I have just completed reading a trilogy of books on Kiss. At Christmas I got
Face the Music: A Life Exposed – Paul Stanley
Paul has always been my favourite in Kiss and I was particularly impressed with his Autobiography. I believe it was ghost written by Tim Mohr and he has done a really good job. I particularly loved the prologue which superficially tells the story of applying the make-up while stating an outline for the book. It also reveals something I had no idea about with Paul Stanley; He is deaf on one side as he doesn’t have an ear. The story is very frank and inspiring. Towards the end I felt Paul was trying to get the praise he felt was overdue and I also picked up on the fact he only seemed to mention people if it was to have a moan. Overall I thought it the best of the three books I read. I was so inspired I decided to tackle
Kiss And Make-Up – Gene Simmons
I have had this sitting in my bookshelf since 2003 and surprisingly have never found time to read it. I do remember taking it on Holiday once but I didn’t get very far into it. This book was interesting but not as good as Paul’s book. The two characters are extremely different and it was interesting to counter-balance interpretations of the same events. Some of the events were told the same ways a Paul did so I wonder if they are true accounts or if they have repeated them some many times they are in agreement with each other. In both books it was fascinating how love caught them. Especially so with Gene Simmons who was very anti-marriage.
Having completed these book I had one more Kiss book on my shelves:
Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup – C.K. Lendt
This book has apparently sat in my bookshelf since 1997. I have no idea why. With all my years of illness I would expect I would have had time to get to it but apparently I didn’t. This was in no way a standard biography. It was an account of the business manager of the band from about 1975 to 1988 when his company was let go. As such the band had just made it big when he first met them. The author seems to have a good memory for clothing and food so often “big meetings” had a lot of surrounding detail. He also gave an excellent description of his first concert. Clearly the music wasn’t to his normal tastes and so it makes an interesting read. By about 1/3 through I was a little disappointed with the lack of information on the band itself and the characters within it. However once the band peaked in their success and then started to slip again I got very engrossed in all the behind the scenes explanations and difficulties of keeping a band on the road and the relationships of booking agents, promoters and merchandisers. If was a fascinating read if not quite what I was expecting from the title. There was probably more on Kiss’ marketing activities in the other books. Paul saying Gene took credit for a lot of it but not doing an awful lot and Gene definitely trying to take a lot of credit. This book suggests something between the two.
These books were a nice distraction and Paul’s and perhaps Gene’s to a lesser extent were quite inspiring.