News - 2014 : April

Apr 10 2014
By Andy Greene

Kiss fans may not be getting the reunion performance they hoped for at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but the four founding members of the band did stand together at the podium to give their acceptance speeches, marking their first public appearance together since the conclusion of the American leg of their "Farewell Tour" in October of 2000.

Despite taking endless nasty shots at each other in the press during the past few months, the group — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley — was remarkably courteous to each other. Peter Criss spoke first, thanking everyone from "the grips to the truck drivers" to the "doctor that saved me from breast cancer." The former drummer also commemorated his iconic makeup. "In and out of make-up, I will always be the catman," said Criss.

Guitarist Ace Frehley spoke next, recalling, "When I was 13 years old and picked up my first guitar, I always figured I'd be into something big. Life's been good to me. Hopefully, I got another 10 or 20 years to go."

Even Stanley - who recently accused his former bandmates of anti-semitism - took the high road, focusing on the band's fans. "Here we are tonight, inducted basically for the things we were left out for," said Stanley. "The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not."

Current Kiss members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer sat in the crowd near former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick. The Hall of Fame's refusal to let them in, along with other former members of Kiss, incensed Stanley to no end. "I don't need the Hall of Fame," he recently told Rolling Stone. "And if there's not reciprocity, I'm not interested. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, practically every member was inducted, and virtually all 175 members of the Grateful Dead. Rules need to apply to everybody."

The group initially wanted to perform with their current lineup, but they were told that wasn't an option. "We heard, 'We would like Ace and Peter in makeup,'" said Stanley. "And we said, 'That's not going to happen.' That band is long gone. I question what Ace and Peter would look like in those outfits. We've spent 40 years building something, and to dissipate what we've done, or confuse it by sending mixed messages? What we offered was to play with Tommy and Eric and then bring out Ace and Peter to play with us."

Criss and Frehley made it very clear they would have boycotted the ceremony had other musicians played in their signature makeup. "I won't be disrespected," Criss told Rolling Stone. "How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That's an injustice. To the fans, too."

The mere fact that all four of them stood together at the podium was a small miracle, and, in all likelihood, it'll be the final time anyone sees the four of them together again.
Apr 10 2014
Apr 10 2014
Paul Stanley
Congrats Gene, Ace & Peter for what we created & ALL members for taking it forward! This will be fun!

- Paul
Apr 10 2014
Apr 10 2014
Thanks to everyone who came out last night to Bookends in NJ. Over 1400 copies of Face The Music sold! Amazing!
Apr 10 2014
Posted by Matt Wardlaw

This week KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There have been no shortage of verbal pyrotechnics and plenty of controversy surrounding the group since its induction was announced last fall. The controversy is largely centered around the decision to induct only the four original members — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Joel Peresman, the New York-based President and CEO for the Rock Hall defended the decision in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, telling the magazine, “With KISS, there wasn't a single person we spoke to that didn't feel the reason these guys were being inducted was because of the four original members.” During our phone conversation with KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley, a founding member of the group, he made it clear that they don’t lose a lot of sleep (or any) thinking about the critics. The opinions that really matter are those of the fans who have supported KISS nearly nonstop throughout its 40-year history as a band. In his words, they’ve “taken the test” and they’ve bought the albums and come to see the shows. At the end of the day, he says that no matter what the critics might think, “I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m proud to continue doing it.” For the first time, Stanley is telling his side of the story in depth with his new book Face the Music: A Life Exposed. Weighing in at nearly 500 pages in length, it’s an engaging read that covers quite a bit of ground. We spoke with Stanley about the new book and he shared some of his memories of Cleveland during the conversation. He also gave us a brief glimpse of what’s left on the agenda of things he’d like to accomplish.

It’s great to talk with you.
Well, Cleveland Scene is a paper that I’ve known well for quite a long time.

What are some of your earliest memories of playing Cleveland?
Musically, I always remember the Agora, which was one of those great stepping stones to playing your theaters. It was a great concert club and attracted a lot of great bands and we had a lot of fun there. The fun usually continued at Swingo’s, which fortunately or unfortunately is long gone. That was a hotel that was in a way a monument to everything rock and roll. You know, Cleveland, whether it was ‘MMS….there was definitely a Cleveland mindset that was very, very appreciative and very tuned into what we were doing, from very early on.

I remember seeing a picture around the time of the reunion tour with you guys and the Belkin brothers who were also wearing the makeup. KISS definitely came up at a time where relationships with the right promoters were a make or break thing so key to a band’s career.
Well, there was a time where each region had a promoter or choice of promoters and some of those guys were terrific and the cream always rises to the top. Jules Belkin and his whole family, they were our Cleveland family. I still love seeing any of them, Mike or Jules [Belkin] or any of them.
Apr 10 2014
By Rob Kemp

Certain kinds of musical acts — the Springsteens, the U2s, the REMs — get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as soon as they become eligible, 25 years after the release of their debut recording. And then there are hugely influential and successful bands that, for entirely arbitrary reasons that many music writers, fans, and the belated inductees themselves have taken issue with, are made to wait years until they’re allowed into rock’s self-proclaimed Valhalla.

Kiss, being inducted at this week’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at Barclays Center along with Nirvana, Hall and Oates, and others, falls in the latter category, somehow deemed worthy of inclusion after 14 consecutive snubs. But what might have been a celebratory moment for the band has turned into another PR issue for the museum’s gatekeepers. First, the Hall insisted that the original quartet — front man Paul Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley, and drummer Peter Criss — be the only four inducted, with no love given to the six other musicians who have been official members of Kiss over the years. Making matters worse, they were told that only the estranged original lineup could perform at the ceremony, when Kiss leaders Stanley and Simmons had hoped to be accompanied by the stronger musicianship of Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, Kiss members for the past decade. Besieged on one side by an institution bestowing recognition grudgingly and on another by disgruntled Criss and Frehley partisans, Stanley and Simmons resolved that Kiss will not play at the ceremony at all. On the eve of the induction ceremony and publication of his autobiography, Face the Music, Kiss front man Paul Stanley spoke to Vulture about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fracas and the fraught relations with Peter and Ace.

What’s the main issue with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Well, the Hall of Fame can barely stomach us, so their way of letting us know who’s boss is only inducting the four original members of Kiss, and not giving consideration to other members of the band performing on platinum records and world tours. This organization went to the Grateful Dead and asked them which minor members should be inducted, like their lyricist (Robert Hunter). And the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ current guitarist (Josh Klinghoffer) had been in the band for two years before he was inducted. Clearly the rules apply only when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame feels like it.

Why isn’t Kiss playing the induction ceremony?

Kiss isn’t like other bands; we don’t perform in blue jeans and T-shirts. When most people see those iconic character designs, they don’t think “that’s Ace and Peter,” they think “that’s Kiss.” I’m not going to roll the dice on a lineup where the musicianship could be substandard, or to dress Ace and Peter up in outfits they haven’t worn in over a decade at the whim of an organization that doesn’t want us there. Gene and I wanted to play with the two guys who we depend on and have done so as the guitarist and drummer in Kiss for a decade, as well as Ace and Peter.

Won’t it be uncomfortable standing up at the podium with them?

In spite of differences that will never be resolved, there is no denying what the four of us created together. I can pick up the phone and call Peter and say, ”We continue to disagree about almost everything, but let’s make the most of this.”
Apr 09 2014
KISS's Paul Stanley Overcame Deafness, Deformity And Bullying To Become A Rock Star

By Ruth Blatt

Growing up, Paul Stanley was an unlikely candidate to become a rock star. He was born with a facial deformity, microtia, which prevented his right ear from forming properly and left him deaf on the right side. Kids terrorized him, calling him “Stanley the one-eared monster.” He lived in constant fear: of being ostracized, or failing at school (because of his deafness), and of his mentally ill and sometimes violent older sister. His parents had their own problems and did not acknowledge or provide support for Stanley’s difficulties.

How did Stanley transcend this situation to become the front man of one of the world’s longest lasting and most successful bands, KISS? “We turn it around by incrementally succeeding,” he recently told me. “You don’t take giant steps. You initially take baby steps appropriately. As you have small successes and small wins, it encourages you to go the next step.”

In his new book, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, released on April 8 by HarperOne, Stanley goes through each of those baby steps, breaking down what appears to be an impossible achievement to its component parts.

His first small win was to get a spot in the choir for the glee club at his elementary school. Next was growing his hair over his ears, letting it frizz Hendrix-style. From then on, no one had to know he was any different. In fact, his looks became a selling point. In his first high-school band, he got a photographer to take pictures of the band. The pictures were so convincing that when an executive at CBS Records saw them, he called Stanley and said, “If you guys can play as good as you look, you’ll be great.” That was another small win for Stanley, even if no deal materialized from CBS.
Apr 09 2014
By Geoff Barton

Calling all members of the Kiss Army!

To celebrate 40 years since the debut of the first Kiss album, Classic Rock is releasing a Limited Edition Collector’s Folio containing four exclusive copies of Classic Rock issue No.196.

This limited deluxe edition features four issues of the magazine – one for each band member – with an exclusive Danny Clinch solo shot (suited and booted by John Varvatos) on the cover of each. The run is strictly limited to 2,500 copies.

As well as the epic 18-page celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary, each of the four issues comes with bespoke bonus content, plus a giant double-sided A1 poster from the forthcoming Kiss film by Alan G. Parker.

Each cover will include an exclusive, additional interview with the respective cover star – be it Paul, Gene, Eric or Tommy, the ultimate Kiss Buyer’s Guide and more.

As if that wasn’t enough, it’s all housed in a luxurious, foil-embossed hardback slipcase.

You can order this special limited edition here. Get ’em while they’re hotter than hell… When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Please note, this is a premium product and weighs over 2kg, therefore shipping has been included in the total cost.

Only available while stocks last. Please note all packages will be sent in a La Poste package. Shipping will commence from April 9.

The standard issue of Classic Rock issue No.196, with Kiss on the front cover, will be available on UK newsstands from March 26 – or you can pre-order here.
Apr 08 2014
Thanks to everyone who came out to support Face The Music in Tribeca and Staten Island! Hope to see you in New Jersey tonight!

211 E. Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ

Photos by Al Soluri, Keith Leroux and Soni Giles.
Apr 08 2014
Apr 08 2014
Paul Stanley's autobiography Face The Music is in stores today. Paul goes behind the makeup and really gives you an insight into his life. Yes, of course it talks about Kiss. But he really digs into his life. His feelings of alienation while looking for love. The taunting he took as a child. The drive to succeed.

And Kiss goes into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this week. So we had to get his opinions on finally getting inducted after being snubbed by the hall for so many years

Apr 08 2014
Apr 08 2014
BY Paul StanleBY Paul Stanley

The star-adorned KISS frontman Paul Stanley strips down in his new memoir—Face The Music: A Life Exposed, which hits bookshelves tomorrow—to reveal the highs and lows of life in one of music history’s biggest rock bands. It’s brutally honest, touchingly reflective, and reveals the secret to one thing we’ve always wanted to know: how he gets the face-painted star so damn perfect. Here, founding member Stanley—the original makeup-for-men aficionados—describes how he gets his look, in a condensed selection from Face the Music:

I sit down and look in the mirror, staring for a moment into the eyes peering out at me. The mirror is surrounded by high-watt theater-style bulbs, and on the table in front of the brightly lit mirror is a small black makeup case. We hit the stage in about three hours, which means it’s time for the ritual that has defined my professional life for forty years.

First, I wipe my face with an astringent, to close the pores. Then I grab a container of “clown white,” a thick, cream-based makeup. I dip my fingers into the tub of white goo and start applying it all over my face, leaving some space open around my right eye, where the rough outline of the star will be.

Once the white is on, I take the pointed end of a beautician’s comb, one with a metal point, and sketch the outline of the star, freehand, around my right eye. It leaves a line through the white makeup. Then with a Q-tip I clean up the inside of the star. I also clean up the shape of my lips.y
Apr 08 2014
The Master soaring. Jimmy Page at 37,000 feet. London to Tokyo with Paul Stanley's Face The Music!

Thanks Ross Halfin for the photo!
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