Nothin’ to Lose: The Making of Kiss

Ken Sharp, with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. HarperCollins, $28.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-06-213172-0
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In collaboration with Kiss members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, music writer Sharp has assembled a fascinating chronicle of the construction of a multimedia phenomenon. As rock music in the early-1970s fragmented, a hardworking band from Queens drew on the antics of the likes of Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and Slade to create a gargantuan, and deafening, theatrical spectacle, custom-made for big arenas and teenagers hungry for a guilt-free good time. Driven by faith in their destiny as megastars, and willing to hustle, Kiss created a particularly lurid version of the American Dream that won over the heartland. Sharp emphasizes the role their manager, TV producer Bill Aucoin, and Neil Bogart, the mercurial head of Casablanca Records, played in creatively marketing the band—including kissing contests and an appearance at a smalltown Michigan high school’s homecoming. With the band members’ platform shoes, pyrotechnics, and outlandish costumes, Kiss forged a template for the arena rock that followed, although few Kiss imitators have bass players with seven-inch tongues who spit fire. 150 b&w and 16-page color insert (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-228374-0
Paperback - 550 pages - 978-0-06-213173-7
Ebook - 560 pages - 978-0-06-213174-4
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