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Let's talk KISS bio books

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by andruca, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Last year my eldest son (then 3 y/o, about to turn 5 in a few months) discovered Kiss and became a devoted fan. We'll even be lucky enough to watch them live next july (don't tell my kid, but I grabbed some tickets yesterday, you never know if the next tour will hit close to us -or if there'll ever be one, you never know with senior bands-). All this in turn seriously revamped my Kiss fandom. This is the 3rd peak in my love for Kiss. The first one was of course when I discovered them around 9 y/o, amazed at the whole phanomenon (around the beginning of the no makeup era). Then in the Unplugged/Psycho Circus era I got caught again, not even remotely because of the reunion (Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick was for me a much superior tandem than Ace & Peter), but because I really began understanding the magic around their straight, concise and round rock&roll songmaking, which Kiss (specially Paul Stanley) are really good at. And my current Kiss love re-boost, besides my kid's emotion, has to do with having come to accept their development (more notably Paul Stanley taking over creatively). I got to really enjoy both Sonic Boom and Monster. While not being as hook flooded as their top albums, there's lots of value in them, some really emotive and interesting highlights and overall an ambient of careful song crafting.

    As a result of all this I've also spent some time reading all 4 classic KISS members' bios, in this order...

    Face the music (Paul Stanley, 2014)
    No regrets (Ace Frehley, 2011)
    Makeup to breakup (Peter Criss, 2012)
    Kiss and makeup (Gene Simmons, 2001)

    In general terms I think each of these 4 guys describe the others accurately. I mean, if you read Paul Stanley describing Gene Simmons as an opportunist narcissistic jerk, then you read Gene's book and you definitely can tell he is, to delusional self-marketing extremes sometimes (as delusional as Peter Criss considering himself as being on the "creative" side of the band). When Ace tells us Paul is a control freak, well, you can tell if you've read Paul's book before. So, as much as I'm personally closer to Paul Stanley's mindset (even tho' my real life doesn't afford me to be as controlling of others nor as judgemental) I still can see quite some b/s both sides of the trench.

    I think not enough credit is given to Tommy Thayer in Paul's and Gene's books (wouldn't have expected any on Ace's or Peter's of course). I know many consider him a wannabe, I find that totally unfair. This guy is one of the most loyal to the Kiss cause there ever were. He took massive responsibility in big money makers for the band (conventions, video productions, coached Ace and Peter for the reunion, played most guitars on Psycho Circus -uncredited-) and I'm also sure he's been standing massive amounts of b/s from all past and present members too as a tour manager/assistant/executive producer (for quite a sallary, I know). I do think he's a way more competent guitar player than Ace and tend to agree on the notion that the current Kiss lineup is the best sounding (and singing too) there ever was, sorry to all "classic" lineup militants. Not to demerit Bruce Kulick, amazing guitarist and a lovely person too as per everybody's sayings, or Eric Carr, an entity on his own.

    There's a huge amount of facts and anecdotes throughout all 4 books, I had great fun reading them. Have you read any? Share your impressions Kiss fans.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  2. dwm74


    Nov 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have not yet read any of the books, but after reading your post I may put them on my reading list. I was a huge KISS fan back in the late 70's into the 80's, but grew apart from them as I 'matured' as a musician and a person. Still, I maintain a loyalty of sorts, as they were my first hard rock band, and introduced me to the genre. Hearing the occasional song brings back memories of those carefree days of my youth.
    andruca likes this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I've read two of those, and Peter & Stanley both say the same things about Ace & Gene.
    I'd never known about Stanley's ear before reading his book.

    Neither of them wrote much about Bruce, which I'd consider their best guitar player.
    andruca likes this.
  4. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  5. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    I own and have read all of them. I didn't care for Paul's to be honest. It was like reading someones diary. The thoughts were pretty disjointed and the ideas of who he was ran counter to what he showed and what we, as fans, have heard about him from his peers. I have a hard time associating him with a hard core bad ass that would fight at the drop of a hat. I can't connect those dots to the guy who has always been so gracious to fans who approach him and his somewhat androgynous and semi effeminate stage image. Yet, that is who he said he was. I dunno, for all of Genes bluster his seemed the most genuine of the 4 ( although Aces was right there too ) and the most believable. From a purely readers enjoyment aspect if was far easier to read as well.
    andruca likes this.
  6. Despite Gene's BS, I can't help but love Kiss.
    andruca likes this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 11, 2021

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