Kiss

ARTICLE ABOUT The A-Z of Heavy Metal FROM SOUNDS (Part 4), April 26, 1975

So, as mentioned before, this concludes this series as I don`t have the next number of Sounds which ended with bands up to the letter Z.
I guess the two journalists in question here would correct a couple of things if they had the chance… among them the name of Kiss`s second album and the very strange omission of a band like Led Zeppelin in this article. They may not have been “metal” enough, but then some other bands shouldn`t be here too.
Read on!

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Rock from `eavy to `umble or
The Sounds A – Z of Heavy Metal

Compiled by Pete Makowski and Geoff Barton

H

Hardstuff

A hard rocking unit who recorded two albums on the Purple label (`Bullet Proof` and `Bolex Demtia`) then split. The band consisted of John Cann (guitar), ex-Atomic Rooster bassist John Gustafson and Paul Hammond (drums).

Hawkwind

You know the Hawks. Been together for years, once a people`s band, latterly spaced-out cosmic trippers with a diverting light show. Heavy as an asteroid; loud as a rocket blast; entertaining as a sci-fi novel. Their albums on UA are all readily available: `Hawkwind`, `In Search Of Space` (a classic), `Doremi Fasol Latido`, `Space Ritual` and `Hall Of The Mountain Grill`. Freak hit was `Silver Machine`. Follow-up `Urban Guerilla` was almost a success, too, but got deleted because of political implications. Current effort, `Kings Of Speed`, is the plague of the SOUNDS office.

Heavy Metal Kids

Came shortly after Silverhead and had that same punk rock appeal about them. Headed by mouthpiece Gary Holton they have been progressively building a strong following although their debut album on Atlantic didn`t sell as well as expected. Since then Micky Waller (ex Jeff Beck drummer) has left to form his own band and the band have changed their name to the Kids.

Hendrix

If the Troggs took Chip Taylor`s `Wild Thing` and made it kind of sleazy, Jimi Hendrix took it and gave it a sense of menace – which is why Makowski decides to include Hendrix but exclude the Troggs from this exhaustive list. One presumes. When Hendrix was on he was magnificent – one of the few men who could take the solo guitar and make it sound so good it didn`t need another instrument within a thousand miles. He could also be unbearably tiresome, over-extending licks and riffs until they bled white. But who else could have taken `Star Spangled Banner` and made it work for young America?

Humble Pie

At one time the Pie looked like strong contenders for the rock and roll throne the Stones had been so comfortably sitting on. They had a hard rhythmic style to put them in that league. The band were formed in `68. The combination of Steve Marriott, both from huge groups of that era (the Small Faces and the Herd respectively), sealed the band`s success from the start. Ex Art and Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley completed the line up. Their move to A&M from Immediate in 1970 coincided with a transition in the band`s style, a more aggressive brutal sound. This plus their consistent roadwork led to their imminent success in States and this country (they released three albums during this period `Humble Pie`, `Rock On` and `Live At The Fillmore`). It was obvious that Frampton and Marriott were taking two opposite musical directions and this led with the departure of the former who went to form his own band – Camel, who are still recording on the A&M label. The Pie took on the guitar services of ex Bakerloo, Colosseum man Dave Clempson. The band`s sound became more basic, the `white man soul` vocals of Marriott came to the forefront and they produced one killer of an album titled `Smokin“ in `72. This was followed by three less inspiring efforts (Eat It`, `Thunderbox` and `Streets Rats`) and the band are in the process of splitting.

Hustler

Formerly Flesh, this band first made their mark at the Marquee club where they built up a strong following. The line up then consisted of Steve Haynes (vocals), Micky Lluelyn (guitar), Kenny Lyons (bass), Kenny Daughters (organ) and Tony Beard (drums). They recorded their debut album last year on the Firefly label called `High Street` produced by ex Vinegar Joe guitar player Pete Gage. Since then the band have seen the departure of Beard who has been replaced by ex Tundra man Henry Spinetti.

Hydra

Out of the same camp as the Allmans/Marshall Tucker/Wet Willie, the guitar of Spencer Kirkpatrick and vocalist Wayne Bruce make this band a powerful, up front outfit. A four piece with only one album to their credit but worth watching. A big reputation down South.

I

Iggy Pop

He emulated his heroes – Jagger and the Doors – with unrestrained and exaggerated vigour. A showman supreme, he got a band together in his Ann Arbor home town in `69. Their sheer punk rock enthusiasm made up for their lack of musical skill, but essentially they were a live band and their albums sounded empty save a couple of songs that just happened to work. They recorded two albums on Elektra (`The Stooges` produced by ex Velvet John Cale, and `Funhouse`). Later Bowie produced them (`Raw Power`) an improvement, it was hailed by critics, but Iggy mysteriously disappeared and has had an uneven career since.

Iron Butterfly

Iron Butterfly are, arguably, the most successful, as far as record sales go, of all heavy bands. Their album `In-A-Gadda-Vida` shifted an incredible amount of copies and was just about the Sixties most successful album – it was the first to be awarded a platinum disc and stayed in the US charts for 140 weeks (Butterfly sold, in all, some seven million albums in that decade). They began in San Diego in 1966 and recorded their first album `Iron Butterfly – Heavy` within a year. Six albums were released by the band and all hit the US charts. Their original line up was Erik Braunn guitar, Lee Dorman bass, Ron Bushy drums and Doug Ingle organ and vocals. Later Braunn was replaced by two guitarists, Mike Pinera and Larry Reinhardt. They were basically a heavy blues based outfit with an irritating penchant for electronic gimmickry. Ingle, the band`s leader, had an eerie vocal style which became their trademark. Butterfly have recently reformed with two original members, Braunn and Bushy, and two new members, Phil Kramer bass and vocals, Howard Reitzes keyboards and vocals. They have an album, `Scorching Beauty`, out currently on MCA. It`s marginally better/worse than anything they`ve done before, depending on which way you look at it.

J

James Gang

Formed in Cleveland, Ohio the original band consisted of Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jimmy Fox (drums) and Dale Peters (bass). The band produced a versatile range of what could be described as tasteful rock and roll. Walsh`s musical ambitions led to his departure and current solo successes after four albums (`Yer Album`, `Rides Again`, `Thirds`, `Live In Concert`). The remaining two employed the talents of Dominic Trojano for two albums (`Strait Shooter` and `Passin` Thru`), then left to record a solo album and is currently with The Guess Who. He was replaced by Denver guitarist Tommy Bolin and they have recorded two albums (`Gang Bang` and `Miami`). Now they`re a good rock band but nowhere near the standards of the original Walsh line-up.

Jo Jo Gunne

They never managed to sustain the success they had with their first single `Run, Run, Run`. The band was formed by two ex Spirit members Jay Ferguson (keyboards) and John Locke (bass). After three albums guitarist Matthew Andes left to be replaced by John Stahaley (formerly Spirit and Stahaley Brothers).

Judas Priest

Birmingham five piece who look like they could step into Sabbath`s shoes judging by the response they`ve been getting on tour. They have an album out on Gull records and are currently working on new product.

K

Kiss

Rock and roll meets Hammer films. Kiss have tried to combine glamour, horrorock, showmanship… if there was a drink comparable to their mixture of styles you`d have to have a strong stomach to hold it down. The band consists of Peter Criss (drums), Gene Simmons (guitar), Paul Stanley (guitar), Space Age Frehley (lead guitar) and they`ve recorded three albums (`Kiss`, `Nothing To Lose`, `Dressed To Kill`) on the Casablanca label.

L

Love Sculpture

Featuring Dave Edmunds and a bit bemused when their heavying-up of `Sabre Dance` was Number One here in 1967, they were “A local band that was never meant to be” according to their leader. They toured America because it was a good way to get their air fares paid, but split up when they got home. What really put the cap on it was when they found themselves topping the bill over Joe Cocker. They thought the joke had gone far enough.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Seven piece Skynyrd have taken the States by storm over the last couple of years, their first album setting some non-Southern dudes back on their heels. Three guitars lead the Skynyrd attack but from evidence of their last (third) album they`ve taken their foot off the gas a bit.

M

Mahogany Rush

When Frank Marino was only fourteen years old, he had a bum trip. When he recovered in hospital he discovered he had suddenly acquired an adeptness for playing the guitar, he could play the solo on Garcias `Viola Blues` note for note even though he never heard it before. Then Hendrix overtook his style.

May Blitz

Headed by ex-Jeff Beck drummer Tony Newman, this band were given a lot of promo but didn`t live up to it. They recorded two albums on the Vertigo label (`May Blitz`, `2nd Of May`) and split.

MC5

`Brothers and sisters! I wanna see your hands up there! Lemme see your hands! I wanna hear some revolution out there brothers! I wanna hear a little revolution! It`s time to move! It`s time to testify! And I wanna know – are you ready to testify? Are you ready? I give a testimonial – the MC5!` So begins one of rock`s heaviest (if not the heaviest) live albums, the Motor City Five`s `Kick Out The Jams`. The band had several albums released over here on both the Elektra and Atlantic labels, but all have long since been deleted. The only MC5 material currently readily (or easily) available is a track on the `Age Of Atlantic` sampler album, `Tonight`. Brief facts: the band originated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the early/middle Sixties; their trademark: unsubtle, unsophisticated, often barely competent metal which assaulted you (both live and on record even at the most moderate volume) with the force of a fragmentation bomb and the intensity of a dentist`s drill; they were extremely politically orientated, turning up and gigging at many a revolutionary, extremist party rally; Rob Tyner, vocalist, was (and probably still is) the epitome of the perpetually screaming, practically out of tune rock singer. The MC5 once proted Norman Mailer to write a particularly gruesome account of one of their concerts. It`s a fact not too widely known that the jingle for Noel Edmonds` jolly `Kick Out The Jams` spot in his morning show comes from the album of the same name, except that it`s cleverly censored: the MC5 scream, `and right now it`s time to – kick out the jams, mother fuckers!`, while Noel has sensibly toned this down for his listeners and inserted `brothers and sisters` for the offensive final word.

Montrose

American band featuring ex- Edgar Winter sideman and sessionist Ronnie Montrose on blistering guitar. First album, released in 1973, was a rocker from end to end. Curiously, the band (at least on the two occasions I`ve seen them) fail to match up to their recorded sounds in live performance. Original line-up: Ronnie Montrose guitar, Sam Hagar vocals, Bill Church bass, Denny Carmassi drums. Alan Fitzgerald replaced Church for the second album `Paper Money` and Hagar recently left to form his own band, Sammy Wilde And The Dust Cloud. A new vocalist has not yet been announced, though Montrose is still intact.

Mott The Hoople

Mott the Hoople were always a schizophrenic band. Being the brainchild of Guy Stevens, they couldn`t have been anything but – he wanted a group that merged the Rolling Stones with Procol Harum. So their early albums zigzagged from manic, bad tempered thrash to reflective ballads – a quality that wasn`t reflected in the anarchy of their invariably shambolic live gigs. Finally, they gave up and split up. Then Bowie, `Dudes` and success. But Mott had always been a loser band, stumbling from one crisis to the next, and they remained so – once the original line-up split (Mick Ralphs and Verden Allen moving on ultimately to Bad Company and Cheeks) and the permutations of guitarists and keyboardmen started, the rot had set in. They fizzled out with Ian Hunter unable and unwilling to carry on as the group lynchpin any more. His solo career continues with the last Mott guitarist, ex-Spider, Mick Ronson, on another schizoid course; while the Mott remnants are about to record their first album with a new (secret) singer and guitarist. The future is uncertain as ever the past was.

Mountain

If Cream had never existed it`s doubtful that Mountain would have followed. Felix Pappalardi (Cream producer and bassist in his own right) pulled together the talents of Leslie West (guitar), formerly with a band called the Vagrants, Corky Laing (drums) and Steve Knight (keyboards) and broke really big in America but couldn`t repeat the feat in Britain. Felix had a great influence on Cream in the studio and some of these themes were much evident in albums such as `Nantucket Sleighride` and `Flowers Of Evil`. The band split in 1972 and spawned West, Bruce and Laing but reformed following the WB&L collapse only to work sporadically. Best albums vie between `Nantucket` and `Climbing`.

N

Nazareth

A dynamic rock and roll four piece (Dan McCafferty, vocals, Manny Charlton, guitar, Pete Agnew, bass, Darryl Sweet, drums) from Dunfermline didn`t take off until the release of their third album `Razamanaz`. This was followed by chart appearances (`Broken Down Angel`, `This Flight Tonight`). Their next two albums (`Loud `n` Proud` and `Rampant`) sold well but their popularity waned in Britain when they concentrated their energies abroad where they are in the big league. The band have returned in powerful form with `Hair Of The Dog` which was produced by Charlton (the previous three were produced by ex-Purple man Roger Glover).

New York Dolls

`Too Much, Too Soon` was an appropriate title for their second album, the Dolls never quite seemed to make it. Visually and musically they were meant to represent New Yawk debauchery, the kid of the street sound. The band – David Johansen (vocals), Johnny Thunders (guitar), Sylvain Sylvain (bass) and Jerry Nolan (drums) – built a large following at Max`s Kansas City which captured the heart of the critics but were limited in their audience appeal (mainly confined to areas that were attracted by glitter rock).

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Singles reviewed by John Peel FROM SOUNDS, February 1, 1975

There were some very interesting singles reviewed in this edition of Sounds. So I collect those I found most interesting here, the one after the other for your enjoyment. John Peel was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004. And while I don`t agree with all of his assessments of these artists reviewed here he should have credit for being one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock and progressive rock records on British radio.
Read on!

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Singles reviewed by John Peel

Star Time

***** An essential buy
**** Well worth having if you`ve got the money
*** Good, try to hear it
** Ho-hum
* Very ho-hum
No stars Pass by on the other side

Kiss: `Nothin` To Lose` (Casablanca). **

I played this on one of my inaudible radio programmes recently – and, hearing it again, I`m not entirely sure why. You must remember the furore last year – or was it the year before – when David Bowie`s arrival in New York stimulated a vast number of extreme groups with names like Wandering Hand & The Pontius Pilates, who wore lots of make-up and off-the-shoulder evening gowns and were liable, at the swish of a flimsy undergarment, to perform athletic sexual feats, with Latin names, on stage. Kiss may or may not come from New York – I neither know nor care – but they are one of the very few of the perv rock bands who managed to cunnilinger long enough to actually record. `Nothin` To Lose` is crypto-high-energy music, the musical equivalent of sleeping with one of those extravagantly proportioned inflatable women – with comprehensively detailed polythene genitalia – which seem to be called either Greta or Ingrid. `Cunnilinger long enough` is rather good, I think.

 
ZZ Top: `La Grange` (London). ***

The Texas-based blues-rockers (I`m trying for a job with Rolling Stone – hope you like that intro.) are big faves with the rank-and-file in the ZOUNDS office. If London had scrapped the moderately embarrassing John Lee Hokum spoken stuff that starts this it`d have scored another star. Good and tight and unadorned blues-based music otherwise. Buchanan-influenced guitar, tough rhythm. A good row, mainly instrumental.

 
Santana: `Mirage` (CBS). ***

From `BORBELETTA` and unaccountably pronounced “moo-rardge” throughout. Despite nondescript vocals worth hearing for no-nonsense playing – no religiously inspired needling about here – and touches of the S. Wonder`s. Perfectly acceptable.

 
Suzi Quatro: `Your Mamma Won`t Like Me` (RAK). ***

Just as I had convinced myself that Suzi couldn`t sing and that I was going to loathe all of her records, those Chinnichaps write her a proper song and she does it all rather well. By the funkiness of the band and the major shift in emphasis of the production I imagine that `Mamma` may have been recorded with America in mind. The band plays beautifully while S.Q. does a teenage Mae West with such lines as “I like your stimulation but that ain`t enough.” This is a far, far better thing.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits –  please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Average White Band, Chick Corea, Gilbert O`Sullivan, Guess Who, Led Zeppelin, Trapeze, John Martyn, John McLaughlin, Billy Connolly, J. Geils Band, John Holt, Hall & Oates, Donovan, Country Joe McDonald, Golden Earring, Gary Moore.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Kiss FROM New Musical Express, May 22, 1976

Kiss didn`t get a good review in NME after their first tour in England. The journalist wanted to like them but appreciated their albums more than the live version of the band. It didn`t matter for Kiss, as they were used to bad reviews and built a very successful career, despite their critics, that lasts until this day. They are still a very successful live band and, as they say, definitely got the last laugh.
What is interesting about this review is the praise Mr. Bell gives to the drummer Peter Criss. Many Kiss fans argue, even today, about if he is a “good” drummer or not. Bell gives him credit for his his style, and I personally agree with this. A very important influence of the Kiss sound was Peter`s jazz-style drumming and also his voice. Without Peter I think Kiss would have been a poorer band on record and may not even have got as big as they did.
Here`s a toast to the cat-man! You may be retired these days, but the true Kiss-fans miss you!

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Young folks having fun

Kiss
Hammersmith

By Max Bell

The lady on the door was most persuasive. “Would you take a Kiss mask? Please… go on have a couple, we`re trying to get rid of them”. I obliged and made my way upstairs to the bar which was shut, in keeping with the Odeon`s policy of guessing the average age of the night crowd. In this instance they were right. The audience being mostly composed of young folk covered in thick Kiss copy make up, parents with their offspring, haughty queens in tight trousers that left little to the imagination and rather bemused looking punters who`d come along on the surmise that we`ve all heard so much about Kiss that they must be worth seeing once.
At the top of the stairs belligerent and tanked up youths ripped off large promo cardboard cut outs and posters while good natured Sturico men tried to pin them back to the railings. Stray were finishing their set to much applause and the D.J. cranked up his heavy rock collection as unknown happenings took place behind the Safety Curtain.
Kiss are due on at 9 p.m. but owing to the exigencies of G.L.C. fire regulations they don`t make it until 9.40; the natives, not knowing the impossibility of trying to persuade irate officials that fire balls on side stage are O.K. fun, are understandably restless. The excellent Keith Peacock from Casablanca passes on the information and tells me that Kiss had played a blinder at Birmingham the night before. Still, it seems ironic that a band with such a cast iron S.M. reputation, that you wouldn`t let your kids within a thousand miles of, are stymied by the safety rules that operate with regard to large concert venues. Could have something to do with the fact that anyone sitting twenty feet from the stage stood a fair chance of having their eyebrows singed.

Kiss and the Dresden fire storm are synonymous in… uh… heavy metal circles.
Jonathan Richman slurped off the turntable and suddenly the lights had dimmed and these four munster figures lurched on. Wall to wall amps and an elevated drum kit flanked by candles and police sirens loomed into view. Whoomph… zonk… the famous Kiss are off. They are about the loudest band I`ve ever heard. The noise is excruciating, a warped wave of wattage cascades over every inch of the hall, only trouble is the opening two songs are unintelligible. Paul Stanley, he of the Marc Bolan curls, star on eye, is front man. Their opening gambit is to stand in line and then leap into the air. Three guys in Marvel comic strip costumes and a drummer who thinks he`s a pussy cat. Fascinating.
I really can`t believe my eyes, or ears. Kiss are zipped into their volume saturated time warp with all the trappings that British glam rock made redundant at least two years ago. Platform boots, silver epaulettes, lipstick, the whole movie.
So far so funny. I like some of their records in the way that I like any kind of trash music that has no pretensions to being sophisticated. While the aura always seems contrived it is occasionally amusing. Everyone is susceptible to a bit of hype and chintzy glamour so I`m waiting for things to liven up. Y`know Kiss aren`t Yes or Johann Sebastian`s four younger brothers but people tell me what good musicians they are underneath that hideous black and white cake. The bands I`d reckoned they owed most to, The MC5, Dolls, Stooges all had a lot extra to offer besides Power On destruction. The last vinyl jungle, `Destroyer`, (produced by Alice Cooper`s buddy Bob Ezrin) was an indication they might be moving a few rungs up the ladder. Start off crass boys and the let`s see what you can do.

`Flaming Youth` stun guns the auditorium. Stanley, Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons of the Seven Samurai top knot are still leaping up and down or striking guitar hero poses. I like the song cos it`s dumb but under the kerosene riffing I don`t detect too much inspiration. Maybe Kiss are on a bad night or maybe if you took away the Marshalls and the image they`d have nothing left.
On one level their music doesn`t really matter. Kiss stand or fall on the quality of their much vaunted theatrics and their manner of presentation. I`m a trifle miffed that nothing other than fractured ear drums has yet left them there boards. Stanley starts one of many obnoxious raps. “This is going to be one of those rock`n`roll parties, I can feel it London. We`re gonna get this place `Hotter Than Hell`.”
He and Frehley fuzz and masticate lead licks. Stanley dons a Fire and Brimstone Chief`s helmet and Simmons leers outrageously for the camera men then shakes his Kamakazi bun like a poodle after a bath. Chord breaks which have very little to do with music, and never ever rubbed shoulders with the word tune, drown out the vocals.
The sirens spin to muffled cheering and then Simmons staggers over to his candelabra, selects the wax and ignites a mouth full of lighter fuel. It is simultaneously the most contrived piece of overkill imaginable, actually performed very sheepishly and utterly lacking in intimidation. Alright it doesn`t matter that Arthur Brown did this in 1966 or that stage props are excusable as a means to entertaining but you expect to be pinned to your seat in amazement, at least hold your breath for a few seconds, but the deed is merely feeble. Over in a flash. Puh!

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The girls in front of me with Kiss scrawled on their cheeks, and who can`t be a day over twelve, aren`t that impressed either. Under all the guff I got the feeling that Kiss were condescending to the audience. Give `em what they want and then put the takings in the bank quick. Their moves are professional enough only to gratify the noise lust of the lowest common denominator open to rock. I don`t care that they wear their kinetics so far out you know they haven`t got a single original lick, but once the energy graph dissipates and you begin to study their ability to even play what simple ideas they do possess, the shortcomings are tremendous.
For starters they aint even sexy. Ace Frehley moves with the approximate grace of a third degree advanced numbskull. A guitar by rote. It`s no surprise to learn that he exists in a permanent heat haze of zonked vacancy. Simmons` bass playing is basic, and that`s being kind. He played a one note solo which was good. The audience voice their approbation accordingly. He sticks his tongue out about seven inches like a proboscis but him and butterflies aren`t too compatible. It probably stands him in good stead for various sexual practises though.
Stanley`s in between raps become more tedious. There`s plenty talk about rock`n`roll, all the songs feature those much maligned words when the lyrics need a bit of credibility. Alan Freed and Bo Diddley have got a lot to answer for.
Frehley plays a solo that reminded me of visiting the dentist. At the end of same a flame scuds into the front row, exit one owner of a good stall seat in a puff of smoke.

The stormtroopers blast into what is recognisably `Nothing To Lose`. The title is on the nail. Kiss drench the sacks with no regard for variation or taste, the material is indistinguishable. `Nothing To Lose` pummels like nothing you`ve ever heard before into `Shout It Out Loud`, a veritable scumbag of a number. The audience are still pretty sedate. None of the seat mangling and whole scale freak out they are purported to wreak in darkest Manhattan.
What with the gear and the noise and the monotony they remind one of vintage Slade except they aren`t as competent. Only drummer Peter Criss looks like he could get his stash together doing another kind of music. Besides his cat whiskers are cute. He has something recognisable as style. All that nonsense about stalking his prey as he flails the skins. A plane crash that turned him into a sabre toothed tiger whose mother weaned him to recovery. “I must have been a cat in an earlier life”. Says Criss. Guess that`s more than likely.
Things are beginning to happen down there. Simmons is now playing a two note bass solo and chewing on a blood capsule at the same time. What virtuosity. Weenies squeal in terror as a liberal splattering of red saliva drips slowly onto his feet. It`s grizzly enough to make anyone with an ounce of sensibility leave their lunch on the person in front of them. They begin something that sounds like `Schools Out` speeded up. Those rip-offs are right out front, they should be paying royalties to every H.M. division on the planet.
Criss gets his moment of glory as is the way with drummers. Lights are vibrating. He could take a few hints from Albert Bouchard on how to make the drum solo humorous. He hits each piece of the kit. These soldiers really have their act together.
The show hit the bottom most pits from thereafter. “Are you with us tonight,” says Stanley, and starts rubbing himself off. Real subtle. “How many people here like to get stoned?” The girls in front of me apparently do. “Do you believe in rock`n`roll?” Jesus Christ if he went through that routine once he did it four times. It does however get the kids on their feet.

They do `Fire House` or was it `Cold Gin`? The resultant sound was rough. Sophisticated they ain`t. If you`ve ever had someone drag new sandpaper up the inside of your leg you`ll know what I mean. The drum kit hits the roof, literally, a device that Earth, Wind and Fire are also partial to.
Stanley goes on about how cool the audience is which is much appreciated. Kiss are pleased with the flak they get back.
Finally they do `Detroit Rock City`, the very passable opening to `Destroyer`. Live they muff the dual lead runs, even the chord change they borrowed from The Cult. It seems plausible that they are using tapes as some of the time voices or guitars emerge even when no one is near a microphone or has his hands on the relevant fretboard.
After that the hall erupts. Three encores including the mundane `Rock`n`Roll All Nite And Party Every Day`. Confetti pours over the lads, all hell lets loose and I haven`t even told you about the dry ice, the strobes, the mirror ball and the exploding neutron pods.
Look, I want to like Kiss. Their albums reveal they have something to offer but on this showing, live, in person, stalking before the people who pay their wages, they cannot be taken seriously. When the shit hits the fans Kiss have nothing except the clothes they stand up in and their volume controls. Every effect they use is someone else`s cliche taken to the furthest possible point. They aren`t bizarre, they`re obvious and hideously self-indulgent.
Outside pavement touts are flogging cheap trash, scarves, badges at extortionate prices (the official programme was a pound!). The thin end of the wedge, this senseless rock capitalism. Thank Christ they shut the bar. I went home and threw up.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nils Lofgren, Patti Smith, Elvis, David Essex, Strapps, Steve Miller Band, Lee Garrett.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Kiss FROM New Musical Express, April 24, 1976

Some interesting perspectives on Kiss in this short review of their album “Destroyer”. It has been over 40 years since this album arrived, and among a lot of Kiss-fans it is held as one of their greatest albums ever. Also, in a lot of the rock music magazines, it usually gets in the top 50 albums of all time lists. So there is something about this album that Mr. Bell couldn`t quite see at the time.
Enjoy!

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KISS: Destroyer (Casablanca)

By Max Bell

If ever a group have made it huge in America by carefully manipulated saturation in terms of records, concerts and promotion then Kiss are that animal.
Five records in two years, bill topping over bands they were supporting but six months ago – jeez, Kiss are so big it hurts.
Incredibly their reliance on a modicum of style, unashamed derivativeness and a stage persona which is gross in the extreme still hasn`t prevented them being accepted by the city fathers and mothers of the union. When Kiss hit town they get the works; keys, red carpets and police escorts.
Kind of fishy for a bunch of perverted looking dudes in monster make-up and ten-inch heels, the kind of guys you`d expect your parents to loathe and detest.
But no, the Kiss armies, kissing competitions, Kiss-mobiles and fan clubs abound, the accent is on fun-a-go-go. The whole thing reeks of commercialism gone mad.
For “Destroyer” they`ve kept the services of Bob Ezrin, who is certainly a better producer than Neil Bogart, and heralds Kiss` foray into the territory vacated by Alice Cooper now that he`s taken to advertising Budweiser and playing golf with the establishment.
Ezrin has also written a lot of the lyrics this time round and that means the image moves from contrivance to downright self-parody.

The opener “Detroit Rock City” is aimed specifically at a `Get up off your chair and get down` routine, the oldest trick in the book. Musicwise and otherwise though the song is pretty nifty and involves the grisly tale of someone killed in a head on collision (with sound effects, natch) while listening to his own music blaring over the car radio.
It`s a typical piece of Ezrin chicanery but good for all that.
Kim Fowley, that real live minor league punk, proves he`s still at large by contributing “King Of The Night Time World” which has guitarists Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley hors de combat and slurping along like subterranean, festering corpses while the ridiculous Gene Simmons yells his set pieces with credible `B` horror movie posturing.
Maybe I`ve got calluses on the brain but I sometimes think Kiss are quite funny. Undeniably they`re slick and ultra polished too but the vampire drooling extras are getting tedious. Worse, drummer Peter Criss and Frehley are looking bored these days, all that grease paint can`t do much for the complexion anyhow.
A lot of their recent publicity snaps show that only Simmons and Stanley seem convinced that all this is good idea.
An example of Kiss falling by their image comes on “God Of Thunder” which is no doubt a cue for the exploding amplifiers and automatic neutron pods to splutter into action. Musically it sucks. A gratuitously gimmick ridden, ham-fisted dose of fall out entirely bereft of humour or excitement.

“Great Expectations” is a slab of pubescent teasing which,, ow you say, leaves little to the imagination. `You`ll watch me playing my guitar and you`ll see what my fingers can do`. Humph, I think you get the picture. At least that kind of dumb nastiness fits Kiss` grisly masque whereas “Beth”, replete with lavish strings and weedy romanticism, is plain idiotic.
Kiss are suffering from one overwhelming problem, their own success. I happen to believe that given time and minus the now ludicrous clowning they could make something genuinely heavy.
With material of the calibre of “Shout It Out Loud” (very neatly dispatched to the cleaners by Mister Singles last week) they are merely riding on a vehicle of their own unimaginative making. “Flaming Youth”, which is actually highly creditable rock`n`roll, would have been a far better bet.
Of course they`re no fools, very adept and sending themselves up rotten, probably some kind of poisonous gas live too. Still as they are now running snarling to the bank with such regularity I wish they`d justify the talent that lurks beneath the facade.

Kiss Destroyer

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Mick Ronson, British Country Music Festival, Abba, J.J. Cale, Magna Carta, Dr. Alimantado, Steve Harley, Osibisa, Rolling Stones.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Kiss from New Musical Express, November 15, 1975

I think this is the only time that Kiss played as a five-man band (except that one was a woman and didn`t actually plug in and play). Kiss was starting to get really big at this time in their history, and it is reflected by both Creem and NME printing this article. Enjoy!

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`I was a Kiss (Kissette?) for a day`
Well, four minutes anyway.

Jaan Uhelszki tastes fame and madness with another bunch of American crazies.
Pix: Barry Levine

What am I going to pack to become a Kiss? I ponder over breakfast, wincing at the memory of the previous night`s show. What if that geekish bass player bites my neck, oozing red blood-goo on my unsuspecting shoulder?
Anxiety knots my stomach so much that I can`t even force a single Sugar Crisp down my throat.
Seated in seat 8A on the plane, my fear of flying is mixing badly with my apprehension. After a round of Hail Marys I look up to see Gene Simmons seated next to me, sans makeup of course, although he still makes a scene in his 7 inch platforms, cheese-colored scarf and black polish that he is presently chipping off his stubby nails.
Of all the members of the band, his appearance is the most obscured by the paint; he might just as easily be Omar Sharif or Joe Namath for that matter. Instead he was a former life guard, then a Boy-Friday at Vogue, has a B.A. in Education but secretly confesses a desire to be Bela Lugosi (and is lovingly dubbed Mr. Monster by the rest of his fellow inmates).

Kiss are essentially street snots yanked from their gangs and plugged into an amp. They were brash JD`s, tattoed and tough, who knew exactly what and who they were. Today, they still proudly display their tattoos (except Gene) but now their “colors” are a little more obvious – the paint they wear on stage.
Kiss` identities seem to be the result of some concurrent conception by Eric Van Daniken, Walt Disney, Stan Lee, and Russ Meyer.
Although they wear makeup, the classic stereotype of a flit, Kiss emerge as four macho lugs. “Hey, Uhelszki, you put out?” somebody asked.
“Room 421, Miss.” Key in hand, I rejoin the gang and anxiously ask, like an old hand, “When`s the sound check?”
“What sound check?” Gene blankly answers.
“You mean I don`t get to rehearse?” I ask nervously.
“Nah, you`ll catch on, just follow us,” says Paul.
“Yeah, but I`ve got nothing to wear…” I say with a trace of panic.
It`s 4.00 p.m., and all I have between me and showtime is Saturday afternoon TV. I`m watching Soul Train without having the slightest idea what I`m seeing, when the phone rings.

“Uhelszki?” (By this time I was one of the boys, and either called Uhelszki or kid).
“Yeah?”
“What size shoes do you wear?”
“8 1/2. Why?”
“Too bad. I thought we could snazz you up in a pair of silver boots.”
“Well, maybe I could stuff `em with Kleenex.”
“No, won`t work. Don`t worry, I`ll rummage around some more.”
I felt like I was getting ready for that Big Date – you know, the prom or Homecoming – when actually I was going to be on stage for a total of four minutes in an Ice Arena in Nowhere, Pennsylvania. But still fidgety, I kept trying on my leotard over and over, checking the image in the mirror, and feeling a lot like the motorcycle moll in Naked Under Leather. Drawing the drapes, I practiced a few classic Kiss kicks in the bathroom mirror without much success. My practice was cut short by a knock at the door, and an ominous voice: “Be in the lobby in one hour!”
The voice commanded; mine, as a mere member of the shock troops, was but to obey.
One hour later Ace shoves a bottle of cocoa butter towards me. “Here, use this. It`ll seal your pores.” I guess I looked confused, because Ace asked me, “How come you don`t know anything about putting on make-up, and you`re a chick?”

I ignore the remark and furiously pat the butter all over my naked face. “Broadway Red?” I ask, picking up a worn tube of lipstick.
“Yeah, I love it,” says Peter.
By general, consensus, Kiss have decided to make me up as a composite of all of them, just like the back cover of the Hotter Than Hell album. Now for the actual transformation.
“It`s time to make a little monster. Now watch, so you can do this,” he instructs as if he were a counselor for the Elizabeth Arden School of Beauty. “First rub Stein`s clown white all over your face. Smooth it very lightly, only using a little around the eyes.
“Okay, now sprinkle baby powder all over your face, so the base will set.” I look at Paul in the mirror and start to laugh.
“Didn`t you know we`re the clowns of rock and roll?” Paul jokes. Ace scowls at his reflection, muttering that he made “the goddamned lines too thick.” Unsatisfied, he storms out the door. Peter dabs on his last whisker, and preens in front of the mirror, caressing his lean leather thighs: “Tony Curtis, eat your heart out!”
Ace splotches a silver dot on my nose, and Peter adds his own feline touch in messy black crayon. Paul pauses over the conglomeration, and draws a smaller version of his star. Funny, somehow, I feel some kind of immunity behind the paint, a little more confidence. Maybe this rock and roll business won`t be so bad after all. Gene holds up a mirror and stands back, telling me to look at my reflection. “Don`t you feel special?” he inquires.
“No, silly,” I admit.

Now the presentation of my plugless wonder. Junior shoves a red guitar in my hands and I fumble with it. “You mean you don`t even know how to hold a guitar?” he asks increduously.
My last touch is the freak paraphernalia, and I go from person to person collecting their junk jewelry and brutish decorations. Finally I was outfitted in a studded collar, a menagerie of plastic eyeball (and other unidentified organs) rings, a metal cuff, and a studded belt whose buckle encased a tarantula.
The dressing room in all of its filthy linoleum splendor wasn`t the worst of its lot. Once inside, I`m afflicted with a bad case of modesty, and become obsessed with finding a secluded corner to change into my clothes.
Clutching my costume, I spot an empty stall and dart in relieved, bolting the door. Like a quick change artist, I tear off my teeshirt, tug at my Landlubbers and don my basic black, feeling more like a naked seal than part of Kiss. Timidly, I sneak out of the stall and approach Ace Frehley: “Hey, do you have another pair of tights I can wear? I`m freezing,” I lie.
“Yeah, but they`re size D,” says Ace.
“That`s okay.”
“But Jaan, yours look better. They`re much hotter, because you can see your skin through them. Doncha wanna look good in the pictures?”
“That`s what I was afraid of.”
“Hey, hey, if you don`t watch those legs they`re gonna get grabbed,” leers Simmons.
Embarrassed, I turn on the stage manager and shout: “Hey, how long until we go on?”
“Lookit her, give her a black outfit and make her a Kiss, and already she`s hard core,” he laughs.

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The first band is on and the crowd is a stiff. No encore. Manager Bill Aucoin sticks his head into the dressing room, shoves five backstage passes towards us, and tells us we`ve got 45 minutes until showtime. My palms have started to sweat so much that they`re beginning to obliterate the lettering on my pass, so I stick it on my right shoe, figuring the local goon squad would never believe that I was “Kiss For A Night” and give me the shove, figuring me to be just another fanatical Kiss groupie who had painted her face like her heroes, which seems to be the current fashion among the fans.
In keeping with the code of concealing the real identity of Kiss, my photographer can`t start shooting until the guys have sufficiently obscured their features. I take a spin around the backstage area which is littered with underage glitter queens of varying age and brilliance. A fourteen year old Patty Play Pal accosts me.
“You know Gene Simmons?” she drools.
“Yeah,” I reply matter-of-factly.
“Does he really do those things with his tongue?” she asks excitedly.
“I guess so,” I reply.
“Gee, I wish he`d use that tongue on me,” she says wistfully.
I return, and Kiss are in the final stages of completion, and ready to give me tips on cosmetology. I`m hesitant to let them know that the last time I put on face make-up was in the 10th grade, in the girls` loo at Southfield High School.

Like a rock and roll Casey Stenger Bill gave me an impromptu pep talk about standing up straight, not watching the audience, and looking “like you belong there.”
What he didn`t realize was I was getting a little trigger happy, and maybe even stage struck, but just in case I motioned him over to me. “I have every intention of going through with this, but when it`s time for me to go on stage, don`t give me a hand sign, just shove.”
The set seemed to take forever; I felt like I was sitting through the rock version of Gone With The Wind.
The make-up was beginning to itch unbearably. As I raised a lone fingernail to scratch, Bill Aucoin was at my side, like a trained pro, grabbing my hand. “That`s a no-no” he said, and fanned my face to relieve the irritation. “Did you know you`re on next?” he inquired.
I didn`t. From stage left I peeked at the greedy crowd, and was horrified that the stage was only inches off the floor – well 24 inches. This struck me as odd, since this is a Kiss concert and everybody knows their reputation for riling up an audience, whether it be amorous ladies intent on wrapping their arms around Ace`s mike stand, or just uncounted masses of genderless groupies who want to cop a feel.
Countdown. Then the shove, and I`m on stage, moving like I`m unremotely controlled. Forgetting completely that I am in front of 5,000 people participating as one fifth of this sadistic cheerleading squad, bobbing and gyrating instinctively, I no longer hear the music, just a noise and a beat. On cue I strut over to Simmons` mike and lean into it and sing. Singing loud without hearing myself, oblivious to everything but those four other beings on stage. Gene whispers for me to “shake it” and I loosen up a little more, until I feel like a Vegas show girl going to a go go.

Suddenly it strikes me: I like this. And I venture a look at the crowd, that clamouring hungry throng of bodies below me. All I can think at that moment is how much of all those kids resemble an unleashed pit of snakes, their outstretched arms bobbing and nodding, as if charmed by the music. I wonder if they will pick up on the hoax? But they keep screaming and cheering, so I might just as well be Peter Criss, unleashed from his drum kit, as anyone, the only difference is, I am the only Kiss with tits.
I slide over to Stanley`s mike, sneaking up behind him, and mimic his calisthenics. He whirls around and catches me, emitting a huge red crimson laugh from his painted lips. I push my unplugged guitar to one side and do an aborted version of the bump and the bossa nova, singing into Paul`s mike this time.
“I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day!
“Oh yeah!
“I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day!”
And right on cue, to add that last dash of drama, Junior`s beefy arms ceremoniously lift me and the guitar three feet off the stage, and I look like a furious fan who almost managed to fullfill her fantasy, but was foiled in the end. But you know something? I feel foiled; I wanted to finish the song. My song!

We trekked back to the dressing room and now, after the ordeal, my legs went marshmallow. Wanting to appear blase after my big debut, I grabbed a wooden chair and draped myself over it.
“It was hysterical!” laughed Paul. “I forgot about you, then all of a sudden I look and see you dancing, looking like Minnie Mouse.”
“You`re a perfect stage personality,” said Gene. You took over, stealing scenes like a pro. The kids thought you were a part of the show.”
Junior walked over. I was afraid of his verdict but he liked it, he liked it! “You did it! You got out there like a trouper. I gave you the sign and away you went.”
“I didn`t think they noticed…” I sputtered.
“I was watching people in the front row, and they were saying `Who is this chick. What is she doing up there? What`s going on?`” Junior continued.
The party was over, the fans dispersed, but the five of us were armed with five boxes of Kleenex and four bottles of cold cream. “You know, if we don`t get rich, I`m gonna need a padded cell,” confessed Peter.

Reprinted courtesy of “CREEM” magazine.

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Read more by and of Jaan Uhelszki here: http://jaanuhelszki.com/

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nils Lofgren, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ivor Cutler, Steve Howe, Spud, John Cale.

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