Kiss and Make-Up
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Kiss and Make-Up

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  923 ratings  ·  102 reviews
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...more
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Published December 11th 2001 by Crown Archetype (first published 2001)
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Ilene
This book surprised me. I was a KISS fan as a teen and have recently started watching his reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels. On a whim I picked this up and have to say that it was a quick and enjoyable read. Fine literature, no but it was fun.

Told in a very stream of consciousness manner the book takes you from Gene's childhood as Chaim Whitz from Haifa, Israel to the mega success of one of the most innovative rock bands ever. He spills the dirt on every aspect of his life whether it be...more
Chip'sBookBinge
I purposely avoided this book for years. I really didn't have any desire to read this given that I already knew more about KISS than Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley combined. But out of sheer boredom and nothing else to read, I decided to give this one a shot at long last. My first impression when picking the book up and holding it in my hands was how small the book looked. For a band like KISS and it's author Gene Simmons, I would expect nothing less than 500 pages. But this looked like a book th...more
Julie Barrett
I picked this up at the library on a whim - great cover! Before this book, I could have only named two KISS songs. I don't own any of their albums; although I do own an awesome KISS lunchbox. Never saw Gene's reality show either. So I came to this book with hardly any preconceived notions about Gene Simmons or the band.

The book turned out to be a really interesting read. I had no idea he was Israeli or that his mom had been in the camps during the war & had most of her family killed by the...more
Andy
Feb 27, 2008 Andy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists, Heavy Metal has-beens
This is a review of the audio recording of “Kiss and Make-Up” read by Gene Simmons, the author. You haven’t really experienced the absurdity of his autobiography until you’ve heard The Man himself reading his own thoughts, read with a drop-dead seriousness that would make Yul Brynner’s ghost jealous. I once listened to all 6 CD’s in my car on an endless trip to Las Vegas. My ears screamed in pain. I liked the rock gossip but whoever thought his childhood was fascinating (I was a teenage lifeguar...more
Stephen
Throughout the blood-stained, pyro-singed tomes of KISStory, the one unspoken rule has always been this: Gene Simmons is an asshole. Long villainized by former KISS members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, Gene has been portrayed as everything from a money-grubbing, ego-driven madman to a clueless self-promoter to everything in between. And indeed, after reading Ace and Peter's autobios first, I was predetermined to hate everything Gene had to say. I was ready to simply roll my eyes at, what I assum...more
Tyrus Wong
Mar 13, 2012 Tyrus Wong rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music fans, general interest.
Granted, whatever Gene says has his classic slant but it's absolutely true that he is a true pioneer and has seen and set some precedents in the music industry that will likely never be bested.

Second only to the Beatles in certified GOLD records, KISS is the Hottest Band in the World because both Gene and Paul Stanley preserved and protected it from going under and/or fading away like practically every other band of their era and they remain, something very special with today's amazing amount of...more
Justin
I was a huge Kiss fan in high school, as I wrote at the start of Paul Stanley's book and again, it's awfully interesting for me to hear about the band and their bumpy road. Here's a different perspective than Paul's but surprisingly not all that different. I was glad to see that they were so similar, but here Gene is refreshingly self deprecating and quite open about his missteps and star-trip.
I loved this. It really helps me to listen to a master egoist talk about how he rose to fame and the f...more
Teric Darken
Gene $immon$: I admire the man for his business sensibilities, but, in my opinion, he allowed some good music from his band to go to pot due to his love of the almighty dollar. I'd rather listen to Ace. However, this book is an interesting and entertaining read, and I imagine that Mr. $immon$ is quite glad that I purchased it when it first arrived on the market.
Ensiform
I guess I’m on some kind of Gene Simmons kick. In this autobiography, Gene tells of his youth in Israel, his interest in comics, music and girls, his band’s rise to superstardom, the dissolution of the original line-up (according to the author, due to Ace and Peter’s drug abuse and unprofessionalism), the come-back, and last but not least, of finding the love of his life Shannon Tweed and the birth of their two kids.

Simmons is far less self-aggrandizing, and more realistic, in this earlier book...more
Michael
I waited quite awhile to read this book and when I found it online for a dollar I figured what the hell. Maybe Gene had written an awesome tale drenched in blood and fire. This is the demon after all right?

The problem is that the book is quite boring. Gene isn't a great story teller and the book just feels like a bunch of stuff thrown together without any excitement. Hell, this guy had more ass than a toilet seat yet he just randomly throws liasons into various stories but it's all matter of f...more
Scott
Part 2:

As I said I read this and 'No Regrets' by Ace Frehley consecutively recently. Gene's book was not as enjoyable as Ace's but for the obvious reason that given the choice, I think Ace would be more fun to hang out with than Gene.

While Gene's book is a more detailed document than Ace's, the two things that disappointed me were:

1. His constant allusions to sex on the road. I'm no prude, I just don't really care how many women he's slept with. Nor do I care that the Asian women he's slept wit...more
Heather
*Back-dating reviews based on snips I find*

So, I’m a huge KISS fan. For all the bands I have seen live, it really annoys me that they are not one of them – yet. I’ve always found KISS to be sell-outs, consumed with making products in every possible way and I’ve always found Gene Simmons relatively cocky. With this in mind, I read the first few pages of his introduction and complained that I felt this was going to be a self righteous, holier-than-thou book. I was, in fact, proven wrong… Sort of.

I...more
Emily Hill
I'm probably the only KISS fan out there who actually enjoyed reading this.

I have to say what I like about Gene is that he tells the truth in what he writes and is not afraid to say that particular truth even if everyone hates it afterwards. What can I say? He is my favourite member of KISS so I admire him for doing that. Even if he had to leak a few bad news about some things that happened like how Ace and Peter had some serious problems which were never mentioned in other books. How could I no...more
Doug
Good book. Very interesting account of KISS, written by an icon. Goes into the later years of KISS in good detail.

After reading Ace Frehley's "No Regrets", which took it's fair amount of potshots at Gene, decided to read Gene's side of the story. Again, there's a fair amount of potshots taken at Ace, but if you stripped both books down to just stories about the band and the members' accounts of what their impressions of all the albums and different producers, you'd get a similar picture. At the...more
Beem Weeks
This isn't your typical rock and roll memoir. Gene Simmons, born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel, tells all about sex and rock-n-roll, but leaves out any mention of drugs. That's because the Demon from KISS never engaged in the substance abuses that ruined the careers of fellow KISS members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Simmons had a vision, goals, ideas he meant to see through. It is, at times, the ramblings of an egomaniac. But there are lighter moments as well, like reading first hand what fatherh...more
Rob
This was definitely a good read but I had mixed feelings at points. Even if you knew NOTHING about Gene Simmons going in, after the first 20% of the book the relentless "sexcapades" stories got tiring. I felt like "OK, we get it already." That aside, it IS an interesting book. Liked it all in all.
Charlene
I love reading autobiographies and biographies because I love to learn about the person behind the persona. I wasn't ever a huge KISS fan, but I found Gene Simmons to be an interesting person when I began watching his reality series "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels".

The book wasn't really what I was expecting but I learned more about KISS and Gene Simmons than I knew before. I haven't read any of Gene's other books but I may. To me, the book seemed general, giving kind of review of what most of us...more
Trailhoundz
This was a great autobiography. Although I've never been a huge fan of KISS, I enjoyed watching Family Jewels now and then, and finally decided to pick up this book at the library. I was impressed at how articulate, focused, and professional Gene had been (is)--usually rocker bios are the same ol', same ol', sex drugs & rock n' roll--this was slightly different with sex, business marketing, and rock n' roll (lol). Fast-paced, easy to read, lots of photos.
Jenny
This book changed my outlook on life a great deal. There were so many things I thought I needed to do, or would end up doing in my life, but had never really questioned whether or not they were even things I wanted to do. For one thing, I never questioned the fact that I would get married someday because it's what everyone does at some point but the truth was, I have never had a desire to get married and still don't to this day. This book made me realize I have to just live my life the way I wan...more
Bev
As a Kiss fan this book was a real treat and cleared up questions about band changes etc from years ago. Gene is the ultimate showman yes but a shrewd businessman too.
Mike Doyle
A great book if you like Kiss. I think Gene pats himself on his back a bit much, he slams his former band mates, and talks about Kiss' future. Good thing I like Kiss.
Gunner Bourg
I really enjoyed this book. i have always liked kiss and assumed that they functioned like all rock bands but this book opened my eyes.

First off this book is about much more than Kiss, it includes every aspect of Gene Simmons’s life, from his childhood in Israel where his father left him and his mother to the creation and slow decomposition of Kiss. It contains his philosophies of life and his interests in women (both his serious commitments and his “chasing skirt”).

Throughout the book he seems...more
Nathan
The library was running out of autobiographies for me to read, so I'm kind of scrapping the bottom of the barrel here. While I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK for anyone else, Gene did make a few great points:
1) You can be born into a destitute poor family in Jerusalem and raised by TV and comic books and still make yourself Billions of monies.
2) A rock band is like any other business. Build brand equity and you win.
3) You can be a rock star and still never smoke, drink or do drugs. Ever.
4) The mor...more
Rich
A fun read. I enjoyed Gene's perspective on his life and career.
Brandon Daviet
Good self-serving and pompous, trademark Simmons.
Khalil Boulos
Amazing look into the legacy of the founders of glam rock
Matt
Gene Simmons thinks Gene Simmons is pretty great
Sandy Denholm
As a big fan Gene Simmons I found this book did not disappoint. Although not a hard read, it is very entertaining.
David
Question: Know what is worse than a humble brag?
Answer: A 275 page in your face brag.
I read this hoping for insight into the band and the creative process or at least a time capsule of the rise of Kiss. Instead, I got Gene talking about how great he and Paul were and how terrible Ace and to a much greater extent Peter were. The lamest non-written unnecessary part of the book was the picture of Ace kissing a guy while he was drunk just to take another cheap shot. I love the band Kiss, I dislike...more
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From genesimmons.com

Gene Simmons was born in Haifa, Israel in 1949, and is the only child of his mother, a German Nazi Concentration Camp survivor. He has always attributed his ethics, morals and drive to his mother's notion's about life. "Every day above ground, is a good day," his mother is apt to say.

He came to America at eight and a half years of age. He graduated State University (NYSU) and C...more
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