Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History

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Finally, a killer Kiss book that is devoid of Gene and Paul’s BS doublespeak crapping all over it. At first glance, Kiss Alive Forever emerges as fodder for crazed Kiss-army purists. But it’s not the numerous attendance figures and show listings that make this book an amusing read, it’s the tour antidotes and tales, most of which you know the Kiss Nazi intelligence crew wouldn’t want released. Of course, this tome is not Kiss-authorized. Had Kiss released a similar book, it would’ve been glossed over and stripped of all the fun and sacrificed of truth; the parts that make the band — Gene and Paul specifically — come across as actual people.

The fact that both Kiss Alive 1 and 2 were basically rerecorded in the studio help pop many Kiss deception bubbles here. Appendices in the back of this 287-page book stockpile dollops of fun facts: the band that opened the most Kiss shows (Ted Nugent —170); most frequently played venues (Detroit’s Cobo Arena comes in third with 12); most- and least-attended tours; songs used as opening numbers, etc. Photos, many of which have never been seen before — including shots from ex-Creem lensman/current Metro Times design director Charles Auringer — and early club shots go lengths in giving you the full Kiss experience. As it stands, Kiss Alive Forever is a rock ’n’ roll read that will delight far beyond any official Kiss release.

E-mail Ricky Phillips at letters@metrotimes.com.

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