They Just Seem A Little Weird-Doug Brod (2021)

What do KISS, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and Starz have in common?


Doug Brod interviewed over 130 people for this book titled “They Just Seem A Little Weird” is the story of how all four of the bands careers have all at one time or another have crossed paths with each other.

Let me try and explain it you all…

Brod goes about the backstory about each band and as I’m a KISS, Cheap Trick and Aerosmith fan already I knew most of the early history but Starz was a band I was not familiar with so that was an intriguing factor also.

All four bands are connected one way or another. KISS and Aerosmith began a love/hate relationship that goes back to playing shows together in the early 70s (more on that later) as Cheap Trick has connection with both KISS and Aerosmith.

The connection between the four acts are Aerosmith recorded a few albums with producer Jack Douglas as Cheap Trick also used Jack Douglas as a producer on the self titled Trick debut as did Starz as well on there debut.

Brod writes about the time that when KISS released the “Destroyer” album in 76 they were freaked out that it wasn’t selling as well as it should have and they at one point considered bringing in Douglas to remix it.

“Beth” was then released as a KISS single and the remixing idea went away as “Destroyer” began selling.

Cheap Trick opened for KISS on the 1977 Can-Am Tour.

Starz was a signing to Casablanca Records as they had KISS manager Bill Aucoin handling their business affairs. (more on that later).

Starz as you know never got off the ground. Radio turned a blind eye and guitarist Richie Ranno in the book talks about one huge radio programming guy back in the late 70s who wouldn’t let Starz get radio play so they never sold that many records.

Bun E Carlo’s (ex Cheap Trick) gives some great inside about touring with Aerosmith as when opening for the Boston boys a bunch of shows were cancelled as Aero singer Steve Tyler blew out a blood vessel yelling at his road crew backstage which resulted in Cheap Trick losing out on a lot of money.

When the tour was about to resume Cheap Trick took out an insurance policy out on Aerosmith that if anything happened to the tour Cheap Trick would get paid.

Aerosmith cancelled the whole tour. Cheap Trick got paid.

KISS and Aerosmith toured together back in 2003. Steve Tyler did not want to do the tour for a couple of reasons.

One being that Tyler since the 70s does not like KISS and would only do the tour if KISS had 3/4’s of the original band together.

In 2003, KISS was using Tommy Thayer to play the role of departed guitarist Ace Frehley while Eric Singer was the drummer.

KISS asked Ace. Spaceman said no. So KISS asked Peter Criss back. Gene and Paul paid Criss $10,000 a show to play but when Criss seen how much money the shows were generating he was pissed.

Aerosmith also would only do the tour if they closed the show saying that they were not going to open for a band that didn’t feature all original members. In other words Aerosmith didn’t want to open for a tribute act.

Ego’s,Ego’s, Ego’s…

Cheap Trick as well had their issues back in 1980 when bassist Tom Petersson left at the peak of their career as Tom married a model who was his manager and basically ran Tom’s career into the ground.

Starz are the tough luck act. Never really got anywhere successfully as the other three acts as Aucoin and radio never really gave them the chance but Bill did manage to leave all the members of Starz with huge tax bills in the 80s which came out of nowhere if you were to ask Ranno about it.

Starz got the raw deal. Short end of the stick.

Brod does a fantastic job at weaving the story of four bands that came out at the same time and and telling the tale of all the behind the scenes stuff that make books like “They Just Seem A Little Weird” a great read.

40 thoughts on “They Just Seem A Little Weird-Doug Brod (2021)”

    1. Lot’s written about Starz in this book Sir. Brod even talks to the off stage keyboard guys in Cheap Trick and Aerosmith. The fella who played keys on Aero’s Live Bootleg comes across cranky and bitter. lol.
      Music Biz…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ego is a big part of what makes rock and roll great, and also what gets in the way of even more great rock and roll getting a chance to happen. Arrested development. Sounds like a great read, Deke!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I totally get that. There’s a part of me that enjoys the gossip, but there’s a bigger part of me that continually thinks if they could all just calm down and talk to each other, a lot of their problems could be overcome.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You ever wonder what would have happened to rock and roll if they’d all said no to substances, or been more moderate at least? Hell, jazz too. Country… blues… I mean, maybe we wouldn’t have gotten such great music because the drugs fuel the muse, but they’re so destructive that the trade-off has hardly been worth it. History is riddled with cautionary tales and none of the listened.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sean Kelly posted it and I went to Amazon and once I read the writeup I was onboard. Great stuff though and impressive that Brod could weave the story of four bands that had all of the same connections as well. 3 made it, one didn’t. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds really good. I’ve read where Tyler is or was really competitive with other bands. I can’t help but laugh at what Tyler did…I didn’t know he didn’t like him…

    I know this probably isn’t a popular opinion with KISS fans but… I don’t blame Peter Criss at all. When they regrouped in the 90s…just split it 4 ways…but that was NOT going to happen…without Ace and Peter they would not have gotten all of that attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you but Gene and Paul are business. It didn’t help that back in the 80s Criss and Ace sold the rights to the makeup to Gene and Paul so the original guys don’t even own there gear. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is the same thing the Band members done with their music publishing to Robbie except Levon… That sucks…Yea I see what you are saying…if Gene and Paul wanted to buy something…I would not have sold it lol…cause it had to be worth something.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think Gene and Paul waited for Ace and Peter to hit rock bottom and when they did there was a briefcase of cash. At the time there was not talk of a reunion back in the early 80s..

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds interesting. Don’t know much at all about Starz. Kudos to the guy for getting to interview so many people involved in the music world back then…that’s an achievement in its own right! The more I read up on music the more I find how inter-connected so many acts are that you might not guess were.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Tyler has over the years has had issues with lots of people. I think in the 70s he was basically nuts lol but boy did he ever craft some stellar music.

      Liked by 1 person

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