This feature (C) 1997-2000 Ron Albanese / KISS ASYLUM
Every couple of months Ron Albanese visits a point in Kisstory to either review, expose, justify, or denounce for the fun of it, and to discuss things with other fans around the world.
First off, welcome to what is to be a monthly column here on Kiss Asylum! You may remember me from the Peter Criss Kiss solo album review that appeared around the holidays. Thanks to those who took the time to provide the positive feedback, which undoubtedly helped convince Chris to give me some space to rant and rave on a regular basis.
What will I cover? Anything and everything Kiss related. From the obvious (albums, costumes, members) to the obscure (Chelsea, the European Animalize stage, the 1989 version of "Partners In Crime", etc.). My compositions are here to entertain, spur thought, and help to further my personal crusade to change some commonly held misconceptions about Kiss (including ones held by fans), like the one you will read about in a moment. Ideas are always welcome, by the way.
This concept is not anything new, or much of a stretch for me. As an obsessed Kiss fan I have been doing this sort of thing for years, albeit on a smaller level. It happens all the time. I will be at work, or at home, and suddenly various thoughts will start running through my head. How many times was "Flamin'Youth"played live? Why were there three versions of the Asylum staging, and which do I prefer? Who the hell is Bob Halligan?* I usually end up calling other fans to discuss these and other random topics, like Gene's movie career, the Paul Lynde special, Peter's makeup, so on and so forth. And yet they do not hang up! I suspect I am not alone! These conversations are always fun and informative. You know how it is being a Kiss fan. We are not casual listeners, like Aerosmith fans, or whatever. We like to learn about everything about our group, because there is so much to know! I now want to prove my theory on an international level.
Where did all this zealousness begin? From a quite innocent place, actually. Mommy! In 1976 my mother took part in the '70's equivalent of getting ten compact discs for a penny- about a million 8-tracks for a dollar. Included in the bounty of poor-sounding magnetic tapes mailed to the house was Rock and Roll Over. Unlike most people my age at the time (I was six) my first attraction to the band was the music. I loved the songs. Once I saw a photo of the group (I purchased my first issue of 16 magazine about a year later- and stopped when they started featuring The Dukes of Hazard and Scott Baio more than the "masked marvels") I immediately began to learn just how special Kiss was. They were not just a band. I had found my superheroes. I drew the band's logo all over my schoolbooks, and defended them at the playground. In my teenage years Kiss became a source of inspiration and guidance for me. Songs like "Shout It Out Loud" and "Trial by Fire" helped me cope in learning to be myself, the best self I could ever be. Their presence in my life has never diminished; when I purchased the ill-fated Kissnation comic recently, and read the "Kiss Manifesto", I was moved. Right there in print (unfortunately in somewhat poor grammar) were many of the reasons why I have always loved this band. Corny but true! I have stood by the Kiss throughout every permutation, welcoming changes in musical style, image, and members with open arms. I always will.
Ron Albanese authoring Easy Catman, They are Serious: The Complete Guide to Kiss Meets the Phantom
"In the (unintended) spirit of the film it will be a campy, yet comprehensive compendium covering all aspects of its history, from rough draft to final cut," reveals Albanese. Included will be numerous interviews with Kiss staff members, scriptwriters and actors. Easy Catman, They are Serious: The Complete Guide to Kiss Meets the Phantom will also contain rare and never-before seen photos and sections on sets, music, memorabilia, and theatrical releases of the film. The movie's impact on Kiss' career will also get an in-depth treatment. [More...]
Copyrighted (c) 1997-2001 KISS ASYLUM, all rights reserved.
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