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Author Topic: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons  (Read 345 times)

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Chiprocks1

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Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« on: July 21, 2011, 06:59:54 pm »
Kiss And Make-Up (2001)





I purposely avoided this book for years. I really didn't have any desire to read this given that I already knew more about KISS than Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley combined. But out of sheer boredom and nothing else to read, I decided to give this one a shot at long last. My first impression when picking the book up and holding it in my hands was how small the book looked. For a band like KISS and it's author Gene Simmons, I would expect nothing less than 500 pages. But this looked like a book that I would finish in just a few days (3 days to be exact).

Upon reading the book, I quickly realized that I wasn't going to get anything new from the man himself. Everything that you have ever heard about KISS and its humble beginnings, and you KISS fans know exactly what I'm talking about, you have seen and heard the stories told a million times over from Gene himself either in on-camera interviews or print from magazines and other books over the years.

I was hoping to get a more detailed account of most of the pivotal moments of the band's history. But that was not the case here. Most of the back history from his days as a child all the way to the Farewell Tour is pretty much glossed over, recounting stuff that most KISS fan's already know. And when the band isn't being talked about in the book, Gene is bragging about his sexual exploits. But the way he paints the picture of each woman he banged, it comes off as a bad cliché of a **** plot. After awhile it just becomes laughable every time he talks about yet another conquest. I'm not saying that none of this happened or that it didn't happen the way he describes. It's just left me laughing more than admiring his  ability to get any woman he wants.

The only thing that I found fascinating within the pages of KISS And Make-up was the dirt he dishes on Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. These are the only things that came off as "new" to me that I had never heard about. Sure I have heard both Gene and Paul slam both Ace and Peter for years and years. But getting first hand accounts of what Ace and Peter did to incur the wrath of Gene was somewhat eye opening here. But after awhile, it just seemed a bit harsh and started to feel more and more like character assassination on them for the sake of just getting back at them. I'm not saying that none of what Gene described didn't happen. But there are two sides to every story and it's why I anxiously await the release of Ace's book to hear what he has to say on the matter.

All in all, I would recommend this book only to those that know nothing about KISS and need a quick crash course on the band. For everyone else, I would just get it from the library, which is what I did here.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

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Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 12:02:41 am »
Added Poll

This is just a Rent for me.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 02:43:13 pm »
Gene Simmons KISS and Make Up.

I had heard mixed reviews about the book before reading this and had even heard a few audio clips (I thought) read by Gene that were excerpts from the book.


For me that is sometimes a good thing though.  "Ah that movie SUCKED" .  The cool thing is if it's something I wanted to see anyway...going in with low expectations as strange as that might sound...at the very least doesn't set you up to be disappointed.

I really like the early years section of Gene's book.  Growing up in Israel, moving to the United States...there were some really funny and interesting stories throughout that section.  You can really sense a feeling of nostalgia Gene has for that period of his life and rightly so...it was very different than any other part thereafter.
His teen years I found really interesting as well...Gene did a great job of inserting pictures as you are reading along, so when he refers to something like his father who stepped out on his family when Gene was about 3 years old, a comic fanzine cover he'd drawn as a teen, or he played a school dance for the first time.  The pictures are a great accompaniment to the text (right when you want to see it)

as we head into the KISS years the pre-KISS (maybe 6 months leading to the actual formation of the band) you get some insight into where Gene was living, how he was living, the early rumblings of an insatiable appetite for sex and women....it's all good stuff.  Unfortunately as the KISS story really starts to take off....the stories get less and less.  There's still a few very funny stories about the early touring days...and Gene himself even being shocked that he'd sleep with women sometimes even in their 60's (an elderly limo driver he nick named Grandma).  It was actually very, very  funny...he talked briefly about sleeping with two girls who were "unattractive" It's so strange to read that in fact, you almost read that line multiple times because it's SO unusual for anyone to basically say that you feel like you misread it..."nope it says unattractive alright!"

I really wished he'd delved deeper into the experience of going for a club band, to playing bigger and bigger shows.  He does talk about it....but what was it like?  How did it feel to breath fire and see people freak out, what was it like to see this basic concept of simple face paint and homemade costumes turn into a stage that filled 25% of an arena, with platforms that rose and fell, to see professional artists create the now famous Dragon boots?  Tell us Gene!.  He just doesn't touch on any of that stuff...it starts to get a lot more like...and then we did Destroyer, and then we did Rock and Roll over...there's a bit more to it than that...but not much unfortunately.

what's interesting is the book then actually picks up steam around the time of the Dynasty album and after that...going into the solo albums, going into dating Cher, then Diana Ross....so it's ironic...or odd that the final half of the book he seems more passionate about...or maybe perplexed by how things turned out.  The struggle was maybe more memorable than the successes of the band...and why not.  He touches on his acting career, the reunion and struggles throughout the years with Ace and Peter...Peter especially from Gene's perspective sounded very hard to be around and super high maintenance with complaining, weak musicianship skills....really a shame to hear that.  The flaw never really showed on the outside.  Ace on the other hand I think is more a disappointment to Gene than anything.  I feel like (and who doesn't if your a KISS fan) that Ace really squandered his talent.  Alcohol and drug use just took it's toll on the guy.  His lack of professionalism and weak ego being an ongoing problem as well.

What I found interesting was on youtube I'd heard an audio clip where Gene referred to Ace as a racist pig...now in the book unless I missed it...Gene never referred to him as that.  I always thought it was a direct clip of Gene reading the book for an audio version...but I might be wrong.  Although I think Ace showed a definite lack of sensitivity towards Gene and his Jewish heritage...I honestly don't feel it was as malicious and Gene makes it out to be.  I understand his mother was in the concentration camps and a lot of her family was murdered....but that was her story not Gene's.  As protective as he is of his mother...Ace being a dumb ass and trying to push Gene's buttons...might not totally qualify as Racist of the Year...more like friend who doesn't like or respect you...trying to push your buttons...who knows...only Ace would know how he truly feels.

I did like Gene's book...it left some things to be desired....but it was an enjoyable read overall...had some great pics, and was a fun puzzle piece although maybe smaller puzzle piece of one of the most interesting rock bands of the last 50 years.

3.75 stars out of 5.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 03:06:14 pm by boyinblack80 »

Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 02:54:56 pm »
Solid review dude. Personally I would say that the best part of this book was his upbringing, which isn't something that hadn't gotten a lot of press. At least before his show Family Jewels started airing. So for me, I got more out of this section than I did with the rest. The stuff with Ace and Peter is still fascinating to hear and read about because that 'magic curtain' between the 4 of them is something we fans never really got to hear about first hand. If it weren't for these Rock Bio Books now flooding the market, stuff like this would be more myth than anything else.

For those that have never gotten into Gene's TV show, I think it would be wise to read up on his early years so that you get a sense of what family means to him and his relationship with his mother.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 02:59:21 pm »
was still doing some nips and tucks as you posted....I always have to tweak and clarify little things.

yeah I mean for me personally...I just never knew how high maintenance Peter Criss was....the "moaner" as he was called.  Ace and his partying ways you understand a bit more from the outside.

Gene still I think has very fond memories of the best times and I know he's said Peter and he were probably the most similar in the band and at their best times, got along very well and had the most in common (television, candy, and a sense of humor) although most people would assume Gene and Paul are...Gene and Paul I've gotten from other sources are basically exact opposites in many ways...which is REALLY interesting.

My hope is we someday get Peter's book (which he for sure was working on) and then if Paul ever decides to do one...the quadrilogy will be complete!


Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 03:04:31 pm »
I want to hear both Peter and Paul's take on the KISS years for sure. But if I had to choose one over the other, I would want to hear Paul more than Peter because at this point, I get the feeling the entire book would be him defending himself, much like Steven Adler does in his own book.

So, what's your take on No Regrets: A Rock 'N' Roll Memoir?
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 03:25:32 pm »
yeah for sure....Peter did start his book at least 10 years back...I'd heard a slew of interviews where he talked about staying in a hotel room and really digging in and working on it.  Based on Gene's book....it could be a similar scenario to the "I went away for 6 months and learned to read music and now I can play drums even better"

that's always the run when you are getting info about someone's work habits from them.  Their idea of working their ass off might not be the worlds view of it.

clearly the book would have been the first of these books...since Gene's book I believe came out about 7 years back.

That was one small bummer for me was so much had happened since he'd written his book...I'd almost like a past 6 years version of what he's been up to.  Nick was only 12 when he wrote KISS and Make Up...I believe he's 19 or 20 now.

Paul's book would be AMAZING.  I really hope he does one.

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2012, 03:27:38 pm »
I'll probably read Ace's book one more time before I review it....with Gene's book fresh in my head it will **** things up.

I did want to read it again anyway...so I'll put a hold on it...and then read it one more time

same with Ozzy's book.  I loaned the damn thing to my wife and she got in mixed in with a pile of her stuff and I can't even get through the mountain of books and magazines behind the chair to find it.

women and their stuff

;)

hahahaha
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 03:29:16 pm by boyinblack80 »

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2012, 03:28:20 pm »
hey don't edit me you fuckin mother **** **** **** ****.

 :)

Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 03:29:00 pm »
Peter's been working on it for 10 years? What the hell! Maybe there's some truth to what Gene says about his work ethic. It shouldn't take more than a year, two tops, to turn in a first draft of the book. Paul's book would be NY Times Best seller I would imagine.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 03:31:33 pm by Chiprocks1 »
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 03:30:16 pm »
yeah there was a slew of old interviews on youtube from about 8-10 years back and he was bragging about how great it was and he was dedicated to writing it etc.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 03:30:55 pm »
I loaned the damn thing to my wife and she got in mixed in with a pile of her stuff and I can't even get through the mountain of books and magazines behind the chair to find it.

women and their stuff

;)

hahahaha

For a second there, I thought you were gonna say she got mixed up with the wrong crowd. She runs with a dangerous crew for sure.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 03:33:43 pm »
hey don't edit me you ****in mother ****ing **** **** ****.

 :)

Hahaha. No worries. I won't even edit your Elder review, even though I have every right to do so.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 03:44:03 pm »
I was just kidding...the edited version makes me look way more like a bad ass

:)

Chiprocks1

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 03:45:33 pm »
Your Stormtrooper helmet makes you look bad ass, even if it does f uck your guitar playing.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

 

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