There is just so much KISS up in Pencilstorm we are adding a bonus day just like those cool bonus DVDs you get in the Kissology collection. Click here to read Day 2 - "Loving a Band That Is Easy to Hate, My Life with Kiss" by David Martin
Kiss Kountdown Secret Bonus Surprise Hidden Track Tattoo Package Booklet. - by Colin Gawel
PEOPLE! We can bicker about whether KISS is the greatest or the absolute worst rock band in the history of the world but one fact is beyond question: "Kiss Alive Forever - The Complete Touring History" is the greatest rock n roll book ever written. I have literally killed THOUSANDS of hours in the van touring with Watershed eyeballing this piece of pure fandom genius. Even Ricki C. begrudgingly admits it's a nerd's paradise. It has every show, bill, attendance and setlist for every KISS show ever. Ever. Did I mention EVER? The amount of research it must have taken is truly mind-boggling. And what's even crazier, it is extremely well-written. This is no psycho-fan hack-job. The authors pull no punches and the book is brimming with insider accounts of even the most obscure gigs. Rumor has it, a revised edition is in the cards. I will be ordering a copy, and a spare, at the earliest possible opportunity. Any Kiss fan caught without one isn't a Kiss fan at all. Click here to check it out.
Q: What's the Worst Thing Ever Done by a KISS Member, Band or Solo?
A: Though this may seem like a tough question, it's actually very easy to answer. The worst thing ever done by a KISS member is the Peter Criss song "One For All" and it's not even close. A terrible song and an even worse performance. Even Desmond Child might have helped with this gem. The vocals are so out of tune it literally gives me chills. Oh, and to make it even better, this is the Catman's "9/11" song. I guess I sort of get that, since every time I hear it I wish a jet-liner would smash into my house and destroy my stereo. Please, if you only take one thing away from the ten-day Kiss Kountdown, make it this song. NEVER FORGET!
Kiss has the unique distinction of being simultaneously the most over-rated AND under-rated band of all time.
Under-Rated: KISS Destroyer
It's odd that the only KISS record semi-respected by normal people can be underrated, but it's true. Destroyer isn't just a good KISS record, track by track it can stand next to any classic hard rock album. AC/DC, GnR, Metallica, etc. Bob Ezrin nailed the production and the songs still hold up well. "God of Thunder" alone renders the entire Alice Cooper catalog virtually obsolete and rocks as hard as anything Metallica ever did. Dig the bass groove on "Shout It Out Loud," totally swinging. "Do You Love Me," "King of the Night World," "Flaming Youth" and "Detroit Rock City" are four of Paul's finest moments. Even Peter manages to avoid humiliation with the classic ballad "Beth" which the Catman claims to have written....but....really Ezrin did the heavy lifting and Gene came up with the title. Speaking of Gene, "Great Expectations" is totally hilarious though I doubt the Demon was in on the joke. He isn't known for his sense of humor.
Actually now that i think about it, Gene Simmons himself is both over-rated and under-rated. Some people think Gene is a business genius, but if you study the history of KISS nothing could be further from the truth. Gene's hare-brained schemes have cost the band untold millions, and making comments like "KISS isn't a rock band, it is a rock brand" publicly while at the same time writing tracks like "Burn Bitch Burn" is probably not the best way to meet those year-end sales goals. While I have no doubt Gene truly believes KISS is a rock "brand" (and that the bitch should probably burn or at least be made to smell it) certainly a smarter business person would just make this statement over dinner to a close friend and not to a major music magazine. It would be like entering politics and then declaring on Meet The Press, "I'm only running for office to line my pockets." While it may be true, probably best to keep those thoughts to yourself.
Still, Gene is an under-rated singer and bass player. He has managed to be a rock star who is clean and sober which is an admirable feat in it's own right. He isn't afraid to try new ideas. Tongue magazine anyone? What's more is that he owns up to his mistakes, which is more than most people or politicians can say. If Donald Trump can run for President, why not Gene Simmons? Seriously, it would be great pub. I've never met Gene personally, but other than Ace and Peter, I've never heard a negative word about the man. And...... when it comes to dressing like a demon, blowing fire and spitting blood, Gene is the best in the history of the world. His original idea is why he is rich and famous. The rest is just gravy.
Were the KISS non make-up years as bad as i remember?
Well, yes and no. See Kiss got lucky that when they finally cried uncle and unmasked they landed flat in the "hairband" era of pop music. You know how the "steroid era" in base ball inflated everybody's numbers so crappy players were OK and good players could hit over sixty home runs? That is sorta how the hairband era was for rock n roll. Bands like Brittney Fox could get a big record deal and a video played on MTV, while Bon Jovi could become the biggest band in the world with their brand of Desmond Child, test market hard rock.
So yes, the non make-up KISS catelog isn't going to rival the Stones post Brian Jones era, but how does it stand up to the biggest band of the same period? It stands up reasonably well.
Bon Jovi's Ten Most Popular Songs vs KISS Songs From the Same ERA
Unholy (Revenge) Tears Are Falling (Asylum) All Hell is Breaking Loose (Lick It Up) Rise To It (Hot in the Shade) Get All That You Can Take (Animalize) Secretly Cruel (Asylum) Forever (Hot In The Shade) On The 8th Day (Lick It Up) Hide Your Heart (Hot in the Shade) Reason to Live (Crazy Nights)
There is no neat ending to the surprise bonus track tattoo booklet. You should feel lucky you even got it.
Colin Gawel plays in the band Watershed and is the founder of Pencilstorm. He also owns a coffee shop and is married with a ten year old son. His wife and customers cannot wait for this stupid Kiss Kountdown to end so they can finally get his attention. His son thinks it's cool.