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Thursday, February 23, 2006


Alive 2

Recent discussions on Dave's blog, and recent purchases at the Alva household have prompted me to re-visit yet another Kiss LP.

Kiss Alive II is one of the worst all time live records at the same time as being one of the best Kiss records. The live portion is recorded awfully, which is telling of the Kiss machine at the time. Kiss was on the fast track with 9 year olds, and silly notions like sound quality were relegated to the back seat in favor of merchandising and packaging.

The packaging of this album is excellent - full color booklet, stickers, poster, and the ever important Kiss Army membership info card.

The sound of this record suck ass. Except for side four. Side four contains five studio cuts, two of which are possibly the best songs Kiss ever recorded. Kiss beat Genesis to the Three Sides Live concept by six years.

'Rocket Ride', the Ace Frehley song kicks ass, and does indeed contain the lyric:

"Baby's on her knees
Baby wants to please"

'Larger Than Life', one of two Gene Simmons tunes on side four, is a slice of pure 70's balls out rock. The word blistering comes to mind. Whoever plays lead guitar on that song, and it's decidedly not Ace, offers a mind blowing performance. The song contains the lyric:

"My love is larger than life"

I don't think he's talking about an emotion, or his tongue.

I remember Christmas 1977 at 68b (or was it still 69 at the time) Schofield Place. My Grandmother asked my mother to pick up a present for me, ostensibly from her. When I opened my gift from Granny that Christmas to find Gene's blackened soot covered blood spittled face staring back at me I was elated. My Grandmother gasped, "How revolting?"

Cool. I had a new record, and a new word to play with.

Where's my hockey gear, time to listen to Kiss.......

So far the wife hasn't said a firm "no" on putting my new Kiss Army door mat on the front porch, but tonight might be when we go head to head over it.

The Kiss incense burner is getting more of the mocking from her. Look how cool this thing is:


It's pretty big too. Mrs. Alva keeps saying, "You know who would appreciate this more than you, Ted. Let's send it to Ted".

My 4 year old daugther on the other hand said (I swear to god she said this) "Mom, we gotta keep this. I don't just like pretty stuff, I like cool stuff too and this rocks!"

Mrs. Alva was speechless. We out voted her on the incense burner for now.
Kiss Alive II brings back many happy memories of growing up with my brother, who would put the record on and sing along with every song AND talk along with all the stage banter, including "You wanted the best and you got the best! The hottest band in the world - KISS!!!"

This was before Walkmans, so I know every song. After Walkmans, Phil would listen to tapes and suddenly blurt out lines or bastardizations of lines. It was pretty amusing to hear him silently listening to "Making Movies" by Dire Straits and suddenly hear him scream out "Juliet! YOU BITCH!"

Thems were the days, I tells ya.
I'd be willing to bet that the guitaist, if it's not Ace, is Bob Kulick.

I originally had Alive II on tape. It was odd packaging. Two cassette tape cases I guess glued together, back to back. And the tapes looked totally different, in color and print. Weird.

But anyway, it's hard to top the first Alive. Did I ever show you my Alive III? I would never have bought it, other than when I was working at Tower Records, some woman brought back Teena Marie's Greatest Hits. She said, "This isn't Teena Marie." We exchanged it and I went to the back to see what it was. All the packaging is Teena Marie's Greatest Hits, but the music was actually Alive III. Screw-up at Polygram I guess. I put a label over the Teena Marie thing, so it says, "KISS ALIVE III", with "Motown" after it. Awesome.
Wasn't it Bruce Kulick?

And wasn't he the guy who gave himself tendonitis by practicing too much with poor technique?
Bruce Kulick is playing at the Kiss convention May 6th.


With him will be Ted's favorite singer in the world, Joe Lynn Turner.
I had to look it up.

Bob Kulick used to play uncredited.

Bruce joined the band and toured with them in the early 1980s.

The guitarist who practiced himself into hand swelling was Mark St. John.
I believe Dave is right, though the uncredited guitar player on Larger Than Life could be just about anybody. The next thing they did was the solo albums, and Gene used half of LA on his.
You know who was invited to play at the KISS convention this year... no shit...


I swear to God. Really.
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