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Author Topic: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons  (Read 726 times)

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boyinblack80

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Re: Kiss And Make-Up - Gene Simmons
« 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 »

 

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