Hotter Than Hell
the stories behind every song
by Dan Bach
The subtitle of this book is slightly deceiving, the stories behind every song. When the press
release came out I assumed it would be KISS members running through song by song - telling
the stories of the songs in the style of the box set booklet.
The book is divided in three parts.
First part is a Gene and Paul exclusive interview. Paul and Gene equally answer questions
from the one time Kerrang! Contributor and author of this book Paul Elliott. Answers range from dreams of success when starting out, to Paul's sexuality, Paul's cab driving, Gene and
Paul's first meeting, drinks and drugs, AIDS, KISS fans in grunge bands, Ace and Peter's wage situation. The answers are candid statements from both of them wrapped in self-promotion and KISS hype. Nothing changes there and deep down that's what we expect from Gene and to a lesser extent Paul.
Second part twelve UK based KISS fans introduce themselves. Ranging from musicians, journalists, pr men, company md and tribute band member. Each person tell how they got into KISS, how KISS has changed their lives, their first KISS show, how meeting KISS members felt - either as fans or in a professional capacity of interviewing them. Stories of queuing up for tickets & gigs, hearing their first KISS record, jamming with members of KISS.
Third section of the book is a run through song by song, album by album. Each song has comments ranging from it's musical quality, live set inclusion, chart positions, composer and sometimes a comment by one or more of the 12 UK KISS fans. The classics are discussed at length Love Gun, Rock and roll all night, Detroit rock city. It is apparent that these KISS fans are more interested in the makeup/early non make up era.
The book is littered with pictures like the Revenge tour HMV signing (Cardiff or London?) the 1996 Donington blow up "statues", 1988 Donington set, the Marquee reopening a few days before Doni '88, UK Unmasked leg.
Over all the book is well thought out. One thing disappoints me, many of the 12 UK fans mention Geoff Barton (Sounds reporter, former editor and MD of Kerrang! Magazine, fifth member of KISS and Nwobhm guru) as their entry point to KISS. Without his reporting of anything KISS in the late seventies, early eighties the band would have been not so popular. Hopefully his story could be told in a re-print or a second edition of this book.
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