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onsdag 4. november 2015

Book Review: "Live to Win" by Neil Daniels

Book Review: "Live to Win" by Neil Daniels

"Live to Win" was published in the fall of 2015 and penned by author Neil Daniels, who has written quite a few biographies about e.g. Adam Lambert, Bon Jovi, Journey and Iron Maiden to mention a few. This book is in his "Casual Guide" series where he also has published a few books on other artists. I won't mention them, because you can read about them in this book.

This book is approx. 280 pages with huge spacing(!) divided into two parts. Part 1, which is about 142 pages, covering a historical view on KISS from 1972-2014 and the part about Paul's music outside of KISS. The latter part is merely 60 pages plus! So 60 plus pages about Paul's music outside of KISS out of a total of 280. Well done. The author claims that this book is about Paul's music outside of KISS, but that is not the fact.

The part covering Paul's music gives little new info on the recording of the 1978 solo album and I did not find that interesting at all, and it was quite short. Live to Win got more coverage and had some interesting parts, but nothing groundbreaking.

Part 2 is miscellaneous stuff from pages 145-280; a timeline,  trivia, "in Paul's own words", other musicians opinions, Paul's influences, which is really just info about a lot of bands in which you can find ANYWHERE else, a discography and some photos.

The book closes with an appendix of 40 pages of totally uninteresting stuff. Why is this even here, I say. I am not interested in the author and what he has written after tormenting myself through this book.

There is also quite a few typos such as Klien, kiss etc.I am not the grammar police and I do not by any means write perfectly, but when publishing a book the proof reading should be better.


There are a few photos, but I think they are too small. There is still space left on the page, so why not make them bigger. Everything is in B/W.

To sum it up, I would not recommend this book if you are not a book collector, such as myself. There are very little interesting stuff here. Also, most of the book covers stuff that are not related to Paul's music.

Rating: 1

lørdag 31. oktober 2015

KISS The Costumes 1979

So, here it is, a closer inspection of the costumes from 1979. KISS was now not only KISS, but Super KISS and that also meant the costumes. Prior to 1979 KISS' costumes and outfits had been made of leather, chains and studs, more or less. Supporting the Greatest Show on Earth would also demand a set of costumes extravagant costumes to match the over the top show.

Before embarking the costumes of Super-KISS I just want to clarify that these blog entries are not by any means neceassary facts, but merely obervations made by me. Therefore I might be wrong in my conclusions based upon my collection of photos. However, it will give you a guide and some pinpoints concerning the costumes of 1979.

Since the release of the Solo albums in September of 1978, each member was given an individual colour that would, for the first time, be incorporated into the costumes. There are a few costume variations during the course of 1979, and again Gene is the one with the most changes.

I don't know much about who designed the different versions, but I believe Maria Contessa had something to do with the outfits, and Pete Menefee, who is pictured below holding a sketch of his design.

KISS was not very active during the spring of 1979, but Gene made a few appearances. He was seen on the Mike Douglas show in March, and he visited the NARM Banquet also in March. Gene and Ace also stopped by the Robert Klein Radio Hour in April. All of these in which Gene wore the Love Gun/Alive II outfit. Check out the photos below.

The Mike Douglas Show

The NARM Banquet with Bill, unknown woman, Gene, Meat Loaf and Cher.

The Robert Klein Radio Hour. Gene, Robert,  Robin Williams(RIP) and Ace.

In April things started to move in the KISS camp and the first photo session took place in April in New York. The photos taken at this session ended up in ads for the tour and in miscellaneous TV commercials for different concerts. Check the video below.


However, there are a few loose ends when it comes to Gene's costume. It changed several times between April and June/July and no dates or order of the changes are set, only speculations. Therefore, I will present the costumes of doubt in no particular order, just for you to see the variations.

Photo 1-Somewhere, New York, NY 1979.04.xx
This is from a photo session that took place in April. The photographer was Enrico Ferorelli. As a basis Gene sports a an all black leotard. What is special about this one is that there is no opening in the front. Gene's top piece is a gargoyle inspired rock formation. 

The cod piece is made in the same style as the upper body piece and it looks OK. I prefer the one coming later on.

The boots differ a bit from the upper body and I think they fit better with the upper body piece that would be introduced at a later point.

 The cape, which has skeleton hands attached and a cob-web inside the cape is great. The skeleton hands are clutching Gene's shoulders. This cape with the skeleton hands was used at least once, which is documented, but there might be more. Se Costume Close-Up for a better look.
The photos below, taken by Lynn Goldsmith, give quite a good look at costume with the skeleton hands. The location, probably New York, is unknown, so is the date, so one could only speculate.

 Gene without the red cape.

Gene and photographer, Lynn Goldsmith.

So that was the skeleton costume, worn probably only once live, as seen under, Columbia, SC 1979.06.2. Credit to the unknown photographer.

Photo 2-Unknown Session # 1
Here's another rare version of Gene's outfits. Three differences compared to the previous one; the leotard, the upper piece/cod piece and the cape. This leotard has an opening in the front which the other one did not have. There also were  holes on each thigh which had a red trimming. The cape is shaped to resemble flames, from now on called the flame cape, and the upper body piece is completely different from the one on photo 1. Two things that remained were the boots and the skeleton hands. As far as I know, this was used on three different photo sessions, most likely during May or June of 1979. The flame cape would not be used after the shows in New York on July 24 & 25, 1979 for some unknown reason.

Pictured below: Three different photo session, dates and locations unknown. 

This costume version was used once live as well, even though Gene likes to say it was not. That concert found place in the Hollywood Sportatorium, Pembroke Pines, FL on June 17, 1979. Here are a few live shots. This is my favourite Gene Dynasty outfit.

 Pictures below taken by Bob Alford.

Photo 3-Unknown Session # 2
On this unknown photo session we recognize the flame cape, the boots and the cod piece. However, the upper body armour is different from the ones I have previously presented. It is lighter in the colour and has a more silverish hue.The leotard is different too. This one has greyish scales all over. Se Costume Close- Up.

Photo 4-Civic Center, Lakeland, FL 1979.06.14
This was a full dress rehearsal where I believe yet another version of Gene's costume was used. As you can see on the photo, the top piece is shaped a bit differently in the middle. There is a part that is a bit longer on this than on the one from March 27, 1979. The "Horned nipples" are also a tad different. This version is darker as well, at least compared to the one from the Unknown Session # 2. See Costume Close-Up for a closer inspection. 

Photo 5-Civic Center, Savannah, GA- The Filming of "I Was Made For Lovin' You/Sure Know Something"
A slightly altered cape appears in this music video. This one has more of a ragged edge than the other all red capes.

This great photo by Bob Alford gives a good look at Gene's upper body costume. The photo was taken in Pontiac, MI on July 13, 1979.

Photo 6-Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 1979.07.24/25
As one notices on this picture, the upper body piece and the boots are remarkably lighter in the colour than previous versions. It really seems to be spray painted with silver.

July 24 and 25 were also the last  known performances of the flame cape. Some may already have noticed the difference in the guitar straps on these photos and photo 7. My humble guess is that these two below, are from July 24, while photo 7 is from July 25. Who knows anyways?! It is just my thoughts and observations... These shots are great!

Photo 8-Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN 1979.08.10
I know, this photo is horrible and it is hard to see what's going on. However, it is the first photo I have of Gene's leotard with holes on both sides. It is barely visible on the picture, but if you look closely, you should be able to see it. This is most likely the same leotard seen on photo 7, just with holes. Below is a photo from Uniondale, NY on Sept. 1, 1979, taken by Robin Plazer, where one can see the holes better. Peter can't see squat. He can barely lift his arm.

The photo below, same as photo 7, but with Ace, will close the part on Gene's costumes. As far as I have learned and seen, the last change to Gene's outfit was the holes on the sides of his leotard. This photo is not the best, but the holes are visible if you look closely. The photo was taken by some fan in Indianapolis, IN on Aug. 10, 1979. There is of course a possibility of the leotard being used prior to this show, but this was the earliest known picture I had.



As Gene, Paul also had a his colour designed and incorporated in to his costume. His colour, purple, would be an ongoing theme in his outfits during the Dynasty tour.

Photo 1-Somewhere, New York, NY 1979.04.xx
This would be the first view of Paul's Dynasty costume where the basis would as always be a leotard with an open chest. This time the stars were omitted and instead peacock feathers were the main theme. The feathers were randomly placed on the leotard. As with every other costume this also came with a jacket. It was more flashy than anything else Paul had used before. It came in a bright pink colour clad with sequins/jewels/glitter/rhinestones all over and with shoulder pads. The arms were detachable as seen on the photo from Cleveland, OH July 19, 1979 below.

Here's another photo of the sleeveless jacket, but here are the shoulderpads still attached. This was taken by Paul Natkin in Chicago, IL on Sept. 22, 1979.

On this excellent photo you can see Paul tosses away some of his jacket... Great photo!

The costume also consisted of a pair of leather cuffs covered in rhinestones which also were detachable as seen on the photo from somewhere on the Dynasty tour.

Paul's boots were made of leather and clad in rhinestones and peacock featheres which were the theme for his Dynasty outfit. See Costume Close Up for a closer look.
He also wore a belt where the buckle is shaped like a star. The was made of a mirrorlike material and the belt was covered in rhinestones.  See Costume Close Up for a closer look.
The Dynasty tour showed Paul using two different chokers. as seen on photo 1, this is rather broad and it is covered in rhinestones. See Costume Close Up for a closer look of both chokers. The second one was used in Pembroke Pines, FL on June 17, 1979 as you can see on photo 3.
It is not very visible on photo 1, but if you take a look at the left og Paul you see parts of some sorts of cape which he used on various occasions. I have never seen any live photos of it, though. Paul used the cape in the "I Was Made for Lovin' You" video. Below is a photo from a session in June of 1979 where Paul wears the cape. The capes was attached to a diagonal belt with sequins and would hang over Paul's shoulder.  Photographer, Bernard Vidal.

 This photo from an 1980 photo session with Waring Abbott gives a pretty good view of it.

Photo 2-Lakeland, FL 1979.06.14
Nothing very exciting on this photo, but it reveals a new item on Paul's arms. Black sleeves covered in peacock feathers.

Before moving on, I would like to kill off any debate about the rumour that Paul had a yellow Dynasty outfit as seen on the Robin Plazer photo from New York 1979 below. There was just ink mixing trouble when the magazine was printed.

Photo 3 & 4-Pembroke Pines, FL 1979.06.17
As mentioned another choker showed up in Pembroke Pines (Pic 3). However, another thing was removed from Paul's boots. If you check out the top of the boots it had broad trim of rhinestones. That trim was not present in Pembroke Pines. Se Costume Close Up.

Photo 5-Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Can 1979.08.04
This particular photo is quite exciting, because of the colour of Paul's leotard. The usual one, which had been used up until this date, and Aug. 6 in Montreal, is now switched with a purple coloured one. Another interesting fact is the amount of peacocks which are quite a few more than on the regular black one. Compare picture #1 and #5 and you will notice it. These two dates are the only known dates where this version of the leotard was used. Very interesting stuff! A couple more from Toronto:

Photo 6-Date & Location Unknown
Some time during, most likely Sept./Oct. of 1979 another version of the leotard shows up. this one is quite alike the other black one, however this has smaller and more peacock feathers. This shows up during the latter part of the tour. I have not been able to set a date. Richard Galbraith has in his book a photo of Paul in this leotard from Oct. 17, 1979, however he also has a photo with the same date with the other black leotard, so one can start to wonder.
See photos below. Both supposed to be from the same date, but they cannot be. Different leotards. One might be from Oklahoma, OK on Oct. 29, 1979 since he also photographed that night. It is rather unlikely that Paul switched leotards during a show...



This concludes the part of Paul Stanley's costumes, outfits and variations. There are still a few question marks to be sorted out, such as when and where the small feathered peacock version of the leotard showed up and if Paul used to purple version only two times during the course of the Dynasty tour or more. Next up is Ace.

As Gene and Paul, Ace also had a costume based upon the colour blue and had that incorporated into the parts and details of the costume. There would be a few changes and variations to Ace's costume during the course of the Dynasty tour, and I will try to guide you through those variations. Let's go.

Photo 1-Somewhere, New York, NY 1979.04.xx
As the two others already presented, this would be the first glimpse of Ace's new costume. It is quite over-the-top compared to previous ones, but this is in fact a rather nice outfit, I think. There are some resemblances connected to his prior costumes such as e.g. the upper body piece. It is triangle shaped and has a light blue colour as basis with white trimming. The upper body piece goes all the way to the back in a round and even circle. The top also seems to narrow in a bit in the lower front. This would change later on. The blue part is covered in rhinestones and pieces of mirrors. In front a v-neck goes all the way down to a mirror shaped as an octagon with a square diamond placed in the middle. This would change, and I will get back to that. Check Costume Close Up.

The basis would again be a black long sleeved leotard with a blue trimming around the wrists. See Costume Close Up.

The outfit also consisted of both armbands (Version # 1) and wristbands, a silver lamé stuffed belt and neckwear in the same style as the upper body piece and a cape. See Costume Close Up. The photo below shows the cape in its full...

Sometimes Ace would play without the wrist and armbands, such as on this photo from Cleveland, OH, July 18/19 1979.

The boots were made in white leather and had the same design as the rest of the outfit, with a tad of blue, rhinestones and mirrors spread around on the top of the boots. The boots had zippers on the inside. See Costume Close Up for a better look.

Photo 2-Date & Location Unknown
This photo is part of a group photo where KISS pose with the new KISS pinball machine, manufatured in June of 1979. I suppose this machine was a prototype which narrows the this session down to somewhere between April and June, I guess. This costume is the same as the one on photo one, however, there is one difference and that is the armbands (Version #2). They are different in the way that these have the mirrors lying horisontally, while on photo one, if you can see it, are standing vertically. See Costume Close Up.

I believe that this costume was changed out pretty quickly, because if you take a look at the next photo...

Photo 3-Dress Rehearsals, Lakeland, FL 1979.06.14
... you will notice a few of variations. First of all, Ace has a new pair of armbands (Version # 3). On these, the mirrors seem to have different shapes compared to the thwo other versions of the armbands. See Costume Close Up.

Secondly, that "diamond" shaped octagon on Ace's chest is switched out with a functional one that has a small switch at the bottom, as you can see on Costume Close Up. Ace would wear this a few weeks only, with Pittsburgh, PA, July 21, being the last time.

Thirdly, the upper body piece has a slightly different shape. Compare, by using the Costume Close Up #1, how the shape of the top piece bends in the front. On the left one it bends more in than the right one. The V-neck also goes deeper on the left picture. See photos below:

Deeper V-neck

Photo 4-Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland, OH 1979.07.19
Last photo of Ace from 1979. The only change is the angle on the back of the top piece. See Costume Close Up also.



This concludes the part about Ace. There are a few questions marks here as well, and some facts and dates missing.

Peter's Dynasty costume was at times extravagant and over-the-top! His signature colour, green, was really incorporated into his outfits and sometimes he looked more like a bush than a rock star. Nontheless, it went well with the rest of the band which also, as you have seen, had pretty flamboyant costumes.

Photo 1-Somewhere, New York, NY 1979.04.xx
This is the earliest dated photo session including Peter's Dynasty costume. I wish there were more photos from this session which I find really cool. I love the smoke covering the ground in front of the band.

A black open chested jumpsuit/leotard (Version #1) would serve as a basis for Peter's costume. The jumpsuit would be covered in "scratch marks" made up of rhinestones. See Costume Close Up.

During this session Peter wore a "leopard skin" scarf with tiny claws attached. This would only be used at a few photo sessions.

The belt used on this session, seems to be the same worn at the 1978 summer sessions. The only difference is the colour which is now silver instead of gold.

Summer Session 1978. Picture by Barry Levine.

Peter would on some photo sessions used some sorts of a fur coat with lion heads on the shoulders. This green fur coat would be really huge and the boots would also be covered in the same fabric. The boots themselves are not visible due to all the fur, but they are visible on photo two.

His arms would be covered in both cuffs, which were green and covered in rhinestones, and armbands that were black and decorated with a cross made out of rhinestones as well. The cuffs would also have the same design as the leotard/Jumpsuit (Version # 1). Peter also wore black leather gloves.

Peter's neckwear, a choker, would be in the same design as the black armbands. See Costume Close Up.

In the boot department, Peter's shoes would be in his signature colour, green. Straight forward leather boots covered in rhinestone. Sometimes the boots would be covered in "leopard skin". See Costume Close Up.

Photo 2-Civic Center, Lakeland, FL 1979.06.15
On this photo from the opening night of the tour there is one difference from the photo session in April. This variation was probably in place the night before as well, during the dress rehersals, but I have not found a proper photo from that night.  The leotard/Jumpsuit (Version # 2) has now a green border around Peter's chest. See Costume Close Up.

Photo 3-Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 1979.07.24/25
A minor detail on Peter's belt. A black dot has been added. This is the first gig I have seen photos of it, however it might have appeared earlier.

Photo 4-Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY 1979.09.01
This show, or maybe one earlier, presented another leotard/Jumpsuit (Version # 3). This one has a silver border around Peter's chest.

Here's a rather rare look at Peter's back. Check Costume Close Up for a better look. This is from Seattle, WA Nov. 21, 1979.


This ends the part about Peter Criss, and it also ends the part of the 1979 costumes. As many of the other outfits there are several variations and changes throughout a tour, and I am sure I only have scratched the surface on some of it. Nonetheless, I really find this stuff interesting and will update my blog whenever I find something new or some new and improved info shows up.

Next up will be the costumes worn in 1980, and until then, rock on!