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Kiss and Make-Up

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,531 Ratings  ·  130 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
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Published December 11th 2001 by Crown Archetype (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,334)
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Jul 15, 2011 Ilene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
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
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
Feb 27, 2008 Andy rated it liked it  ·  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
Jan 19, 2016 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a Kiss fan for a long time and regret never having seen them live. I have a new respect for Gene Simmons, he is truly one of a kind. Great read, although watching him and Paul tolerate Ace and Peter's shenanigans over and over was hard to handle after a while.
Feb 16, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rock-n-roll
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
Mar 08, 2015 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Tyrus Wong
Mar 13, 2012 Tyrus Wong rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sep 13, 2015 Ritchie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
The first and probably slightest of the KISS group memoirs.
Jun 04, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gene Simmons wanted to pursue his talent and hobby of music but all the rock bands weren't as visionary as he was and found that they didn't have similar interests in their music. So Gene Simmons went to college as a backup plan and for the sake of his mother who had gone through a lot to bring them to the US as their home country (Israel) was in bad conditions. Then, while on the road trying to make music at the far end of the country, he found Paul Stanley, his band mate and best friend that s ...more
Jul 01, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been a huge KISS fan. Of course I know their big hits and popular songs just from tons of radio play over the years, and I dug those songs enough, but I never sought out or bought their music. Except for that one album in the mid 90s, "Psycho Circus." And looking back, I have no idea why I bought that one. I suspect it was at the tail end of the Columbia House or BMG CD club days and I just selected it as one of 10 CDs for a penny or something.

(upon further research, it turns out BMG
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.
Dec 20, 2015 Neri. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.5. Surprisingly well written and intereting look into the life of Demon a.k.a. Gene Simmons. A must-read for not only Kiss Fans but all rock'n'roll fans in general.
This book is only relevant if you are a 70s-80s KISS fan. Otherwise, it won't be interesting or meaningful. Gene tells some stories of the band back in the early days, talks a bit about his own upbringing, and goes on and on about his prowess with women which gets a bit tedious. He clearly has some mommy issues, so a lot of the book is dedicated to the idolization of his mother. All in all, if you want to read about some KISS stories, and about Gene's perspective of how the band got started, and ...more
May 02, 2016 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great! I enjoyed this as an audiobook on a long plane ride. Gene Simmons had a very interesting childhood.
Jul 22, 2014 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading my way through the KISS autobiographies. This one is most interesting when Gene tells of his youth in Israel and how awed he was coming to America as a young boy. American pop culture took hold of him and he was never the same. Chaim Witz became Gene Klein and finally Gene Simmons.

Gene has never been afraid to work hard and his work ethic (and Paul Stanley's) have kept KISS alive and kicking for 40 years. I don't think I'd like him very much - his attitude toward women is vile, but I
Jan 29, 2012 Ensiform rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jul 03, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
*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'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
Jan 31, 2012 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Scott Smith
As a child in the seventies, Kiss made a huge impression on me. I play guitar because of them, and love music because of them. That said, reality sets in with the behind the scenes story. Ive always been an Ace and Peter fan, and that didnt change. Gene on the other hand, is nothing more than a corporate exec in makeup. He has made a fortune, and screwed over Ace and Peter more than once. They should have paid more attention to their contracts, but at the end of the day they were still screwed i ...more
Mark C. Jackson
What a wonderful book! I enjoyed listening to Gene read this book. He has such a calm and peaceful voice that not only calmed me, but warmed my heart and stirred my memories. He is truly a remarkable man who has led an interesting and rewarding yet challenging life. He is honest and truthful, call things as he sees them. It was wonderful to go back in time to some great memories I had listening to KISS albums, and even seeing a few concerts. The cast of characters that appear in this book are as ...more
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
Jan 13, 2014 Trailhoundz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
George Hamblen
Dec 21, 2014 George Hamblen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read. Interesting insight to the band. Some of the stories were the same as in the Paul Stanley book. Gene's personal life is as interesting as his musical one. Must read for Kiss fans.
Mar 26, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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