KISS and Make-up by Gene Simmons

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Synopsis

You wanted the truth, you got the truth—the hottest book in the world!

Fueled by an explosive mix of makeup, costumes, and attitude, KISS burst onto the music scene thirty years ago and has become a rock institution. The band has sold more than eighty million records, has broken every concert attendance record set by Elvis Presley and the Beatles, stands behind the Beatles alone in number of gold records from any group in history, and has spawned more than 2,500 licenses.

There would have been no KISS without Gene Simmons, the outrageous star whose superlong tongue, legendary sexual exploits, and demonic makeup have made him a rock icon. KISS and Make-Up is the wild, shocking, unbelievable story, from the man himself, about how an immigrant boy from Israel studied to be a rabbi, was saved by rock and roll, and became one of the most notorious rock stars the world has ever seen.
Before Gene Simmons there was Chaim Witz, a boy from Haifa, Israel, who had no inkling of the life that lay ahead of him. In vivid detail Gene recounts his childhood growing up in Haifa under the watchful eye of his beloved, strong-willed mother, a concentration camp survivor; his adolescent years attending a Jewish theological center for rabbinical studies in Brooklyn; his love of all things American, including comic books, superheroes, and cowboys; and his early fascination with girls and sex, which prompted him to start a rock band in school after he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

KISS and Make-Up is not just the classic story of achieving the American dream through the eyes of an immigrant boy making good, but a juicy, rollicking rock and roll read that takes you along for the ride of your life with KISS, from the 1970s, when they were the biggest band in the world, through the ’80s, when they took off their world-famous war paint, and into the ’90s, when they came back bigger and badder than ever to become the number one touring band in the world.

In his own irreverent, unapologetic voice, Gene talks about the girls (4,600 of them and counting); his tight bond with KISS cofounder Paul Stanley; the struggles he and Paul had with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss and their departures from the group; the new band members and Eric Carr’s untimely death; the enormous love and affection he has for the people who put him there in the first place—the KISS Army and the ever-loyal KISS fans around the world; his love life, including stories about his relationships with Cher and Diana Ross and with Shannon Tweed, Playmate of the Year, mother of his son and daughter, and his companion of eighteen years; and much more.

Full of dozens of photographs, many never-before-seen pictures from Gene’s private collection, KISS and Make-Up is a surprising, intimate look at the man behind the mask. For the first time Gene reveals all the facets of his complex personality—son, rock star, actor, record producer, businessman, ladies’ man, devoted father, and now author.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Gene Simmons

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Gene Simmons was born a very poor Chaim Witz in Israel in 1949, and immigrated with his divorced mother to Brooklyn in 1958. Thrilled by comic books, The Ed Sullivan Show, and rock and roll, Simmons ultimately decided that people crave great rock and roll music and a great theatrical show. People crave excitement and escape from their everyday lives. This inspiration led Simmons to create the most enduring sound in rock music history.
 
Published December 11, 2001 by Crown Archetype. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for KISS and Make-up

Kirkus Reviews

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Credit for honesty goes to TV writer/producer Leaf, who opens by urging, “If you are not a Kiss fan, put this book down.” That sums up the flavor and purpose of this collaboration.

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Publishers Weekly

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Criss, the original drummer of Kiss and the third member of the band to pen a memoir, delivers an entertaining autobiography written with Sloman, who coauthored Scar Tissue, the memoir by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis.

Sep 10 2012 | Read Full Review of KISS and Make-up

Publishers Weekly

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With its combination of cartoonish monster-movie makeup and oversized costumes, ear-splitting amplification and gleeful songs in praise of sex, heavy metal rock legend Kiss has never been accused of not being excessive, and this book is a great example of why it is still a multimillion-dollar pro...

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Publishers Weekly

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Exhibiting an "abiding faith in self" and an ability to think outside the traditional parameters of ethics, religion, rituals and social mores, rock legend and Kiss founding member Simmons (KISS and Make-Up) offers his no-holds-barred life philosophy.

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Publishers Weekly

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The legendary lothario of the rock band Kiss believes that the most important things in life are money, sex and more money—and he repeats variations on this theme in this highly entertaining book, which that covers much of the same autobiographical ground as his successful KISS and Make-Up, albei...

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Publishers Weekly

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But when the smoke clears, the book is as well written as it is interesting: the story of a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, the endearingly sincere struggles Simmons faces over the years, his eventual marriage and fatherhood—as well as juicy material like his extended romances with Cher and Diana Ross.

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Entertainment Weekly

When he's not playing Ping-Pong with Helen Reddy or pranking Bob Seger's sax player with a piece of onion-flavored chewing gum, he's bellyaching -- constantly -- about bandmates Ace Frehley's and Peter Criss' problems with ''chemicals'' and ''substances.'' And by overusing that other coy euphemis...

Dec 12 2001 | Read Full Review of KISS and Make-up

Variety

With a career spanning three decades and 80 million records sold, one would think that Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, who made an indelible mark on pop music by dressing up like a demon and barfing blood, would spin some toe-curling tales about rock 'n' roll excess.

Mar 08 2002 | Read Full Review of KISS and Make-up

Variety

With a career spanning three decades and 80 million records sold, one would think that Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, who made an indelible mark on pop music by dressing up like a demon and barfing blood, would spin some toe-curling tales about rock 'n' roll excess.

Mar 08 2002 | Read Full Review of KISS and Make-up

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