KISStorian attempt on the Space Bear @ Dome Room ’95

It was August 8th, 1995 – and Ace was back, again. It seemed he was coming through a lot around then ….China Club, Cubby Bear, The Avalon.  We were there and I gotta say I miss those times on my Ace timeline, when you had no idea what might happen.

That aside, this was an ultra-weird venue for an Ace Frehley show. It was downtown in the tourist district as it were and the Dome Room was really just a dance club: a bullshit, over-priced pick up joint that felt like the live set from Purple Rain. It was lightly attended in ‘Ace in Chicago’ terms largely because the venue was not on rock fans radar and, even if you did know about it, was basically “not our scene man”. We almost got arrested outside the correctional center pre-show…long story.

Anyway ….Ace and his band were loose, rockin’ and surprisingly dialed if characteristically sloppy.  I heard “Sister” live for the first time that night….seemed pretty fresh in Ace terms: like Parasite met the 80’s on an octane bender, very Ace.

At one point we all lost track of my (then) girlfriend. She was gone. WTF? (No cell phones then kids). We waited till  the floor cleared post-show to see if she emerged but still no sign of her? We waited a bit longer and then had no choice but to walk out of the club only to find her sitting on the front steps apparently fine and pretty charged up.

So yeah, get this ……she had been “ejected from the club when I tried to steal the Space Bear for you!!”

Uh …. you fucking what?  ….are you crazy! She quickly confirmed….”When they left the stage just before the encore I climbed up when the lights were low and snagged the Space Bear off Ace’s amp ……but they saw me … the roadies …. they we’re fucking pissed!!!!…. they grabbed me and picked up and took me backstage, past Ace and the band and all the way to the backstage door and threw me out!! One of the guys said “you’re lucky your alive bitch” and slammed the door. Ahh, I see, you’re ok….. holy shit babe.

“Now do you know how much I love you?” she asked laughing along hilariously with our drunken friends. I replied delicately, all things considered, I guess still in shock? ….. “to be honest babe, I’ve got mixed feelings”

 

 

 

 

 

we won’t get fooled again

KISScreemHere we are, on the night before the KISS Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, and I must admit I am feeling almost unhinged about KISS finally taking a long overdue bow for the new revolution. It feels like the night before KISSmas frankly.

In true KISS form, intentional or not, the lead-up to this has been one of the most riveting rock & roll dramas of all-time and juicy, sheer entertainment to fans and haters alike. Fitting it is (thanks Yoda!) that KISS’s motto is essentially ‘bang-for-the-buck’ because, no matter how you want it to play out, we’ve already gotten more than our money’s worth in the past month or two.

You gotta admit, they’ve got a knack for gravitas and this is the KISStory bonus round people. Like when Evil Knievel tried to jump the Grand Canyon, (or when KISS took their audiences and headliners by surprise early on), no-one really knows what’s going to happen.

inner1The only thing that is for sure is that each of the original four band-mates will have a chance at the mic tomorrow night. They’ll also be in the same room, and then on stage together presumably, for the first time in a decade or more if my fragile KISStory memory serves. Who cares if they’re gonna play or not at this point. As a guilty pleasure for a life long fan, I admit, beyond the respect, I want to to see the dynamic between the four under the mainstream hot lights. Everyone does.

I presume Gene & Paul will play nice but I do worry that Ace may (still) angle for an opportunity to re-ignite the KISS Army’s hopes for one last junket, regardless of the less than subtle hints  advising otherwise by both the Starchild and Demon.

My only wish is that they all take the moment for what it is: an honor to be in the room and the final capitulation of the establishment. (I imagine the beards will have grown longer overnight?)

With Paul & Gene at the helm, KISS have done here, and all along, just as The Who had suggested and treated the new boss same as the old boss. I tip my hat to the new constitution.

 

 

 

KISS bad boys wont play at Rock Hall ceremony

transmission:  “KISS Army Member to Home Base:  I read the news today, oh boy …..it hit me like the car crash at the end of Detroit Rock City….tension in the ranks”

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I should probably reserve comment until I have digested the slightly bitter pill, especially as I should have seen it coming! It’s weird as hell too because earlier today, before I got the news that Ace Frehley & Peter Criss apparently won’t be performing with KISS at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I enjoyed listening to two recent Ace interviews with Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM.  In hindsight, only a few hours later, they speak volumes in this latest strange twist of KISStory. 

The first one was In November of 2013, a few days after Ace performed a few tunes with Peter at the celebration of Eddie Trunks 30 years on the radio event in NYC.  In it Ace is quite frank at being nonplussed by Paul Stanley‘s recent comments that two of them were “never really friends” countering that the two used to exchange Christmas presents.  He then responds to Gene Simmons‘s then recent snipe that he won’t play with Ace ever again by countering that “Gene has no friends”, that he “isn’t respected by his peers” and then laughs “he doesn’t wanna play with me anymore Ed…. AAAHHHHHWWWW”.  At one point he basically dares Gene wondering aloud “I mean, what’s he gonna do …. to put a lid on it” in regard to the impending Rock Hall induction ceremony as if to say that Gene had now been painted into a corner.

Ace then went on with Trunk in December when the induction news broke and mentioned that Paul called him earlier in the day to offer congratulations and sounded chuffed about it.  But Ace likes to play poker and this may have been a bluff: either Ace misread the tea leaves caught up in the excitement of the day or was using Eddie’s show to lobby his case and wasn’t being entirely forthright about what transpired between he and the Starchild. Ace insinuated that Paul told him that the Rock Hall wanted the original four to perform in make-up, period. I believe Ace may have been negotiating, that’s my read on it. (Maybe the guys at Three Sides Of The Coin  will set us all straight on their next episode, I imagine they are in a frenzy like all good KISStorians this evening.)

It may be telling also that Ace said he did not speak with Gene as he was “somewhere else”. In any event, it appears the out of recent character loose talk by Ace may have backfired and, given the recent history between Trunk and the official KISS  camp, I shouldn’t be as shocked as I am.  Go ahead and add the ever looming specter of he and Peter’s recent autobiographies and you have a glimpse of what a cold day in Jendell is like; cold gin and no milk for the kitty.

Talk about a blessing and a curse: if it weren’t for the make-up KISS would never have made it and we wouldn’t be in this predicament with the performance segment of the induction. I mean really, two Spaceman? two Catmen? Ace already addressed it saying “that’s not gonna happen” as if he would not do it and may have in fact (grease) painted himself into a corner.  I wish former manager and guiding light Bill Aucoin were still alive to break the deadlock by convincing Gene & Paul to go open kimono, unmasked and appear as human beings with the whole gang in tow.

To be fair, as much as I wanted to see the originals play once last time, I do understand Gene & Paul’s position: this is KISS today and the hell if we are gonna stand up there and go 50/50 with Ace & Peter as far as taking credit for KISStory, especially when there is a 40 year track record of Gene & Paul calling the shots, come hell or high water.  They have earned the right to have it their way and I need to remind myself to respect home command  but, while my is hat is off to Gene & Paul, my heart goes out to Peter & Ace just the same. Somewhere Sean Delaney is driving needles through KISS dolls and the ever-exasperated Trunk is looking for that rope and stool Ace joked about. A day in the life…

transmission: “Kiss Army Member to Home Base: mutiny in the air ….the clones have risen ….the Elders have spoken …..crossing malevolent border”  

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(Editors note; my only remaining hope is that this is all a part of a larger, super savvy media play by the boys, colluding with Ace & Peter to bring us the biggest shock in KISStory !)