Ace Frehley discusses new album, book

It’s the Les Paul that launched a million guitarists: the 1974 Cherry Sunburst three-pickup Gibson Les Paul used by Ace Frehley during KISS’s breakthrough era. The guitar, known as the Budokan Les Paul in honour of the historic Japanese venue where it was given one of its best-known public showings, left Ace’s stewardship a few years ago, and it was long since retired from the road. But now it’s back, in spirit at least, in the form of Gibson Custom’s new Ace Frehley “Budokan” Les Paul Custom. This limited edition instrument will be available in four versions: fifty signed guitars aged by Tom Murphy in the Gibson Custom Shop; one hundred aged (but not signed) pieces; a further 150 finished with Gibson’s VOS (Vintage Original Spec) process; and 1000 pieces of an Epiphone version which retains most of the design features of its Gibson big brother. Ace took some time to talk with I Heart Guitar about the new guitar, the 30+ year old classic it’s based on, and his future plans.

“It was my favourite guitar that I used pretty much exclusively through the 70s and 80s, I guess,” Frehley says of the original instrument. “I continued to use it even with Frehley’s Comet. I don’t even remember when I got it! It was some time around 1975, 76. I had three or four backups, but the particular one that they just released, which is called the Budokan guitar, it was always my favourite guitar, my number one. It just felt the best and played the best.”

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Paul Stanley at Elton John’s 2012 Oscars party

Jeff Giles | Ultimate Classic Rock

Larry Busacca, Getty Images

We tend to think of awards shows as excuses for famous people to get together in their finest duds and pat themselves on the back — and the same goes for the countless pre- and post-parties that go along with them. But while that may be true most of the time, Elton John‘s Oscar party is different — to the tune of more than $225 million raised for HIV/AIDS research over the last couple of decades.

John’s Oscar party turned 20 in typically stylish fashion last night (Feb. 26), drawing an eclectic crowd of celebrities while raising more funds for prevention and research. Where else could you find Paul Stanley of Kiss and Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler rubbing shoulders with Gwen Stefani, or Katy Perry carrying on a conversation with Hollywood legend Cloris Leachman? Only Sir Elton packs ‘em in like that.

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Gene Simmons to be feature on up-coming Rock n Roll All-Stars tour

Chris Harris | Gun Shy Assasin

You know what would be better than seeing Kiss, Def Leppard, and Skid Row live? Pretty much anything else in the world, if you ask this guy. But what if you could get a little bit of Kiss, Def Lep, and Skid Row all in one show? Wouldn’t that be better?

For me, no. But I’m hard to please.

The Rock ‘N’ Roll Allstars has been announced, and will present a live show “unlike any before,” claims a press release.

The tour will hit South and Central America in April and May, and a press conference is planned for Thursday to announce the trek.

Who will participate in the tour? Kiss’ Gene Simmons, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Velvet Revolver and Guns N’ Roses, Rock Star Supernova’s Gilby Clarke, and the one and only Glenn Hughes.

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10 GENE SIMMONS songs you need to hear

David Ashdown | Rock & Roll Ginsu

As a 2012 precaution, KISS Nation should demand the boyz seal these ten Gene master strokes up immediately in a time-capsule. I cannot put them in any order of import; no mere mortal could possibly extrapolate such calculations, not safely anayway.

WAR MACHINE – Creatures of The Night This may have in fact have been recorded “On The 8th Day” because it is freakin’ god-like rock. The intro guitar riff is a couple of light years ahead of its time; hard to believe songsmith Bryan Adams could have had anything to do with the song, but he did. Gene’s growl says get the bleep out of my way or get run over by the biggest drums on earth, ever (thanks Eric Carr) and stands as a testament to Gene’s mastering of the ‘monster plod’. When he sings “draw the battle lines” it’s so evil, so infectious, that I literally wish to rule the world briefly. Terrifying. The gut-check guitars in the verse and the sheer space allowed for the drums to resonate ’till the next A chord bruises another rib is downright primal. If “War Machine” doesn’t get your blood boiling you probably have never ‘rocked’ anyway. While we’re at it, it bears mentioning that there isn’t a bad Simmons track on Creatures; get it.

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Las Vegas Philanthropist Hosts Star-Studded Evening with KISS


Dollar Loan Center CEO Chuck Brennan pulled out all the stops at his annual company holiday party recently. Bringing in his famous friends from around the country, the business owner and philanthropist helped raise nearly $300,000 for charity while giving 500 employees and guests a night to remember including $250,000 in cash and prizes.

“If there is a ‘best boss in America’ award, Chuck Brennan deserves it,” said Shon McKee, senior manager for Dollar Loan Center. “We got to experience an evening we will never forget and truly live like rock stars for the night.”

Brennan, a long-time rock music lover and former music industry executive, opened the evening with The Doors’ Robby Krieger playing “LA Woman,” followed by “Roadhouse Blues” with actor Val Kilmer, who famously portrayed Jim Morrison in the 1991 movie about the iconic band.

Brennan then introduced comedian-musician Gary Mule Deer, who entertained the audience before they were treated to a musical set that included rock legend Alice Cooper, Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. The trio was accompanied by rock music legends Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer of the band KISS while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley cheered in the audience. Brennan is long-time friends with the band and can always count on KISS when it comes to help raising money for great charities.

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KISS: How They Were Made

Sal Cirrincione | Star 103

Wikimedia Commons

KISS has set August 14th as the publication date for Nothin’ to Lose: the Making of KISS (1972-1975). Written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, along with author Ken Sharp, the 448-page book features more than 200 interviews, including some with the other two founding members, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Also sitting down for interviews were producers, engineers, management, record company personnel, roadies, costume and stage designers, photographers, promoters and such artists as Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, members of Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Rush, Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Mott the Hoople and many others.

KISS by Monster Mini Golf grand opening schedule

March 15, 2012 General Opening Day Information and Itinerary:

1:00pm ~ The party kick’s off in our parking lot with a day of FREE events featuring the WINNER of the World’s Best KISS Tribute Band Contest: “Mr. Speed” performing live throughout the day!

Live Radio Broadcast from KOMP Vegas Rock Radio where you can win FREE tickets for KISS By Monster Mini Golf throughout the day and lots of great prizes!

Face painters, games, food and fun all day!

3:00pm ~ Great opportunity to watch the first Wedding couple and their guests arrive in Rock Star Fashion as they enter KISS by Monster Mini Golf for the 1st ever KISS “Hotter Than Hell” wedding! Then, watch the wedding live from our parking lot via video broadcast!

5:00pm ~ The Red Carpet Walk begins! (actually we have a Black Carpet, as this is a Rockin’ establishment!) Yes, we’re talking Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and lots of other star studded surprises!

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European KISS festival date announced

Shooting rockets. Blood spitting. Face Paint. Shiny Boots and utterly jaw dropping triumphant live shows:  SONISPHERE is proud to announce KISS as Friday’s headliner. With a reputation for being perhaps the most flamboyant and entertaining band on the planet, the American Kings will bring their stage extravaganza to SONISPHERE as their only European performance of 2012. While many bands have been chasing the eye liner shock horror dollar and have come and gone without changing the face of music as we know it, KISS have gone from strength to strength garnering praise, success and too many accolades to mention throughout the years, selling over 100 million albums worldwide and counting as the band is poised to unleash new album ‘Monster’ in June 2012.  Says the band:

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Now hiring at new KISS Mini Golf Course


KISS® By Monster Mini Golf® is now hiring for all positions and is looking for people that are ready to rock. The first of its kind, KISS® By Monster Mini Golf® will include an indoor glow-in-the-dark custom-designed, rockin’ 18-hole miniature golf course, a state-of-the-art arcade, the largest KISS® gift shop in the world, A KISS® Gallery, “Hotter Than Hell” Wedding Chapel, a private VIP Room, FANtastic KISS® themed event rooms and the “Rock ‘n Roll All Nite” Café. The new attraction opens its doors March 15, 2012.

An open casting call will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 from noon – 9 p.m. at
KISS® By Monster Mini Golf® located at 4501 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89169 in the Shoppes at Harmon Square. The team will be set up for interviews in the vacant store next to the
KISS® By Monster Mini Golf® location in the same plaza. All qualified rockstars must download an application on and bring the finished form to the open casting call.  Find more here:
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Revolver Magazine to honour Kiss’ Gene Simmons at this years Golden Gods and reveal nominees

Lick Library

This week, Revolver Magazine announced their 2012 Golden Gods nominees and performers for their live concert in Los Angeles this April.

Performing live at Club Nokia on April 11th will be Marilyn Manson, Slash, Evanescene, Sixx:AM and Black Veil Brides.

In a press conference earlier this week it was also announced for the first time ever, the awards show will be broadcast live in full through Xbox Live, plus Xbox and Revolver Magazine Facebook pages.

Alice Cooper, Zakk Wylde, Vinnie Paul, Vinny Appice, Mike Portnoy, John Moyer, Wendy Dio, Munky, Korn, Chris Jericho, and Steel Panther were all among the musicians present for the press conference which footage can be seen above.

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KISS and more to cover Paul McCartney for Tribute Album

While Paul McCartney pays tribute to the classic era in his cover album “Kisses on the Bottom“, a number of stars including The Cure, KISS and Alice Cooper will, in return, salute him in an upcoming tribute album. They will cover songs from Mecca’s catalog including the records with The Beatles and Wings or during his solo career.

The album will additionally feature Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Steve Miller, Jeff Lynne, Heart, Wanda Jackson, Ronnie Spector and Corinne Bailey Rae. The CD is being curated by producer Ralph Sall.

Sall met McCartney while working on Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks‘ movie “The In-Laws” which has several McCartney songs as soundtracks. “It grew out of that experience,” he said. “A good idea goes a long way, but it was important that it be blessed by Paul.”

Sall has been working on the album for two and a half years, but has yet to partner with a label or distributor for the release. Beside working in the studio, he also plans a TV special using footage of the studio sessions and interview with the participating artists.

“It will be a good venue to show appreciation of his catalog,” the music supervisor gushed. “You can tell by the variety of participants that Paul’s music is truly timeless. Whether you’re 8 or 80, everyone loves Paul McCartney.”

KISS Hello Kitty plush figures revealed


Sanrio revealed the first crossover goods that it is creating with the American rock band KISS. Four plush figures reimagine the four KISS band members, as they appeared on the jacket cover from the band’s Dynasty album. The release date and price have not been set yet, but Sanrio and KISS also displayed keyholders, cases, and other character goods.

Gene Simmons, the front man for KISS, revealed last June that he met with executives to discuss, in his words, “a KISS-Hello Kitty worldwide deal. Wow.” Simmons plans to sell the Hello Kitty merchandise at the band’s concert venues, and the band is considering developing the collaboration overseas as well.

KISS Carnival of Souls producer interviewed

“Carnival of Souls” was an album that divided the KISS fans and caused major controversy in all the forums and the fanzine columns around that time. To tell you the truth, personally I needed a few months to adjust to the new musical direction of KISS. The person behind the console was Toby Wright, a producer responsible also for albums by such artists as Alice in Chains, Korn, Sevendust and many others. I am sure that all the die-hard KISS fans had noticed his name…10 years before “Carnival of Souls”. We talked exclusively with Toby via Skype…   

Interview: Sakis Nikas Toby, you were first involved with KISS as an assistant engineer for “Crazy Nights”. How did this collaboration come up?

Toby Wright: I was working at One on One Studios as the only engineer/assistant engineer at the time and one of my good friends, Ron Nevison, loved that studio and he used to bring all the acts that he was producing back then. One of them happened to be KISS. The recording sessions took place in One on One Studios under the production guidance of Ron Nevison. Which were exactly your duties and how did it feel for you to be working with Nevison?

Toby Wright: I was engineering for him and generally assisting in the studio…it felt great; Ron’s one of the best producers in the world. I learned a lot from him and all in all it was an amazing experience. Would you like to describe a typical day in the studio with KISS at that time?

Toby Wright: If I can remember correctly, it started out around noon, had some lunch, then we got around doing the tracking…Eric Carr was alive at that point; he was an amazing drummer! Then after that, we were doing some overdubs…guitars, bass, vocals.

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KISS By Monster Mini Golf to Auction off Wedding Package Starting Today with KISS’ Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons as Guests of Honor

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — KISS® by Monster Mini Golf® is giving KISS®fans the opportunity to be the first couple married at the “Hotter Than Hell” wedding chapel with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as the guests of honor.

The first wedding or vow renewal ceremony will be up for auction on eBay Feb. 9 at noon (PST) and will close Valentine’s Day, at noon (PST.) Bidding starts at $2,500 with a “Buy It Now” option of $50,000.  Partial proceeds will benefit Toys 4 Smiles.

For eBay link and a detailed list of ALL items included in the first “Hotter Than Hell” wedding package please visit

The wedding will take place at the “Hotter Than Hell” wedding chapel located inside KISS­® by Monster Mini Golf® as part of the Grand Opening Day’s events on March 15, 2012.

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