Volume 95, Issue 58

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
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The Shipping News: warm fuzzies in Newfoundland

Local band shares bright outlook

Rock icon Simmons' book: KISS and made-up?

Outside the Box

Rock icon Simmons' book: KISS and made-up?

KISS and Make-Up
Gene Simmons
Crown Publishers

Four-thousand, six-hundred is a considerable number when thinking in terms of women.

But, in his first book about his career in one of the most successful rock 'n roll bands ever, KISS' Gene Simmons claims to have bedded this many lucky women.

There is more to this book than just sex though.

There's also drugs, rock 'n roll and a hefty amount of self-serving ego. Furthermore, since it is a biography, everything seems to be fair game for Simmons to discuss – whether others would like him to or not.

The book basically consists of story after story, many of which lack direction, but are all laced with sex. In every chopily-written chapter, there comes a point when Simmons will throw in a paragraph about meeting a woman and having sex with her, even if he is in the middle of telling another, far more important story.

But Simmons cannot be criticized for this.

A short overture at the outset of the book warns the reader of exactly what to expect. Bottom line – it's his life story and it includes his pursuit of power, whether it be through the band, women or his personal life in general.

KISS and Make-Up is filled with many surprises. Whether or not you are an avid KISS fan, there are many interesting tidbits revealed here for the first time.

Throughout the book, Simmons boasts he's never been drunk and has only been high once –by mistake, after eating some "special" brownies. Despite his sobriety, he notes other KISS members' chemical abuse makes up for it.

Beyond the band, Simmons also documents his time living with both Cher and Diana Ross. These sections portray Simmons' slow transformation to a more grown up man, rather than provide the reader with any real excitement.

At many points throughout the book, Simmons seems to say to his readers: "You know how musicians do this? Well, we did it first." Clear examples are his claim that a co-member invented the lighting bolt guitar strap and that he invented the heavy metal hand gesture (feel free to shake your head and laugh here).

Let's be honest – this is not a book you buy to analyze the grammar or get mad at when Simmons boasts about his crazy sex life. It's a book you read to hear these stories.

Although some parts of the book are boring and annoyingly repetitious, it improves throughout as Simmons manages to develop some flow and pull off a fairly interesting read.

KISS fans, especially, want to hear about the fame and the fortune and Simmons delivers just that in his own style.

–Dale Wyatt

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