I have been in vintage Kiss heaven
The titel above probably says the most. There is no reason to not start this review with stating that I just love this book. And I haven’t even been able to get my hands on a “real copy” yet. I had to read the Kindle version on my iPhone while I was on vacation in Spain. And I really hate reading books on anything else but paper. But when It comes to this book It’s pure magic anyway!
Ken Sharp has really done It this time. He has always been a great writer when It comes to Kiss related stuff. And “Behind The Mask” was a really good book. His articles in Goldmine magazine has also been among the best Kiss articles / interviews ever written. So I expected that I would enjoy the book. But not even close to how much I did.
I feel like I have more or less in the same room as Kiss during the first years of their career. All the details and great interviews Ken has made almost made me feel the smell of The Popcorn Club / Coventry, Daisy and The Hotel Diplomat. There has been som critique that the book goes into to much detail. Bollocks I say. It’s just so damn good that I want more, just because the book takes me to a ‘magic place’ that we just have had glimps of before.
And the good stuff does not stop in 73. The book is as great the whole way through as Ken uses interviews to guide us through the building of Kiss career up until Alive! brick for brick. It will probably come as a surprise how calculated their career have been from day one. Or at least after they met Bill Aucoin and Neil Bogart. And the stories in the book really makes me understand much better why Paul and Gene seems so frustrated with Peter and Ace even today.
The end with the success with Alive! really becomes a little anticlimax just because the book is so good that you just want It to go on. At least until the breakup of the original band in 1979. So I really hope Ken is planning a follow up for the years 1976 – 1979 (or 1982 when Ace left the band).
The book is also crammed full off great mostly unpublished photos. I won’t spoil to much. It just have to be seen. But the book is worth the price for just the pics alone. And I would probably have graded It as high as I do even without any pictures.
The only irritating thing about the book is that It will keep the urban legend about Ace beeing airbrushed in half the face on the Hotter Than Hell cover alive. That did not happend. Even if Gene says so in the book. The “half make-up” session was a later Norman Seeff session than the album cover session. I would also have liked even more stuff about Sean Delaney. But none of this changes the fact that this is a incredible written piece of rock history!
So just go out and buy the book! As a Kiss fan It’s a book you must have!