For many KISS “Alive Forever” put together by Curt Gooch and Jeff Suhs is the Holy Grail of the painted one’s touring history.
Released back in 2002 “KISS Alive Forever” has been out of print since then.
Copies of this paperback book are going anywhere from $134 to $600 Canadian.
That’s crazy but there are fans I’m sure would and will pay this price!
I’m not one of them…
In saying that, a move I normally don’t do I was actually surfing iBooks through Apple, and for some reason, I typed in KISS.
In the midst of other KISS books on the market, there was Alive Forever in digital form for $25.
Still a little steep for me for a digital copy but compared to the prices mentioned above 25 bucks was cheap.
So I bought the digital copy.
So if you read my post the other day on the Julian Gill “KISS On Tour 2020” Gill right off the bat mentions that “Alive And Forever” is the holy grail of KISS Books.
The difference between the two is that Gill features no interviews with people involved with KISS at various points during there touring history whereas Gooch and Suhs do interview a ton of people involved with KISS except KISS themselves (SHOCKER)
(check out that pic of Gene’s hair catching on fire in Ottawa Ontario back in 1975)
The authors did their homework, big time!
This book took over 7 years of research as the authors sifted over 10,000 pictures (200 are in the book) and as I mentioned interviews by the people that were there at various points during Kiss touring history.
That’s the clincher and is the selling point of this book as you get the scoop from everyone involved in KISS including roadies, wardrobe consultants, bands that opened for KISS, and stories of KISS spending habits that got them into trouble in the 80s, as well as a hidden off the stage keyboard/sample fella named Gary Corbett(more on him shortly) who was with KISS during the late 80s.
The best part of the book I find is that whole 1980-1992 era of KISS when record sales were dipping and Stanley and Simmons were in mid life crisis mode! Not that they would ever admit to it but I will say I enjoyed it.
During that era especially starting at the 1981-83 period KISS was crumbling. If you click the post above (The one with the pic of ACE you will see for yourself KISS was in trouble) you get a sense of how business was being run.
The best part is how KISS made Ace seem like a part of the band when he wasn’t as their record contract would be void and would have to be renegotiated which did indeed happen and Gene and Paul took a hit financially at the time.
How about KISS management in early 88 telling Gene and Paul to chill out on the spending as the debts were mounting. What does KISS do? They fire management and hire Stanleys shrink for a short time to run the band.
Gary Corbett as I mentioned adds some great insight into being the hired gun to play keyboards, backing vocals, and samples on the Crazy Nights Tour.
Corbett says at one point during the Crazy Nights tour KISS would send him home as tickets weren’t selling in some markets to save money and when they would play the bigger markets the call would come to Gary to show up.
One interesting story that appeared in this book and along with the Gill “KISS On Tour 2020” was back in late 1989 when KISS released “Hot In The Shade” album and wanted to tour to plug the album.
The only problem was the promoters were not biting on a KISS tour. At one point a promoter offered a theatre tour to KISS as they felt the demand wasn’t there for an arena run.
Out came the single ‘Forever’ and it went Top 10 and guess what? The promoters came knocking for arena dates and KISS did the smart thing by taking on two hot current bands as opener at the time, that being Slaughter and Winger who were selling platinum so Gene and Paul knowing this would help the cause in selling tickets took the plunge and it worked as it was the best selling KISS tour ticket wise since 1979’s Dynasty Tour.
Once 1996 rolls around the makeup goes back on and the original four are back. But by 2000 that’s over as Peter is given his pink slip read the post below.
What better way than Peter knowing he’s gone than to trash his drumkit at the end of his last show at the time!
You cannot make this kind of shit up!
My apologies for the scans as it was a pain to do it this way but I wanted to show you all how the format of the book looked like.
Now here is something cool. Now it’s common knowledge that if you are a KISS fan the Creatures of the Night Tour was a flop. A lot of has been made of that but in this book well take a look below…
Gooch and Suhs calculated the Top 5 least attended tours.
Here friends is the proof that 1992’s Revenge Tour and 1983’s Lick It Up Tours drew fewer fans per show than 1982’s Creatures of the Night Tour.
I knew the Revenge tour was iffy at best but what surprised me was all the hoopla that was made by KISS ditching the makeup in 83 putting out a good album in Lick It Up that went Gold yet the tour before it (Creatures) had an album that sold less yet more people attended the shows.
KISS fans are a funny bunch. Myself included.
The only real knock I have on this is the mistakes in writing which surprised me as did they not have an Editor?
But in a way that’s cool as the sloppy writing reminds me of my blog!
In having said that…
“KISS: Alive Forever” was a great read. I would have preferred a paperback copy but you sometimes have to do what ya gotta do.
Seek this one out!