My youngest daughter loves her Funko Pop! Figures and was thrilled when I got my own set of the Def Leppard Funko Pop! Set. She also knows I am a huge Kiss fan and so for Christmas this past year, she searched out and found all 4 of the Kiss Funko Pop! Rocks Figures. I was thrilled and happy to get this set and to come from her makes it extra special.
This set is the 2nd Kiss set in the Funko Pop! Rocks series as they are numbered #121-124. The first set in their series was #04 to #07 and they looked a lot different than this set. And it is much more expensive, so maybe some day down the road I will find that, but for now I am going to enjoy this special set.
This set doesn’t go by the band member’s actual names as that would be tough to choose who you are basing the make-up and the costume on and possibly give credit to past members and Kiss doesn’t want to do that. Instead, they are based on the Kiss characters each rock star is playing.
After the very successful Reunion Tour from 1996-1997, it was time for the original band members to put other their first album in 20 years with the Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter. The last one they did together was 1979’s ‘Dynasty’. Let me tell you, I was super excited to get a new album with only the original 4 guys. I couldn’t wait. I would get to hear Ace rip solos and cool riffs on every song and Peter would bang those drums until the cows came home. Man, I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it. Now imagine my surprise when it wasn’t even close to the build up.
Yes, it was a new album that did feature all four original members. Their pictures are on the front, they each sing song, but it was far from only being the original four guys. Ace appears on only 2 of the 10 songs and Peter sings on 2 and only plays drums on 1. Nothing seems to have changed as ‘Dynasty’ was also an album Ace and Peter slightly appeared on as well. Gene and Paul still rule the roost and do things the way they want to do them. Ace does appear on the Japanese only track so on that release he is on 3 of the 11 tracks. The only song that features all four members is the Ace sung song “Into the Void” which we will discuss later. To be fair, the reason behind Ace and Peter not getting to play much as they were trying to renegotiate their contracts with Kiss and I don’t think that sit real well with Gene and Paul.
In 2014, Kiss toured their 40th Anniversary World Tour and the opening act was none other than Def Leppard. Yeah! That is right. The 2 bands I have seen in concert the most were playing together in the same show. Wow!! My family and I had just moved to Charlotte, NC that year and my brother, my sister and her husband drove up to Charlotte to see them with me. That meant a lot that would come up and see us and go see a show. I would’ve driven down to Atlanta to see that show, but it was a weekday which meant work. My sow on July 19th, 2014 in Charlotte was a Saturday!!
If I am being honest about the show, Def Leppard was absolutely amazing. Probably the best show I have seen them do. They actually blew the doors off Kiss. 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. There was an electricity type energy in the crowd for Leppard that was not there for Kiss. Don’t get me wrong, Kiss was still great and it was still an awesome time. I am also so glad my family came up to see it with me. I can’t find a stub, but I have a shirt and some pictures!! My pictures are pretty bad as my camera was an old iPhone that took shitty pictures.
You are probably wondering why I’m doing a Black ‘N Blue album in the middle of a Kiss Review Series. What does this band have to do with Kiss? There are several reasons why, but first and foremost is who is a member of this band. Current Kiss guitarist, Tommy Thayer, is the guitarist in Black ‘N Blue. Since Tommy is still in the band, I can’t do his first release after his time in the band as that hasn’t happened yet. Instead, I decided to find an album of his work prior to his time in Kiss and I picked an album with some major Kiss connections. The album is actually the band’s third studio album and this one was produced by Kiss member, Gene Simmons. This is where the relationship between Gene and Tommy blossomed as they had met previously in 1985 when they opened for Kiss. It would lead to Tommy’s eventual membership in Kiss.
If you’ve paid attention to the last few Kiss reviews, you will notice I mentioned that Gene wasn’t always completely committed to Kiss during this time of Kiss and this was one reason why. He was busy finding new bands and producing other albums. Gene came across the band and really liked their sound, he was brought on as the producer of this album as well as the follow-up and took the band back to a more raw sound. The album, ‘Nasty Nasty’, came out in August of 1986.
In yet another Kiss post, we are back on the topic of Tour Books. I had 3 Tour Books from Kiss and I have done posts on 2 of those and I really enjoyed going back through the book and looking at all the pictures. The third one is from the End of the Road Tour and I will get to that one eventually. In the meantime, I said to myself, “you know John, we should start collecting Tour Books”. And I answered myself back with “John, that is a brilliant idea. Not only are you handsome, but you are pretty damn smart too!” I couldn’t agree with myself more.
That got weird fast!!
Back on topic. I actually went on to eBay and noticed there are tons of them for sale, but dang! they are expensive. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Then I saw one that was only $5 and the pictures looked pretty great actually. I added it to the Watch list and about 4 hours before it was to end, I figured let me place a bid. So I did and I was not wanting to go over $10 so that was what I put in as the max bid. I went to bed and forgot about, but morning came and dang it, I got it. My Tour Book collecting had officially begun.
The one I bought was from the World Domination Tour in 2003. This was Kiss with Aerosmith and I actually missed this tour as I believe they came to town shortly after the birth of my first daughter so there was no way I was getting out to see a show. So I was excited to see what this book looked like and now it is time to share it with all of you. Continue reading “Kiss – World Domination 2003-2004 Tour – Tour Book”→
We have come to the end of Tuesday’s Memes. I started it with a little Kiss, so I will end with a little Kiss. I have been doing this for 3 years I believe so it is time to come to an end. These are a huge draw to the site, but I am bored with them and need to change things up a little. So for one last time…
“You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best, The Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!!”
We are finally to The End of the Road. No, not the End of the Road Tour, but the end of our journey of Gene Simmons – The Vault! We are on Part 15 of our 15 Part series. We have spent numerous hours listening, reading, researching and writing up these posts and I have to say, it is the most fun I have had on this site maybe ever. I wanted to deliver a very detailed breakdown of The Vault so maybe you would see whether or not it is worth buying. For me, it was a no brainer, even though it took me two years to do it. The price was finally right.
Let’s mention a little on the production of this album. The production and mix were stellar. They all had the same volume level and even the worst quality recording still sounded great. They put a lot of time and effort in that and they hit it out of the park.
And I don’t want to forget to mention the people on this album. I won’t go through all of them as you should read each review, but you get Ace Frehley, Bruce Kulick, Eric Carr, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Bob Kulick and even Paul Stanley. And then there is Bob Dylan, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, but that is only a small portion…you get members of Black & Blue, of Silent Rage and even someone from Steel Panther. You get some songwriters, producers that helped write some songs and even Katey Sagal from Married With Children does some background vocals. It is so cool to see all the different people involved. That was one of my favorite parts.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of Tuesday’s Memes to bring you this special announcement…
August 10th, 2019, Kiss bid farewell to the city of Charlotte, NC. The End of the rode made a stop on a beautifully, hot night and a venue that holds 19,500 people was pretty freaking packed!! If it wasn’t sold out, it wasn’t by much. The place was filled with young and old alike and the costumes and make-up were a plenty including leather pants so tight, I don’t know how the women got them on (or off for that matter).
My first show was December 26, 1983 and August 10, 2019 was my last. That is according to Kiss as this is the Farewell Tour or so they say. I tried to drag my kids to it, but in the end, my oldest was the only one to go so I let her bring a friend. My youngest has a few issues with noise sensitivity and after the show, I realized, she was probably right not to go as it would have been too much for her as the explosions and music were pretty darn loud. Hell, my ears are still ringing a little this morning as I type.
With tickets in hand, we found our seats and were ready to see “The Hottest Band in the Land…KISS”
But first, we had to sit through the opening act. No, not a rock band. Nope, not a comedian either. We got the great pleasure of having David Girabaldi doing some performance art…painting. What? Painting is a performance art? I was not aware of this. David is immensely talented and whipped through 3 paintings in about 30 minutes. He did one of Jon Bon Jovi, while their music played. His final one was of Kiss which was raffled off with proceeds going to Make a Wish Foundation which is cool. The 2nd painting was of Ozzy!! And it was really great…heck…they all were. The problem was it was so boring and unexciting. The crowd liked it somewhat, I thought it sucked. I would have liked a band to play, a young up & coming band or someone that had toured with Kiss before…Actually, Bruce Kulick’s band would have be the bomb!!
We are on Vinyl #7 and the Final Vinyl from my trip to Paris. Man, what a collection of bootlegs I picked up and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I have been enjoying them immensely and they were well worth the money despite what my wife says!
The final vinyl in the collection is from the Epicenter in Fontana, CA on September 25th, 2010 on the bands The Hottest Show on Earth Tour. The album actually says it is at the Auto Club Speedway, but they even say Epicenter in the show. So that ain’t right.
This particular bootleg was made in Japan and even has the awesome Japanese obi strip on the album cover as you see on the above picture. And the back of the strip is some more pictures of the band.
And the back cover is pretty awesome as well as it has a great stage shot of the menacing Demon himself, Gene Simmons.
I have been posting these collections for over a year now and now it is time to do a Part 2 for the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!! Also, because there are a lot of good memes for them I couldn’t resist doing another…and because I am running out of bands that have at least 10 good memes. I will come up with more, somehow…maybe I will have to makeup my own…scary thought!!
So, here is Part 2 and be warned…the very last one is one of the most crude and disgusting memes I have ever posted and I hope you aren’t too offended because I am actually a little. I about lost my lunch when I found that one that I had to post it…Enjoy!!
I think I ignored Peter the last time around, but not this time…