KISS The Corporation

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That may not be the way that fans are accustomed to hearing their beloved band referred to, but it certainly is an accurate description of how the organization is run by boss man Gene Simmons. Simmons’ personality may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but when it comes to business, his no-nonsense approach seems to serve him, his band mates and his business partners very well.

Currently, the legendary rockers with the elaborate makeup and costumes are on tour, but the current lineup is not the original KISS that many fans grew up with. Guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss are not part of the tour, and for the first time, their usual replacements guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer will be wearing the same makeup and costumes that were once exclusive to Frehley and Criss.

It appears that Gene Simmons has had it with his former band mates and perhaps this is his way of telling them that they’re gone for good. Substance abuse problems have continued to plague both Frehley and Criss, according to Simmons, and there is no room within the ranks of KISS, which Simmons is not afraid to refer to has a business, and anything that gets in the way of business is eliminated.

Although Simmons seems to be sending a clear message by allowing Thayer and Singer to assume the appearance that makes them look more like permanent members of the group, he does not dismiss the contributions that both Frehley and Criss made in the group’s formative years.

“It doesn’t mean Ace and Peter weren’t important in the formation of KISS,” Simmons said. “They certainly were. But if you can no longer give your ‘A’ game, you step aside. Or you get kicked out.”

Seeing Thayer and Singer on stage decked out in the “space man” and “cat” costumes might not be the thing some fans want to see, however, Simmons maintains that the costumes belong to KISS the business and not to any individual member. He compares the situation to Mickey Mantle, whose famous number 7 belonged to the New York Yankees and not to Mantle himself, despite how many baseball fans might think otherwise.

Simmons can be a controversial figure, since he comes across to some people as arrogant. Statements like the following certainly contribute to that impression: “Thirty-five years and thousands of concerts and thousands of licensed products later, we are clearly the juggernaut of rock licensing. No one touches us, Elvis and the Beatles combined. No other band can do what we do.”

That is a statement that a lot of people would probably dispute. Comparing KISS to the Beatles does seem a bit over-the-top, but that’s Simmons’ style and I’ll leave it up to those whose profession it is to track things like corporate earnings and quarterly reports to determine the truth of the matter.

The Boston Herald has more on KISS and their current tour.

1 Comment

  1. Kip Dean January 27, 2015 at 6:20 am

    to take a chance and ask for little contribution for kiss. I go to everyone of your concerts when you come to our area and I know your into the children of our future. My name is kip and I am helping a communities girls fast pitch league raise monies to keep operating for another year. We are a group of people in our community that try and have a positive activity for the young ladies of our community and possible teach them the sport of fast pitch. We deal with girls ages 8 and under, 10 and under and 12 and under an working on growing bigger but we rely on our small businesses to keep us afloat with donations and to show our support we place signs of our fence for them. But we really can’t get the major help we need to update our fields and buy the kids new equipment to keep up.So I thought take a chance kip. MY Cell is 724-561-5207, home address is 1620 6th avenue Beaver Falls, Pa 15010. We Are Beaver Falls Recreation League no donations are made out to a individual. Iam for real. You are my band. I have the deepest respect for KISS. If you help out and do any work to improve community. I’m asking for your help. People say im crazy. But you know what. I will go above the help. WE are a non profit organization and strictly operate on what we can. Right now there are no grants available for us. But I will not stop. IF you might be interested. I would love to check the mail and find a donations from the hottest band in the world…..if you would like to make a contribution to our community girls softball. Please make it out to Beaver Falls Recreation Softball. We get started the beginning of March and rock all summer long keeping the kids busy. Hope to hear from you. Take care and be safe. Sincerely, Kip

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