2014 certainly is shaping up to be the year of KISS. The 41 year old rock band has more going on in the first few months of this year than most groups half their age do. To say KISS are overachievers would be a gross understatement.
After many years of the band's loyal fans petitioning the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame to have the band inducted, the time has finally come. The group's original line-up including Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss will be awarded the prestigious honor on April 10th. While it's a great show of adoration, KISS is making a stand by not performing at the event as the Hall of Fame won't recognize present members of the band Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
"...We won't be playing there. We'll just accept the award. 'Thank you very much.' We've been around forty years. Tommy and Eric have been in the band 20 years - two and a half times longer than Ace and Peter. You're going to slap them in the face and we're supposed to... get up on stage and do it? No, that's not going to happen," Bassist Gene Simmons stated to Entertainment Weekly.
2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. Recorded in 1973, the album was the first release for Casablanca Records. The album was produced by Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise at Bell Sound Studios in New York City. It contains legendary tracks like "Strutter," "Nothin' to Lose," "Firehouse," "Cold Gin," "Let Me Know," "Kissin' Time," "Deuce," "Love Theme from Kiss," "100,000 Years," and "Black Diamond." Many of them became regular staples of their live performances over the past four decades.
KISS isn't only continuing to conquer the music universe. They're also moving into the world of sports. Their Arena Football team, L.A. KISS, won their inaugural game against the San Antonio Talons. Decked out in uniforms covered in flames and a KISS logo, the players are quickly proving to be as fierce on the field as their mascots are on the stage.
Both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons shared their excitement over the win. The Starchild proclaimed, "We win first game! SO PROUD AND EXCITED! Congrats Bob and the team! ONWARD!" The Demon proudly commented, "Congratulations to everyone on our team... Won very first game against the respected San Antonio Talons!!! Very proud of our team."
To top everything off, KISS is embarking on a North American tour in 2014 with fellow Arena Rock kings Def Leppard. It kicks off Monday, June 30th in West Valley City, UT and travels to over 40 cities. Can we expect them to play the entire self-titled album on this tour? We'll have to wait and see.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley wanted fans to know this tour isn't only about lining their own pockets with the almighty dollar. They plan on giving something back to the people that work hard to protect our country and provide the freedom to "Rock'n'Roll All Nite and Party Every Day." One dollar from each ticket sold will go to the Wounded Warrior Project and other military non-profits. They're also planning to hire veterans as part of their touring crew.
"We try to find a couple of vets who want to go out and be part of the team. This is a chance for somebody to travel and be part of the Kiss Army," Stanley said.
KISS will continue its year of celebration throughout 2014. They're releasing a CD set and a vinyl set for starters. The vinyl set will include albums never before released in the format. Fans of the greatest Rock'n'Roll band in the world better get prepared to be KISS'd!
Go to KISS's official website for all the latest news about the band.