Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Episode 43 - The Kutting Room Floor

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We're pulling into the homestretch of KISSMAS in July and thought we'd end the month with a Geeky BANG!

Before we get down to it we want to proudly announce that you can stream the Decibel Geek podcast every Friday night through Maximum Threshold Radio! These guys are spinning rock and metal 24 hours a day and were nice enough to let us Geeks take over their airwaves every Friday night at 7:00pm EST. We appreciate this opportunity and hope you will check out all of the other great programming they provide as well.

This week's Geek of the Week is Victor Ruiz of the Mars Attacks podcast. Victor had the winning suggestion for this week's KISS-related show subject and we wanted to give a tip of the hat to him. Be sure to check out Mars Attacks for lots of great rock and metal discussion. To qualify for Geek of the Week, just join the facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/decibelgeek and leave us a comment. Simple as that!

With 20 studio albums, numerous solo albums, and other projects to boot, it's logical to think that KISS must have a treasure trove of unreleased material. While we got some of that from the officially released box set, fans are still waiting for a bulk release of demos and unreleased nuggets (in good sound quality) from the band. There are, however, a lot of little-known gems floating around the bootleg collector market and that's what we wanted to focus on today. Special thanks to KISSFAQ for providing such in-depth information that aided in our research for this episode.

In this episode you will hear demos, unreleased tracks, and alternate takes from the Hottest Band in the Land as well as cases where songs were turned inside out from demos to wind up as officially released songs years (sometimes decades) later. We also will take a look as some songs that KISS recorded but didn't officially release and where those songs wound up.

We've got many eras of KISS covered in this show including unreleased material from Destroyer, the roots of Rock and Roll Over gems Calling Dr. Love and Ladies Room, as well as a Zeppelin-inspired instrumental that didn't quite make the cut on Music from the Elder. You will also hear a 1985-penned Asylum demo that turned into a track on 2009's Sonic Boom.

We also include a track that's gone through a number of permutations (that's a big word like 'gymnasium') and has been recorded by the Creatures of the Night era and Psycho Circus era lineups yet has (criminally) never been officially released on a KISS studio album.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. You will hear numerous strange demos that, understandably, never qualified for official released. It's an interesting look at KISS' songwriting process over the years and how their approach has changed/stayed the same. We hope you enjoy the scraps of what we found on The Kutting Room Floor.





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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FrankenKISS

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Posted by former Dead Kennedys singer/frontman Jello Biafra on his Alternative Tentacles website:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Starring in Detroit Rock City!

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After the hugely successful Reunion tour, Kiss were absolutely everywhere. Striking while the iron was still hot, they recorded Psycho Circus, planned out the new tour and also had their hand firmly in the production of the movie "Detroit Rock City".

The movie was largely filmed in and around Toronto, the outside shots of Cobo Hall was actually Toronto's CNE stadium. Concert footage for the movie's finale was shot at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum. The poster's around town were calling out for extras to be filmed for the big concert scene. A chance to see Kiss for free? Hell Yeah! I was going.



At this time I had recently moved to Toronto and took my wife and brother to the 3D Psycho Circus show at Toronto's Skydome (now called the Rogers Center). The very next day my brother and I headed off to Hamilton to become part of the KISS movie!

We stood around in the cattle call lineup for a couple hours before being let into the arena. It was very cool to see the LOVE GUN stage set and we found a  spot about 6 or 7 rows from the stage.

Then we waited and waited and waited some more. After that we waited and waited and then we waited a little more. We got to watch light checks, smoke machine checks, pyro tests, and sound checks.

At this point a Kiss tribute act (Alive from London Ontario if I am not mistaken) came out to do dress rehearsal. Detroit Rock City came blasting from the sound system as the band lip synched and pretended to be Kiss. This was then repeated 6 or 7 more times.

By this time we had been standing there for about 4 hours and have heard Detroit Rock City a half dozen times. Finally Kiss emerge onstage and we go nuts. This is now kinda cool as they get instructions from the director and they do 4 or 5 run throughs, once again synching to the song Detroit Rock City.

Then filming actually began. They pretended to perform the song over and over and over again. They got the long shots, they got the medium shots, they got the close ups, they got the shots from the stage.

We started joking amongst ourselves how much we wanted to hear Detroit Rock City again. Predicting the next song would be Detroit Rock City. All in all we got to hear Detroit Rock City at least another 40 or 50 times.

By now it's approaching 11pm, we have been standing there for 10 hours. Now it's time to shoot the individual member shots.

Watching Peter throw his drumstick to the crowd over and over again was tremendously exciting (sarcasm mode now off) but it was Gene's fire breathing scene that turned out to be quite the shot.
If you watch the scene you have a view from above as Gene blows the fireball right into the camera. It came off very cool but was quite a shot to make happen.

To set the scene, they put a step ladder on stage and a camera man climbs the ladder and covers himself in a large fire proof blanket. Gene takes the stage and  they run through the shot 3 or 4 times (keep in mind this takes about 45 minutes) without the actual fire and then it's "action" time. Everyone takes their places and Gene takes a big mouth full of his "kerosene" and they start rolling. Torch in hand he is just about go and you hear the sound of the camera running out of film (wap wap wap wap wap!) CUT! screams Adam Rifkin and poor Gene is still standing there with his mouth full looking a little annoyed. That delays things for another hour before they were ready to shoot again. This time it goes off without a hitch.
Last shot was the scene that seems to be a view from inside Gene's mouth. Shot using a large muppet like mouth and tongue prop. The camera mounted inside the mouth, as the puppet guy controlled the tongue. I remember they kept brushing the tongue with some kind of liquid to keep it looking wet as they recorded the scene. Interesting? Yes, but by now it was 3:30am and we had heard Detroit Rock City at least 75 times and I just wanted to go home.

So in total we stood there for over 13 hours, heard one song way too many times and learned that being an extra is not a big amount of fun. I did however get to meet Edward Furlong of Terminator fame and I also caught one of Ace Frehley's guitar pics!

It was cool being part of Kisstory and no you can't see me in the film but I can't say that I would run out to repeat the experience. If I never heard Detroit Rock City ever again that would be ok too!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Maximizing Our Threshold! (ie. Syndication)

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In the past year and some-odd months, the Decibel Geek podcast has achieved a steady growth and we treasure each and every one of you that have taken the time to listen to any of the incoherent babbling that comes out of our mouths. With that said, we've been trying to think of new ways to be heard by more ears. While we love the following we have, we think we've got the goods to entertain on a larger scale (hopefully). So, our good friends at Maximum Threshold Radio have decided to give us Geeks a shot at syndication.



Now, you can listen to the Decibel Geek podcast streaming every Friday night at 7:00pm EST on Maximum Threshold Radio! So, while you are getting ready to holler at a chick while guzzling Natural Light's in the back of a pickup truck, you can tune in to our show to get in the right mental mood! Be sure to tune in and rock your balls off!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Episode 42 - Vinnie Vincent Special Part 3 - Robert Fleischman

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KISSMAS in July hits week three with a bullet with the third installment of our Vinnie Vincent Special. If you are new to the Decibel Geek podcast, then you may not know that 2 of our most popular episodes took place in 2011 when Chris Czynszak (pre-Aaron Camaro), released parts 1 and 2 of the Vinnie Vincent special. The episodes received lots of attention across the web due, in no small part, to the then-recent legal troubles that the former KISS guitarist was enduring. Since the release of the pair of episodes on Vincent, listeners from all over the globe have contacted the Decibel Geek website asking if another installment would be coming. While initially hesitant to release more specials on the troubled guitarist, we recently had the fortunate opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with someone that worked very closely with Vinnie Vincent and had a unique, behind the scenes perspective that many people have never seen.

If you heard the self-titled Vinnie Vincent Invasion debut in 1986 and saw the video for Boyz are Gonna Rock, then you witnessed the first Milli Vanilli moment on Mtv. While the vast majority of music fans were unaware, the owner of the voice in that video was seeing it for the first time along with them. That is due to the fact that Robert Fleischman, vocalist on the studio recording of the Invasion debut, was no longer in the band by the time of the video premier due to a contract dispute. In today's conversation, Fleischman shares what it was like putting the album together, the zaniness that took place in the studio, and the tense interactions between band members, managers, and record company executives.

Fleischman's involvement with Vinnie Vincent is not limited to that one album. He was actually working with Vincent and former members of the band New England in Los Angeles in the early 1980's. While putting together demo tracks of what would later become the Invasion debut, Today's conversation has Fleischman sharing stories of the early songwriting process of Vincent and what it was like when the shredder showed up to rehearsal to tell them that he had been offered a job playing lead guitar for KISS.

The third time that Fleischman was involved with Vinnie Vincent took place after the disbanding of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion immediately following the promotional tour for their second album, All Systems Go; fronted by Mark Slaughter. While hesitant to work with Vinnie after the previous experiences, he agreed to continue the working relationship. His stories of what happened to cause the full album to go unreleased have to be heard to be believed. This conversation gives you an idea of what took place in the early 1990's when Vinnie was putting this project together and why it only yielded an EP's worth of material years later.


Another topic covered in this conversation is Robert's response to a press release issued by Vinnie Vincent in 2011 stating that he was intending to re-record the All Systems Go album with Robert Fleischman handling vocal duties instead of the aforementioned Slaughter.

We also touch upon Robert's early career as a member of Journey, his solo tour opening for Van Halen during the VHII tour, and how performing with Journey in celebration of their induction to the Rock Walk of Fame sparked an interest in returning to the music industry with his new band The Sky.

Featuring one time Vinnie Vincent drummer (Guitars from Hell unreleased album-era) Andre LaBelle, The Sky formed in 2009 after Fleischman traveled cross-country to join LaBelle in Richmond, VA. Sporting a live, organic sound with influences dating back tot he British Invasion of the 1960's, The Sky have released their self-titled debut album. All music played during this episode of the Decibel Geek podcast is from The Sky debut album. For our listeners, Robert is now offering autographed copies of The Sky's debut album if you order through this link. Don't miss your chance to own a great piece of music signed by a vocalist that has seen it all.

We want to thank Robert Fleischman for such a candid, open conversation and wish him the best of success for The Sky.

We are also still accepting suggestions for our final KISSMAS in July episode next week. If you have a KISS-related idea that you think we should discuss, give us a call at (540) - DBGEEK-1 or (540) 324-3351. The deadline for suggestions is 7/22/2012.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stanley vs. Coverdale

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This is not one of those "who is the better singer?" threads. This really was Stanley vs. Coverdale.

Every Kiss show that I have seen has it's own story. Some more memorable than others and one in particular that was both great and a little weird.

The summer of 1990, Kiss was out on the road bringing the Hot in the Shade Tour across North America. At the same time Whitesnake were also on the tour trail with an all-star lineup (Steve Vai had just joined), working the Slip of the Tongue album.


Apparently the tours were both going to reach Toronto on the same date. So instead of competing for many of the same fans, somebody came up with the amazing idea to combine the tours into one huge metal show at the CNE stadium. This was going to be the concert of the summer for the Canadian metal fans.

June 15th, 1990 a beautiful summer day and thousands of metalheads headed to Toronto for what would be a memorable concert.


Slaughter and Faster Pussycat tore up the stage under the hot sun and they both were well received by the anxious crowd. Now I knew that the show was billed as Whitesnake featuring Kiss so I fully realized that Kiss would be going on first. What I didn't realize was what was about to transpire.


We lucked out and had 3rd row center seats, right up front. With me at the show was my good friend Andrew, who up to this point was still a Kiss virgin. As Faster Pussycat left the stage I assumed the curtain would be lowered to hide the set change as Kiss were about to set things on fire.

As the stage crew raced around onstage I was a little perplexed as they openly created a stripped down basic stage with some amps. What the hell was this? Not exactly the "Leon" Sphinx stage that I had heard all about. This was all we were getting? This is what my buddy's first Kiss show was to be?

I shouldn't have been worried because Kiss strapped on their guitars and took to the stage with an intensity that I had not remembered from them ever. KISS owned that stage, Gene and especially Paul seemed possessed with an electric energy that was about to explode.


CNE Stadium Toronto (was filmed in the movie Detroit Rock City)


Then it all went down. Paul started rapping to the fans, "Toronto! When we signed on for this show we wanted to bring you bombs!""When we signed on for this show we wanted to bring you Lasers!" The crowd were going crazy. "What we didn't realize was that a certain member of a certain band wasn't going to allow us to bring our show to you!" "It's Ok Toronto, tonight we will let the music do the talking and we'll be back to bring you the bombs and the lasers!"

At this point David Coverdale approached the side stage to flip Paul Stanley the bird. The majority of the audience couldn't see this, but at third row center we witnessed the "bird" take flight and the angry glance that Paul fired back.

Again the crowd erupted chanting Kiss!, Kiss!, Kiss!
They soldiered on playing a great set with a full compliment of encores. Kiss seemed to be throwing down a leather studded gauntlet. Without the effects, and pyro and much of what makes a Kiss show so special, they went on stage and simply destroyed! It may have been the best Kiss show musically that I have ever experienced.

After the set, they walked off stage and we could see some commotion taking place. We heard "unconfirmed" reports that Paul and David Coverdale exchanged words as Kiss were leaving the stage that erupted into some brief fisticuffs with crew members separating the two singers. Not sure if that was exactly what we were seeing but something definitely went down at sidestage.

As the set was being switched up for the night's headliner, my buddy told me to turn around. When I looked back I couldn't believe it as thousands of people were heading for the exit. I was pretty stunned but as a Kiss fan I was also a little proud. The fans were sending a pretty clear message to Mr. Coverdale.


Whitesnake hit the stage and put on a decent show. There is no doubt they are a great, legendary band. The Slip of the Tongue lineup had no shortage of talent and anytime Steve Vai attacks the six string (or sometimes 7 string)it's worth a listen. The band were solid and I was enjoying the music.

Then instead of just going out and delivering the best show he could, Mr. Coverdale decided to open his mouth and make matters worse. He proceeded to let the crowd know that he felt the opening band tonight were a bunch of whiners. I will tell you, you could have heard a pin drop for a few moments. My jaw was on the ground as the insults started to be shouted at him followed by a wave of boos.

And the people again started filing out of the stadium. I had to smile because after that statement, every time he went to the mic to say something the boos could be heard. By the time they wrapped up their set the stadium was only half full.

It must have been quite a night for David with a lesson learned the hard way. It's not wise to Fu*k with the Kiss Army.

Friday, July 13, 2012

another year, another Ace Frehley is dead rumor

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Well, TMZ hasn't run with it yet, so it's OBVIOUSLY just a rumor.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Episode 41 - KISS Kovers

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After such a great response to our Lydia Criss conversation in week 1, KISSMAS in July shifts into a new gear with Chris and Aaron's favorite KISS Kover songs taking center stage. When researching covers of KISS songs, it quickly became apparent that KISS has influenced artists from just about every genre of music (we couldn't find any jazz KISS covers).

While there were, of course, plenty of examples of straight-ahead rock bands paying homage to the hottest band in the land; the covers from the worlds of disco, pop, folk, bluegrass, and death metal really surprised us.

We must give credit to the fine folks of KISSFAQ for providing such a great, deep discography of pretty much anything and everything KISS and related.
The tribute album section includes officially released product as well as 5 (and counting) tribute albums that were produced by KISSFAQ forum members. Now, THAT'S a devoted following!

 Obviously, with so many cover songs existing, it would impossible to even include a fraction of them in this episode. So, with that said, Aaron and Chris ventured to celebrate KISSMAS in July by playing their favorite covers. A lot of digging went into these picks and we hope that you are turned onto some great stuff. If so, click one of the links below to hear more of these great KISS-inspired artists. Rock on!

Axel Rudi Pell
Sweet
ZO2
Anthrax
Double Virgo
Skid Row
Galactic Cowboys
Kissettes
Dinosaur Jr.
Hair of the Dog
Rodrigo Gonzalez

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mr. Bassman (the guitars of Gene Simmons)

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Hey Decibel Geeks, as some of you know I play bass. Those close to me know that I don't play it very well but hey I am a complete rock god in my living room with my headphones on! So today I wanted to take a look at the bass guitars of Mr. Gene Simmons. So let's take a look at some of the four string beasts that Gene has chosen to assault the ears of the Kiss Army..



Gene with his Custom Charlie Lobue Bass


Gibson Ripper


Gibson Grabber
Gene`s one of a kind Spector
A rare Axe Prototype bass

the Kramer Axe

The Jackson Axe

A white Pedula Bass



Staccato Bass
Pedula




Pedula?

the Punisher
The Monster Punisher!













Monday, July 9, 2012

Fantasy Kiss List

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"Do you want to play a game?" Kissmas in July is shaping up to be a fun filled Kiss extravaganza of epic proportions. There is so much going on in the world of Kiss right now but there is one thing that is not going on. One thing that continues to stay the same and it's been the topic of all kinds of conversation and debate and that is the NEVER changing Kiss Setlist.

When Kiss did the Reunion tour they went on the road playing a setlist that contained songs that the original four members had been involved in. That made perfect sense at the time as it was a time to look back, remember and reflect. That, however was 16 years ago and there have many tours and countless shows since then.

Since then there has really been very little variety in the Kiss concert setlist. Yes they did open up the catalogue a little (very little), adding a few non-makeup hits here and there and but by and large there has been very little change. I understand that there are some songs that the "casual" fan expect to hear when they buy a ticket to see Kiss. That said I also understand that there is also a large number of fans that are loyal, attend every tour, spend more $$ on the band (that was to get Gene's attention) and quite frankly are getting bored with the same 13 songs every time we go.

So let's play a game Decibel Geeks!  It's like fantasy football for the Kiss fan. Who knows? If we get enough people playing the game it might even get to the attention of the band themselves. That would be amazing. So here are the rules...below is the set list for the recent London Kiss show...

Detroit Rock City
Hell or Hallelujah
Deuce
Shout it Out Loud
Makin Love
I Love it Loud
Shock Me
Calling Dr. Love
100 000 Years
Love Gun
Black Diamond

Crazy Nights
Lick it Up
Rock n Roll all Nite

Fourteen songs in total and don't. get me wrong, I love these songs. I would just love to see the band mix it up some. This is your turn to be the ultimate armchair Kiss Geek quarterback. Create your own fantasy Kiss Setlist. It must include 14 Kiss songs. It must include the new single "Hell or Hallelujah" and it MUST NOT include any other song from the London show. They can be from any Kiss album or even the solo albums.

C'mon Kiss Army, let your voice be heard and tell the world what you want to hear!



Here's my fantasy "Kiss Setlist"...

Creatures of the Night
Unholy
Jungle
Hot and Cold
Who Want's to be Lonely
Room Service
Rock n Roll Hell
A Million to One
I Stole Your Love
Plaster Caster
Flaming Youth

Fits Like a Glove
Hell or Hallelujah
Let Me Go Rock n Roll

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The LOST Kiss Album!

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So as we begin week two of Kissmas in July, I would like to direct some attention to one of the coolest Kiss records ever recorded. Unfortunately it's also one of the most overlooked albums in their catalogue.

Mr.Aaron Camaro once mentioned on the podcast that Kiss can really be divided into era's. To the casual fan, that would usually be looked at as simply "makeup" and "non- makeup" Kiss. To the die-hard Kiss geek it can be broken down in many different ways and that's the beauty of being a Kiss fan. If you truly love the band and have devoured their entire catalogue of music there is so much more than just Rock and Roll all Nite and Shout it Out Loud.

Kiss truly have albums for different moods and times. Party tunes, classic rock n roll tunes, heavy metal Kiss, Glam Rock Kiss and of course the syrupy Kiss ballads. As Gene once said "there is no reason I can't like steak and cheesecake." (Of course he might have been referring to blondes vs. brunettes) The fact is whatever mood I am in, I can always find a Kiss record to provide an enjoyable soundtrack. Not many bands can deliver on that.

So let's take a rewind back to a wonderful yet strange time to be a Kiss maniac. The time was around 1995. KISS was in the studio working on the follow-up to Revenge and were promising a dark, raw heavy album.

The Konvention Tour was an experience like no other and of course that led into the MTV "unplugged" show that still gives me goosebumps when I see Ace and Peter join the group onstage. The seeds planted, the lawyers hard at work behind the scenes making sure the big money "Reunion Tour" was going to happen.

Wow did it happen! Kiss were suddenly everywhere again. From the moment they walked onto the Grammy stage in full regalia the whole world seemed to catch Kiss fever. For myself it was a total dream come true as I was too young to have seen the original lineup, it was a moment I will never forget.

The Reunion tour put KISS back on top but for a fan of all the non-makeup years it was also an end. An end to an era that produced 6 great studio albums (Lick it Up - Revenge). An end to "MY" Kiss as I was 13 when Lick it Up was released so the NON-Makeup Kiss was really the soundtrack of my youth. The tours were amazing and I remember each show fondly as the set list was always a great mix of classics and new stuff. The stage changed dramatically each tour, the look always evolving, you never knew exactly what you were going to get except you knew it was KISS!

So as happy as I was to have the reunion, I was also a little bummed knowing that the music I loved so much was now completely ignored and basically forgotten. To make matters worse they had been recording a new album that was also now thrown into the "forgotten" file as Paul and Gene went out to tour the world in 1996. Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions was finally released in 1997 with very little fanfare as the Kiss were still out on the road.

Carnival of Souls delivered what Kiss had promised. A heavy, dark, metal album that lyrically is a very different Kiss record. Gone are the party themed, sexual innuendos as the band created some dark introspective lyrics to go along with the feel of these new songs. COS is not a party time Kiss record but that doesn't mean its not a great Kiss record. I will go on record and say the musicianship on this Carnival of Souls is absolutely killer and possibly some of the best guitar and bass (the bass work on Jungle is off the hook!) that Kiss has ever laid down.

I highly recommend taking an hour out of your day, throwing on some good headphones, closing your eyes and with zero distractions take a good listen to Carnival of Souls. "Hate" is Unholy's sister track and pure evil. The aforementioned "Jungle" is Paul Stanley's finest moment on the album and is a song I would have loved to have seen performed live.

As I mentioned the Reunion of 1996 was every Kiss fan's dream come true, but that dream came at a price. Now I know many will call me nuts when I say that part of me wishes that Carnival of Souls had gotten the promotion and Tour that is deserved. It could have been an interesting show both visually and musically and a show I would have loved to see.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fake Kiss, Blasphemy! and all us lucky KISS fans

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As we head into "Kissmas in July" at the Decibel Geek Podcast, I wanted to speak up on something that has been bugging me for a while. Being a Kiss maniac myself, I have sat back and listened and watched all of the debates and discussions and even arguments on the whole Tommy and Eric issue. So here goes, let's open up a can of worms wearing Kiss makeup!

Kiss fans are a passionate bunch. We rally around and defend our favourite band at all cost. We defend their decisions and forgive their "mistakes". We put up with and even justify the sometimes outlandish marketing schemes. With that said, the Tommy and Eric divide is really an interesting battle that continues to rage between Kiss fans of all ages.


As a fan throughout the 80's, the band went through a number of personnel changes and although I loved the classic lineup, I was also just happy to have Kiss still around. I don't deny the chemistry of that original Paul, Gene, Peter and Ace lineup. Together they made musical magic, that was definitely recaptured briefly on the "reunion" tour. In my opinion, beyond that tour the cohesiveness of the original band started to once again crack and crumble.

So as happy as I am to have the memories of the amazing reunion tour as it was my chance to see the makeup and the original lineup. I also witnessed the "problems" that started to creep in on Psycho Circus and then into the "farewell" tour. At that time I was accepting that this was going to be the end of an incredible career. I mean 1973-2000?? It was truly an amazing career and the memories and the music would last me forever.

So when Paul and Gene decided to move ahead with Eric and Tommy, I wasn't surprised nor disappointed. If that's what it was going to take to still have a Kiss around than thumbs up, let's go! I didn't turn my back on them when Peter and Ace left the first time, I didn't turn my back on them through the revolving lineups in the 80's, nor did I turn my back when they reunited and left Eric and Bruce in the dust during the Carnival of Souls era.

I find it very interesting all the negative backlash thrown towards Eric and especially at Tommy. Bands change members all the time, in fact you would be hard pressed to name very many bands that have been around for 10 or 20 years with all the original members. Let alone almost 40 years!

I think the issue is more about the makeup than the players themselves. The superhero persona's of the band have created this almost mythical ideal. The fact that Tommy is wearing Ace's makeup and playing a Les Paul is considered blasphemy by many fans. Now what I also find interesting is how Eric (donning Peter's cat makeup) seems to get off easier in the negativity department. Possibly because he had already been accepted as part of the band without makeup.

Some people I have spoken to about this are fine with Eric and Tommy in the band but feel they should have "original" face paint. I can see that point but I truly doubt they could come up with something as strong as the cat and the spaceman. I think they were grasping when they came up with Vinnie's persona.

It also should be noted that when Peter and Ace left the band, Peter and Ace retained ownership of their makeup designs for a number of years after leaving. At that time they had to develop other makeup designs, legally they didn't have a choice in the matter or you might have seen Eric Carr as the Cat and Vinnie Vincent singing Shock Me!

Personally I accept any day we have with Kiss still a band a complete blessing. The fact that I was able to take my daughter to her first Kiss show on the Sonic Boom tour blows my mind. The fact that we get yet another album from them is a miracle. The fact that I get to take my nephew to his first Kiss concert this summer on the Tour is amazing!


So I will accept Eric as the Cat and I will accept Tommy as the Spaceman. The other thing to remember is, who is calling the shots here. Gene and Paul are in control, calling the shots and they have made the decisions to keep Kiss alive as they see fit. It might not please everyone, but if it's a choice between the band that just delivered "Hell or Hallelujah" and having no Kiss at all? I will choose Tommy and Eric, thank you very much because that new single is killer! So with that said, I will enjoy the time we have left with the world's most amazing band.

NEVER, EVER listen to rock/metal records for the first time on an iPhone EXCEPT...

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...when there is no other way to listen to said rock/metal records for the first time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Episode 40 - Peter Criss Discussion w/Lydia Criss

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Welcome to KISSMAS in JULY here at Decibel Geek headquarters! We're always looking for new excuses to do KISS-themed material and doing a full month of KISS stuff in July just seemed like a logical choice.

We kick off the month-o-KISS with an in-depth conversation we recently had with Lydia Criss. Formerly the wife of original KISS catman Peter Criss, Lydia entered the KISS Army's consciousness in 1976 when she accepted the award for 'Beth' being the #1 single of 1976 at the People's Choice Awards. What was the reason for Lydia accepting the award? Listen to our discussion to find out.

A few years ago, Lydia published a coffee table memoir of her life entitled Sealed with a KISS. Jam packed with tons of photos never before seen of KISS and Peter Criss from their earliest days as a struggling band rehearsing in a frigid loft in downtown Manhattan, their apex of popularity in being named the most popular band in America according to a Gallup poll, and beyond. The book also gives a rare glimpse into Lydia's personal life as the wife to a rising star in the music world.

In this conversation, Lydia, Chris, and Aaron pick some of their favorite Peter Criss-sung songs and Lydia shares her memories of the stories behind the making of the songs including the drama that would arise between band members.

Peter Criss' 1978 KISS solo album included quite a few songs about the end of a relationship. This mirrored reality as it was around this time that Peter's marriage to Lydia was ending. Lydia recalls the experience of hearing these songs and the effect they had on her at a tumultuous time in her life.

Also in this discussion are Lydia's memories of accepting KISS' People's Choice Award and the conversation with Gene Simmons that led to her accepting the award on the band's behalf. The story of how Beth came to be has been told from numerous different angles and Lydia tells her side of the story and it's probably something you haven't heard before.

While this conversation includes some great inside information from a person that was right in the middle of the rise of the Hottest Band in the Land, you will get WAY more great stuff like this if you purchase a copy of the 2nd printing of Sealed With a KISS. Included in this new printing are over 20 new photos as well more content including a listing of tons of gigs that Peter performed before joining KISS.

If you are a KISS fan and don't own this book, you are truly missing out. It's totally worth the money and you don't have to mortgage your house to afford it. Check it out!

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