November Purchases – Vinyl

First off, November does not have the amount of Purchases as October had as October was an anomaly…which I actually bought the album “Anomaly” by Ace Frehley last month so it was a double anomaly, if that is possible.  November was a more normal month of purchases.  And I am thankful for that. I am thankful for a lot of things.  Oh, and by the way…Happy Thanksgiving!!

I started off the month going back to Noble Records over in Matthews, NC.  They have been open for two months and I have been twice.  I think a regular monthly stop is what I should do and is what I am going to do.  As usual with Noble (even on his Pop-Up stores), I always walk away with some fantastic stuff and this trip was no different. This time, I only walked away with 3 Vinyl and they are great stuff.  They are all 80’s releases and actual 80’s vinyl, not re-issues.  And there are NO TURKEYS in this bunch. (Sorry bad Thanksgiving joke!!!)

First up is the debut album from the band Twisted Sister.  The album is ‘Under the Blade’ and it is the Italian release of the album by Secret Records.  It is also the original mix of the album and not the re-mixed version Atlantic Records released which I didn’t realize when I bought so thank’s to Scott at HMO for that information.

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The 2nd LP was the debut from the band Skid Row simply called Skid Row.  You know this one. It has “Piece of Me”, “I Remember You”, “18 and Life” as well as “Youth Gone Wild”.  It is a beast of a debut and it isn’t a first pressing, but it is the Columbia House Record Club version.  Remember that, for just $.01 you get like a bajillion albums if you buy 500 within two years…something like that.  It is mint shape and still has the plastic wrapper on it.

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The last one from Noble is Europe’s ‘Final Countdown’ album.  I am so sick of the song “Final Countdown”, that I had put off buying this one for years.  Well, Noble had one in one of the best shapes I have seen and at a decent price.  Also, still in the plastic wrapping.  So, I finally bit the bullet and added to the collection.  I am up to 5 vinyl releases for Europe and still a few more to go.

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Next up is one I finally grabbed from my WishList on Amazon.  I keep a list of albums I am looking to obtain and if the price ever gets right, I grab it.  This one I grabbed because it is a new release and it fell below my $15 threshold.  It actually wound up being only $14 for a 2LP set.  It is not my favorite Billy Idol album which is why I was waiting to grab it at the right price. It is his latest Re-Mix album Re-Vitalized.  I needed it to help complete my Billy Idol collection.  Still need a few more though before I am done.

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And then next up was a Record Show at the Fillmore here in Charlotte…at least I thought it was a record show.  It turns out it was market for mostly vintage clothing and jewelry.  Dang it!  I saw it advertised by Hardy Boy Records and Comics who have a shop over in Mint Hill so I thought it was going to be this huge record show. Wrong.  However, I wasn’t disappointed as I picked up a ton of stuff from the Hardy Boy’s booth as he never disappoints. If you are in or around Charlotte check out the shop at11237 Lawyers Rd in Mint Hill, NC.

Let’s start with the some Motley Crue.  I found The Dirt still sealed for $16.  I have avoided buying it because it is usually over $20 and I don’t like the new songs that much, but I figured for that price why not.  I also found a 12″ Picture Disc of Helter Skelter with the poster…Really cool…

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Next up is a classic Punk record I have been wanting for a while and finally found one in good shape at a good price.  It is The Clash’s ‘London Calling’.

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Then a couple really interesting pieces.  First up is an album I already have called ‘Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions…I don’t have it with this cover though!!  And for $6…sold!

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Next is one that is a round album cover with a blue vinyl which is really strange because yellow and black would have made more sense for an album color since the album is Stryper’s ‘Yellow and Black Attack’.

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And lastly is an album I have rarely seen it and it is usually north of $75.  This one was $15 all because someone named Lori wrote her name on the album cover.  Thanks Lori for saving me at least $60.  It is Kiss – ‘Smashes, Thrashes & Hits’.

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And that is it!  Sorry, no CD purchases this month.  Maybe next month!

Since I don’t post on Saturday, generally and tomorrow is a New Release Friday, I am doing my Purchase Summary today.  Which means, if I grab anything tomorrow for Record Store Day Black Friday, it will be in the December Summary.  I hope that is okay to have purchases from the wrong month included.  Don’t sue me, I am giving you a disclaimer with plenty of advance notice.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

 

1,000 Posts and Counting

I can’t believe I have done 1,000 Posts.  I never thought I would be able to keep up with the site let alone get this far.  It all started on April 17th, 2016 with my very first post which was “Road Rage” Playlist!

And now, 1,304 days later here I am at my 1,000th post.  Crazy!!

Since we are looking back, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Posts viewed and the Bottom 5 posts viewed.  It is always curious to me which ones do well and which ones don’t. Sometimes I feel like I wrote a great post that was so witty and insightful, yet hardly any one sees it and then others I think I sucked at it and should have never posted and ends up getting a butt load of hits.  There is no rhyme or reason for any of it I am sure.

Here are the Top 5 Posts viewed:

5. Top Rock Songs of 2018 – 4,103 views:  This one only did well thanks to the one and only Michael Sweet of Stryper.  I picked the Stryper song “Take it to the Cross” as the #7 song of the year and he tweeted about it and mentioned it on Facebook (and so did Stryper).  As a result, this post took off!!  Thanks Michael!!

4. Maroon 5 – The Albums Ranked Worst to First – 4,393 views:  And this one did well thanks to Maroon 5 playing the Super Bowl half time show.  That week before and after were huge on views.

3. The Original vs. The Cover – “The Sound of Silence” – 5,110 views:  This is one I never realized would have done so well.  Thanks to a first page result when you Google this song, I get a bunch of reviews everyday.  I hope that continues.

Continue reading “1,000 Posts and Counting”

Bob Ezrin – Producer Extraordinaire #5

We are finally on our 5th Producer in the “Producer Extraordinaire” series after a very long break.  This time we are focusing on Bob Ezrin as he has produced some very influential albums and albums that have impacted my life like all the producers in this series have.  The other producers have been as follows:

Bob_EzrinBob Ezrin hails from Toronto, Canada (and I think 2 of the other producers in this series hail from Canada) and has been producing for over 40 years.  He has spanned many genres, but it his rock productions that have become the most famous and most notable.  He is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and has actually never won a Grammy award although he has been nominated once.  Let’s discuss his work…

ALICE COOPER:

Bob Ezrin has worked with Alice Cooper more times than I can count.  He might as well be considered a member of the band.  He pretty much did all the big albums in the 70’s and even a couple big ones in the 2000’s.  I believe it is a total of at least 13 albums (oh, I guess I can count).  Insane.  I guess he as much a part of their sound as anyone.

To be a part of such huge albums as “Welcome to My Nightmare”, “School’s Out”, “Billion Dollar Babies” and even Alice’s latest masterpiece, “Paranormal” goes to show the magic that Bob can pull out of an artist.  It also makes you wonder would Alice have been Alice without Bob behind the boards…probably, but who knows.

Continue reading “Bob Ezrin – Producer Extraordinaire #5”

Classic Rock is Dying!

I am starting to feel old.  Why you might ask?  Well, I will tell you and it is not that I turned 50 last year.  It is not that my kids are growing up too fast.  Okay, that is part of it.  The main reason is that all the musicians I grew up listening to are now starting to die.  Not by drug addiction or overdosing. Nope, those are generally younger rockers and although sad, it doesn’t make me feel old.  The musicians are now dying of natural causes due in part to old age.  They are getting cancer or having heart attacks…you know…normal things that tend to happen when you are older.

Recently, we have seen the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek who were both in their 70’s when they passed.  Let that sink in.  They were in their 70’s.  When I listened to them growing up, their music was mainstream.  Not today.  They fall under the Classic Rock category.  I loved both Eddie Money’s and The Cars’ music.  I remember sitting in my basement watching MTV and seeing Eddie scream out “Take Me Home Tonight” and The Cars “You Might Think” video which is one of the most innovative music videos ever done (at least at the time).

Their deaths brought to light a real issue that the world is facing.  The heroes of the classic rock era of the late 60’s, the 70’s & the 80’s are getting a lot older and won’t be around much longer.  Soon, we won’t be catching these acts on tour or won’t even have any new material be released.  The iconic music makers will be dying and the music of generations will start to fade away.  When that happens, how many radio stations will play Classic Rock anymore?  Think about it…there are no stations specific to the 40’s, the 50’s or even the 60’s music (ok, maybe unless you have Satellite Radio).  Some of the 60’s will fall under Classic Rock, but not the early 60’s music.  Gone.  Classic Rock’s days are numbered.

Continue reading “Classic Rock is Dying!”

September Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

I realized I have been making a lot of purchases and yet not everything makes its way on to the site.  I figured I would do a wrap up each month of all my purchasing I have made even if they made it on the site during the month or even might make it on to the site down the road.

This month I ended up at a pop up sale by Noble Records at Cafe Moka over in the Waverly shopping complex in Charlotte, NC.  He does these every couple months and when I get to go, I always score some great releases.  However, there probably won’t be any more pop ups for a while as Noble Records is finally opening a brick & mortar store in October and I couldn’t be happier.  Another place to go hangout and search for records whenever I want.  This trip was no different.  Major scores.

First up is The Goo Goo Dolls classic album, ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’.  It is hard to find albums from around this time and I found this one and more…

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And if that wasn’t cool enough, I found a 2LP Yellow Vinyl limited edition of Third Eye Blind’s album ‘Third Eye Blind’.  It would have fit in nicely with my Turntables & Vinyl Post on Colored Vinyl a few weeks back.

Continue reading “September Purchases – Vinyl & CDs”

Tuesday’s Memes – Cover Songs

Who doesn’t love a good cover song.  No one!  Who doesn’t love a bad cover song…Every One!!  Cover songs are hit and miss.  Some are actually great and some want to make you stab your ears with a pencil to stop the pain.  Whichever corner you are in, we are going to celebrate the cover song this week.  I hope you enjoy…

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Continue reading “Tuesday’s Memes – Cover Songs”

Tuesday’s Memes – Live Music

Who doesn’t love to see music live?  Whether it is a stadium show or a nice, intimate bar, live shows are way for people to connect to an artist and their music.  For me, I love the smaller, more personal clubs as you can really connect with the artist.  I also love to see how they interpret their songs live and the little nuggets they throw in for fun.  Today, we celebrate that with a collection of memes celebrating live music.

Today’s kids just don’t get it…

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Continue reading “Tuesday’s Memes – Live Music”

Tuesday’s Memes – George Michael

I didn’t realize I hadn’t done a George Michael Memes edition yet.  He definitely deserved one, so I guess better late than never.  From Wham to his solo work, George was one of the best.  He has been missed!  Here’s to you George and I am sorry, but some of these were too funny not to share although some are pretty tasteless.

The songs…

Hey Braveheart!!  What is your favorite song?

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Continue reading “Tuesday’s Memes – George Michael”

Peter Tork (The Monkees) – R.I.P.

I am sitting here eating lunch and learned that Peter Tork of the Monkees died today, February 21, 2019.  Peter was 77 and passes almost 7 years to the day after Davy Jones (February 29, 2012).  I haven’t been doing memorials for passing artists lately as I saved that for my year end In Memoriam list, but I am going to make an exception.

Growing up, The Monkees were a big influence on me.  Their whimsical behavior and their music were a big part of my childhood.  I am sure it was that Beatles sound, but whatever it was, I loved it (They outsold the Beatles for a short time, by the way).

Peter was the lovable goofball bass player who might have been my favorite on the show as he always made me laugh.  Now, I didn’t see the shows live, but I did watch them religiously on the cable station TBS back in the 70’s.  The first album my parents bought for me was The Monkees Greatest Hits.  They ordered off one of those TV commercials because I am sure I hounded them until they did.  I still have that vinyl today and it plays beautifully.

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I am going to keep this short, but wanted to pay my respects to Peter Tork.  Thanks for the musical memories and the joy you brought me as a little kid.

John

Kiss in Concert – The First Time to The Last Time

Back in October, Kiss announced their final tour called “End of the Road” World Tour.  The tour would last three years according to them and that is one helluva a long tour.  But it has made me sad for many reasons.  One, all the rockers I grew up idolizing and following are getting old and are not going to be touring for too much longer.  As a result, I need to catch as many shows now as I can before they are all gone.  Two, It means I am getting Old.

But this is Kiss.  One of the very first concerts I ever saw was Kiss. I think it was the 2nd concert I had ever been to see.  This a different sadness.  Thanks to the influence of my big brother, I became a huge fan of the band.  I have seen them only 7 times so far, but next to Def Leppard, that is the most I have seen any band.  I thought I would go through my Kiss journey in form of all the concerts of theirs I have seen.

It all started in 1983. Christmas morning to be exact.  I was turning 15 years old. I think it was a Birthday present and not a Christmas present (as they are the same day).  My older brother, Gary, gave me a ticket to see Kiss for my birthday.  That was a big surprise.  The other surprise was, the show was the very next day on December 26th.

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Kiss was touring in support of their album ‘Lick It Up’.  It was the first time they were performing without makeup.  It was a big deal…well it was to me!!  I never had seen them before so I was just happy to finally see them live in all their glory.

The opening acts were Pat Travers and the band Axe and the show was at the Omni which has since been torn down and became Phillips Arena (which I think just changed it’s name to State Farm Arena or something like that).  The stage was still the Tank stage from the Creatures of the Night Tour and was completely badass to this 15 year old.  It was pretty cool.  The lead guitarist at the time was Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr was on drums. I am glad I got to see that  line up of the band.  Vinnie was fired after this tour.

Setlist:

  1. Creatures of the Night
  2. Detroit Rock City
  3. Cold Gin
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Firehouse
  6. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  7. Exciter
  8. War Machine
  9. Gimme More
  10. Guitar Solo (Vinnie)
  11. Bass Solo (Gene, duh)
  12. I Love It Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Drum Solo (Eric)
  15. Young & Wasted
  16. Love Gun
  17. Black Diamond
  18. Lick It Up (Encore)
  19. Rock And Roll All Nite (Encore)

That was a damn fine setlist. Songs on here they will never play on their final tour.

On January 9th, 1985, brought me to my 2nd Kiss concert and back at the Omni.  The opening act was Krokus and they were great.  The tour was for the Animalize Tour and the lead guitarist on this one was supposed to be Mark St. John, but he was fired in December.  Bruce Kulick took over duties for the remainder of the tour and for years later. I hate I didn’t get to see Mark. He is the only Kiss guitarist I have not seen live.

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This time I bought a souvenir as I would have had a job.  I bought one of their big ass programs.  I still have the Tour Program from that show and it still had Mark St. John throughout since they didn’t have time to change them up.

The setlist for this show was similar to the last with some minor tweaks.

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Creatures of the Night
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Heaven’s On Fire
  6. Guitar Solo
  7. Under the Gun
  8. War Machine
  9. Drum Solo
  10. Young & Wasted (Eric now on vocals)
  11. Bass Solo
  12. I Love it Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Love Gun
  15. Black Diamond
  16. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  17. Lick It Up (Encore)
  18. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

I started 1985 with a Kiss concert so I had to end it with a Kiss concert.  This one was on December 31, 1985 and where else, but at the Omni.  This show was for the Asylum Tour this time. The opening act for this show was Black n Blue.  Gene had produced their album so no wonder they opened. Same line-up as the earlier show so nothing really new.  I had to get another program…of course.

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This setlist was different in the sense that Rock and Roll All Nite was not the encore.  This encore was a big jam session with a lot of covers

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Fits Like a Glove
  3. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  4. Uh! All Night
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Guitar Solo (Bruce)
  8. I Still Love You
  9. Bass Solo
  10. I Love it Loud
  11. Tears Are Falling
  12. Drum Solo
  13. War Machine
  14. Love Gun
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. La Bamba (Encore)
  17. Whole Lotta Love (Encore)
  18. Heaven’s On Fire (Encore)
  19. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  20. Won’t Get Fooled Again (Encore)
  21. Lick It Up (Encore)

The 80’s still weren’t done.  Time for another show.  We are now in February 1988.  February 10th to be exact.  They were now touring for the Crazy Nights album.  The show was less pyrotechnics and more of a rock show.  Gene did spit fire though.  The opening act, if I remember correctly, was the one and only Ted Nugent.  For me, this was a dream come true as I hadn’t seen him before and I was a huge “Cat Scratch Fever” fan.  I was not disappointed.  He is a mad man.

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No tour book this time as I had been to so many concerts over the past 12 months and ticket prices were now up to $17.50 up from the $11.50 that cost for my first show.  Since it had been about 3 years since the last show I had seen, had the setlist changed much?  Let’s see

  1. Love Gun
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Bang Bang You
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Crazy Crazy Nights
  6. Shout it out Loud
  7. Guitar Solo
  8. Drum Solo
  9. War Machine
  10. Reason To Live
  11. Heaven’s on Fire
  12. Bass Solo
  13. I Love it Loud
  14. Lick It Up
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. Detroit Rock City (Encore)

This was a shorter set and a much shorter encore.  They must have been bored or something.  But some cool songs that they don’t play now like Bang Bang You.

Now we jump to the 90’s. The first show for me of this new decade was none other than…KISS!!  It was July 20, 1990 and this time it was at the Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheater.  This was a great show.  The opening acts were Danger Danger for sure and the other act was possibly Slaughter. This show got me hooked on Danger Danger so that is why I remember it.  I was already a fan of Slaughter, but Danger Danger was better live. The tour was for the album Hot in the Shade and had a huge Sphinx for the stage setup.  Ticket prices were now over $20 at $24 after fees.

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This one is probably my favorite setlist so far.  They played mostly old songs and some new and just a great mix of songs.  Plus a lot I hadn’t seen live yet.

  1. I Stole Your Love
  2. Deuce
  3. Heaven’t on Fire
  4. Crazy Crazy Nights
  5. Black Diamond
  6. Shout it Out Loud
  7. Strutter
  8. Calling Dr. Love
  9. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
  10. Rise To It
  11. Fits Like a Glove
  12. Hide Your Heart
  13. Lick it Up
  14. God of Thunder
  15. Forever
  16. Cold Gin
  17. Tears are Falling
  18. I Love It Loud
  19. Love Gun
  20. Detroit Rock City
  21. I Want You (Encore)
  22. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

The next time I saw the band was the big Reunion Tour in 1996.  Kiss reunited with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  The make-up came back on and they did a massive tour.  I am glad to say that on October 1st, I got to see them finally in their make-up. I never thought I would get to see that and I never thought I would get to see Ace & Peter.  My dreams were fulfilled.  The opening act was the Verve Pipe.  Yeah, don’t remember their set at all.  The ticket price was $42 with fees, but I paid nothing  as my sister-in-law worked for the company that built the Omni so we were in their box.

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It was such an amazing show and my favorite so far. I got to see them do what they do best.  Gene looked so much more comfortable back in the make-up and the blood and fire spitting were back in full force.  I remember it was the best Kiss show I had seen because it was them in Make-up.  Ace doing his guitar solo with the smoking guitar and shooting fireworks.  It was what I wanted to see when I was a little kid, but I was too young.  I was in my late 20’s at this point so no longer too young!

The setlist was nothing but classic 70’s Kiss. No 80’s crap here (not really crap, I like the 80’s music too) since Ace & Peter were’t really there in the 80’s.  It was fan’freakin’tastic.

  1. Deuce
  2. King of the Night Time World
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Calling Dr. Love
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Watchin’ You
  7. Firehouse
  8. I Stole Your Love
  9. Shock Me
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
  12. Shout It Out Loud
  13. Strutter
  14. Bass Solo
  15. God of Thunder
  16. Drum Solo
  17. New York Groove
  18. Love Gun
  19. 100,000 Years
  20. Black Diamond
  21. Detroit Rock City (Encore)
  22. Beth (Encore)
  23. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

Damn!!!

Now, there was a long, long stretch before I saw them again.  In fact, it was 16 years.  The next show I remember was on July 19th, 2014 after we had moved to Charlotte.  It was Kiss’ 40th Anniversary Tour and the opening act was Def Leppard!!  That is right.  The 2 bands I have seen in concert the most were playing together in the same show.  Wow!!

My brother, my sister and her husband drove up to Charlotte to see them with me.  If I am being honest, Def Leppard was absolutely amazing.  Probably the best show I have ever seen them do.  They blew the doors off Kiss that night. Kiss has become a well organized, choreographed Las Vegas show and it felt forced.  It did not have the excitement as did Def Leppard’s.  However, it was still an awesome time and I am so glad my family came up to see it with me.  That meant a lot.  I can’t find a stub, but I have a shirt and some pictures!!

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And what about the setlist?  A little shorter as they are older and it was a double headlining show so both acts put on full sets.

  1. Psycho Circus
  2. Deuce
  3. Shout it Out Loud
  4. War Machine
  5. Hotter than Hell (Gene breathes fire)
  6. I Love it Loud
  7. Lick it Up (with Won’t Get Fooled Again)
  8. Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies to rafters)
  9. God of Thunder
  10. Hide Your Heart
  11. Cold Gin
  12. Love Gun (Paul flies out to audience)
  13. Black Diamond
  14. Detroit Rock City
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite

I thought this would be my last time seeing the band since I was a little disappointed (only a little).  But when Kiss announced their End of the Road Tour, I changed my mind.  I decided to take one more final ride.  This time I am taking my wife and two daughters whether they like it or not.  I want them to see, just one time, the band that has been a part of my life for so long and has meant so much to me.  I took my wife and oldest daughter to see my other favorite band Def Leppard just last year.

We have our tickets.  Four of them.  For August 10th, 2019 at PNC Pavilion here in Charlotte, NC.  It will be a sad and joyous day for me.  But one I am eagerly anticipating.  I know it is a long way away, but I can’t wait.  Once the show is over, I will definitely write about it, but until then I hope you enjoyed this walk back through my Kiss Experiences.  It has been a fun ride.

I haven’t seen them near as many times as those diehard fans, but I have had my fair share.  As my final sign-off for this post…here are the ticket stubs for my first time and what will be my last time!!! Prices have gone up a little.

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