Book by Curt Gooch & Jeff Suhs
Review by Ronnie

As you are about to see, much of KISS’s history has remained unspoken, rewritten, and even forgotten. Over the years, these factors have combined to create a history that is full of inaccuracies, inconsistencies, exaggerations, and even outright lies. But the truth is that the guys in the band were far too busy living their lives to sit down and archive it properly. For these reasons, we went to as many firsthand sources as possible in order to reconstruct KISS’s touring history with the utmost accuracy.

In fact, there is a tremendous amount of information here that will directly conflict with what you may have read before. So, while the story told may not mirror any history of KISS with which you are familiar, we think you’ll find the real story of KISS’s touring history richer, more human, and perhaps even more inspiring than ever.

KISS ALIVE FOREVER is one of those rare rock ‘n roll books by which all others in the future will be measured. It is exhaustive in its scope and execution, while never reading “dry” like a mere book of facts. This book is in the same league as “The Beatles Live” by Mark Lewisohn. Lewisohn’s book chronicles every Beatles liver performances, as well as facts about the shows, set lists of music performed and tons of black & white photos.

However, KISS ALIVE FOREVER ups the ante, including: the set list for every show, the attendance of the show, the opening (or headlining) acts, the promoter, if the show was archived on video/audio and changes in the band’s costumes or makeup. Plus, you get over 175 rare or unpublished photos – many in COLOR! There are quotes by the road crews, members of KISS and even some of the opening acts. An interesting ‘history’ of each tour is given, describing not only the album being promoted, but also the stage/prop setups and the travel logistics involved. Speaking of the ‘history’ of KISS, an excellent overview of Wicked Lester (the band that became KISS) is given; along with such accounts as the TRUE story behind the KISS solo albums.

If this wasn’t enough, the “appendices” at the end of the book will satisfy any trivia buff. This is where you can find everything from how many gigs where Gene set himself on fire to the first and last known performance of EACH song. The lists of acts who headlined over KISS and who opened for the band is like a who’s who of rock ‘n roll: 10CC, Argent, ZZ Top, New York Dolls, etc.

A high quality book on KISS has been long overdue and Curt Gooch & Jeff Suhs have delivered one of the best rock ‘n roll books I have read in a long time. It serves as both a keepsake for KISS fans and the ultimate reference book on the band. I only hope that Curt & Jeff don’t narrow their scope to only KISS in the future. I would LOVE to see books of this caliber about other rock ‘n roll bands.

Click here to read our interview with one of the book's authors, Curt Gooch

Return to the EAR CANDY homepage