News - 2009 : September

Sep 25 2009
By Dan Kane
GateHouse News Service

The son of a popular Cleveland bandleader, Kiss drummer Eric Singer grew up in the '70s listening to WMMS and jamming on drums with his neighborhood rocker pals.

He found his career path early.

In 1984, Singer went on tour with hard-rock goddess Lita Ford, and a year later joined Black Sabbath. In 1989, he played drums on Kiss frontman Paul Stanley's solo tour, which led to an ongoing gig with Kiss. Singer simultaneously has been Alice Cooper's drummer since 2000, and has played on three Cooper albums to date.

Singer has played with Kiss steadily since 2004, appears on the bandís forthcoming album, "Sonic Boom," and is on tour with the band.

Singer, 51, was on his way to Detroit for tour rehearsals when he phoned to chat Tuesday afternoon.

Q. Tell me about the preshow ritual of putting on your Kiss makeup.

A. It's like the calm before the storm, if you will. The four of us get together and it's like a war room where we're preparing for battle. We're sitting there for a couple of hours and there's always great music. Gene will play deejay a lot of time. He likes to pull out old crazy blues stuff and doo-wop. It's very eclectic.
Sep 25 2009
By Gary Graff, Journal Reigster News Service

Kiss' Paul Stanley likes to note that "I've only written one song about a city."

And that would be "Detroit Rock City."

The song, which kicks off Kiss' triple-platinum 1976 album "Destroyer," is an acknowledgment of a mutual love affair between the theatrical hard rockers and Detroit. It goes back to the early days of the group's career and was cemented on May 16, 1975, when the group recorded most of its breakthrough "Kiss Alive!" album at Cobo Arena. Released four months later, it became Kiss' first gold album, launched the hit "Rock and Roll All Nite" and turned Kiss into a worldwide phenomenon.

That will be very much on the band members' minds this weekend, when Kiss returns to Cobo to open the latest leg of its "Kiss Alive 35" tour, celebrating the 35th anniversary of its first album.

"Something happened in Detroit," said bassist Gene Simmons, 60, who was born Chaim Witz in Israel and formed Kiss with Stanley in 1972 after the two played together in the New York group Wicked Lester.

The group has gone on to sell 80 million albums worldwide and have 24 gold or better in the United States. It's become "the juggernaut of all licensing and merchandising," according to Simmons, with more than 3,000 products bearing the group's distinctive logo and band members' likenesses, including, condoms and, yes, a Kiss Koffin. It's also been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But before that, the bassist said, "There was a connection there between the people (of Detroit) and what it was that Kiss did. We played the Michigan Palace (in 1974) and sold it out ... when most people were like, 'Who's this Kiss?' And then, in the days we were doing an average of about 2,000 to 3,000 tickets, we played Cobo Hall.

"And in response, Paul went off and wrote 'Detroit Rock City.' So, yes, something about Cobo, and Detroit, tugs at our hearts."

"It's a meat-and-potatoes town," Simmons explained, "and Kiss is a meat-and-potatoes band. We don't look like it; we like to dress up and we make a spectacle of ourselves ... but at the heart of it Kiss is meat and potatoes, and in that way, we have a lot more to do with Detroit than New York, even though we're from there, or Paris."

So there will be plenty of nostalgia when Kiss rolls into Cobo this weekend before the arena's date with a wrecking ball as part of the convention center expansion. But the group is looking ahead, too. "Sonic Boom," Kiss' first new album in 11 years, comes out Oct. 6; it was produced by Stanley and is the first to feature the current lineup with drummer Eric Singer, on his third tour of duty in the band, and guitarist Tommy Thayer, who joined in 2002. Kiss plans to shoot a video for the first single, "Modern Day Delilah," in Detroit, as well as footage that will be used for exclusives and, according to Simmons, an eventual DVD.

The film crew from A&E's "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" is in town filming for future episodes, and a network TV program also is planning to break into tonight's show live.
Sep 25 2009


More than 30 years after their seminal live album "Alive!" was recorded in part during a show at Cobo Arena in Detroit, the facepainting rockers are back with a new CD and North American tour, which kicks off Friday -- in Detroit Rock City, of course.

"I expect the reception of homecoming heroes, but the truth is, it's really us sharing ... an intimate moment with a city and the people who were pivotal in helping to make Kiss what it is," lead singer Paul Stanley said of the show and another on Saturday -- both at Cobo.

Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss put out a few studio albums in the early 1970s without a great deal of success.

It wasn't until 1975's "Alive!" hit record-store shelves that Kiss blew up.

Stalwarts Stanley and Simmons are joined these days by Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums.

Stanley said the band will play the songs from "Alive!" as well as a few choice favorites during the Detroit gigs.

"At a rock show, fans always come to hear what they know," he said. "Had I ever gone to see Led Zeppelin and they played 'Whole Lotta Love' as a reggae tune, I would have been outraged."

Stanley said he also expects Kiss to perform "Modern Day Delilah," off of "Sonic Boom," the band's first studio album in 11 years.

The record, which Stanley produced and says is "better than a lot that we've done and right up there with the best," will be released only at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores on Oct. 6. It's part of a three-disc package that also includes re-recorded versions of Kiss hits as well as a concert DVD that was recorded in Argentina during a show earlier this year.

The North American tour takes the band to Cleveland and London, Ontario, early next week and eventually to cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans and Los Angeles and runs through Dec. 6 in Dallas.

Around that same time, Kiss will find out if it's earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It was announced Wednesday that Kiss is one of 12 acts nominated for the 2010 class. Five will make it in.

Before any of that is decided, though, Kiss is returning to its home away from home -- to a city known for years as Detroit, Motown or the Motor City.

Kiss gave it a fourth name.

"I've written a lot of songs, but I've only written one `Detroit Rock City,"' Stanley said.
Sep 25 2009
Lucky fans attended a private KISS warm up show at COBO Arena on Thursday. The band previewed their awesome new stage while filming footage for their "Modern Day Delilah" video. KISS performed "Rock And Roll All Nite", "Modern Day Delilah", "Detroit Rock City", "Got To Choose" and "Shout It Loud."
Sep 25 2009
Here's Paul being filmed for the "Modern Day Delilah" video Thursday evening at COBO Arena.
Sep 25 2009
Just in time for the band's momentous return to Cobo Arena, KISS collectibles are making their way to area stores. We were pretty impressed by the Mr. Potato Head dolls immortalizing band members.

There are 4 dolls, one of which has a large tongue and is - of course - instantly recognizable as Gene Simmons.

Metro Detroit Walmart stores are selling the new KISS Mr. Potato Heads in addition to makeup kits, wigs, CDs, and special M&M candies.

According to Walmart, stores here will have the items arranged in special displays within their electronics and Halloween sections.
Sep 25 2009
Cobo Arena a scene of rock history


It's going to get sentimental in Cobo Arena this weekend.

Really loud and sentimental.

With its Friday-Saturday stand at the old Detroit arena, the rock band Kiss will return to the scene of its most famous concerts: the 1975 shows recorded and photographed for the multiplatinum album "Alive!"

Kiss booked the new dates as a farewell to the vaunted venue, which will be converted into exhibit space as part of Cobo Center's nearly $300-million expansion authorized by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in July.

"We figured, before they take the rock 'n' roll soul out of the building, how about we go in there one more time and shake it up?" says guitarist Paul Stanley.

For more than 20,000 fans this weekend, it will be a chance to revisit a spot that has spawned countless rock 'n' roll memories and boxes full of cherished ticket stubs.

Still, for local music fans -- many of whom grew up with wild Cobo nights in the '70s and '80s -- this weekend is a heck of a way to start saying good-bye.
Sep 24 2009
The hottest band in the world returns with a vengeance!

Let's cut straight to the chase; KISS have shoehorned everything you love about them into SONIC BOOM. Gene Simmons lets out a massive "Woah Yeah!" on the intro to "Hot and Cold", Paul Stanley whoops like a maniac throughout and, sad as it is to say, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are not missed one bit. Tommy Thayer nails the lazy style that Ace brought to the fold perfectly and Eric Singer can actually drum.

There's not a ballad in sight, no song has a one-word title that's a girl's name and every song sounds like it should have more explosions than a bad day in the middle east. "Never Enough" sees Paul Stanley at his flamboyant best. A stonewall KISS classic from the off, it's a neaon bomb of a track that's more uplifting than a truck full of happy pills. "Danger Us" nails the KISS strut and swagger perfectly and, unlike most of the band's albums in the last 30 years, SONIC BOOM weighs heavier on the killer than it does the filler.

SONIC BOOM is an album that was made to be blasted right after the work bell on a Friday afternoon. It's the aural equivalent of celebrating a last-minute screamer for your football team. If you weren't a fan before, SONIC BOOM won't change your mind. But if you're one of the disciples of KISStianity, it's time for you to get moist right now.

You wanted the best? You got the best. KISS have delivered.
Sep 24 2009

Kiss will launch its North American tour with a pair of Cobo Arena shows this weekend, the latest chapters in the long, strong relationship between the band and the town it dubbed Detroit Rock City.

They're the biggest Kiss shows in Detroit since the band opened its 1996 reunion tour at Tiger Stadium.

This time, founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are joined by guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer as Kiss revs up for the Oct. 6 release of "Sonic Boom."

It's the first Kiss album since 1998's "Psycho Circus," recorded as the reunited lineup was starting to disintegrate. (The band launched a farewell tour in 2000.)

Stanley, who produced "Sonic Boom," recently spoke with the Free Press from his home in Los Angeles.
Sep 24 2009
Adam Graham / Detroit News Pop Music Writer

Kiss' love affair with Detroit -- and the city's relationship with the legendary costumed rock outfit -- has lasted longer than many marriages.

The group recorded the bulk of its "Alive" album here, kicked off its reunion tour at Tiger Stadium in 1996 and gave the city one of its most enduring anthems and monikers, "Detroit Rock City."

Friday and Saturday, Kiss rekindles its relationship with the Motor City when it returns to Cobo Arena, the site of its landmark 1975 "Alive" LP.

"It was clear from the beginning that Detroit just got us," says frontman Paul Stanley, on the phone earlier this month. "They understood us instinctively and intuitively. Before we were headlining anywhere, we were headlining in Detroit."
Sep 24 2009
Only one more day until KISS makes a triumph return to the SOLD OUT COBO Arena!! Are you excited yet? Well... wait until you see the new stage! The band ran through a second day of rehearsals Wednesday at COBO. Thursday they shoot the "Modern Day Deliliah" video and then perform a dress rehearsal show at the Arena!

Sep 23 2009
KISS is a first-time nominee among a dozen finalists for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, according to a list released this morning by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Five of the 12 nominees will be chosen for induction from ballots cast by more than 500 music industry voters. An announcement of the inductees is expected in January, and the Hall's 25th Annual Induction Ceremony will take place March 15 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. Broadcast plans have not yet been announced.

This year's big story could turn out to be KISS, which has been eligible since 1999 but has famously been snubbed by the Hall's nominating committee and has made some harsh comments about the organization in the past. But the group's Paul Stanley recently noted that a Rock Hall induction would cause he and his longtime KISS partner Gene Simmons to consider which of the group's members they'd like to have enter with them.

"There's been a lot of people who've been a part of this, some longer than others..and some who deserve recognition more than others," Stanley explained. "Even the non-makeup years produced some platinum and double-platinum albums, and we had some very healthy sales in terms of albums and concerts through the '80s and '90s. So if we should ever be asked to accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it would be something to think about." The Foundation determines which members of a band are inducted into the Hall, and the ballot lists the four founding members of KISS, including Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Sep 23 2009
By Ben Sisario

Could Kiss finally make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? After being snubbed for years - the band has been eligible for the honor since 1999 - Kiss has finally been nominated, along with Genesis, the Stooges, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others, the organization has announced. Votes will be cast by a group of more than 500 musicians and industry professionals; of the 12 nominees, the five that get the most votes will be announced in January and inducted into the Hall of Fame at its 25th annual ceremony on March 15 at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. Acts become eligible 25 years after the release of their first record.
Sep 23 2009
Our Future KISS Roadie!

Here is a picture of our 5 month old daughter Alyssa A.K.A. "Future Kiss Roadie!" We can't wait to see you in Houston December 5th!

Candice B

Sep 22 2009
Austrian Telecom YESSS features a classic KISS hit in a television commercial... with kazoos!

Argentinian comedian Peter Capusotto interprets 19th-century composer Jaime de las Mercedes Cardenas in a recent television special.

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