Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Detroit Rock City" At Caesars Windsor

"Detroit Rock City" at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on July 27, 2011.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today In KISStory 1995

Matt Porter/KISSopolis

Today In KISStory - July 30, 1995: KISS' 'Worldwide KISS Conventions' Tour stops at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC.

Here's a KISS wedding that happened on the same day.

"Shout It Out Loud" & "Rock And Roll All Nite" At Turning Stone

Here's fan filmed footage of KISS performing "Shout It Out Loud" & "Rock And Roll All Nite" on the last date of their "Lost Cities" tour at Turning Stone in Verona, N.Y. on July 28, 2011.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Paul Stanley To Teach Punters How to Rock

Jaan Uhelszki / The Morton Report

School of Rock or just camp?

Gene Simmons' partner in high crimes, Paul Stanley, will be the latest guest star on VH1’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. The second season premieres on Saturday, August 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, where a new group of “Average Joes” will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put their own music skills to the test to see if they have what it takes to “rock ‘n’ roll all night and party every day,” to quote the sainted Stanley.

Hosted by Vanguard artist Kimberly Caldwell, 15 soon-to-be rock musicians—broken into three groups—will compete to see if they can actually make the leap from civilian to rock god with the help of camp counselors Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, and producer Mark Hudson.

For one week each group will have the opportunity to learn some tricks from special guest stars who will share some of their own secrets and tips on making it. And yes, they will be instructed on exactly how to put on the right amount of black nail polish.

Among those exalted rock sensei are the aforementioned Stanley, Sammy Hagar, Marky Ramon, and Phil Collen from Def Leppard. Each week, each of the five contestants will have to give a performance in front of a group of rock star judges, then they still have a final test: The band voted best by the fans will win the opportunity to perform with Sammy Hagar.

German Newspaper Article On Gene's Marriage Proposal To Shannon Tweed
Here's a German newspaper article on Gene's marriage proposal to Shannon Tweed.

KISS Comics Ad At Comicon

Here is a teaser ad both IDW Pub and Archie Comics Group used at
this year's COMICON -- the huge comic book convention held in San
Diego, Calif on July 22-25.

The response, needless to say, was over the top...lines formed at
their booths immediately, to hear the news....that BOTH IDW Pub and
Archie Comics would be doing KISS Comics.

At the same time.
Never before done.
Another KISS first.

What's Next For KISS?

KISS wrapped up their "Lost Cities" summer tour last night in Verona, N.Y. at Turning Stone. So, what's next for KISS?

Gene Simmons mentioned on his Twitter account that he was heading back home to work on his reality TV show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels". Is Gene getting married this year? Gene tweeted on July 27th:

"Two more shows & then home to film our tv show & record next album."

Tommy Thayer will be hosting his annual golf tournament with celebrities and golf friends. The 2011 Legends Golf Classic will feature famous music, sports and entertainment stars from the PGA Tour, The NFL, Major League Baseball and NASCAR.

Chances are good that you'll find drummer Eric Singer shopping for new cars or expensive and rare wrist watches. Two hobbies that Eric is known for among KISS fans.

Paul Stanley and his wife Erin are expecting a baby girl in August. Paul states:

"There is nothing greater in life than family, and my accomplishments as a father rank at the top of my successes. Erin and I are blessed with our expectation of the addition of another princess to our family and a new member of The KISS Army. I may be 59, but the only rocking chair this rocker is getting ready for is the one for my new baby.”

Don't forget about the "KISS Kruise" on October 13-17, 2011 on the Carnival Destiny, sailing from Miami to Half Moon Cay & Nassau, Bahamas with KISS and some fortunate KISS Army members.

Add KISSology IV in the mix.  It is long over-due. Tommy Thayer has mentioned on his twitter account that he has been working on it over the last few months. Release date unknown at this time.

All of this - while producing, writing, and recording a new KISS album for us fans.

KISS' Latest Magazine Cover

Here' Paul Stanley on the cover of Polish 'Photo Kurier' magazine

Follow The Example Of Gene Simmons?

The Huffington Post/Mark A. Barondess

A few months ago I wrote an article that stirred some discussion on The Huffington Post. The premise of the article was that anyone going through a divorce should follow the example of media giant Howard Stern. My thought was that despite what you may think of him, he handled the demise of his marriage in a private and dignified manner that should be emulated by all. So with that example in mind, what could be more outrageous? When it comes to getting engaged, you should follow the example of Gene Simmons.

Now at this point, you may be thinking that I am completely crazy. Why would anyone look to this rock legend for anything to do with getting engaged or married? Gene is known for his antics not only on stage as one of the founding members of KISS, but also for his legendary antics with women off stage. Seemingly, a very poor example for a marriage - or is he?

In 2005, I wrote a book on relationships, marriage and divorce titled "What Were You Thinking??" As part of the book, I interviewed a variety of old and new friends in order to gain their perspective on getting married, and in many instances, getting divorced. One of my favorite interviews was with Gene Simmons because he understood and could articulate the risks of marriage.

Gene's philosophy has always been what I would call seriously "anti-marriage." I understood when I spoke with Gene for several hours about marriage, that his apprehension was probably based upon his father leaving his mother and him when he was a child. He did have long-term relationships with Cher and Diana Ross. But marriage, that was a non-starter. There was a fear of commitment and too many women to "meet."

I could have understood his entire philosophy, but in certain respects, it did not match up with what I was seeing that day. The whole afternoon that we were together at his palatial Beverly Hills home, his then long time partner, Playmate Shannon Tweed, was around constantly. And honestly, they acted like a very happy married couple.

There were no cameras around, it was just us, and they acted like they were really in love. So much so that, I wanted to title his essay for my book "The Happiest Married Couple in America?" When the essay was submitted to Gene for approval, he would not allow me to reference marriage in the title, even satirically. So the essay ended up being titled "The Happiest Unmarried Couple in America?" Gene was that adamant about the dangers of marriage.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that Gene Simmons had finally proposed marriage to Shannon Tweed.

What could have happened? I saw the clip from a recent "Joy Behar Show" where Gene and Shannon were interviewed. I thought their relationship was over after he made light of his infidelities during his relationship with her-she actually took off her mic and walked off the set. It was clearly not staged and you could see the pain in both Shannon's and Gene's eyes - it was actually uncomfortable watching it. Maybe Gene needed to see the potential demise of his relationship before he could appreciate its importance and ask the big question.

So all of that being said why is Gene Simmons a good example to follow in getting engaged? One word-time. Gene waited a long time to get engaged, to make the commitment of a lifetime. Yes, he obviously did much wrong during his relationship, and I am not condoning that in any respect. But these days, even with such a high divorce rate, people still rush in to marriage. Dr. Phil once told me words to the effect that people spend more time selecting their china pattern than they do on selecting their spouse.

If you are thinking about getting married, you also need to think about getting divorced. Take your time. Go slow. If you are engaged but have a feeling that the marriage may be a mistake, break it off - even if you are walking down the aisle. It is easier to break off an engagement than to dissolve a marriage. Think through the concept of spending the rest of your life with the person you are considering marrying. Half of first marriages fail - and that that potentially includes yours. I am not saying that you need to take 28 years like Gene Simmons did, but his example of not jumping in to marriage is worthy of being followed and will help you avoid the fifty percent chance of your divorce.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Love Gun" At Caesars Windsor

KISS performing "Love Gun" at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on July 27, 2011.

Tommy Thayer Interview

‘Kiss’ Lead Guitarist Tommy Thayer joins ‘Morning Drive’ to talk about the upcoming 2011 Pacific University Legends of Golf Classic and also breaks down the golf games of some of his fellow musicians.

Hear the interview HERE.

"God Of Thunder" At Caesars Windsor


KISS performing "God Of Thunder" at Caesars Windsor on July 27, 2011.

"Beth" At Caesars Windsor


Eric Singer of KISS performs "Beth" at Caesars Windsor on July 27, 2011.

KISS cranks it up in high-energy spectacle

 Ted Shaw, The Windsor Star

From the shrill opening chords of Modern Day Delilah to the confetti storm that accompanied the closing number, Rock and Roll All Nite, Kiss proved again Wednesday at Caesars Windsor's Colosseum its rock circus is one smoking show.

The band that claims to be the hottest band in the world had the burners cranked up for Windsor.

Even lead singer Paul Stanley remarked at one point, "Never have two countries been closer in the spirit of rock 'n' roll than right here in Windsor and in Detroit Rock City."

Detroit Rock City, of course, is one of Kiss' enduring favourites and the crowd reacted with roars of approval.

The show is a spectacle from start to finish and the band doesn't leave you enough time to take a breath as it gears it up for 16 of its best-loved songs.

Gene Simmons, 61, the star of reality TV and the trademark of the Kiss phenomenon in his Demon makeup, continues to amaze with the energy of a 20-year-old.

Stanley, at 59, is no less amazing, as he takes charge from the time he hits the stage.

The much-younger and newer sidemen, Tommy Thayer on guitars and Eric Singer on drums, round out an act that never seems to age in terms of appeal and enthusiasm.

One longtime fan, Chatham's Rob Richardson, 34, saw his first Kiss show in 1986 with his older brother. Now he's passing the torch to his eight-yearold daughter, who couldn't join dad on this night because of the age restriction at the Colosseum.

"But she just loves them," said Richardson. She even has a drumstick courtesy Simmons at one of Kiss' outdoor shows in London.

Highlights Wednesday included Love Gun, a surefired hit with any audience, that features a machine-gun attack on the drums by Singer and Stanley's lead vocals.

It led into the Simmons solo, God of Thunder, which includes the stage blood oozing from his mouth and prominent displays of his axe-shaped bass.

Shock Me provided a solo slot for lead guitarist, Thayer, who has taken over for Kiss original, Ace Frehley. The exploding guitar and fierce battle with the drummer remains as a reminder of the old days.

Kiss has no shame when it comes to laying the pyrotechnics and effects on thick. It's like baroque heavy metal.

There were nods to their rock ancestors. Stanley played the opening notes of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven in the intro to Black Diamond, while the encore performance of Lick It Up featured a middle section quote of The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again.

Today In KISStory - 1976

Today In KISStory - July 28, 1976: 'Detroit Rock City' is released as a single with the B-side 'Beth'.

Also today in KISStory:

'KISS in Japan' premiers on HBO.

Ace Frehley is a guest on VH1's 'Cover Wars.'

Gene Simmons hosted the Gene Simmons Tongue magazine (issue 5) summer issue launch party at Lot 61 in New York City.

KISS performs a second night at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, CA.

Gene and Nick Simmons attend the ComicCon convention held in San Diego,  CA. Both are there to promote the new Comic Books from Simmons Comics  Group.

The Simmons-Tweed Family At The View Royal Casino

Nick, Gene, And Shannon at the View Royal Casino, Colwood, (Victoria) B.C. on Saturday July, 23, 2011.

Photos: KISS Rocks Caesars Windsor

By Dan Janisse, The Windsor Star

Photos: KISS Rocks Caesars Windsor:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: KISS At Casino Rama

KISS In Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Photo: Gene Simmons

Here's a photo of KISS in front of the crows in Orillia, Ontario, Canada on July 26, 2011.

New Episodes Of ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ Will Return September 6

New episodes Of ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ will return Tuesday, September 6 at 10:00pm ET/PT. 

Will Shannon say "YES" to Gene? We Will find out!

'Gene Simmons Family Jewels' Draws Record Audience in Sixth Season Finale

NEW YORK, NY – July 27, 2011 – Last night’s season finale cliffhanger of the A&E hit series “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” set ratings records for the longest running celebrity family show on television.  Gene Simmons’ marriage proposal to Shannon Tweed became the franchise’s most-watched telecast of all time among the key adults 18-49 and 25-54 demographics with 1.7 million and 1.9 million viewers respectively, as well as the most-watched telecast in ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ history with 3 million total viewers.

Last night’s record-breaking episode made A&E the #1 cable network among adults 25-54 in the 10pm hour. Season 6 of ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ finished as the most watched season ever for the franchise, averaging 1.2 million viewers in adults 25-54,1.1 million viewers in adults 18-49 and 1.8 million in total viewers. The series also netted double-digit increases versus Season 5 across all demos – up 29% in total viewers, 33% in adults 25-54 and 29% in adults 18-49.

Picking up where last night’s cliffhanger left off, new episodes of ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ will return Tuesday, September 6 at 10:00pm ET/PT, where viewers will find out Shannon’s answer to Gene’s long awaited proposal.

“Gene Simmons Family Jewels” is produced by Thinkfactory Media and the Gene Simmons Company. Adam Freeman, Adam Reed, Gene Simmons, Moriah Muse, Erin Kelly and Leslie Greif are the series executive producers.  David McKillop, Neil A. Cohen and Steven Harris are the A&E executive producers.

Lisa Lampanelli Weighs In On Gene Simmons' Proposal To Shannon Tweed


Super hilarious comedian Lisa Lampanelli has taken to her twitter account to address Gene Simmons' marriage proposal to life-mate Shannon Tweed on last night's season finale of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels". Here's what Lisa had to say:

Update on the Gene Simmons/Shannon Tweed wedding: Paul Stanley has been asked to be the best man AND flower girl!

Ace Frehley & Peter Criss aren't invited to the wedding of Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweet, but 2 guys who look like them ARE!

Gene Simmons proposing to Shannon Tweed is the smartest move he’s made since he stopped releasing solo albums!

Gene Simmons FINALLY proposes to Shannon Tweed. Well, marriage isn't something u wanna rush into. #28frigginyears!

Follow Lisa Lampanelli on Twitter HERE.  Much hilarity ensues.

Gene Simmons At The View Royal Casino

Gene Simmons at the View Royal Casino, Colwood, (Victoria) B.C. on Saturday July, 23, 2011.

KISS' Set List At Casino Rama


KISS' set list at Casino Rama In Orillia, Ontario, Canada On July 26, 2011.

Modern Day Delilah
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
Do You Love Me
Calling Dr. Love
Shock Me
I Love It Loud
Love Gun
God of Thunder
Black Diamond
Detroit Rock City

Lick It Up
Shout It Out Loud
Rock And Roll All Nite

Simmons Steals The Show Stevenson - QMI Agency

It’s just another day at work for KISS singer-bassist turned reality TV star Gene Simmons.
The rocker proposed to longtime Canadian love Shannon Tweed on his A&E series, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels in an episode that aired Tuesday night.

Then he donned seven-inch heels, black leather and studs, spandex, black-and-white face makeup and took to the stage for a sold out crowd at Casino Rama.

Simmons brought original singer-guitarist Paul Stanley, current lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (Ace Frehley left in 2002) and current drummer Eric Singer (Peter Criss left in 2003) along with him.

Slightly later in the evening, the marriage-phobic Simmons could be seen finally popping the question (it was actually filmed a couple of months ago) in Belize to Tweed, his girlfriend of 28 years and the mother of his two grown children, with her answer still up in the air.

But of course.

Simmons, now 61, is nothing if not a master marketer.

As for the Casino Rama concert, the band played on an impressive, if streamlined stage, with the giant white lights of the KISS logo looming large.

They were first seen approaching via backstage video while a giant black KISS flag unfurled on stage heralding their arrival with plenty of pyro, four video screens, and speakers putting a fine point on it for the opening song, Modern Day Delilah.

“So we couldn’t make it to Toronto,” said Stanley, 59. “But we wanted to get close. You all feel like family to us.”

I guess that meant Stanley could give the audience heck after a couple of songs, Let Me Go Rock N Roll and Firehouse, with Simmons doing his usual fire-eating routine at the end of the latter, and also entertaining mightily during Deuce.

“Y’all look like your sitting down and watching TV. If it’s rock n’ roll, standup!” he said. “Man, I don’t mind doing the work, but y’all gotta stick with us.”

Truthfully, the Hottest Show on Earth seemed a bit tired, at times, maybe without Frehley and Criss in the lineup, and given this is the second leg of the tour maybe Simmons and Stanley really are tired.

Thayer, who sang lead on Shock Me, and Singer both delivered impressive solos about midway through the show with Simmons and Stanley leaving the stage - possibly to lie down? - which included Thayer firing pyro out of his guitar and Singer doing likewise out of a bazooka looking device.

When Simmons and Stanley returned they seemed more energized on I Love It Loud, Love Gun, and God of Thunder with Simmons doing his usual schtick, spitting blood and looking like a deranged Japanese samurai.

Stanley had his moment in the spotlight too on Black Diamond playing a bit of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven in the intro before saying: “You don’t want me to play that? Say no, Paul!” and then giving the crowd a hard time once again for not being responsive enough: “Can you do a little bit better than that?”

The group closed with plenty of pyro and Detroit Rock City and Singer’s drum kit rising into the air before returning with an encore that began with Singer coming out from behind his kit to sing lead on Beth.

It wasn’t his finest moment, let’s just say.

Then Stanley inexplicably began doing a bit of The Guess Who’s American Woman before forgetting some of the lyrics - “What are the words?” he said - before finally launching into the KISS anthem, Lick It Up, that also mysteriously ended with a bit of The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again right down to Moon’s drum rolls.

Pacing seemed to be an issue late in the game.

Much better were the last two songs of the night, Shout It Out Loud and Rock And Roll All Nite, with plenty of white confetti showering the audience amid fireworks and firebursts, and Simmons, Thayer and Singer rising up on platforms, during the latter tune.

Today In KISStory - 2007

Today In KISStory - July 27th, 2007: KISS perform it's first ever concert (in San Jacinto, CA) without lead  singer Paul Stanley. Paul had an accelerated heart rate during sound  check and was taken to a hospital. At Paul's request, Gene, Tommy and  Eric Singer went on stage that night as scheduled.

Also in KISStory today:

The movie 'Trick or Treat', Featuring Gene Simmons as NUKE, is released in Sweden.

Paul Stanley marries actress-model Pamela Bowen in Los Angeles.

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed attend the premiere of the film 'The Thomas Crown Affair' at The Academy in Beverly Hills, CA.

KISS To Rock Out Turning Stone

The Post-Standard / Mark Bialczak

The high energy rock sound and special effects that have made KISS a favorite through all or parts of five decades will fill the Turning Stone Casino and Resort Event Center in Verona, N.Y., this Thursday night, July 28.

Since forming in 1972, KISS has made its name with big rock, thick makeup, hot pyrotechnics and to-the-edge theatrics.

Wrote reviewer Mike Thiel for the Appleton Post-Crescent after a July 17 show in Oshkosh, Wis.: "The theatrical rock spectacle known as KISS, literally lit up Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh Saturday night, with a stage rig that made Fourth of July look like a fountain with a wet wick.

"Though Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are long gone from the band, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hold down the original KISS lineup, while lead guitarist (Frehley fill-in) Tommy Thayer and drummer (Criss fill-in) Eric Singer have handled their respective duties since the early millennium. And though some will always yearn for the original all-star lineup, Simmons and company let Oshkosh know that KISS is still alive in 2011."

Tickets for the show are $95, $125 and $150, available at the Event Center box office, and 877-833-7469. As of close of business Monday, about 3,000 were sold, leaving about 900 remaining in the arena.

Shannon Tweed Leaves Gene Simmons On Bended Knee Until Next Season


Gene Simmons has finally proposed to Shannon Tweed on A&E's season finale of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels". The couple were on a trip to Belize earlier in May of this year and that's when Gene popped the question.

On the show - Gene stated to Shannon:

"I come with so much baggage, but you're the only friend I've got. You're the only one I love...and you're the only one I ever will love," Simmons told Tweed. "I've never said those words to anybody. And I don't ever want to...funny, I used to watch movies where they say I can't live without you, but for me it's true."

Shannon's answer? Well, you will have to wait until next season to find out.

Can you say 'CLIFFHANGER'.

Gene Simmons Supports Local Kids Club


VIEW ROYAL - Members of the Angels Chopper Bicycle Club presented Gene Simmons and his family with a gift over the weekend. It was a hand-made bike inspired by Family Jewels reality show.

Instead of accepting the gift, the cast signed it. They suggested the AC/BC club auction it off in support of their work.

The Victoria youth group gives kids the opportunity to build bikes for rock stars.

The Family Jewels bike took the group 150 hours to build and design over 6 weeks.

You can find out more about the AC/BC club by visiting

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Shock Me" In Montreal"


KISS performing "Shock Me" in Montreal at the Heavy MTL festival on July 24, 2011.

Kids Love KISS Too!


Acey Stokes: "My 2.5 year old loves KISS...Obviously. Here she is dancing to KISS Symphony (her favorite DVD- mesmerized by it) And "talking" to her Gene & Paul dolls. She also calls Gene "Daddy Gene."

Ace Frehley's "No Regrets" Book Cover Revealed
The cover for former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's forthcoming autobiography titled "No Regrets" has been posted on Amazon. 

Ace will do a series of book store signings after the book comes out. The release date for the book is November 1, 2011.

Pre-order your copy HERE.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Lick It Up" In Montreal


KISS performing "Lick It Up" in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 24, 2011.

"Modern Day Delilah" In Montreal

KISS performing "Modern Day Delilah" at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 24, 2011.

"I Love It Loud" In Montreal

KISS performing "I Love It Loud" at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 24, 2011.

Tommy Thayer's 'Legends Golf Classic' Set To Tee Off

The 5th Pacific Legends Golf Classic Brings Together Another Star-Studded Field Of Celebrities

FOREST GROVE – There is just one week to go before Tommy Thayer and his celebrity friends get ready to tee off in support of Pacific University's 21-sport NCAA Division III athletics program.

The 2011 Pacific University Legends Golf Classic, hosted by the KISS lead guitarist and Pacific University trustee, takes place on Sun., July 31 and Mon., Aug. 1. Over the first four years of the event, the Legends Golf Classic has raised over $400,000 for Pacific's athletic program and the over 400 student-athletes who participate annually.

“Legends has been successful year after year thanks to the outpouring of support from celebrities from the worlds of sports, entertainment and music,” Thayer said. “I am so happy that so many of my friends are coming back out for another first-class golf event to support Pacific athletics.”

The Legends Golf Classic opens on Sunday with a dinner, auction and concert at the Tiger Woods Center at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. Emceed by Golf Channel host Holly Sonders, the evening will feature silent and live auctions featuring memorabilia from the music and sports worlds, trips, special concert opportunities as well a limited edition KISS Mini-Cooper automobile.

The evening concludes with a jam session by Thayer and some of his friends, including Don Felder, Robby Krieger, Danny Seraphine, Eric Singer, Clint Black, Darius Rucker and Johnny Lee.

The tournament continues on Monday at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club in Aloha, one of the premier courses in the Pacific Northwest. A professional golf clinic featuring PGA and LPGA professionals will precede the double-shotgun start.

Also among the featured celebrities expected to participate in this year's Legends Golf Classic include PGA professionals Notah Begay III, Tim Petrovic, Colt Knost, Brian Henninger, Jason Allred and Arron Olberholser; LPGA standouts Perry Swenson and Amber Prange, actors Clint Howard and David Anders, NFL stars Neil Lomax and Leroy Irvin, Major League Baseball stars Richie Sexson, Chuck Finley and Scott Erickson and former Oregon football coach and ESPN analyst Mike Bellotti.

The 2011 Pacific Legends Golf Classic is sold out. There is still a chance, however, to earn a playing spot. A total of six playing spots are being auctioned off this week by our media partners, News Radio 1190 KEX and 105.9 The Brew, with proceeds benefiting Pacific athletics. For more information on the auction, please visit or

In addition, supporters can also participate in the tournament by purchasing a chance in our golf ball drop. For just $20 per ball, you could have a chance to win at least half of the money raised from golf ball sales up to $2,500. The golf ball drop takes places on Mon., Aug. 1, and you need not present to win.

For more information on the golf ball drop as well as details on this year's Pacific University Legends Golf Classic, including celebrity biographies and sponsorship details, please visit

KISS Guitarist Not Distracted By Simmons Sideshow

Dalson Chen / Photo: PAULA TROTTER, The Windsor Star

Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist of legendary arena rockers Kiss, has a thing or two to say about the state of modern journalism.

"We don't really have that much responsible media. It's all just kind of entertainment-based," says Thayer in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.

"I don't think it helps our culture, our society, our country.

"It's disappointing.

"I'm in the entertainment business, but I think it goes way too far. I'd like to see more journalism give people the straight scoop, because I think a lot of people need the information and they're not getting it."

The normally affable musician catches himself.

"This is getting serious," he says, laughing.

Rock fans needn't worry about Kiss being so serious when the famously over-thetop band plays The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Wednesday night.

The 21st show of the band's 2011 North American schedule promises to be as much of a pyrotechnics-laden spectacle as all the other crowd-pleasing performances over the past 38 years of Kiss history.

Thayer's thoughts on media arise from interview questions about bandmate Gene Simmons's marital troubles - lately well-publicized by the Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality television show.

"That's business as usual for Gene," says Thayer, who has known Simmons for more than 25 years. "He's just a freakazoid.... And I mean that in the most endearing way."

Juicy updates on Simmons's personal life may be providing plenty of junk food for consumers of celebrity gossip, but Thayer refers to such talk as "the periphery" of the Kiss world.

"That's just my take. This is not a criticism. I think that it's more important to focus on the band. Kiss is really the core of what we do."

Thayer didn't assume the role of Kiss lead guitarist until 2002, replacing Ace Frehley, but he's been a part of the team since the 1980s. He humbly began his Kiss career as the band's personal assistant.

In contrast to Simmons, Thayer prefers a more mundane approach to domestic life. He says the work of touring, recording and media duties makes him appreciate time at home and off the big stage.

"For most people, travelling somewhere is amazing," Thayer explains. "For our lifestyle, our vacation is going home.... Being home is a special thing."

When he's not doing something Kiss-related, Thayer's interests aren't particularly gossip-worthy.
Regular visits to the gym keep him in rock 'n' roll shape. Thayer says he focuses on cardiovascular improvement, with the elliptical machine being his favoured method.

"I think it's important before you go on tour to condition yourself," says Thayer, who turns 51 this year. "You want to build up the stamina. A lot of people don't realize how physical it is on stage. We're sweating our asses off."

He's also an avid golfer, and tries to get on the links every week.

He figures he's a "solid mid-80s shooter" and his handicap is about a 10 or 11.

"Alice Cooper is better than me," Thayer says. "He plays like almost every day."

Probably the only shocking thing Thayer is inclined to reveal is that he has an appreciation for the music of pop queen Katy Perry. "Firework, to me, is a great dance song. It kicks ass," he says without irony.

Asked if there's any music he'd feel embarrassed about Kiss fans knowing he likes, Thayer answers in his usual amiable fashion. "Nah! Honestly, I don't find myself embarrassed to talk about anything, really."

It's only on the topic of rock critics that Thayer rises to the bait. Despite worldwide record sales in excess of 100 million and a discography of 19 studio albums (soon to be 20 with a new album in the works for the beginning of next year), Kiss still tends to be disdained by rock's critical establishment.

To this day, the band has never graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in North America, and have yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (although they were officially nominated in 2009).

"I don't think it really matters. What is Rolling Stone?" Thayer says. "Are they the high-water mark, the hierarchy of all hierarchies in the music industry? Nobody cares."

As for the criticisms of Kiss being too theatrical, too commerce-driven - Thayer points to the upcoming Kiss Kruise. From Oct. 13 to 17, the band will be aboard a cruise ship travelling from Miami to the Bahamas, and fans can buy themselves a cabin. "The Kiss Army is going to be the Kiss Navy," Thayer says. "Oh yeah."

Heavy MTL: None More Black, None More Devoted

  By Mark Lepage, The Gazette/Photo:BRYANNA BRADLEY

MONTREAL - Moshed potatoes for 35,000, anyone?

Two days and nights, 39 bands, enough volume and weight to shift a tectonic plate. Knobs at 11? 12. Heavy MTL.

And when Kiss followed Motorhead’s customarily essential set, setting off their own Fireworks Competition display last night, one had to admit, this is the ideal one-stop-shopping outing to stock up on a year’s worth of metal.

Sunday night, Heavy MTL got the headliner it deserved and needed – not the purest of the death metalloids, but the showbizzers who prove more than any that the “bastard child of rock’n’roll” is multigenerational. When Paul Stanley screeched “Hold up your little ones!” between Firehouse and Deuce, and many parents hoisted kids in Kiss make-up, you realized Kiss reminds you of the pointlessness of Broadway. This is Broadway, the hard/real way: the demon/loverman/space-case/cat costumed finery, the spectacle, and a vilified songbook that still kills anything in Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. A huge crowd, who’d shifted over after Motorhead’s irreducible Ace of Spades and Overkill to cram the left side of the park, roared at the fire-pillars, and throughout a comprehensive set that reminds even the least devoted in the audience that Kiss has now been an entry point to rock’n’roll for 40 (!) years of wasted youth.

Step back from the star power, and Heavy MTL was nothing if not comprehensive, a State of the Metal. There were convenient duels, set up as bands followed one another’s sets on the adjacent Heavy and Jagermeister stages. You’d think Bay area thrashmasters Death Angel had claimed the thorny crown for best early performers on Day 1, until Cali deathcore band Suicide Silence resoundingly erased that notion. The first band of the day apparently motivated by genuine ill will, they featured singer Mitch Lucker, whose blackmetal screech could slice flesh.

There were speedmetal legends and members in good standing of the Big 4, Anthrax, who raced through Madhouse, Antisocial and Indians, but couldn’t top Diamond Head, who were ramshackle by comparison but delivered Helpless and Am I Evil? to a clutch of fans who will get to brag of it.

There was Montreal’s Grimskunk, standing out from the crowd at a festival fetishizing speed/power/volume, with singer/rhythm guitarist Franz Schuller and band cycling through a globo-whirl of sounds: speedy chug-punk, gypsy thrash, world-metal, trilingual vocals. You still got your velocity, your metal and mosh, but you got out a little more.

On the downside, there was the pointlessness of Godsmack and its Roomba drum-kit dueling solos through covers of Back in Black, War Pig, Creeping Death and… bloody Aqualung, to no apparent point that this reviewer could imagine in a one hour set. There was a severely miscast Billy Talent, with singer Ben Kowalewicz admitting “Obviously, we are not a metal band.”

As festivals go, there is None More Black – everyone wore it, even a bypassing preggo! Those not wearing black were wearing red – survivors of circle-pits and Walls of Death, not one of whom cleaned off the blood from shallow head wounds, letting it cake in the fierce July sun for fiercely tribal reasons.

There you go: tribe. Metal bands are like porn stars – stray away from the light of day and civil society, and you’re amazed by how many of them there are, and how good they are at their defamed, cathartic and eternally popular evil craft. And how passionate. You traipse through the beer cups and the broken mirror-shards of sub-genres, alt-death and black here, speed/thrash and neo-classical shred there. The fans are reliably, communally “violent” in the moshpit, civil without. You didn’t see a single fight over the two days and nights, just a sea of t-shirts with F-words. Sports fans could learn a thing or two from these miscreants.

Add this to the tribe: girls. Not many bands, of course – just the one, Girlschool, who (despite the name) have never played the gender card, and certainly didn’t under the July MTL sunshine, just riffing delightedly through a surprising number of recognizable songs – Yeah Right, Future Flash, Race with the Devil, Emergency – for a justified ovation. But fans, thousands of them, as devoted as all but the most crazed male black metalheads. Check the amazing photo by Gazette shooter John Kenney of the girl who became a media sensation: bleeding from the eyebrow in the Trivium pit, she turned down medical attention and refused to leave her “post.” I didn’t quite know what this signified – that girls can be as wrongheadedly tough, or foolish, as boys? And then it settled: in that specific moment, she was just another metal fan. This is no feminist advocacy, here, not a call for the pit to be any less testosteronal, just for it to be inclusive. Apparently it was.

Still a boy’s game, but watching Kiss, and their crowd, it was boys in make-up. Sorry mom, the mob has spoken.

KISS Army Ready To Invade Rama


New guitarist says there's no end in sight to the Kiss phenomena

 For nearly 40 years, Kiss has been one of the planet's most recognizable, popular and successful rock bands.
And it seems like that isn't going to be ending any time soon.

For the past three years, the band has performed more than 250 shows, in three dozen nations around the world, to an audience that is arguably getting younger and younger.

As part of a short mid-summer tour, Kiss, comprising original members Gene Simmons, 61, and Paul Stanley, 59, along with longtime drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer, will be shaking the foundations of Casino Rama outside Orillia, on Tuesday and then take to the stage at Caesar's Windsor the following evening.

Thayer, who has been working with the band in a background capacity since the early 1990s, and joined the band as a full-fledged member in 2002, told QMI Agency about what a ride it's been for the veteran rockers over the past number of years.

"It's been a whirlwind, and it keeps going because it's been going so well that we keep on adding shows here and there. This run we're on now is only about five or six weeks, but a lot of the shows are up in Canada, which has always been one of the greatest places for us to play. Some of the biggest turnouts, almost ever, have been at some of our Canadian shows. There's a lot of great fans there," Thayer said from Los Angeles, where the band had taken a short break from touring to do some work on their next album.

The band's previous album, Sonic Boom, was the first studio album for Kiss in more than a decade, and the first with Thayer.
It was a smash hit, in an era when record sales have been in decline thanks to the advent of downloading. On the strength of the singles Modern Day Deliliah and Say Yeah, the Sonic Boom world tour has, essentially never stopped. Thayer said all of the band members, but particularly stalwarts Simmons and Stanley, were very pleased with the album, and were heartened by the critical acclaim it received, as well as the overwhelming fan support.
Like their as-yet-untitled forthcoming album, Sonic Boom was recorded 'old-school', much like Kiss' first three albums — Kiss, Hotter than Hell and Dressed to Kill — in the early 1970s.

"We were super proud of how we wrote and recorded that album, and the way it sounded. From top to bottom, we were 100% happy with how it turned out. The whole design of it was something that we were going to do just between the four band members. We did all the writing and recording, we didn't get influenced, or have outside input on song selections or anything like that. We did it almost like a new band starting up would," Thayer explained.

"It reminded me of that feeling of going back to when you first got into a band, where you're in your garage or someone's basement, and you're writing songs and recording them. There was no real agenda with Sonic Boom. We wanted to keep it simple, and not over-think it."

Thayer said eight songs have been recorded for the new album, and there are still four or five more to go.
"This new record has the same approach, but I think we've even upped the ante as far as the writing, and I think we're just more comfortable now. We're coming up with even cooler ideas. And even the recording process is kind of a throwback. In the studio, everybody is playing together, it's not just building tracks up one instrument at a time. We all played together, and we recorded on analog tape ... to get the real straight-ahead rock sound," he said.

"When you hit that tape, with a hard punchy sound, there's a certain style and warmth that you don't get on a digital recording."

Thayer, who turns 51 in November, said he is heartened to hear that many fans, including an increasing number of young fans, are rediscovering vinyl LPs, and seeing music are more than just another disposable digital commodity.
"When we were younger, you'd buy an album, and you'd sit there for hours looking at the cover, and every little detail and all the liner notes and lyrics, while you played it over and over again. There really was a visual and interactive part to it. And it was an event to go buy records," he said.

"And then with cassettes and later CDs, you kind of lost a lot of that, because the packaging got so small. And it became less important, and now you're at the point where you do a digital download and that whole 'event' element to new music is go. It's no wonder that kids today don't want to collect music like we used to. What is to collecting a digital file? Who cares, right?"

But he said Kiss still thinks it's important to treat every new album as an event ... and apparently it's worked, as Sonic Boom entered the Billboard charts at No. 2 when it was released and topped the charts in many other countries.

Thayer's story is an interesting one. A life-long fan of Kiss, he's been able to live the dream of every kid who ever signed up for the Kiss Army fan club, or dressed up at Hallowe'en in the vaunted Kiss make-up as either the Demon, Starchild, Spaceman or Cat.

Originally from Portland, Ore., he formed a band called Black 'n Blue in his hometown in the early 1980s, and moved to Los Angeles to find fame and fortune.

After just six months on the circuit, the band was signed to Geffen Records and earned some slots opening up for some pretty big bands, including Kiss.

"That's when I met Paul and Gene. Not long after that, we asked Gene to produce our third and fourth albums for Black 'n Blue, which he did. So we kind of built a relationship and it started evolving, and soon thereafter, he asked me to come and write with he and Paul for a record they were working on. So I got more involved in their world. After Black 'n Blue ran its course (around 1989), they hired me to come and work for them, part time to begin with, just as a guy to help out with whatever project they were doing at the time," he said.

In 1996, Kiss donned the face paint again after 13 years without it. The band also reunited with the two other iconic original members, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss.

Thayer was working behind the scenes, basically working with Frehley to help him re-learn his guitar parts on many of the classic songs which he hadn't played for many years.

"And it was partially managing their reunion tour, doing a lot behind the scenes. I was also editing and producing their long-form videos. And, at the end of the day, it all evolved to where they wanted to make a chance in 2002, and they asked me to step into the coveted role as the lead guitar player, and that was almost 10 years ago now," he said.

Thayer replaced Frehley, who wanted to go back to his solo career, and donned the Spaceman outfit and make-up.

Although there were some fans who resented both he and Singer donning the looks of Frehley and Criss respectively (back in the early 1980s, Criss' replacement Eric Carr was The Fox, and guitarist Vinnie Vincent had an ancient Egyptian design on his face paint), Thayer said the vast majority have no problem with it.

"Being in Kiss for the first time was almost an out-of-body experience. You can't ever imagine something like that happening. And I think 99 per cent of the fans are cool now with me, just because we have been touring for several years, and particularly for the last two or three years, the shows have been so huge, and it's a different kind of crowd now. There are a lot of new fans of all different ages, and lots of younger kids that are just discovering Kiss, and it's not a big deal to them," Thayer said.

"These days, people are going to see and experience Kiss — the extravaganza, see the performance, the spectacle and here the songs. It's more like the circus coming to town. People are coming to see a cultural icon. I think people need to get real with the fact that, as time goes on, the bands are going to change.

"And some purists say, 'they should just hang it up then.' Why? That's not reality. People still want to see these bands and hear the music, and if there are different people up there doing it, people have to get real to that fact it's going to happen. Look at Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Journey and Foreigner. But don't get me wrong, it's got to be done well, if not better than the original, and it's got to look and sound great. Rock and roll shows like ours are something that people are always going to want to see, and it's not going to just end all of a sudden."

And Thayer confirms that neither Stanley nor Simmons have given any indication that they want to stop any time soon.

Tickets for Tuesday's show at Casino Rama are available at the box office, or at Show time is 8 p.m. Visit Tickets for the Colosseum show at Caesar's Windsor are available at the box office, and also through Ticketmaster. Visit

Today In KISStory - 1980

Today In KISStory  - July 25, 1980: Eric Carr debut's as KISS' new drummer during the "Unmasked" tour at the Palladium in Manhattan.

Also today in KISStory:

The single 'Tomorrow', with the B-side 'Naked City' is released in the US.

KISS begins four sold out shows at MSG in NYC.

KISS films a second concert at Virginia Beach, VA, for the 2005 DVD 'KISS: Rock The Nation'

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed appear on ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!" show to promote 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels.'

Here's an audio clip of Eric Carr debuting with KISS in Manhattan. He sings "Black Diamond".

Gene And Eric Backstage In Montreal

Gene And Eric Backstage In Montreal - Photo by Spiro Papadatos for KISSOnline.

KISS Again And Again

Jean-Fran├žois Cyr - Photo: Charles William Pelletier - Agence QMI

MONTREAL - The legendary and ever-popular rock'n'roll band Kiss has almost set fire to the Heavy MTL festival of music, Sunday night at Parc Jean-Drapeau, sending a variety of its many successes.

A video of the group's arrival in Montreal warmed the huge crowd. Suddenly a large black flag, the name of the group floated in the wind. Just then a voice rang out: "Alright, Montreal. The best band in the world, Kiss! "

On the huge stage at the festival, the group appeared and the show took its flight in an impressive arrangement of sounds, lights and editing graphics on large screens. Back in town for the umpteenth time, guitarist Paul Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons (two founding members of the group), drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer delivered an explosive and spectacular show.

True to their winning formula of big circus that builds bright explosions, flames, nothing was spared to please the Montrealers, especially the members of Kiss have always enjoyed coming to the city.

No wonder they are experiencing a tireless success, as were evidenced by tens of thousands of hardcore fans present, who wore masks, makeup, hats, t-shirt and other items bearing the image of the group.

A ton of classics.

"Montreal, how are you? What incredible crowd! Tonight is a huge party rock and roll, "commented Paul Stanley at the hearing gathered on the lawn and in the stands. It was also pleased with a surprising involvement, have fun with the audience, which were useful.

In a performance of about two hours, Kiss gave a marathon of songs with Modern Day Delilah, Let Me Go, Firehouse, Do You Love, I Love It, Black Diamond, Detroit Rock, Lick It Up and Shout It Loud.

Despite the protests of some heavy metal purists who fuse on the internet before the start of the festivities of the weekend, we can say without hesitation that Montrealers like Kiss, again and again.

Formed in 1973, Kiss has sold over 100 million albums in his career.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Simmons-Tweed Family In Victoria, B.C.

Here is fan filmed video of the Simmons-Tweed Family in Colwood, B.C. (Victoria) at the 'View Royal Casino' on July 23, 2011.

KISS Fans Await Family Jewels / STEPHANIE IP, 24 HOURS

I wanna rock and roll all night and party … for almost six hours.

That’s how long one diehard waited Sunday before Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and his family arrived for a meet-and-greet at show ‘n’ shine at a Coquitlam casino.

“I love the music, the image,” exclaimed Graham Young, a Kiss fan for more than three decades. The 45-year-old was first in line when Simmons arrived 90 minutes late. He didn’t mind, however, saying it was “worth the wait” after lining up at 8:30 a.m.

Simmons, partner Shannon Tweed, and their son Nick and daughter Sophie star on A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels, a reality show following the rock star’s life and family.

Tweed, a former Playboy Playmate-of-the-Year, hails from Newfoundland and Labrador, meaning the family is no stranger to Canada.

“I spend as much time in Whistler as possible,” Sophie said.

“She’s like the mayor of Whistler,” joked Nick.
Click here to find out more!

Tweed said the kids were gradually brought into the spotlight, leading up to Family Jewels’ 2006 premiere.

“Although (Gene) was famous, I kept them in school … until their early teens,” said the model, B-movie queen and former Miss Ottawa. “It was more of a natural transition.”

“Everybody loves their own family, but it’s really heart warming to see the people love them as much as we do,” said proud dad Simmons, known to Kiss fans as the Demon. “It happens to be a TV show but it’s also our lives.”

And what’s a rock star and a former Playmate think of old age?

“There’s no good thing about getting old,” said Tweed, shooting down quips from Nick about “dignity, wisdom” and “fine wines.”

“The wines are not fine,” Tweed said.

“I just work here,” said Simmons with a smile.

Simmons And His Family Jewels Sparkle In View Royal

 By Kathryn Burnham, Times Colonist

After four decades of meeting screaming fans at concerts and autograph signings, Gene Simmons says "it's this or staying home, twiddling my thumbs and watching I Love Lucy re-runs - which one would you pick?"

The Kiss bassist and star of A&E's Gene Simmons Family Jewels was accompanied by his partner Shannon Tweed, daughter Sophie and son Nick, for a meet and greet outside View Royal Casino Saturday.

"You know we aren't doing anything, we are just going to stand here and talk. We're not performing. You know that, right?" Nick told the crowd of screaming fans. "Then hi, nice to see you. Why are you here?"

The event was a family affair, with many parents accompanied by their children, who are fans of the show.

Landon Shaw was there to have his photo taken with the Simmons family, but used his 15 seconds on stage to play a few chords for the rock star.

Simmons stole the moment, however, when he reached around 11-year-old Landon's shoulders to strum the boy's electric guitar. "It is a milestone he will remember forever," said Landon's mother, Tiina.

Landon plays one Kiss song, I Was Made for Lovin' You, as part of a busking set he does downtown.

His parents are fans of the band, and "now we pass on the tradition," said his father, Ken Shaw. They also share a love for Simmons's TV show.

Money and fame is one side of the story, but the family portrayed through six seasons is just like many others. Sophie said her father is extremely strict.

"There's zero tolerance for drinking or partying or things like that. They encourage us to go out with our friends, but they encourage us to not be idiots."

Simmons said: "I think the TV show is good for all of us. It is certainly good for me, because it gives me a chance to watch myself and realize that my perception of myself isn't accurate. Sometimes I can be short, arrogant, selfish."

Asked about rumours that he proposes to Tweed in an upcoming episode of the show, Simmons said: "For the record, I have never been married. I have desperately loved Shannon for 28 years, and we have two great kids."

Kids Steal The Show With Tribute KISS Bike

Kathyrn Burnham,

It was the kids that stole the show at the Gene Simmons meet and greet Saturday.

Thousands of fans left with a photograph of them with the famous family, but the Simmons’ clan walked away with a photo album of their own, documenting the six-week process of building a Chopper bicycle in their honour.

Sophia Harrington, 12, built the Jewel bike with the help of three other youth as part of the Angels Chopper Bicycle Club. The club gives youth an opportunity to keep busy, rather than taking to the streets.

“We are fans of the show,” Sophia said. But they also love bikes, including building them from scratch. “We make them and paint them,” she said.

Tony Harrington, 9, Gavin O’Driscoll, 11, and Thomas Haywood, 16, helped build the bike and design it in tribute to Kiss and the family.

The bike seat is shaped as Simmons’ famously-long tongue and has a guitar-shaped back-support.

“Go ahead dad, sit on your own tongue,” said Nick.

The white bike also has the names of Gene, Shannon, Sophie and Nick — and now their signatures, which the family added.

The youth group offered to ship the bike to the Simmons’ clan, but Shannon Tweed had another suggestion.

“Do you think it would be a good idea if we signed that bike and you auctioned it so you could make some money for your club?” she asked. “I think that would be a good idea.”

There were many children on site to see the stars of the Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality television show, and Simmons had some advice for youth looking to pursue their dreams.

“Whatever it is that you want to become, sometimes where you are from doesn’t have it all,” he said. “Be proud of who you are, but the mountain is never going to come to you.”

The ACBC group has built bikes as tribute to several famous groups, including the Ozzy bike and the Elton bike. They have also built a Canucks-themed bike.

Video: The Simmons-Tweed Family In Victoria, B.C.

Here's the the Simmons-Tweed family visiting fans at the 'View Royal Casino' in the town of Colwood - in greater Victoria, B.C.

Preview Of The Season Finale Of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels"

Preview of the season finale of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" on Tuesday, July 26, 2011.

Today In KISStory - 2007

Today In KISStory - 2007: Peter Criss releases the solo album 'One For All'.

Eric Singer Interview

 BW&BK scribe Mitch Lafon recently caught up with KISS drummer Eric Singer, discussing a variety of subjects in anticipation of the band's July 24th appearance at Heavy MTL.

Singer: "KISS has always been somewhat of a unifying and polarizing band. Just like buying a car buying a car or eating at a restaurant – you go by participation. If I don’t like something I don’t buy it. I don’t support it. You vote with your wallet, but KISS is about the show and about having a good time. Being in KISS is a lot of hard work. It’s not easy like everybody thinks. I’ve been in a lot of bands and nothing takes the amount of energy, effort and work as it does to play in KISS. I’ve seen Paul almost yawning before he goes on stage, but when the lights go down – BAM. He’s running around, jumping…What’s important is when you are on that stage. That’s when you have to give 100%..”

Read more HERE.

Gene Simmons Speaks On The Passing Of Amy Winehouse

Gene Simmons took to his twitter account tonight to address his thoughts on the passing of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. Gene tweets:

RIP, Amy. So young & talented. So sad. We condemn murderers. We never condemn drugs. It's time to identify the Black Plague in the world. Drugs. It is the enemy.
Amy Winehouse passed away on July 23, 2011. She was 27 years old.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

KISS And Tell: Gene Simmons Cranks It Up For Montreal’s Heavy MTL Festival July 23-24

Rock’n’roll has always been about haircuts and shoes. And with KISS, throw in a little kabuki make-up and pyrotechnics, and you’ve got a genuine rock’n’roll circus.

The last time KISS headlined in Montreal, Gene Simmons told me, “There hasn’t been an important rock band to emerge in the last 25 years that will still mean something in 100 years. But from the end of the 1950s to 1980, there was Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zep, ABBA – say what you will but they wrote great songs – KISS, there’s a hundred bands from that period. All the music from Elvis to KISS was born before MTV, cellphones and the Internet. KISS still trains hard and every emo band at 19 can shine our boot heels! They’re gonna get a lesson [from us]: You blow the god—- place up!”

There are few folks in show biz who give good quote like Gene. Say what you will about him, but the man is never boring. The critics may still hate Kiss (read my Gazette colleague Mark Lepage’s terrific essay about KISS versus the establishment here), but the kids – even the 45-year-old ones – are still proud card-carrying members of the KISS Army. Says Gene about unrepentant rock critics, “You know, I discovered a band [over 30 years ago] called Van Halen, I signed them [to my record label] and produced their demo. Critics hated them. When singer David Lee Roth was asked why the critics hated Van Halen and loved Elvis Costello, Roth said, ‘Because they look like Costello.’ It’s still true.”

When KISS were the new kids on the block – they formed in NYC in January 1973 – they decided to out-do vaudevillain Alice Cooper, who told me himself many years ago, “We told Kiss where to buy their makeup. We were friends with those guys. We knew they were comic book characters and Alice was the Phantom of the Opera.”

Nearly four decades later, KISS still hasn’t been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That probably bothers Simmons. But if it does, he’s not saying. After all, it’s still true that rock’n’roll is still just about haircuts and shoes.

And as anybody who has seen Simmons star in his slick reality TV show Gene Simmons Family Jewels, there is more to the man than the KISS machine and assembly line: Simmons is also a loving father. He’d do anything for his family. In fact, when I asked him about Chaz Bono, the trangendered son of his ex-girlfriend Cher who spent many difficult years transitioning from a woman to a man, Simmons replied without missing a beat, “I love Chaz. I was living with Cher when Chaz and [his brother] Elijah were kids and I was a substitute dad for a while. Life is short and we should all make up and be happy. And everybody else be damned if Chaz isn’t happy today, God bless. If Chaz is happy, then [he] will have found the secret of life.”

KISS headline the two-day Heavy MTL Festival at Parc Jean Drapeau, July 23-24

Photo: Simmons-Tweed Family At B.C. Lions Game

Gene Simmons of the band KISS and his common-law spouse Shannon Tweed (2nd R) along with their children Sophie and Nick (R) stand on the sidelines before the the CFL football game between the BC Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Vancouver, British Columbia July 22, 2011.

KISS Drum Head Raises Money For Tornado Relief Fund

The KISS donated autographed Bass Drum Head went for over $2200.00 in the Birmingham Barons Tornado Relief Auction! Thanks to all of the KISS Army members who bid in the auction.

100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Tornado Relief Fund.

100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Tornado Relief Fund.

Today In KISStory - 2010


Today In KISStory - July 23, 2010: KISS kicks off "The Hottest Show On Earth" tour in Cheyenne, Wyoming at Frontier Days. "The Hottest Show On Earth" tour is essentially the North American and international leg of the Sonic Boom Over Europe Tour, itself a continuation of the Kiss Alive/35 World Tour that started in 2008.

  1. "Modern Day Delilah"
  2. "Cold Gin"
  3. "Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll"
  4. "Firehouse" (Gene breathes fire)
  5. "Say Yeah"
  6. "Deuce"
  7. "Crazy Crazy Nights" or "Do You Love Me?"
  8. "Calling Dr. Love"
  9. "Shock Me" (Tommy and Eric jamming together)
  10. "I'm an Animal"
  11. "100,000 Years"
  12. "I Love It Loud" (Gene spits blood and flies)
  13. "Love Gun"
  14. "Black Diamond" (Paul solo and excerpt from "Whole Lotta Love" before Black Diamond)
  15. "Detroit Rock City"
  1. "Beth"
  2. "Lick It Up" (with bridge from "Won't Get Fooled Again")
  3. "Shout It Out Loud"
  4. "I Was Made for Lovin' You" (Paul flies onto mini-stage)
  5. "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II"
  6. "Rock and Roll All Nite
KISS donate a check for $15,884 to the CSRA Wounded Warriors project during this show. KISS raises $501,018 during the entire tour for the CSRA Wounded Warriors project.

Watch the video below for some great footage of KISS' show in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Former KISS Guitarist Bruce Kulick & 'The Sin City Sinners' Covering "Unholy"


Former KISS axeman Bruce and the Sin City Sinners cover "Unholy" in Las Vegas on Monday, July 18, 2011.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ace Frehley To Appear At 'Rock And Shock' Convention

Just weeks after it was announced that Rock and Shock would once again be infesting the DCU Center and The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts this October 14-16, and that "Freddie Krueger" himself - Robert Englund - would be topping their 8th annual extravaganza, New England's foremost Horror happening is pulling out all the stops as former KISS guitar legend Ace Frehley will be making a very special appearance to meet and greet his legion of fans!

Inspirational and influential to musicians and music lovers around the globe, Frehley is known as a founding member of KISS who masterminded and embodied the persona of the "Space Ace" when the band shocked the planet with costumes, makeup, and exploding theatrics. Frehley was a crucial member of KISS from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. After leaving KISS, Frehley embarked on a new journey that lead to a successful solo career, selling millions of albums with his band Frehley's Comet, as well as under his own name. This however was put on hold when he rejoined his old bandmates for the highly successful KISS Reunion Tour in 1996, which became the #1 grossing tour of '96-'97. He returned to the studio with KISS in 1998 to record the "Psycho Circus" album and completed his run with the boys in 2001 on the band's "Farewell Tour." Back out on his own once again, Frehley continues to tour and to share the stage with friends.

To view the ever-growing "Shock" celeberity guest list (with more to be announced soon), please visit