Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Rutherford County's Resident Former KISS Guitarist Squandered His Stardom

 
NashvilleScene.com / Adam Gold

When onetime rock stars move Nashville-way, it's usually to launch a second career as a songwriter, get a gig as a sideman, do sessions, or reclaim their fame in an industry town where having a youthful appearance and cutting-edge relevance aren't always make-or-break requirements. Take Darius Rucker, who - once mocked and maligned as lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish - has recently celebrated a meteoric rise to the riches of pop-country Babylon after spending a decade as a pop-culture punch line.

When former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent moved to Middle Tennessee in the mid-1990s, he might've imagined himself making headlines in guitar magazines by remarketing his trademarked Vinnie Vincent Double V ax, or penning hits that would chart as high for a country star like Garth Brooks as "Lick It Up" and "I Love It Loud" did for KISS, or using his renowned chops as a shredder in the studio. Vinnie Vincent - aka Vincent Cusano; aka "The Ankh Warrior" - accomplished none of these things.

Instead, the first story involving the painstakingly reclusive Cusano to make worldwide headlines was a May 23 post on celebrity gossip site TMZ that read, "Ex-KISS Guitarist - Blood, Cuts, and 4 Dead Dogs."

What happened was every bit as sordid as that headline suggested. According to a memo provided to the Scene by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, the department sent a tactical team to Cusano's Smyrna residence to arrest him, after his wife Diane showed up at the sheriff's office "covered in blood and possibly intoxicated."

The 44-year-old Mrs. Cusano alleged to Sheriff Robert F. Arnold that her husband - a man who'd once basked in the limelight of Brazilian football stadiums brimming 200,000-strong with fans screaming for "the hottest band in the world" - had smacked her in the face, grabbed her by the hair, threw her to the floor (four times) and dragged her through a pile of broken glass following an argument over his conversing with another woman.

Cusano was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic assault. A subsequent search of the home - secluded at the dead end of a wooded, suburban Middle Tennessee road and confined by a high privacy fence - revealed the bodies of four dead dogs entombed in above-ground containers. This detail ignited a knee-jerk firestorm of public outrage, or perhaps just creeped people out, painting a picture of the Cusano home as a heart of hair-metal-has-been darkness.

Diane told Rutherford County Pet Adoption Welfare Services that one of the couple's "aggressive" dogs killed the entombed canines. PAWS' decision not to pursue an investigation, as well as memorials reportedly inscribed on the unfortunate tail-waggers' makeshift tombs serve to substantiate that claim, which Vincent later underscored in a posting on his YouTube page.

Vincent's other claims about the incident, however, aren't quite as credible. In a follow-up YouTube posting, Cusano said he was "happy to announce that all charges alleged against me were dropped and the case dismissed." He also claimed he'd been exonerated, saying he'd been "falsely charged."

That isn't true. According to a pretrial agreement filed June 13, a Rutherford County judge "retired" Mr. Cusano's case for a year under the condition that he complete eight hours of anger management counseling before a Dec. 5, 2011, scheduled court appearance. According to the agreement, Cusano can eventually petition the court to have the case dismissed.

This isn't the first time Cusano has cried foul and then played victim. Given the history of petty disputes he's waged and lost over almost 30 years, it's not hard to see Vinnie Vincent as a victim - a victim of Vincent Cusano, whom Gene Simmons once described as, "about the most self-destructive person I've ever met. This guy would hang himself as somebody's offering him the keys to the kingdom."

Vincent Cusano, once a staff writer for Happy Days, became Vinnie Vincent - a name bequeathed by Simmons - when he stepped into original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's boots in 1982. By 1984, he'd further followed in Frehley's footsteps by becoming a former member of the band, after he refused to sign a contract designating him an employee of Simmons and Paul Stanley. Vincent was unhappy settling for his $2,000-a-week salary.

Cusano's short-lived tenure as "The Ankh Warrior" - appearing on the comeback album Creatures of the Night and its follow-up, the first-non-makeup-era-KISS LP Lick It Up - was a three-year period of his 58 years on this earth that will forever define him.

But the years after his 1984 split with KISS make for an almost comically unending downward spiral of rip-off accusations, lost lawsuits and alleged scams directed at his modest but loyal fanbase. From his Vinnie Vincent Invasion - an Aqua Net-laden, second-string '80s pop-metal troupe - through his wilderness years since, Cusano has to many become a self-caricature.

"A guy who played in KISS, even with the restrictions they put on him, should've known, one way or another, how he could've parlayed that into a much more successful career, without having to resort to scamming people and ripping them off," says bassist Rik Fox, whose hair-metal punch card includes W.A.S.P., Steeler and SIN.

Fox claims Cusano and Vinnie Vincent Invasion bassist Dana Strum stole his song "On the Run," recasting it as VVI's "Let Freedom Rock." Fox says that when he confronted Strum - who had produced his original demo for the song - the VVI bassist didn't deny the charge, but rather told him that if he sued, they'd "bleed [him] dry and then countersue."

In an email to the Scene, Strum - on behalf of himself and former VVI vocalist (and current Nashvillian) Mark Slaughter - declined to comment on anything involving Cusano.

Slaughter wasn't the first singer of Vinnie Vincent Invasion. That distinction belongs to Robert Fleischman (also formerly of Journey). Though it was Slaughter lip-syncing in the band's music video for "Boyz Are Gonna Rock," it was Fleischman's voice on the recording. The singer successfully sued VVI's label, Chrysalis Records, for the transgression.

And after former New England drummer Hirsh Gardner successfully sued Cusano for stiffing him with an enormous studio bill and stealing master recordings on which they'd collaborated, Cusano failed to pay up. As legend has it, collectors confiscated Vinnie Vincent Invasion's gear when the band rolled through Boston on an opening stint with Iron Maiden. The ordeal led Cusano to file for bankruptcy in 1989. Rik Fox was listed among the guitarist's debtors at the bankruptcy hearing.

Then there are his legal disputes with KISS, most notably a 1997 lawsuit claiming underpayment of royalties. Cusano marked its filing with a Nashville press conference that MTV News' John Norris described as "quite a piece of rock theater."

"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," Cusano announced. "I don't want their dreams to turn into nightmares."

Last year, after Cusano made three failed attempts at declaring bankruptcy in three years - a tactic to sidestep compensating KISS to the tune of $82,000 in owed legal fees - a three-judge bankruptcy panel for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Tennessee judge's ruling to keep him from filing for bankruptcy for two years, citing his previous abuse of the system.

Stiffing Gene the Ogre is one thing, but nickel-and-diming the KISS Army is another. Delusional as it may sound, there actually are those out there who still idolize Cusano - or at least like him a whole lot, musically.

"KISS fans love those guys even if they spit on them," says Chris Czynszak, KISS die-hard and host of the podcast "Decibel Geek." "You heard of Stockholm Syndrome?"

The devotion of KISS fans is not lost on Cusano. Since living in Nashville, he's rallied an army of fans who allege The Ankh Warrior fleeced them of $120 each on pre-orders of The Vinnie Vincent Archives - a phantom box-set of cassettes featuring career outtakes, unreleased songs, personal notes, etc. Cusano began promising 15 years ago to release the set on his own Metaluna Records, and he has yet to deliver.

Fans who purchased the package have instead received letter upon letter from Metaluna espousing myriad production excuses. Yet while Metaluna had a no-refund policy, the letters did offer other opportunities to purchase Vinnie Vincent keepsakes like signed guitar catalogs ($150), or his "personal favorite pick" from the Creatures tour ... for $1,000.

Of course, you're gonna need a $1,000 pick if you wanna play a $9,000 guitar. That's at least how much you can expect to pony up for an Official Vinnie Vincent Model Guitar, according to renowned Las Vegas custom guitar craftsman Ed Roman. A few years back, Cusano had made a deal with Roman to manufacture and help distribute the guitar. Roman - who estimates he's known Cusano for 35 years - says the deal disintegrated after the project got started and Cusano began demanding more than double the royalty rate to which they'd agreed.

Still, Roman shared insights into the Cusano he's known - and liked - for so long.

"Vinnie is his own worst enemy. He doesn't trust people," he says. "He got screwed by KISS, really badly. ... And after you get screwed around a bunch of times like that, you become paranoid. Then you can't think straight. Underneath, he's a talented, good person. But on the top, with what hits the public eye, he's always gonna be [having] problems."

Maybe he'll sort all that out at anger management.

Backstage With KISS

KISSonline.com

KISSonline.com has posted footage of KISS backstage during the opening week of their 2011 summer tour in Spokane, Washington.

Photos: KISS In Prince George, B.C.

 
www.princegeorgecitizen.com

KISS lived up to its reputation on Wednesday at CN Centre, pleasing fans with a visual extravaganza, playing songs like I Was Made For Loving You, Rock and Roll All Night, and Beth.

View photo gallery HERE

Today in KISStory


KISSopolis/Jason E. Long

Today in KISStory:

In '77 the album Love Gun was certified Platinum just 2 weeks after it's release on this day.

In '79 the Dynasty Tour stopped at the Omni in Atlanta, Ga. w/opener New England.

In '96 Alive/Worldwide hit Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. Attendance: 15,891.

In 2000 Farewell hit the Alltel Pavillion in Raleigh, NC.

That's KISStory for June 30, 2011

The 10 Most Uncelebrated Classic KISS Songs


hardrockhideout.com

Every band that has been around for a long period of time falls into a similar trap. There is too much material to be celebrated. Certain songs rise to the top, other songs sink to the bottom, but then there are those songs that get lost in the mix. These are songs that are spectacular, but never get the attention they deserve.

One of the most notable bands that suffer from this problem is Kiss. They have a vast collection of hits and potential hits, but only their best known songs get celebrated. Turn on any rock radio station (be it satellite or terrestrial) and you’re bound to hear “Rock And Roll All Night,” “Detroit Rock City,” or “Beth” after a couple of hours. However, the Kiss catalog is much deeper than that. It’s also deeper than the songs the band plays in concert. There are several amazing Kiss songs that have been forgotten or ignored over the years, which is criminal.

Here now are the top 10 Kiss songs that should get more exposure than they do.

10. Then She Kissed Me (From Love Gun)
I know this is not a true Kiss song, but a cover of The Crystals 1963 hit “Then He Kissed Me.” However, for innovation alone, this song deserves more attention. Kiss took a hit pop song from the sixties sung by a female about a boy she loved, and turned it into a rocking song from the boy’s perspective. Ace Frehley’s guitar solo shreds, and that alone makes this a note worthy song. Paul’s vocals sound exceptional and overall, “Then She Kissed Me” is a fun tune. It definitely deserves more recognition than it has ever received.

9. Saint And Sinner (From Creatures Of The Night)
A dark, deep, Gene Simmons sung song, “Saint And Sinner” is one of the greatest gifts that Creatures Of The Night gave Kiss fans. Sure “I Love It Loud,’ “I Still Love You,” and “War Machine” got all of the attention, but it’s “Saint And Sinner” that stole the show. With an incredible riff, spectacular drums by Eric Carr, some of the best bass lines of Gene’s career and vocals that he could no longer capture, “Saint And Sinner” is a mesmerizing song.

8. Little Caesar (From Hot In The Shade)
 The first (original) song that featured Eric Carr’s vocals, “Little Caesar” was on track to be a huge hit. The band performed it a few times during the Hot In The Shade tour. It appeared that Kiss was going to keep the song in as a staple of the next tour, but then Eric Carr passed away and “Little Caesar” slipped into oblivion in all of the aftermath. However, this is a song that should not be forgotten. Eric Carr’s vocals are superb and with Simmons backing him up the harmony is brilliant. “Little Caesar” is one of the best songs on Hot In The Shade and one of the best Kiss songs to come out in the 80s.

7. Almost Human (From Love Gun)
Another dark Kiss song featuring Gene Simmons on lead vocals, “Almost Human” is one of the most different songs that Kiss has ever recorded. It’s also one of the most under-celebrated songs in the entire Kiss catalog. That is a real shame. With a chorus that bores into the brain, some amazing guitar work from Ace Frehley, and very original lyrics, “Almost Human” is a song that is always overlooked when mentioning the great tunes of the Kiss catalog. Gene’s voice never sounded better, and it’s this song that really rounds out Love Gun, adding to the overall success of the record.

6. Journey Of A Thousand Years (From Psycho Circus)
Perhaps one of the least recognized songs in Kisstory is “Journey Of A Thousand Years.” This is another dark, Gene Simmons sung song. It has an amazing musical arrangement and Gene’s voice was in top form during the recording of this brilliant song. I’ve always thought this was one of the best songs on Psycho Circus and I’ve never understood why Kiss has all but ignored this track since it was recorded. It has the dark elements that great Kiss songs should contain, amazing guitar riffs, and a hook that fans could chant over and over. “Journey Of A Thousand Years” is a decidedly different type of Kiss song, but that’s what makes it so great.
hardrockhideout.com

Read more HERE:

http://hardrockhideout.com/2011/06/30/vies-verses-the-10-most-uncelebrated-classic-kiss-songs/
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The View From Behind Eric Singer's Drum Kit

KISSopolis/Photo: Paul Bassett

Check out this amazing photo of the view from behind Eric Singer's drum kit. Thanks to Eric's drum tech (and all around great guy) Paul Bassett for this photo.

Click on photo to view a larger image.

Saskatoon Names Street For 'Family Jewels' Star Shannon Tweed

 
David Hutton, The StarPhoenix / Photo: Richard Marjan 

Saskatoon's famous playmate has another jewel to add to the family collection.

City council has approved naming Tweed Lane in Rosewood after Shannon Tweed, 54, the Mount Royal Collegiate alum who rose to fame in the 1980s after appearing on the cover of Playboy magazine.

Tweed, Canada's second Playmate of the Year, former gal-pal of Hugh Hefner and longtime mate of KISS bassist Gene Simmons, was in the city last year filming an episode of A&E's Gene Simmons Family Jewels, the reality show chronicling their lives.

For the episode, which was shot in November, the city presented Tweed with an honorary street sign bearing her name at River Landing, but Saskatoon Tourism wanted to have a street officially named after her before the episode airs July 12, so it was fasttracked. Tweed Lane will be near the Boychuk Drive entrance to Rosewood.

Rosewood is a new privately developed neighbourhood underway in the southeast corner of Saskatoon.

On Thursday, Tweed, calling from Abbotsford, B.C., said she was thrilled with the honour. She didn't expect Tweed Lane to be anything more than a gesture for the show. She said she'll be in Saskatoon in two weeks for a family wedding.

"I wasn't hoping for anything," she said. "I didn't think it would actually become a street. I thought it was just honorary. I'm very happy."

Tweed was about to phone her mom, who still lives in Saskatoon along with her brother and two sisters, to let her Saskatoon family know the news. She said she hopes her street name gains some notoriety for the city. Her longtime partner, Simmons, had a boulevard in Dallas, Texas, named after him shortly after the honorary presentation last year in Saskatoon, she said. Simmons was also given the key to the city.

"I hope it helps, Anything that brings commerce and tourism helps."

"Cold Gin" In Abbotsford, B.C.

KISSopolis


‎KISS performing "Cold Gin" in B.C., Canada at the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre on Monday, June 27, 2011.

Gene Simmons Cries, Shares Regret At Father's Grave

theclicker.today.com/By Ree Hines

Today In KISStory 1990

www.KISSopolis.com

Today in KISStory - 1990: On the 'Hot In The Shade' Tour KISS performed at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Mansfield (Boston), Massachusetts with opening bands Slaughter and Little Caesar. Attendance: 8,441.

Crazy KISS Fan Ready For Concert

 
Christine HINZMANN-SKOREPA

Kyle Sampson is a crazy KISS fan who will be here for the Prince George concert June 29.

Tongues are wagging, heads are banging and the boys are trying on their platform boots in anticipation of the KISS concert June 29 at CN Centre.

Kyle Sampson is a mega-fan who will be going on a KISS concert mini tour of his own as the band makes stops in Kamloops, Abbotsford, Prince George and Dawson Creek.

Sampson was the guy that set up a Bring KISS to Prince George Facebook page with more than 5,000 members in 2009. Through online voting KISS set up a contest to see which town would get a concert. Prince George ranked 11 out of more than 10,000 cities.

Close but no cigar.

That didn't kill Sampson's sizzling enthusiasm for the band ranked No. 10 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ninth on The Greatest Metal Bands list by MTV, No. 1 on Hit Paraders's Top 100 Live Bands, 56 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time and second on Digital Dream Door's Best Hair Metal Bands.

He just got more determined to get KISS to Prince George.

Sampson saw KISS Nov. 12, 2009 in Calgary and got to spend the day setting up lights, sound and pyro technics, along with a pre-concert backstage meet and greet with the band he loves.

He kept his connection with the band's touring manager, asking what it would take to get Kiss to come to P.G.
Well, Glen Mikkelsen, entertainment and marketing supervisor of CN Centre, was the answer. After years of trying to make it happen, Mikkelsen said it all just came together in 2011 and here comes KISS.

"One day I got a call from Glen and he said 'Guess what?'" Sampson said, who took a job in Kamloops but will soon be returning to Prince George, the town he loves.

Sampson said he's got his Gene Simmons look-alike costume ready and brand new make up is on its way from cyberspace.

"I won't have time to dress up the day of the concert because I will be at CN Centre all day helping rig the lights, sound and anything else I can do to help set up," said Sampson. "Then I can see KISS at the meet and greet and that's always exciting. Gene Simmons is my favourite. But you will see me around town dressed up the day before the concert."

Special guests at the sold-out Kiss concert will be The Envy and Bad City June 29 at CN Centre.

Opening bands start at 7:45 with The Envy up first, followed by Bad City.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"God of Thunder" & "Black Diamond" In Abbotsford, B.C



KISSopolis

Video of KISS performing "God of Thunder" and "Black Diamond" at the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre on Monday, June 27 2011.

"Deuce" In Abbotsford, B.C.

KISSopolis

KISS performing "Deuce" in Abbotsford, B.C., on June 27, 2011.

KISS' Paul Stanley On Blowing Stuff Up

 
Peter Hodgson / Photo: Carol Port

KISS' Paul Stanley has pulled back the curtain on the band's early forays into pyrotechnics, which were a lot more cavalier than the high-tech displays employed today.

In an interview with Glen Shaefer at The Province, Stanley said: "We have the best people working with us. When we first started doing it, it was crude to say the least. There were no licensed pyrotechnicians. You had some guy who liked to blow stuff up and you put him on salary."

Stanley says the production values have come a long way since then, with the show “mutating” rather than evolving or progressing. “Do we blow stuff up? Hell yeah. Do we play real loud? Hell yeah. That's what we do, we entertain. We're a killer rock band that prides itself on being entertainers.”

The 59-year-old Stanley also opened up about his fitness regime, which he says is partially driven by vanity. "Nobody wants to see a fat guy in tights," Stanley says. “At least not in this band, or at least not me. There's a certain discipline involved, and I'm as vain as the next guy."

KISS Raises The Roof In Abbotsford



Ashley Wray - Abbotsford News

Abbotsford is officially a "rock city."

KISS singer and guitarist Paul Stanley declared the title at Monday night's concert at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre before the band played its famous song, Detroit Rock City.

It was one of the many hits performed by the famous rock group, also consisting of Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.

After a performance by five-piece rock band Bad City, KISS took to the stage dressed head to toe in their famous flamboyant outfits, face paint and platform shoes.

They weren't the only ones in paint.

The KISS Army turned out in full force to watch the rockers relive their classics and share their most recent tunes from the album Sonic Boom.

The audience was on its feet most of the night, dancing in the aisles, strumming on air guitars and fist pumping to the beat.

An encore saw the band return for a few more tunes, ending with Rock and Roll all Nite  as confetti fell from the ceiling and fire, smoke and flashing lights engulfed the stage.

"Modern Day Delilah" In Abbotsford. B.C.

KISSopolis

KISS opening their show in Abbotsford, B.C. with "Modern Day Delilah" on June 27, 2011.

"Beth" In Abbotsford, B.C.

KISSopolis

Here's fan filmed footage of Eric Singer of KISS performing "Beth: in Abbotsford, B.C. on June 27, 2011.

Gene Simmons Breaks Down At Father's Grave In Israel

 
Jen Heger - Radar Legal Editor

Gene Simmons made a very emotional visit to his father's grave in Israel recently, which was documented on his reality show, and RadarOnline.com has exclusively obtained a sneak peek.

In Tuesday's episode of the A & E hit show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Shannon and Nick join Gene when he returns to the city of his birth, Haifa, Israel for the first time in over 50 years to receive an award.

While there, Shannon has a few surprises planned for Gene, including a family reunion. Gene also attempts to make peace with his feelings about his father.

Gene visits his father's grave with his sisters, girlfriend Shannon Tweed, and their son, Nick.

Viewers of the show will see a very different side to the KISS rocker as he breaks down crying at the grave, and apologizes repeatedly: "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so f*cking stupid. I'm so stupid. I didn't run away from my kids, I didn't run away from the kids, I'm a good father."

"You would be proud, you would be proud. My mother is 85 years old and still loves you."

Gene's father died in 2002 but it is obvious the reality star is still pained by the loss. "I have been arrogant about a lot of things, especially my father," he explains. "I wanted to prove to myself and everybody else and to my father that I didn't need him....unfortunately I didn't see my father until I stood over his grave, and that was not easy."

Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Blood is Thicker Than Hummus, will air on Tuesday night at 10 pm on A & E.

Watch the video preview HERE: http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2011/06/gene-simmons-cries-fathers-grave-israel-video-reality-show-gene-simmons-family

Gene Simmons: ‘Most Men Are Really Just 12-Year-Old Kids’

 
By Parade

Gene Simmons may want to rock and roll all night and party every day, but his longterm girlfriend Shannon Tweed may be ready to leave the party.

As the sixth season of the rocker’s reality series, Gene Simmons Family Jewels premiered; Tweed was sent over the edge by Simmons’ womanizing ways and famously stormed off the set during a recent interview with Joy Behar after Gene made jokes about the number of women he’s slept with.

Now, Simmons, 61, talks to Parade.com about his almost too real reality show, and gives a sneak peek into tonight’s dramatic episode, which sees the KISS frontman return to the city of his birth, Haifa, Israel for the first time in over 50 years.


On his unraveling relationship with his partner of 28 years, Shannon Tweed.
“Well, when you have a cut on your hand, it doesn’t heal overnight. It takes time, and if you don’t take care of it, it gets inflamed. We’re working on it. It’s not easy on the kids, Shannon, or myself.”


Men are from mars…
“Men are not reflective. What happened yesterday happened yesterday. We’re in the here and the now. Women are wiser. Women have a 30,000-foot viewpoint. They see the bigger picture, which is why they want to have kids and men don’t. Women want to get married and no man I ever met actually wants to. Women have the ‘Mr. Right’ image, men don’t. There are tons of brides’ magazines, I don’t know of a single husband magazine. We want to be left alone to do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it without asking anybody. So the hair on our backs rise when the female species says, ‘Where have you been?’ That’s all part of being a kid and immature.”


On watching his life play out onscreen.
“It’s important for men. We don’t watch home movies and we don’t take them. We don’t sit around and show our male friends the family photo albums or any of that stuff. We’re just not reflective. So it’s good for men to be reflective and open up and be more caring. It’s certainly good for me.”


He has no regrets when it comes to the show.
“No, it’s good for me. It’s good for us. I saw it as an opportunity to spread my brand. Little did I know that America and the rest of the world would fall in love with Shannon, Nick, and Sophie. People love them. And what’s not to love? All parents feel that way about their kids, but in our case, it happens to be true!”
Top 10 Musicians Turned Movie Stars


Can fans count on future seasons?
“We’re talking about it. It’s probable.”


On returning to his birthplace in Israel in this week’s new episode.
“Shannon is sneaky. She set the whole trip up. Her point of view was that our kids should see where their parents came from. They already visited Canada, so it was time for them to visit Israel. I hadn’t been back there since I was eight years old, and I never even knew much about my dad, who I hadn’t seen since I was eight. He actually ran out on us when I was about seven. And I was shocked to learn my father had actually been married at least six times and had who knows how many other lovers and how many other kids. In fact, I met three sisters and a brother I didn’t know I had.”


Simmons makes a very emotional visit to his father’s grave in Israel. Was he able to make peace with his feelings about his estranged father?
“I still have mixed feelings about it. As the way most men are, we’re really just 12-year-old kids. We don’t delve deep. He was a man who simply did whatever he wanted to do no matter what the repercussions were. On the surface, that seems OK, except when you’ve got kids and wives and people whose feelings get destroyed.”


He didn’t want to repeat his painful past.
“I didn’t want to become my father. I know what it felt like growing up without a father. I’ll be damned if I would have let that happen to Nick and Sophie.”


Parenting 101 with Gene Simmons.
“We’re very strict. You behave well because you’re not allowed not to. It’s as simple as that. There are no drugs, no booze, and no cigarettes because you’re not allowed to. You don’t talk potty talk because you’re not allowed to. The idea that kids slam the door to their rooms on these TV shows is the height of lunacy. All that dribble that Dr. Spock was mouthing — he was basically farting through his mouth. Negotiating with your children? Absolutely not.”


This season, Simmons also visits a place near and dear to his heart: Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
“I’m an immigrant from Israel and my mother is a concentration camp survivor from Nazi, Germany, and America in a very real way saved my mother and my people. Other countries in the world don’t want to hear this, but it’s true. America not only saved the world, but also continues to save the world. Yes, we have allies, but without America, you’d have chaos

Today in KISStory - 1996

 
KISSopolis/Jason E. Long

In '96 Alive/Worldwide kicked off at Tiger Stadium. Openers/ Sponge, Alice In Chains. Attendance: 39,867. What I remember of being at this show: I had a field access bracelet on & without one you couldn't get to the stage so I was by the stage when KISS started Black Diamond & I looked back at the field wall & the DPD in riot gear lined the field wall stopping fans from jumping the wall.

That's KISStory for June 28,2011.

KISS Rocks Abbotsford

www.bcdailybuzz.com

Here's a news story on KISS performing in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, on June 27, 2011.


$129,000 Raised From Auction Of Four KISS MINI Countryman

 
MINI USA News 
    WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ – June 27, 2011— The world watched in horror as the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan; so the legendary rock band KISS partnered with MINI USA and unleashed the power of The KISS Army to battle the elements with dollars – and plenty of them.

    KISS (www.KISSonline.com) and MINI USA raised $129,000 during an eBay online charity auction of four custom-painted and autographed MINI Countryman vehicles. After shipping, all proceeds will be donated to UNICEF to help children in Japan and other emergency efforts around the world.

    And the initiative keeps on giving… KISS vehicle wraps based on the auctioned designs are still available for purchase through www.MINIUSA.COM/KISS or local MINI dealerships. MINI USA’s proceeds from those sales will continue to help those in need.

    “The KISS Army is the greatest army in the world and when they heard the cry for help, they fought back in the best way that they knew how – with their wallets,” said Paul Stanley. “The KISS MINIs are the ultimate way to show your KISS Army colors and it’s a reminder that we have the best fans in the world.”

    The four custom-painted vehicles are the all-new 2011 MINI Countryman, and each vehicle features the iconic makeup and costume association of one KISS member, including co-founder and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley (Starchild), co-founder and bassist Gene Simmons (The Demon), lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (Spaceman) and drummer Eric Singer (Catman).

    All of the MINIs are autographed by all four members of KISS and have become instant collector’s items.

    “The KISS MINIs are rare one-of-a-kind collector’s items and KISS salutes the winners of the auction,” said Gene Simmons. “The new owners have the satisfaction of knowing that they not only have an instant investment that will keep growing in value, but every time they look at the car, they’ll also be reminded that the real value is knowing that their dollars helped children in the greatest need.”

    “Thank you to the auction participants and MINI owners who bought vehicle wraps, thereby contributing to this charitable effort. MINI USA is proud that our vehicles were featured as part of such a remarkable initiative and helped raise much needed funds,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA. “It is fantastic to see what started as a simple idea grow into something that will touch the lives of so many. UNICEF does great work and I hope that the ties with KISS and MINI have elevated awareness and support of their tireless efforts.”

    The eBay auction winners are located in North Carolina, Oregon, and Massachusetts. The vehicles will be delivered in the coming weeks to their new homes.

    Photo: KISS Logo Featured In "Rango" Movie

     
    KISSopolis/David Palmer

    Check out the KISS logo as it appears in a scene of the Johnny Depp animated movie "Rango". The movie is about ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. In the movie, Rango is describing the Spirit of the West. He starts drawing against the dark of night with a smoldering stick. What appears in his drawings in the sky are a shark fin, a Star Wars TIE Fighter, a dinosaur, and the KISS logo, among other things.

    "Rango" hits Blu-ray and DVD on July 15.


    Interview With Co-founder Of Casablanca Records

    Legendary Rock Interviews

    Larry Harris is more than just a record company executive.  He's a survivor of the seventies' most notorious record label hands down, CASABLANCA Records.  When we heard about Larry's book "And Party Every Day- An Inside Look at Casablanca Records" we knew we had to chat with him.  There's no way to boil down the whole essence of the book into one short interview so instead we asked him a few pointed questions and got a few pointed answers, he did not hold back.....read on

    Q: At what point did you consider that the story of Casablanca was a story worth telling and how did you go from concept to actually writing the book?, (which is now available in audio and kindle versions)

    A: After many years of people asking me if certain things they heard about Casablanca were true I decided I better write what I remembered down before I started to forget them. I wrote just random stories and then over the years compiled them into some kind of cohesive flow. I put it all away for years and then during a down period I began to put it into a book form. It took about 10 years to accomplish this.


    Q:  The book is filled with not only lots of inside info on the bands but also the day to day goings on of the record label itself which was wilder than even what most people would imagine. Was the old adage of "If you lived through the 70s you don't remember it" an issue in piecing together the book?
    A:  When I wrote the stories I did not think so , but after the book came out people began to tell me what they remembered and sometimes certain facts differed- I still think my memory was correct as everyone sees things thru their own minds eye and what was important about a certain event to me may not have been for them and visa versa.

    Q:  There were both rock and disco rosters on Casablanca. Did that kind of mixture ever lead to any interesting encounters or relationships between the acts or the label staff?

    A:  There was a rock contingent at the label and a disco contingent- I had to straddle the line for the sake of continuity of the label.  Some of the rock people hated the fact that we had so much disco stuff and they even balked at some of the R&B stuff but once we had hits everyone was happy whether it be disco, rock, R&B or comedy stuff like Robin Williams or Rodney Dangerfield.  I was really more in the rock camp and tried my best to get us some additional rock acts but due to the fact we were so heavily associated with disco it was hard for us to convince rock acts to sign with us. I was offered both Billy Idol and Billy Squier but due to the fact that they were both managed by Bill Aucoin, who managed KISS and Sean Delany, I decided it would not be a great idea to load up our roster with only his acts and he was asking a great deal of money for them anyway , more than I thought we could afford. There were never any outright confrontations between the rock and disco groups though...everyone wanted the label to succeed so they pulled together.


    Q:   It's a known fact that KISS took quite some time and quite a bit of money to break as a band. From what you could tell did any of the other acts or label employees start to express annoyance or resentment towards the efforts to break KISS??

    A:  Nobody at the label ever mentioned it and I do believe , especially in the early days they all knew that the band could deliver that live performance that would be so important to garner those die-hard fans that eventually helped break the band. And beside that,  we had no choice as that is what we had to do to break them...so we went after it..I would also doubt that other bands would complain as that would have put them in a very tenuous potion to stay on the label. Negativity was something Neil Bogart would not put up with. Beside all that, we spent tons of money on ANY artist we got a glimmer of success with, some made it others did not.

    Q:  The band was helped considerably by Sean Delaney not only with staging concepts but also with songwriting even. To what degree do you think Kiss owes some of their success to people like you, Joyce and Neil Bogart, Bill Aucioin or Sean Delany? Do you think they would have eventually made some mark without those early "helpers"?

    A:  I would say it was an equal partnership in all respects.... without Sean working on the show and writing with them they would have suffered.   Aucoin was the perfect manager for them and Joyce’s relationship with Neil was something that helped to keep the checkbook opened to them during the breaking of the band period.  I feel that the favors we called in and concepts that  Neil  and I contributed, along with a ton of money was instrumental to their success.   Remember, no other label wanted them in fact CBS records ( now SONY) paid for a demo when they were called Wicked Lester ( many of the same songs that appeared on the first album) and passed on the band.  Saying all that, without the bands willingness to stay out on the road and at the same time deliver an album every six months along with never really complaining about the crazy things we asked them to do certainly was instrumental in their success.

    Q: Casablanca were sort of forerunners in terms of marketing and merchandising aside from just putting out records. There is not a day that goes by that one of us doesn't dream of using those merchandise order forms inside the KISS/Angel albums, although at this point we're pretty sure we wouldnt get the merch. Whose idea was that to start including things like that inside the sleeves and have you ever been inside those warehouses that actually housed the product?

    A:  Not only Kiss and Angel but Donna Summer, Parliament and Village people all had merchandising offers in their albums. It was just something that seemed to be a natural fit for us at the time. It began with the KISS Army kids demanding stuff from the band and we just took it from there to other acts and going as outrageous as we could with things like pillow cases for Donna and comic books for Parliament. I was never at one of the storage facilities but we did get samples of everything!!


    Q:   Your bands worked on lots of promo films in the pre-MTV era.  There are lots of those early promo clips of your acts on the Casablanca youtube channel and you put out a great VHS years ago. What is the status as far as actually getting a proper DVD/blu ray release of that material, even if it doesn't include KISS?

    A:  No chance at all..just getting the legal approvals would be a nightmare.

    Q:  Angel's manager had already been aware of and talking to Casablanca by the time Gene "discovered" them. What was the label's vision as far as getting behind the band, was there one person more than others that championed them and wanted to spend the money to develop their stage show and set them up to succeed ala KISS?

    A:  I know the Gene story about him calling Neil in the middle of the night to tell him about Angel...... NOT TRUE- and even if he did at that point KISS had not broken and Gene’s recommendation would have meant little- why did he not mention Van Halen to us????   There's another band he supposedly found..The reason we signed Angel was that their manager David Josephs was managing another act we had on the label The Hudson brothers, who we loved and had so much fun with and David kept buggin us on Angel .  Eventually we thought it would be a good idea to have a band that was kind of anti what KISS stood for – all white outfits , good looking, melodic, etc.- problem was they did not seem to know how to write HIT songs and their onstage gimmickry was just not accepted by many rock fans.  Both Neil and I were behind them totally and kept with them till the end of our stint at the label.

    Q:   It was a very different time as far as publicity went for a band. This was pre-MTV, pre youtube and "web" publicity. It must have been a fantastic time for those early rock writers who got to deal with the label and the bands and for the girls working publicity back in those days. Was there a sense of "Sky's the limit' as far as getting the writers and disc jockeys on your side?

    A:  John, everything at Casablanca was "THE SKY’S THE LIMIT"- publicity, promotion, advertising, tour support- we went the distance on everything we could- we flew everyone first class and limos all over the place – we wanted to standout as the funnest label ever and I think we accomplished that- we did that to a smaller degree at Buddah Records with bringing in DJs from all over the country and writers to a gig we paid for in conjunction with WNEW ,  their first Christmas concert that we conceived – we did that to break Genesis..

    Q:   Hindsight is of course 20/20 but looking back were there feelings that KISS might still be at it decades down the line, selling out arenas; albeit without Ace and Peter....did any of you think that far in advance?

    A:  We did not think that far in advance and in those days no one ever dreamed KISS would last so long.   No one thought the Stones would still be doing it and the Eagles or any rock band…I am still amazed that Gene and Paul can climb the stairs to the stage...... let alone perform for a long set at the pace they do.


    Q:   Angel has, at this point, achieved a legendary "Cult" status and also released a catalog of albums and had success in Japan, etc... and KISS is of course, KISS......what were some of the ROCK bands that you guys were REALLY into that didn't work out and why do you think it never happened for them?

    A:  Hudson Brothers- problem was their TV show was geared to kids and so although they could really rock they were never seriously considered by rock radio as a legit act!-  we signed a band called Stallion that just had the wrong producer and management..also had Trigger, good band just timing was off as we were in the midst of the disco explosion and they took a back seat..The Godz made some noise but due to problems erupting at their label we distributed and financed Millennium HUGE success was not to be.

    Q:  The KISS solo albums have been described as both a highlight and as a breaking point by several of the members, they were initially considered something of a flop commercially and had lots of cut outs but have since redeemed themselves in terms of sales. For the record, how did the concept of simultaneous solo albums come about and was it just a peacemaking move to keep the band from killing each other?

    A:   As I mention in the book – we were told the only way to keep the band together was to do the solo albums.......so we went for it and in typical Casablanca fashion, we did it over the top which did not work at all and was one of the contributing factors of the labels demise.   By the way ....they were not considered something of a flop they were a major FLOP.

    Q:  Thanks for talking to us, EVERYONE needs to check out "And Party Every Day" to really get a sense of the 70s.    Last question....the solo albums were timed to come out and coincide with the INFAMOUS movie "KISS Meets The Phantom".....what, if anything do you recall about the day to day goings on during the time that our "favorite" movie was being produced??????

    A:  I remember the movie sucked !!– the band could not act to save their lives- The albums were not conceived to come out with the movie it just worked out that way....we hated the movie.... that is one reason why it did not come out on Casablanca’s film division.   Also at that time we had a lot less to do with the band as Aucoin and KISS had become so rich they had their own company to handle press and promotion, a company that we banged heads with numerous times.

    Larry onstage in Detroit presenting the boys their prize
    An original KISS presskit!
    The straw that broke the Casablanca Camel's back??

    Follow Legendary Rock Interviews On Facebook.

    Gene Simmons: Despite Our TV Spats, Shannon Tweed & I Are “Destined To Be Together”

     
    www.hollywoodlife.com

    Being Gene Simmons‘ partner for 28 years hasn’t been easy for actress Shannon Tweed, who famously tore off her microphone during an interview with Joy Behar this month, and stormed off the set after Gene made jokes about the number of women he’s slept with.

    But in an exclusive interview with HollywoodLife.com, the star of A&E’s “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” says re-watching such segments—they had a similarly tension-filled interview on The Today Show—and his show helps him realize he has work to do on the relationship front. “Watching these clips helps me be more effective, like ‘Gee, I really did come off like an asshole there. How come I didn’t see that?’”

    Gene says he was taken off-guard by Shannon’s exit, and that making jokes about his sexual conquests on-air was in poor taste. “Oh, yes I was surprised,” he says. “I think you can safely say that—and rightfully so. Joy Behar is a comedian. And she asked a question, I thought ‘OK, it’s time to be funny.’ Well, maybe not funny for Shannon.”

    Read more HERE.

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Today In KISStory - 2000

    KISSopolis

    Today In KISStory - 2000: The Last KISS pay-per-view was filmed at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford NJ on the Farewell Tour. This was the 1st of 2 shows in East Rutherford.

    Opening Act: Skid Row, Ted Nugent

    Set list:

    Detroit Rock City
    Deuce
    Shout It Out Loud
    I Love It Loud
    Firehouse
    Do You Love Me?
    Calling Dr. Love
    Heaven's On Fire
    Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
    2,000 Man
    Psycho Circus
    Lick It Up
    God Of Thunder
    Cold Gin
    100,000 Years
    Love Gun
    I Still Love You (Intro)
    Black Diamond
    Beth
    Rock And Roll All Nite

    Set notes:

    - Originally broadcast in edited form as Pay-Per-Views in both Japan and the US, and as a radio show in various other places, this show was also partially included on KISSology VOL. III.

    "Deuce" In Kamloops, B.C.

    KISSopolis

    Here's fan video of KISS performing "Deuce" in Kamloops, B.C., Canada on June 26, 2011.

    Ace Frehley Adds New Tour Date


    Ace Frehley has added another European date to his tour. He will be playing in Cardiff in Wales at the Coal Exchange on December 1st, 2011.

    Today in KISStory

     
    KISSopolis/Jason E. Long

    Today in KISStory: In' 90 on the Hot In The Shade Tour, KISS played the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC. Attendance: 5,427.

    In 2000 The Last KISS pay-per-view was filmed at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford NJ on the Farewell Tour. This was the 1st of 2 shows in East Rutherford. The openers were Ted Nugent & Skid Row.

    In 2006 The KISS Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach held it's Grand Opening! Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons attended the event, signing autographs for thousands of fans, who came from as far away as Japan, the Middle East and Europe! Police on site estimated that over 5000 people attended the opening!

    That's KISStory for June 27, 2011.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    COTN Episode #20: "Gido-Blaster" Talks KISS!

    COTN

    Here at Creatures Of The Net, we love talking to KISS fans! All of us have a different tale to tell on how we discovered the hottest band in the land. Neil "Gido-Blaster" Gido's is one of those stories. On episode #21 of Creatures Of The Net, Neil and Cassius will sit down one on one do geek out about the gods of rock and roll. We will begin with a young Gido-Blaster discovering KISS for the first time and finish with him meeting KISS at a wedding and being a self described "KISS Collector Extraordinaire"! All of that and more only on Creatures Of The Net: Rock or be rocked. 

    Today In KISStory

     
    KISSopolis/ Jason E. Long

    Today in KISStory:

    KISS' Dynasty Tour in 1979 hit the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina with opening act Nantucket.

    In '90 KISS' Hot In The Shade Tour stopped at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with opening acts Slaughter & Little Caesar.

    In '96 in Detroit KISS moved their rehearsals from Cobo Hall to Tiger Stadium getting ready to kick off the Alive/Worldwide Tour.

    That's KISStory for June 26, 2011.

    KISS Records New Album With CLASP

     
    www.endlessanalog.com

    Engineer/producer Greg Collins and Kiss are using Endless Analog’s CLASP System to record the band’s next album.

    Commenting on the use of CLASP during the sessions, band leader/producer Paul Stanley stated, “CLASP allows us to go ‘back to analog’ for all the warmth and classic sonic characteristics but with all the convenience and advantages of Pro Tools. It’s a no brainer and you just can’t lose with CLASP. I’m a believer.” On their first collaboration, 2009’s Sonic Boom, music was recorded on analog tape and edited in Pro Tools, but the two processes were separate from each other, necessitating frequent extended pauses in recording for tape transfers.

    For the recording of the new LP, Endless Analog’s CLASP (Closed Loop Analog Signal Processor) system, which integrates analog tape machines into the digital audio production workflow, is allowing the band to use analog tape while tracking to Pro Tools in real time, opening up the sonic space of tape while providing the editing capabilities of the digital recording workspace. Collins recalls, “I went to Endless Analog’s web site and saw Bryan Lenox giving a pretty thorough description, and this was right around the time we were making plans for the new KISS album.

    We had done a majority recording for Sonic Boom using tape, and we loved the sound, but punch-ins were challenging at times, and getting the tracks into Pro Tools for editing took a lot of time. But mainly, we enjoyed the process of using tape, and everyone enjoys the convenience that digital recording offers. If there had been a way with that first record to get the best of both worlds at the same time, we would have done it. And now there is that reality [with CLASP], so we had to give it a try.

    “I sat down with Paul, who is once again producing, while I am co-producing, engineering and mixing. Paul really knows his way around a studio, but he lets me manage the gear side of things. He gave the go-ahead to use CLASP, so we went for it.”

    Once they acquired CLASP, Endless Analog President/Founder and CLASP inventor Christopher Estes made a personal visit. Collins continues, “I got in touch with Chris, and he was good enough to come out and set us up on the first day in the studio, and he stuck with us through the first few days of tracking to make sure that it was all going smoothly, which it did. And it was such a good experience. For me, the tape sound, for a hard rock band, is the ideal sound. It deals with the transients in a way that’s really nice and easy on the ears. Drums for instance – it keeps them sounding punchy and powerful, but not ‘painful,’ like you might associate with a digitally recorded drum sound. Tape is an important part of the right sound, and CLASP makes it possible to not have to sacrifice any of the perks of digital.”

    Collins also recalls how nice it was to keep things moving. “There was zero downtime needed for transferring the tracks into Pro Tools. The band is so tight and well-rehearsed, and it’s so great to just start a session and knock out a song in two or three takes. A few punch-ins and the track is pretty much there. It’s so efficient; it just keeps the creativity and performance going. And the band loves the sound. Honestly, every time the guys walked in the control room for playback, everybody was so impressed – they said, ‘It sounds even better than last time, and we loved what it sounded like last time.’”

    CLASP, Endless Analog President/Founder and CLASP inventor Christopher Estes made a personal visit. Collins continues, “I got in touch with Chris, and he was good enough to come out and set us up on the first day in the studio, and he stuck with us through the first few days of tracking to make sure that it was all going smoothly, which it did. And it was such a good experience. For me, the tape sound, for a hard rock band, is the ideal sound. It deals with the transients in a way that’s really nice and easy on the ears. Drums for instance – it keeps them sounding punchy and powerful, but not ‘painful,’ like you might associate with a digitally recorded drum sound. Tape is an important part of the right sound, and CLASP makes it possible to not have to sacrifice any of the perks of digital.”

    Collins also recalls how nice it was to keep things moving. “There was zero downtime needed for transferring the tracks into Pro Tools. The band is so tight and well-rehearsed, and it’s so great to just start a session and knock out a song in two or three takes. A few punch-ins and the track is pretty much there. It’s so efficient; it just keeps the creativity and performance going. And the band loves the sound. Honestly, every time the guys walked in the control room for playback, everybody was so impressed – they said, ‘It sounds even better than last time, and we loved what it sounded like last time.’”

    Front Row Fan Photo Gallery Of KISS In Spokane

     KISSopolis/Carol Port

    Here is a fan photo gallery of what it was like to be front row center at KISS in Spokane, Wa on June 24, 2011. Thanks to The KISS Army Vixens for these photos!

    View the entire photo gallery HERE.

    Photos: KISS In Everett


    Check out these amazing photos of KISS in Everett from Jay Gilbert:

    http://jaygilbert.smugmug.com/Other/KISS-Everett-WA/17732894_GZwxRh#1353777475_7DfpNKb

    Still Not Ready To KISS Goodbye

     
    By Glen Schaefer, The Province

    e likes it loud onstage, but KISS lead singer Paul Stanley is soft-­spoken over the phone as he prepares to go on the road again with the band he has fronted since 1974 — a tour that brings them to Abbotsford Monday night.

    “We’ll be ready with guns blazing when we hit Abbotsford,” Stanley said in an interview before a show Thursday in Everett, Wash.

    He says the band — Stanley, original bassist-singer Gene Simmons, drummer (on and off for 20 years) Eric Singer and guitarist (for the past 10 years) Tommy Thayer — doesn’t do the punishing 200-show-a-year schedule anymore.

    “We might go out for two or three months at a time and average about four shows a week,” he says.
    “We can do 70, 80 shows a year . . . Quite honestly, as much as I love doing this, I don’t understand the people who forget that they have a home. It works terrifically, because it means that every time we do go out, we want to be there and we’re ready to do it.”

    The 59-year-old Stanley has kept his voice and his lean physique as other rockers — including former KISS bandmates Peter Criss and Ace Frehley — fell prey to the backstage temptations of the road.

    No “Cold Gin” for Stanley, despite the title of one of their more famous songs.

    “Well you know, everything is available and then it’s a matter of what you want to do,” he says.

    “Backstage is a buffet and you don’t have to indulge, or you certainly can. For me to do what I do at this point, it’s important that I’m ready to go out there and give people what they’re expecting, or more. That’s a big responsibility, and the longer the band’s been around the bigger the reputation is.”

    Or, to put it bluntly: “Nobody wants to see a fat guy in tights. At least not in this band, or at least not me. There’s a certain discipline involved, and I’m as vain as the next guy.”

    He laughs over the phone. “When you’re going to get up onstage and have spotlights on you, and you’re going to be wearing something that shows what you ate for dinner, you better make sure that the dinner they see was yesterday’s.”

    Which means that the Beverly Hills house he shares with wife Erin and a brood of three children — a teenage son from a previous marriage, a younger boy and a girl, with a fourth child due this August — has one room full of gym equipment.

    No need for the exercise gear on the road, Stanley says.

    “The show is the ultimate workout, I can’t even replicate that in a regular workout,” he adds.
    “What I do onstage is fuelled by adrenalin, you’ll do things in front of an audience you’d find impossible to do on your own or with a ­trainer.”

    All that while strutting in five-inch platforms, a trick he’s mastered over the decades. “Once you get used to the thin air up where we are, it’s what I’ve done my whole life, it really is second nature.”

    A KISS show involves loud, simple songs, big pyrotechnics and Simmons spewing blood and flying over the stage, ingredients that KISS crowds have come to expect over the years. If the show has changed, says Stanley, it’s in the craft applied to everything, particularly the pyro, which seems hot enough to roast marshmallows in the front row.

    “We have the best people working with us,” Stanley says. “When we first started doing it, it was crude to say the least. There were no licensed pyrotechnicians, you had some guy who liked to blow stuff up and you put him on salary. It’s come a long way since then.”

    Stanley says the band draws an all-ages crowd these days. Even entire families come to hear “Love Gun” and “Lick It Up.”

    “The great thing about a KISS audience is it’s really more of a tribal thing than a rock concert. You have people of all ages. Most rock concerts are very age-specific, where you don’t want to see your little ­brother or your father there.

    “I think it’s great. People want to share it with their children — it’s a rite of passage that they went through.”
    The band is still coming up with new material, with the album Sonic Boom released in 2009 and another collection of songs ready for release in 2012. Some new songs make it into the show, but Stanley says it’s heavy on the crowd favourites.

    “To a degree, we want to play things from the most recent album, but our show tends to be a consensus of what our audience wants to hear. It’s not self-indulgence that brings us to an arena.”

    Outside of KISS, Stanley has starred in a Toronto stage production of The Phantom of the Opera, which doesn’t seem that far from a KISS show with the amps turned down.

    He and longtime ­collaborator ­Simmons live near each other, although Stanley’s offstage life happens out of camera range.

    “He literally lives down the street from me, but we give each other a lot of space,” Stanley says of Simmons, who stars in his own reality TV show. “We see each other and we have a great partnership and we don’t take it further than is realistic.”

    And KISS fans can rest easy — Stanley says there’s no end in sight.

    “When it’s no longer fun or I can’t do it, I won’t,” he says. “I don’t want to say the show evolves or progresses, it just mutates — it’s the same thing but bigger and better.

    “Do we blow stuff up? Hell yeah. Do we play real loud? Hell yeah. That’s what we do, we entertain. We’re a killer rock band that prides itself on being entertainers.”

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    "Beth" In Spokane, WA

    KISSopolis/KISS Army Vixens

    Here's a front row fan filmed video clip of Eric Singer singing "Beth" in Spokane, WA on Friday, June 24, 2011.

    Thanks to our friends the KISS Army Vixens for this clip!

    KISS Rocker Gene Simmons Spends Sleepy Night In Battle Ground

     
    The Columbian / by Marissa Harshman

    Battle Ground members of the KISS Army received a welcome surprise this week: rocker Gene Simmons made an overnight stop in the city.

    "The Demon" arrived in Battle Ground on Wednesday and stayed the night at Best Western Battle Ground Inn & Suites. By Thursday afternoon, Simmons and his crew were on the road again, heading to a KISS show that night in Everett.

    When hotel worker Garrett Harrison arrived at work Wednesday evening, he somehow missed the giant Gene Simmons tour bus, complete with a picture of Simmons' painted face plastered on the side, in the parking lot.

    When the hotel manager told him the founder of KISS was staying the night in Battle Ground, Harrison was beside himself.

    "My jaw dropped," he said Thursday. "It was Gene Simmons at my hotel in Battle Ground, Washington. It was more than I was expecting when I came to work."

    "It was like, 'No way, man, I'm gonna get to talk to Gene Simmons,'" Harrison added.

    Harrison said he kept his eye on the door the entire evening, hoping to catch a glimpse of the rocker.

    "I saw his roadies," said Harrison, adding that one was wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt. "He (Simmons) didn't come out of his room the whole time I was here."

    By the time Harrison arrived at work Thursday, Simmons was gone.

    Even though Simmons stayed in his room, his roadies did take the bus out for a spin in Battle Ground on Wednesday night. They headed down Main Street and had dinner at Galeotti's Restaurant.

    Several people sent Battle Ground Mayor Mike Ciraulo text messages after spotting the KISS bus cruise through town.

    Like Harrison, Ciraulo didn't get a chance to meet the rocker.

    "I'm a big KISS fan from way back when," Ciraulo said. "That would have been cool."

    "Modern Day Delilah" In Spokane, WA

    KISSopolis

    "Modern Day Delilah" in Spokane, WA on Friday, June 24, 2011.


    Spokane Boy's KISS Wish Comes True

    Annie Bishop | KXLY4 Reporter 

     A Spokane boy's lifetime wish came true Friday night when he met the members of KISS at the Spokane Arena.

    Dilan Kohn has cystic fibrosis which requires him to spend weeks and sometimes months at a time in the hospital.Through it all, the magic of music has inspired Dilan to remain positive.

    Read more HERE.

    Paul Stanley In Spokane, WA

    Photo: Carol Port

    Here's a photo of Paul Stanley in Spokane,WA on Friday, June 24, 2011.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Photos: KISS In Everett, WA

    Photo Credits: Carol Port

    Check out these amazing fan photos of KISS in Everett, Washington on Thursday, June 23, 2011. Thanks to Carol Port - one half of the KISS Army Vixens - for letting KISSopolis post these amazing photos. Click on photos to view a larger image.

    Thank you, Carol.

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