On November 19, a new book about KISS is coming out. Unlike the many that came before it, this one is focused on the non-makeup era of the band, which is from 1983-1996. As a big fan of this KISS time period, I was eager to read this book and see if it lived up to the hype it has been getting. I’m glad to say that, overall, it’s an excellent book with a wealth of information. Inside you’ll find chapters on each album from the band during this era, as well as some additional subcategories. The author provides his thoughts for each of these, while also including insights from industry influencers and those that were either in the band or worked with KISS. My only complaint is I don’t like that Eddie Trunk was included in this book, specifically because Gene and Paul don’t like him (because he doesn’t support the current incarnation of the band) and, as a result, many KISS fans don’t like him either, including yours truly. I think Eddie Trunk’s prominence in this book hurts it and could have a negative impact on sales because of how vehemently opposed some fans are toward him. All of the other guest commentators in this book are perfectly fine, but it’s puzzling why the author chose to highlight someone as polarizing as Eddie Trunk, especially since he’s such a negative force in the KISS world. If you can set this aside, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked.
On Friday I met KISS’ original drummer, Peter Criss, at the All Things That Rock Festival in Oaks, PA. This was the culmination of a terrific, music-filled year where I met and had my photo taken with all of the original and current members of KISS. I also had the privilege of being in attendance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony earlier this year where KISS’ original lineup was honored.