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Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, two of the founders of legendary superband KISS, are collaborating with rock journalist Ken Sharp on Nothin’ To Lose, an oral history of the band’s early years, from its founding in 1973 to the 1975 release of its breakout concert album Alive! The book will include interviews with bandmates Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, other rock stars of the era, and the behind-the-scenes players. The book will feature never-before-published photographs. IT Books, an imprint of Harper Collins is scheduled to publish the book in Summer 2012. Drummer Peter Criss has his own memoir due in 2012.
IT Books Editor Denise Oswald exlusively talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the project. “KISS is one of the most beloved and influential hard rock bands of the last forty years. What is particularly fascinating about this project is about how the band got off the ground, how they came up with the concept of who they were that so defined them and captured the love and imagination of all of their fans.” Oswald says the book is about more than just the band. “Its also an amazing depiction of New York in the early seventies–its Manhattan, its Queens, you have members of the Ramones, members of Blue Oyster Cult, touring with and playing with Kiss. You really get this incredible portrait of a time.”
Simmons and Stanley founded KISS in 1973 after their previous band Wicked Lester broke up. They found drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley through advertisements in East Coast rock magazines. The band’s first few albums recorded so-so sales, but KISS gained a reputation as a sensational live act for their makeup and Simmon’s theatrics, which included spitting blood and breathing fire. They also cultivated an airy of mystery by not allowing themselves to be photographed out of makeup. Band members have also talked in interviews about the epic backstage partying that went on during its early years. Kiss’s big breakthrough came in 1975 with the release of ALIVE!, which featured the its first top-40 hit in the live version of “Rock and Roll All Nite.”
Rock memoirs have been a hot category for publishers of late with both Sammy Hagar and Steven Tyler‘s memoirs reaching the bestseller lists this year. Other recent announcements of upcoming books include memoirs by Pete Townshend, Gregg Allman, and Billy Idol.
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