Earlier this evening, both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS made a stop at Barnes & Noble to sign copies of their new book entitled “Nothin’ To Lose”. This was the second such signing being done today with the guys hitting Book Ends in Ridgewood, NJ. The book is also by Ken Sharp and focuses on the bands time between the years of 1972 to 1975 and that interests me a lot since its the formative years of the band and their ideals. Check out the cover of this awesome tome…..
The two signings were only the tail end of a busy couple of days for Gene and Paul. Yesterday they were down in DUMBO in Brooklyn doing a photo shoot and later that night performed a private set at the John Varvatos store on the Bowery for Fashion Week (no, I didn’t have an invite). This morning KISS would appear on “Good Morning America” and then the signings. Whew. My friend and fellow KISS fan and I were tossing ideas around between the NJ and NYC signing to see the overall convenience and since she was able to get the books early in the morning just as they went on sale, it proved that the Staten Island stop was the better choice. There were four total lines and our group was the third batch. We literally arrived just before our line exploded with more KISS fans..
Some of the fans came dressed up but not as many as I would have expected to see. Here is a pretty awesome Gene Simmons impersonator. It was brutally hot and humid this afternoon so I gave him credit for the outfit in that heat.
This young lady I kept referring to as “Gena Simmons” and she did a fantastic job on her spiked wings. I did see her getting a little help with the makeup but that doesn’t matter since every Rock icon has a little assistance in getting them ready.
Then of course there is me, your humble Metal scribe. Sorry that I looked a little serious, I was getting tired and hungry. We had been here for about two hours by now and I sure could have used a cup of coffee from the cafe area.
According to the flyer, the fans with the wristband were supposed to be able to take a photo but with our own cameras by a third party. I tried to snap a couple from afar before they were holding my books. I only got Paul in my first shot.
Sadly I would not get this photo op I just mentioned by I gave Paul a fist bump and congratulated him on such a career and the new Football Team. He smiled and thanked me. Now onto Gene.
The pace of the swiftly moving line prevented any real exchange with Mr. Simmons but he did look up and mention that he liked my shirt. I was actually wearing my friends Rock Fantasy Shop shirt from his ACDC pinball launch party. I wonder if there is a way to get Gene one of these shirts. Perhaps I will look into it when time allows.
The whole experience was over in seconds and I had to chuckle since it made the recent Meet and Greet with Bret Michaels feel like a week long vacation with the singer. Of course the staff were apologetic about the pace but stressed that they were moving everyone along to ensure that every person left with a signed book. I really could not fault them for that. Below is my book with the signatures of both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. It will join its brother KISS books in my library.
Before we got to the signing table I observed a number of cool things. This was one of two massive KISS music displays. Nice to see that the Barnes and Noble bookstore has a larger and seemingly more comprehensive music collection than I have seen in Best Buy outlets of late.
Here is a photograph of the book cover in a frame. I didn’t see a signature so I was not too sure about its value as a KISS Collectible item.
A different franchise property for sure, but what a nice way to package the original three “Star Wars” novels than in this beautiful Darth Vader hardcover edition. I know I want this.
I got a flashback to the coolness of Toy Fair 2013 when I saw these awesome Marvel Select action figures by Diamond Select on display. There were more but I had to keep moving up towards the KISS signing table. Queue dramatic music.
I’ve embedded a link so you can order a copy for yourself on Amazon.com; now it might not be signed like my own but it sure is a lot cheaper and that is never a bad thing. It leaves you more money for other things, so I suggest some new KISS music or memorabilia.
By the way, I should mention that I had attended this event as a regular fan and not one of the music press folks that you often see at such things. I didn’t mind since KISS is my favorite band of them all and its a great way to learn what everyone is listening to. Oh yes, here is the finer details about the book itself which I copied right from its Amazon.com listing…..the release comes care of It Books, a division of Harper Collins publishing.
“Nothin’ to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) chronicles, for the first time, the crucial formative years of the legendary rock band KISS, culminating with the groundbreaking success of their classic 1975 album Alive! and the smash single “Rock and Roll All Nite,” a song that nearly four decades later remains one of rock’s most enduring anthems. Drawing on more than two hundred interviews, the book offers a captivating and intimate fly-on-the-wall account of their launch, charting the struggles and ultimate victories that led them to the threshold of superstardom.
Constructed as an oral history, the book includes original interviews with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, as well as with producers; engineers; management; record company personnel; roadies; club owners; booking agents; concert promoters; costume, stage, and art designers; rock photographers; publicists; and key music journalists.
Many of KISS’s musical contemporaries from the time, most of whom shared concert bills with the band on their early tours, also lend their perspective via new interviews; these include Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, and Ted Nugent, as well as members of Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Rush, Slade, Blue Öyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Raspberries, The James Gang, The New York Dolls, Iggy & the Stooges, The Ramones, Suzi Quatro, Argent, and Uriah Heep, among others.
The result is an indelible and irresistible portrait of a band on the rise and of the music scene they changed forever.”
Official Website: http://www.kissonline.com