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

CNET

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

Blabbermouth

“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

Encore:

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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Paul Stanley Talks Stage Presence, Photography, and Reconnecting with Ace Frehley

Jim Louvau | New Times

kiss-2If you want the best rock ‘n’ roll concert in Arizona this summer, you’ll have to travel south. Rock legends Kiss kick off their ‘Freedom To Rock” tour at AVA Amphitheater in Tucson on the same day we celebrate America’s independence. Nothing says Fourth of July like a Kiss, right? Lame puns aside, the band has been very supportive of Wounded Warrior Project over the years, and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the charity, which is surely in the spirit of the holiday. We recently caught up with guitarist Paul Stanley and discussed tour preparation, giving the photographers what they want, reconnecting with original lead guitarist Ace Frehley, and one of the best YouTube videos to ever exist.

New Times: You’re starting your summer tour in Tucson on the Fourth of July; how do you prepare for a tour these days?
Paul Stanley: The same way I prepare for every week. You go and make sure you’re in the best shape you can be. Once you suit up, you’ve got a lot more on the line. I not only have to be great, but I have to exceed people’s memories of what Kiss is and what they remember. For me, it’s not about competing against other bands; it’s about competing with the legacy and the history of this band. To do that is something that is a part of my DNA. I’m not a fanatic, but I’m certainly working out every week regardless of a tour. But maybe I put the pedal down a little harder before a tour starts.

Do you guys have actual rehearsals at this point in your career, or or do you know the material pretty well by now?
Despite knowing the material, we would no more go out onstage without rehearsal than somebody would go into the ring to fight the fight of their life without training in the gym. You don’t do that; it’s not going to give the best results and for us. We have so much on the line. We have this history that people are so connected to, and I think it’s always been our obligation and commitment to not only live up to what people will remember but to exceed it. That’s a pretty big challenge. It’s not to be taken lightly; it’s always a matter of training and working with the band to make sure that we’re at our best.

You’ve been in Kiss for 40 years and you’ve been playing these songs forever; how do you keep it exciting not only for yourself but also for the fans?
Life is exciting, and I hope that’s contagious. I’m having a ball, and every time I hit the stage it’s a victory lap. At this point, we’ve made our point and we won. For me, those songs are classics. For me, we’ve created something iconic, and I’m not only in the band but I’m a fan of the band, so for me to see the band and hear us playing and to see the fervor of the audience — how could I not be excited? It’s an amazing position to be in, and one I don’t take lightly, and one that I celebrate every time I hit the stage. Continue reading

Petition to induct original KISS manager Bill Aucoin to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame

Roman Fernandez | i petitions

OFFICIAL Petition to induct KISS, Billy Idol, and Billy Squier Manager into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Vd8EIWLgSYJw8Yfw0iRx_Bill+Aucoin+Anniversary+and+Petition+2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sign the petition at: ipetitions.com/petition/billaucoinhalloffame

June 28th marks the 6th anniversary of the passing of Bill Aucoin, a pioneer in the pantheon of music management. Not only does Mr. Aucoin have the distinctive notoriety of grooming and introducing not one, but three legendary, multi-million selling rock and roll acts to the world – KISS, Billy Idol, and Billy Squier, but he is also credited for erecting one of the first music merchandising empires, an empire that has reigned from the 1970’s to the present day. By trademarking the iconic faces of the original four members of KISS, Aucoin shifted the rock paradigm from a spectator sport, to a collectible zeitgeist that propelled a New York jean band into a global brand with an estimated worth in the billions of dollars.

KISS laid the groundwork for hundreds of rock acts who cite the group as an influence or inspiration of what a rock act should be. The very existence and ongoing popularity of the group 40 years after its inception is a testament to Bill’s astute foresight. A force so unshakeable, he would infamously bet his American Express card to finance the live tour of an act that most in the industry at the time were trying to ignore. In the process, his determination served to engineer one of the most dynamic live shows of the era by enhancing the concert experience in ways that would go on to transcend the rock genre.

If you grew up in the 1980’s, it’s almost impossible to separate this era from the global phenomenon and the anti-hero viscosity that arose from the ashes of the punk-rock movement, Billy Idol. Once again, dismissed by the industry as an outcast, and toxic to his own record label, Aucoin swam upstream and immortalized an unlikely spike-haired rebel. Bill’s keen instinct to pair the sneering, fist-twirler with a virtuoso guitar muse by the name of Steve Stevens proved to be a winning relationship that has defied the test of time, spawned millions of record sales, and continues to captivate audiences.

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Paul Stanley Doesn’t Think Bruce Springsteen Ripped Off Kiss’ ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You’

Dave Lifton | Ultimate Classic Rock

Paul Stanley has given his thoughts in the “Stairway to Heaven” trial that dominated headlines over the past two weeks. To make his point, he referenced a similarity between one of Kiss‘ highest-charting singles and a Bruce Springsteen song.

Speaking to Russ Rollins of RealRadio 104.1 in Orlando, Fla., (embedded above), Stanley said, “A lot of times it’s really unfair, because there are a certain amount of notes and they only get jumbled so many different ways. There’s a Springsteen song that sounds like… There’s a part of the song that sounds like ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You,’ so I’m sure he wasn’t sitting around listening to that. But it finds its way into everybody’s music. You can’t come down on everybody for their creativity.”

Stanley is talking about “Outlaw Pete,” the opening track from Springsteen’s 2009 album Working on a Dream. But apart from a few melody lines and a running time of approximately eight minutes, the two songs don’t have much in common. “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” is a disco tune about wanting sex while “Outlaw Pete” is a Western epic about the life of a boy who “at six months old [had] done three months in jail.” Springsteen and illustrator Frank Caruso turned the song into a picture book in 2014.

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KISS guitarist Gene Simmons takes wife Shannon Tweed and their foster son Zinnah out for lunch in Beverly Hills

Daily Mail

3569FB6800000578-3647679-Having_a_great_day_The_group_enjoyed_a_lunch_at_The_Cheesecake_F-m-10_1466219942246Gene Simmons and his wife Shannon Tweed brought foster son Zinnah Sambolah from Liberia to the US to undergo leg surgery recently.

All seemed well post-operation as the Kiss guitarist, 66, treated his wife, 59, and the boy to lunch and then shopping in Beverly Hills.

The group enjoyed a bite at The Cheesecake Factory before hitting the chic shops during their daytime outing.

Gene and Shannon have been sponsoring children from Africa for years through the charity, Child Fund.

The selfless rocker told kshe95.com that Zinnah ‘comes from a village of 200 people,’ adding that he ‘is staying with us for the whole month while he gets his operations to get his legs in shape.’

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Gene Simmons Flies Liberian Boy To Los Angeles For Surgery

Contact Music

wenn22591567_1_15133_12-cmThe boy, named Zinnah, is scheduled to undergo surgery on his legs to correct an unspecified condition that will help him walk, according to reports, and the Kiss star is hoping his actions will encourage more people to help those suffering around the world.

He tells KSHE, “Look, we can all do more, especially if it doesn’t affect our lifestyles. So if you’re sitting at home and you got a few extra bucks in your pocket, you know what to do. You know how to make God smile. Come on.”

Simmons admits he felt compelled to help Zinnah because “children are our future”, adding, “The next great mind or humanitarian could come from Africa.”

The rocker’s links to Zinna came through the charity Child Fund, which he supports.

“Because children are our responsibility, I urge you to do something,” he says. “Pick up the phone and call Child Fund, or another charity organisation and find out what you can do. You will make all the difference to a child far, far away, whose dreams are every bit as important as your child’s dreams.”

Zinnah’s travel and surgery are being covered by Mending Kids, the charity co-founded by Gene’s Kiss bandmate Paul Stanley.