Outside of my obsessions for heavy metal, sci-fi, and horror, I habitually find myself gravitating towards two distinct styles of media in entertainment: the dark, disgusting, and macabre; or the stupidity of plain ridiculousness and irreverent humor. So when fellow GoD of Thunder, Dave3, hurled out his list of comics available to review recently, it should be no surprise that my eyeballs became magnetized to a title that read Mars Attacks KISS.
I have been a KISS fan for 26 years, which is way more than half of my current lifespan, and so naturally my first two thoughts were, “Wait! Is this about the band KISS?” and “That is the most ridiculous comic title ever conceived – I love it”.
And it is indeed about the hard rock/heavy metal band I’ve obsessed over for nearly three decades – being faced with the skull-faced, brain-headed, ack-ack-speaking monstrosities from the film of the same name.
To put it guilelessly, when I scored this review for Geeks of Doom, it was like giving a jigsaw puzzle with alphabetized pieces to someone with OCD.
Happy Birthday today to two iconic figures of hard rock, the firebreathing demon of KISS, Gene Simmons, and the wailing, high-pitched and demonic bottom-ended harbringer of all things early British heavy metal, Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
Both men are downright revolutionary in what they bring and continue to bring to their respective bands, although arguably Kiss and Judas Priest while certainly equally loved by fans of hard rock/heavy metal, are two decidedly different bands for sure.
Simmons was born Chaim Weitz in Haifa, Israel on August 25, 1949. It has been written that Simmons’ mother, Florence, and her brother Larry, survived the Holocaust a few years before Chaim was born. The Weitz family moved to Queens, New York when Chaim was 8 years old. By the time he was a teenager, he became known as Gene Simmons, and started tooling around in local bands, first one called Lynx, then The Missing Links, and others as well. About a half a decade went by when he formed Wicked Lester with himself on bass and buddy Stanley Harvey Eisen on rhythm guitar and lead vocals (Eisen also eventually sported a moniker change and became known as Paul Stanley.) Wicked Lester went through some crisis modes with their lineups and ended with the two disbanding that unit even though a record deal had been in place. For their next project, the two found a drummer in Peter Criscoula and a lead guitarist in Paul Frehley. THOSE two changed their names as well to Peter Criss and Ace Frehley respectively and thus the new quartet, known as KISS, was born.
This week, the KISS album Destroyer is on sale for only $2.99 in MP3 format. The CD is on sale as well for only $4.76.
Released in 1976 and produced by Bob Ezrin, Destroyer contains some of the best known KISS songs – “Detroit Rock City,” “God of Thunder,” “Shout It Out Loud,” and the ballad “Beth.” Fact: When my husband and I got together, we realized that between us we owned 8 copies of Destroyer on vinyl (as well as several cassette copies and 2 CDs), therefore I don’t think I need to explain why I think you should grab this album now for only $3.
Browse all 1,000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each, as well as several albums on sale this week for only $2.99 each.
Space Ace Frehley – legendary guitarist and alien spaceman from deep space, specifically the planet Jendell… or the Bronx, depending upon which legend you choose to believe. For his No Regrets autobiography, written with assistance from Joe Layden and John Ostrosky, Ace determines to focus on the Earthbound tales of his back history, examining his memories from childhood, to wild teenage years, to his days with KISS, and his time as a solo artist.
I read No Regrets with immense anticipation. Being a KISS fan is not just about enjoying their music, it is quite literally an obsession that becomes a lifestyle. [Geeks of Doom editors Eve and Dave will back me up here – go on, Eve, tell ’em about it right here: There is a shrine to Ace at the Geeks of Doom Headquarters, and in lieu of a framed wedding photo above the bed is a framed print of the cover of Ace’s 1976 KISS solo album, undisputedly the best by far of the four KISS sole albums.] And a chunk of that lifestyle is discovering more about the history of the band members (original and otherwise), as it makes up a much larger picture of the KISS family.
When it comes to matters pertaining to the band KISS, I always confess quite a level of bias, having been a fan since 1987 – and particularly a fan of late drummer Eric Carr. Besides this meaning I’ve been a member of the KISS army for 25 years now, I always keep my eyes peeled for something of interest when it pops up on the web.
Look no further than a video I stumbled across today that I’m sure even rock fans in general, drummers, and our regular readers here at Geeks of Doom may find will bring a smile to your face.
His name is Avery Molek, he is 5 years old, and a KISS fan. More than that he is also a drummer, and his ability at his very young age is remarkable. Continue reading to check out a video of Avery in action.