Monday, April 30, 2012

Joe Elliot And His New Gene Simmons Axe Bass

Photo: Paul Hayeland

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot and his new Gene Simmons Axe Bass.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gene Simmons Rejected Eddie Van Halen’s Bid To Join KISS

www. / Frazer Harrison / Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Gene Simmons is just full of surprises. In a recent interview on Motley Crue member Nikki Sixx‘s radio show, he revealed how one of the greatest guitarists of our generation, Eddie Van Halen, wanted to join Kiss after Ace Frehley left — and how Simmons himself turned him down.

In the early days of Van Halen, Simmons wasn’t optimistic about the band’s staying power but was nevertheless instrumental to their success, overseeing the recording of their first demo and even buying David Lee Roth his first pair of high-heeled boots.

Gene says that in 1982, after Kiss fired Frehley, Eddie showed up at a Kiss rehearsal session and played the synth part of VH’s future hit single, ‘Jump.’ Simmons recalls, “I say, ‘Eddie, what’s this?’ ‘Oh, that’s the next record.’ ‘Really? I’m hearing it before guitars?’ ‘No, there’s no guitars – that’s it.’ ‘Oh, okay.’” (For the record, some of us around here are equally as unimpressed with ‘Jump.’)

But then things get really interesting. Simmons told Sixx:
“So I take [Eddie] to lunch across the street and he actually tells me: ‘I want to join Kiss. I can’t take Roth – he’s driving me nuts. We’re not getting along. I’ve got this sound in my head that I want Van Halen to do, and Roth doesn’t want to do it, and we’re just getting to a point where he’s believing his own hype.’
“I remember feeling proud of what I said. I said: ‘Don’t do it. Stay with the band you started. There’s no role for you – you’re too big. You cast too much of a shadow to be the guitar player in Kiss.’
“And he went back and he was miserable for the next 20 or 30 years. But it would never have worked. Not even close.”
He added that a three-track recording exists featuring Simmons and the Van Halen brothers doing ‘Christine Sixteen,’ ‘Love For Sale’ and ‘Tunnel Of Love,’ but that “it wasn’t a natural fit.”


Gene Simmons & Shannon Tweed In Lima, Peru

Photo: Reuters Pictures

Member of the rock group 'KISS' Gene Simmons and his wife Shannon Tweed pose for a photo at the government palace in Lima April 26, 2012. Simmons met Peru's President Ollanta Humala and is visiting Peru to show the country as a tourist destination in his reality show 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels', according to the government palace.

"KISS Tried To Kill Me" - Black Spiders - Official Video

The official music video to the song "KISS Tried To Kill Me" by the band Black Spiders.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gene Simmons & KISS Fan In Argentina Photo: @Lave67

Here's a photo of KISS' Gene Simmons and a KISS fan in Argentina on April 23, 2012. Gene was in Argentina with the "Rock N' Roll Allstars" tour.

Sebastian Bach: "New KISS Song 'The Devil Is Me' Kicks Total Ass"

Singer Sebastian Bach just tweeted that he heard a 'sneak peek' of a new KISS song from the forthcoming KISS album "Monster". Sebastian tweets:

"WOW! Just heard the new KISS song 'The Devil Is Me' on the jet on Gene's iPod & it kicks TOTAL ASS!! Thanks @genesimmons for the sneekpeek!"

KISS: The Pagan Beasties Of Teenage Rock

 Charles M. Young / Peter Cade/Central Press/Getty Images

This story is from the April 7th, 1977 issue of Rolling Stone.

"We broke Lawrence Welk's attendance record in Abilene, Texas. I'm very proud of that," says Gene Simmons, the Kiss bassist, notorious for his grotesquely long tongue and for dressing like a pterodactyl. We sit at a backstage dinner table on the first of three nights they are playing Detroit's 12,000-seat Cobo Hall – exceptional dates because they are doing mostly secondary markets this tour. "We're hitting places they've never seen a big band, and they'll remember us forever. The reaction has been amazing. I was watching the local news in Duluth and the announcer said there had been a robbery at the auditorium. I thought, 'That's it for the gate receipts,' but it turned out some kid had gone up to the window and stolen three tickets at gunpoint. I don't understand it. Tickets are so ethereal. One concert and they're gone. Now money, that's real power."

Money, I object, is as much an illusion as a ticket.

"Not if everyone believes it," says Simmons, holding up a fork. "If I say this is a royal scepter and everyone recognizes it as such, then it's a royal scepter and I'm king. That's power, not an illusion."

Before I can insist it's still a fork, guitarist Paul Stanley – known for the black star over his right eye and for his bright red lips – sits down and stuffs a piece of cake into his mouth. "I'm really sick to my stomach," he says, licking the fingers of one hand, holding his taut belly with the other, and searching for another slice with the calm eyes of an addict who has enough money to feed his habit. "I got chills and everything. I thought I was going to pass out onstage last night."

Maybe he would feel better if he stopped eating gunk?

"The best diet for the road," he says, "is soup for lunch and candy for supper. It keeps the weight off and you're speeding on all that sugar by show time."

A roadie announces that it is time for a sound check, and the three of us walk to the $300,000 stage set in the cavernous auditorium. Drummer Peter Criss – who paints his face to resemble a cat – is already at his kit and nearly falling off his seat, laughing at his own ludicrous version of the bang-the-drum-slowly ending of the Chambers Brothers' hit, "Time Has Come Today." Guitarist Ace Frehley, who plays the role of a spaceman with two silver stars splashed over his eyes, ignores the folderol and sends occasional blasts of power chords echoing through the hall. None of the members of Kiss is wearing the makeup he invariably puts on for public appearances, and, stripped of paint, Stanley comes the closest to handsome, with patrician features that one could imagine, in another age, riding a two-stallion chariot too fast down a crowded Roman street and lashing the backs of slow peasants. Frehley looks like the original 1967 acid casualty, his face as pock-marked as the moon backdrop on his side of the stage. Criss appears several years past his official age of 30, but his eyes are a child's in their lack of calculation. With his swarthy central-European complexion and flaking black fingernails, Simmons could look filthy stepping out of a shower. Though we are all about 6'2" in our stocking feet, Frehley, Stanley and Simmons tower over me in their eight-inch platform shoes and I begin to realize the luxury of height. All these years, I've been talking down at people. Standing here under Simmons' unflinching gaze, I am somehow the wimpy one whose opinions don't matter.

Read more HERE.

Themed Cruises Really Rock The Boat


A warm breeze blew and the sun dipped low in the sky as the ship cruised from Miami toward the warm waters of the Caribbean.

Jake Gardner sipped a beer as he stood on deck in shorts and sandals, soaking in the moment. His vacation cruise was about to turn from wonderful to awesome.

A few minutes later, his favorite band — Omaha-bred 311 — jumped on the boat's outdoor stage and began tearing through songs Gardner loves, like “Down” and “Omaha Stylee.”

“It was the greatest four days of my life,'' said Gardner, who lives in Omaha. “Being on the ocean and being able to listen to that music.”

Gardner hopped on a music cruise last March headlined by 311, a big-time band that formed in Omaha in 1990 and now tours internationally, mixing rock, reggae, hip-hop and funk.

The cruises — floating music festivals on passenger ships — are a thriving part of the cruise industry.

Fifteen to 20 years ago, music cruises tended to feature oldies acts such as Frankie Avalon. Those acts are still popular, but these days music cruises are increasingly spotlighting current artists such as 311, Kid Rock, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band and Blake Shelton, said Dan Askin of, an online cruise resource.

You also can cruise with groups like Lynryd Skynryd and KISS — bands that have been around a few decades but still draw passionate fans ready to rock and roll all night.

Jazz, blues and other music theme cruises also are popular, said Lanie Morgenstern of Cruise Lines International Association, an industry trade group.

On rock cruises, other bands join the headliners on multiple stages throughout the boat, giving the couple thousand passengers a high-seas festival from morning until night. On a 311 cruise next month, fans also will rock to Trailer Park Ninjas and The Dirty Heads.

The rock excursions help draw younger passengers, giving the cruise industry a boost, Askin said.

“You're getting people who might not otherwise set foot on a cruise ship,” he said.

Sixthman, an Atlanta-based music cruise organizer, says the average age of its passengers is 35. That's well below the cruise industry average of 48, which has been dropping.

Gardner is 30 and took a regular cruise in 2005, but all he remembers is “cheesy music” and being surrounded by older folks and kids.

“It took 311 throwing a party to get me back on a boat,'' said Gardner, owner of The Hive Lounge, a downtown Omaha bar named after a 311 song.

The cruises attract superfans like Gardner, plus casual fans who enjoy the music but also want to soak up some Caribbean sun and just unplug.

While cruises are certainly a way for bands to earn money, musicians say the trips are a new way to plug into fans and show them some love.

“Our fans take such good care of us,'' said 311 bass player Aaron “P-Nut” Wills, who attended Omaha Bryan High School. “It's so much about the fans and giving them what they want.”

Convenience is a big part of the music cruise appeal.

Head to your local arena for a concert and you'll face some hassles: heavy traffic, long bathroom lines and driving home after a night of partying.

Step on a music cruise and your favorite bands, drinks, food and bed are all right there.

The cruises also give fans a chance to connect with musicians in a way they can't in a 15,000-seat arena, said Ben Ferguson, spokesman for Sixthman, which organizes cruises for 311, KISS and dozens of other artists from Lucinda Williams to Weezer.

Paul Sanne of Norfolk, Neb, jumped on a KISS cruise with his wife last fall and will never forget the concert on the first night. The band, including original members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, walked onto a stage in jeans, boots and no makeup. The musicians told the crowd how pumped they were to join the cruise, thanked the fans and ripped into songs like “Hard Luck Woman.”

“It was more personal,'' Sanne said. “You could tell they were having a good time.”

Another concert featured KISS in full makeup. Sanne, 45, loved that the band played not just hits, but B-side songs fans might not hear at a typical KISS concert.

Sanne sat 60 feet from the stage and remembers band members occasionally missing a chord change or forgetting a few words to a song. He liked that it was spontaneous and a little rough around the edges.

Read more HERE.

Tanked Stars Get A Taste Of KISS

Wayde King and Brett Raymer have worked on their fair share of impressive fish tanks, but a recent addition to their resume introduced them to some very special collaborators.

"It was pretty painless," Raymer says of working with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, who came out to admire their handiwork at the grand opening of a KISS-themed miniature golf course in Las Vegas, where the duo built a tank bearing the band's logo.

The structure is just one of many the pair, who are also brothers-in-law, construct in the newest season of Tanked, which airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet. Later this week, King and Raymer will head to the home of 30 Rock star – and noted animal lover – Tracy Morgan to install a shark tank.
"It's a one-of-a-kind deal because it's going into his basement and we actually have to assemble it on site," says King. "It's going to be pretty interesting to see it done on TV, all the different guys that we work with and putting it together in pieces and bringing it downstairs in pieces. It's going to be a pretty unique tank."

Read more HERE.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gene Simmons Meets With Peru President Humala / Photo: Andina / By Manuel Vigo

On Thursday, Peru's President Ollanta Humala Tasso met with rock legend Gene Simmons and his wife, Shannon Tweed, at the Government Palace in Lima.

The couple witnessed the traditional changing of the guard and took a tour of the Government Palace.

During a brief conversation with President Humala, the Kiss frontman said he was happy to visit the country and discover Lima’s tourist attractions, Andina reported.

President Humala and his wife, Nadine Heredia, thanked the couple for the visit and wished them a pleasant stay in Lima, and invited them to return to Peru to learn more about the country’s history and nature.

Simmons, who is in the country to perform at the Rock and Roll All Stars concert, took the opportunity to shoot scenes for his reality show ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’, which is seen in more than 90 countries.

Gene Simmons & The "Rock N' Roll Allstars" In Paraguay

 Photo: Rock N' Roll Allstars

Here's a photo of Gene Simmons and the "Rock N' Roll Allstars" in Paraguay.

Happy Birthday Ace Frehley

Happy Birthday to original legendary KISS guitarist Ace Frehley. We hope you have a great day, Ace!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bruce Kulick Talks ESP Guitars

Guitarist Bruce Kulick of Grand Funk Railroad (and formerly of Kiss) tells you what he likes about the LTD EC-401. 

You can check out the entire LTD EC Series here:

Nikki Sixx's Full Interview With Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons interviewed on Nikki Sixx's radio show "Sixx Sense".

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tommy Thayer & Alice Cooper Interview On FOX Phoenix

FOX Phoenix 

Alice Cooper does a lot of work for local charities — from his annual haunted house, to his Christmas Pudding concerts. Now, he’s getting ready to open a music center for teens.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gene Simmons Visits The Geese In Buenos Aires, Argentina

Video: Shannon Tweed/Twitter

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed hanging out with the geese in  Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" Tour Cancelled

It seems that the remaining tour dates for "Rock and Roll All Stars" tour with the exception of the Lima, Peru date (April 27) have been cancelled.

The remaining dates have been taken off of the official "Rock and Roll All Stars" website and tickets are no longer available.

KISS To Play London HMV Forum Club In July / Photo: Getty Images

Metal Talk can exclusively announce that Kiss are in negotiations to play at the London HMV Forum on July 4th.

Tickets for the event will go on sale within the coming weeks and are sure to sell out quickly. The band are playing the low key show as an apology to fans after the cancellation of the UK Sonisphere Festival which was to have been their only European show this year.

The new Kiss album 'Monster' will be released in June, they tour with Motley Crue and the Treatment in the US through the Summer, followed by European dates either later this year or early 2013.

Gene Simmons & Sebastian Bach Backstage In Argentina

Video of Gene Simmons and singer Sebastian Bach backstage in Argentina.

Gene Simmons & The "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" In Buenos Aires

 Photo: Paul Hayeland

Gene Simmons and the "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" in Buenos Aires.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gene Simmons & The "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" Perform "I Love It Loud" In Argentina

Gene Simmons and the "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" perform "I Love It Loud" in Argentina.

Bill Starkey Interview

How old were you when you first started listening to music on a regular basis and what were the first bands/artists that you listened to?

Music was always on in our house. I grew up in the '60s, when music was at it's most creative and most diverse. I was taking guitar lessons and Johnny Cash & The Ventures were what I was playing along to, believe it or not. Watching The Ed Sullivan Show every Sunday night was a family thing as well. It helped that my father worked in a warehouse shipping records for Columbia Records in Terre Haute, Indiana. At that time, most of the records in the world were pressed or made right there in Terre Haute.

What exactly were the circumstances by which you discovered KISS?

I first saw a picture of Gene in our local newpaper in the TV listings section. It said KISS would be appearing on ABC’s In Concert. I forgot about it but later ended up watching the program that night only because I wanted to see Foghat perform. I forgot about seeing Gene’s picture that morning while eating my breakfast cereal. Needless to say, KISS blew me away. Foghat, not so much.

Read the entire interview HERE.

PodKISSt #58 Shut Up And Play “LOVE GUN” Part 1

BANG! It’s PodKISSt time! Here’s part one… no, SIDE ONE… of our long-awaited and much-requested round-table discussion of 1977′s “Love Gun” album.

For your listening pleasure, Ken and Gary assembled a kick-ass crew comprised of Joe Casey (co-creator of “Ben 10″ and writer for Disney’s new “Spiderman” cartoon), Andrew Sgambati (the Catman from famed KISS tribute band “MR SPEED”), and musician/illustrator/entertainer Morgan Taylor (creator of “Gustafer Yellowgold”).

This is one PodKISSt installment that will have you rockin’ out tomorrow and tonight! So sit back and listen to side one of “Shut Up and Play LOVE GUN!”

Listen to the podKISSt HERE.

Today In KISStory - 1992

Today In KISStory - April 23, 1992: The club tour for 'Revenge' kicks off at the Stone in San Francisco.

KISS In German Magazine "Bravo"


Today, BRAVO Magazine Germany #17 was published and is available at newsstands now. In this issue KISS are featured with a 2 page article called “Die Meister des Schock-Rock” (“Masters Of Schock Rock”) as part of their series about the coolest bands of all times!

Gene Simmons & The "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" Perform "Rock And Roll All Nite" In Argentina

Gene Simmons and the "Rock 'N' Roll Allstars" perform "Rock And Roll All Nite" in Argentina.

Photos From The KISS "MONSTER" Book

KISSopolis / Photo: Eric McKenna

On Sunday we posted a photo of Paul Stanley and the UK's 'First Light Publishers' reviewing full-size proofs from the giant KISS "MONSTER" book that will be released this summer. Here are the two photos from the review photo with Paul Stanley. Click to enlarge.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

"KISS The Mix" - A Mix Of KISS Song's From 1974 - 2009

Necra Monium

A mix of KISS songs from 1974's self titled 'KISS' album to 2009's 'Sonic Boom'. KISS in the mix!

KISS In New Orleans


Check out these amazing photos of KISS in New Orleans at the AT&T Block Party taken by Electric EYE Photography in New Orleans on March 30, 2012. Thanks to Electric Eye Photography for the use of these photos.

See the photo gallery here.