letter to Kanye on Monday, in which she wrote, "It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry. You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like Beck."

Manson continued, "You make yourself look small and petty and spoilt. In attempting to reduce the importance of one great talent over another, you make a mockery of all musicians and music from every genre, including your own. Grow up and stop throwing your toys around."

KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z single hits #1 in Japan!

The KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z collaboration single hit #1 on the Oricon Japanese Singles chart and Amazon's Japanese Pop chart! It's the highest charting collaboration single by a Japanese artist and international artist ever!

Paul Stanley composed "YUMENO UKIYONI SAITEMINA" and KISS performed the music on the single. KISS and Momoiro Clover Z both sang lead vocals on two versions of the song. Japanese cultural essences, such as Kabuki, Ukiyo-e art, and samurai armor are themes throughout the song. The "Samurai Son" music video also contains unique Japanese anime.

The "Samurai Son" project was broadcasted on NHK, the sole public broadcaster in Japan. In addition, a huge advertisement was placed at the world's largest Shibuya Scramble intersection. Momoiro Clover Z performed on the popular Japanese program "Music Station," and this project continues to be a hot topic in Japanese media.

The collaboration single by the Japanese popular group Momoiro Clover Z an KISS titled “YUMENO IKIYONI SAITEMINA” was released on January 28th worldwide.

The title song and the other included tracks in the "Samurai Son" package have been digitally distributed throughout 120 countries via iTunes music store. The song has ranked 1st on the world chart in US, Canada, Sweden and other countries and continues to create a worldwide buzz.

Collaboration Song with Momoiro Clover Z Becomes Kiss' First Top 10 Hit in Japan

"Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina, the collaboration single between Japanese idol group Momoiro Clover Z and internationally famous rock band KISS was released in Japan on January 28. It ranked 2nd in the Oricon weekly single chart selling 58,000 units in its first week. Surprisingly, it is the first top 10 hit for KISS, who has been considered as one of the most popular foreign rock bands in Japan. The previous most successful single for the band in the Japanese chart was "I Was Made For Lovin' You," which ranked 83rd in December 1979, 35 years and two months ago.

It is also the first top 3 single in 17 and half years for a collaboration song between Japanese and foreign artists. The last top 3 song was "Forever," performed by Japanese actor Takashi Sorimachi and Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora in July 1997.

Frankie DiVita interviews Bruce Kulick at NAMM 2015

Frankie DiVita interviews Bruce Kulick at NAMM 2015: Video.

Tommy Thayer at 2015 NAMM

Tommy Thayer at 2015 NAMM: Video.

"SAMURAI SON" OFF SHOT TRAILER/KISS vs MOMOIRO CLOVER Z

"SAMURAI SON" OFF SHOT TRAILER/KISS vs MOMOIRO CLOVER Z: Video.

VIDEO MESSAGE FOR KISS ARMY JAPAN

VIDEO MESSAGE FOR KISS ARMY JAPAN: Video.

First Look At PAUL STANLEY's IBANEZ Guitars

First Look At PAUL STANLEY's IBANEZ Guitars: Video.

TOMMY THAYER Joins STEEL PANTHER On Stage

TOMMY THAYER Joins STEEL PANTHER On Stage At NAMMJAM 2015: Video.

Promo clip for "Best of KISS 40 CD [Japan Commemorative Edition]

Promo clip for "Best of KISS 40 CD [Japan Commemorative Edition]: video.

EPIPHONE RELEASING NEW LIMITED EDITION TOMMY THAYER SIGNATURE GUITAR

Epiphone presents the Ltd. Ed. Tommy Thayer 2015 Signature Les Paul Outfit, Epiphone's second Les Paul collaboration with one of the most exciting guitarists on the planet, Tommy "Spaceman" Thayer of KISS.

The Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Tommy Thayer 2015 Signature Les Paul Outfit features a solid Mahogany body and a plain Maple Veneer Top finished in beautiful Metallic White with a chrome colored pickguard, all chosen by Tommy. The body also has 7-ply (pure white and black) binding on the top and single-ply pure white binding on the fingerboard.

The 2015 Signature Model comes with Seymour Duncan® JB™ humbuckers especially chosen by Tommy along with a custom hard case, an "Inspired by" Custom Studded Leather Strap just like Tommy's original, a Hand Signed Certificate of Authenticity, a binder with certificate and official photograph, and Epiphone's customary accessories including a user’s manual, Epiphone poster, Epiphone bumper sticker, and more.

"My new 2015 signature model is the pinnacle of looks, style and flash," says Tommy. "I'm proud to put my name on a serious guitar that can be enjoyed at home or rock the biggest stages in the world."

Why LA KISS are kings of the AFL

(espn.go.com) ORDERING EYEBLACK BY the barrel isn't part of the game plan for most professional football clubs, but all that changed the day a team agreed to call Los Angeles home. In August 2013, KISS frontman Gene Simmons and bandmate Paul Stanley brought the game back to the City of Angels when they cofounded the Arena Football League's LA KISS. Not since the inception of the forward pass has the game undergone such an extreme makeover. Well, the fan experience part anyway. Despite a 3-15 record in their inaugural season, they have become the AFL's marquee franchise. Here's Simmons on the secret sauce behind the success:

Why KISS entered the world of football ...

Well, opportunity knocks probably only once and you don't get another chance. You don't have to be a genius to look around in perhaps the second-largest market in America, Los Angeles, and see it doesn't have a professional football team of any kind. Arena football is cool. For one thing, you don't have to mortgage your home to buy tickets -- $99 for season tickets, what's wrong with that? It's air-conditioned, no matter rain or shine or anything else. It's comfortable. You don't have to travel a mile for the food. If you want to pee, it's right outside the door. It's all good. It's also much faster, much more in your face. It's actually more aggressive. What we do is to make sure you don't have a chance to dip your chips every time the ball goes down on the floor and people are huddling.

The goal of every LA KISS game ...

To make it the Super Bowl every game. That's exactly the idea because you have to be honest with yourself. Although there are a lot of football fans, there aren't 100 million football fans, come on. Just like when you go to the Kentucky Derby, everybody that goes there doesn't necessarily know anything about horse racing. They go there for the spectacle. It's a must-see event. And if you take away the spectacle that is the Super Bowl, the music and the fireworks, if you take away all that, what do you got? How could you have cheerleaders without music? And when the guys run out to the field, isn't that music that heralds their arrival? Don't teams -- if they are lucky -- have their own anthem? Words to those anthems mean something: This is who we are, this is what we stand for. So that's what we try to do, and we've been very successful because in one season, our very first one, we were the only team in the AFL to pull at least 10,000 people to every home game. That's unheard of. What other AFL team had a reality show on the air? You've got to try to break new ground and not do what grandpa used to do. Welcome to the 21st century. Any fireworks that you see at a KISS show should be at our LA KISS events -- it shouldn't be just a football game; it should be an event!

What to expect at an LA KISS game ...

We have full live rock bands -- nobody playing tapes. When the band sings it's real, it's live. We have extreme sports people doing full 360-degree flips on motorbikes. We have our Junior KISS Girls who are 10 to 12 years old -- cute as a button -- and they all do their dance routines to music. We have laser light shows. Our dancers are A-level athletes. Some of them are hanging in iron cages 50 feet above the ground above the goalposts. The opening day we had our guys levitating down from the ceiling, 80 feet up in the air. Basically, if you mixed up KISS and football you'd get LA KISS, which is profoundly and accurately why it's called LA KISS.

On Jon Bon Jovi's and Motley Crue's involvement with the AFL's Philadelphia Soul and Las Vegas Outlaws, respectively ...

Never heard of them. I know that one of the guys was involved in Arena football. I don't know if the other guy respectfully is going to be involved, but I keep hearing the same things you do. But look, when you're running a race you can never look over your shoulder to see who is behind you. You just run your race, look forward and be the best that you can be and good luck to anybody who wants to get into the game. But we've never lost in ventures. We're serious about it. One of the first things that I tried to do was bring concerts and music and glamour and glitz to KISS ventures. I mean what's Caesar coming back after a successful war without trumpets heralding his arrival? What is anything without music? What's church without music? What is sports without music? Think about it: When these guys train, you think there is nothing going into their ears? I mean music is really the soundtrack of your life. Anything from Mantovani all the way to Chopin. But if you're doing anything having to do with adrenaline, you're probably listening to KISS.

Simmons on the state of the NFL ...

Football has gotten bigger, and if football doesn't watch what it's doing, something else is going to come along, something more exciting. Maybe it's Arena football, maybe it's extreme fighting, whatever it is. Look, people have the attention span of gnats. Yes, there are team rivalries based on "my city is cooler than your city." I get it, it's always been about that, but you don't have to do that just in football. It can be in anything. Listen, the NFL invited me to sing the national anthem in a few stadiums, including the game at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people, and I was proud to do it, so the NFL does a great job. But hockey is exciting, so is basketball, so is lots of stuff. Everything can coexist, but if the only thing you're doing is what you're doing, you've got to give more and music is a good "more." I don't mean just something for your ears, I mean the visual experience of music. And this is nothing new.

Simmons on the state of MLB ...

There is still a grandmother playing an organ of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." I mean, really. You got to be careful, baseball used to be America's pastime, but really it's not anymore. A few years ago a consortium, including myself, tried to buy the Dodgers. And it is stuck in the muck and the mire. It's stuck in the past: the outfits, the games. The first thing I wanted to do was to bring in baseball cheerleaders and have a theme song, like all this branding stuff. You should have heard the uproar, "Well that's not how we do things!" Really? Says who? Who is the rule maker? Baseball is an exciting game, but while the pitcher is lining up and looking around to think about which ball to throw, everybody is just dipping their chips and talking to each other. I would speed it up. I would install a time limit. You've got to throw that ball whether you're ready or not in 10 seconds or less. If not, it's an automatic ball.

What to expect next season from LA KISS ...

We are certainly going to scale back on special occasions. The ceiling levitation thing cost a fortune -- 250 grand just to do the opening spectacle because there were so many fireworks. We can have people rappelling 100 feet up from the rooftop. We play at the Honda Center and some of the other arenas we play at have very high roofs, so anything is possible. Why can't you do that with music, and people coming down in parachutes or jet packs? Give them a show!

On the response he's received from the football community ...

Not a clue. I never looked around, I never asked anybody how they feel about it. It's beside the point. I'm sure there are lots of people that wish us well, and some people who don't. I mean what's Christmas without Scrooge? But you can't let the Scrooges of the world stop you from having a good old time and enjoying Christmas. As far as I'm concerned, every day is Christmas -- of course we call it KISSmas -- and I'm the guy that brings the presents. I'm coming down your chimney whether you want me to or not.

On attempting to sign Tim Tebow to the team ...

I was very vocal about it [circa September 2013]. We didn't even talk about it as a team. I was just talking about it, not as a press angle or anything, but as a matter of ethics. If any one of our guys gets caught in a bar fight or impregnates a girl without being responsible, they are out. I don't care how well you play. And remember when people, and the media, started making fun of him because he's a religious Christian? So he gets down on one knee and crosses himself. What's the problem with that? He's a good family guy, doesn't use drugs as far as we know, doesn't kill or torture dogs and is not facing a murder charge. As far as I'm concerned, football could use more Tim Tebows. Clean it up! There are kids watching.

Ace Frehley Is "Invading Down Under" In 2015

Ace Frehley, the former lead guitarist of American rockers KISS, has announced his 2015 Invading Down Under Tour, which will see the solo artist return to Australia for the first time since his 2010 It’s Ace Down Under Tour.

During the Invading Down Under Tour, Frehley will play two-hour sets composed of solo material and Kiss classics, across April and May. His latest solo studio effort, Space Invader, was released in August 2014.

Frehley’s current touring band includes Richie Scarlet, who contributed rhythm guitar and vocals on Frehley’s 1989 solo album Trouble Walkin’, as well as bassist Chris Wyse, who has performed with Ozzy Osbourne and The Cult in the past, and drummer Scot Coogan, who has shared the stage with Lita Ford and Nikki Sixx.

“I can’t wait to get down to New Zealand and Australia with this new lineup,” Frehley has said. “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!”

Ace Frehley’s Invading Down Under Tour will kick off in Brisbane on Wednesday, 29th April, and finish up in Perth on Thursday, 7th May. Tour dates below the news section.

MOMOIRO CLOVER Z vs KISS "YUMENO UKIYONI SAITEMINA" Music Video

MOMOIRO CLOVER Z vs KISS "YUMENO UKIYONI SAITEMINA": Music Video.

Special Program for Momoiro Clover Z x KISS Collaboration Project to be Streamed Tomorrow

It is confirmed that a special program for the collaboration project between Japanese idol group Momoiro Clover Z and internationally famous American rock band KISS will be streamed on the idol group's official Ustream and YouTube channels at 21:00 on January 19 (JST), 04:00 on January 19 (PST).

The program will feature the two groups' conversations in question and answer style, and the PV for their collaboration song "Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina" will be introduced to the world for the first time. The CD single, which also includes a cover version of KISS' 3rd single in 1975, "Rock and Roll All Nite," performed by Momoiro Clover Z, will be released on January 28.

Epiphone Announces Tommy Thayer Appearance at NAMM

KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer will attend this year's Namm show in Anaheim. California. Tommy will make a special appearance for Epiphone (booth 300B Level 3) at 1:00PM on Saturday - January 24.

Legendary THE RUNAWAYS Producer KIM FOWLEY Dies At 75

Legendary Hollywood impresario/producer Kim Fowley died earlier today (Thursday, January 15) after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 75.

Fowley is best known for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s, and for managing THE RUNAWAYS in the 1970s. He produced the band's 1976 self-titled debut and co-wrote THE RUNAWAYS' biggest hit, "Cherry Bomb", with Joan Jett. Fowley was also a songwriter, who co-penned "Escape" for ALICE COOPER's 1975 album "Welcome To My Nightmare", and "King of the Night Time World" and "Do You Love Me" for KISS's 1976 LP "Destroyer".

Despite the fact that Fowley had been embroiled in legal battles with former THE RUNAWAYS frontwoman Cherie Currie over the years, the singer cared for Fowley during his fight with cancer and she even moved him into her Los Angeles-area home.

"I love Kim. I really do," Currie told Billboard.com last year. "After everything I went through as a kid with him, I ended up becoming a mom and realized it was difficult for a man in his 30s to deal with five teenage girls. He's a friend I admire who needed help, and I could be there for him."

Currie posted the following message on her Facebook page earlier tonight: "Just before 8 a.m. this morning, January 15, 2014, Kim Fowley passed away at his home with his wife, Kara Wright, by his side after a long battle with cancer. He was 75 years old.

"I am so blessed that I got to get to know you again, Kim, really get to know you on a personal level and that we became friends. Mostly that you spent time here at my home. It's a time I will never forget.

"The last record you made is in good hands and I am so glad that record is mine. It was a pleasure.

"Thank you for starting my career when I was a just a child. You were instrumental in so many getting started in this crazy world of music. You are a genius... you are loved. You will be so missed.

"Rest in peace, my friend."

In a 2012 statement posted on the San Diego Reader web site, Fowley said: "I am preparing for death. That includes withdrawing from all human contact except for accountants, attorneys and industry meetings

"I am working on dying. I am a bladder cancer surgery recall patient. Every six months wires, cameras and instruments of pain such as knives and scalpels go in through the penis all the way up to my stomach. They take out elements of my body and do biopsies. Bladder cancer is the fastest recurring cancer but you can't do a CAT-scan or an X-ray or any other mumbo jumbo. You have to keep repeating the procedure in order to know how your margins are.

"To deal with that kind of Auschwitz intrusion on your body in a hospital setting is horrifying.

"Death is a juicy topic. It's like nudity and drugs. It's right up there with LOL, cats and puppies. It's an American tradition, just like Disney and chocolate."

The 2010 biopic "The Runaways" was based on the book "Neon Angel" by Currie, and it presented Fowley as aggressive and domineering in relation to the band he helped form.

In the movie, Fowley was portrayed by "Revolutionary Road"'s Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon.

Randy Rhoads Tribute Album to Include Bruce Kulick

(ultimateclassicrock.com ) An all-star lineup featuring Bruce Kulick, Tom Morello, Vinny Appice, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Rudy Sarzo, George Lynch and others will pay respect to a late guitarist on the upcoming album ‘Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute.’

Due March 3, the project features new versions of 11 songs co-written by Rhoads — including many associated with his celebrated tenure alongside Ozzy Osbourne. Songs like ‘Back to the Coast’ and ‘Killer Girls’ reference Rhoads’ earlier stint in Quiet Riot. Also featured are Serj Tankian, Gus G., Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa and Bernie Torme. Grammy winner Bob Kulich (Bruce’s older brother) worked as producer. The full track listing, with guest stars, is below.

An expanded version of the album will be paired with a bonus DVD that includes interviews with a number of the guests, hosted by Bob Kulick. A special feature focuses on Musonia School of Music in North Hollywood, founded by Rhoads’ mother and overseen by his brother Kelle.

Rhoads joined Quiet Riot as a teenager before soaring to fame with Osbourne on a pair of his early ’80s solo albums, ‘Blizzard of Oz‘ and ‘Diary of a Madman.’ The guitarist died in a 1982 plane crash when he was just 25. (Sarzo, Torme and Gus G. have collaborated with Osbourne, as well.) Sarzo was also in Quiet Riot, while Appice and Aldrich worked with Osbourne’s Black Sabbath successor Ronnie James Dio.

‘Immortal Randy Rhoads: The Ultimate Tribute’ Track Listing

‘Crazy Train’ (Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice)
‘Over the Mountain’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Jon Donais, Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali)
‘Mr. Crowley’ (Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, Kelle Rhoads, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice)
‘Believer’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Doug Aldrich, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice)
‘Back To The Coast’ (Kelle Rhoads, Bruce Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali)
‘I Don’t Know’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, George Lynch, Rudy Sarzo, Brett Chassen)
‘S A T 0' (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Bob Kulick, Dweezil Zappa, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice)
‘Killer Girls’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Joel Hoekstra, Rudy Sarzo, Brett Chassen)
‘Goodbye to Romance’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Gus G., Rudy Sarzo, Brett Chassen)
‘Suicide Solution’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Brad Gillis, Rudy Sarzo, Brett Chassen)
‘Flying High Again’ (Tim “Ripper” Owens, Bernie Torme, Rudy Sarzo, Brett Chassen)

Paul Stanley previews the new Kiss Me photo app

Paul Stanley previews the new Kiss Me photo app: video.

Kiss' Paul Stanley: More than social media keeps us relevant

Kiss' Paul Stanley: More than social media keeps us relevant

Gene Simmons explains why 'more is a good word'

Gene Simmons explains why 'more is a good word': video.

Patcast: Paul Stanley

This week on the Patcast, one of the biggest rockstars of all time joins us for a conversation--it's Kiss's Paul Stanley: Listen.

PAUL STANLEY Joins FOO FIGHTERS On Stage In Los Angeles

PAUL STANLEY Joins FOO FIGHTERS On Stage In Los Angeles: Video.

Rock & Brews Grand Opening Oviedo

Video1, Video2, Video3, Video4.

#KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z Documentary

Video: #KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z Documentary

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN: How I Discovered KISS

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN: How I Discovered KISS - Video.

KISS vs. Momoiro Clover Z Sneak Peek Trailer

KISS vs. Momoiro Clover Z Sneak Peek Trailer: video.

KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z Studio Footage

KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z Studio Footage: video.

Let 'HIMYM's' Barney Stinson get you pumped up for New Year's Eve with this playlist

Happy New Year's Eve! The best thing to get ready for a big night on the town or even a low key evening with company is some great music, so why not to do it Barney Stinson style?

"How I Met Your Mother" fans may remember way back from Season 1 that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) had quite the knack for making playlists of all kinds. One of his most famous by far was his "get psyched mix" that lead the group into one of the craziest New Year's Eves of their lives.

When Barney introduces the playlist in the Season 1 episode "The Limo," he proclaims: "My own personal 'get psyched mix'. Now people think a good mix should rise and fall. But people are wrong. It should be all rise, baby! Now prepare yourselves for an audio journey to the white, hot center of adrenaline!" (Video.

Three different versions of Barney's mix have been released over the years. The first track list is briefly seen on the cover of the CD when it is introduced in "The Limo." The second Barney gives in a blog entry entitled "Party Alert!" The third is the track listing published in Barney's book "The Bro Code."

The best is definitely the "Bro Code" version, as it is the most lengthy and therefore the most delightful. Here is the track listing in case you want to mix and match on your own, followed by a video featuring all the "get psyched" tracks all in one continuous mix for your New Year's -- or really anytime -- enjoyment.

(Listen)
"You Give Love a Bad Name" - Bon Jovi
"I Wanna Rock" - Twisted Sister
"The Humpty Dance" - Digital Underground
"Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey
"You're the Best Around" - Joe Esposito
"Lick It Up" - KISS
"Paradise City" - Guns N' Roses
"Tom Sawyer" - Rush
"The Transformers Theme" - Vince DiCola with Optimus Prime
"Dancing with Myself" - Billy Idol
"Rock You Like a Hurricane" - Scorpions
"Come Sail Away" - Styx
"Free Bird" (second half only) - Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Panama" - Van Halen
"Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
"Talk Dirty to Me" - Poison
"Thunderstruck" - AC/DC
"High Enough" - Damn Yankees
"Hip Hop Hooray" - Naughty by Nature
"Dr. Feelgood" - Motley Crue
"Round and Round" - Ratt.

KISS's Collaboration With Japanese Pop Group MOMORIO CLOVER Z: 50-Second Preview

KISS's Collaboration With Japanese Pop Group MOMORIO CLOVER Z: 50-Second Preview.

'Take A Knee' with Gene Simmons

'Take A Knee' with Gene Simmons: Listen.

ACE FREHLEY: 'I'm Not This Virtuoso Musician, And I Definitely Make Mistakes In My Solos'

Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was recently asked by Artisan News what it is about his guitar style and technique that sets him apart from other players. He responded (see video below): "That's an interesting question. I don't really know. Some people say it's my vibrato. Some people say it's the way I approach songs. Since I'm not a schooled musician, and I never took a guitar lesson, I approach music slightly differently than, let's say, somebody who took guitar lessons and knows how to read music. I play sometimes very unorthodox, and I think, for some reason, kids who are just starting out maybe somehow sense that and pick it up and realize that I just started learning playing chords — E, D and A — on an acoustic guitar and eventually got my first electric guitar when I was 13. So maybe somehow that comes through the grooves or through the speakers. There's that innocence about my music where I'm not this virtuoso musician, and I definitely make mistakes in my solos — they're not perfect — but they have attitude. And I always thought that was more important. When you listen to THE ROLLING STONES, you hear mistakes on their records, but you know what?! Boy, does it swing." (Video).

KISS To Perform Entire 'Alive!' Album On 'The Kiss Kruise V'

For 40 years, KISS has been in the business of rock and roll, recruiting legions of fans from all walks of life and every corner of the globe. The time has come to take on your next mission which will surely be the most epic adventure the high seas have ever seen... The Kiss Kruise V! Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer will be sailing from Miami to Jamaica, October 30 - November 3, 2015 aboard Norwegian Pearl, the central hub for all KISS maniacs worldwide.

They're going back to the golden age when KISS rose to prominence, taking the world by storm. What better way to celebrate the rise of these rock legends than to watch KISS perform the very live album that launched them into greatness 40 years ago? Get ready to rock out to KISS playing their first gold album, "Alive!", in its entirety. You read it right. KISS is playing "Alive!" from front to back during The Kiss Kruise V indoor show.

Year five has promised to bring new surprises and drive you wild and crazy. Book a cabin during the pre-sale and receive a limited-edition The Kiss Kruise V t-shirt mailed to your door before the boat sails.

Cruise itinerary (subject to change)

* Thursday, October 29, 2015 - Pre-Party on Ship (additional purchase; departs 8PM ET)
* Friday, October 30 - Depart Miami, Florida (approx. 4:00 p.m. ET)
* Saturday, October 31 - Day At Sea
* Sunday, November 1 - Jamaica
* Monday, November 2 - Day At Sea
* Tuesday, November 3 - Arrive Miami, Florida (approx. 8:00 a.m. ET)

KISS will be inviting some of their favorite bands to join them for this adventure at sea. You can expect artists announcements throughout the year to round out this music festival, so count on your days to be filled with numerous shows, contests and activities.

For more information, visit www.thekisskruise.com.

KKB 2015 Promo

(Video) KKB returns in 2015. Bruce Kulick, Mike Katz, and Guy Bois are proud to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of KKB, featuring an all-new mix of the original album, plus a brand new track recorded in 2014. Stay tuned to www.kulick.net for details!

Folgers - Never Aired Paul Stanley Commercial

Folgers - Never Aired Paul Stanley Commercial: Video.

Peter Criss Talks Breast Cancer Awareness, New Solo Work

Jacky BamBam of Philadelphia's 93.3 WMMR radio station conducted an interview with original KISS drummer Peter Criss on November 28 at the "All Things That Rock" festival in Oaks, Pennsylvania. You can now listen to the chat at this location.

Momoiro Clover Z x KISS Collaboration Detailed

(crunchyroll.com) The team up between American rock band KISS and Japanese idol group Momoiro Clover Z (Bodacious Space Pirates, Sailor Moon Crystal), untitled when announced last month, now has a name. Momoclo's 13th single, "Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina,” is set to be released internationally January 28th via iTunes in 120 countries. The Japanese physical release is coming in Momoclo edition with CD and Blu-Ray and KISS Edition with CD.

The title song is composed by Paul Stanley and Greg Collins with Yuho Iwasato on lyrics. It's performed by Momoclo with KISS play the instruments and backing vocal. The B side is still to be announced.

The KISS version will also include the exta song SAMURAI SON, which is also slated to be included on the January 28th release of “Best of KISS 40:

Momoclo Edition

01. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina
02. undecided
03. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina(off vocal ver.)
04. undecided(off vocal ver.)

Blu-ray
·Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina MUSIC VIDEO

KISS Edition
01. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina
02. undecided
03. SAMURAI SON
04. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina(off vocal ver.)
05. undecided(off vocal ver.)
06. SAMURAI SON(off vocal ver.)

Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina

Lyrics:Iwasato Yuho, Paul Stanley
Music:Paul Stanley, Greg Collins
Arrangement:KISS, Greg Collins
Player and Chorus: KISS

SAMURAI SON
Lyrics: Paul Stanley
Music: Paul Stanley, Greg Collins
Arrangement: KISS, Greg Collins
Player:KISS
Chorus:Momoiro Clover Z

“Best of KISS 40" tracklist

01. SAMURAI SON (US mix) KISS vs Momoiro Clover Z
02. Rock and Roll All Nite
03. Shout It Out Loud
04. Beth
05. Hard Luck Woman
06. Detroit Rock City
07. Calling Dr.Love
08. Christine Sixteen
09. Love Gun
10. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
11. Shandi
12. I’m a Legend Tonight
13. Lick It Up
14. Heaven’s On Fire
15. Tears Are Falling
16. Crazy Nights
17. God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II
18. Psycho Circus
19. Modern Day Delilah
20. Hell Or Hallelujah

Limited Edition DVD
01. Psycho Circus
02. Shout It Out Loud
03. Hell Or Hallelujah

Last month, Momoiro Clover Z also announced plans to perform at KISS’s March 3rd 40th anniversary Tokyo Dome concert, and plans to release three other singles in the first half of 2015.

PAUL STANLEY Returns To IBANEZ GUITARS

(Pic) In 1976, Ibanez approached KISS frontman Paul Stanley to collaborate on a signature guitar that would become the instrument with which he would be forever associated. Now, for the first time since 1996, Paul and Ibanez have reunited to reissue three exciting new versions of the original Paul Stanley Signature Model.

"Renewing my collaboration with Ibanez feels like going home to where it all started," commented Stanley. "The guitars we created remain iconic and we will celebrate them and more as we move forward into our future together."

"We're very excited to be partnering again with Paul Stanley," said Ibanez artist relations manager Mike Taft. "It’s been an amazing year for both Paul and the band, including the release of his best-selling autobiography, the band's long-overdue induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and the ongoing world tour to commemorate their 40th anniversary together. I couldn't think of a better time for Paul to reunite with Ibanez. Along with their distinctive styling, these historic instruments have proven themselves on albums and in concert worldwide, where their sound has made them sought after by guitarists for decades."

GENE SIMMONS ON THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW

VIDEO: GENE SIMMONS ON THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW.

CHRIS JERICHO CELEBRATES 100TH EPISODE OF PODCAST WITH PAUL STANLEY!

CHRIS JERICHO CELEBRATES 100TH EPISODE OF PODCAST WITH PAUL STANLEY: Listen.

CABO NEWS TODAY INTERVIEW WITH PAUL STANLEY

CABO NEWS TODAY INTERVIEW WITH PAUL STANLEY: Video.

Nancy Comic Strip

Nancy Comic Strip: See the Comic here.

Ace Talks To VH1 Classic

Videos: Part1, Part2, Part3.

Eric Singer KISS Interview 2014 | The Cassius Morris Show

Eric Singer KISS Interview 2014 | The Cassius Morris Show: video.

KISS's Original Road Crew Releases Tell-All 1970s Memoir

With the release of "Out On the Streets: The True Tales of Life on the Road With the Hottest Band in the Land...KISS!" ($29.95) the band's millions of fans worldwide will finally get an up-close and behind-the-curtain look at KISS's formative years on the road.

This highly detailed 347-page book comes directly from the collective efforts of JR Smalling, Peter Oreckinto, Rick Munroe and the late Mick Campise, who comprised the core of the band's original road crew from 1974 - 1976. In "Out on the Streets" the four share an intimate and inside look at life on the road with KISS, and detail what it took to lay the foundation for one of the most spectacular and successful rock bands in history.

"Out on the Streets" digs into the dirt, the blue-collar work ethic, and the crew's unwavering loyalty to KISS's ridiculous "biggest band in the world" pipedream. The four authors spin tales of fighting headline acts like Aerosmith just to get in and out of gigs, logging over 90,000 road miles in 1974 alone, wrestling with thieves and warding off racism. There's violent tragedy on a personal level, mind-numbing hours and days without rest, bullet-ridden vehicles, arrests, abject poverty, catalogs of carnal pursuits, broken promises and ultimately a skyrocket of success.

Rare photos, original itineraries, and detailed production schematics are just a few of the perks that litter the pages of this rich and rewarding memoir.

"Out on the Streets" is available directly from the authors themselves. The authors embellish the book with a thriving Facebook forum where they warmly connect with readers, fans, and the curious, answering questions and sharing additional memories and ephemera.

To order visit: www.theoriginalkisskrew.com (Also available on Amazon and eBay after January 1, 2015)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheOriginalKISSKREW/

Ex-partner sues LA KISS executive

A federal lawsuit filed this week claims the managing partner of the LA KISS Arena Football League team mismanaged and diverted funds from the Florida team he previously owned.

The suit, filed in the Central District of California Southern Division, contends that Brett Bouchy committed fraud by profiting from tickets sold by scalpers to Orlando Predators games. The suit also said Bouchy didn’t disclose all of the Florida team’s debts when selling his majority share last year to co-owner David Pearsall.

An attorney representing Pearsall Holdings, which brought the suit, declined to elaborate beyond the court filings.

Bouchy, who lives in Orange County, said he has not been served with the lawsuit, but defended his record with the Arena Football League. He has served on the league’s executive committee for 12 years. Bouchy said that Pearsall was kicked out of the league earlier this year for failing to meet several obligations related to the Predators.

“I am confident that I will be vindicated in any suit brought by Mr. Pearsall,” Bouchy said.

After leaving the Predators, Bouchy launched the LA KISS expansion team last year with co-owners Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock group KISS and the band’s manager, Doc McGhee. The team ended its inaugural season at the Honda Center with a 3-15 record.

Among other contentions in the lawsuit:

• Bouchy regularly received a split of Predators tickets sold by scalpers, draining funds from the team’s coffers. The team would regularly print an extra 3,000 tickets to Orlando games, distributed to a broker, who would then give the tickets to scalpers. Money generated from the street sales were split among the scalpers, the broker and Bouchy.

• When selling his share of the Predators for $247,583, Bouchy told Pearsall he could recoup $500,000 more through hosting both a KISS rock concert and the 2013 Arena Bowl in Orlando. The events together, however, generated about $200,000, before expenses.

• After the sale, Bouchy delivered a balance sheet to Pearsall showing $88,044 in liabilities. But it did not disclose at least $450,000 in outstanding loans and expenses related to hosting the Arena Bowl.

The lawsuit is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

Paul Stanley on The Queen Latifah Show

Paul Stanley on The Queen Latifah Show: Video.

KISS Captures Renee Fleming

KISS Captures Renee Fleming: Video.

PETER CRISS Says He Wants To Make His Next Solo Album 'Heavier'

(Video) Original KISS drummer Peter Criss is continuing work on a new rock solo album, which he promises will be "heavier" than the stuff he has done in the past.

Criss's last solo CD, titled "One for All", came out in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of "Late Night with David Letterman". The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "Send in the Clowns".

Speaking to an audience of fans at a question-and-answer session hosted by VH1 Classic "That Metal Show" co-host Eddie Trunk on November 28 at the "All Things That Rock" festival in Oaks, Pennsylvania, Criss stated about the progress of the recording sessions for the follow-up to "One for All" (see video below): "I've been sitting on a record … I'd done this thing, like, five years ago and I'm still messing with it. I'm not done, because I don't wanna rush it."

He continued: "The sad thing is, you put music out today, and you download it immediately.

"Rock 'n' roll's not dead — I don't wanna hear that, that rock's dead. It's far from dead. But it's just not maybe doing what it used to do. So I'm gonna release, probably, singles again. Like a 45, with two songs instead of putting out 13. Because it just isn't fair for the artist — you put out your songs, you download it and there's really nothing going on."

Criss added that he has been working with former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5, but offered no details about a possible release date for his next CD. "I wanna take my time with it," he said. "I'm constantly putting time into it. I want it to be heavier than I've usually done my stuff, and then I'll get, 'It's too heavy. You should go back and do light stuff.' Because fans are never happy. You guys aren't! No matter what we ever do, you're like, 'Oh, that sucks. I want this.' [Or] 'He's playing that ballad shit again.'"

After weeks of bad-mouthing each other in the press, the four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello, with all four — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — delivering warm, nostalgic and even sweet-natured speeches that put aside the simmering tensions for at least 12 minutes.

KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.

Old pal says Gene Simmons would 'KISS' and tell

Gene Simmons — the long-tongued KISS bassist and author of “Me, Inc.” — didn’t suffer from shyness as a kid in Forest Hills, Queens.

Alan Stuart Graf recounts in the book “I Inhaled: Rantings, Ramblings and Ravings of a Hippie Lawyer,” how he and Gene Klein, as he was known then, were in a band together called the Long Island Sounds.

“We were about 14 at the time, and this other guitar player and I were playing Ventures [surf-rock] music with a cool cat drummer named Stan,” Graf wrote.

“But we needed a bass player. So I talked Gene into getting a bass. We went down to Manny’s Music Store in downtown Manhattan and picked him out a Paul McCartney imitation white bass. He was in love with it and kept on fantasizing that he was Paul and all the girls loved him because of his fine bass.”

Graf went off to college and lost track of the band, and never realized until 1995 that his old pal was one of the hugely successful rockers behind the KISS make-up.

When KISS finally came to Portland, Ore., where Graf was practicing law, Graf went to their hotel and found Simmons in the restaurant.

“The more we talked, the more we realized that we were on completely different trips,” Graf wrote. “Gene decided to impress me and tell me about all the girls that we both knew back in grade school that he had felt up. I thought to myself, this guy is still .?.?. 16 years old.”

INTERVIEW - Ace Frehley, October 2014

INTERVIEW - Ace Frehley, October 2014

Gene Simmons toned-down his tongue for Macy's Parade

KISS frontman Gene Simmons toned down his trademark tongue action during the legendary rock band’s performance at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The epic performance by Kiss in full costume and makeup was one of the highlights of the many theatrics of Thursday morning’s family- friendly parade, watched by nearly 23 million people.

The band pulled out the stops for the performance, broadcast live on NBC, from their float outside Macy’s Herald Square, and performed a rocking Kiss medley.

But one thing missing (apart from blood spitting and fire breathing) from the Kiss act was bassist Simmons’ overtly suggestive gymnastics with his freakishly long tongue. The NBC cameras delicately panned away when he did get the much-talked-about tongue out, and there was far less lingual wagging going on.

Simmons told us he did purposely tone things down to be family-friendly. He told Page Six on Friday, “I was proud to be a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My tongue is God-given. As regards the parade, my intention was to be tongue in cheek. Mostly, I kept it in my cheek.”

Kiss bulldozed their way into the beloved parade as the band, which includes founding members Simmons and Paul Stanley plus Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Kiss has been on an anniversary world tour, while Simmons, who has built a merchandising and branding empire around Kiss, recently published, “Me, Inc: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business.”

A Macy’s rep told us, “There were no restrictions placed on the Kiss appearance. Their performance was a highlight of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s live national broadcast which captured the very best of this legendary group.”

The broadcast, hosted by Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, also included performances from Sting, Idina Menzel and Nick Jonas.

Bruce Kulick on his BK Model from Rock N Roll Relics

Bruce Kulick on his BK Model from Rock N Roll Relics: Part 1, Part 2.

Sophie Simmons hints at 'Family Jewels' return

Gene Simmons’ daughter Sophie says the family is considering bringing back reality show “Family Jewels.”

“We’ve been approached,” she told us. “It’s something that we definitely need to talk about as a family, but it might be happening .?.?. I started when I was 11, so growing up you just see all of your awkward phases. That’s kind of crappy, but it’s kind of good in the sense that it gave me a thick skin.”

She added, “But .?.?. do we really want to jump back into that .?.?. where we don’t have privacy?”

5 Questions with Hall of Famer, former KISS fretman Ace Frehley , who performs at Borgata Saturday

(pressofatlanticcity.com) Ace Frehley’s “crazy year” started with getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of KISS, continued with the release of his biggest solo album of his career and is touring for the first time since 2011.

The guitarist-singer will perform material from his new record “Space Invader” (Entertainment One Music), his five other solo albums and classic KISS tracks 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Music Box.

However, this hall of fame year wasn’t without its hiccups, as the April induction of the hard-rocking band known for its makeup and outrageous costumes was marred by a spat over whether KISS’ original quartet would perform together.

Both Frehley, who first exited the band in 1982 and then returned for a six-year stint that ended in 2002, and former drummer Peter Criss wanted to play with co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The latter two would only agree to a set that included its current replacement members.

Although the two factions didn’t get their act together, the original foursome managed to share the stage to accept the honor.

Ahead of his latest A.C. appearance, Frehley talks about his latest musical set, the Hall of Fame reunion that wasn’t to be and whether the original KISS lineup will ever share the stage again.

Q: “Space Invader” is your first solo album to crack the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart and the best-performing solo record of any KISS member. Why do you think it’s clicked with listeners?

A: I’m really happy with the way the new album was received. It took me 10 months to put the album together. My head was in a good place, and I was working in a really relaxed studio. I took my time. When I felt creative, I created. When I didn’t, I just put it down.

Q: How was it to get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but not to perform?

A: I was happy to get inducted, no matter what the outcome was. I would have preferred performing. That was a moment in history that was lost forever. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame requested all four inductees get up there and perform. Peter and I were up to the task, and Gene and Paul shot it down. It was a shame that after 40 years of support, Paul and Gene couldn’t give the fans 15 minutes.

Q: The four of you managed to make nice for the podium, but there has been a lot of sniping ever since. Why is there so much lingering animosity?

A: It’s not as much animosity as the press makes out. We’re all cordial to each other. I talk to the guys from time to time for business matters. I still get checks from them quarterly for the use of my makeup. The press blows things up. They don’t want to write about happiness –– they want to write about dirt.

Q: So is there any chance of a reunion?

A: There hasn’t been any discussion about it, but I’m open to anything. I’m the type of guy who says never say never. When I’m not on tour or in my studio, I’m available.

Q: You haven’t hit the road since 2011. What’s it like to tour these days?

A: I’ve been sober for over eight years –– I don’t allow alcohol in the dressing room or around me. I just try to keep a mellow, relaxed vibe. I take it easy during the day. I take a nap, I relax, I order room service. Then I mosey on down to the venue and take care of business. My mindset is focused on the show –– everything else is secondary.

If you don’t like loud music, you better wear earphones. I’m letting people know it’s going to be loud. You can expect heavy, hard rock ’n’ roll. Contrary to Gene Simmons’ statement, rock ‘n’ roll is not dead. He’s been putting his foot in his mouth a lot lately.

Ace Frehley

WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22

WHERE: The Music Box, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City

HOW MUCH: Tickets, priced at $29.50 and $35, are available at the Borgata box office and TheBorgata.com

WEBSITE: AceFrehley.com

Momoiro Clover Z & KISS internationally announce release of collaboration single

(Photo) Momoiro Clover Z and the American hard rock legends KISS will release a collaboration single on January 28th, 2015. This is the first time for KISS to collaborate with a Japanese artist. Their single will be sold worldwide on iTune Music Store in over 120 countries.

There are two types; one is Momoiro Clover Z edition, the other is KISS edition and the lead track is composed and performed by KISS and Momoiro Clover Z is in charge of vocals.

Two newly recorded tracks including a lead track and each off vocal version will be included in Momoiro Clover Z edition. This edition also includes a music video of the lead track in Blu-ray Disc. On the other hand, three newly recorded tracks including a lead track and each off vocal version, in total six tracks will be included in KISS edition.

Momoiro Clover Z and KISS shot a music video and did a photo shoot for cover jacket in Las Vegas

It is also announced that Momoiro Clover Z will appear at the last show at Tokyo Dome of the KISS 40th anniversary tour.

Momoiro Clover Z is planning to release three consecutive new singles in the first half of 2015 and this collaboration single is the first one.

Product summary
Artist name: Momoiro Clover Z & KISS
Release date: January 28th, 2015

[Momoiro Clover Z edition] (CD+Blu-ray)
Product no.: KIZM-321?2
Price: JPY1,759 (excluding tax)
CD: Four tracks in total (two newly recorded tracks and each vocal version)
Blu-ray: Music video

[KISS edition (CD only)]
Product no.: KICM-1579
Price: JPY1,250 (excluding tax)
Six tracks in total (three newly recorded tracks and each vocal version)

[iTunes]

KISS RETURNING TO JAPAN IN 2015

KISS will return to Japan with five concerts in February / March 2015!

KISS Japan Tour Dates:

Feb 23 - Nippon Gaishi Hall - Nagoya
Feb 25 - Osaka Castle Hall - Osaka
Feb 26 - Hiroshima Sun Plaza - Hiroshima
Feb 28 - Sekisui Heim Super Arena - Sendai
Mar 3 - Tokyo Dome - Tokyo

Momoiro Clover Z will be special guests at the Tokyo Dome show only.

An online ticket pre-order will begin Tuesday, November 18th on e+. Visit http://udo.jp for full details.

Ace Frehley Set List - New Brunswick, NJ - Nov 13, 2014

01. Lost In Limbo (first time played live since 1992)
02. Gimme A Feelin' (live debut)
03. Toys (live debut)
04. Parasite
05. Snowblind
06. Love Gun (Scot Coogan on vocals)
07. Breakout (Richie Scarlett on vocals)
08. Space Invader (live debut)
09. King Of The Night Time World (Scot Coogan on vocals)
10. Strutter (Scot Coogan on vocals)
11. Change (started song but aborted)
12. Bass Solo
13. Strange Ways (Chris Wyse on vocals)
14. Rock Soldiers
15. New York Groove
16. Shock Me
17. Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
18. Rocket Ride
19. 2 Young 2 Die (Richie Scarlett on vocals)
20. Shot Full Of Rock (first time played live since 2008)

Encore:
21. Cold Gin

Ace Frehley says there is no hate between founding Kiss band members

(lehighvalleylive.com) Ace Frehley is enjoying a different kind of high.

In April, the 63-year-old guitarist was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Kiss.

He released his sixth solo album, "Space Invader," in August to positive reviews from critics. "Space Invader" debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

"It's a good feeling to work 10 months on a project and put your heart and soul into it and get the recognition you deserve," Frehley says during an October phone interview.

Frehley is on the road with a backing band made up of different players than the one he toured with for his 2009 album "Anomaly." This time out he is joined by guitarist Richie Scarlet, The Cult bassist Chris Wyse and drummer Scot Coogan. Scarlet performed on Frehley's 1989 solo effort "Trouble Walking."

Frehley performs Nov. 26 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania.

"This maybe the best lineup I've ever assembled," Frehley says. "I got a gut feeling."

Frehley, now seven years sober, says life on the road is much tamer than in years' past. "I won't be hanging out in the bars," Frehley says. "It's a lot nicer these days. I remember what I did the night before. And I'm in great health."

Personal 'Space'

Though his greasepaint and hard partying days are behind him -- he left Kiss for the second time in 2002 -- an Ace Frehley concert would not be complete without performing a handful of songs he penned for his former band, including fan favorites "Cold Gin" and "Shock Me."

But Kiss' original lead guitarist is eager to perform and test out the new material.

"I feel like I'm still chomping at the bit to see how fans react," Frehley says.

"Space Invader" finds Frehley revisiting familiar territory, with an emphasis on rocket-powered guitar solos and high voltage rock 'n' roll reminiscent of his 1978 debut solo album.

Frehley says he used the same recording approach for "Space Invader" that he started with "Ace Frehley" more than 30 years ago. "I tracked most of the songs with me and Anton Fig and then threw a scratch bass track on it. That pretty much has been the format for all of my albums since," Frehley says. "It's the formula that works for me."

The evolution in technology is not lost on Frehley. "When I think back on that (first) record, I didn't have digital reverbs, I didn't have (digital recording software) Pro Tools," he says. "If I wanted to edit something, I had to (physically) slice the tape.

"(Now) I'm doing editing on my laptop in my hotel room."

Frehley says the title track to "Space Invader" is his favorite song on the album because of how quickly it congealed from idea to completed track. It was the last song and took one day to finish. "It blew me away how well it came out," Frehley says. "The way the solos and background vocals came together."

Frehley calls his playing is "unorthodox" and, when he comes across them, gets a kick out of watching YouTube videos of aspiring guitarists play his songs.

"Everybody's doing their own interpretation," Frehley says. "That's why they all come to see me live, to see what I can do."

Loaded deck

In August, Frehley's promotional campaign for "Space Invader" landed him on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." He sat in with house band The Roots and performed his hit cover of Hello's "New York Groove."

"It was really a lot of fun. Those guys are fans, they're so professional," Frehley says of his "Tonight Show" appearance. "Jimmy was so sweet to me. I gave him a guitar after the show ... I was so happy he invited me."

Frehley is also planning a follow-up to his memoir, "No Regrets." Just don't expect mud-slinging from the original Spaceman. "It's not gonna be a vendetta book," Frehley says. "I want my books to be a fun read. I have so many road stories, I can write five books. There are more stories from my childhood, bands I was in prior to Kiss."

And there is a covers album in the works, too. "Right now I'm focused on 'Space Invader'," Frehley cautions.

As for the trading of blows in interviews between Frehley and his former Kiss band-mates, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, Frehley says the supposed animosity is much ado about nothing.

Reflecting on his Hall of Fame induction, Frehley says he walked away with fond memories of that night. (Only Kiss' original lineup -- Frehley, Simmons, Stanley and former drummer Peter Criss -- were inducted. The quartet did not perform.)

"It was great. It was a lot of fun, everyone was on their best behavior," Frehley says. "The press makes it that we all hate each other, but it's not true. The only regret (I have) is that the four of us didn't perform. It's too bad after 40 years they didn't gave us 15 minutes."

PETER CRISS To Be Honored At Cancer Research & Treatment Fund's Hall Of Fame

Founding KISS drummer and cancer survivor Peter Criss will honored at this year's Cancer Research & Treatment Fund's Hall Of Fame event on Tuesday, November 18 at the JW Marriot Essex House in New York City.

For more information, go to this location.

While some men feel embarrassed because of "this macho crap," Criss told CNN surviving breast cancer was actually a blessing. He was treated before the tumor could spread and said he was speaking about male breast cancer to raise the profile of this rare disease.

Criss, who played drums for KISS and was known as "Catman," offered this advice to men who spot lumps in their breast: "Don't sit around playing Mr. Tough Guy. Don't say 'It's going to go away.' It might not and you might not see life anymore and how beautiful that is."

Criss, who has been working on a new rock album for the last few years, told Reuters his bout with cancer had affected his songwriting.

"My lyrics are not so deep and dismal," he said.

Criss quit KISS for the third time in 2004.

KISS To Perform At 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

KISS will perform at the 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will take place on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, and air on NBC.

The special performance by KISS — which was secured by the band's brand management company, Epic Rights — will be led by more than 600 cheerleaders from around the country, paying tribute to the band with a rocking KISS medley.

The 88th edition of America's favorite holiday tradition will begin at 9:00 a.m, ready to entertain more than 3.5 million spectators lining the streets of Manhattan and more than 50 million viewers nationwide.

"Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the most popular and visually spectacular holiday parade in America, and there is no doubt that KISS, unequalled in the world of concert performance, will deliver stunning theatrics at the Parade," said Juli Boylan-Riddles, EVP of global strategic partnerships and licensing.

KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley jointly stated: "2014 has been a banner year for us and participating in one of the country's most beloved events caps off what has truly been a spectacular 40th anniversary. We can't wait to rock the Big Apple with our fans on Thanksgiving."

The cast of the NBC's "Today Show" will host the broadcast, which will also feature Sting, Meghan Trainor, Idina Menzel, Nick Jonas, the cast of "Sesame Street" and actress Quevenzhane Wallis, with Philadelphia's Taney Dragons and their star pitcher, 13-year-old Mo'Ne Davis, kicking things off.

Setlist at KISS Kruise 2014 - Plugged In Night 2

Creatures of the Night
Psycho Circus
Parasite
Plaster Caster
War Machine
Makin' Love
She
Hell or Hallelujah
Watchin' You
Detroit Rock City
Do You Love Me
Love Gun
Black Diamond

Encore:
Shout It Out Loud
The Oath
Rock and Roll All Nite (with "Just a Boy" intro)

Paul Stanley Customizes A 2015 Corvette Stingray: SEMA 2014

(Photo) (gmauthority.com) When the all-new 2014 C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debuted last year, it won accolades upon accolades, including being named the 2014 North American Car of the Year. Of course, 2015 brings some updates and even the 2015 Z06 , but today at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas we’re most excited about the debut of the 2015 Stingray styled in collaboration with KISS frontman Paul Stanley.

While not a part of the KISS Army, I have to give props to Paul Stanley. As the front man for one of the most successful rock groups in history, Stanley worked with Chevrolet designers to personalize a 2015 Corvette Stingray coupe to create the perfect vehicle (pun intended) that reflects his creativity applied to America’s sports car.

Stanley selected the exterior scheme, which has a unique candy red hue offset with Midnight Glaze Silver paint on the roof, rear hatch, spoiler, outside mirrors, and front grille. He also helped select the quilted parchment leather seats and accents in the Jet Black cabin, plus the dark red accent stitching throughout.

“This car is undeniable in terms of its aesthetics,” says Stanley. “And it is also a world-class piece of machinery.”

Of course, power comes from the 6.2L V8 LT1 engine putting out 460 horsepower mated to GM’s new eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, which Chevrolet claims to deliver world-class shift times that rival the best dual-clutch designs, not to mention delivering an EPA-estimated 29 mpg on the highway. Stanley’s Stingray also features the Z51 Performance Package, notable for its dry-sump oiling system, electronic limited-slip differential, larger front brakes, and a cooling package for the differential and transmission.

This Corvette rolls on Chevrolet Accessories Carbon Flash Metallic forged aluminum wheels, 19-inch front/20-inch rear, paired with Michelin P245/35ZR19 tires front and P285/30ZR20 tires rear.

“It was great working with Paul Stanley, because of his vision and passion for design and automobiles,” says the U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, Jim Campbell.

88TH ANNUAL MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE MARKS THE START OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE NATION'S MOST BELOVED SPECTACLE, NOV. 27 ON NBC

Parade Airs Live 9 a.m. – noon (All Time Zones), Encore Presentation to Air Same Day 2-5 p.m. (All Time Zones)

NEW YORK – Nov. 3, 2014 – As the nation gathers to celebrate and give thanks with family and friends, the biggest spectacle of the holiday season returns to entertain millions, as the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® returns to NBC on Thursday, Nov. 27 (9a.m.-noon in all time zones.) Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s “Today” will anchor the broadcast.

More than 8,000 participants, some donning clown costumes, handling balloon giants or striking up the band will set down the streets of Manhattan at the sound of the time honored catchphrase Let’s Have a Parade™. With a live audience, more than 3.5 million strong and a nationwide television gathering of more than 50 million viewers, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s most beloved holiday pageant.

The star power on Thanksgiving Day comes courtesy of performers from music, film, sports, theatre and television. As they reach their marks on 34th Street, the nation will enjoy their spectacular performances. Joining the festivities this year are the Big Apple Circus, Before You Exit, William Blake, Sabrina Carpenter, Cirque du Soleil, Hilary Duff, Renee Fleming, Becky G., Lucy Hale, Nick Jonas, KISS, Sandra Lee, The Madden Brothers, Idina Menzel, Miss USA 2014- Nia Sanchez, MKTO, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, NEEDTOBREATH, NHL legends John LeClair and Pat LaFontaine, Pentatonix, Romeo Santos, Cole Swindell, Meghan Trainor, The Vamps, Quvenzhané Wallis, and more.

Kicking off the march will be a special group of children who have embodied the Parade’s spirit of teamwork. Throughout their remarkable run this past season at the Little League World Series, Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons displayed an inspiring level of collaboration, spirit and camaraderie - as perfectly evidenced by the group’s embrace and support of pitcher Mo’ne Davis. In honor of that exemplary effort this year the Taney Dragons will lead the procession down the streets of Manhattan with Macy’s Parade executive producer Amy Kule.

“Like turkey dinner and gathering with family, tradition means everything on Thanksgiving and we’re thrilled to once again telecast the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment. “It’s an annual heartwarming event that helps celebrate the holiday season.”

From its humble beginnings in 1924 to the breathtaking spectacular of today, the Macy’s Parade line-up unfolds each year in grand fashion. It’s not just a Parade marching down an avenue; it is a march through tradition, history and popular culture. The magic Parade’s famed line-up this year features 16 giant character balloons; 33 novelty/ornament balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 27 floats; 1,300 cheerleaders and dancers; 1000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and a host of celebrity performers.

“This is a record breaking year for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as we debut the largest new cast of giant character balloons ever assembled, along with five amazing new floats. Tens of millions of spectators will be amazed by what we have in store,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “In addition to an incredible line up of celebrity performers, America’s best high school and college marching bands, hundreds of dancers, cheerleaders, clowns, and balloon handlers, we are adding some new layers of interactivity to the Parade for the first time this year. From live cameras on a float capturing special moments along the route to incredible 360-degree panoramic photos where fans can find themselves part the action, and finally, through our Confetti Carpet, the behind the scenes look at the starting line with our celebrity performers; we are bringing the Macy’s Parade closer to audiences in New York City and in homes across the country.”

GIANTS IN THE SKY

The Parade’s signature giant balloons have for decades showcased the world’s most recognized characters. From comic strips and cartoons to films, video games and the collective pop culture psyche, these giants are a cast of wonder. Starting with a simple paper sketch and transformed via science and engineering by Macy’s “Balloonatics” into high flying art, the giants of wonder will return to inspire and amaze.

This year, Macy’s will introduce the biggest class of new balloons in its history. Six new giant characters will take to the sky including the loveable Peruvian bear Paddington™; the always electrifying Pikachu™; the warm giggling Pillsbury Doughboy®; the vanquisher of evil the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger; the lava spewing Skylanders® Eruptor; and the friendly locomotive Thomas the Tank Engine.

Rounding out the ballooning line-up are returning favorites including Adventure Time with Finn & Jake, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, The Elf on the Shelf, Hello Kitty, Papa Smurf, Ronald McDonald, Snoopy and Woodstock, Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants and Toothless of How to Train Your Dragon. In addition, the balloon cast includes new balloonicles (a Macy’s Parade hybrid of cold-air balloon and vehicle) of the famed-spokesduck the Aflac Duck and Cloe the Holiday Clown, as well as the return of the KOOL-AID Man. In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the film classic, balloonheads of The Wizard of OZ characters will also make a special appearance.

FLOATING SCENE MAKERS

Macy’s floating stages take to the streets bringing a collection of whimsical treats that transport spectators into worlds of fantasy. These 360-degree masterpieces are created by Macy’s Parade Studio’s team of designers, carpenters, painters, animators, metal fabricators and electricians, who work to bring the initial visions on a sketch pad to larger-than-life form. While creativity is key, the team must also factor a very big detail when designing these marvels...these sometime three stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide creations, must collapse to no more than 12 ½-feet tall and 8-feet wide in order to safely travel from the New Jersey studio to the Manhattan starting line.

This year’s five new fantasy floats include Cracker Jack® Popcorn’s At the Ball Game; Sino- American Friendship Association’s Beauty of Beijing, Dora and Friends: Aventuras Fantasticas, GoldieBlox™’s The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine, and Pirate Booty®’s Treasure Hunt.

The returning float roster includes 1-2-3 Sesame Street; Big Apple; Bridge To The Future; Daytime, Play Time, Night Time Too…; Dreamseeker by Cirque du Soleil®; Enchanting World of Lindt Chocolate; Frozen Fall Fun; Goldfish® on Parade; International Cele-bear-ation Clock Tower; It’s All Rock & Roll; Marion-Carole Showboat; Mount Rushmore’s American Pride; On The Roll Again; Pep Rally; Santa’s Sleigh; The Smurfs; Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Tom Turkey; Waves of Conservation; Winter Wonderland In Central Park; and A World at Sea.

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE…

At the center of the spectacle bringing the warm energy, enthusiasm and joy of performing are the nation’s best marching bands and rollicking performance groups. Together they add the musical heart and whimsical talent portion to the holiday revelry, delighting spectators along the route and providing television viewers with showstopping performances. Twelve performance ensembles will take up the call of the baton and march down the streets of Manhattan creating a wave of excitement. Joining the Thanksgiving Day revelry are American Fork High School (American Fork, UT), Bahama All Stars Marching Band (Nassau, Bahamas), Baldwinsville High School (Baldwinsville, NY), Center Grove High School (Greenwood, IN), Foothill High School (Henderson, NV), Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), Madison Scouts Anniversary Corps (Madison, WI), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Lexington, KY), Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC), and Winston Churchill High School (San Antonio, TX). The supply of sometimes wacky, but always fun entertainment includes the nation’s best performance groups. Taking the spotlight along the line of march are the Friendswood High School Wranglerettes (Friendswood, TX), Harlem Globetrotters, The New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies featuring Music Ambassador DJ Hektik (New Orleans, LA), Red Hot Mamas (Post Falls, ID), Spirit of America Dance (United States) and Varsity Spirit Cheer (United States).

AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

The celebrity party begins early via various social media outlets when fans follow @macys to get special content from the Confetti Carpet. Pulling back the curtain to check out what happens backstage before the celebrities join the Parade, the Confetti Carpet will be the place for wacky and hilarious interactions with our celebrity cast. The revelry continues once the Parade steps off as the Cracker Jack At the Ball Game float passes by, giving spectators the opportunity to participate in the ultimate selfie, if they are caught on the baseball- themed float’s live cameras and beamed to the stadium’s jumbotron. To cap off Parade day interactive experiences, the New York Daily News’ Big Apple float will take special panoramic photos all along the route, which spectators can access via macys.com/parade post event, to see if they can spot themselves in the stunning 360-degree photos.

Fans nationwide can kick-off their own Parade experiences early by downloading the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade App. The App will give fans the chance to interact with the famed march, learn more about the elements and share content with their friends. From behind-the- scenes previews to the exclusive Elf-o-matic feature, which allows fans to transform themselves into an Elf balloon and share their high-flying debut with friends; the App is a one- stop destination for all things Macy’s Parade. The free app will be available from the iTunes® App Store or from Google Play. In addition to the interactive app experience this year, Macy’s iconic characters return to take center stage in a series of animated spots featuring Tom Turkey, Cloe the Holiday Clown, Happy Hippo, the rambunctious Elf trio and more. Catch the action on macys.com/parade and watch how Macy’s star characters prep for the big day as they re-enact scenes from classic New York based movies.

The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will step-off at 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will travel down to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas to 34th Street. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere has been the guiding motto of this annual national tradition for more than eight decades and is one which continues to this day.

Please note: All talent, performances, line-up and information included are subject to change.

Setlist at KISS Kruise 2014 - Plugged In Night 1

Creatures of the Night
Psycho Circus
War Machine
Plaster Caster
Tears are Falling
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
Lick It Up
Calling Dr. Love
Hell or Hallelujah
I Love It Loud
Detroit Rock City
Love Gun
Black Diamond
Encore:
Shout It Out Loud
The Oath
Rock and Roll All Nite

KISS Setlist at KISS Kruise 2014 - Nov 1

Acoustic
Comin' Home
Plaster Caster
Got to Choose
God of Thunder (Riff)
Hide Your Heart
Christine Sixteen
Nothin' to Lose
Love Her All I Can
See You Tonite
Hard Luck Woman
All the Way
Shock Me
Hotter Than Hell
Firehouse
C'mon and Love Me
Cold Gin
Do You Love Me

Ace Frehley: I don't pay attention to what Gene Simmons says

(torontosun.com) Spaceman or Space Invader?

Well, both actually, as original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, whose band persona was Spaceman, has released a new solo album called Space Invader with song titles like the title track, Inside the Vortex, Past the Milky Way and Starship.

“Even when I’m not wearing the makeup I’m still the same guy,” said the 63-year-old Bronx native, who left KISS for good in 2002 after first departing in 1982, and then reuniting with the group in 1996.

“I’ve always been fascinated with sci-fi films and astronomy,” he said in a Canadian newspaper exclusive with QMI Agency. “When did man walk on the moon? I think it was ‘69 and I was born in ‘51. I remember watching it on the TV in the classroom. All that stuff had a profound impact on me and when we put together KISS (in 1973) everybody just followed through with their alter-egos.”

We caught up with Frehley down the line from his San Diego home to talk about his new music, the contentious KISS 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and eight years of sobriety.

So much has been written about the friction between you and current KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in the lead up to the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of the band. But were you at least happy you finally got in?

I was thrilled about the whole ceremony. I mean the only regret is that KISS didn’t perform. And a lot of people aren’t even aware of the fact that I was supposed to perform that night at the end of the evening. I was supposed to do Highway to Hell with Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello and they cut it because the show just went way over time. I had my guitar with me and everything and I was getting all psyched and then all the speeches from the E Street Band added another hour.

Have you worked through any differences with Gene and Paul resulting from that occasion?

The press likes to amplify negativity. Nobody wants to hear that we get along. It only makes headlines when we say stuff about each other but you gotta remember we’re brothers in rock 'n' roll and we started something really great in the early ‘70s and that can’t be disputed, our work withstands the test of time... I’m on speaking terms with those guys. I spoke to Gene probably three or four months ago when I was driving up to L.A. while I was finishing the final touches on Space Invader. We were just reminiscing about the ‘70s when we used to drive around in station wagons. And he was talking to me about how the music business has changed so much. He basically made a statement that rock 'n' roll is dead.

Is it?

I don’t really pay much attention to what Gene says these days. He’s attacking poor people, he’s attacking depressed people, and people in recovery. He puts his foot in his mouth a lot these days and I’d rather not even comment on it.

Do you speak much to original KISS drummer Peter Criss, who's also no longer in the group?

I talk to Peter from time to time. Peter’s hanging in there. He’s in New Jersey. I’m in San Diego. We don’t get to see each other much.

Space Invader has a few notable songs where you seem to be taking stock of your life. Let’s start with Change.

For me it’s more about getting sober, that’s the way I interpreted it.

And Reckless certainly seems to about your booze-and-drugs filled past.

I (have) never hidden the fact(s) about all the crazy things I‘ve done in my life. It’s no secret that I have a past history of alcoholism and drug addiction, but Sept. 15 I celebrated eight years (of sobriety). It’s life-changing. There’s no way I would have been able to put out a record like this at age 63 still getting loaded, it just wouldn’t have happened. And only by the grace of God am I walking around today. Every day above ground is a good day as far as I’m concerned. And the hit records and touring and all the other stuff and the accolades and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that’s just gravy on top of everything.

Did you have an epiphany moment in terms of getting sober?

I’ve tried getting sober several times over the course of the last 35 years but the last time it just kind of stuck. I actually got a phone call from my daughter, who’s down in Florida, and she’s in recovery, and she said, ‘Dad, you gotta sober up.’ And I just looked in the mirror and said, ‘Yeah.’ Sometimes a phone call from a family member or a talk from a family member can really ring true.

Is touring hard due to temptation?

I don’t allow any alcohol or drugs around the band or in the dressing room. I try to hire all sober people if at all possible or if they do use drugs and alcohol I tell them, ‘Don’t use it around me or when there’s a show.’ I can’t be a complete policeman. I mean I don’t have anything against drinking or drugs. It’s a free country. People have a right to do whatever they want to do as long as they take care of business.

It certainly sounds like sobriety had led to better guitar playing on Space Invader.

I’m definitely more focused putting this record together... And the best is yet to come I believe. I’m talking to a couple of producers about scoring some films. I’d like to do some more acting. I’d like to produce some other bands and share my production skills. I produced my last two records plus I’ve worked with some of the greatest producers and engineers of all time in the last 40 years... Who knows what the future will bring but I want to break new ground still at this point.

Did you watch any of the Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels reality show on TV?

Gene invited me to do the show, I declined. He also invited me to be on the (Comedy Central) roast and I called up Paul, and Paul said it wasn’t in his comfort zone. I called Peter and he said he didn’t want to do it. I respectfully declined because I didn’t want to go up there without Paul and Peter if he was going to be roasted. He ended up hiring comics and stuff, kinda strange.

Space Invader also includes a cover of Steve Miller’s 1973 classic The Joker. How did that come about?

That was actually the record company’s idea... I was a little resistant because I didn’t think the song was heavy enough and would hold up with the rest of the songs. But I kind of heavied it up a little. Put in a guitar solo and gave the choruses a New York Groove-kind of swing. I kind of made it my own. I like to use the term, ‘I Ace-i-fied it.’

So KISS and Miller never met along the way?

I don’t believe we’ve ever met. But it’s a possibility. There were a lot of blackouts.

Paul Stanley of KISS: 'Winning and living on your own terms defines rock and roll'

(lasvegassun.com) Fire breathing, spitting blood, guitars on fire, levitating drum kits and extraordinary pyrotechnics have always been hallmarks of KISS led by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and it all finally took them to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The rockers’ worldwide record sales are more than 100 million, making them one of the bestselling bands of all time. Incredibly, the group that formed in 1973 is going stronger than ever, and its Army of fans grows larger, too.

Now KISS is celebrating its 40th anniversary with its first-ever residency — at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel — where Gene promises: “What happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas, not if we have anything to do with it. We intend to blow the roof off the Hard Rock.”

KISS will play nine shows Nov. 5-23 with guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer rounding out the action. Beneath that bizarre makeup beats the hearts of two astute businessmen who are marketing marvels. We actually share the same Wall Street investment banker.

I’ve known Gene and Paul for many, many years, so it’s always good to have a long chat with them. I caught up with Paul just before he left for Mexico City and his annual KISS Cruise.

You’ve just wrapped another one of those major tours?

We did 42 shows and played to 600,000 people, so right now I’m just catching my breath. Tomorrow I leave for Mexico City to headline a festival, then we have the KISS Cruise, which we do every year, and that’s sold out with 3,500 people from 33 countries. Then we come to Las Vegas, which is the icing on the cake.

Not just because it’s the first time you’re playing a residency at the Hard Rock, but why is it the icing on the cake?

Well because it’s new territory for us, and what KISS has always been about is going against the grain and really doing things in our time and when it feels right for us. There was a time where quite honestly everyone thought of Las Vegas as an elephant burial ground.

It was the more glittery branch in Missouri for some people, but it’s so unique. There was also a time where the best food you could get was a $1.99 prime rib. Now if I want a great meal, I go to Las Vegas. You can’t get a comparable meal in Los Angeles to what you can get in Las Vegas.

Everything has changed so much, and it’s always seemed like a perfect fit for us to be in Las Vegas, but for a lot of reasons, it just wasn’t meant to be. Now the planets have lined up, and everything is as it should be, and we will come in and do what we do.

We are doing a KISS show in Las Vegas, we are not doing a Las Vegas show with KISS. We are a rock and roll band, and we will do what we do — better than any band at this point.

Are you changing the tour show?

Completely different stage. At this point, our influence is so widespread that virtually any rock band you go see live is doing the KISS show. The only thing they can never be is KISS. Anybody with money can buy pyro, can buy lasers, but you can never be us. So for us to come into Las Vegas, we’ll set a different level honestly.

It’s an amazing thing for us to be able to go into a smaller venue and not downsize. Usually going into a smaller venue means doing a smaller show, but because this show isn’t portable and because this show is a permanent installation, we can do things that we couldn’t when you have to break the show down every night.

With 40 years as a group, do you ever sit and chat with Gene and try to dissect or wonder why you got this extraordinary four-decade life as a top rock group?

I think we understand why because we have a work ethic. We do something that we are passionate about and take a lot of pride in. We don’t bow to anyone else other than to our own desires. We’ve never been a band who lived within the boundaries or other people’s perceptions of who we should be or what’s credible or not credible or what’s rock and roll and what’s not rock and roll.

Winning and living on your own terms is rock and roll, and we are that and then some. Gene and I take a lot of pride in what we do. We respect the fans to the utmost. We started this band to be the band we never saw. A band that would respect an audience.

We understand that when you pay for a ticket, you deserve the best. You deserve to get something for your money in the same way as when you go to the market. If you’re going to pay, you don’t want to walk out with an empty sack.

We’ve always been very clear that we are not only a musical band, but we are entertainers. In our case, we’re in a unique position of being more than any other band in the sense that one might see us as Superman with a guitar. We’re superheroes.

We’re four iconic images who are known around the world. People know KISS no matter where you take our photo, although they might not know the individual members. We’ve always been clear on what we are and what we’re not.

It’s meant, though, 40 years of putting on this extraordinary makeup. Do you still love doing it, or do you sometimes wish you could just go on and play without it?

I’ve done both, and honestly this is the uniform to my way of thinking the only band I would ever want to be in. I wear it with incredible pride. Forty years of doing this means 40 years of being victorious. Every time I step up onstage with the makeup on, it’s a victory lap. I mean this is extraordinary. We’re not a rock band; we’re a phenomenon. Rock bands make music; phenomenons impact society.

Does it change your persona under the makeup?

It’s only appropriate that my persona is magnified in order for me to communicate to 20,000 people. If I spoke the way you and I are speaking now, it would be lost to most. So I am 20,000 times this and then some. I want everybody at our arena gigs and our stadium gigs, and now at the Joint, I want everybody to feel that I’m talking to them because I am.

Everybody to the last seat in the last row is as important as the people in the front. My personality gets magnified, amplified and taken to a different level just so that the intensity and the intimacy that you and I might have is something that everybody in the venue will experience.

Your fans today must range from hardcore fans from 40 years ago and a whole new legion of youngsters, right?

Yeah, I think we’re three or four generations into this at this point, and it’s gone beyond being a band. Coming to a KISS concert is like going to a tribal meeting. This is a tribe at this point. Most bands are very demographic specific and most bands have a select age group who come to see them.

Most rock bands, if you go to the show, you don’t want your younger brother to show up, you don’t want your parents there, you don’t want your neighbor there. It’s yours and your contemporaries. With KISS, it’s very different. It’s like the largest cult in the world, and everybody who’s there is in it together. We have parents bringing their kids. We have three generations showing up. We’ll have people holding their children up kind of like a rite of passage.

Parents want their kids to experience what they did. I take a tremendous amount of pride in that and see this as a huge responsibility. I take a lot of pride sometimes in addressing the children in the audience and saying we were there for your parents, and we’ll be there for you. This is much bigger than Gene or I or anyone else. I take great pride in believing that the band will outlive me.

In terms of rock and roll, Motley Crew is calling it quits on its current world tour. Are you saying KISS will not call it quits and go on maybe with other musicians?

Oh, totally; absolutely. We are unlike any other band. We are closer to an army. We are closer to a sports team. I’m not foolish enough to think that I’m the only person to do what I do. The Yankees continued without Babe Ruth. Time marches on, and if you’re part of a movement or part of a commitment to a cause, then when you’re time is done … look, if you fall in battle, someone picks up your gun and runs.

Somebody has to carry the flag, and that’s what KISS is about. KISS is about a lifestyle and self-empowerment and going against the odds and believing in yourself. I guess enjoying the fruits of hard work. That’s not singular to me. People who said that was not possible in terms of KISS are already 50 percent wrong. The lineup is now 40 years on, and two of the members are not the original members, but they are far better at this point than the original members.

Are you still a part-time Las Vegas resident?

I still have my place there, and I would say regardless of whether I have a residence in Las Vegas, I love Las Vegas. My wife and I go in just to see a show and have some great meals. My friend Julian Serrano is one of my favorite chefs arguably in the world. Between him and everybody else who’s there at this point, I have to go to Las Vegas to get a great meal. I can’t get it in Los Angeles.

So walking in here to Vince Neil’s hometown, and he has started the Las Vegas Outlaws, first tell me are you pleased that he’s got an Arena Football League expansion team? And are you ready for the L.A. Kiss to whip the Las Vegas Outlaws?

I have to say a long time ago I stopped looking at competition. The only person I compete with is myself. I don’t really see the idea that Las Vegas is Vince’s town; it’s also Carrot Top’s town.

I understand. The rivalry has started.

I wish Vince the best. We will see how things unfold.

You must be pleased, though, with the expansion of the Arena Football League coming to Las Vegas.

I think at this point the Arena Football League has so much to offer. It’s an experience unlike anything else. The intensity of the game and the intimacy of it that is played out so close to you that literally you can wind up with a player in your lap. There are no sidelines, and the game plays very quickly and aggressively.

I think people have a lot of misinformation about what these players are. These are not third-rate players; these are the upper 1 percent of players available. There’s only so much room in the NFL, so these are great players, and it’s a terrific sport. I’m proud to be a part of it. I won a championship in the AFL and love making it into what it should be.

How did the L.A. Kiss do this year?

Oh we did horrifically. Now mind you that was the team’s performance, but in terms of tickets, we’re the envy of everyone in the league. We had 8,000 season-ticket holders, and we’re already scheduled to have more than that for 2015. To be an expansion team and to be in the position that we were, we may have been a bit naive in believing that we could go from 0 to 60, so to speak.

We have some ground to make up, but in terms of delivering entertainment, everybody loved the games. Even with the games we lost, we had great dancers, we have live music, we have pyro. It’s just football, and what attracted us to the AFL was the potential that it could be so much more than it is.

If we’re raising the bar, so be it. Every team that’s coming in, whether it’s Vince’s or anyone else’s, it’s going to have to stand tall because we’re setting a standard that has not been seen yet in the AFL.

So who wins ultimately? The fans. And that’s true at the Hard Rock for November. We’ll deliver the win for the fans.

3 Nellis airmen picked as KISS 'Roadies for a Week'

Rock ‘n’ roll legends KISS partners with Nellis Air Force Base to select three local, active military members to serve as “Roadies for a Week” during the band’s KISS Rocks Vegas residency at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Nov. 5-23.

Known for their extensive support of service men and women, KISS has been working with active military members and veterans for years. The KISS Rocks Vegas residency will mark the band’s third time enlisting the help of America’s heroes.

“It is an honor for us to enlist these heroes of our Armed Forces into the KISS Army,” said KISS frontman and guitarist Paul Stanley. “They have already proven what they are capable of and their presence can only elevate us.”

After submitting applications, Master Sgt. Jason Borkhuis of Nellis Air Force Base, Sgt. First Class Cory DeMille of the U.S. Army Reserve and Technical Sgt. Richard Reichert of Nellis Air Force Base were chosen by the band to become a “Roadie for a Week.” The three brave men have a combined 60-plus years of service, are highly-decorated and well respected in the armed forces community.

Borkhuis, Demille and Reichert will all work closely with the KISS crew and the band’s VIP program for a total of three shows each for their designated week. Each roadie will create his or her own video and photo diary to keep as a memento from their week working with one of the greatest rock bands in the world. In addition to assisting with the show, roadies will also receive a complimentary hotel stay at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino during their volunteer week.

“I was so amped up after hearing the news,” said Borkhuis. “I didn’t get much sleep prior to going to work the night shift. Instead of sleeping when I got home, I cranked my post-divorce theme song ‘Crazy, Crazy Nights.’”

"These guys are living legends,” said Demille. “It is awesome to know underneath the makeup and the outfits, they are patriotic Americans."

“It’s a childhood dream come true and I’m still a kid at heart,” said Reichert. “I’m still in shock but I’m so excited to get this chance.”

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Hard Rock Hotel box office, www.axs.com or charge-by-phone at 1-888-9-AXS-TIX. VIP ticket and room and show packages are available at www.hardrockhotel.com.

KISS Gift Packs Now Available From Iconic Shop

Earlier this summer, KISS hit the road for their 40th Anniversary Tour and next month, the iconic rockers will be rocking Vegas! To celebrate, Iconic Shop™ has created custom gift packs so fans can rock right along with the band.

Offering unique music merchandise and collectibles from hundreds of artists, Iconic Shop spans across various genres including Classic Rock, Blues, Metal, Modern Rock, Punk, and Hip Hop. KISS has been shocking fans with their intense vocals and elaborate stage shows for four decades now. Fans, both old and young, were treated this summer when the band took to touring across the Unites States to pay tribute to their 40th anniversary. Although the tour officially ended in August, KISS will be performing in Vegas at The Joint between November 5 and 23, 2014. More information and tickets available here.

To celebrate the Kiss Rocks Vegas show, Iconic Shop wanted to create original KISS gift packs with a little something for every kind of fan. Offering four unique gift packs, Iconic Shop has combined some of their top-selling KISS-branded pieces to create a gift that is sure to please even the most devoted of KISS fans. Items included among the gift sets include a 4-piece glassware set emblazoned with the band’s iconic painted faces, Zippo lighter, and other collectables.

“KISS and their legendary army of fans have helped to define American rock over the past four decades,” says Iconic CEO, Tom Spain. “We couldn’t be more excited to release our custom gift packs that will pay tribute to such an iconic music act.”

Fans can visit the Iconic Shop website today to check out the gift packs as well as other KISS merchandise sold separately.

Gene Simmons Urges Women to "Stop Depending on Men" and "Get a Career"

(Video) Gene Simmons is getting attention again and it's not for the music!

The Kiss frontman appeared on Trending with Andrea Tantaros last week where he shared his thoughts on what women should be thinking when they're trying to succeed financially.

As it turns out, he says, ladies should be less focused on a man and more interested in earning a stable income.

"Here's the real skinny of life as we know it," he shared on Fox News while promoting his new book Me, Inc. "Let's all agree that woman should not depend on men. The statistics predominately tell us they will run out on you. Yes, infidelity, but the other problem is the economics of relationships."

Simmons later went on to explain his viewpoint that men "predominately" go out and earn a living for his family. But when trouble arises in a relationship, women are left with little options.

"Assume the man won't be there. Why not devote your time, your early years, to making your fortune?" he explained. "Get a career."

He added, "Life is not a straight line and I'm here to say women think differently than men. Men must work for a living. Women have the option of becoming the housewife, which is respectable and wonderful but what happens when the man runs away?"

And while Simmons says there are plenty of nice guys out there, the rocker assures female fans that they need to be smart when it comes to finding the one.

"Don't depend on them," he shared. "Why should you? They don't depend on you for anything. The less you depend on a man for emotional and financial support, the better off you'll be."

Simmons is no stranger to speaking his mind.

During an interview with HuffPost Live, the rocker said people moving to America should assimilate to the culture as quickly as possible.

"As an immigrant, I'm telling you: Learn to speak goddamn English," he said. "It is the key that will unlock the keys to the kingdom." He also faced backlash over comments about depression.

KISS: 'Love Gun: Deluxe Edition' Promotional Clip

KISS: 'Love Gun: Deluxe Edition' Promotional Clip.

Setlist at Hell & Heaven Metal Fest 2014

Creatures of the Night
Psycho Circus
War Machine (Gene breathes fire)
Plaster Caster
Tears Are Falling
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
Lick It Up
Calling Dr. Love
Hell or Hallelujah
Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies)
I Love It Loud
Detroit Rock City
Love Gun (Paul flies out to audience for entire song)
Black Diamond

Encore:
Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made for Lovin' You
Rock and Roll All Nite

Peter Criss music drives Gene Simmons crazy at book signing

(pagesix.com) Gene Simmons kept yelling “Turn on the music!” at the Barnes & Noble on Warren Street, where the Kiss rocker was signing copies of his humble book “Me, Inc.”

“Like a bad joke they played Peter Criss,” said my literary legman.

Drummer Criss, who sang “Beth” and “Hard Luck Woman,” has been fired or retired from the group three times.

Oprah: Where Are They Now?

(First Aired: Oct. 26, 2014) - OWN - The cast of ``A Different World'' reunites; updates from ``General Hospital'' actress Finola Hughes and Kiss' Paul Stanley.

PAUL STANLEY ON JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE

VIDEO: PAUL STANLEY ON JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE.

PAUL STANLEY: 'KISS Never Stops'

KISS members Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer spoke to Artisan News at the September 21 event at the John Varvatos boutique in Hollywood where menswear designer John Varvatos and former BEATLES drummer and music icon Ringo Starr celebrated their #PEACEROCKS initiative. You can watch the report here: Tommy, Paul.

MIPCOM: Kiss Star Gene Simmons Slams Coddling TV Talent Show Judges

(hollywoodreporter.com) "You can't sugarcoat shit, pardon me"

Gene Simmons is not one to sugarcoat his opinions.

Precious TV singing-competition show judges who coddle pop-star wannabes, rather than be brutally honest about their lack of talent, don't score points with the Kiss star. "You can't sugarcoat shit, pardon me. You can mentor anyone you like, but it's a waste of time if they don't have the goods intrinsically," Simmons told The Hollywood Reporter at MIPCOM, where he's launching his new reality format Coliseum from Sierra/Engine Television.

The music mogul is putting his own spin on the TV competition show genre by getting tough on contestants. Why? Because the music industry, like life itself, is cutthroat.

"Your qualification for being on this show is you can sing in the shower? Is that it, without paying any dues or writing songs or any stagecraft?" he questioned. Coliseum sees Simmons, who recently entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as Rock Caesar challenging contestants to form rock bands with a winning musical voice and performance.

The reality show veteran will motivate evolving acts before they perform in front of an audience. "We want to open the trapdoors of life and get tough. There will be heartbreak, and people are going to cry and their dreams will be shattered, just like in real life," the Kiss frontman said.

Simmons understands what leads singing competition show judges to nurture talent, rather than offer harsh and honest evaluations. "TV shows are fantasy because they're selling soap suds. It's family entertainment, it's primetime, the kids are there, and they [broadcasters] don't want to get too realistic," he said.

But Coliseum will prize image over voice when judging talent. "We want to create superstars, not just singers that get record deals," Simmons said. The other twist is that Coliseum will mix and match artists that contend on the show to find the perfect musical act.

Shuffling and reshuffling talent to find the perfect musical act is the focus of another reality TV competition format from Nemo Planet, Birth of a Band, being shopped by Peace Point Rights at MIPCOM this week.

Genesis rock band legend Mike Rutherford, backed by the Internet as a casting platform, will help mentor emerging talent to select contestants from six instrumental/vocal categories. Eric Mueller, senior vp international sales and acquisitions at ?Peace Point Rights, said music lovers are increasingly going to YouTube and Vimeo to find fresh musical talent.

So Birth of a Band will wrangle talent online before the transition to TV. Each week, competing teams will perform to impress audiences, with online voting leading to the reshuffling or elimination of bandmembers.

The final two teams will compete for the top prize of becoming a supporting act for a major band. "The aim is to identify the next Genesis," Mueller said.

Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp coming to Calgary

The legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp is coming to Calgary and will feature rock legend Gene Simmons of KISS fame, the Herald has learned.

The camp, which has been making dreams come true in the United States for the past 18 years, will hold its first foray into Canada January 8-11, 2015 in Calgary.

Simmons, a singer-songwriter, businessman, arena football co-owner of the LA KISS and media icon, headlines the launch of the business venture north of the border.

“Mentoring adult and young rockers at the fantasy camp has always been an amazingly rewarding experience for me,” said Simmons in a statement. “I enjoy teaching and handing over lessons I’ve learned from the business to musicians and upcoming talent.”

Over four days, attendees will get to fulfill their dreams by jamming with their idols who will help them perfect their instrument skills, vocals and stage presence. The campers, with guidance from the counsellors, will write, record and rehearse an original song at Heritage Hall at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and perform before a live audience at the downtown Calgary Fairmont Palliser Hotel.

Bryan Taylor, chief operating officer of Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp Canada, said the camp is hoping to attract 80 people. Cost is $5,500 for the song-writing portion of the camp and $8,900 for the whole package.

Taylor said the level of wealth and disposable income in Calgary made the business venture a viable proposition here.

“It’s transformational. The fun that people have at this thing and the way they come out of it, the excitement, it’s amazing what they can do,” said Taylor.

“There’s so much excitement in Calgary. It’s a young, growing, bursting at the seams active city looking to embrace more events. We thought what a great city to launch it in. The most energetic city in Canada and frankly let’s make the people in Toronto and Vancouver and all that look at us and go ‘wow, we want to get in on that too’.”

For more information on the camp visit www.rockandrollcampcanada.com.

George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob, Souls of We) and Leland Sklar (who has contributed to over 2,000 albums) will also be joining Simmons as Rock Star Guests of the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in Canada.

Additional Rock Star Counsellors include: Lita Ford (The Runaways), Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, DIO, Rick Derringer, John Lennon), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Queensryche), Teddy Andreadis (Carole King, Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper, BB King, Michael Jackson), Nick Catanese (Black Label Society), and four members of the Canadian Rock group Loverboy – Paul Dean, Matt Frenette, Doug Johnson, Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve.

David Fishof is the founder and creator of the concept. He’s worked with veteran rock legends such as Roger Daltrey, Levon Helm, Joe Walsh, Roger Hodgson, Todd Rundgren, Jack Bruce, Dr. John, Randy Bachman and many others.

AMC Exits Unscripted Programming To Focus On Scripted Series, 'Talking Dead' & 'Comic Book Men' To Continue

Three years after it entered the unscripted arena, AMC is pulling out to focus on its core scripted business. Of the network’s unscripted portfolio, only The Walking Dead hit aftershow Talking Dead and Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men will continue. Any other production or development of unscripted shows is being discontinued. That includes recently renewed Game of Arms, which will shut down production on its second season effective immediately. Producers will have the option of finding another home for their unscripted projects, with AMC’s full cooperation.

AMC has about 10 employees in New York and Los Angeles who focus on unscripted programming. Some of them will continue to service AMC’s two remaining series, though some will likely leave as part of the programming shift.

“Scripted originals are at the core of the AMC brand,” the network said in a statement to Deadline.”Iconic shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead have driven AMC’s evolution into a must-have television network. We are proud of our efforts in unscripted programming and the unique worlds we have been able to introduce, but in an environment of exploding content options for viewers, we have decided to make scripted programming our priority.”

AMC kicked off its foray into unscripted in 2011 with the docu-series Inside the DHS and The Pitch. A year and a half later, AMC launched an all-unscripted Thursday night with Comic Book Men as the anchor, but retreated from the night a year later, in 2013. Originally, the idea was to use reality programming as a replacement for movies in primetime. But, with the glut of unscripted programming on cable, audiences for it started to decline across the board as it became harder and harder to find a breakout hit, and many of those who did break out have had a short lifespan. Plus, reality series do not have the repeatability of scripted shows, and multiple play is key for cable networks. Meanwhile, AMC’s movies have performed reasonably well, with the network’s year-to-date adults 18-49 primetime movie audience actually up and younger than 2013.

More importantly, as cable universe becomes more fragmented, networks have been looking to narrow their brands to distinguish themselves from the competition. In a similar move, USA Network is pulling away from half-hour comedies to focus on its core drama programming that viewers associate with its brand.

What AMC is best known for is drama programming. It established itself as an original programming player with compelling series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. It has struggled to launch a new drama hit over the past couple of years, but with no distractions trying to maintain both a scripted and unscripted portfolios, the network’s executives can now focus again on the AMC bread and butter and work on finding that next big drama franchise. In the meanwhile, AMC has offshoots of two of its biggest scripted series in the works, the upcoming Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul and the Walking Dead companion, which has received a pilot order.

The Walking Dead’s companion talk show, Talking Dead, has been a monster hit fitting for the series that spawned it — its season four averaged 5.6 million total viewers, 3.7 million adults 18-49 per episode in live+3.

Comic Book Men also has done well in its low-trafficked Sunday midnight slot, averaging 1.35 million total viewers, 969k adults 18-49 per episode in Season 3.

Peter Criss: Breast cancer 'scared the pants off me'

Peter Criss: Breast cancer 'scared the pants off me': video.

The Playboy Library: KISS Alive!

(playboy.com) We are not going to debate the music of KISS. If you love it, nothing I say will convince you otherwise; if you hate it, nothing I can say will make you reconsider.

Maybe.

Let’s talk facts: Forty-plus-year career. Over 100 million albums sold. Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame (albeit begrudgingly) Inductees. The industry and music elitists may not take them seriously, but a few million fans beg to differ. Sure, Pearl Jam is a hell of a band, but they don’t have their own army.

KISS rose from the ashes of Wicked Lester, a Jethro Tull-tinged prog-rock band led by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Realizing they were good but not great, Stanley and Simmons severed ties with Epic Records and set out with one goal in mind — create the rock band they had never seen, but wished they did. Stripping down their sound, abandoning the jazz flute and Hammond organ and bringing lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss into the fold, they focused on louder guitars and catchier melodies.

Deconstructing the early success of the Beatles Stanley and Simmons modeled themselves on the Fab Four formula: Four distinct personalities, twin lead singers (the rhythm guitarist and bassist) who occasionally gave the others time to shine singing songs that perfectly fit their well crafted personas. A few Wicked Lester holdovers, such as “She,” remained in the set, albeit barely recognizable as played through the new KISS locomotive.

Between February 1974 and March 1975 KISS released three albums — KISS, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed to Kill — all to mediocre sales. But their live shows were quickly becoming a thing of legend. You’ve seen the makeup and the fire and the blood. You know what I’m talking about. Alive! functions as a greatest hits of those first three albums and shows exactly how prolific the band was in their early days.

Released in September of ’75 (making it four albums in less than two years), *Alive! *was recorded at the behest of their modest but growing fan base, which complained their first three records did not come close to capturing the sound of their live shows. Recorded in Detroit, Cleveland, New Jersey and Ohio, Alive! would peak at #9, chart for a whopping 110 weeks and launch international KISSteria.

People may have come for the KISS spectacle, but they were staying for the music: “Deuce,” “Strutter,” “Hotter Than Hell,” “Cold Gin,” “Fire House,” “Rock And Roll All Nite”: They all sound as good blasting out of your car today as they did then.

This was the album that converted much of rock royalty: From Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Anthrax to Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and Lady GaGa (whose most prized possession is a pair of 8” boots given to her by Paul Stanley) — the KISS Army spans the musical horizon.

There may not be a “Stairway to Heaven” on Alive! and that’s just fine. KISS isn’t about changing the world: KISS is about enjoying it while you’re here.

Gene Simmons and Engelbert Humperdinck compare tongues

KISS legend and tongue-acrobat Gene Simmons said he and Engelbert Humperdinck compared their talents while recording their duet “Spinning Wheel” for the British singer’s recent album, “Engelbert Calling,” which also includes duets with Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, Willie Nelson and Smokey Robinson.

Simmons recalled that, “While Engelbert and I were posing for photos, we made jokes. The usual stuff guys do. Some [were] inappropriate for younger ears, so I’m not sharing .?.?. He was curious if my tongue was as long as he had heard. And I offered that I would normally stick my tongue out, but noticed the floor wasn’t all that clean.”

Gene Simmons on "Kansas City Live"

Gene Simmons on "Kansas City Live": video.

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

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

How do you do it?

* Paul_Stanley: Don't do it every night.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

* Paul_Stanley: Great question! I did have a bone conduction implant done. But honestly at this point in my life, it's very diffic