Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today In KISStory - 2006

 KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - October 31, 2006: KISSology Volume One DVD is released by VH1 Classic Records.

Kissology Volume One: 1974–1977 is a DVD/Home Video released by Kiss on October 31, 2006. It contains two discs, plus three separate bonus discs sold only within initial first pressings.

Also included with the DVD set is a 20-page color booklet, with commentary on each portion of the DVD. Some versions of this dvd have a replica of Kiss's "Spring Tour '75" backstage pass as an iron on.

As a promotional effort for Kissology Volume One, National CineMedia promoted a one-night screening of selected portions of the DVD at a limited number of theaters, on October 26, 2006. The screening began with an introductory interview with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and included the documentary of Kiss's 1975 trip to Cadillac, Michigan, as well as a 1976 Cobo Arena concert (both from Disc 1).[

As of January 2007, the set is certified 5X multi-platinum by the RIAA.

Today In KISStory - 1998



KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - 1998: Premier broadcast of KISS on Mad TV.

Today In KISStory - 2006

 


KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - October 31, 2006: Gene and Paul appear on MTV's TRL program in New York's Time Square. Later, they are the Grand Marshalls for the New York Village Halloween Parade. Gene and Paul end the night with a signing event at the Virgin Megastore in NYC.

Today In KISStory - 1979


KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - October 31, 1979: The broadcast of the KISS appeareance on NBC-TVs 'The Tomorrow Show' with Tom Snyder.

Perhaps the most outrageous interview seen on Snyder's show occurred on Halloween 1979, when the rock band KISS appeared to promote their album, Dynasty. During that 25-minute "interview", the conversation degenerated into a somewhat chaotic exchange between Snyder and a very drunk Ace Frehley, who picked up Snyder's teddy bear, put the wristlets from his costume on the bear, and laughed, "the only Spacebear in captivity! I've got him — he's captured!" When Snyder asked Ace if his costume was that of some sort of spaceman, Frehley quipped, "No, actually I'm a plumber." Snyder shot back, "Well, I've got a piece of pipe backstage I'd like to have you work on." The inebriated Frehley replied "Tell me about it!" and clapped his hands and cackled hysterically at the exchange. Years later, Gene Simmons revealed on his website that he felt "betrayed" by the other band members during this interview. Shortly thereafter, drummer Peter Criss officially left the band and subsequently appeared on the show, making Snyder the first host to have a member of KISS appearing without makeup in public.

Sneak Peek: New KISS Halloween Masks - Paul & Gene

 
KISSonline

Here's a KISSonline exclusive sneak peek of the new Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons Halloween masks being released next year by Rubie's.

The masks are pictured in the early stage of sample clay molds. The next steps will add hair and makeup.


Today In KISStory - 1998





KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - October 31, 1998: KISS kicks off their "Psycho Circus" tour on Halloween night at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA.

Psycho Circus Tour was a Kiss concert tour in 1998-1999. It was the first concert tour in history to have 3-D visual effects. One notable show on the tour was the March 12 Bremen, Germany show. After the opening song, Paul Stanley announced that the local fire marshall had banned Kiss from using any pyrotechnics during the show. They used a translator on stage to let the crowd understand exactly what Paul was saying. At the end of the show the band let off the shows worth of pyro in one shot. Kiss is now banned from playing Bremen.
  
Setlist

   1. "Psycho Circus"
   2. "Shout It Out Loud"
   3. "Do You Love Me"
   4. "Deuce"
   5. "Shock Me"
   6. "Firehouse"
   7. "Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll"
   8. "Calling Dr. Love"
   9. "Into The Void"
  10. "Ace Frehley Guitar Solo"
  11. "King Of The Night Time World"
  12. "Cold Gin"
  13. "Within"
  14. "God Of Thunder"
  15. "Love Gun"
  16. "I Was Made For Lovin' You"
  17. "100,000 Years"
  18. "Detroit Rock City"
  19. "Beth"
  20. "Rock and Roll All Nite"
  21. "Black Diamond"

"Makin' Love" was dropped after a few performances. This was the only show performed with the accompanied "Psycho Circus" clowns and entourage. The Smashing Pumpkins dressed up as the Beatles.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gene Simmons Mini Pumpkin

wowzzydotcom

If you are looking for ideas today for your Halloween pumpkin, here's a cool idea! This video shows you how to put together a quick Gene Simmons-Kiss pumpkin. Hair and tongue included. 

Happy Halloween!

Paul Stanley 'Starchild' Halloween Make Up Tutorial




9TwelveMUAStudios

Here's a great KISS Paul Stanley 'Starchild' Make Up video tutorial just in time for Halloween!

Bruce Kulick Appearance's

 
KISSfaq.com

Bruce Kulick will be among the guests on the episode of "That Metal Show" on VH1 Classic on Oct. 30, airing at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Kulick will also be featured on "Rock N' Roll Fantasy Camp," airing at 10 p.m.

Finally, Kulick will be the special guest at the 2010 KISS Expo & Rock N' Roll Convention on on Oct. 31at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast in Atlanta. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. - 9 p.m.. 

KISS Day On Biography Channel - Germany

www.biographychannel.de/ KISSNews.de

Sunday, October 31 will be KISS Day on the Biography Channel in Germany. Starting at 6pm the channel will air the new KISSTERIA Special, Gene's chat with Shatner and more.

Sneak Peek: New KISS Halloween Masks

 
KISSONLINE

Here's a KISSonline exclusive sneak peek of the new Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer Halloween masks being released next year by Rubie's.

The masks are pictured in the early stage of sample clay molds. The next steps will add hair and makeup.

Atlanta KISS Expo This Weekend

 
Atlanta KISS Expo

The KISS Army will once again unite for one of the best fan favorite KISS Expos Sunday. Come join the legions of hard core KISS fanatics at the 2010 Atlanta KISS expo and Rock 'N' Roll Convention. For more details check out our website: www.kreaturesofthesouth.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gene Simmons Defends Steven Tyler's American Idol Move

 
KISSopolis.com

We've all heard the news by now that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is one of the two new judges on FOX's 'American Idol' this coming season. Recently, Detroit rocker Kid Rock commented negatively on Steven Tyler's new job to Entertainment Weekly:

"[Steven] is a sacred American institution of rock'n'roll, and he just threw it all out the window," [He] just stomped on it and set it on fire."
"We should bring back the guillotine, or whatever they call that thing," he continued, proposing a French revolutionary death sentence for whoever recommended the TV job. "And if [Steven made the decision] himself, he needs some serious counselling. I love him to death, but I gotta speak the truth."
Well KISS' Gene Simmons has piped up on the situation and has remarked against Kid Rock, defending Tyler's new move as a judge on A.I.

Gene claims:

"Kid Rock's wrong. Kid's a good guy. Though he's got the goods. But he's wrong about Tyler and Amer Idol. Kid said Tyler did the "stupidest thing" re: Amer Idol. He's wrong. Steven did the right thing. He's going to rock the place, and it's the best thing for him right now."
 Story still developing...

Today In KISStory - 1976

 
KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - 1976: KISS appears on "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special" broadcast October 29, 1976 on ABC.

KISS perform "Detroit Rock City", "King of the Nighttime World", and "Beth on Paul Lynde's Halloween Spooktacular Special. Witchipoo and the Wicked Witch of the West give Paul Lynde three wishes for Halloween. KISS performs three songs. Florence Henderson sings a disco version of "That Old Black Magic." 

 View more info here.

Mini KISS Building Own Legacy While Paying Tribute To Rock Legends

 
www.lvrj.com

Joey Fatale plays the bass in Mini Kiss. That makes him MiniGene. And just like Gene Simmons, Fatale wants you to know he has a big, long tongue.

"I'm not bragging, but it's coincidental that my tongue is kinda long. It does the trick, being so short statured. You know what I'm saying?" Fatale says in his New Yorker accent.

"I gotta say, a lot of girls have wanted to hang out because of that," he adds and laughs.
Mini Kiss is so good at being Mini Kiss that they are featured in a Dr. Pepper TV ad with the real big Kiss. The ad debuted during the most recent Super Bowl.

That's quite the legacy. Can you think of any other tribute band in the history of America that has co-starred with the real band in a Super Bowl ad?

On the set of filming that commercial, Fatale hit it off with Kiss drummer Eric Singer.
"Me and him -- we had a pisser. We had a really good time. He's just like a really bouncy guy," Fatale says. "I mean it could be 6 in the morning or midnight, this guy looked like he was not tired. He just talks. And I had a great time with him."

Also on the set of the TV ad, Fatale and Simmons bonded over their stage-prep habits.

"I said, 'Gene, let me ask you. Is there a time that, before you go onstage, you go into your own little world for like a half-hour?'
"He said, 'Joey it's cool that you ask that. I do that all the time.'
"He said, 'That means you really care about what you do.' "
Simmons has been "really, really cool" about Mini Kiss, Fatale says.
Their paths first crossed years ago at Studio 54 in Manhattan.
"Someone asked if we wanted to do a freebie (show)" for Kiss at the nightclub, Fatale says.
Mini Kiss said yes. At that gig, Fatale saw happiness register across Simmons' face.
"I just looked at him while we were going through the songs, and that dude had a smile from ear to ear. He was so cool. He was so into it," Fatale says.
After that show, Simmons took Mini Kiss into a VIP area and signed whatever Kiss merchandise they wanted.
"He was just a great guy."

There's only been one little snare between Kiss and Mini Kiss, and that was when Simmons found out Fatale patented the name Mini Kiss -- which was a very Gene Simmons thing for Fatale to do.
"His lawyers called, and they were a little upset at first. But I just followed what Gene said. He said, 'Patent everything you do.' And that's what I did.

"But then, he was really cool and said, 'Ah, screw it. It is what it is. They're good guys.' "
Years later, on the set of the TV ad, Fatale told Simmons he really appreciated what he'd done for Mini Kiss.

Simmons replied, "If I could put food on your table, it's all good," Fatale recalls.
The question people want me to ask Mini Kiss is: What compensation does the real Gene Simmons take from Mini Kiss? Fatale says not a dime.

"There's really nothing to take from me. I don't make a lot. I just have fun," he says.
"I'm a musician my whole life. I play drums, guitar, piano. Never took a lesson. I've always loved music. I've always been musically talented. I saw Kiss a billion times. I always wanted to be a rock 'n' roll star.
"In the '80s, it was a pretty-boy look. There was no way I was gonna make it out there. I had very good skills, but it was all about the pretty-boy look. So I knew in reality I was never gonna make it.
"So I worked at all different kinds of stuff in my life."

Among the things Fatale did: He was Mini Jay Leno on Conan O'Brien's show.
"It was a huge success," Fatale says.
One day in 1996, Fatale looked at one of his Kiss albums and had the eureka moment of putting together a Kiss tribute band.
He can't imagine life without it.
"When I'm up there onstage," he says, "it's the most awesome-est feeling ever."
Fatale has tinkered with the act for so many years, he has it down to a science, from the Mini Blood to the Mini Pyrotechnics.

And he absolutely has Gene Simmons-esque confidence. In the course of our interview, he says:
"A minute into that first song, I've got the looks that kill!"
And: "People love our show. They don't walk away, they're always cheering, the encores are nonstop. People just keep yelling for more, more, more! We run out of songs!"
And: "It's a must-see show, because the uniqueness of us being little, just to begin with."
And: "I'm not bragging. But it's an awesome show!"
"You know," he says, "we play worldwide. We've played Paris, France, Sweden. We've played a lot of big places around the world. We are worldwide."
They are also available for private events.
"I've done bar mitzvahs. I don't care. We're Mini Kiss!"

Roundtable Expands Line Of KISS HDTVs

 
KISSonline

Roundtable Concepts Expands Line of KISS HDTV's and Announces KISS Chopper Motorcycle Giveaway

Roundtable Concepts announced today that they are expanding their line of KISS branded LED HDTV's to include two new designs. In conjunction with this announcement Roundtable Concepts has launched a KISS themed Chopper Motorcycle giveaway at Bike Week 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

With design direction from KISS, the two newly designed KISS LED HDTV's will be available in 32, 42 and 46-inch sizes. One has a traditional chassis and a KISS logo that appears on the TV screen at start up. The other will include the KISS logo at the bottom of the chassis and will feature a close-up image of the members of KISS at start up. You can check out these new designs at www.kisshdtv.com. The KISS HDTV program was brokered by Live Nation.

In conjunction with this new line of KISS LED HDTV's, Roundtable Concepts has also launched a KISS themed Chopper Motorcycle giveaway, which will conclude at Bike Week 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida. The KISS KUSTOM CHOPPER will be signed by all current members of the band. Entries will be accepted either through www.kisshdtv.com or through postal mail. To commemorate this contest, Roundtable Concepts is launching a Special Edition line of 1/18th scale die cast collectible replicas of the KISS KUSTOM CHOPPER available exclusively through www.kisshdtv.com.

"KISS is on the cutting edge of technology with these two new modern and elegant KISS LED HDTV designs. The KISS KUSTOM CHOPPER giveaway is the ultimate prize for the KISS fans. Another industry first - KISS does it again!" Says Janet Dwoskin, Executive Director of Licensing for Live Nation Merchandise.

"RTC is excited to continue and grow this relationship with KISS. These new lines of HDTV's will appeal to a broader base of fans and we are excited to be launching this giveaway as we continue to grow and diversify our KISS product offerings. KISS has one of the most die-hard fan bases in the world and we enjoy bringing them first-of-a-kind products" says Frank Weir of Roundtable Concepts."


Ace Frehley Attends The Gibson Firebird X Unveiling


Photos: WireImage.com/ Gibson.com

Ace Frehley attended the unveiling of the Gibson Firebird X in NYC on October 28th.

Gibson.com has posted the following press release:

This morning in New York City, Gibson Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz made an announcement that staggered the music world. Juszkiewicz unveiled Gibson’s latest guitar, Firebird X. But press, fans and celebrities in attendance quickly learned that Firebird X was much, much more than any guitar ever conceived. Speaking to an audience that included such guitar luminaries as Ace Frehley, The Roots’ Kirk Douglas, Eddie Ojeda and Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister, Lou Pallo, Russ Paul and others, Juszkiewicz described an instrument light years ahead of anything ever built.

“This is new. This is different. This is revolution,” he declared before unveiling the axe. “Nobody looks and spends the time to reinvent the guitar. This is a new guitar.”

The Firebird X guitar takes the guitar instrument to new heights of functionality and usability for the professional player and the aspiring enthusiast. Using technologies that did not exist even a few years ago, Gibson has enhanced an already outstanding instrument to unbelievable performance and creative heights. The enhancements touch every aspect of the instrument from improved manufacturing technologies to the latest electronics.

To drive this point home, Juszkiewicz grabbed a traditional guitar and smashed it to pieces. Afterward, the crowd buzzed over the announcement. And already, video of the occasion has leaked onto the Internet.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park - Revisited

Necramonium
Today In KISStory - 1978: The NBC Movie Of The Week, 'KISS Meets Phantom of the Park' premieres.

A movie that combines KISS,  A Hard Day's Night and Star Wars? That must  turn into a awesome movie! That is just what Hanna-Barbara was thinking  in 1978, but the movie turned into a incredible cheesy one. For KISS  fans this movie has turned into a cult classic with memories of a KISS  in the peak of their popularity back in 1978.

Today In KISStory - 1997

 
KISSopolis

 The album 'Carnival Of Souls' is released in the USA, UK, Canada and Japan.

Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions is Kiss' 17th studio album, and last produced before the reunion of the original Kiss members. Recorded and slated for release in 1995/early 1996, Kiss cancelled its release when they embarked on the reunion tour. However, fans located and circulated bootleg copies in fairly large numbers. Kiss finally released the album in 1997.

The last track, "I Walk Alone," was the only lead vocal performance on a Kiss album by guitarist Bruce Kulick.

Two former members of Black 'N Blue co-wrote songs on this album: vocalist Jaime St. James co-wrote "In My Head", while guitarist and future Kiss member Tommy Thayer collaborated on "Childhood's End".

It is one of only two Kiss albums to have not yet reached gold certification, the other being 1981's Music from "The Elder"

Today In KISStory - 1978

 
KISSopolis

The NBC Movie Of The Week, 'KISS Meets Phantom of the Park' premieres. It is the 2nd highest rated TV movie of the year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gene's Black Eye

 
Gene Simmons Twitter

Gene Simmons has tweeted the following picture of his recent accident. Gene writes: "Ok kids. Here's what happens when your face hits the ground. Hard."

As we posted a few days ago, Gene fainted at LAX due to dehydration, and hit his head while falling. 

KISS & Guitar Center Select A Band

 
KISSonline.com

LEGENDARY ROCKERS KISS AND GUITAR CENTER SELECT UNSIGNED WILLIAMSPORT, PA, BAND CANDLELIGHT RED AS GUITAR CENTER ON-STAGE GRAND PRIZE WINNER

CANDLELIGHT RED Lands $10,000 To Spend On Gear As Guitar Center On-Stage Grand Prize Winner; Guitar Center Gave Local Bands Unprecedented Opportunity To Open For Legendary Band KISS

(Westlake Village, CA) October 15, 2010 - Continuing its ongoing support of aspiring artists, Guitar Center (www.guitarcenter.com), the world�s largest musical instrument retailer, along with rock and roll icons KISS (www.KISSonline.com), today announced that Candlelight Red (www.candlelightred.com) of Williamsport, PA, will receive a $10,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center. After sifting through thousands of entries, KISS and Guitar Center handpicked Candlelight Red to open a KISS show in Pittsburgh on July 29. The Guitar Center On-Stage competition gave twenty-two unsigned bands from across the country the career-altering opportunity to perform at a show on KISS' North American tour, The Hottest Show on Earth. KISS chose Candlelight Red as their favorite from the competition.

"Once upon a time, someone gave KISS a chance," said KISS bassist Gene Simmons. "We have always believed in giving back. From giving our fans the Hottest Show on Earth to giving new talent a shot. Congratulations to Candlelight Red. Well deserved."

"From Tom Petty to Judas Priest. From Bon Jovi to Motley Crue, the KISS stage has always been the arena where gladiators prove themselves worthy to be Rock Champions," said KISS rhythm guitarist and vocalist Paul Stanley. "Time will tell if Candlelight Red will join the pantheon of greats. We are proud to make that opportunity possible."

Candlelight Red is comprised of former members of Pennsylvania rock acts "Stept On", "Backstreet Law" and "Hyphema.� Formed in 2008, the band has been writing songs together and spending time introducing their edgy-yet-melodic sound to clubs all over central PA, NY, MD and Ohio. They have released a debut EP available on iTunes and other online outlets. Their debut video for "Closer" can be seen at www.candlelightred.com and the band hopes to record more tracks this fall.

"Playing on the same stage as these icons was such an amazing experience and it is a huge honor to be chosen by KISS as the Grand Prize Winner," said Candlelight Red guitarist Jeremy Edge. "The experience of opening for KISS was surreal, an opportunity of a lifetime, and for Guitar Center to make this possible for bands like ours is incredible."

Guitar Center On-Stage is an ongoing, revolutionary program developed to organically scout and launch unsigned, independent artists by providing career-altering opportunities through partnerships with some of the world's greatest artists. Motley Crue judged last year's contest and the winning band, The Last Vegas, went on to open for Motley Crue on tour and subsequently topped iTunes critics' 2009 "Rock Singles of the Year List" with their hit single "I'm Bad."

Guitar Center On Stage is just one of many Guitar Center initiatives created to foster growth and success within the music community. In addition to the first edition of this competition, Your Next Record with Slash, Guitar Center also provides its annual King of the Blues, Drum-Off and On-Stage competitions to emerging musicians, among others. Guitar Center's King of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. Drum-Off is an annual drumming competition that, now in its 21st year, has been a launching pad for many drummers, including Cora Coleman-Dunham and Tony Royster Jr, two Drum-Off winners who have gone on to become highly-acclaimed professional drummers (with Prince and Jay Z respectively). Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with Keith Urban gives one winning artist an opportunity to record a three-song EP with a top producer and have three-time GRAMMY award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and performer Keith Urban, also a two-time 2010 CMA nominee, appear on the winning artist's single. 


KISS Demon Sunglasses

 
KISSonline.com

LATEST IN KISS MERCHANDISE

Take a look at the crowd through the eyes of Gene Simmons in these Demon sunglasses! The licensed glasses feature a thick durable plastic frame that is black and shaped like Gene Simmons' signature eye makeup. It features a clear band across the nose and has UV400 tinted lens. "KISS" is also printed on each side in white. A great way to get the Demon's signature look without the mess of makeup!

Order the Demon Sunglasses, official costumes and accessories at KISScostumes.com. 

Drummer Allan Schwartzberg Talks About His Work With KISS - Part 2

 
Bravewords.com

Here is Part II of BraveWords.com's exclusive chat with Allan Schwartzberg.

BraveWords.com: I’ve heard that you played drums on KISS’ Animalize and Asylum albums? Any truth to that or did you simply provide overdubs?

Schwartzberg: "Asylum, I did and on Animalize I did overdubs.”

BraveWords.com: How did KISS get in touch with you for those projects?

Schwartzberg: "I had already worked with Gene and I go back with the guys to the time when they were called WICKED LESTER.”

BraveWords.com: So, you go back to the late ‘60s/early ‘70s with them.

Schwartzberg: "Yeah, I was working at Hendrix’ studio (Electric Lady Land) and they were in the other studio working with Eddie Kramer. They were walking around in their boots and I was playing on a B.J. THOMAS record.”

BraveWords.com: Did they show up to record in full make-up and outfits?

Schwartzberg: "Well, I do remember them showing up in boots. Might not have been the big blocky boots, but they were decked out.”


BraveWords.com: Getting back to Animalize – this was 1984 and KISS were almost going for a heavy metal sound. They cranked up the amps and the drumming was a lot faster. How was it working on those overdubs? Do you know why Eric Carr wasn’t handling the overdubs?

Schwartzberg: "I don’t know the answer to that. I remember playing a lot of drums fills – fills that either weren’t there or they didn’t like and needed replacing.”

BraveWords.com: When you listen back to an album like that can you pick out your parts?

Schwartzberg: "I actually can. It’s a weird thing. It’s kind of like penguins amongst a million other penguins; they can still find their babies. I do hear myself in there.”

BraveWords.com: You ears perk up when you hear yourself…

Schwartzberg: "Yeah, exactly.” BraveWords.com: A lot of people don’t know that you played on KISS’ Asylum album, but you did. Simply overdubs or full tracks?

Schwartzberg: "To be honest, I don’t remember. I really wish I could tell you. Gene would remember though.”

BraveWords.com: Are there any other KISS albums that you remember playing on?

Schwartzberg: "No, I think that’s it.”

BraveWords.com: That’s five albums. That’s pretty impressive.

Schwartzberg: "It was fun. Gene’s a good guy.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Interview: Gene Simmons

 
By Anna Carugati / www.worldscreen.com

NEW YORK: The co-founder of KISS is a lot more than a world-renowned rock star. This exclusive interview provides a look at the reasons for Gene Simmons’ popularity for more than 30 years, the appeal of his TV shows, his business acumen and an unexpected personal connection to World Screen’s group editorial director.

If you were a teen or young adult during the ’70s you need no introduction to Gene Simmons, bass player and co-founder of the rock band KISS. If you don’t know who he is, let me give you some background. KISS is a hard rock band and its members are known for their face paint, flamboyant costumes, platform boots, and elaborate live performances, which include fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets and pyrotechnics. In their costumes, each original member took on comic-book style character: Simmons was The Demon, Paul Stanley was Starchild, Ace Frehley was Spaceman or Space Ace and Peter Criss was Catman.

I was in high school and college in the ’70s and while KISS was not my favorite band, I certainly knew their songs. “Rock and Roll All Nite” saturated the radio airwaves. KISS came into my life in a big way, believe it or not, through my father, Eraldo Carugati, even though his tolerance for modern music ended pretty much with Frank Sinatra. Anything beyond that to him was garbage. But he was a well-known artist and illustrator and was commissioned to paint the covers of the first four solo albums the KISS members released along with their accompanying posters. I watched Dad paint those covers and posters—the stark black backgrounds and each KISS member’s hair backlit in a different color. One evening Dad was tired. I was an art student at the time and he asked me if I would finish painting the blue hair on Ace Frehley. I did.

I also remember that after delivering the finished covers and posters, my Dad was not too pleased when Simmons asked for some additions to his cover image, he wanted blood dripping from his mouth.

Those album covers went on to become iconic images, representative of a specific time in American rock music and pop culture. They became very important additions to my dad’s portfolio and they added a touch of class to KISS.

Gene Simmons has had the extraordinary business acumen to keep the KISS brand going strong for nearly 40 years, with fiercely loyal fans young and old. Besides continuing to perform with KISS and writing several books, Simmons has created and/or starred in a number of movies and television series, including Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which airs on A&E and follows the daily life of Simmons, his 25-year partner Shannon Tweed, and ex-Playboy Playmate, their daughter Sophie and son Nick.

When I learned that AETN International was bringing Simmons to MIPCOM, and I was offered the opportunity to interview him, I was intrigued. What follows is more of a conversation than an interview. As I suspected, Simmons is far more than a rock star or TV personality, he is a savvy entrepreneur with a wicked sense of humor.

WS: Gene Simmons Family Jewels has surpassed 100 episodes—not many series reach 100 episodes. To what do you attribute the longevity and the appeal of this series? In some series you can put in all the right elements, but at some point it’s just alchemy, something just clicks. What do you think just clicked about yours?
SIMMONS: I think you just answered the question. Alchemy isn’t just a big word like gymnasium. Ultimately all programming and everything to do with the human experience comes down to human beings, either they are interesting or they are not. And the more interesting somebody is, the deeper you can go. If you are one-faceted, it’s like a comedian who only knows one joke. The ones who really last a long time know lots of jokes and lots of stories and they themselves become the messenger.
So the reason we have lasted so long is that I am stunningly good looking, and besides that we are bizarre. We are a functioning family and most of the people I meet are dysfunctional. And in a world of drugs and alcohol and whatever, I’ve never been high or drunk in my life. But if you study a book by its cover, the preconceived notion might be that I’m a crack whore and all the rest of that. By the way, let people think whatever they want to think. But it’s a very, very conservative household. Neither of the kids can engage in anything gray, because they aren’t allowed to.

There was an interesting little story I read about child behavior. It had to do with a two-year-old brat. To lots of parents, two-year-olds are the bane of their existence because they are coming into their own and they are testing the walls. So this little brat will cry when the temperature is not the right temperature, when you change the television channel, and so on and so forth. Neither Sophie nor Nick ever went through that and the story goes, parents who cannot control their two-year-olds should be reminded that when that two-year-old crawls close to the dog’s bowl when it’s eating, that very first time it reaches into that dog bowl will be the last time it will ever reach into the dog bowl. So my question is, if a dog knows how to train a two-year-old, how come grownups can’t? And the first time that two-year-old sticks its hand in fire, will be the last time it sticks its hand in the fire. That very first time he will be burned exactly the same as the second time and the tenth time—in other words, consistency of message. The problem with parents is, they love their children, and because of that they feel sorry and they feel guilty and the truth is the best kind of parent is the tough love parent.

WS: Or they think it’s a popularity contest and they want to be their child’s best friend.
SIMMONS: I’m not interested in being anybody’s friend. Love your mother; fear your father. A long time ago there used to be a phrase that actually meant something: “Wait until your father gets home.”

WS: And when this father comes home?
SIMMONS: Oh, you don’t want to fool around.

WS: And yet on the show you come across as extremely—may I say it? Like there is a teddy bear underneath the tough exterior.
SIMMONS: Because it’s allowed. The king of all beasts, the lion, goes out and kills and tears the throat out of anything and when it comes home it allows the little cubs to jump all over it and bite its tail. When the king of beasts stands up something is going to die.

WS: Because the show is about your family and the cameras are around a lot, how do you balance what the cameras are going to see and what remains private?
SIMMONS: You have to know how to correctly say, “Get out,” because if I allow them, they’ll come in and shoot me pooping. And that is too beautiful a sight to allow television cameras to record!

WS: And where do the ideas for the episodes come from?
SIMMONS: It just sort of happens—here we are in Cannes and I’ve never been married, I’m not familiar with the phrase myself, I’ve heard it though.

WS: Marriage?
SIMMONS: Yes.

WS: It’s a tricky business! I’ve tried twice.
SIMMONS: You said business.

WS: Sometimes it works as a business!
SIMMONS: All the time. So here we are in Cannes, I came here to do [a session] with Bob DeBitetto [the president and general manager of A&E and BIO]. On the way out Shannon said, “Quickly, quickly let’s take a photo, stick your head in [it was a life-sized cardboard cutout of a two human figures] and take the photo.” I’m seeing it from the back so I don’t know what it is. So I stick my head in and when I get to the front I see it’s a man and a woman being married, with a sign that says Just Married. When people see that on the show they are going to think it’s a set up.

WS: It wasn’t a set up?
SIMMONS: Nobody told us do this or do that, it just happened.

WS: So the cameras capture what actually happens.
SIMMONS: Most of the time.

WS: And during the episode when your dog Snippy ran away from home my heart went out to you and to the rest of your family.
SIMMONS: Snippy didn’t run away she went looking for a boyfriend.As you know women will go to the ends of the earth for the right one. Am I right? He was a BIG dog. [Laughter]

WS: Good for her!
SIMMONS: She wouldn’t go for a little French poodle, that’s for sure! She would chew that one up and spit it out!

WS: I came of age in the ’70s and KISS and your music is still as relevant today as it was when I was in high school and college.
SIMMONS: It’s gone beyond music; it’s 3,000 licensed products.

WS: That’s where I was going. How have you kept this brand alive and popular?
SIMMONS: You are never alone. You are only as good as the team you’re on. And you’ll be dragged down to failure or you will rise to the greatness that a team brings. Paul Stanley has been my partner for 37 years, but mostly I’m the asshole that keeps torturing people to do the big deals. It just won’t come to you; you have to go after it. There is a great guy named Doc McGhee who got us the relationship with Dr. Pepper, as a result Dr. Pepper is sponsoring the tour. We’ve done a lot of things that no other band has ever done before but [other bands] have always been lying to themselves when they say, “We don’t do licensing and merchandising like KISS.” That’s funny, every band sells T-shirts. They just can't do what we do so they are jealous. There are no U2 comic books; there's no Radiohead toothbrush. We have everything, as you know, from KISS condoms to KISS caskets. You know the phrase, "We'll get you coming; we'll get you going."

WS: It's unusual to find a creative person who has entrepreneurial skills as well.
SIMMONS: But the alternative is flipping burgers.

[Simmons shows me a Chase banking card with images of the KISS members on it.]

WS: Get out of here!
SIMMONS: There are hundreds of thousands of these and the structure is always what's important. Every time you swipe it we get paid and we escalate the purchase price. My mother wants another house. What did she ever do to you that she shouldn't have that house? Help my mother!

WS: Your mother was a big influence on you, wasn't she?
SIMMONS: She's the best teacher I ever had. And if all of us listen closer to what our mothers say, because what any mother will say is profoundly accurate and is wisdom that you won't learn in school. You've heard this before, “Eat your vegetables.” That is actually wisdom, then you watch Dr. Sanjay Gupta—he should change that name. “Gupta.” “God Bless you.” “No, I didn't burp.” So Dr. Gupta gets on TV and starts talking and it finally [comes down to] eat your vegetables every day. That's what my mother says. I have to go through CNN and scientific studies to find out that my mother has been right all along.

Another thing your mother says, “Don't hang out with losers.” You go through self-help people, inspirational people and you hear, “Don't hang out with losers,” that's funny that's what my mother says! “Don't drink! Don't get high!” And yet, people go through rehab, they get divorced, they lose all their money. Finally in the end, they say, “You know, I shouldn’t use drugs and booze.” That's what your mother said!

WS: I have something to share with you.
SIMMONS: Fully clothed?

WS: Fully clothed. Remember when you released your first solo albums. [I show him reproductions of the four albums that were released in 1978.] My dad painted those covers and the posters that went with them and if you don't beleive me I'll show you my last name. [I show him my business card.] And I'm thrilled to meet you.
SIMMONS: It is Carugati! I made that deal [for the album covers]. Fantastic! You know, I have the original paintings. What a fantastic history! I remember I sent my painting back saying I want blood.

WS: I remember. I was an art student at the time I did Ace Frehley’s blue hair.
SIMMONS: Fantastic! That is a great story. Now you know we have KISS online.com you should write a little story about your dad because the fans are voracious.

WS: These album covers became iconic.
SIMMONS: There are thousands and thousands of licensed merchandise products that have used that used those images.

WS: What other TV show projects do you have in the works, you've done movies—you've done a lot.
SIMMONS: I created a cartoon show called My Dad the Rock Star and that was on Nickelodeon. I created another show called Mr. Romance. That was on Oxygen. I had another show called Gene Simmons Rock School that Channel 4 in England did with me and RDF. It was on VH1 around the world and we did two seasons of that. But mostly I was never really thinking seriously about television or movies, although I've done a few movies but there are three to five other projects that are being developed and at this point are fairly serious. I’m talking to E1 about a KISS kids' show.

WS: Is there anything you haven't done that you'd really like to do?
SIMMONS: Well about four months ago, we launched an entity called CoolSpringsLife.com—I’m one of the founding members—which has been able to corner $7 billion to loan to high net worth individuals a minimum of $20 million. We can loan them the money at international banking rates less than 1 percent. So the difference between what the fees are for loaning the money and what they can get in the marketplace, is theirs to keep. People are lining up. We are processing out our first billion dollars in loans in four months.

In Western culture there is a warped idea of the rich—the self-made entrepreneurs. Without them there is no civilization. They are the ones who create jobs, and create industries and I’ve always had the philosophy be nice to rich people—a poor person never gave me a job. Don't tax the rich too heavily. Make them stay in your town. Give them tax incentives. I'm going to give you a nightmare scenario, OK? You want to be a businesswoman and you want to make shoes. So first you have you have enough money to find a place, so either you buy a building or you pay rent. Then you have to buy materials to make the shoes. Then you have to hire designers. Then you have to buy the machines to make the shoes. You need the trucks and planes to distribute them. You have to have this; you have to have that. You have to have insurance; you have to pay salaries. You have to have fire insurance, and every time, you are the target. You need salesmen and advertising and after the first shoe goes out the door for let's say $50, by the time it gets to the store it's going to be $500. Out of that $50 per shoe, you are lucky to get that, you have to pay rent, you have pregnancy leave for women, you have to pay retirement. If there is any money left, you get to keep that. Everybody else gets paid first. Why would you want to be a businessperson? Why is there any business at all? Be nice to businesspeople, without them there is chaos and anarchy. Don't listen to socialists or communists; they don’t understand how capitalism works, without capitalism there would be no world.


KISS Custom Bike Collectable Die Cast

 
www.roundtablestore.com

In conjunction to the KISS custom bike giveaway, HDTV is also introducing a KISS Custom Bike Silver Edition Die Cast. Each Silver edition has a different logo and look to it. Each die cast comes with stand and is individually packaged.

Rock with KISS with this SE-6 KISS Custom Bike Collectable Die Cast set! Featuring the logos and/or likenesses of KISS over a metallic flake silver paint jobs. Die Cast is 1:18 scale, includes display stand and custom packaging. Awesome for ANY KISS Collector! Get all 5 bikes in the SE-6 package!

See more details here: http://www.roundtablestore.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=44

KISS Custom Chopper Giveaway

www.kisshdtv.com

KISS HDTV is building a KISS Custom Chopper to be given away at Bike Week in Daytona 2011. The KISS Custom Chopper Silver Edition will be signed by KISS. Entries will be taken daily until drawing during Bike Week 2011.

You may enter once a day until then. You are also entered with each purchase of a KISS HDTV or a die cast. There is no purchase needed to enter.

Enter HERE.

Gene: "All Is Well"

GENESIMMONS.com

So, Miss Tweed and I were at LAX... we got some Decaf Coffee and some eggs... and there I am munching and taking a few sips... and then, I feel this rush of heat from my feet up to my head... and then apparently I blacked out.

I woke up in a nearby hospital. I was told I passed out due to dehydration, lack of sleep, and just pure exhaustion.

I spent a night at the hospital and found, to my surprise, half of my left eyebrow literally fell off... I must have hit the ground hard. I don't remember. So, there I am being stitched up, eating hospital food, and itchy to get back to work.

I'm back home. All is well.

I've been getting lots of emails and calls asking if everything is fine. Yes. Thank you. All is well.



KISS Cars In Rally For Kids With Cancer

GENESIMMONS.com

Here's the KISS, and Gene Simmons Family Jewels Rolls Royces from last weekend's RALLY FOR KIDS children's cancer charity in Los Angeles.

Gene posted the following on his website:

"On Saturday, Oct 23rd, Miss Tweed and I participated in the RALLY FOR KIDS children's cancer charity. Monies raised went directly to the neediest.

The rally consisted of high end cars in a scavenger hunt throughout LA and the outlining areas. There were clues at every stop, and points gained or lost depending on all sorts of variables. Miss Tweed took the GSFJ Rolls Royce and I was in the KISS Rolls Royce. Needless to say, wherever we went, we stopped traffic.

The day began at 7:30 am and ended with a charity auction held at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood at 11:00 pm."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Today In KISStory - 2006

 
KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - 2006: Paul Stanley appears on the National weekly radio show 'RockLine' to promote his solo release "Live to Win".

Gene Simmons Hospitalized Briefly For Dehydration

 
TMZ.com

Gene Simmons was spotted leaving Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, Calif. today after he fainted at LAX yesterday. Sources close to Simmons tell TMZ he hit his head after fainting and was rushed to the hospital. He suffered a cut on his forehead and, after tests were run, sources tell us the doctors concluded it was just dehydration.

He was released today. 

Get some rest Mr. Simmons. The KISS Army and KISSopolis wish you well.

*Update: Shannon Tweed writes on her Twitter account: "Thanks for asking,Gene is fine,he was just tired & dehydrated fr TRYING 2 beat me in the Rally4Kidswith Cancer! Vacation is not his thing."

Sneak Peek: New KISS Bobbleheads

 
KISSONLINE

Here's a KISSonline exclusive sneak peek of the new Starchild and Demon bobbleheads being released by Funko Toys.

The bobbleheads are pictured in the initial pencil sketches, and various stages of sample molds.

Today In KISStory - 1982

 
KISSopolis.com

The album 'Creatures of the Night' is released in the US. Guitarist Ace Frehley decides to leave the band to pursue a solo career. Frehley is replaced by Vinnie Vincent in time for the KISS 10th Anniversary Tour. Vincent is given the character of an Egyptian ankh.

The album represented a conscious effort on Kiss's part to return to the style of hard rock that had helped them achieve commercial success with Destroyer and Love Gun given that 1979's disco-inspired album Dynasty had started a sharp decline that bottomed out with and 1981's Music from the Elder. By 1982 Kiss knew it needed to deliver on their earlier 1980-81 promise of a heavy record, which they had failed to deliver, if they were to continue as a band.

The first key ingredient was songwriter/guitarist Vincent Cusano, with whom the band had recently begun writing and recording, and was soon to replace Ace Frehley as the band's new lead guitarist. Frehley didn't perform on Creatures even though his face (for contractual reasons) was still featured on the album cover; thus this was Vinnie Vincent's first album with the band. On the tour, Vincent was introduced with Ankh warrior makeup. (The band later re-released the album in their non-makeup era with a cover featuring Gene Simmons, Eric Carr, Paul Stanley, and their then current guitarist Bruce Kulick.)

Some of the earliest pressings of the album mistakenly contained one full side of John Cougar's American Fool. Both Kiss and Cougar were under the umbrella of Mercury Records at the time. Today, those mistake albums are highly sought after by Kiss collectors.

Creatures of the Night was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 9, 1994.

Kiss eventually incorporated "I Love It Loud", "Creatures of the Night", "I Still Love You", and "War Machine" into permanent rotation on their various tours, particularly during the tour for Revenge in 1992 out of which came Alive III.
  
Album cover

Three different covers of this album exist: the 1982 original issue, the 1985 reissue (featuring Bruce Kulick, who was not a member of the band for 'Creatures of the night' and the rest of the band without makeup), and the 1997 remastered version (same photo as the original, but with minor variations in the logo and lettering). However the differences do not end there. The ending of the song Creatures of the Night is more abrupt on the 1985 non-make up release and two songs are interchanged from side to side, Saint and Sinner and Killer.

There is also a bootlegged LP which shows up on ebay from time to time which states to be a Brazilian Promo version with Vinnie Vincent in makeup airbrushed over Ace Frehley. Initially this copy fetched upwards of several thousands dollars but it is nothing more than a common bootleg and people should be wary of spending outlandish amounts on it.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Creatures of the Night"   Paul Stanley, Adam Mitchell Paul Stanley 4:02
2. "Saint and Sinner"   Gene Simmons, Mikel Japp Gene Simmons 4:50
3. "Keep Me Comin'"   Stanley, Mitchell Stanley 3:55
4. "Rock and Roll Hell"   Simmons, Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance Simmons 4:11
5. "Danger"   Stanley, Mitchell Stanley 3:54
6. "I Love It Loud"   Simmons, Vinnie Vincent Simmons 4:15
7. "I Still Love You"   Stanley, Vincent Stanley 6:06
8. "Killer"   Simmons, Vincent Simmons 3:19
9. "War Machine"   Simmons, Adams, Vallance Simmons 4:14


Sunday, October 24, 2010

New KISS DVD's

KISSfaq.com

Two new unauthorized Kiss DVDs will be released soon: "Kiss - meet the Press" will be released on December 12, 2010 and "Kiss - Interviews" will be released on January 25, 2011. Both DVDs can already be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Order yours HERE.

And HERE.

Photo Gallery: Gene Simmons at The PhotoFund Pit Stop

Photo: Getty Images

Check out this photo of Gene Simmons at The PhotoFund Pit Stop at the 2nd Annual Rally for Kids With Cancer scavenger cup.

 View more photos here.

Gene And Shannon At The 2nd Annual Rally for Kids With Cancer

 
Photo: Getty Images

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed arrive to the 2nd Annual Rally for Kids With Cancer 'The Qualifiers' Celebrity Draft Party on October 22, 2010 in Hollywood, California.

Shannon writes on her Twitter account:

"Me, Gene and @Janetski, Nick and Eva Longoria raised tons of money for Kids with cancer.My car got 3rd, Gene's didn't place :(...can o whup ass."

Photo: Shannon Tweed 

Video: Peter Criss at the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness

KISSAsylum.com

Peter Criss at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Point Pleasant NJ, 10/17/10.

Today In KISStory - 1986

 
KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - 1986: The movie 'Trick or Treat', Featuring Gene Simmons as NUKE, is released in the US.

Plot Summary

Hard rock idol Sammi Curr burns to death in a hotel fire. His biggest fan, Lakeridge High School student and resident metal head Eddie Weinbauer is devastated by the news and turns to local radio DJ "Nuke" for emotional support. After a heated discussion about the deceased rock star, Nuke presents Eddie with a rare demo record, the last ever recorded by Sammi and the only copy in existence. Overwhelmed by Nuke's generosity, Eddie accepts the gift without hesitation, unaware of it's dark role in things to come. After constant humiliation and a near drowning at the hands of school bully Tim Hainy and his sports jock friends, Eddie becomes enraged and vows revenge on all those who have wronged him, much to the dismay of love interest, Leslie and best friend, Roger. Alone in his room with feelings of rage and retribution racing through his mind, Eddie places the new record onto his stereo and is shocked to discover that he can communicate with the deceased rock star when it is rotated backwards. Playing upon both Eddie's loyalty and emotional vulnerability, Sammi instructs the teenager on how to get back at those who have caused him so much pain, instructions that the easily manipulated Eddie carries out, prompting the usual 'underdog gets his own back' results. At first it's all fun and games as Hainy and his cohorts get their just desserts, but when Hainy's girlfriend is nearly killed by supernatural forces, Eddie realizes that he is nothing more than a pawn in a much more sinister plot and wants out. When Eddie tries to destroy the record, an evil version of Sammi is resurrected (complete with supernatural powers) and goes on a rampage at the high school Halloween dance, turning Eddie's involvement with the devilish rock star into a spine tingling nightmare not only for the young headbanger, but for his school and hometown as well. Can Eddie stop the demonic Sammi before he sends the entire town straight to hell? One thing's for sure, the teenagers of Lakeridge High are in for a Halloween they'll never forget. Written by phantomdroid 

Today In KISStory - 2006

KISSopolis.com
Live to Win is the second solo album from Kiss vocalist, guitarist and co-founder Paul Stanley, released on October 24, 2006.

The album's title track was featured on the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft", approximately three weeks (twenty days) prior to the album's release.

Stanley last released a solo album in 1978, Paul Stanley, which was officially released as a Kiss album. Comparing the two albums, Stanley said "It's not 1978 anymore... It's certainly the same mentality, and certainly I'm a better singer today. My perspective and where I'm at in my life at this point, and what I've experienced and seen, brings something else to the table that wasn't there then. But I still look back on that album as a really great snapshot of who I was and what I was doing then."

Stanley supported the album's release with a club tour in the fall of 2006.

Track listing
  1. "Live to Win" (Paul Stanley, Desmond Child, Andreas Carlsson) – 3:08
  2. "Lift" (Stanley, Child, Marti Frederiksen) – 4:04
  3. "Wake up Screaming" (Stanley, Child, Carlsson) – 3:00
  4. "Everytime I See You Around" (Stanley, Pete Masitti) – 3:28
  5. "Bulletproof" (Stanley, Carlsson) – 3:01
  6. "All About You" (Stanley, Carlsson, Child) – 3:16
  7. "Second to None" (Stanley, Carlsson) – 3:35
  8. "It's Not Me" (Stanley, Holly Knight, Charlie Midnight) – 3:19
  9. "Loving You Without You Now" (Stanley) – 3:16
  10. "Where Angels Dare" (Stanley, Child, John 5) – 3:22

Saturday, October 23, 2010

KISS Pumpkins At The Houston Zoo

Photo: mctello

KISS Is Everywhere! Check Out These KISS Pumpkins At The Houston Zoo!

Gene Simmons Talks "Rally For Kids"

KISSopolis.com

Gene Simmons has tweeted the following on his Twitter account:

"Proud to support RALLY FOR KIDS - which raises money for kids with cancer. We have 2 Rolls Royce cars in race = a KISS car & a GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS car. To be driven in a scavenger hunt 'round LA. Proceeds go to the charity. Check out GeneSimmons.Com

Eva Longoria hosted- lots of athletes & celebs there. We also filmed for our show. Nick showed up at the end and joined Shannon & I."

Eva Longoria Parker Meets Gene Simmons At The Rally For Kids With Cancer Party

thefancarpet.com

Eva Longoria Parker and Gene Simmons are photographed at the Rally For Kids With Cancer "The Qualifiers" Celebrity Draft Party held at The Roosevelt Hotel last night.
 This cocktail reception and fabulous dinner provides Rally Drivers with the opportunity to meet and recruit their desired Celebrity Navigator. The premium drafting positions will be determined by the amount of dollars raised through pledges and sponsorship. The Rally Driver who raises the most money will be first to select their Celebrity Navigator.

Other celebrities in attendance were, Jason Kennedy, Natasha Alam, Shannon Tweed and husband Tony Parker.

Eva Longoria was probably full of life after thankfully no injuries in a minor car accident after only two nights ago.

The actress posted a status update on Facebook thanking those who were concern about her accident.

"Thx everyone for your concern! I was in a small accident last night. I am just really sore everywhere but thank God nothing more! Drive safe!"

Eva Longoria Parker Image Gallery

Friday, October 22, 2010

Drummer Allan Schwartzberg Talks About His Work With KISS

Bravewords.com

Drummer Allan Schwartzberg who played on KISS' "(Music From) The Elder," "Animalize" and Gene Simmons and Peter Criss' solo albums was recently interviewed by Bravewords.com Here's an excerpt from the interview:

BraveWords.com: The other major rock artist you worked with is KISS.

Schwartzberg: Yes, that was through Bob Ezrin.

BraveWords.com: You’ve played on a lot of KISS tracks. You started off on Gene Simmons’ first solo album.

Schwartzberg: Yes, we went to The Manor in Oxford, England. We lived in the house and he was going out with CHER at the time. So, Cher and Chastity (as a little girl) were with us. We made the album using the entire Manor house. We had cables strung everywhere. We couldn’t see each other, but we were all connected by phones. I thought it was a great creative record. The producer was Sean Delaney and he was a super creative guy. He invented the make-up for KISS.

BraveWords.com: He co-wrote a lot of their greatest songs…

Schwartzberg: Yes, exactly. He was absolutely brilliant.

BraveWords.com: You also worked on drummer Peter Criss’ solo album.

Schwartzberg: Yes, with Peter Criss sitting on the floor next to the drums.

BraveWords.com: Yes, and that’s never made sense to me. Why? Because Peter Criss is a drummer, but yet you’re the drummer on his album. Please explain.

Schwartzberg: For some reason, he was out of commission, but the reason I did the KISS stuff in the first place was because Bob Ezrin had a problem with Peter’s playing as was the case with many other groups. I did a lot of ghost playing. I did Alice Cooper’s Muscle Of Love without credit. Not on every track, but I played on four or five tracks. Jack Richardson and Bob Ezrin did co-production on that.

BraveWords.com: Did you simply do overdubs on that or did you actually play on the original tracks?

Schwartzberg: They called me in and I did the drums over (without credit). There was a big tall blonde guy playing drums with them at the time and they weren’t happy with his tracks. From what I’ve been told, he never knew and I guess he eventually found out, but he didn’t know it wasn’t him… That’s kind of crazy.

BraveWords.com: That’s one album I didn’t even know about. I knew that time frame the band was having internal problems and eventually brought in other players, but up until that point I always assumed that The Alice Cooper Group albums were played by the Alice Cooper Group.

Schwartzberg: Well, that’s how they wanted it to be. I understand they didn’t want to complicate things and I got paid. Though it would have been nice to get the credit. So, I did that and Bob Ezrin told me that with Peter (Criss) he would say ‘Peter watch my hand,’ and he would move it up and down. Then, he would say, ‘Peter when my hand comes down that’s when you hit’. He couldn’t get him to do it and he couldn’t get him to play with a click track… it was a problem in those days for drummers to play evenly. The shit would sound great and rocking onstage, but when you’re making an album if it’s not even it just doesn’t make it. You can’t have the time of the song be uneven. It just doesn’t work. It’s called ‘sloppy’ and your foot stops tapping and the listener stops listening. You can tap your foot to all the great records even those from the ‘50s and ‘60s.”

BraveWords.com: Bob’s relationship with KISS dates back to the mid-70s. Did you do any work for Bob on a KISS album before the Gene and Peter solo albums? Did you play on KISS’ Destroyer album?

Schwartzberg: I’m trying to remember. I did… hmmm. I’m fuzzing up on that one. I know I did KISS’ Animalize. Did I do something on Destroyer? I don’t know. I really don’t know.

BraveWords.com: There are a lot of rumors out there as to which KISS albums you actually played on…

Schwartzberg: I did The Elder.

BraveWords.com: Right, you did the track ‘I’ on The Elder. Bob wasn’t happy with Eric Carr’s drumming, so he brought you in.

Schwartzberg: I did it that out an Ace’s house in Connecticut, but it was more than one track.

BraveWords.com: What’s been ‘released’ to the public is that you only played on ‘I’, but the story of the ghost musician is always much different than the ‘official story’. A band will begrudgingly admit to have a ghost musician play on one track when, in reality, they know it’s fifteen, right?

Schwartzberg: Yes, yeah. It wasn’t a lot, but it was more than one. It doesn’t matter. The crazy part about that album was that Bob wanted me to double my drum part exactly. Play it over. He didn’t want to use…

BraveWords.com: …studio tricks.

Schwartzberg: He literally wanted me to double the part and that’s like tracing over what you played in a moment in time. It’s such a bitch to do. It was very hard. That Elder was supposed to be the start of another industry for KISS. They had the cartoons ready to go. They had the books. There was KISS World. It was going to be gigantic with this amazing marketing thing, but somehow it didn’t happen. It just fizzled. It just died.

BraveWords.com: The album wasn’t that good unfortunately.

Schwartzberg: I guess not.

Pretty Boy Floyd Covering "I Stole Your Love"

KISSopolis.com

Check out 'Pretty Boy Floyd' covering KISS' "I Stole Your Love" on their new KISS covers CD "KISS Of Death". The CD will be available Oct. 26. at 'PBF' shows.

Listen HERE.

Today In KISStory - 1974

 www.KISSopolis.com

Today In KISStory - 1974: The album 'Hotter Than Hell' is released. 

Hotter Than Hell  is the second studio album from the group Kiss. It was certified Gold on June 23, 1977, having sold 500,000 copies. The album was re-released in 1997 (along with most of Kiss' earlier albums) in a remastered version. The album peaked on the charts at number 100 without the benefit of a hit single.

Move to Los Angeles
The production team of Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise, who had produced the group's first album, was chosen for the follow up. Since the pair had relocated to Los Angeles, Kiss flew there to work with them. The band, all New Yorkers, immediately developed a dislike for their new surroundings. Paul Stanley's guitar was stolen his first day in Los Angeles.

The working title for the album was The Harder They Come.

The music
Musically, Hotter Than Hell is darker than the band's first album. This is partly due to the murkier production values, but also to the lyrical content of some of the songs. "Goin' Blind," which details a doomed romance with a 93-year-old and an underage girl, was a song written by Gene Simmons and Stephen Coronel during Wicked Lester's existence. The original title was "Little Lady."

Hotter Than Hell featured far more overdubs than the first album. While Kerner and Wise wanted to produce a record that captured Kiss as a live act, they decided to take advantage of the experience the band had gained as recording artists.

Although the album featured two songs penned solely by Frehley, he did not lead sing either one of them. His lack of confidence in his singing abilities at the time led to lead vocal duties for "Parasite" and "Strange Ways" going to Gene Simmons and Peter Criss, respectively. Frehley's guitar solo in "Strange Ways" has been called one of his best.

A commercial disappointment
Despite the intense touring schedule Kiss maintained in 1974, Hotter Than Hell failed to outperform the band's first album. In fact, it did considerably worse. This was due partly to the fact that Casablanca Records' distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records had ended. The publicity push behind the album was not nearly what it was for Kiss. One notable exception was a television commercial aired to promote the album. The only single released from the album, "Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll," was distributed in low numbers and failed to chart. Four months after the album was released, Kiss were pulled off tour and called back into the studio to record a follow up. Hotter Than Hell was certified Gold on June 23, 1977.

Live Performances
Many of Hotter Than Hell's songs are live staples for the band, including "Got to Choose", "Parasite", "Hotter Than Hell", "Let Me Go, Rock & Roll", and "Watchin' You".

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Got to Choose"   Paul Stanley Stanley 3:54
2. "Parasite"   Ace Frehley Gene Simmons 3:02
3. "Goin' Blind"   Simmons, Stephen Coronel Simmons 3:37
4. "Hotter Than Hell"   Stanley Stanley 3:30
5. "Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll"   Stanley, Simmons Simmons 2:15
6. "All the Way"   Simmons Simmons 3:18
7. "Watchin' You"   Simmons Simmons 3:44
8. "Mainline"   Stanley Peter Criss 3:50
9. "Comin' Home"   Frehley, Stanley Stanley 2:38
10. "Strange Ways"   Frehley Criss 3:18

 

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