Strange Ways podcast, episode 36 – The Middle Kids of KISS

Jody Havenot

285>_9954222Join your STRANGE WAYS bros, and special guest DES SHAW from KISSTORY SCIENCE THEATRE for our discussion on The Middle Kids of KISS!! We had a blast taking with Des, and hope you enjoy it, KISS Army!!! This is also the first episode of our new format change..we’re calling STRANGE WAYS WEDNESDAYS!!! We will release a new episode every 2 weeks, on Wednesdays.

So we hope you enjoy this episode, and we’ll see ya in two weeks for our discussion with KEN KELLY!!!

Battle of the bands: Kiss vs. Crue, on the gridiron

Case Kefer | Las Vegas Sun

Vince Neil finally can exact revenge on behalf of Mötley Crüe.

More than 30 years later, the two rock titans will clash. Neil’s new Arena Football League franchise, the Las Vegas Outlaws, will share a division with the Los Angeles Kiss, owned by Kiss band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

“That’s the fun thing about this; it’s a natural rivalry, Kiss vs. Crüe,” Neil said. “We’re going to play them three times a year and, of course, we want to beat them every time.”

The bands actually made amends decades ago. They co-headlined a North American tour in 2012, and the Kiss executives, having gone through the same process a year ago, have helped Neil and his partners get ready for their inaugural season.

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KISS Announce ‘Love Gun’ Deluxe Edition Out October 28

Melodic Rock

kiss-lovegunUniversal Music are proud to announce the next stage of KISS’ 40th anniversary celebrations, with the release of a Deluxe Edition of the 1977 U.S. platinum album, Love Gun, on 2CD and digital formats.

The band’s sixth studio recording, Love Gun was the first album to feature lead vocal performances from all four original band members, and the last studio album with the original KISS line-up. Love Gun has since gone on to sell more than four million copies worldwide.

The 2CD / digital edition includes the complete original album re-mastered on the first disc, featuring such classics as the title track ‘Plaster Caster’, the song inspired by Cynthia Plaster Caster, the groupie famous for taking casts of rock star genitalia; ‘Shock Me’, written about Ace Frehley suffering an electric shock during a concert in Lakeland, Florida; ‘Christine Sixteen’, and ‘Then She Kissed Me’, the band’s cheeky, gender-switching cover of the Crystals’ 1963 hit penned by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector.

The second disc is made up of rare, previously unreleased Love Gun demos of ‘Plaster Caster’, ‘Then She Kissed Me’, ‘Tomorrow and Tonight’ and ‘Much Too Soon’. Also, the first four lines of the demo ‘I Know Who You Are’ eventually evolved and became the song ‘Living In Sin’. A glimpse into Paul Stanley’s creative process is demonstrated in ‘Love Gun (Teaching Demo)’ with Stanley talking through the various chords of the song after writing the song with the next version ‘ ‘Love Guun (Demo)’ ‘ being the complete demo performance. ‘Reputation’, the only previously released demo, was originally included on this year’s KISS 40 compilation.

Also included is a 1977 interview with Gene Simmons, as well as three never-before-available live tracks from the KISS show at the Capitol Centre, Landover in Maryland U.S.A. from December 20, 1977 ‘ ‘Love Gun’, ‘Christine Sixteen’ and ‘Shock Me’. The package also includes liner notes written by Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, currently on tour with KISS.

CD ONE – Original Album:
1. I Stole Your Love
2. Christine Sixteen
3. Got Love For Sale
4. Shock Me
5. Tomorrow And Tonight
6. Love Gun
7. Hooligan
8. Almost Human
9. Plaster Caster
10. Then She Kissed Me

CD TWO – Demos, Interview & Live:
1. Much Too Soon (Demo)*
2. Plaster Caster (Demo)*
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NJ KISS Expo 2014 Photo Gallery

Check out the photo gallery from last Saturday’s incredible New Jersey KISS Expo! KISS Tribute band KISS Nation rocked the house with an unprecedented FOUR sets throughout the day! DJ Lick it Up took requests and kept things going throughout the day. The incredibly famous photographer Lynn Goldsmith shot photos of KISS fans for her upcoming KISS book. Special guests Lydia Criss, Tod Howarth, John Regan and Ken Kelly were gracious and accommodating to everyone. Fans from all over the world attended and there was more KISS merchandise in one place than anywhere else on the Earth!

Click HERE to see the photo gallery

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KISS help raise more than 1 million for Oregon Military Museum

Nick DeRiso | Ultimate Classic Rock

David Greenwald

David Greenwald

There was a personal connection when Kiss played a rare acoustic and no-makeup concert on Monday in support of a military museum in Oregon. And it went beyond wanting to honor those who’ve served. The facility is to be named after World War II veteran James B. Thayer, father of Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer.

Kiss’ concert, held in Lake Oswego, helped raise more than $1 million, according to The Oregonian. Among the items auctioned off was a guitar that Paul Stanley had used since 1989, which fetched $20,000. Tickets were $2,500 per person.

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley in Albuquerque for Rock & Brews event

Nikki Ibarra | KOB 4 

Albuquerque just got a brand new restaurant. Some would call it an experience – fun atmosphere, good foods and, of course, good music.

What do you expect when two of Rock & Brews founders are Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS?

KOB Eyewitness News 4 spent the morning with the stars, talking all about their new digs on Montgomery, especially about how hands-on they were with the project.

“We’re going to show you how to make a great pizza,” said Paul Stanley. Yes, Paul Stanley made a pizza for KOB. He considers himself a foodie, and had a major role in designing the menu, which has lots of green chile foods. “You can never use too much of these because these are Hatch green chiles,” added Stanley.

“It is actually a profound pleasure and honor to be in Albuquerque,” said Gene Simmons, who said the Duke City was always on their list.

“It’s always been a place, you know, people stop in if they don’t live here and love the community, because it’s a million [people] so it’s just big enough to be a city. Also, small enough to care about your neighbor,” added Simmons.

That’s why they’ve made it a focus to support local products – especially produce. They’ve even hired more than 130 New Mexicans. “We want to be part of the neighborhood. We want to support,” said Stanley.

One on One with Mitch Lafon podcast, episode 49 – Ace Frehley

Mitch Lafon

Legendary (former) KISS guitarist ACE FREHLEY and Queensrÿche guitarist, Michael Wilton, join Mitch on Episode 49 of One On One with Mitch Lafon. This episode was co-hosted by Creatures Of The Net Podcast host Cassius Morris.

In our first interview, iconic guitarist ACE FREHLEY talks to Mitch about his upcoming tour and new album, SPACE INVADER. The pair also discuss Richie Scarlet re-joining him on his upcoming tour, the recording of KISS’ Psycho Circus album, whether of not The Joker was an appropriate song to cover, his upcoming second book, his upcoming covers album, who was/is the best KISS drummer, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, was the Frehley’s Comet CD Second Sighting really a Tod Howarth solo album, the probability of reforming with Four By Fate’s John Regan and Tod Howarth and much more.

In this episode’s second interview Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton talks about the band’s rights in regards to performing the Operation: Mindcrime album, his SOULBENDER band and upcoming Soulbender II album, the release of a live Queensrÿche album with their new vocalist, writing for the next album and more.

KISS’ Gene Simmons to Launch ‘Coliseum’ Competition Series

The Hollywood Reporter | Etan Vlessing

KISS star Gene Simmons is headed to MIPCOM to launch his new reality format show Coliseum.

Created by Simmons and Chris Philip, CEO of Sierra/Engine Television, Coliseumchallenges contestants to form rock bands with a winning musical voice and performance. The bankable reality star will motivate evolving acts before they perform in front of an audience.

Simmons, as the Rock Caesar, will ultimately decide with a thumb up or down who goes forward in the competition. “Coliseum is a no-holds-barred competition show between musical gladiators in the arena fighting to survive, fighting to be the champion, fighting to curry the favor of Rock Caesar,” said Simmons in a statement.

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Ace Frehley: ‘Thayer just wants to be me’

Ultimate Guitar

Ace Frehley has claimed that Tommy Thayer, who replaced him in KISS, always wanted to be him.

And original “Spaceman” – who recently insisted he could “blow Thayer off the stage” – believes Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons just wanted a business deal with someone who’d play his role.

Frehley tells the Village Voice (via Classic Rock): “I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a Kiss cover band. He didn’t do anything – he was hired by Paul and Gene to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos – a business deal. If he wouldn’t have done it, they would have hired somebody else.

“What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup, like they did with Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That’s what the fans are upset about.”

Asked about Thayer launching a limited-edition Spaceman guitar, Frehley responds: “I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?”

In a separate interview, he describes his replacement as “a guy up there copying me.” He tells Eddie Trunk: “What bothers me most is that new fans don’t know it. A lot of people think he’s the original guy that created the makeup, that wrote great songs and wrote all those solos that he’s performing, but he’s not. The real hardcore fans know. But the new fans, a lot of them don’t know.”

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Magic Mountain’s iconic roller coaster from KISS Meets the Phantom burns….Devereaux!

My Fox LA

Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

It was just a couple of weeks ago, August 17th, that the wheels stopped turning on one of Southern California’s most iconic roller coasters to make way for a new wood and steel version of the famous Colossus.

It was 1:30pm … firefighters got the call… about 30 were sent out including teams from Hazmat and Urban Search and Rescue. Six Flags officials say workers from AA construction company hired by Magic Mountain were working on disassembling the ride. There was flame, a lot of smoke and, although park engineers didn’t think it was the case, firefighters were very concerned about the possibility of collapse. The center of the fire was on what’s called a lift-hill. So, they decided not to put firefighters up there until after they knew it was safe. They also fought the blaze defensively aiming streams of water to each side of the fire to keep flames from spreading while trying to knock it down.

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SLASH: Why PAUL STANLEY Told Me To Go Fuck Myself


Slash has commented on a story in Paul Stanley‘s autobiography in which the KISS frontman claimed that he had to teach the former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist a basic lesson in rock and roll diplomacy more than 25 years ago.

In “Face The Music: A Life Exposed”Stanley recalled the time he was asked to meet with the members of GUNS N’ ROSES, who were about to start work on their now-classic debut album, “Appetite For Destruction” album. Although Stanley claims he wasn’t all that impressed at first, describing guitarist Izzy Stradlin as “unconscious, with drool coming out of the side of his mouth,” and Slash as “half-comatose,” the KISS guitarist-vocalist was nice enough to show Slash how to tune his guitar in the five-string open-G method preferred by Keith Richards, and offered to put the GN’R axeman in touch with people who could get him free guitars. Paul then went to go see GUNS N’ ROSES play two small Los Angeles-area club shows, which he described as “stupendous.” According to Ultimate Classic Rock, it was an incident at the second of those concerts that created the initial rift between Slash and Stanley. “They weren’t happy with the guy mixing their sound,” Stanley wrote in his book. “And Slash asked me out of the blue to help out. Decades later, Slash‘s recollections of the night would be faulty at best. He liked to pretend I had dared to meddle with their sound.”

Stanley continued: “Immediately after my interactions with the band, I started to hear lots of stories Slash was saying behind my back — he called me gay, made fun of my clothes, all sorts of things designed to give him some sort of rock credibility at my expense. This was years before his top hat, sunglasses and dangling cigarette became a cartoon costume that he would continue to milk with the best of us for decades.”

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Dee Snider to Gene Simmons: ‘Rock Is Alive and Well, Business Model Is Dead’

Ultimate Guitar

“While I have nothing but respect for Gene, he couldn’t be further off the mark. Yes, the rock ‘n’ roll ‘business model’ that helped KISS (and my band for that matter) achieve fame and fortune is most certainly long dead and buried, but rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well and thriving on social media, in the streets, and in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine and heartfelt than ever because they are in it for one reason: the love of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Spend some time seeing and listening to these incredible young bands and their rabid fans and you will know that rock ‘n’ roll couldn’t be more alive. Yes, it’s not the same as it was for the first 50 years of rock’s existence, but the fire definitely still burns.”

Explaining what actually killed rock in his opinion, Snider added, “And it wasn’t some 15 year old kid in Saint Paul, Minnesota (to paraphrase Mr. Simmons) who killed the rock ‘n’ roll goose that laid the platinum egg… it was greedy, big city, record company moguls who made their own velvet noose to hang themselves with. It was they who took advantage of the consumer (and the artist for that matter) and drove them to use an alternative source of music presented to them.

“For example, take the bill of goods the record industry sold the mainstream public when introducing the CD format. ‘We have to charge more for it, because it’s a new technology and there’s a cost to setting up the infrastructure to produce them.’ The consumer believed them – it made sense – so they paid a $18.98 list price for a product they had been paying $7.99 list for previously. After all ‘you can’t break a CD with a hammer!’ (Remember that?)

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Ace Frehley Gives Us a Ride Around His Old Bronx Stomping Grounds

Katherine Turman | Village Voice


Rob Menzer

Two Naked Cowboys, one Spanish-speaking SpongeBob, a headless Hello Kitty, and an ersatz version of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” all vie for attention on a teeming, muggy, late-summer Times Square afternoon. Unbeknownst to the masses, though, the coolest cartoon character of all is dining on salmon sushi on the second floor of nearby Bluefin restaurant. Ace Frehley, Kiss’s onetime Spaceman, is still spacey after all these years: to wit, his just-released solo record, entitled Space Invader. It’s the 63-year-old guitar icon’s fifth solo outing since his self-titled effort back in 1978.

Frehley, in sunglasses and a striped button-down shirt, flashes back to that moment before the coordinated September 18, 1978, release of all four Kiss solo efforts. “We all had a big meeting sitting around the table prior to going our separate ways for those records, and the others were a little cynical to me, kind of hinting, ‘Hey, if you need any help, we’re here if you need us.’ As if I did need help, you know?” remembers Frehley with a slight hint of aggro. “It kind of just put fuel on the fire for me to work twice as hard on my solo record. We all know what happened.”

What happened was Frehley’s nine-song LP was both the critics’ favorite and best-selling of the solo discs (it went Platinum), thanks in part to a song that would become his hallmark, the Russ Ballard (Argent)-penned stomp-along anthem “New York Groove.” On August 12, some 37 years after he first recorded it, Frehley sat in with the Roots to play the song on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the band laughingly following Frehley’s orders — “I think it’s just a cunt-hair faster,” he instructed between commercial breaks in his trademark nasal Noo Yawk drawl, as the tuba blatted out the tune’s signature riff.

Three or four times during the course of recording Space Invader, which took 10 months, Frehley “sat down and threw on my old ’78 solo album. I tried to take elements from that record and incorporate into this new record, because fans are always psyched that it’s their favorite Ace record.”

See also: Photos: Ace Frehley’s Space Invader Listening Party

One of those fans is Tom Morello, the revolutionary Rage Against the Machine guitarist who inducted Kiss into the Hall of Fame in 2014 with an elegant, on-the-money speech and was the band’s biggest champion in the behind-closed-doors nominating committee meetings. “I don’t think anyone, even the members of Kiss, would argue that Ace’s ['78 solo album] was the best one. It was fantastic,” Morello says. “His core sensibility was that he just wanted to rock, he had no artistic pretense, there was no aiming for hits, and it was just a great rock ‘n’ roll dude making a rock record.”

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Gene Simmons Incorrectly Observed That Rock Is Finally Dead

David Rolland | New Times

genesimmons1Kiss’ bassist, frontman, and legendary tongue, Gene Simmons, made headlines last week for saying these four very wrong words in an interview he did with his son for Esquiremagazine: “Rock is finally dead.”

You should always be hesitant to expect too many profound thoughts from athletes, entertainers, or straight men who wear makeup. But anyone would be curious why a guy who cowrote “I wanna rock and roll all night” would now be quoted as saying, “The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered.”

Could the reason Gene Simmons thinks rock is dead be because nothing being produced right now interests him? Could it be that he thinks audiences have moved on to other forms of entertainment? Maybe it was an observation on how guitars have become less and less noticeable in modern music. Or maybe he thinks no rock stars out there are pushing the envelope.

Those might be valid reasons for his comment, but in reading the interview, nowhere in there does Simmons say there’s a lack of quality. He even shows good taste in raving about psych Aussie rockers Tame Impala. Rather, Simmons’ big thesis is that it’s not lucrative for kids to focus on a career in rock anymore.

He then goes on an Ayn Rand-inspired rant about how file sharing and illegal downloading of music has killed the dream of a 15-year-old kid who hopes to become rich by playing music that provokes an immediate reaction of: Fuck that hypothetical kid. Let him become a hedge-fund manager or design an app if he wants to be rich. If profit is his goal, he’s going to make some crap music.

The best rock ‘n’ roll has always been inspired by a desire to get laid, look cool, or, at the very least, start a revolution. Look at your favorite bands and you can see the quality of their music spiral downward the longer they have been gifted with wealth; think Elvis or Axl.

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Bad news headbangers: Gene Simmons declares ‘rock and roll is dead’ thanks to music piracy


Never one to shy away from controversy, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has made possibly one of his boldest statements yet, hailing the demise of rock.
Cindy Ord

Cindy Ord

‘The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered,’ he declares.

‘It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible,’ he adds during an interview with Esquire.

But everyone loves a guitarist in a band, right?

‘You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I’m not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them.’

Harsh man, harsh.

So what was the ultimate cause of death for rock and roll?

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