Over the years KISS ASYLUM has had some great articles from our columnists in the Video Spotlight (Byron Fogle), KISS Thought Vault (Ron Albanese), Diamonds In The Rough (Dale Sherman), and KISS Album Focus (Julian Gill) features among others. In addition to the reoccuring articles from these great authors, we wanted to open the door to other writers out there and give them a place where they can voice their opinions about KISS. We realize not everyone may want to write a column on a regular basis, but we bet there are more than a few of you who have at least one KISS related topic burning in you that you'd love to write a one time piece about. Well, KISS ASYLUM is happy to bring to you a forum in which to do so in our feature "SOUND OFF!" KISS ARMY.
"SOUND OFF" is the place where YOU get a chance to be a guest columnist at KISS ASYLUM. If you have something you want to get off your chest and share with other KISS fans we encourage you to email us and submit the essay! From your own creative idea for how KISS could gain new fans, to what you think really went "wrong" with the KISS/Vinnie Vincent relationship, to your take on the KISS merchandizing, to an analysis on the evolution of KISS album covers.... if you want to write about it, we want to help you share it with fellow members of the KISS ARMY! Now is your chance to "SOUND OFF" and be heard!
Depending on whether you're in Peter's camp or Paul and Gene's, the reality is that KISS is a business-BIG business. Many feel that Peter was taken advantage of. Personally, I don't know how they act together when they're not on stage, when it's just them hanging out alone. I believe they are bickering brothers who may have problems with each other from time to time, but will stick like glue if an outsider dares to disrupt the harmony.. Back to business...
Yesterday while celebrating my winning bid of a Colecovision video game system (yes the ancient 1983 one) I decide to kill some time and read the comments posted on the KISS ASYLUM & Kiss Online bulletin boards from all the fans about this and see what their takes and opinions were. I was really taken aback about how nuts some people were getting over it and even read one fans plea for Peter to return or commit suicide???? Hopefully it was a joking post cause it's really not something to permanently end ones life over. Ok off my soapbox, here now for all of the fans are my thoughts. I know all of what I say may not agree or sit well with other die-hards, casual fans and so forth but here I go anyway. If you don't agree with all of the points I make that's fine cause that's what makes us all unique. If we all agreed on things it would be quite boring.
After sending in one submission, I thought after seeing the August 22nd show in Houston, I should make the effort and send in another. This is not a bitch, not a gripe nor a complaint of any kind. It is a thank you. For almost two hours last night I got to watch my two sons stand on the edge of their chairs and watch four guys who, when I was their age, were super heroes. From the moment the curtain dropped until the last piece of confetti fell to the ground and the roadies began clearing off the stage, both of my sons were amazed. And the only words they could muster were, "Dad, this is just like the videos!"
Why all the put downs for The Greatest Band On Earth? I've sat here reading these articles, all I hear is that KISS isnt real anymore and that they are only in it for your money. As well as, That Ace Frehley can't play anymore and they are trying to rip fans off with the merchandising. This is all a bunch of crap. Nobody is forcing you to go see KISS. Nobody is forcing you to buy their merchandise. Nobody is forcing you to continue to give reverence to a band which hasn't had a really "good" record in 8 to 15 years whichever way you look at it. You ALL still care because KISS KICKS ASS. Because we all know that KISS can still kick anybody's butt who trys to challenge them in their home, THE ARENA.
Do we really need an ALIVE IV? I mean do we need another 'OFFICIAL' KISS album with the SAME songs? Who is needing or wanting this? Gene has been bragging a lot lately about the amount of gold and platinum records KISS has acquired and how they are only behind the BEATLES in this, but how many of these contain ORIGINAL material? ALIVE IV would only be a combination of ALIVE I, II, and III with the addition of a song or two and is this what we as the ARMY want?
In exactly one week I will be standing on my feet ready to see the final performance of my favorite rock and roll band. Unfortunately, to witness this special occasion, I will have to endure about forty minutes of Ted Nugent. I have nothing really against Ted, I even saw his show about ten years ago, I just think he is another one of those people trying to keep us forever tied to the dark ages, and has absolutely no place at a KISS concert. KISS is about fantasy, not politics. They are about living out dreams, not having the darker sides of reality shoved down your throat by an over-publicized red-neck with a guitar.
I have been a committed KISS fan for the last 22 years. I got my first KISS album when I was 7 years old. I have every Album they have put out. I was very disappointed in the VH1 presale on the first two set of dates for the Farewell Tour. I have a complaint and would like to share it, not looking for sympathy, but I am was very frustrated and would like to vent. I am a handicapped person, and need handicapped seating for the shows. When I found out that KISS was playing in Hershey, PA and in Virginia, I was beside myself with excitement. I attempted to order my tickets online through VH1 during their presale. I was very disappointed to find out that I could not order accommodating seating during the presale.
Have you ever listened to a song and thought to yourself, "That sounds just like...." but you couldn't finish the thought? I've had that same problem in the past. It occurred to me that, when I listened once to "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who that I could recognize one of the riffs from somewhere else. But where? Enter KISS. I recognized the riff as hearing it, or one similar to it, within the music of KISS. Somewhere. And then I realized something that had once been beaten over my head, but somehow had been long forgotten: KISS had musical influences!! Let me elaborate a little here. It's very true that KISS was influenced by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper. All have been self-identifed by the members of KISS as influencing their vision of what music should be. But one influence that seems to be forgotten is The Who. The Who attained the world's record for Loudest Rock Band in the mid-70's, and certainly KISS was right behind, billing themselves "The Loudest Band in The World" in 1983. Musically speaking, it's safe to say that KISS was America's answer to The Who, whether that was intentional or not.
I saw KISS on May 3d in Roanoke VA with Ted Nugent and Skid Row, a bill I was enthused about the day I heard of it. I do not necessarily agree with everything Ted Nugent said at that show or what he continues to rant in between songs on the tour... but I respect his right to express his opinion. And even if I disagree with his opinion, I cheer his guts to speak his mind and do away with Political Correctness.
Just some comments from a long time (25 years) fan. The auction: I thought it was bs. How much money do Paul and Gene need? Sure, it's their stuff and they have the right to sell it for money. But they are already rich. I say they should have let us fans register for a chance to win it all. I guy like me without that kind of money had no chance of buying the Love Gun painting. I saw it at the Chicago Convention in '95 and would have loved a chance to have it hanging in my living room!
Like many, I am not thrilled by everything they decide to slap a logo on, but, as many have also said, I just do not buy that stuff which I do not like. I can understand why it seems to upset so many, though, because it makes it a little harder to get people to respect them with so much garbage out. Because we love and respect the fantasy so much, we want others to as well. But, on the other hand, some of it is really quality stuff, whether you like it or not. To each his/her own, and, in the end, isn't that what they are really all about. Everyone has their favorite member, favorite album, favorite outfit, favorite tour, etc. And, because of all of the time, money, love and years invested, we all feel we have a right to bitch and moan if we don't like something. Yet, at the same time, we feel proud when they do something really great or receive some sort of major recognition. It vindicates us for our faith and belief. But we are growing up and older, as they are.
The Auction, surprise? Ah, we are talking about Gene, he is in the group. I really didn't have a problem having it, but I would of thought they would of have made a big announcement that some of the proceedings were going to a charity, i.e. save the music or Eric Carr. But, again, they chose to show, maybe not intentionally, their greedy side. How much money do you need Gene? Sometimes Public Relations is lacking.
Ok.... so zoom back to 1975. There I am, 11 years old and holding onto what would be the shrine of my youth. KISS Alive 1. Just handed to me by best friend as a birthday present. First rock and roll album, first KISS album for me. So now, in the year 2000, I finally get to see them again in all their blood spewing, fire bretahing, grease painted, smoking guitar glory. To me, this is all that matters. That my kids will be able to fianlly see what I have been telling them, and showing them on video for ten years now. That KISS is the ultimate in rock and roll shows. And it doesn't get any better to me. To see all four onstage, in all their bombastic glory. To KISS army members, it shouldn't matter if they were all in wheelchairs. It is still KISS.
I read where Ted Nugent has been asked to tone it down a bit.... Well, personally speaking, Ted does not belong on the same stage as KISS. Especially now. There is a big difference between his ranting and KISS saying good-bye to people that, for the most part, are true fans of KISS... not Ted. To be honest, I was surprised to hear that Ted Nugent would be one of the openers before the tour started. I was shocked that KISS or even the promoters felt the need to even have openers. I saw KISS in Virginia and I wrote at length what I thought of Ted's ignorance in a review posted at the KISS Asylum site. Sorry Ted, but if anyone should be thinking of retirement... it's you.