Tag Archives: Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley: Trouble Walkin'(1989)

 

Record Store Day I have never participated in, as here in my hometown our one record store (which is part of a chain which shall go nameless) SUCKS  at doing anything remotely cool with it.

The one time I did go down to that store (2018 I think it was) to check it they had like a lame 4 shelves tucked off to the side for RSD Titles. Not much to look at here folks just keep passing through.

Thanks for coming out!! Not!

The day was not a total waste as I did score 4 used albums at a second-hand shop and got to hang out with my daughter Lexie as well!

So that was a plus!

Fast forward to RSD Septemeber 2020. I didn’t even bother to go down to the mall but a few days before I noticed on Facecrack one of the record stores I follow from Montreal (Aux 33 Tours) that they were doing RSD but the catch was online only. They said if you show up to the store looking for RSD records not happening, all online.

Well, now I thought this was interesting. So at 1pm, all the RSD titles appeared on their website. I figured I came this far to login to the Aux 33 Tours site so what the hell…

Let’s Do This!

Click and …

My pic was Ace Frehley, with his 1989 release “Trouble Walkin” that in 2020 is the first time it would be issued on vinyl in 31 years!

I had heard good things from the blogging folk about” Trouble Walkin’.” I have never owned this album in any format so I guess it was about time right?

 

At the time though (89) there was so much music coming out some stuff fell by the wayside. Sure I saw this album in adds and in the stores but I still didn’t bite. My younger brother bought it and I borrowed his tape and listened to once I think.

Maybe I didn’t bite as I liked the Frehley’s Comet name and now it was just under the boss man Ace’s name.  They canned Tod Howarth which I also thought was a goofy move but someone had to take the fall from the poorly received “Second Sighting” from 88.

Who knows what really went down with “Second Sighting” but upon spinning this album Ace and his bandmates at the time John Reagan(Bass), Anton Fig (Drums), and Richie Scarlet(Rhythm Guitar and Vocals) tried to get back to that rockier side of the debut “Comet” from 1987.

While Ace himself did not factor as much as he should have on “Second Sighting” he makes up for it here by contributing seven songs all in co-writes with other people.

When Ace decides to kick back and crank it up he can produce some quality rock like the opener “Shot Full of Rock”. “Five Card Stud” is a good ripping tune. The title track “Trouble Walkin'” has a pretty decent pre-chorus leading into the chorus. 

 Ace’s guitar work is awesome as well which has never been questioned on any KISS or solo album as Frehley has always delivered the goods!

Look who showed up and sang backup on four tracks as well? The one and only Peter Criss!  

Skid Row was a big band at the time and they show up singing backgrounds on “Back To School” well Bach does as you can hear him plain as day.

How about another KISS connection and that was that both Ace and KISS had both “Hide Your Heart” on each of there albums from the same year!

Ok better yet how about two bands and two solo acts that released “Hide Your Heart” as a single in 1989!

Molly Hatchet was first out of the gate with the song  followed by Ace who released his version four days before KISS released the album that featured “Hide Your Heart”(Hot In The Shade) followed later in the year by Robin Beck who released it as well.

I guess the story goes that “Hide Your Heart” written by Paul Stanley/Holly Knight and Desmond Child was rejected for the KISS Crazy Nights in 87.

Better yet Bonnie Tyler released it in 1988 as a single.  So if you count that into the equation under a two-year span two bands and three solo artists released this song as a single! 

None of the 5 versions set the charts on fire butI’m sure Starchild raked in a bit of cash on “Hide Your Heart”.

Ace always had a knack of taking cover tunes and making them sound like his own (2,000 Man, New York Groove), and as well on this album Ace covers the Jeff Lynne song “Do Ya” which is a great version of the song. 

No Ace album could end without an instrumental and Trouble Walkin’ is no different as “Fractured III” tidy’s things up.

Considering up to RSD 2020 I really had no idea about ever getting around to getting this Ace album but I’m glad I did. Sure it was pricey but that’s what RSD is..Pricey! First RSD purchase ever so what the hell!

I like the layout and the spray-painted look of the vinyl and the music is pretty good as Ace was going for the rebound but as the album didn’t even crack the Billboard Top 100 in 89 I guess there was more Trouble Walkin’ for Ace ahead in the early ’90s as well until KISS came calling in 1995!

 

 

 

Frehley’s Comet(1987)

 

You know the hype with this album(well in my noggin that is) was pretty huge back in the year of good ol 87!

That Year KISS with its members  Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley  were hard at work on there Heart Tribute sounding  album called Crazy Nights while ex drummer Petey Criss was doing..ummm who knows what he was doing while Space Ace Frehley was finally coming out of his AceCave in Connecticut and unleashed onto the world his debut album Frehleys Comet. 

Once I started to read in magazines that Ace got a record deal I was stoked as Ace’s KISS solo album from 78 was an absolute scorcher of a record that no one thought he could pull off and tack on after that 2 more great tracks from the Dynasty album in 79 Frehleys contributions were huge as the SpaceMan  had a slick cool rock voice mixed with his solo’s should be a huge recipe of coolness right?

Well Kinda….

After Ace left Kiss in 1982 he kinda disappeared  for a few years and the only time I would hear any news it would be about the trouble he would get himself into…

So when the Mags around early 1987 started  printing adds for the upcoming release it was wild to see he scored Drummer Anton Fig as Anton was the drummer on Ace’s 78 solo album so I knew the drumming would be top-notch! Ace also enlisted Peter Frampton Bassist John Regan and some dude who I had never heard of Co Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Tod Howarth.

My own hype on this album was huge as I was still trying to get over the silliness of that Uh All Night track  that Demon and Starchild were pushing on me…..

So April 1987 in the midst of Bon Jovi  mania came The Comet!

TUNE AGE wRITER DA siNGER
1. “Rock Soldiers” Ace Frehley, Chip Taylor Frehley 5:05
2. “Breakout” Frehley, Eric Carr, Richie Scarlet Tod Howarth 3:38
3. “Into the Night” Russ Ballard Frehley 4:12
4. “Something Moved” Howarth Howarth 4:02
5. “We Got Your Rock” Frehley, Marty Kupersmith Frehley 4:12
6. “Love Me Right” Frehley, Ira Schickman Frehley 3:54
7. “Calling to You” Frehley, Howarth, Kevin Russell, Jim McClarty Howarth 4:20
8. “Dolls” Frehley Frehley 3:28
9. “Stranger in a Strange Land” Frehley Frehley 4:02
10. “Fractured Too” Frehley, John Regan (Instrumental) 4:14

The only copy I ever had of this was on cassette so basically this review is going to be done on memory from 30 years ago! Yikes!

So Space Ace tells the tale in the opening track Rock Soldiers about his drinking n driving slipping n sliding in Delorean’s automobile. Autobiographical is this song if you had no idea and Ace opens his Eddie Kramer produced album with huge drums from Anton and some slick like Ace riff’s and Ace is back and he told you so! (how many times has that last line been used in reviews?)

Breakout is a great track and new boy Howarth handles the lead vocal and look there’s a co write with Kiss drummer Eric Carr. (My money is on the fact that Gene and Paul were probably not amused by Carr and Frehley dabbling together). This tune has a nice hard rock swing. Like the mashup of drums and  guitars in this tune. Great Ace solo as well…..

Into The Night was the single it’s an ok track. Kinda like mid 80’s REO Speedwagon track. Russ Ballard the fella who wrote Ace’s 78 hit New York Groove wrote this track so I guess the record company was hoping just hoping that 9 years later another Ballard track would push the Comet into the Hitsville…..Nope/Nada…..

Another decent slab of Hard Rock and that’s Something Moved which is another Howarth sing-song and a track written solely  by him. Nice riffage during the verses and once again another slick solo by Ace !

Calling To You I think may have been another single but if were keeping tracks of singles they should have released this before Into The Night. Just saying….This one has a little more oomph than the Ballard track and come to think of it Into The Night may have hurt some sales as it sent the wrong message to the  Ace Fan Base who weren’t invested as much in this album as I was…..

Dolls. ?? Has to bee the goofiest Frehley song  ever. Big Dumbo Rock Lyrics are littered throughout this track. Did Ace and Sam Hagar have a contest between who can be more goofy in the lyric department between Sam’s Source Of Infection and Ace’s Doll’s? This song is just a plain out creeper track if there ever was one!

Buried at the back-end of this album is a fantastic track titled Stranger In A Strange Land.  Ace pulls out all the stops on this track. Slick like verse’s. Cool rock voice. Catchy chorus. Cool Solo. Well you get the point right? Crank the video posted below….

The album ends with the instrumental  Fractured Too which is the followup up to Ace’s Fractured Mirror from 78’s solo album. Kinda ok but really no point here in why he did this…

So if you’re wondering why the tracks We Got Your Rock and Love Me Right weren’t scribbled about well that’s easy. I don’t remember them and I wasn’t going to cheat so I guess they were duds on my radar back in 87 …..

Frehleys Comet was ok. This album actually comes close  at times with some Filler but my problem was Ace set the bar way too high(ha) with the 78 solo album. My expectations were huge. I was kinda disappointed by this album, well half of it.

Ace though stuck out a 5 song EP in 1988 which I reviewed a ways back which was mostly live and one studio track so it restored my faith in him. Did it?

Check back at some point  when I review the Second Sighting album and the online email  brawl that started between a Comet and an Blogger! (depends on if I get a cease and desist order)

Bam!

 

 

 

Peter Criss: Tossed And Turning!

 

Special Saturday Post! 

Check out my Pal Mikey and his Good Friend Uncle Meat’s spin on the KISS’s Unmasked  album for a Triple Header Post Today! More value bang for the Buck around these parts!

Click the Link Below Friends…

http://wp.me/p2hc2t-eHK

If you have been reading my Yammering for months now! Thanks I appreciate it. You would probably know or if you don’t recall my earliest favourite bands were AC/DC/Aerosmith/Cheap Trick/New England/Queen/Van Halen & KISS.

Kiss were the first band that I had started listening to back in 1977 and my first ever live show two years later in October 1979 on their Dynasty Tour which touched down in Duluth. You can read my first ever blog posted here at Arena Rock back in August 2014 here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/1979-the-return-of-kiss-2/

Seven months later (May 1980) Peter Criss gets the boot out of Kiss! Wowzers! Whut? This doesn’t happen to bands or does it? My 12-year-old noggin(1980) at the time couldn’t fathom it!

Sure Aerosmith had changed members but around 1980 they were caput kinda until 1982 when they released the criminally underrated Rock In A Hard Place.

By The time AC/DC came to me it was Back In Black! Sure there was a member change as Bon Scott died and Brian Johnson replaced him so that doesn’t count.

Cheap Trick,VH and Queen all had the four original guys that started the band so how does Paul Stanley,Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons do this?

Did Peter use all the Maybelline and the other guys in Kiss got pissy pants? Who knows! Dudes in bands don’t get divorced well not until now(1980) Silly young DeKEs!

I posted that clip at the top it’s interesting to hear $immon$ comments in regards to Criss quitting.  Simmons says Peter doesn’t want to tour anymore whereas Criss says the exact opposite that he will tour and he will be the Quarterback of the band  calling the shots! Did Peter even tour in the  early 80’s? Don’t be thinking so.

Who knows the truth? Like Nuno & Gary  from Extreme  said 11 years later in 1992.  There’s  Three Sides To Every Story.

1-Yours- which in this case is Gene & Paul

2-Mine- which would be Peter Criss

and #3 which is the …..

Truth– is there such a thing when a longtime member splits?Ha…none, all the way from Blackmore splitting from Deep Purple a couple of times to Sam Hagar being fired or quitting depending  on whose spin your believing. Tons of Drama with a lot of my favourite bands. You know the culprits! One of the funniest ones was the whole Motley Crue debacle of 92. I won’t elaborate as this is a KISS post but man I think I gotta post something about it in length….

Having said that….

 

When it comes to leaving a band it basically fizzles out the ex members career who splits while the band he quit from  continues and moves forward.

In Criss’ deal he splits Kiss when their career is in nosedive mode in North America but Pete soldiers on releases a solo album titled Out Of Control and it was like if Peter was playing his tune’s on the deck of the Titanic when it went  down in the Atlantic Ocean! No one cared even super Kiss Fanboys like myself and buddy Muc! We all passed on it.

Look Mikey! CD Japan!

Kiss hired Eric Carr(RIP) and after the dismal showing of 1981’s The Elder Kiss had a smidge bit of a bounce back with(the fantastic) Creatures Of The Night (1982)even Kiss knew they had to do something so off comes the war paint and viola a resurgence in sales and MTV video spins….

Peter Criss’ solo career went straight into the bars  and it wasn’t until Gene and Paul wanted to make quick cash decided to give Pete and Ace(Ace is another story for another time) another go round in 1996….

 

 

 

 

Kiss/Rock N Roll Over(1976)

Since It’s Halloween Today …Ummmm  How About Another KISS Review….???

Gonna try to keep this one short but when it comes to my fav KISS studio albums my TOP 3 would look like this..

1-Alive…..2-Rock N Roll Over….3-Creatures Of The Night..

Yeah I know Kiss Alive is a Live album(cough/cough) but we all know the deal as it was tweaked merciless in the studio but on any day of the week if we’re actually talking about studio albums I could flip between Number 2 and 3 all the time….

Starchild/Demon/Space Ace & Petey The Cat belt out some decent Kiss N Roll…. 

The Song’s…

1. “I Want You” Paul Stanley  3:04
2. “Take Me” Stanley, Sean Delaney  2:56
3. “Calling Dr. Love” Gene Simmons  3:44
4. “Ladies Room” Simmons  3:27
5. “Baby Driver” Peter Criss, Stan Penridge  3:40
6. “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” Simmons  3:47
7. “Mr. Speed” Stanley, Delaney  3:18
8. “See You in Your Dreams” Simmons  2:34
9. “Hard Luck Woman” Stanley  3:34
10. “Makin’ Love” Stanley, Delaney  3:14
Total length:
33:18

Ah Man… I miss those under 34 minute albums and Rock N Roll Over delivers as Kiss teams up with producer Eddie Kramer and everyone roll’s up there sleeves and get down to it…

Stanley shows up with 5 tracks the best being Mr Speed that has a real cool like opening Riff and even though it’s a rock track it’s got a different vibe than say Take Me which is your typical Stanley straight ahead Goofy lyric rock track but on those day’s when its Goofy Time Take Me fill’s a void as it’s a Crash Course  in C#*K Rock.

$immon$ throws his 4 cents in with 4 pretty good rock tracks and he’s no ballad Guy well maybe the lyrics to Dr Love are about as close to a ballad as you could find but nice use of the cowbell on this track and Gene’s other tracks Ladies Room/Love Em Leave Em/See You In Your Dreams are just your simple straight ahead Chick Tracks! Not Rocket Science here Folk’s but catchy never the less!

The most interesting  track here has to be Hard Luck Woman written by Stanley but sung by Peter Criss who sounds like Rod Stewart and this is a well crafted rock track with nice acoustic playing with Criss’ drums propelling the Kiss Ship forward.

Speaking of Criss. He even gets his own tune here.  Baby Driver which is an ok track but still to elbow something on here with the Gene and Paul show calling the shot’s is saying something unlike Ace Frehley who did not contribute anything song wise but still plays some real good lead guitar on Rock N Roll Over….

 

 

What You Think Is Cool Is Not To Others

 

return-of-kiss-to-duluth

So being that today is October 6 2016 it serves an important date in my life as October 6 1979 was my first ever live  concert and that was KISS/John Cougar( Judas Priest were a no show! Gah!) at the Duluth Arena, 37 years ago=Yikes! Here’s some footage from the Dynasty Tour that I saw as a young Whipper Snapper! Cool to watch this now after so much time as KISS is unravelling at this point! Peter Criss plays Black Diamond at super speed while  hollering the lead vocals while Ace is completely Blitzed! Give Em Credit Folk’s at least Ace and Petey emphasized Rock N Roll.

My folks were real cool. Got my 11-year-old ass down to Duluth and friends of my parents eldest son and his girlfriend took a young geeked out Deke’s to the show and basically ruined me forever! Ha!

Actually I reviewed this show as my first ever post from Aug/14. Check it out …..https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/1979-the-return-of-kiss-2/

So Kiss was on the decline in 79(great album title wouldn’t it be? Decline In 79? Better yet a better name for my blog!) I didn’t know Kiss was hitting the skids. I was too young to notice. Kiss wanted it that way! I bought 1980s Unmasked ( sold it to my pal Tbone than shortly after required it back) 1981’s The Elder I bought it along with my pal Muc. I made it known publicly I had bought The Elder whereas Muc kept a lid on it….haha…

So once I entered Highschool (Grade 9/Sept 1981) Kiss was finished in the minds of many. Fair enough but being 13 just about to turn 14 I didn’t care so once day I wore my Kiss Dynasty Tour Shirt to school and I received t a tongue lashing and smart ass remarks about Kiss not being cool! What was I to do?

Like a smart 13-year-old I kept my Trap(mouth) shut! It did not matter as the Grade 11’s looked huge so I wasn’t gonna mess with em! One of them even doused me with their Mothers Perfume for a real beautiful like stench that lasted the whole afternoon at school! Ha!

Basically the Dynasty shirt got put away and it didn’t stop me from listening to Kiss but it did stop me from wearing my Dynasty shirt to school.

1982’s Creatures Of The Night was a step in the right direction but Kiss was still hurting as there Duluth show was cancelled due to lack of tickets being sold. Kiss though soldiered on and it’s funny as once the Makeup came off and Kiss released 1983’s Lick It Up many were back on board!

So much so that a fella named Jeff Law seen the Lick It Up show in Toronto and he picked me up a Lick It Up T-shirt from the show! He told me KISS packed out Maple Leaf Gardens….

Yup I wore it to school! No problem/No comments not even from the 5 Knuckleheads( who were in Grade 13 at this point) who were bugging me two years earlier!

Kiss slapped off the makeup had a bounce back while I took the Kiss T out of the drawer and wore back at school…….

This post you may think  has irked me all these years. No it has not one bit but it just goes to show you how you may feel about one thing whereas the General Public is not thinking how you re thinking….

Stick To Your Guns….

What comes around goes around comes around! 37 years later I came across this T-shirt site in the U.S and I clicked a bunch of bands and viola they had in stock the  retro Dynasty Tour T’s(see pic below)! This is an exact duplicate of the Shirt I bought at my first ever concert! Wowzers! Instant Purchase By Deke’s….

image

Try Dousing Me With Yo Mama’s Perfume Now MotherF**Ker!

As you were…

 

 

 

 

Kiss Live On “Friday’s” (1982)

Friday’s was a late night Saturday Night Live  type show that featured amongst others, Larry David,Michael  Richards ( Pre Kramer From Seinfeld Fame)

Just like SNL  Fridays would feature a Musical Artist and one episode KISS with their  new styling haircuts,purple  headbands(Mista Stanley) snazzy early 80s costumes  and a new drummer in tow(Eric Carr RIP). I was 14 when Kiss appeared on Fridays. (Jan 15 1982)

It was just under two years earlier I seen The Dynasty Tour(October 6 1979 )  with a massive stage  and an original drummer (Peter Criss) As a 12 year old my mind was blown by this show and to this day it will come as no surprise to many that it’s still blown!

But here’s  KISS  heading full throttle into the early 80s and confusing the general public  (myself ) and I think themselves! The Elder concept album as we were all lead to believe sank faster than my Grade 9 Math Mark while The Gene And Paul Show must have wondered what happened as no kids we’re buying Kiss Lunch Boxes anymore!

Kiss 1981 rolling into 1982 =Sinking Ship…..

Case In Point- Septemeber of 1981 I started Highschool(Grade 9 ) and early on wore my Kiss Dynasty Tour Tee from 1979. I was mocked by the older kids and I only than realized that Kiss was not cool anymore whatsoever! The only two guys that owned The Elder were Moi and My Buddy Muc!(Muc kept it on  down-low I’m sure to avoid the hassle I got! Hahahaha….I should have sold Muc down the river as well) Tbone who if you recall I sold Kiss Unmasked to a year earlier (1980) in what I believe was the first Pawn Shop Transaction ever in Thunder Bay didn’t want to know about The Elder as well!

Ha! Sooooo it’s basically down to this…Gene,Paul,Eric Carr,Deke and (closet Kiss Fan ) Muc who actually kinda liked The Elder!

The Frehley tracks were of course good(Dark Light,Escape From The Island) Simmons tracks like “I” we’re solid others like Mr Blackwell were meh! Stanley actually kicked the doors in with The Oath but man he’s a singing some kinda falsetto but whatever Eric Carr shows up nails down some double bass drumming to make The Oath a good track! Just  A Boy was too much of a deptarture from the Kiss sound and as a 14 yr old it was like “WHUT THE FLUTE!” is going on here?…Kiss wanting to be taken seriously? Nah! Ask the Dorks who hounded me for wearing the Dynasty T! Conform Or Be Cast Out! Guess DeKEs was cast out!

So back to Friday’s! Heres Kiss and I posted the 3 songs played that night (The Oath/A World Without Heroes/I) …

Gotta Hand it to Ace! There is the Spaceman all pickled up (on National TV) but still being Rock N Roll (is the solo Ace plays on the live video anything like the one on the album?)  while Gene And Paul are wanting to be taken serious while new dude Eric on the drums is just glad to be on the payroll of playing  drums and not having to clean stoves for a living!

A World Without Heroes is Gene wanting to be taken serious but I dunno man with that haircut and song! It’s ok but to me the Demon is God Of Thunder not some acoustic driven song where In the promo video he bats a tear at the end of the song! Ummmmm make that a Double WHUT!

“I ” is a pretty decent track! Stanley and Simmons trade off some vocal lines just like the good ol daze of yesteryear when Kiss were cool (like 4 years earlier in 1978!)  Carr plays some good drums and I always laugh when Gene sings the line “No need to get wasted” and the Space man is orbiting around next to him playing his Les Paul! Haha…..

Watch the audience shots they almost don’t  know what to make of this new version Kiss!

Many didn’t and later in 1982 Kiss released what I feel is one their  best studio albums Creatures Of The Night and once again no one cared so by 1983 off comes the Grease Paint and Boom! Here’s the new studio opus Lick It Up and lots of fans are back aboard the Gene and Paul Money Train! ….

A dude I went to school with whose name was Jeff(Breaking The ) Law seen Kiss at Maple Leaf Gardens on the Lick It Up tour and brought me back a Kiss T …..

Yup! I wore it to school and the masses left me alone!

Funny how after a year and a half and a band taking off their war paint people’s opinon changed about Kiss!

Welcome To Music Biz Kids!

Shout It Out Loud/The Story Of KISS’s Destroyer

image

Picked up this book in Vancouver at the Indigo Book Store and I was surprised  to see this  as I didn’t even know it existed!(released in 2015) Amazing that author James Campion could write in a detailed amount 330 pages of one album being a Kiss album to boot and to keep me interested!

Just like another great book that I recently read and reviewed which was Greg Renoffs Van Halen  Rising book chronicling only VH’s early years up to 1978 which you can check out here….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/rock-101van-halen-rising-by-greg-renoff/ Shows me that you can write a book detailing a band and even though that bands main guys may not be involved in the book you do your homework and seek out those around that had a hand in the beginnings of a band(Renoffs Book) or the Destroyer book that chronicles the making of what many consider the best recorded Kiss album(Destroyer)

Campion in his book details the Destroyer album from the origins pre Destroyer when Kiss was selling out theatre’s (pre Kiss Alive) but hardly selling any albums. Kiss and their 3 studio albums before Alive(self titled,Hotter Than Hell and Dressed To Kill) failed to make any kind of dent on the charts. Kiss and Neil Bogart(Boss man at KISS’s label Casablanca Records ) decided to release the double live Alive as Casablanca Records was in huge financial dire itself.

Of course Alive saves the day. Kiss hits huge pay dirt and wants to make a serious album. So the search begins!

Campion quotes resources and past interviews but the Ace(no pun) In The Hole here is he did direct interviews with Jay Messina,Corky Stasiak and Bob Ezrin. Those three are responsible for the Production end of things on Destroyer as they give excellent inside to the recording of the album from the beginning of the sessions to the end note of Do You Love Me.

I always knew that Frehley didn’t show up for Sweet Pain but how about 4 (maybe 5  tracks as they all have a hard time remembering if Wagner played on Flaming Youth)tracks that are on Destroyer that supposedly Ace didn’t play on!?

Which ones you ask?  Other than Sweet Pain. How about Great Expectations?  Mmmm Beth ?! The biggest shocker though is God Of Thunder? WHUT?!….No Ace….by the sounds of it!

Ezrin brought in Dick Wagner(RIP)! Who’s  Dick you ask? Well other than playing a ton of lead guitar for Alice Cooper Wagner supposed did a ton of uncredited lead guitar work on Aerosmith’s Get Your Wings album.  Another Ezrin produced album. If you weren’t cutting the mustard in the studio Bob would call Dick!

What might even be more shocking is that Peter Criss played drums on the whole album! Criss does add that Ezrin tortured him take after take to up Pete’s game!

Beth like all the songs on Destroyer  are detailed in the book with very in-depth info from Ezrin and Crew. What kind of guitars were used. What kind of Amps. The book even mentions that Ezrin had to toss Gene and  Paul out of the studio so Criss could get his lead vocal done on Beth as Demon And Starchild were smirking and making fun of Criss!

Back to the  God Of Thunder mystery.  Did Ace or didn’t Ace play on the track. Campion when writing the book sat down with Ezrin and they listened to the  solo in God Of Thunder! Ezrin couldn’t exactly remember if Ace had played it or didn’t but Ezrin added that if Dick Wagner says he did,than as Ezrin adds Wagner did!

Of course no one back than knew this and good on everyone involved on keeping a lid on it! Course Simmons probably had a lawyer drop in a few times to make sure everyone knew their place in regards as keeping Kiss as how we know them.  Imagine back than if everyone knew Ace didn’t play on certain Destroyer tracks…..

Ken Kelly who did the awesome painting of Kiss on the cover is even interviewed! No stone is left unturned here folks!

Campion as well updates on currently what ever one involved with the making of Destroyer is currently up to.

Also what was real interesting is towards the end of the book Campion puts in his detective hat and if you recall on the Destroyer studio  version of Detroit Rock City of the dude getting into his car and hearing on the radio that a person was killed and of course by the end of the song the car skids out and  you hear the car crash.

Interviews at the time (1976) had Stanley saying that a Kiss fan had died on their way to a show. So Campion started digging around through various archived media to see if Stanley’s claim actually happened or didn’t! Give this dude credit man he did his homework and well I’m not telling you what the outcome was! Was it a true story or was Stanley hyping the KISS P.R Hype Machine Circa 76!

Not saying….

Hey! I can’t tell everyone everything.

Ok here’s a little food for thought!

Well how about I leave you with one more little detail! When Destroyer was first released it shot up the charts and shot down the charts real quick! Kiss freaked out. They were wondering did they over do it with too much bombastic flair that went over their fans heads? At one point there was talk of the whole album after its release being Destroyed and yanked off the market!

Beth being out as a 45 single believe it or not saved this albums ass!  You can also see why Kiss returned to producer Eddie Kramer and released the fantastic yet straight forward Rock N Roll Over! Don’t know how true all of this is but you know how some of those Kiss guys roll. I tend to believe it that at one point Destroyer could have been Destroyed! (Imagine how much those copies would be going for in 2016!)

If you come across this book pick it up or track it down on the Amazons of the world. Well researched  and it was cool to read a whole book on just one album!

 

 

SONIC WAVES …KISS/ Alive 2

image imageJust pics no  video as everybody and there dog has heard Kiss/ Alive 2 right!? Also since we’re talking about it how about a review of a different sorts so to speak as this was my first ever KISS record in early 1979!

I’m gonna talk about this one just as how I remember it! Let’s head back into the Time Machine!

KISS growing up in the 70s was huge! They were in all kinds of print press like Circus and Creem and even teenybopper magazines like 16 magazine. So of course a pal of mine whose name was John Young had the KISS Originals(first three Kiss studio records packaged as a triple set) and when I seen the cover of the Originals I drooled! Holy hell who are these 4 Kabuki like warriors with the makeup!

So two years after its initial release (1977) boom Kiss Alive 2 enters the hallowed halls of *** Hodder Ave/Tbay  (my home for many a years) and Wowzers here’s Kiss Alive 2 ….I’m skipping a few tracks but hey you will get the just of it!

DETROIT ROCK CITY-Some Kiss guy announces ‘You wanted the best …..” We all know the rest right and we’re off and there’s the crowd roaring and the opening riff of Detroit Rock City and man the crowd is jacked I mean the audio of it. To this day when I listen to it I find the crowd too much if it’s even a Kiss crowd or the supposed sample Super Bowl 77 crowd! Who knows and well I see what Kiss is doing there making it seem bigger and better and were louder than all you other acts out there! For me at age 11 going on 12 …it friggin worked.

KING OF THE NIGHTIME WORLD is launched and the Kiss Live chops (is it live ?) well for me at the time  they sound live and I’m blown away. Holy geez are Ace/Paul pulling down some dual leads at the end of this tune! Yeah they are…..

LADIES ROOM- ok next to Creatures Of The Night I would have to say this is Simmons best sung record and its a live one to boot!(so they say) I mean check out the top left pick of Simmons where he has all that  blood and shit spewing out of his trap! Man he’s a mess! But being 12! Umm. Mom can I sleep tonight with the light on after looking at that pic!

CALLING DR LOVE-Kiss sounds like they know what there doing on this track! Better yet Peter Criss pulls out the cowbell and also by the time I got around to getting the  studio albums its evidently clear that these live versions are played at zip speed compared to the studio offerings! Party stimulants abound I’m sure on that Kiss Alive 2 Tour of 1977!

SHOCK ME- My fav Kiss guy Space Ace Frehley loads up (literally ) and blasts off with his lead vocal and guitar solo on Shock Me ! It’s a great track and a bunch of mish mashing notes make up his guitar solo and of course the guitar is smoking during it !

HARD LUCK WOMAN &  TOMORROW & TONIGHT- were I guess recorded in the studio and than the live crowd was slapped down in the background  so Kiss could fill up the live portion of the album without repeating tracks that were on the first Kiss Alive  from 2 years earlier! I wonder what went thru Simmons and Stanley’s heads at the time when they did this stunt! Yeah I know and you know what went through there heads,the answer was….$$$$$$$$$$$$ and more $$$$$$$$!

I STOLE YOUR LOVE-was this not the tour opener for This tour? Except for Alive 2 it’s the opening song on Side 3 ! Good straight ahead rocker track!

BETH- so Petey the cat man gets his limelight complete with prerecorded symphony and Its his time to shine while Gene And Paul count the $$$$ backstage and Ace well I dunno …….

GOD OF THUNDER-Demon Gene the lord of the wasteland slams foreword on this Sabbathey? sounding track complete with Peter Criss drum solo and I thought this was the greatest drum solo until I heard Neal Peart 2.5 years later(1981) totally mash his drum set on his solo on YYZ! Anyways Criss does his deal and were headed to the finish line with …

SHOUT IT OUT LOUD- Gene and Paul want us to all Shout it Out Loud! You gotta have a party! This song we have all heard and the live portion album ends with Kiss Loves You Goodnight!

So Kiss decides hey we got 15 minutes on side 4 lets get the yaya’s out so to speak and each guy does a tune well except Criss cuz well listen to his solo album from 1978 this will explain to you the listener why there are no studio tracks of his on Alive 2!

AMERICAN MAN- Paulie struts his self and tells us he is the Amerian Man! Ummm is this really Kiss playing on this? You know they should have scrapped the solo records and done it this way …wait a minute they should have done a double album of new studio material with one record (sides 1&2)being material for Stanley/Simmons and gulp Criss! Where as sides 3&4 would have been Aces solo record which to me is one of the best studio Kiss records ever!

LARGER THAN LIFE- it’s Simmons and its not a bad tune! Heard better (Radioactive) heard worse(his whole Asshole solo album) it’s Gene circa 77 ego included!

ROCKET RIDE- yeah man and this is why Ace is my fav Kiss guy until he split in 1982! He just steams out this track I mean does it get any better in the Frehley Hall Of Fame with lyrics like ‘ baby wants it fast baby wants a blast she wants a Rocket Ride!” Plus his solo is so skiderish its cool! Ace in 77 you were the deal!

ANY WAY YOU WANT IT-cover tune and Stanley and crew rock it up but yeah its a cover!

IN CONCLUSION -rewind like i said to early 79 and this is the shit for a kid whose 11! Kiss layed to down the law with a gimmick and it royally paid off till the public got sick of Kiss and there deal in the early 80s! Except for me i still littered Gene and Paul’s pockets with dollars not cents!

 

3/4’s KISS Filler Week….KISS/Unmasked

It’s time for the first ever  3/4’s KISS Filler Week here at Arena Rock and well hopefully I don’t get sued by $tanley and $immon$ and if I do I will tell the lawyers that Mikey Ladano made me do it! Hahahaha….no he didn’t this is all me….

Why Kiss? Umm why not sez I! I have been buying Kiss albums since 1978 and man I purchased 3 kinda snoozy duds so after all these years I’m gonna spout off and tell Ya why….

Also Kiss has  something like 450 albums(ha) so to throw 3 under the bus that ain’t too shabby…oh wait out of those 450 albums 420 of em are Greatest Hits comps!(don’t get me started!)

One last thing,don’t expect the expected in my 3/4’s Filler Week here at Kiss HQ!

1980 and oh man I had just seen Kiss live for the first time in 1979 read my very first written blog here about it.https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/1979-the-return-of-kiss-2/

So I’m still in fantasy Kissville in 1980 and Kiss unleash Unmasked except for me being a total delusional 13-year-old at the time of Unmasked’s release Kiss and more importantly their success was starting to wane people were tired of them(except me) people were buying other albums instead of Kiss(except me) my pal John Young had moved on to Led Zep(except me) get the picture!

So Gene,Paul,Ace and Petey fool me and call the album Unmasked it has a goofy album cover so when I bought it I thought ‘hey there’s probably a picture of them inside without the  make up!”  Nope I officially pronounce myself  a sucker!

Hey Gene and Paul you fooled my ass back than….not now!

Even though Petey Criss is pictured on the cartoonish goofy cover its Anton Fig that smacks the skins….everyone also involved with Kiss knows this(except me!)

IS THAT YOU-Wowzers did Stanley chirp the word Bitch??! Actually this is a good opener(not written by Kiss but by some dude named Gerald McMahon?) The production though is sterile sounding(thanks Vini Ponica). Kiss for some reason always had weak sonics on their studio 70s output(except Destroyer) why I have no idea as they were rolling in the cash but having said that the verses are good the pre  chorus Paul gets into that falsetto bullshit but saves the day with the chorus! Check out the live video posted of new boy on the drums Eric Carr slamming the song forward! Kudos to Kiss for doing a song about a female serial killer who will stick you with her knife! Too bad the album skids into track two which is……

SHANDI- umm dunno I mean this is too obvious! Back than I skipped this track nowadays when I listened to this song to jog my memory on this track I giggled! Stanley waters down this track with some pure sap! Actually this tune would have found a home on a Poison album Hahahaha…..Bandanna Micheals and Shandi a marriage made in hell! With a cat dragged in!

TALK TO ME- you know Space Ace always showed up with good tracks and especially since he recorded  one of the best Kiss albums ever Ace gives me hope boom he starts off the tune with his sound and his riff and its a good track. Thanks Ace for not losing your rock balls while Stanley’s Rock balls were hitting the town with SHANDI!

NAKED CITY- umm no…..all I gotta say is Simmons is losing steam here. Gene I’m sure was dreaming up of hiring Chris Makepeace(Meatballs) to star in The Elder movie! Ha…..focus on the rock Genie! I mean yeah this song is just a mid tempo leftover like tune from say Rock N Roll Over …no substance but the chorus is actually good,the rest of the song  …it’s just there…

WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND- Paul is panicking he’s trying to write hits and its kinda missing, this one is close though I mean after the Gene serves me the sonic puke Sandwhich in Naked City at least Paul tries to recover it with this song but It comes up short not bad not good,it’s just there! The chorus though is not too bad! Thats about it…bad,good,bad,good,Blah….

TOMORROW-power pop rocker track! Stanley at the time should have sold this tune to Rick Springfield! Paul is trying to save this from the scrap heap! Tomorrow is once again ok! Nothing earth shattering just same ol same ol in Kiss land. Single you want single whadda mean no one wants single! That’s Tomorrow. Stanley and company must have wanted to pack it in when ACDC dropped Back In Black in 1980 as well! Everyone was aborting the S.S Kiss Cruise (except me ) HEY how come no one tossed me a life-preserver?

TWO SIDES OF THE COIN-Space Ace delivers another keeper and man looking back they should have let him write the Unmasked  album! Of course the Demon and Starchild would have canned that idea!Good song and this could have easily slid on nicely on side 2 of his fantastic solo release from 1978!

SHES SO EUROPEAN- Simmons comes up with a simple straight ahead rocker that’s so so. Who knows If these tracks would have had some better production behind them perhaps they would have soared sonically. But nope Vini Ponica you can thank for this sonic sterile tank job!

EASY AS IT SEEMS-Gene and Peter or umm Anton start off this tune and its Kiss trying to be groovey! Does it work Nope…..is that really Simmons on the bass here?

TORPEDEO GIRL-this song has the best Opening on this record! Man 35 years later and i still laugh! That fuckin Ace man what a card! The song though is late 70s cheese schlock kinda surprising that this tune was written by Ace but you know what between 1978 -1980 the songs that he contributed solo wise and Kiss wise he can be forgiven! Crank the vid folks! Ha ….

YOUR ALL THAT I WANT-Simmons bids adieu with another mid tempo rocker. Nothing really good here to report! Just the same Ol same OL Kiss …..

IN CONCLUSION- Unmasked has not one but two significant things that come back to me all these years later

1-this was the first Kiss album to me to feature a real dumbo like cartoon page for a cover! Me being 13 at the time and I even knew that they were coming off the rails songwise not that I understood that back than but I just liked Dynasty more back in 1980 but Queen,Cheap Trick and AC/DC were kicking my senses pretty good.

2- Unmasked also presents itself as the first album I ever sold in my life at 14! Tbone had just  gotten a record player but all he had wa as couple of snoozed K-Tel compilations records! I needed some cash for a magazine so I sold Unmasked for like $3 or close to it! Hahaha….Tbone was staunch with his  cash back than I really had to sell verbally Unmasked to him ….I almost drove myself crazy! He relented probably felt sorry for me and flipped me the $3! Two months later I rebought Unmasked back from Tbone! Shit man Tbone was running a Pawn Shop before the word even existed!

Sonic Waves…Frehleys Comet/Live + 1

Check out the vid above as its a actual commercial plugging this release! Love the fact that you can see about 10 people infront of the stage if Ya watch closely! Hahaha….

1988 February to be exact and Space Ace drops a little mini Ep with his allstar backing band consisting of John Regan(Frampton ) Anton Fig (David Lettermen) and newbie guy Tod Howarth. This is the act that appeared on the debut Frehley Comets album one that had a bunch of hype attached to it as Ace basically disappeared from DEKEs radar for about 6 years until he finally issued the debut Comet album which in all fairness was pretty good except for that goofy track Dolls? So anyways I guess Ace was wanting to keep the momentum going so he issued this little firecracker of a Ep in which it was recorded In Chicago back in September of 1987.

Since Kiss was plugging Crazy Nights and making dumbo rock videos like Reason To Live,Ace decides to show em a little Rocket Ride could go a long way….

RIP IT OUT- yeah man one of my all time fav Ace tunes and Ace has the crowd in his pocket already. Ace sings this like he’s in space and the rest of the fellas lay it down. Fig drives the Frehley bus as he pushes the band and he’s the snappy little drummer boy pounding out fill after fill. Great opener!

BREAKOUT-Eric Carr did the cowrite and man the Comet is trying to break outta jail cuz the food here sucks! Yeah man tonight there’s gonna be a Jailbreak and not the Lizzy kind,but the Frehley Kind involving a Deloreon,prescription drugs,and a high speed cop chase wait a minute that did happen to Ace! Give Ace some street cred man. Ok well this song is topped off with a Fig drum solo and in case anyone’s wondering Ace tells us and the Chicago crowd that Anton’s the best!

SOMETHING MOVED- Newbie guy Tod Howarth does the honours hear and it’s a good track. A lot people criticize Howarth as he was the one to blame for the followup Comet album Second Sighting tanking. Second Sighting tanked quicker than TBone downing 8 beers and hot Mexican food at a old Chi Chi’s(Mexican ) restaurant back in  Winnipeg (early 90s! )Don’t blame Howarth peeps, I’m sure ol Ace had a say as did good ol megaforce records on the direction of  Second Sighting. On second thought maybe Ace didn’t have a say….

ROCKET RIDE- baby wants it fast baby wants a blast she wants a Rocket Ride….cool man Ace serves us a fastball down the middle of the plate and the Comet drives it over the centerfield wall! Ace dips into his Kiss catalogue and man he nails this song well he should it’s his man…..

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH- the Comet borrows ZZ Tops synthesizer and pop out a studio track. This is the plus 1 of the program. In 1988 this was a song that was pretty good and basically sold the hype to me on the next Frehley purchase (Second Sighting,I was fooled)which may be a 3/4’s Filler story someday. Good song especially as Ace sounds out of it which is when he sounds best!

IN CONCLUSION- considering every Tom,Dick and Harry rock artist were putting out material in 1988 Ace was smart for just releasing a short little 25 minute Ep to hold the fort til the next release later that year. Too bad the Comet crashed and burned shortly after but Ace spaced us out one more time!