KID KING KISS (aka Jason Roberts)

How do you rank the studio albums by the original four?  I’d give them all 10’s!!

What got you hooked on KISS as a kid?   The first time I saw the cover of KISS Alive II with the blood all over Gene.
What was your favorite live KISS concert experience?  Revenge … my uncle Dennis bought us tickets, it was my first show … it was the UIC Pavillion …it was my favorite … just seeing all the adrenaline and the bombs and the pyrotechnics just made me feel like a kid again!
Who is your favorite member of the original four and why?  Has to be Gene because he just tells it like it is and he holds no punches even though his mouth gets him in trouble sometimes, but he’s got to learn too.
What’s your favorite 80’s KISS record and what are your favorite 5 KISS songs of the 80’s?  Asylum … “Uh All Nite”, “Let’s Put The X In Sex”, “Silver Spoon”, “Who Wants To Be Lonely” and “Heart of Chrome”.
You are a huge Elvis fan, what do you think KISS and Elvis have in common? They were all cool back in their day, he had his worst times with the movies and the Army and he had everything taken away and KISS had their day with non-make-up records and the disco era — they both had their non-cool phase.

What’s your review from the Chicago Open Air show this summer at Toyota Park?  I think they need to really quit — I had to say but they need to quit or do a one year reunion tour with everyone whose alive and just call it a day.

If you met someone who wasn’t (yet) a KISS fan, what 5 songs would you play them to try and enlist them in the KISS Army?   “Dr Love”, “Do You Love Me”, “Kissin’ Time”, “Love Gun” and “Deuce”.

You have a weekly feature on KISStorian in your Jason‘s Kisstoric Flashback — how do you decide each week what video to pick?  It’s not very hard, I just go with how I feel that week, whatever song I feel like throwing up there.

If somebody bought you the Gene Simmons Vault and he was gonna come and hang out for a bit, what would you wanna do and what would you talk with Gene about?  I would talk him about why is he letting KISS continue to play live and ask him to consider just making more studio records because that’s probably what the fans wanna see most at this point … I would just like to spend the day with him and see what he’s like.
You are asked to write Ace Frehley‘s set list for the next tour … what songs are essential for him to play live that he hasn’t been playing?  “Do Ya”, “Trouble Walkin'”, “Talk To Me”, “2,000 Man”, “White Room” and “Foxy & Free”.

What is your favorite moment in KISStory?  Gene’s appearance on the Mike Douglass Show or the Tom Snyder Show interview.

What would you call the next KISS studio album, please give us three working titles Jason? Maniacs, Tear It Up or Worlds Apart.

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KISStorian ranks the original studio LPs

#1 > LOVE GUN – Eddie Kramers KISStoric sonic masterpiece, the punchy Love Gun boasts Ace’s first vocal, some of his best leads and the original line-up’s finest studio hour. Best snare sound found on any KISS studio recording save the non-live side 4 of Alive II, compliments again of Kramer.

#2 > ROCK & ROLL OVER – Meaty, beaty, big & bouncy, and again with Kramer at the wheel, Rock & Roll Over is a bombastic rock record that captures the band getting back to what they do best, rock. The debut EP should probably have this spot but the band is so much more developed by ’76’s RRO .

#3 > KISS Almost as pristine as “Christeen Sixteen” herself in sheer simplicity, KISS is loaded with more of the bands live staples than any other and, If you don’t like “Kissin’ Time”, you’re probably in the band because Ace’s solo on it is fierce, capturing on his frets the bands frustration in being forced to record the number.

#4 > DRESSED TO KILL – Shortish but tight, Dressed To Kill is a surprisingly crisp sounding album given it was practically self-produced …DTK features a notably improved Peter Criss and a number of now classic KISS rockers for the subsequent tour and Alive!. Turns out that giving the band more control, at least at this juncture, enabled them to produce something that represented them better than the debut and HTH, employing acoustic guitars to add texture for the first time. 

#5 > DETROYERThe bar and the band raised to the high ‘n mighty Bob Ezrin standard, Destroyer is KISS’s first successful foray into mainstream pop hot on the heels of the radio explosion of the Alive! version of “Rock & Roll All Nite”. Although many argue it’s KISS’s best studio effort because of their expanded scope with Ezrin producing, the overblown fascism that is “Great Expectations” gives us their first truly cringeworthy moment and a snapshot of the shape of things to come.

#6 > HOTTER THAN HELL – A delightfully dark ‘n dirgy, balls-to-the-wall album that includes a number of my all-time favorite KISS deep cuts, HTH is a major cornerstone of the KISS cannon. Were it not for its muddy production and dead drums, I could even put it above Destroyer because its definitive stuff. No place else would the sludge blues-rock of “Mainline” have made the cut nor  “Goin’ Blind” & ” Strange Ways” fit in so well with classics like “Parasite”, “Got to Chose” and the title cut.

(( KISStorians note: I have left off Dynasty & Unmasked because they, by & large, feature Anton Fig as ghost drummer. Had I included them, Unmasked would have come in last place, Dynasty somewhere in the middle ‘cuz its state-of-the-art KISS! ))

 

STAN PAULEY of PHAT KISS

How did your relationship with KISS begin? It all started when in was a kid digging through my older brothers record collection. I found Kiss Alive II and then knew my life would never be the same.

Can you explain why being a KISS fan is typically a life-long affliction? I have no idea why being a fan has lasted all my life. It would be impossible to pin down just one reason. But if I had to narrow it down I would say It’s their raw energy.

PHAT KISS return to LIVEWIRE on HALLOWEEN, do you have anything special planned for the KISS Army? Definitely have a few tricks up our sleeves for the LiveWire show!!

How did you show in Berwyn at Cigars & Stripes BBQ Lounge come about? A friend of ours works at a BBQ place and found out there was this Halloween BBQ fest in Berwyn on the Saturday the 28th there  …We love BBQ and Berwyn’s the home of the Son of Svengoolie. How could we refuse?!

Who is in PHAT KISSOur current line up is Stan Pauley guitar / vocals, Beans Simmons bass / vocals, A.C. Crisps drums / vocals.

You have a dual role in the band — you’re the ‘Starchild’ but you also play all the leads. Is there room in PHAT KISS for a ‘Spaceman’ at some point?  We are definitely open to finding an ‘Ace’, It’s very important to us to find someone that will fit with our chemistry.

What’s your live set up in terms of amps & guitars? Marshall stack, Gibson guitars, though I do use a Iceman here and there.

What are the staples of your set and which cuts seem to go over best consistently? We try to do a mix of the hits and deep cuts  As far as shows are concerned …”Love Gun”, “Strutter”, “Detroit Rock City” and “I Was Made For Loving You” always get a great crowd reaction!

Are there any songs you tried live that were soon to get nixed? We’ve done some 80’s stuff like “I love It Loud” and “Tears Are Falling” but they never seem to stay in the set. We are still exploring some of that, I think we’re probably gonna throw in “War Machine” here soon.

What’s your favorite KISS album?  Kiss Alive II will always hold the top spot. That open guitar riff on “I Stole Your Love” just rips!

What is the best KISS concert you ever attended?  I’ve seen them maybe 10 times but I would have to say the last one at Chicago Open Air festival this summer rocked. They have so much material it went on for over 2 hours and their stage show always gets progressively better. Absolutely nothing beats when Gene flies during “God Of Thunder”.

Do you have a KISS ‘happy space’ you would share with fellow KISStorians? I don’t know what you mean by ‘happy space’ but for some reason KISS always sounds best to me cranked up while driving.

Did Vinnie Vincent save KISS?  There is a case to be made for Vinnie, but ultimately it’s Paul and Gene who are the driving force of KISS.

If you were mod your Harley Davidson KISS style, what would you do to it in a perfect KISS world?  Such a weird question …The only way to go there if I had to would be some sort of demon bike with glowing eyes and so its fire from the tail pipe like some tricked out 70’s chopper.

What’s your favorite track by each original KISS member?
Paul – “Love Gun” ….Man it’s “Love Gun”!!!
Gene – “Cold Gin” …Just a nasty riff and all the hoopla that goes with it.
Ace – “Rocket Ride” …Just a driving song that keeps pushing the limits and some really clever guitar work. Also, it’s about getting a blow job.
Peter – “Black Diamond”.

Do you believe KISS will continue without Gene or Paul as stated for years by both original founders? Epic. KISS will live forever, if not the original band In some way shape or form but in bands like us willing to carry the torch of The KISS Army. 

Do you think they ever deputize / co-brand KISS cover bands worldwide? I’d like to think there is some kid out there right now learning the solo for “Detroit Rock City”. Man …I have no idea what they would do.

This is your chance for a shout out to the boys because they are reading this — what say yee? All I know is we’ll keep doing it as long as the crowd is into it. Take us on THE KISS KRUISE!!

KISStorian interviews MIKE FLORIO of PFT

mfMike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com with NBC Sports is not only arguably the go-to-guy on all things NFL these days but is also a KISStorian well-versed in the ‘Old Testament’; IE the original fab four of Gene, Paul, Ace & Peter. He graciously took time out from his busy schedule of Xs, Os, deflated balls and rampant off-season conjecture to talk about the hottest band in all the land, KISS!! …it appears their influence truly knows no bounds. 
>>>>> Part of being a KISS fan often involves recruiting for the KISS Army, how is that going?  I actually joined the KISS Army many, many years ago. I was dishonorably discharged for buying a Peter Frampton album.
>>>>> Can you give us your KISS elevator pitch?  “Want to experience a thrill similar to the feeling of this elevator plunging to the bottom of the shaft but without being turned into human guacamole?”
>>>> How did you catch the KISS bug? I watched the Paul Lynde Halloween Special. It was either become a fan of Paul Lynde or KISS. I flipped a coin. 

>>>> What was your first KISS concert?  January 1978. Loud, exciting, visually stimulating. Nasally stimulating, too. I never knew it smelled like burning B.O. BmLhSu8CQAAGtHL
>>>>> Who was your favorite member of KISS growing up and who is it now?  Growing up, it was Gene, because of the fire and the blood. Today, it’s Paul because now that I know more about Gene, I admire that Paul found a way to coexist with the biggest ego this side of Donald Trump.
>>>> What to you is the must-have KISS opus?  Alive. First KISS album I ever owned. I was transfixed by it. The music, the packaging. I still remember how the thing smelled after I removed the shrink wrap. It was nothing like burning B.O.
>>>> Were you in the KISS corner throughout the 80’s? Once the makeup came off, it was over for me. I bought Alive III and enjoyed it, but the bug didn’t return until they put the makeup back on in ’96. I went to the Farewell tour in 2000, and I remember thinking that it just wasn’t the same without the original four members. Fifteen years later, I think it’s time for Gene and Paul to start thinking about finding four guys who will look and sound like KISS from the ’70s, hire them, and start it all over again for a new generation, or two.
>>>> How do you rate The Elder? I had drifted away from KISS at that point in my life, so I never had any strong feelings about it. “A World Without Heroes” is one of my favorite songs from “Unplugged”.
>>>> Which is better: ‘Sonic Boom’ or “Monster’?  I’ve heard neither. I’ve been stuck in the pre-Dynasty phase since the reunion tour of ’96.
>>>> What are your most-prized KISS items / collectibles / keepsakes at home?  In 2003, I found a refurbished KISS pinball machine that ended up being a piece of crap. I returned it, got my money back, and recently made a deposit on the new KISS pinball machine from Sterm. I’ve also got a couple of tour books from the ’70s and the Destroyer and Love Gun puzzles.
Bj26NO0IgAA-W8h>>>> Do you have a favorite KISS related story?  I have two: After seeing them on the Dynasty tour in 1979, we were driving away from the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, and someone on the sidewalk was waving a white towel and shouting, “Ace Frehley touched this towel!” So my buddy took off his shirt, stuck it out the window, and started screaming, “Gene Simmons wiped his ass with this T-shirt.” I’ve never forgotten that, no matter how hard I try to. More importantly, the entire approach to my website was directly influenced by Paul Stanley’s explanation of how KISS came to be. They created the band they would have paid to go see. I tried to create a website that I would spend my own time visiting. (check out ProFootballTalk.com)
>>>> Are you a face-painter?  In 1978, my sister painted my face as Peter Criss for Halloween. It was a one time thing. I used to think his gray hair was cool. Now that I’m sprouting a fair share of my own, I don’t.
>>>> What was your mindset on the eve of KISS’s induction into the Rock Hall? The original four should have performed one last time. Whatever the issues were from the past, they should have found a way to set it aside for one very important night.
Paul-Stanley-image-paul-stanley-36802465-614-480>>>> Have you been exposed yet to KISS’s football venture, LA KISS?  I went to their game at Pittsburgh last year. The team was horrible, like most expansion football teams are. It looks like they do a great job with their home games, but ultimately the thing that gets fans to show up consistently is a winning team. After watching Fourth and Loud, I have a feeling that if Paul and Gene could do it all over again, they would have passed on the AFL opportunity. In sports, there are too many things that can’t be controlled, and Paul and Gene like to control everything.
>>>> Last question Mike ….what is your forecast for the Chicago Bears this year?  John Fox has won plenty of games with quarterbacks far worse than Jay Cutler, including Tim Tebow. The challenge will be to get the defense quickly fixed. Expectations will be low, which means that they can catch opponents by surprise, win some games in September and October, and position themselves to contend for a playoff berth.

SLUTTER rocks Chicago @ LiveWire

IMAG0723Women alive did SLUTTER bring the love & joy when they hit the stage dressed to kill last nite people, proving they are Chicago’s rock & roll party. They opened with “Detroit Rock City” as if to say, yo, you wanted the best, you got the best. These gals know that KISS with boobs is a heady brew and the audience beamed with delight throughout. They’re sexy and they rock, kinda like KISS used to be. Highlights for me included “Shock Me”, “Dr. Love”, “Black Diamond”, “Love Gun” and “God of Thunder” — go figure! SLUTTER have confetti cannons, an infectious sincerity and one of the coolest KISS-inspired logos in all KISStory. May God continue to bless the ladies of SLUTTER: the following impromptu interviews were done in the “Ladies Room” backstage Friday, March 6th @ Live Wire Lounge in Chicago. If you haven’t been there, and you rock, get there soon.

Front woman GG STANLEY’s singing, preening & semi-reluctant stage raps were brilliant. In some ways she is the best Paul Stanley clone I’ve seen, plus she’s got a hot bod. On the intro to “Cold Gin” she admitted she prefers a Merlot or Chianti and then, quickly tiring of the charade, simply closes with “yeah, whatever……. COLD GIN!!”. Lady Starchild smiled & laughed often at the sheer majesty of the tunes & spectacle that is SLUTTERI gotta tell you people, if you are down in the dumps, and you need something to bring you up, I think GG’s got you. 

DR. LOVE’s head wags, ghoulish glare, blood-letting and Demon growl were devilishly faithful and are a guilty treasure to be sure. Maybe it was the blood moon but, basically speaking, she’s watchin’ you, and you don’t know what to do whoa whoa ….  In fact, her decidedly menacing pleasure on “God Of Thunder” brought a comforting levity to the proceedings. We heard her words, we took heed ….it’s only right now. 

PETERLESS CRISS’s back beat nailed the early KISS groove even if she admits she has no affinity for Peter the man. She was especially strong on “King Of The Nighttime World”, “Shock Me” and “Dr. Love”. Gene once said that “when the drummer sucks even the fat girls know” and this is no exception. Peterless or not, Mrs. Criss has balls (behind the kit) plus she may be the comic genius mastermind behind SLUTTER’s considerable hi-jinx (cat).

ACE SHELEY is hot. Lady Space sounded like what you would expect if Ace had never been in KISS and then joined a KISS cover band called SLUTTER. She even kinda played her own versions of a few of the leads but with flash, balls and, dare I say, bravado. Sheley was amazing on “Shock Me”, a SLUTTER band-wide fav, taking every one at LiveWire quite literally down to the bare wire. Babe, I don’t wanna burst your bubble but she has the Mrs. Excitement vibe down, on guitar and otherwise. Her hair is perfect. She’s like a KISS dream date; my only regret was not going home with her and trading licks 🙂

PS – the outro to”Black Diamond” was A1 gonzo-rific!

 

San Fran ’77, catnip & covers

Not the greatest quality ‘fan recording’ of all time ….on SIDE 1 there are volume swells and dips and the band sounds like they got into Pete’s catnip that night in 1977 in San Francisco …..some nice rare KISS cover oddities though on SIDE 2 in “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Hey Joe”, “La Bamba”, Whole Lotta Love” and Paul’s cool Hendrix vocal imitation on on “Hey Joe”.
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