This is only our opinion… it is neither right nor wrong.

How Big Would KISS Be With Only Ace Frehley and Peter Criss?

In episode 26, June 4, 2013, Three Sides Of The Coin decides to discuss KISS tribute bands. What will happen to them IF KISS 2.0 happens after Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are done performing live? Will tribute bands all get a cease and desist? Will have to pay a license fee to KISS to use the logo and makeup? That discussion moved into what would the KISS reunion be like if only Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were in KISS? Would it be KISS? Would it be a reunion? Would it draw?

  • MIKE: Would there be a legal battle between “KISS 2.0” vs. all KISS Tribute bands? Would the Tribs all get Cease & Decist orders?

    David: IF KISS 2.0 (with all-new members – not even Eric & Tommy) does indeed come to pass, I feel how KISS Tribute bands worldwide would be treated would greatly depend on the level of involvement The KISS Organization would have in controlling the affairs of KISS 2.0. If the members of KISS 2.0 are “discovered” via an “American Idol / X Factor” type format, then basically left to their own devices with the KISS name attached to them, I could see C&D orders going out to the other Tribs. If Paul, Gene, Eric & Tommy (or even Ace & Peter) are basically their “puppet masters” – writing new music for them, producing/engineering their albums, etc., then YES I absolutely see them ceasing the activity of all other KISS Tribs for “copyright infringement of intellectual property”. However, keep in mind that the FIRST people in line to audition for these “roles” would likely be guys (and maybe even some girls) who either have been or are currently involved in working KISS tributes. They won’t get 50-60K people in each audition city “vying to become the next STARCHILD, DEMON, CATMAN, or SPACEMAN”.

    MITCH: Have any of you KISS Tribs been approached by the band [KISS] with legal matters like Cease & Decist orders?

    David: I have been a part of three different KISS Tributes since 1995, and not ONCE have I (or anyone in any of the three Tribs I was involved with) EVER received any kind of legal notification over ANYTHING. That being said, however, my current tribute – ROCKET RIDE – Does in fact wear “Hotter Than Hell” costumes, and uses a full-size lighted KISS logo sign in our shows. As far as direct contact by a band member? When Ace made a public appearance at the Chiller Convention last December, I had a close friend give him my CD of “Anomaly” to sign. When Ace asked my friend why I wasn’t there to give it myself, she replied, “because his KISS Tribute band has a gig in Illinois tonight”. Ace then shot back, “Which tribute?” She replied, “Rocket Ride.” According to her, Ace then became VERY interested. “Really? Do they wear makeup and costumes?” “Yes, but they also do a LOT of your solo songs.” Ace smiled as she showed him a video clip from her phone. “Fucking cool! That’s awesome!” was the Space Ace’s reply. Hey, it’s about as big as endorsement as I could ask for – completely the OPPOSITE of a C&D!

    MITCH: Franchising the Tribute Bands? A possibility? For or Against?

    David: I honestly feel that this could be a more broad-sweeping viable option for The KISS Organization (brand) than just simply crowning four new guys as “KISS 2.0”. How many other “legacy acts” could reap the profits of having a literal ARMY of musicians performing their songs onstage in multiple outlets on any given night the world over? It would be a relatively simple proposition. Take an already-established KISS Tribute, who has already built a decent fanbase in a specific market location. “You want to be the ‘Official’ KISS Tribute of (territiory)? You pay us a percentage of your earnings for the rights to the title. We will ensure that no other KISS Tribute performs within a reasonable distance of your area, or uses that title. However, we reserve the right of approval of all makeup application, costume design, and stage gear/props to ensure a quality product.” Under those terms, depending on what the “annual franchise fee” would be, I think it would be a pretty fair deal. If signing a franchise deal meant getting ‘official’ stage gear (guitars, amps, effects, etc.) at a ‘dealer/discounted’ price – I’d be all for it. It would also end a LOT of in-fighting, back-biting, and low-balling performance cost amogst the working KISS Tribs. And there is a TON of it, believe me.

    TOMMY: Are there any tribute bands that are only non-makeup?

    David: My tribute ROCKET RIDE started in 2009 as a NON-MAKEUP tribute, and chose the name Rocket Ride because we also perform a generous amount of Ace Frehley’s solo material (both in & outside of KISS) in our catalog. We played a handful of shows this way, and received incredible fan reaction (St. Louis, MO is a pretty KISS-starved market), but we found venues were not very favorable towards booking us… “You’re a KISS tribute, but you don’t wear the makeup? Not interested.” So after nearly a year of frustration, we caved in, and began rehearsing putting the makeup on, building our costumes & stage show. It’s been less than a year since we performed our first show in makeup, and we’ve already gotten more work, higher pay, and HUNDREDS more Facebook & Twitter followers in that time than our entire non-makeup period.

    MIKE: How much longer could the current lineup of KISS last?

    David: This is how I see KISS’ immediate future – EuroMonster Tour, leading into a few USA dates until KISS Kruise III. Following the Kruise, they take a few weeks to put together the finishing touches on the recently-announced KISSOLOGY 4 + KISSOLOGY VIDEO BOX SET. They reconvene after the holidays to announce the AmeriMonster / 40th Anniversary Tour, where they will record for the late summer release of KISS ALIVE V. Following that, They will announce a Japanese KISS Kruise (which Doc alluded to on last year’s Kruise), and possibly record one last album with the current lineup (they tend to do studio albums in threes). This would bring us to final tours of Europe, Japan & Australia, and finally the U.S., before Paul & Gene make the public announcement of retirement – from touring. They will continue to oversee the business dealings of the brand name by finding their own replacements, as well as replacements for Eric (who would likely revert to Alice Cooper’s full-time drummer again) and Tommy (who would head KISS’ Media Department), with “KISS Search” (or some other ridiculous Idol / Voice / X-Factor type name) reality show/contest. I would say that all this could be a three to five year plan.

    MIKE: Is a KISS with Ace & Peter worth as much as a KISS with Gene & Paul?

    David: No x1000. Even if Ace remained clean & sober, and Peter had bionic arm implants, it wouldn’t work or be nearly as successful. Simply because neither Ace nor Peter are as motivated to do anything (besides sit back & collect a paycheck) as Gene & Paul. Ace & Peter’s “Bad Boys Tour” of 1995 was a TRAINWRECK. Plagued with late starts, crappy venues, low attendance, and sub-par performances, I saw die-hard KISS fans literally walk out mid show in disappointment – multiple shows.

    HOMEWORK: From St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
    “…You wanted the best, you got the best… the hottest KISS Tribute in the galaxy… ROCKET RIDE!!!”

  • Tim Durling

    For the record, if I did a podcast like this with 2 of my buddies, I would totally be the “Mitch” of the group.

  • FF

    Yes, of course Australia has casinos. Come on, Mitch. I suppose you think Australian cities have kangaroos bounding down the streets.

  • I would remind you that at the opening of KISS Mini-Golf in Las Vegas part of the promotion was a contest to determine the World’s Best KISS Tribute Band. Over 200 hundred entrants from all over the world took part. KISS not only knew this was going on, but Tommy Thayer was the final judge. The winner, thereby earning the title of World’s Best KISS Tribute Band, was Mr. Speed from Cleveland, Ohio.

  • gary aeh

    You guys put on a great show and I look forward to it every week. Such an interesting idea, Kiss with out Gene and Paul and only Pete and Ace caring the weight under the Kiss banner. I think it would be a great tour , but only once. I want at least one more studio album from Kiss and then at least a really good tour before they call it quits. Not really interested in a tribute band of any sort. Kiss like every other band should at one point say we’re done, goodnight.

  • John Kopriwa

    Hey Guys,

    I have been listening to you guys nearly weekly, and I really enjoy your debit. Sometimes I am talking to the computer and join in with my comments. I finally found my way thru the internet to reply and place a comment.
    First I am a die hard Kiss fan from the 80’s, and love collecting records, promo cd.s, cassettes and anything related with Kiss and music, Kiss and management, and any merchandise which is cool, say Kissopoly, and a few things from the 70’s.
    Regarding last weeks episode, Kiss will not work with Ace and Peter. It is going back what Mitch said a wile ago, Ace released his Anormaly, and where was the tour??? He found his way down to Australia!! Did he got lost or was it an accident? I went to the meet and greet and it was piss poor, for $350 you got two autographs, a photo with dumbs up no chance for a conversation, Has he never paied attention to Paul and Gene? Peter well he would be great in a swing band but can not do Kiss anymore, and this is not nasty, be realistic.

    Second saw Kiss in Perth this year for the Monster tour, I have to say it was fresh, strong and very solid, but agree with Michael they should start with Rock and Roll all night.
    Now one for Tommy, how about you guys analyse and debate the following.
    Kiss album review in the 80’s is always very negative, down played or thrown out as stupid sex lyric.
    Could we once compare Kiss albums from different years eg: Asylum 1985 with other hard rock bands album release in 1985. As a fan I don’t get it or can’t hear it why Kiss gets bagged as a copy cat of Bon Jovi, Motley, or any other hair band, times are changing and bands develop, maybe not ac/dc.
    Wasn’t Ultimate Sin from Ozzy a comeback album and sold more than 2 millions? Well same producer as crazy nights and the album gets bagged.

    Hope hearing from you guys


  • Mikey

    Not sure if this has been asked yet. Who will be first to leave the band? Gene or Paul. Or, will they leave at the same time?