Podcast Rock City
Podcast Rock City
Bill Louis of the WNCX radio station in Cleveland, Ohio recently conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked if he would ever consider continuing KISS without fellow founding member Paul Stanley, Gene said: “You know, I can’t imagine it, but anything’s possible. In fact, if anything, I think all of us would be proud as hell, because one day we’re gonna hang up our platform heels, I’d like nothing better than if four new, young, deserving, hard-working guys would put on the makeup and carry the torch. That would be the coolest.”
Simmons also talked about KISS‘ philosophy and the initial inspiration for the group’s formation. He said: “The whole idea behind KISS was we wanted to put together the band we never saw on stage — a band that would combine Fourth of July fireworks shows and transformers technology and anything else that would give people bang for the buck. And as I sit here proudly talking to you, even though we never played the singles game, KISS is actually America’s No. 1 gold-record-award-winning group of all time, in all categories. Which is really quite a mouthful, ’cause we never really tried to figure out what singles are. We don’t look like your favorite band. We don’t look like COLDPLAY or anybody else that’s in style and fashionable. In fact, we have always been anti-fashion. Think about it: which band would wear more makeup and high heels than your mommy and simply think of the stage as electric church and that it’s hallowed ground and only the few and the deserving should be on that stage. And just ’cause you have ripped jeans and a t-shirt doesn’t mean you belong on stage. That’s our philosophy. And in either case, if the audience looks exactly like you, why are you on stage? Get out of here! Give me spectacle. Give me somebody to look up to, who sweats, who doesn’t use a backing track or disco boys on poles who escaped from Las Vegas. And nobody lip-syncs. We work for it. I think it’s safe to say KISS is the hardest-working band in show business, period.”
KISS kicked off its “Freedom To Rock” tour on July 4 with in Tucson, Arizona. The trek will hit 40 cities through the summer — many of them places that the band has either never played or hasn’t played in years.
KISS My Wax
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KISS rock and rolled in Wichita Monday at Intrust Bank Arena.
Sgt. Alaxandra Harris was given the chance of a lifetime to be a roadie for the band.
“I got selected to be the roadie for a day. We mostly just kind of got to set up and work with all of KISS’ actual roadies to help them with sound check and getting all the packets together, and we’re gonna help with the meet and greet.
Alexandra was also allowed to bring one guest to enjoy the experience.
“I’m kind of just a little bit of a KISS fan like this big, no, I’m a huge KISS fan and I got to get Gene Simmons guitar and put upon the stand,” said Sherri Page, veteran.
KISS made a donation for Hiring Our Heros during Monday’s concert. All of their shows on this tour will feature veteran roadies.
Anthony De Lucia, Jr. | www.alive75.com
Alive! ’75 continues to penetrate new markets across the northeast, most recently being invited to perform at the 2016 Rock Carnival at First Energy Park in Lakewood, NJ, on Friday, September 30th…
“We are so excited to be included in this year’s Rock Carnival line-up” says Anthony De Lucia, Jr., the band’s manager and resident “Demon”. “Being a part of a multi-day hard-rock bill, that includes Ace Frehley of all people – how cool is that!? We are completely humbled by the opportunity and looking forward to introducing our one of a kind classic KISS tribute experience to a few thousand fresh new hard-rocking fans!”
The boys of Alive! ’75 are only in their second year of action, but you’d hardly know it when seeing their show. After successful pilot-performances in late 2014, they decided to take their show as far as they could, and they’ve learned a lot in a very short time. “The response to our first show was overwhelming! So many people were digging our concept. This was originally meant to be a one-time thing for us but we decided to keep at it. We’ve listened to all the feedback along the way, both good and bad, and we continue to strive to deliver a better and better classic KISS tribute experience every time out.”
Something must be working, as we hear booking their 2016 tour has proven to be much easier than last year. “Being self managed and promoted, it’s been a challenge to get talent buyers to give us the time of day” says Anthony. “But those that do quickly become fans of the production and our repeat opportunities are growing exponentially. 2016 was infinitely easier to book than last year and we already have a number of 2017 dates locked-in.” Continue reading
John Moser | The Morning Call
There’s a classic rock legend that Gene Simmons, bassist for the band KISS, had a cow’s tongue grafted onto his own to form his trademark appendage.
Now, a new billboard along Route 145/MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township takes a tongue-in-cheek – or, rather, out of cheek — twist on the legend to promote Allentown Fair’s Aug. 30-Sept. 5 run and the Sept. 1 concert by KISS.
On the huge sign, a cow representing Allentown Fair (perhaps its mascot Moodonna?) has its face painted to match Simmons’ onstage KISS makeup, and has a Simmons-like tongue protruding from its mouth.
And in this case, the tongue definitely has been grafted on: It’s a puffy, pink 3-D appendage.
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.”
“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.
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:
Podcast Rock City
Joe Lang | Pacific University
Pacific 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.
Clive King | Contact Music
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.
Rikk Of it All
The KISS Room
Tod Van Luling | Huffington Post
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.”
Inarguably, 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.”
Emerson Malone | Daily Emerals
Sometime 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.