KISS donates $150,000 to veterans at concert in Colorado Springs

Anica Padilla | CW2

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Paying tribute to America’s veterans and service members is more than just lip service for the iconic rock band KISS.

When KISS brought their “Freedom to Rock” tour to Colorado Springs Monday night, the band donated $150,000 to a group that helps veterans.

“Without the military, we wouldn’t be here,” vocalist Gene Simmons said in a video posted on YouTube. “KISS has always been about giving back. We know we’re very lucky. We take this as a matter of heart.”

KISS partners with “Hiring Our Heroes” and the Veteran Tickets Foundation to “salute military heroes across the country,” according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation website.

“The ‘Freedom to Rock’ tour stops are all home to a large number of Army and Air National Guard or Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Reserve members,” the website states.  The band donates a limited number of tickets to veterans in each community.

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Ace Frehley reveals first gig and first band at 14 years old

Fuse Staff

Ace Frehley may be a founding member of KISS, one of rock’s biggest bands ever, but what about before that? While at Fuse talking about his solo project Origins, Vol. 1, Frehley revealed he was in countless bands leading up to KISS. His earliest memory in front of an audience was as a 14-year-old boy, performing at a Jewish youth program in Riverdale, New York. Watch more above now.

Want more? In 2014 Frehley and fellow rock guitarist Chris Caffery sat down together for Fuse to trade stories, guitar solos and more! Watch below:

Pacific University Legends Salutes Tommy Thayer and Generates More than $500,000 to Support Athletics and Music

Joe Lang | Pacific University

pulttlh-pspjpeg-5315c0875ac1693cPacific University paid tribute to one of its longtime trustees, Beaverton native and KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer, during the finale of Thayer’s highly successful Legends fundraiser held June 26 in Portland.

Presented by Pac/West, guests of Legends 2016 thanked Thayer for 10 great years of support the event has generated for the university’s 24-sport NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program.

Approximately 150 invitees attended the Legends Finale, a one-of-a-kind exclusive dinner, auction and concert that grossed nearly $500,000 to launch a lasting tribute to the beloved host: the Tommy Thayer Endowment for Athletics and Music at Pacific University.

The evening commenced with cocktails and silent auction, and followed with a multi-course gourmet dinner, live auction featuring vacation getaways and much more, and signature concert that ultimately brought to a close the event’s successful run that began in 2007.

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Gene Simmons rules out a full KISS reunion

Clive King | Contact Music

Gene Simmons has ruled out a reunion of the original Kiss line-up.

The 66-year-old rocker shut down speculation that a recent collaboration between the ‘Lick It Up’ hitmaker’s former guitarist Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley signalled return of the founding members.

When quizzed on the rumours, he said: ”No, that means nothing. We’ve tried that. Ace and Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer] came into the band and were thrown out three different times because of drugs and alcohol. I mean, how many strikes do you want? And to new fans, it means nothing.”

The bassist-and-singer formed KISS in 1973 in New York City with his pal Paul and the band – along with current members Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer – were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

The rock band are famous for their own stage personas and trademark black and white face paint, and Gene – whose alter ego is known as ‘The Demon’ – would love for four young musicians to take over the KISS characters and carry on the group’s legacy.

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Ace Frehley Addresses Theory About The Famous KISS Logo

Tod Van Luling | Huffington Post

LONG BEACH, CA - MAY 31: Guitarist Ace Frehley of the rock and roll band Kiss performs onstage at the Civic Auditorium on May 31, 1974 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

LONG BEACH, CA – MAY 31: Guitarist Ace Frehley of the rock and roll band Kiss performs onstage at the Civic Auditorium on May 31, 1974 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In May, I wrote a story about the crooked lines in arguably the most recognizable logo in music: the all-caps “KISS.”

The story focused on a typographical mistake ― Paul Stanley, aka Starchild, told me the two S’s in the logo weren’t perfectly parallel because he drew them by eye. What the piece didn’t mention, however, was a long-held theory that the two S’s in what’s arguably the most popular band logo in history are an homage to the World War II Nazi troop Schutzstaffel, or “The SS.”

577eb7871a000023006f90dfInarguably, the repeating S’s in the The SS logo resemble those in KISS’s, as they appear to be two lightning bolts side by side. Between 1979 and 1980, the similarities became too much for the German government, which began confiscating albums and banned the KISS logo entirely. (The band eventually had to create a separate Germany-specific logo that features two backward Z’s.)

Less attention has been paid to the logos’ likenesses in the United States. A cursory Google search surfaces little additional information on the topic. When famed music journalist Chuck Klosterman wrote a 10,000-plus-word feature for ESPN’s Grantland about the band, titled “The Definitive, One-Size-Fits-All, Accept-No Substitutes, Massively Comprehensive Guide To The Life And Times Of Kiss,” he didn’t use the word “Nazi” once.

The resemblances might be easier to brush aside as mere coincidence, if not for the band’s seemingly complicated relationship with Nazism. Stanley and fellow lead vocalist Gene Simmons are both Jewish, and Simmons’ mother is a Holocaust survivor. But Stanley has said outright that the band’s other two original members, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss ― who have previously been fired from the band ― displayed anti-Semitic tendencies during the group’s earlier days.

Frehley, in particular, has had a questionable reported relationship with Nazism in the past. Stanley and Simmons have both said Frehley not only owned Nazi memorabilia during that early time, but used it to play cruel jokes.

“Ace had a fascination with Nazi memorabilia, and in his drunken stupors he and his best friend would make videotapes of themselves dressed up as Nazis,” Simmons wrote in his 2002 autobiography, Kiss and Make-up. 

In the autobiography, Simmons went on to detail a particularly dark prank Frehley pulled where he burst into his hotel room in a Nazi uniform, saluted Simmons and yelled “Heil Hitler!” into his face. Frehley has claimed that both Criss and Stanley wore Nazi uniforms with him and joined in on this prank. Unconfirmedphotographic evidence seems to support the claim. (The Huffington Post has reached out to Gene Simmons for a comment.)

Frehley’s apparent past interest in Nazism, per his bandmates’ accounts, is relevant for one reason: He was the person who created the original idea for the KISS logo. “I designed the logo,” Frehley told Guitar World in 2014, when he expressed frustration that Stanley was trying to take credit for it. “All [Stanley] did was draw straighter lines,” Frehley added.

In my conversation with Stanley earlier this year, he confirmed this account, saying, “The initial concept of the logo was Ace’s.”

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Review: KISS, aptly excessive, brings Freedom to Rock tour to MKA

Emerson Malone | Daily Emerals

13621743_10157170877950442_1954372142_o-750x375Sometime during sound check, a towering black curtain with the massive KISS insignia dropped before the stage in epic fashion. The audience roared. It was immediately apparent this would be no humble night.

“The suspense,” whispered one audience member, who wore Paul Stanley’s Starchild makeup with a black star covering her eye, “it’s killing me.”

Then a disembodied voice (borrowed from the “Shout it Out Loud” music video) shouted to the arena: “You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world: KISS!”

When the curtain finally dropped, three men – Stanley, Gene Simmons and Portland native Tommy Thayer – stood atop a platform elevated above the stage and played “Detroit Rock City.” Behind them, Eric Singer was installed in the middle of an elaborate drum set.

Seeing Kiss live feels larger than life, and it’s not just the platform boots. The fireworks that detonated and punctuated each song’s end, the explosions that soared on either side of Singer’s drum riser and sent a blast wave of heat through the arena, Simmons sporadically ejecting his hooked tongue toward the crowd (not to mention his fire breathing, his performing cunnilingus on his guitar, his tongue whipping in close vicinity of Thayer’s neck, or his gargling up fake blood while gazing into the crowd during a droning bass solo) – everything was fittingly extreme.

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KISS’ Gene Simmons Chimes in on Disabling Smartphone Cameras at Concerts

Joe DeVita | Loudwire

In late June, we reported that Apple was granted a patent that would have the potential to disable cell phones from taking photos and capturing video at concerts. Artists have been split on the issue, some seeing no issue with fans having a personal memento from the show and others who feel violated by the technology. The ever-opinionated KISS legend Gene Simmons has now offered his thoughts on disabling phones in the live concert setting or simply not allowing cell phones in the area altogether.

Speaking with Jack Antonio of the Do You Know Jack? radio program (audio below) on July 1, Simmons first explained the pre-cell phone era and the modern one. “When we first started out, this was before cellphones or technology and even voice mail. There was no cable, there was no nothing, so at the concerts, they took away your cameras — they didn’t allow you to do that,” he began.

Detailing more about an age long gone and the connection with the show, Simmons continued, “So, in a lot of ways, the concert experience, especially with KISS, was real — it was emotional, it was deep. You know, people would pass out and cry; it was very emotional.” Flipping to modern times, he said, “And it’s become… Technology, of course, has made everything less emotional. You know, when you get back home and look at your cellphone and the video there, and you go, ‘Oh, I don’t remember that from the concert!’ Well, of course you don’t, ’cause you were too busy texting or looking at your cellphone.”

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Technology makes everything less emotional, says Gene Simmons of Kiss


onstage during the 23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 15, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

onstage during the 23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 15, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

Gene Simmons doesn’t open his mouth only to stick out his reptilian tongue.

Often, he opens it to offer opinions on all sorts of aspects of human life.

As reported by Loudwire, in a recent appearance on the “Do You Know Jack?” radio show, Kiss front man Simmons mused on the subject of people who spend their whole time at concerts filming on their phones.

“Technology, of course, has made everything less emotional,” he said. “You know, when you get back home and look at your cell phone and the video there, and you go, ‘Oh, I don’t remember that from the concert!’ Well, of course you don’t, ’cause you were too busy texting or looking at your cell phone.”

It can be a real displeasure — if you’re me, at least — to sit next to someone at a concert who spends the whole time filming it, including panning to you as you sing/dance/sit there wishing that the halfwit next to you would just stop filming. The last time it happened, I may have mouthed an obscenity or two.

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Eric Singer of Kiss – Everything is a Choice- Hold the Sugar

Jeb Wright | Blabbermouth

ericsingerkiss2014vegas_638 Eric Singer is the long-time current drummer for the band Kiss. He got the gig after being chosen to play drums for Paul Stanley’s solo band in 1991.

When then Kiss drummer Eric Carr came down with a terminal illness, Singer was brought in as his replacement. Singer later exited Kiss on 1996 when the band brought back original Kiss drummer Peter Criss for the Alive / Worldwide tour.

Singer moved on and played several years with Alice Cooper’s band. When Criss was asked to leave Kiss, Singer came back… but he was asked to wear the famous Cat makeup in 2001.

In the interview that follows Singer discusses making the choice to wear that makeup, as well as the upcoming Kiss tour and their new movie Kiss Rocks Las Vegas.

Singer likes to talk. He has a lot to say. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Singer tells it like it is. He shares early memories of being a Kiss fan, discusses rock ‘n’ roll and even says why neither Nikki Sixx, Gene Simmons nor Paul Stanley’s opinions on Twitter matter much to him. (If you’ve seen him play, his drums do most of the talking.)

This is a real chat with a real rock star… who just happens to have remained a regular guy.

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KISS kicks off ‘Freedom to Rock’ tour in Tucson


“Tonight’s the first night of the tour, and it couldn’t be any place hotter or any place cooler,” KISS frontman Paul Stanley told the crowd at the AVA Amphitheater as they braved 102-degree heat.

As part of the set, KISS honored the military by having a veteran, Lt. Col. Mellorya Crawford, an 18-year Army veteran stationed the last six years at Fort Huachuca, join the band’s road crew for the night.

“It’s not the politicians that make the country great, it’s the military,” Stanley stated. “Politicians make promises. The military delivers.”

Prior to the show, Crawford released a written statement in which she said: “I’m excited to represent other female veterans across the world. I’m looking forward to working with KISS during their first stop [of the ‘Freedom To Rock’ tour]. It will be amazing to actually meet them. I can remember listening to their music growing up and seeing their characters on ‘Scooby Doo’.”

KISS’s setlist for the Tucson concert:

01. Detroit Rock City
02. Deuce
03. Shout It Out Loud
04. Creatures of the Night
05. War Machine
06. Psycho Circus
07. Calling Dr. Love
08. Shock Me
09. Cold Gin
10. Lick It Up
11. I Love It Loud
12. 100,000 Years
13. Love Gun
14. Black Diamond


15. Beth
16. Rock and Roll All Nite

The “Freedom To Rock” tour will hit 40 cities through the summer — many of them places that the band has either never played or hasn’t played in years.

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