News - 2011 : October

Oct 21 2011
Here's KISS performing "Comin' Home" from soundcheck on the KISS Kruise.

Video by Spiro Papadatos for KISSonline.

Oct 21 2011
The KISS Kruise gear is now available in KOL's KISS SHOP while supplies last!

Click here to buy KISS Kruise gear now.
Oct 20 2011
KISS and Fan Mosaics Team Up to Make KISStory with Fan-Inclusive Photo Mosaics

Fans Can Become One with Their Favorite Classic KISS Members in Limited-Edition Prints

Northfield, Ohio—October 20, 2011—The roar from the KISS Army is about to get louder.

KISS and Fan Mosaics, LLC, are working together to bring KISS fans closer to their heroes than ever before. All four original KISS members, plus the iconic rhinestone logo from the band’s first album, will be featured in limited-edition KISS photo mosaic prints composed entirely of fan-submitted images.

“We’re taking the amazing cover of the original 1974 KISS album and rebuilding it as five individual mosaics, using fans’ photos as the building blocks,” says Rob Hixenbaugh, Fan Mosaics’ director of fan & brand development. “This means the high-quality collector’s prints will feature the fans’ own photos as well as their favorite KISS image.”

Fans can upload their photo for inclusion in the officially licensed KISS mosaics at . Choices include the original Demon, Starchild, Spaceman, Catman, and the logo, as well as the Deluxe Edition Set of all five.

“Here’s a chance for our fans to create classic KISS memorabilia their way!” says KISS co-founder and front man Paul Stanley. “The KISS Fan Mosaics are the perfect way for the KISS Army to stand shoulder to shoulder and face to face with us.”

“These 24"x36" prints, each containing photos from only 2,500 fans and detailed with silver metallic ink, are an impressive and personal KISS item,” added Janet Dwoskin, executive director of licensing with Live Nation Merchandise. “They make great gifts or additions to any KISS collection.”

Northfield, Ohio-based Fan Mosaics, LLC, is the bridge that connects fans and stars. The company’s officially licensed celebrity photo mosaics—composed entirely of fan-submitted images—are a unique and lasting outlet for fans’ enthusiasm and loyalty. Entertainers in all industries choose Fan Mosaics to thank fans for their dedication, and charities partner with Fan Mosaics to raise funds for their worthwhile causes. Visit to view completed and current projects and to learn more about the Fan Mosaics creation process.

Oct 20 2011
A CNN exclusive: Poppy Harlow goes inside the world of KISS – the band and the brand. From coffins to comic books to condoms, KISS has licensed about 3,000 pieces of merchandise, more than any other band. Harlow interviews Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley at their homes in Los Angeles, talks to the entire band at their studio, then accompanies KISS to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a rock concert before nearly 30,000 fans. This is KISS like you’ve never seen before.

One hour – four stories you won’t want to miss. CNN Presents hosted by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and Dr. Sanjay Gupta airs this Sunday, October 23 at 8:00 pm ET, re-airing at 11:00 pm ET and 2:00 am ET.

CNN’s Poppy Harlow interviews KISS band members:




Oct 20 2011
By Reed Fischer
Photo by Photo by Ian Witlen

KISS Kruise
The Palladium Lounge, Carnival Destiny
Saturday, October 15, 2011

When a person says "P.S., I Love You" on the Kiss Kruise, it's more than likely referring to the group's singer, Paul Stanley. Without devoting several paragraphs to the power of his pouting, puckered red lips and backhand pick-tossing, let's leave it that he was one fierce bitch for the second full-makeup show this past Saturday night.

"Strutter," which Stanley reminded the crowd was a song on the band's original demo, awakened a story about the New York of yesteryear -- a time of leather and lace. But Stanley had the hip swivels to rival any woman of that era for a few seconds during the second full-makeup performance of the cruise.

"We decided we're doing this again next year," he announced early on while the boat was docked in Nassau, Bahamas. "This is like camp on a boat!"

Click here to read the rest of the story at the Broward Palm Beach New Times
Oct 19 2011
By Scott Zamost and Poppy Harlow

LOS ANGELES (CNNMoney) -- ("KISS Inc." airs on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 8 and 11 pm ET as part of a CNN Presents hour.)

"My favorite piece of merchandising is me."

Gene Simmons, the co-founder of KISS, is taking us on a tour of his home office.

It's not so much an office, but a gigantic display of everything KISS, the band that started in 1973 and has grown into one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

We're here to see many of the 3,000 items that KISS has licensed, from the coffin sitting locked on the floor, to the colorful condoms hanging on the wall.

"Everything begins with an idea," Simmons says. "How about when I was growing up, I used to eat M&Ms. And M&Ms, which are now in Wal-Mart, have our faces on them."

Inside the Simmons' mansion, with the panoramic panoply of merchandise, it's hard to figure out where to start.

The merchandise almost amounts to sensory overload: KISS footballs. Barbecue sauce. Teddy bears. Potato heads. Action figures. A flip cam.

"We have sold over 10 million KISS shirts in the last 15 years," says Dell Furano, president of Live Nation Merchandising, which licenses KISS merchandise. "A lot of these are just different variations of shirts. We have shirts for animals, shirts for newborns, we have shirts for toddlers, we have vintage shirts. And it all fits into the KISS show, the KISS experience. And if you go to a KISS concert now, it's remarkable. You see multi generations. A lot of it just comes from Paul and Gene, and what they've created."

In the last 15 years, KISS has sold more than a half billion dollars in merchandise all through Live Nation Merchandise, Furano tells CNN.

"Our only rule has been there's no rules," KISS co-founder Paul Stanley says during an interview at his home. "We make the rules. That's hard for some people to accept, but that's been the key to our success. That we don't listen to the status quo, and that we don't listen to what other people are doing. We trust our own judgment. We live by it, live by the sword, die by the sword. We have gotten poked a few times, but we've been victorious."

Victorious enough that KISS has its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Oct 19 2011
Can't get enough of the KISS Kruise? Whether you were on board with us and the KISS Navy or you missed the boat this time around, enjoy some more clips from the highly-memorable KISS Kruise concerts! Here's "C'Mon and Love Me" and "Beth" from the unplugged sailaway show!


Videos by Spiro Papadatos and Jill Cataldo for KISSonline
Oct 19 2011
If you were aboard the inaugural sailing of the KISS Kruise, you had the opportunity to take a photograph with KISS! These photos are now online and available to download at this link.

On the night of your photo, you received a card with a group number on it. Use this group number to retrieve your picture from this most momentous trip! And, if you'd like to make reprints of your photo, don't forget to download the photo release at the same link.

Pictured with KISS: Our friends and lifelong KISS fans Dale "The Demon" Torborg, his wife, Christi (Asya of WCW) and WWE champ Adam "Edge" Copeland.
Oct 19 2011
NASSAU, Bahamas--At first glance the thought of a Kiss cruise is tongue-in-cheek.

But when the first Kiss Kruise launched Friday from Miami, Fla. it was all business: rocking and rolling all night, wearing black and white face paint, and of course sticking your tounge out just like the wet carpet of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.

Its like I'm with 2,000 venus fly traps.

The four-day cruise, which concludes Monday has been so successful, it wouldn't be surprising to see it become an annual affair.

More than 2,000 people are on board the rugged Carnival Destiny (sounds like a stripper) representing 26 countries, according to a spokesperson for Sixthman, the Atlanta, Ga.-based promoter who has been designing musical themed cruises since 2001. I have met people from Brooklyn, N.Y., Scotland, Sweden, Colombia and Southern France.

What's not to like about a French Kiss fan?

Sixthman has partnered with Kid Rock, Lyle Lovett, John Mayer and even John Prine.

But there's been nothing like this with Kiss.

Just the Sunday itinerary includes a "Tattoo Social Hour," "Kiss Army Happy Hour," and a quarters drinking game hosted by metal band (and Kiss opening act) Skid Row.

You won't meet a guitarist with fangs named Nikki Sinn on a Lyle Lovett cruise. Friday night I had dinner with a guy and a girl who front Princess, a Lita Ford inspired glam band in Finland. It took them 22 hours to get to Miami.

Black shorts and white legs? Plenty aboard.

Kiss performed electric shows with make-up as they featured '70s rarities Friday and Saturday in the ship's Palladium theater. They also played an engaging 90-minute outdoor greatest hits unplugged set without makeup Friday as the ship left Miami.

They are something to see in the Caribbean sun.
Oct 18 2011
Kiss Kruise 2011: The Cover Story & My Paul Stanley Interview

By Reed Fischer
Artwork by Tristan Elwell

​Here's the masterful cover for our issue this week, which features an article breaking down bits of each day of the Kiss Kruise -- held October 13-17 on the Carnival Destiny. It's by yours truly, and features photography by Ian Witlen.

This story, and the continuing coverage that we'll be putting up throughout the week, would not be possible without the support of Sixthman, who put on the cruise.

One thing that didn't make it into the story worth mentioning was my impromptu interview with Kiss lead singer Paul Stanley.

Fortunately, our room was just down the hall from the cabins where the band stayed for the duration of the cruise. Every so often, there would be a loud commotion in the hallway as word traveled that Kiss would be walking through. People would stand in their doorways snapping pictures, and call out.

Prior to the Friday performance at the Palladium, Ian and I had just finished interviewing superfans Jamie Ross and Jackie Ram in their cabin, and I was walking back to our cabin by myself. Just as I was almost to my door, a friendly voice called out: "Hey, how's it going?"

I looked up, and Paul Stanley was towering over me in full makeup, rhinestone-coated attire, and his platform boots.

My response was pretty much what I'd say to anyone in that situation: "Not bad, how are you?"

"I'm having a great evening," was his reply. And thus concluded our interview. Admittedly, it was a bit of a softball question.

Click here to read the rest of the story at the Broward Palm Beach New Times
Oct 18 2011
On October 1, Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed got married.
Tonight, you can watch their wedding! This evening's episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels will give you a a front row seat to the wedding ceremony and reception. The episode airs at 9:00pm EST.

Here's a Today show-exclusive preview clip from tonight's episode:

Oct 18 2011
KISSonline is back from the KISS Kruise, and now that we're not hindered by a slow 11K satellite internet connection, we've got lot of great video to share with you! Check out "Take Me" and "Comin' Home" from the first night's show, and "Getaway" from KISS' second night concert!



Videos by Keith Leroux for KISSonline
Oct 18 2011
Here's a photo of Tommy and Captain Roberto Leotta, flanked by the ship's officers on the bridge of the Destiny. He writes:

"The first ever KISS Kruise has been an amazing experience for all of us. It's like Camp KISS on the high seas.. I had the opportunity to visit the bridge of the mighty Carnival Destiny Saturday afternoon at the invitation of the ship's Captain Roberto Leotta. I was amazed that this massive 900 foot, $400 million ship is steered by a 3" joy stick about the size of a golf tee!" - Tommy

Photo by Kate Lougee.
Oct 18 2011
By Reed Fischer
Photo by Ian Whitlin

The very first Kiss Kruise is now a wrap, but County Grind's recap of this past weekend's adventure has only just begun. As you can see, the newly chartered Kiss Navy is a passionate bunch -- for the band and each other. Photographer Ian Witlen and I wore our white captains' hats all weekend long and set a course for documenting as much of this experience as was humanly possible.

There are a lot of photographs and videos and stories to share from this groundbreaking weekend. As we empty out our whiskey-soaked notebooks and external hard drives covered in white paint, we'll add more...

Complete coverage of the KISS Kruise from the Broward New Times
Oct 18 2011
Here's a preview clip of "KISS Inc.: The band and the brand," an in-depth special that premieres on October 23rd at 8:00pm on CNN. Poppy Harlow goes inside the world of KISS for an exclusive look at the most branded band.

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