Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley recently spoke to VH1 about how his fascination with sci-fi and astronomy formed his alter ego, Spaceman; having something to prove when creating his 1978 solo album; and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame controversy. You can watch the chat in three parts below.
After weeks of bad-mouthing each other in the press, the four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello, with all four — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — delivering warm, nostalgic and even sweet-natured speeches that put aside the simmering tensions for at least 12 minutes.
KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.
“The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a great experience for me,” Frehley told VH1. “We could have been inducted fifteen years earlier, but we finally got inducted this year, in April. I know there was a little controversy going on preceding the event. Originally we were asked to perform, and at the last minute Paul and Gene decided that they didn’t wanna perform with me and Peter. Me and Peter were up for it. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was insisting that only the four original members perform. Paul and Gene opted not to do it. After forty years, they couldn’t give the fans fifteen minutes. Go figure. I think they’re gonna regret that decision.”
During a recent interview with KNPR News, Stanley was asked why he declined to perform with Criss and Frehley at the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. “It’s a tough question to answer, but there’s so much involved in it,” he replied. “Firstly, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted nothing to do with us; they begrudgingly let us in. And my sense was that we were going to be a dog-and-pony show. They wanted to have the original guys play in the band, and all of us in makeup, and, quite honestly, I think it would have done the band a disservice. That lineup has not been together for 14 years, and physically, perhaps, wouldn’t have looked that great, and musically, undoubtedly, probably, would have sounded a bit suspect. So, to have people watch it on television and identify that as KISS because there’s four guys in makeup would not send a great signal to the people who are not following the band in its current permutation, or what it is today.”
For Pete Townshend, the whole Kiss thing couldn’t be more foreign. And not just because Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Co. wear such outlandish outfits. They simply have no connection to the UK stomping grounds that spawned the Who, he says.
“One thing that Kiss are absolutely, unquestionably not — in any sense, whatsoever — is European or English,” Townshend says, in a newly posted talk with Hazy Rock. “They are straight out of Creem magazine meets Las Vegas. Or New Orleans, even. There is a bit of New Orleans in it, a very American, kind of Mardi Gras thing. They couldn’t have happened here. They could maybe have happened in Berlin — in which case their music wouldn’t have been like their music. They would have looked like they looked, but they would have made different kind of music. They’re a very American phenomenon.”
That said, Pete Townshend admits that the on-stage garb baffled him, at least to begin with.
During a brand new interview with “The Cassius Morris Show”, KISS drummer Eric Singer spoke about the possibility of the band one day carrying on without any original members, including main songwriter Paul Stanley.
“Everybody has broached that subject, meaning, like, fans… I’m sure you guys have heard comments through the years, the past few years, by people saying, ‘Oh, I can see KISS without Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] and Paul,’” Eric said. “Me personally, I’m not saying it’s not possible, but I doubt it will be with me… What I mean is I don’t think I would wanna do that; that’s what I’m saying.
“To me, Gene and Paul have always been the main cogs in the machinery, if you will, of KISS. And I mean that with no disrespect to Ace [Frehley, original KISS guitarist] and Peter [Criss, original KISS drummer], who started the original band [as] those four, and anyone that’s been in the band. ‘Cause everybody has come in and they brought something to the band — maybe in different increments or a different value, depending on how a particular fan may wanna see a particular era. ‘Cause you’ve gota remember, for some people, their version of KISS is ‘Crazy Nights’, or their version of KISS is 1980 with Eric Carr with Ace and Gene and Paul in Australia. Or it’s ‘Revenge’. Or it’s now. I’ve been around this band for 25 years, I’ve seen fans of all eras and all incarnations of the band, but, for me, the one constant has always been Gene and Paul; they’ve always been the
Logan Dean Worrell | Noisey
Kiss is the “Hottest Band in the World.” Everyone on the entire planet knows who Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are even if only by “The Demon and Starchild” respectively. They are as iconic American images as Michael Jackson or Madonna or Coca Cola or Apple. The two have more money than god and have bedded everyone from Diana Ross to Cher, not to mention all the various playmates of years past. Being able to ask them a couple questions with an ocean view was an absolute delight, and I can now say that I have met one of the coolest famous people ever in Paul Stanley.
Vice threw a party in NYC and all the Noisey people attended. I hear it was a riot. Sadly, that meant no one from the NYC office would be able to jet down to Cabo San Lucas Mexico in December to hang out with Simmons and Stanley at the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar beachfront resort. Luckily the “East Austin” branch was able to pick up the slack. We attended the grand opening of yet another KISS affiliated venture “Rock and Brews”, which is their version of a Hard Rock Café or Hooters. Being a life long fan of Hooters, KISS, and the Hard Rock Café, I was all in. Next stop Mexico.
As a Texan, I have been very privileged to be able to spend a good deal of time down in Mexico, though never on the west coast. A couple months back Cabo was hit with a devastating hurricane and the people are just now getting back on track. The city was great and the people were extremely nice and hospitable. The grand opening was full of red carpets and chicken wings and little mini pizzas, complete with an all-Mexican cover band performing American songs, none of which were written by KISS except for “ I Was Made for Loving You” which epically closed out the night. On an interesting side note the singer was wearing a bootleg KISS t-shirt featuring the ever-recognizable “Rolling Stones” Lips. Mexico, you’re the best.
The next day I was given ten uninterrupted minutes with Gene Simmons. Here are the results. Look for an interview with Paul Stanley tomorrow on Noisey.
Noisey: How did you find your way into the world of restaurants and franchises?
Gene Simmons: The nature of celebrity is one thing, just because you’re the lead singer in “Train”—I’m sure he’s a nice guy—doesn’t mean that translates to business. For whatever reason, perception is everything, even if it’s not the case. And I can’t tell you a thing about the engine in my truck, but I sure know how to drive it.
You put gas in it.
I don’t do that either. I barely know where the thing is. That’s not what I wanna do. What I wanna do is to drive, and everybody else should do everything. If the car’s dirty, somebody else does the cleaning. I bet you know a lot more about cleaning. And captains know continue reading…
New York, NY, December 5, 2014 – With the release of Out On the Streets: The True Tales of Life on the Road With the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!” ($29.95) the band’s millions of fans worldwide will finally get an up-close and behind-the-curtain look at KISS’s formative years on the road.
This highly detailed 347-page book comes directly from the collective efforts of JR Smalling, Peter Oreckinto, Rick Munroe and the late Mick Campise, who comprised the core of the band’s original road crew from 1974 – 1976. In Out on the Streets the four share an intimate and inside look at life on the road with KISS, and detail what it took to lay the foundation for one of the most spectacular and successful rock bands in history.
Out on the Streets digs into the dirt, the blue-collar work ethic, and the crew’s unwavering loyalty to KISS’s ridiculous “biggest band in the world” pipedream. The four authors spin tales of fighting headline acts like Aerosmith just to get in and out of gigs, logging over 90,000 road miles in 1974 alone, wrestling with thieves and warding off racism. There’s violent tragedy on a personal level, mind-numbing hours and days without rest, bullet-ridden vehicles, arrests, abject poverty, catalogs of carnal pursuits, and ultimately a skyrocket of success.
Nick DeRiso | Ultimate Classic Rock
An invitation to appear on the New York City-based finale of Dave Grohl‘s ‘Sonic Highways‘ series opened up a treasure trove of memories for Paul Stanley. Kiss came of age during one the city’s golden eras of music in the ’70s, a period when Electric Ladyland Studios and the Fillmore East attracted every big name in rock.
Even as Kiss began to work their way into that pantheon, Stanley tells Rolling Stone, they were in awe of the scene.
“I remember when Kiss was in the studio,” he says, “I was in the waiting area just taking a break — and Jimmy Page came out of studio A at that time they were mixing ‘The Song Remains the Same,’ and he knew who I was. For a kid from Queens who sat in the audience spellbound watching them play, it was a transcendental moment to suddenly be on his radar. That was one of those moments that I don’t forget.”
As for appearing on the celebrated HBO documentary series, Stanley was more than happy to participate. “Some people are hams,” he quipped. “I’m the whole pig.”
You can not only buy his guitar and clothes from former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent, you can also buy the copyrights to his songs!
An auction has been set up on his website where he has 24 items up for sale. His famous Jackson Shark Fin guitar, stage and video outfits he wore including the belt he wore on the cover of “Lick It Up,” are all up for auction.
Most shocking is the copyrights he is selling for the 21 songs that appeared on the two Vinnie Vincent Invasion albums. Even more interesting is that he is trying to sell the unsigned employment contract with Kiss, which as described, led to “decades of controversy between Vinnie and Kiss.”
These are not selling at a bargain though. Bidding on the contract starts at $10,000 and the copyrights to his songs can be bought for $200,000.
If you’ve never checked it out, go to PeterCrissDrums.com for an in-depth amazing journey through Peter Criss’s entire library of drum kits from childhood to the present! An unbelievable resource of photos and info about Peter and his hardware, definitely worth a look!
The adorable true story of a little girl’s first KISS concert. Follow Adrianna as she gets dressed up for the show, sees the concert and ultumately meets the band back stage! Written by Petey Mongelli, one of the legendary KISS fans/collectors/dealers of all time and currently the promoter for the annual Spooky Empire show in Florida.
Hard cover, published 2014. 11 x 8.8 inches.
$19.95 at KISSmuseum.com
Original KISS drummer Peter Criss is continuing work on a new rock solo album, which he promises will be “heavier” than the stuff he has done in the past.
Criss‘s last solo CD, titled “One for All”, came out in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of “Late Night with David Letterman“. The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of “What a Difference a Day Makes” and “Send in the Clowns”.
Speaking to an audience of fans at a question-and-answer session hosted by VH1 Classic “That Metal Show” co-host Eddie Trunk on November 28 at the “All Things That Rock” festival in Oaks, Pennsylvania, Criss stated about the progress of the recording sessions for the follow-up to “One for All” (see video below): “I’ve been sitting on a record … I’d done this thing, like, five years ago and I’m still messing with it. I’m not done, because I don’t wanna rush it.”
Richard Johnson | Page Six
Alan Stuart Graf recounts in the book “I Inhaled: Rantings, Ramblings and Ravings of a Hippie Lawyer,” how he and Gene Klein, as he was known then, were in a band together called the Long Island Sounds.
“We were about 14 at the time, and this other guitar player and I were playing Ventures [surf-rock] music with a cool cat drummer named Stan,” Graf wrote.
“But we needed a bass player. So I talked Gene into getting a bass. We went down to Manny’s Music Store in downtown Manhattan and picked him out a Paul McCartney imitation white bass. He was in love with it and kept on fantasizing that he was Paul and all the girls loved him because of his fine bass.”
Nick DeRiso | Ultimate Classic Rock
“Absolutely, I’m re-recording some Kiss tracks,” Frehley tells 100% Rock Magazine. “I believe I’m going to be doing ‘Parasite’; I’m not sure which other ones, you know, and some covers that I’ve always wanted to do that I haven’t done.”
‘Parasite’ was one of three songs written or co-written by Frehley for 1974′s ‘Hotter Than Hell,’ though he didn’t take his first lead vocal until ‘Shock Me‘ from 1977′s ‘Love Gun.’ Frehley also wrote ‘Cold Gin,’ ‘Getaway’ and ‘Strange Ways’ for Kiss, among others.
“I’m going to get a lot of different guest stars to play with me on these tracks,” Frehley adds. “And it’s going to be a much easier record than this last one, because I don’t have to write solos, and I don’t have to write lyrics because they’re already set. So, that’s going to be another fun record for me, and I’m looking forward to that, you know, start tracking it out in between tours and whatnot.”
‘Space Invader,’ Frehley’s first new album in five years, rose to the Billboard Top 10. Frehley’s current tour is in Texas this week, with future dates planned in California.