Monday, March 23, 2015

2002, Bang Your Head, Alice Cooper excerpts from KISS section

If you haven't read the KISS section from That EvenSpot Blog
here are just the Alice Cooper copy that was mentioned on a few pages.

Pg 48

Right as the Alice Cooper band was peaking, out of New York came a
band called Kiss. Kiss was heavily influenced by Alice Cooper, so much
so that in their early days they reportedly played as an Alice Cooper
tribute band. What Michael Bruce saw in Kiss was a band that was more
together than Alice Cooper had ever been. “They got four guys with
makeup, four Alices,” he said. “We couldn’t even control the one Alice
we had!”

Kiss was inspired by the success of Alice Cooper as well as that of the
New York Dolls. Kiss wanted to be like the Dolls because of the quality
and quantity of the women they attracted. The Dolls, headed by lead
singer David Johansen and guitarist Johnny Thunders, were a short-lived
but extremely influential band. Their provocative look—high heels,
high hair, lipstick, and leather—was backed by a raw, sloppy, powerful
sound. Along with being a major influence on the punk movement in
New York, the Dolls also influenced a lot of late-1980s L.A. bands like
Guns N’ Roses.
The Dolls’ self-titled album was produced by Todd Rundgren and
recorded in a week, and it almost drove him to a nervous breakdown. I
Said Johansen, “In the end, Todd got so fed up with everyone saying,

Pg 49

“Turn me up,’ that he just turned everybody up.” Despite the Dolls’ early
promise, they fell apart in 1974, from alcohol and heroin abuse, just
after releasing their aptly titled second album, Too Much Too Soon. The
entire glam/ glitter scene was laid to rest on October 11, 1974, at a con-
cert called the Hollywood Street Revival and Dance, held at the Hollywood
Palladium. The Dolls headlined the show, and a mock funeral was held
for glitter and glam onstage.

With the Dolls self-destructing and Alice Cooper’s original lineup
falling apart, the four members of Kiss—Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley,
Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss—saw an opening they could crash through
like a semi. According to photographer Bob Gruen, “they figured there
was no point in trying to be beautiful, because they couldn’t compete
with the Dolls, so they decided to be monsters.”

Pg 51

Everyone in the band decided to change their names at once. Gene
Klein became Gene Simmons; Paul Stanley Eisen became Paul Stanley;
Peter Criscuola became Peter Criss; and since the name Paul was already
taken, Frehley took the nickname Ace. They wanted to call the band a
four-letter word, but since Fuck was out of the question, Kiss was the
next best thing. Just as many thought Alice Cooper was a folksinger,
Kiss’s name was deceptive—at first, some thought they were a soft rock
group, like Bread.

Pg 52

Like Shep Gordon, Aucoin was a novice, and along with the band,
would learn as he went along. Aucoin brought Kiss to mogul-to-be Neil
Bogart. Bogart had a deal with Warner Bros to distribute his acts. “Neil
wanted to work with me and my associate at that point, Joyce Biawitz,”
says Aucoin. “She eventually became Joyce Bogart.”

Pg 57
The decision to put out a live album at this point made little sense.
None of the band’s three studio albums had sold well enough to war-
rant a live album. Who was going to shell out for a double live LP when
no one was buying the band’s studio albums? At that time, live albums
were also considered decclasse. “They were what the record company put
out if you had nothing else, scraping the bottom of the barrel,” said
Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover.
But Kiss’s concert tickets outsold their records by a substantial mar-
gin. If they were able to capture their live energy and excitement on
vinyl, it was clear they had potential for a hit record. Kiss had built a
hardcore following in Detroit, as had other artists like Alice Cooper and
Aerosmith, and they decided to record their live album during several
nights at Cobo Hall. (Kiss were so revered in Detroit that one local high
school’s marching band would play the band’s songs during its football

If interested I posted a few more chapters on That EvenSpot Blog
I highly recommend this book.

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