Remember KERRANG! Magazine? Remember it had that cool UK angle and always felt they had pics you’d never seen before? Now, some of the creators of Kerrang have reconvened to launch ROCK CANDY, a magazine focusing on the rock bands we grew up with in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s.
Who’s the lead story of their debut issue you ask? Bill Aucoin of course. In this 7 page piece, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, Billy Squier, Carol Kaye and others give their perspective on Bill’s persona, his talent, his magic, and his unrelenting quest to reach the top. You can buy the premier issue from the link below
“Before then, I am kind of free,” Gene Simmons said.
What should he do with his spare time?
Jam in Oklahoma, of course.
It was announced recently that Simmons will headline an all-day outdoor music festival April 6 at Southwind Casino in Braman, a tiny Kay County town in north central Oklahoma.
Simmons provided elaboration during a telephone interview that came after the festival was announced in a March 20 press release.
First, in case you’re not clear about this, be aware that KISS isn’t performing April 6 in Braman. A KISS concert there is likely inevitable because Simmons and Paul Stanley announced in January they are teaming with the Kaw Nation to bring a Rock & Brews Casino Resort (with a 1,500-seat event center) to Braman. But that’s a story for another day.
The “now” news is Simmons will hop on stage in Braman with what he called the Gene Simmons Band. They performed March 18 in Cleveland, Ohio, in what has been described as Simmons’ first full-length solo concert.
“Every once in a while, Johnny Depp and I will get up someplace and play a song or two, but I never toured or never did anything outside of KISS,” Simmons said. “And I’m having a great time.”
How will a Simmons show be different than a KISS show?
Simmons won’t be in makeup. Those who make the trek to Braman can count on hearing some KISS standards. “Of course, we will play ‘Rock and Roll All Nite,’ ” Simmons said.
But he said solo shows give him a chance to “dig deep” and perform “obscure” material. He mentioned the songs “Almost Human” and “Got Love for Sale” from KISS’ “Love Gun” album.
KISS cofounder Gene Simmons doesn’t appear to have a problem with the idea of the band continuing without him or Paul Stanley, he revealed in a recent interview.
Simmons was asked by Cantonrep.com, “The idea of KISS moving on without Paul Stanley and yourself is another highly-debated topic among Kiss fans. You see it working to some degree with bands like AC/DC with only one original member and Foreigner, who often play live with none. Is it a testament to the strength of the music that an idea like that could work for generations to come?”
Gene responded, “Well, AC/DC has had 21 different members. But it’s more than music. It’s a vibe. You can’t just get a jazz musician to step up there with a rock band, I don’t care who it is, and make it convincing. Not just in how you play, but how you stand on stage. People are listening with their eyes. They’re bringing their eyes, and you better make that work. It’s not just your ears. When you stayed at home in the old days, you could turn on the radio, and you didn’t know what anybody looked like. That’s different.
Kiss auditioned dozens of potential replacements after Ace Frehley departed the lineup in the early ’80s — including a teenage guitarist calling himself Adam Bomb, who recounts the experience in his upcoming memoir.
Classic Rock has premiered an excerpt from Bomb’s book, titled 911 Is Disconnected … So This Is Rock & Roll, in which he takes readers through his version of the events surrounding his brief brush with Kiss. At the time, he was just a young musician looking for a gig, and had no idea when he responded to a Billboard ad from a band seeking a guitarist that he’d end up on the phone with drummer Eric Carr.
Invited to audition — and informed he’d have to make his own way to Los Angeles — Bomb hurriedly brushed up on the four songs he was told he’d need to play: “Firehouse,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Black Diamond” and “Calling Doctor Love.” Determined to take his shot even though he was neither old nor tall enough to fit the description posted in the ad, he learned “every lick, shake and squeak that Ace Frehley made on the live and studio albums. … If nothing else, I was going to play those songs with Kiss.”
Arriving early enough to catch another hopeful’s failed audition, Bomb made his way into the rehearsal studio — and, as he tells it, regardless of how the experience ultimately turned out in terms of employment opportunities, it lived up to his dreams. “I wanted to scream but I kept my cool. I was still a huge fan. I pictured them in my mind from the record jacket for Kiss Alive and from seeing them in concert in Seattle. I felt like the whole world stopped turning for a moment,” he wrote. “It was just me in a room in Hollywood, playing lead guitar with Kiss.”Continue reading →
Prior to the March 12, 1999 stop of their Psycho Circus world tour, Kiss were ordered not to use any of their customary pyrotechnics by the fire marshal of Breman, Germany.
They almost obeyed that order.
Two songs into the show, after inviting a German translator out onto the stage, frontman Paul Stanley explained to the audience that they wouldn’t be getting the typical Kiss visual experience. “We brought all kinds of bombs, explosions, all kinds of smoke. But the fire marshal, the fire department, will not let us do it tonight!”
After the expected chorus of boos rained down, he rallied the crowd by shifting into showman mode: “I want you to know something. They can stop the bombs; they can stop the fire – but they cannot stop Kiss!”
However, judging from the above video, it would seem Kiss or someone on their crew either changed their mind or had no intention of following the fire marshal’s orders after all. Instead, as the final crescendo of the show-closing “Black Diamond” rang out, every last bit of the pyrotechnics the band had planned on using during the concert were set off in a defiant 30-second blast, to the delight of the audience.
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the group’s punishment ranged anywhere from a fine to a lifelong ban from the city’s stages. However rebellious this particular act was, speaking in the wake of the tragic fire that claimed over 100 lives at a Great White concert in Rhode Island two years later, Stanley stressed that Kiss has always put a high priority on safety when it comes to their pyrotechnic displays.
“We certainly do everything possible to make sure that the people most qualified are in charge,” he explained. “We are not the people who are most qualified. But we certainly have enough money to make sure that we can ensure, or as much as possible, the safety of people at the show and ourselves.” Continue reading →