News - 2014 : April

Apr 02 2014
by John Katic

Paul Stanley has risen to international fame playing the role of the Starchild in Kiss.

However, in his upcoming autobiography, Face the Music: A Life Exposed (HarperOne), the guitarist discusses two other roles he has played that have affected his life as much if not more: the Phantom of the Opera and family man.

The market for rock autobiographies has been fertile lately, and many tend to follow the same formula of addiction, conflict, conquests on the road and business deals gone bad.

Stanley’s book takes a more unique path as he opens up about nagging feelings of emptiness, even as the band was at the height of their Seventies mega-stardom. He also is candid about his relationship with Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Stanley about Face The Music.

GUITAR WORLD: All of the other original members of Kiss have written books. What made this the right time for you?

I never saw writing a book. I think, just by nature of what they are, autobiographies are fatally flawed. Most of the time they tend to be grandiose in their perspective because someone is writing about themselves. I had no desire to do that. Honestly, I’ve looked at most autobiographies and thought they should have been on soft tissue paper on a roll and they would serve a better purpose. Just to write about real or imagined victories or successes or achievements isn’t what I wanted to do.

When I finally realized I could write a book that could be inspirational, that could show that everyone has obstacles and even the people we might look up to and aspire to be have been through their own trials and tribulations and can succeed, that was intriguing. The idea of writing a book my children could read to understand what I've been through to be where I am was what really made me do a 180-degree turn.

I didn’t want to write a book about Kiss. I wanted to write about my life. I wanted to write about somebody who faced a lot of adversity and obstacles and thought they knew how to resolve them and found out I wrong. I was fortunate enough to achieve the success I thought was the answer, and then I was fortunate enough to roll up my sleeves and figure out what it really took to find contentment and happiness.

The book has a happy ending. Otherwise, I couldn’t have written it. People have told me it’s a great book. If I were still stuck in the middle of it, I wouldn’t have written it.
Apr 02 2014
by Richard Bienstock

Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the merchandising. Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just the music itself.

Whatever the source, it is safe to say that few bands have inspired as much fervent devotion—and also rabid derision—as the self-proclaimed “Hottest Band in the World,” Kiss.

But love them or hate them (and really, is there any area in between?), Kiss—and in particular its stalwart co-founders, visionaries and greatest proponents and protectors, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons—continue to not only exist but also scale greater heights.

Here we are in 2014, and the band, now roughly 10 lineups in with current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are experiencing yet another renaissance.

Their most recent (and 20th) studio album, Monster, was an unusually strong effort, more energetic and enjoyable than should reasonably be expected from any band at this stage of its career. Meanwhile, on the live front, Kiss continue to push the limits of just how much of an over-the-top spectacle a rock and roll show can truly be (for evidence, check out videos of recent performances that feature their newly designed Spider stage).

But 2014 is also offering up another nice pair of victories for the band. This year marks Kiss’ 40th anniversary (their self-titled debut was released in February 1974), and in April, Stanley and Simmons, along with former, and now estranged, original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

To celebrate these dual milestones, Guitar World met separately with Stanley and Simmons at their Los Angeles homes to discuss just a few of the many triumphs and tribulations that led the band here.

Additionally, they were asked to examine the inner workings of their unique partnership as well as to offer a few candid thoughts on the many guitarists that have passed through Kiss’ ranks, from Frehley to Thayer and everyone in between. (As for the ones that almost made it? That list includes Eddie Van Halen…depending on who you ask.)
Apr 02 2014
LA ON COVER OF GAME CHANGER MAGAZINE
KISSONLINE.com
Apr 02 2014
Nothin’ to Lose: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley Go for Broke As They Weigh In on Kiss Guitarists Past and Present

by Richard Bienstock

In this feature from the April 2014 issue of Guitar World, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley go for broke as they weigh in on Kiss guitarists past and present.

ACE FREHLEY

GENE SIMMONS As a musician, you have to hand it to him. He knew his stuff. And when he cared—the first three records, I would say—he was great. You can sing those solos. It was like opera. And the integrity of his style was instantly recognizable. As soon as he played, you knew it was him. That’s probably the highest compliment you can give to a guitar player.

PAUL STANLEY In the beginning, we just gelled as guitarists. And even today, I talk about Ace a lot. I’ll tell people, “He really had the goods.” He can argue all he wants that he still does, or say whatever he wants to say the reasons are that he didn’t ascend to more. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But I saw somebody throw away a gift.

SIMMONS Before the drugs and the booze and everything, he was basically Ace, a lovable, loving guy. We all cared for him. I loved him. I love the straight Ace. But I fucking hate any drug addict. Because they’re possessed.

VINNIE VINCENT

STANLEY Vinnie had an incredible touch and an incredible knowledge of the guitar. But left to his own devices he’d hang himself. For somebody who could play so brilliantly and so tastefully, it became more about how much he could play rather than what he played. And, ultimately, I couldn’t understand what he chose to play. And that’s not taking into account all the other stuff about him, which I think has been well documented.

SIMMONS He was a much more accomplished musician [than Frehley]. Understood some jazz. Could play faster. He was a big fan of all that sort of hurricane machine-gun stuff. But he was not as pure in his personality. We wrote “I Love It Loud” together, although he hated me for telling him what to play in the solo. But the guy could write songs.
Apr 02 2014
GENE SIMMONS RECEIVES A SPECIAL LETTER
KISSONLINE.com
Check out this wonderful letter Gene Simmons received from Victor.

Note from Mending Kids International

A couple months ago, Victor received surgery to correct his bladder. This surgery was made possibly largely because of Gene Simmons's generosity and kindness. Gene stopped by our board meeting yesterday and we were able to give him Victor's thank you letter.

CLICK HERE to donate to Mending Kids today!
Apr 01 2014
TOM MORELLO WILL INDUCT INTO HALL OF FAME
KISSONLINE.com
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello will induct KISS into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


In the photo: Tom Morello with KISS at the band's Brisbane, Australia show last year.
Apr 01 2014
Read an exclusive chapter from the KISS guitarist's upcoming autobiography 'Face The Music: A Life Exposed'

Paul Stanley is the last member of the original Kiss lineup to pen a memoir, but his upcoming book Face The Music: A Life Exposed is still an essential read for all fans of the pioneering hard rock band. For the first time ever, the Starchild reveals that he was born with one ear, causing horrendous emotional pain. He also gets into great detail about the wild early days of Kiss, his battles with all three original members of the band and how he carried the group all through the 1980s while longtime partner Gene Simmons was largely engaged with other projects. In this exclusive excerpt — which comes alongside the band's first-ever appearance on Rolling Stone's cover — Stanley gives his side of the tumultuous Kiss "Farewell Tour" in 2000.

Peter posted a sign every day counting down the number of days left on the Farewell Tour. He started painting a teardrop below his eye. I thought it made him look like Emmett Kelly's famous Weary Willie character, the tragic clown who toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. And as for the rest of his makeup, it was as if he had forgotten how to do it. He started to look like a panda bear, with big rectangles around his eyes.

The tour was horrible. Constant drudgery and misery. We spent all of our energy trying to coax Peter and Ace out of their hotel rooms. Ace sucker-punched Tommy at one of the shows. Peter had his usual handbook detailing how hotel staff had to treat him and which windows had to be covered with tinfoil and all that. There was no reasoning with either of them. We never knew if we'd make it to a show on time, and once we got onstage we never knew whether we'd get through the show. I mean, if a guy has trouble putting on his makeup, how is he going to play? Not surprisingly, the shows could be pretty awful.

I was angry at Peter and Ace for being disrespectful toward everything we had accomplished and everything the fans were giving us. I bought into the idea that this really was it. The end of Kiss. There was no place to go. it was unbearable.
Apr 01 2014
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF WITH VINYL RE-ISSUES
KISSONLINE.com
Celebrate over four decades of KISS with our first batch of KISS vinyl re-issues which hit stores today!

Click the links below to order your KISS vinyl today.

KISS / HOTTER THAN HELL / DRESSED TO KILL / ALIVE / DESTROYER / DYNASTY / UNMASKED / LICK IT UP / ANIMALIZE / REVENGE
Apr 01 2014
LA FOOTBALL HOME OPENER APRIL 5TH
KISSONLINE.com
LA KISS kickoff their home opener Saturday, April 5 at the Honda Center and it's going to be a spectacle! Secure your seats now!

www.LAKISSFootball.com
Apr 01 2014
HONG KONG SCHOOL GETS ED FOR CLASS PHOTO
KISSONLINE FAN LETTER
KISS IS EVERYWHERE!

Hey KISS!

I study in Hong Kong, and for our school photos, my whole class decided to put on our face-paint.

Horns up! \m/ \m/
Cliff
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