Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kiss: Still alive at age 35

Rock's most colorful band is finally getting respect from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voters. And Mr. Potato Head, too.
By JON BREAM, Star Tribune

Opening: Buckcherry.
When: 7:30 p.m. Sat.
Where: Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls.
Tickets: $17.50-$126.
Web: www.

The bellman was at the door to pick up his luggage, his cell phone was ringing (the ringtone: Led Zeppelin's "Black Country Woman") and he had a hacking cough. None of those interruptions prevented singer Paul Stanley from talking about his favorite subject, Kiss.
As it celebrates its 35th anniversary, Stanley's band is hotter than an arena full of flamethrowers. The Kiss Alive 35 tour has filled stadiums in Europe and South America (it comes to Target Center Saturday). "Sonic Boom," Kiss' first album of new material in 11 years, debuted at No. 2 despite being available only at Wal-Mart. And after being shunted aside for 10 years, the band is finally on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot.
To top it all, "not only are we getting incredible response from the audience on tour, but it's odd to also get good reviews," Stanley said from Atlanta, with mock surprise.
Kiss' mouthpiece, who turns 58 in January, talked about "Sonic Boom," the status of former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, and the newest Kiss products -- M&Ms and a Mr. Potato Head.
Q Why did you decide to go with a Wal-Mart exclusive for "Sonic Boom"?

A The reality is that the music retail store has pretty much dried up. The music industry is in a tumble, to say the least. And Wal-Mart offered us the opportunity to put out a package that kind of followed our philosophy of giving more than just an album. There was a time when we would include a Love Gun or a poster or a tattoo -- something to just take it over the top. We were able to put together a package that [also] has a CD of re-records of 15 songs and a DVD of excerpts from our most recent stadium show in Buenos Aires. To be able to do that for 12 bucks, it's a no-brainer. Plus, there are a lot more Wal-Marts at this point than there are record stores.
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