Archive for Gene Simmons

Video Du Jour: KISS

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on August 28, 2012 by 30daysout

Just for laughs, here’s KISS performing “Strutter” in Tulsa, 8/26.

Thanks to KISS Online for the video.

Hurry! Get Your KISS Monster Book!

Posted in News with tags , , on August 7, 2012 by 30daysout

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley examine the KISS Monster Book.

For years we knew that KISS were masters of marketing, even back in the 1970s. Gene Simmons’ reality TV show let that particular secret out of the closet, if the merciless merchandising of KISS the past 30 years wasn’t tipoff enough.

So now there’s the KISS Monster Book, a literally larger-than-life photo book spanning the band’s four decades. For starters, the book itself is 3 feet tall!

It features photography from such masters as Richard Aaron, Fin Costello, Bob Gruen, Ross Halfin, Tom Hill, Steve Jennings, Andrew Kent, Barry Levine, Eric McKenna, Evan Mover, Michael Putland, Denis O’Regan, Chip Rock, Al Soluri, Mark Sullivan, Mark Weiss and Neil Zlozower.

It’s a limited edition; only 1,000 copies will be printed. And you can choose a custom cover with the flag of your country. So what’s the price tag? Only $4,299 … but wait, there’s more!

Each copy will come personally signed by all four members of KISS! Don’t wait, get your copy now – before it’s too late!

KISS Monster Book official website

YouTube: KISS Monster Book promo

Video Du Jour: KISS

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on April 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Why the hell not? KISS, as featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” recently.

KISS Online – official website

Video Du Jour: KISS at the Houston Rodeo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 10, 2011 by 30daysout

When KISS played the Houston Rodeo last month, they invited a couple of American soldiers onstage as a way of saluting our country’s service men and women. It was a stirring moment, as Paul Stanley led nearly 80,000 people in the Pledge of Allegiance. One of the soldiers invited onstage is a reporter for The Pentagon Channel, and here’s the report he did from that night.

Video Du Jour: Simmons!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 1, 2011 by 30daysout

Perfect for April Fools Day … Simmons being Simmons at a workout class.

Live: KISS, Houston

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by 30daysout

Yeah, we had cheap seats for KISS - but it didn't matter

In order to get the idea of this Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, you have to imagine everything done big, like over the top. They have dudes on bucking broncos and wild jumping bulls, and sweet young things in cowboy hats riding horses around barrels too.

But in Houston it’s BIG – they used to have the Rodeo in the Astrodome, now it’s in the even bigger Reliant Stadium. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo helps thousands of kids go to school each year, but it also is very interested in setting records for humongous-ness too. I remember when Elvis Presley set an attendance record in 1974 or so, then other people broke it every year – back when the Rodeo was in the old Astrodome.

So anyway, they have all kinds of musical entertainment, mostly country acts, but this year they featured KISS. The kabuki-faced rockers love this kinda shit, where records seem to be broken every night, so it’s only natural they play the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They drag out this big stage in the dirt on the floor of Reliant Stadium right after the chuck wagon races (!), then the performers come out in little golf carts and play on this stage that turns ever so slowly so everyone in the huge stadium gets a good look.

Paul Stanley works the big screens in Houston's Reliant Stadium

Kicking off with “Modern Day Delilah,” KISS wasn’t nearly as loud as I thought they’d be … but the pyrotechnics were pretty good. Paul Stanley addressed the crowd most of the time, in this high shrieky voice that seemed to suggest he didn’t know the difference between his singing and his talking voice. The band seemed to hit the high points of its catalog, with “Calling Dr. Love” and “I Was Made For Loving You” being the early highlights.  You know “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce” were on the set list!

We were way up in the nosebleed region of Reliant Stadium, but the high-def screens positioned above the band caught every little detail, like Stanley’s shameless mugging for the cameras and (more than once) the long drip of drool off Gene Simmons’ salaciously long snake-flickering tongue. A shout-out here to guitarist Tommy Thayer, whose lead guitar work was impeccable, and drummer Eric Singer, who good naturedly stood up on his drum stool when he had to sing “Beth,” the ballad written and sung by long-departed KISS drummer Peter Criss.

“Lick It Up,” from the early 1980s, featured thumping synthesizers that threatened to veer into the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and maybe they were just paying homage to that classic. But after that song Stanley invited a couple of military veterans on stage and talked about the many heroes in uniform overseas “getting the homecoming they deserve” before he led the crowd in a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a stirring bit of patriotism, and during it Stanley revealed that KISS are donating one dollar from every ticket sold to wounded veterans.

Then it was right into the closer, “Rock and Roll All Nite,” and KISS was out – the crowd numbered around 72,000 so it was a good night for them.  Paul Stanley promised they’d be back, and despite all of the “farewell” tours they’ve had recently, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Long live KISS!

KISS official website

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo official website

One more, because I shot a lot of pictures from our nosebleed seats for some reason.

30 Days Out Interview: Former 101 KLOL DJ Dayna Steele

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by 30daysout

I first heard Dayna Steele in 1980 when she dubbed herself the “Lady of the Night” on 104 KRBE in Houston. She had a great radio voice and always talked about Springsteen.  What’s not to like? I met Dayna a few years later when I was working at KTRH Radio and she was down the hall at 101 KLOL and I found her to be as cool as I thought she was….plus from time-to-time she would give me free stuff.  Since her days behind the mic, she’s become a motivational speaker and author of Rock To The Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars. Dayna was kind enough to answer some questions for us about the past, present and future:

30DaysOut: You spent a good part of your career in radio…how did you get started?

DS: On a dare in college at Texas A&M. I thought if I auditioned that a popular DJ in Bryan (TX) would ask me out. He didn’t, but I got the job and did that for the next 21 years.

30DaysOut: What was great about radio when you were in it?

DS: There was a little more creative freedom. Now all the stations sound the same to me

30DaysOut: Do you miss it?

DS: Nope. I love what I do now and have found a way to entertain and communicate with thousands of people – speaking through social media.

30DaysOut: What were some of your fondest memories being a DJ?

DS: WaterWorld at 1 in the morning with Billy Idol and 11 other people – they turned the rides on and gave us towels and bathing suits.  The ONLY way to do a water park! Traveling with Van Halen when my mentor/godfather managed them.  First class all the way baby! Forming a lasting friendship with David Crosby when he got out of prison.  Home cooked dinner with AC/DC after a show at The Summit – Angus’ wife cooked while they played and then set a family table after the show.  David Bowie asking if he could sit down at our table for drinks after a show at the downtown Four Seasons hotel.  Duh!  And so many more…..

30DaysOut: What do you think, if anything, is wrong with radio today?

DS: Everything is geared towards the stockholders not the listeners.

30DaysOut: You have been around the music business for a long time, what do you think of state of music and the music business today?

DS: I think it’s great. The record companies no longer have to control. If you are willing to do the work it takes and you have killer music, you can create your own fan base/sales using many forms of social media.

30DaysOut: What did you do after leaving KLOL?

DS: Had a baby, tried some TV, went into talk radio, started The Space Store, had another baby, started a media consulting company,  sold The Space Store, went to business radio, wrote a book – became a fulltime business speaker and consultant.  Whew.

30DaysOut: Tell us about your book…Rock To The Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars

DS: It is a business book based on the lessons I learned from some of the world’s greatest rock stars- that success takes a combination of hard work, knowledge, networking, appreciation and more.

30DaysOut: What did you learn from guys like Gene Simmons of KISS, The Rolling Stones, etc?

DS: That ultimately it is still a business and you have to work hard at all that goes into a successful business even in rock and roll.  That is, if you want to make it to the top and stay there.

30DaysOut: Tell us about your run-in with 70s teen heartthrob Shaun Cassidy…

DS: I am a big proponent of hand written thank you notes.  Shawn came to town for a promo when we were both around 20 yrs old.  Big egos both of us.  We got along horribly.  I got a real ‘pissy’ little note from him about 2 weeks later.  I use that as an example in my speeches of what NOT to write in a thank you note!

30DaysOut: In the book you talk about four things you need to do to unleash your “inner rock star”….what are they?

DS: 1) Know your passion and those of your fans/clients, 2) Never stop learning, reading and paying attention to your industry, the news and the world around you, 3) Relationships are everything – “you’ll never get a date sitting at home on the couch” – you have to get out and network with others continually and, 4) never forget to say thank you to everyone along the way.

30DaysOut: What is the best way to network?

DS: Do things for others without expecting anything in return.  Comes back to you every time.

30DaysOut: How important is social media for people today?

DS: If you are not using it, it is consider the new form of illiteracy.  Seriously.

30DaysOut: You have said how much rock stars appreciated you when you listened to them during an interview…how important is the simple act of listening?

DS: One of the top things to remember.  Shut up and listen sometimes, really listen – you’ll find all kinds of info!

30DaysOut: How did you make the transition from DJ behind the mic to motivational speaker in front of hundreds of pe0ple?

DS: I never shut up.  And when people started inviting me to speak, I thought, what the heck – might as well try.  And fell in love with the business of speaking.

30DaysOut: What do you think the biggest obstacle for people to overcome to be able to unleash their power within?

DS: Fear.  I liken it to learning to drive a car – you are nervous at first and may be hit a few curbs, but after a while you are just fine.  And hopefully no hitting anymore curbs.  Though there may be the occasional one so just keep going and learn from your mistakes!

30DaysOut: What does the future hold for you?

DS: Hopefully a half dozen margaritas beside a pool somewhere warm!

Dayna Steele Official Website

Dayna Steele Facebook page

Review: “Sonic Boom,” KISS

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by 30daysout

Kiss - Sonic Boom -  Front

I don’t know what it is with these Wal-Mart exclusive deals – bands like Journey and Foreigner, and now KISS, have put out brand-new albums at the world’s largest retailers and they aren’t bad.  Sonic Boom, available today at a Wal-Mart near you, is the first album of new material from KISS in over a decade.  I listened with the ear of a KISS fan (as I used to be years ago; or is it once a KISS fan, always a KISS fan?) and Sonic Boom is a fairly strong addition to the KISS library.

Produced by Paul Stanley and with most songs written by Stanley and Gene Simmons, the album is certainly a throwback to the band’s peak sound (around Destroyer or Alive) with anthems like Stanley’s “Never Enough” or Simmons’ “Hot and Cold” (containing the line “If it’s too loud, you’re too old”).  Actually Stanley’s lyrics are mostly “let’s party hearty” while Simmons takes care of the “let’s screw” department, and they don’t disappoint.  “Say Yeah,” by Stanley, is another one to turn up the volume for.  Drummer Eric Singer gets a vocal showcase (“All For The Glory”) as does lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (“When Lightning Strikes”), which is probably a first for a KISS album.

So we have here another 1970s-1980s-era rock band, concert hall favorites, producing a collection of new material that doesn’t pale next to the work from their “classic” period.  Members of Journey, Foreigner and now KISS know exactly who their audience is, and the formula they used to become superstars back in the day – that sensibility seems to be a perfect fit for the average Wal-Mart shopper.  Although I suspect that each of these bands have earned thousands of brand-new fans with these Wal-Mart packages.  So don’t be a snob – get over to your neighborhood Wal-Mart and pick up the new KISS.  In addition to the new CD, there’s a second disc of re-recorded greatest hits and a DVD of a live KISS concert.  All for 12 bucks!

MP3: “Modern Day Delilah”

KISS official website

Rock Moment: “The Mike Douglas Show”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by 30daysout

mike-douglas-show

Mike Douglas started out as big band singer before heading to the small screen in the 1950s. The Mike Douglas Show debuted in Cleveland as a local show in 1961, but by 1967 after the show moved to Philadelphia, it was in 171 markets and watched by more than six million people each afternoon.

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KISS: Coming To A Venue and Wal-Mart Near You

Posted in News with tags , , on August 25, 2009 by 30daysout

Kiss

Sonic Boom, the first new album from Kiss in 11 years, will go on sale October 6 exclusively at Wal-Mart.  The new album will be the centerpiece of a three-disc set that will feature a completely re-recorded greatest hits CD as well as a live DVD shot during the band’s recent world tour.  This set is much like the very successful triple-disc set from Journey last year that also was a Wal-Mart exclusive.  The Sonic Boom package will retail for $12 and you can pre-order on Walmart.com beginning in September.  In the UK and Europe, Roadrunner Records will release the three-disc package on October 5.

And of course, the Kiss Alive 35 (that’s 35 years in existence, boys and girls) tour kicks off Sept. 25 with a multi-show engagement at Cobo Hall in Detroit Rock City, and the tour will include dates in Austin, Dallas and Houston in December.  Kiss is, of course, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, along with replacement members Tommy Thayer on lead guitar and Eric Singer on drums.  Paul Stanley produced the new Sonic Boom album.

Kiss official website