Kiss ramblings – August 2011

There is a MONSTER up ahead

OK. This is a new little feature I will try to do each month. As It says in the title It’s just me rambling on… So if It seems a little unstructured, don’t take It to seriously.

Most of you have probably read the news about the new record and a world tour that were released last week. And I hope you are as excited as I am. Just that we will be able to sit down and listen to a new album from Kiss after almost 40 years is just incredible and nothing I would have expected just 4-5 years ago. The thought that they were to deliver a ‘masterpiece’ like Sonic Boom was total unreal to begin with. That they would release a second album is something almost no one would even dare to dream about. After living with Kiss more or less as a nostalgia act for almost a decade It feels damn good that they are a creative unit again. Specially after having thought ever since 2001 that whatever happened in ‘Kisstory’ after the Farewell Tour would just be a bonus.

Sonic Boom was for me a real boost as a fan after many years without any new releases. An album that showed that Kiss was more creative and vital than they had been at least since Revenge, maybe as far back as Lick It Up. The album also showed how vital Eric and Tommy is to Kiss today. So Sonic Boom is still on high-rotation at home, in the car and on iTunes at work. I don’t think I have played a ‘new’ Kiss record this much since Unmasked or The Elder came out. And lets face It in 1980/81 there really wasn’t much competition with Kiss for me. Today the competition for my time is strong from other bands, girlfriend and kids. Continue reading

KISS Documented Volume One

KISS Documented Volume One: Great Expectations 1970-1977
By: Scott Parker
Published June 2011, 188 pages

Close, but no cigar.

OK. Time for another book review. This time It’s about Scott Parker’s Kiss Documented Volume One that came out this summer. Scott had written on the Kissfaq.com forums before about what he planned to release and It seemed interesting. The book was supposed to chronicle Kiss on audio and film/video over a couple of volumes. An interesting project since It really had not been done before. And If It had been done in a good way would be a great ‘companion’ to Kiss Alive Forever and the Kiss Album Focus books to all us collectors. A typical ‘must have’ book for me.

So in June the book was published. There is a limited color edition and and a ordinary b/w edition. After reading some negative critique about the quality on the pictures and price of the color edition, I choose to buy the ordinary cheaper version. Not that the price of the color edition scared me from buying It. But I had no real need for the screen shots from videos in color. Continue reading

Rock Scene Magazine

Great site about a classic magazine

Ryan Richardson from Austin, Texas have made an incredible site with scans of all the Rock Scene magazine editions that ever came out. A magazine that came out between 1973 and 1982 and featured Kiss a lot. I just have to tip my hat for the incredible job he has done with the site. He tells his story much better than me.

The first issue of Rock Scene magazine hit the stands before I’d blown out a single birthday candle. Thirty something years later, I still hadn’t thumbed through an issue. A long overdue introduction finally got underway thanks to a deep dig through a delightfully jam-packed Los Angeles garage. Being far more interested in punk fanzines than commercial rock mags, I probably would’ve ignored Rock Scene had the Ramones not graced a couple covers. What elevated Rock Scene above other 70′s rock rags (Hit Parader, Creem, Circus) was their wholehearted embrace of punk in its earliest formations. Every issue was packed full of non-stop photography from the likes of Richard Creamer, Bob Gruen, Leee Black Childers, Roberta Bayley and Stephanie Chernikowski. Truth be told though, it was the appearances by ridiculously obscure groups (O. Rex, Max Load, Freestone, Zolar X) in the “New Bands” section that really hooked me all these years later. Mix in a serious childhood KISS obsession, and my collecting of Rock Scene issues quickly reached fever pitch. I had to have ‘em all!

Check out http://www.rockscenester.com/

Ken Kelly signed prints

Prints of some of the most iconic Kiss covers

Since I have written about both the Michael Doret and Victor Stabin prints. I thought I should write about the Ken Kelly prints I also have.

Ken Kelly has prints for sale of both the Destroyer cover painting, the Love Gun painting, what is supposed to be the first version of the Destroyer cover and the Gods Of Thunder cover, that he painted for the Norwegian Kiss tribute record.

There are different versions of the prints. The cheapest ones are photos (8×10),  limited edition prints  (22×22) and giclee prints  (24″x24).

The ones I have are the limited edition prints. And the quality is about what you would expect for around $50. The paper seem like ordinary poster quality. The colors are a little dark compared to the versions we are used to. But I have never seen the originals so It’s difficult to say how true to the originals they are. On the “Gods Of Thunder” cover the colors are really “off”, and has to much cyan in it compared to the original painting . But all my prints are still in the plastic wrapping so all of them would probably look much better when I get them framed. The one who looks has the most viberant colors is the “brown Destroyer” painting. But I have never seen another version of It so It so difficult to tell how that’s compared to the original. Maybe I one day will buy one of the giclee prints. So I can tell how the quality is on those. But we will just have to wait and see. If anyone has one, please tell me and send pictures. Continue reading

Michael Doret – fine art Kiss prints

Great artist and nice person…

Over the years I have come in contact with a lot off “Kiss related” people. And I must just say first that Michael Doret is one of the coolest of them all.

When I first heard that Michael was supposed to design for the Sonic Boom cover I was really pleased. Rock and Roll Over has for me always been the pinnacle of Kiss covers. I was more or less sure that he would make something brilliant for for the new record. And I was right, the Sonic Boom cover was brilliant. I really like the cover, even if the opinions about it the cover were really divided in the “Kiss world”.

Michael Doret also mentioned in interviews that he wanted to release Limited Collector’s Edition print’s of both the Sonic Boom and Rock And Roll Over covers (250 of each). So already then I said to myself that I at least had to have one of them when I could afford them. As usual I started to promote them on the front page of Kiss Army Norway, as all other Kiss stuff I find cool.

Just before they were about to be released I also found out that Michael also sold original press profs of the RARO cover that he had received from the printers in 1976. So I just had to buy one of those. I also hyped the press prof a little on the Kiss Army Norway forums because I thought the print was so cool.

Suddenly I get an email from Michael because there was something wrong with the postage for the press prof. He also asked me if I knew why he had received so many orders from Norway. So I told him It probably was because I hyped his stuff on our site. He was really grateful and that started a long mail discussion about Kiss and design in general. I think most of his work with design and fonts are really great. So he wanted to give me a silkscreen print of one of his signed posters as a gift. And I picked the “Powerstation” signed silkscreen print. A really cool print. Continue reading

Victor Stabin – Signed Unmasked artwork II

More great signed artwork

Just wanted to post some pictures of the signed Unmasked artwork I received from Victor Stabin just before I went on vacation. The prints are really great. And the largest print of the Unmasked cover is just enormous.

If your interested in ordering prints from Victor read my other blog post.

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