Posted on 9 Feb 2009 In: PodKISSt Episodes

PodKISSt # 13: KISSed by the Nightbird

podkisst13300300Join us as we recognize one of rock radio’s most influential and distinctive voices… the Nightbird herself… Alison Steele. At a time when people still didn’t know what to make of KISS, the Nightbird was one of the 1st radio DJs to allow KISS to explain themselves in their own words, on their own terms. As you listen to these 1974 interviews, you’ll likely notice that KISS were still figuring themselves out. You’ll hear Gene, Paul, Pete, and Ace giving us some early insights into their unique brand of musical mayhem. Plus, as always, we bring you some rare recordings from throughout KISStory. So sit back, relax, and listen… ‘cause it’s KISSin’ time!

podkisst120120 copyIt’s KISSmas eve at PodKISSt headquarters when Ken, Gary, and James receive a surprising delivery from an anonymous KISS collector. Little do they suspect that they are about to embark on a KISSmas adventure! There are thrills, chills, and lots of laughs… and, of course, plenty of KISS rarities!

– What’s inside the mysterious package?

– Who is Wiggy?

– How will James, Ken, and Gary get back home?

– Which PodKISSt listener will win the KISSmas contest?

Find out right here!!!


– James Hager, Gary Shaller, and Ken Mills as the PodKISSt staff

– Bob Kulick as himself

– Larry the Landlord as Wiggy

– Jan the Man as Santa Clause

– Intro music recorded at Felosound Studios. Produced and performed by Ralph De Los Santos and Gary Shaller

– Graphics and artwork by Ken Mills

We’re very proud to bring you this 2-part KISSmas show, and we’re looking forward to a great 2009!!!

PLUS: As an extra bonus, click on the link below for your very own picture of Wiggy to color! How did we get it? Listen to the show and find out!


Posted on 20 Dec 2008 In: PodKISSt Episodes

PodKISSt # 12 Part 2: KISSmas with Bob Kulick!

podkissT12mainbanner copyOur KISSmas celebration continues when Bob Kulick joins the festivities! Bob shares some exciting stories from throughout his career, and brings us the inside scoop on his newest project… a heavy metal Christmas CD unlike any other! Be sure to check out Bob’s great CD at this link:


podkisst11300300go.jpgWhat good is a mind if you don’t change it every now and then?

In recent weeks, the KISS Army has been buzzing with news of a possible new studio album from our favorite superhero rock band. Some fans had given up on the idea of hearing new music from KISS, due in part to comments by Gene and Paul regarding the state of the music business and the questionable utility of a new release. Other fans said “never say never,” knowing full well the ins and outs, the ups and downs, of KISStory itself.

It’s been 35 years since KISS started.

Makeup went away and came back.

Costumes went away and came back.

Band members went away and came back.

Songs went away and came back.

Even some fans went away and came back.

Without change, KISStory would be a brief and boring tale to tell.

In this installment, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of an album that marked one of the biggest changes in the band’s career. That album is “Lick It Up,” and it forever changed how KISS was seen and heard by fans and critics throughout the world.

Join us as we revisit this excellent album in PodKISSt style, with the demos, live tracks, interviews, and discussions you won’t find elsewhere!

Posted on 27 Nov 2008 In: PodKISSt Episodes

PodKISSt # 11 Part 2: Dayton and the Donnas

podkisst11300300go.jpgIn part 2 of this installment, we check in with our PodKISSt correspondent Geoff as he brings us exclusive coverage of the 2008 Dayton Expo. Plus, we take a seat in Ken’s KISS Kover Klass for a little Donnas 101.

Got PodKISSt?

podkisst10300300 copyIn this installment, we celebrate 2 milestones: the 2nd anniversary of the KISS Coffeehouse AND our 10th show here at PodKISSt!!!

Back in August, we were invited to attend the festivities at the Coffeehouse, but neither James nor Ken nor I could make it. Fortunately, our correspondents Geoff and Mike traveled long distances through ominous weather and came through like the champs they are! Surely, they are among the highest-ranking officers in the KISS Army!

Once there, Geoff and Mike were given the V.I.P. treatment, with unfettered access to the sights and sounds of this KISStoric event.

They interviewed fans, chatted with well-known members of the KISS camp, and met the maker of the new KISS ketchup! Best of all, they scored an exclusive interview with none other than current KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer!

Tommy could not have been nicer! He took the time to answer our many questions, and provided us with some very unique and exciting insights into the KISS world!

We’re already hard at work on PodKISSts 11 and 12, and we’re so glad you’ve enjoyed what we’ve had to offer. BIG thanks to everyone who downloads the shows, to Ken for his great artwork, to Mike and Geoff for being superfans, and to Tommy Thayer for his time and attention!

So join us down at the KISS Coffeehouse, and get ready for some great surprises!

– Gary and James

podkisst9300300 copygoSo. True confession time. Ready? OK. Here goes: How many hours have YOU spent staring at the cover of the “Alive!” album? It sucks you in, just like the album does. It’s (arguably) KISS at their finest. Gene stands leering at his bass… making plans for pleasure, pain… or both! Pete’s the cool cat with his sticks in the air, ready to pound out a powerful pulse. Ace wields his axe like some cosmic divining rod, channeling powers known only to space travelers from Jendell. The Demon, the Catman, and the Space Ace… each in his own thoughts… each in his own world. And Paul? He’s in YOUR world. Staring straight at you (or through you), the Starchild embodies all that is Rock and Roll. And it’s been that way for 35 years. Whether he’s dazzling thousands of fans with the Hottest Band in the Land, or reaching for outstretched hands in a packed theater, Paul Stanley remains the greatest frontman in rock history. On October 21st, 2008, fans will have a chance to experience the power and passion of Paul’s “Live to Win” solo tour when the “One Live KISS” DVD hits the shelves. Thanks to the generosity of Universal/New Door, KISSonline.com, and Paulstanley.com, PodKISSt is proud to bring you an EXCLUSIVE interview with Louis Antonelli, director of this exciting new DVD. Louis gives us his up-close and personal account of the creative, collaborative process behind “One Live KISS.” Fans of Paul Stanley, take note: This is NOT a PodKISSt to miss! Big big thanks to everyone on the PodKISSt team, and to Paul himself!!! In this 2-part show (don’t forget to download both files!)…

  • we bring you our exclusive Louis Antonelli interview (hosted by PodKISSt staffer Ken Mills)
  • we check in with our pal Rich Kosak, the “Starchild” from tribute band Mr. Speed
  • we hear first-hand accounts from some of Paul’s most devoted fans
  • and lots, lots more! See ya soon… Gary, James, and the rest of your PodKISSt crew!!!

podkissT9mainbannercopyDownload Part 2 of our “One Live Kiss” Special Here!

  • Our interview with “One Live Kiss” Director Louis Antonelli continues
  • James gives us the scoop on the unique “Ikons” compilation (October 21, 2008)

podkisst8300300 copyJoin us as we bring you a unique sidestep from our usual PodKISSt format. In this, the space between our regular PodKISSt installments, we thought we’d fill in the gap with a round-table discussion between PodKISSt staffers Gary, James, and Ken. The main topic of this discussion is the new “Jigoku-Retsuden” CD. We hope to make THE COUNCIL OF THE ELDER a recurring feature in PodKISSt land. With KISS, there’s always lots to talk about, but we want to hear what YOU’RE interested in… so be sure to drop us an email at podkisst@gmail.com and share your ideas for future round-table discussions.

Stay tuned in the near future as the PodKISSt staff bring you some exciting, exclusive audio from the KISS Coffeehouse 2nd anniversary celebration, along with more of the rare audio, unique interviews, and other goodies you’ve come to expect. It’s not KISS without the cool surprises, and we want to keep that spirit ALIVE with each new program we bring to you.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Thanks to our pals on the various KISS-related message boards (you know who you are), and of course to KISS themselves!

And to Rick Wright… thanks for more than 40 years of amazing music. “It would be so nice to meet some time…” See you at the great gig in the sky.

Gary, September 2008

podkisst7300300go.jpgIt’s been 35 years and KISS are still going strong, as are we… the KISS Army! We’ve seen many changes, shared some triumphs and losses, and enjoyed many heated debates along the way. Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s 35 years later, and KISS are still celebrating (and using) the songs and images from their earliest days to the delight of many a lucky fan.

The hunger of a band in its earliest days is something that defies words; truly, the music speaks for itself. The material created by KISS at the start of their career has stood the test of time, both live and on record (or 8-track, or tape, or whatever ya got!). KISS’ first album has a raw intensity few could argue with, and the songs rock without compromise.

In recognition of KISS’ fantastic first album, the PodKISSt staff have assembled a special show in which we “reconstruct” that historic debut from start to finish. Each of the 10 songs is represented here, in most cases with a rare live recording showcasing the band in its many incarnations. Each member of KISS… past and present, living or deceased… has been included (plus a few surprises to keep the KISS Army on their toes and ready for action)!

Also in this show, we debut a brand new segment called “Ken’s KISS Kover Klass,” which will give listeners a chance to hear different artists putting their own unique spin on KISSongs new and old!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

– Paul, Gene, Ace, Peter, Eric Carr, Vinnie, Mark, Bruce, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer in top form!

– the pre-KISS demo by Gene that served as the foundation for “Strutter!”

– the original version of “Kissin’ Time,” as recorded by Bobby Rydell!

– a KISS classic interpreted by some famous fans!

– a rare radio ad for the 1st KISS album!

Stay tuned to the PodKISSt for some possible exciting news in conjunction with the upcoming 2nd anniversary of the KISS Coffeehouse!!!

So put down your bottle of cold gin, put on your headphones, and give it a listen!

You got nothin’ to lose!

podkisst6300300 copyPodKISSt #6 – Two Sides Of The Coin (Part 1) -In the age of the CD and the iPod and the instant download, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when all albums had 2 sides. Even on cassette, there was a pause while you flipped over to side B for more fun. Be that as it may, many of us will always think in those terms. For instance, who among us doesn’t refer to those “Alive II” studio tracks as “side 4?”

Convenience and fidelity aside, there’s something I miss about albums having 2 sides. It provided some structure for both the artist and the listener… almost like a 2-act play. There was time to digest the 1st half before moving on to the rest of the record. Somehow, it just made sense that way.

With that in mind, we present another extra-long PodKISSt for your listening pleasure! We hope you’ll have as much fun listening to this as we did assembling it, and that you get up and stretch and do something fun in between listening to the 2 “sides” of this show!

Part 1 includes:

•  A look at the latest happenings as KISS and Ace tour the world

•  Rare, live audio from 2008

•  Interviews with fans from across the globe

•  Archival audio from the earliest days of KISS

•  And much, much more!!!

podkisst6part2go• Our exclusive PodKISSt interview with Adam Black, artist and writer for the “KISS4K” online comic, conducted by our good buddy Ken

• Adam’s insights into his experiences working in and around the KISS world

• And, of course, plenty of great music!!!

Make sure to check out our links and keep us posted on what you want to hear in the future!

Also, here are some  links to check out:



podkisst5300300copygo.jpgIn the fall of 1978, TV viewers and pop culture enthusiasts got a double-shot of cheesy goodness. On October 28, “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park” had its television premiere. Kids across the States rocked out as their heroes struggled valiantly against robots, monsters, and even their own dialogue! From Aces Black stunt double to the porno-funk fight music, it was cheese at its cheesiest. More kitsch” than KISS, this movie defined all that was right and wrong about KISS in their heyday.Mere weeks later, the Star Wars Holiday Special had its sole TV airing. This little travesty makes Phantom of the Park look like Casablanca. Apart from a brief and brilliant animated segment introducing the world to the enigmatic Boba Fett, the Star Wars Holiday Special was really neither Star Wars nor Special.

And yet I love both of these movies.

Whether I’m watching KISS battling their robot doubles or Bea Arthur dancing with Greedo, I’m instantly transported back in time to a simpler, gentler moment before we had digital effects, before the original lineup broke up, & before the 1970’s ended.

In dreams, I frequent a non-existent museum wherein the year 1978 is celebrated and commemorated. Glass cases house 1st edition copies of The World According to Garp and The Year of Living Dangerously. Video screens show re-runs of “Taxi” and “WKRP in Cincinnati”. Visitors thrill to the 1st Space Invaders cabinet while children play with all 12 of the original Star Wars action figures. And there in the center of the museum stands a life-size cut-out of our 4 makeup-clad heroes, right where the Freddie the Fox and Oliver Walrus exhibit once stood.

On this edition of the PodKISSt we take you back to that glorious time as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of (arguably) KISS’s biggest and boldest year. Here are some of the highlights:

– a rare single version of “Strutter ’78” with a refreshingly different mix
– an overview of recent happenings in the KISS world
– the legendary “Black Box” solo album interviews
– a VERY SURPRISING phone call
– letters from our listeners
– lots of rare audio clips
– a tribute track from Canada
– and much, much more!

So snuggle up with your Shogun Warriors, put away your Howard the Duck comics (Steve Gerber R.I.P.), and ride the KISS coaster to Magic Mountain and beyond as we bring you our longest show yet! We had to split this into 2 files, so don’t forget to download them both!

We’ll be back soon, and we hope you enjoy what you hear. Drop us an email and let us know what you think. Big thanks to our friends at Sagafoo, MyKISSlife (especially Ken and Tony), KISSfaq, and elsewhere (you know who you are).

Goodbye is only for now!

Gary and James

[Note: this PodKISSt consists of 2 parts!! Both are available for streaming below – click “Play Now” next to Pt. 1 to begin!]

podkisst4300300-copyWell, folks… they say that time flies when you’re having fun, and for KISS fans this is certainly applicable. It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since KISS released the “Creatures of the Night” album… and yet, when I think back on what else was going on back then, it does seem like a long time ago; I was in 2nd grade, and when I wasn’t thinking about KISS, I was busy with questions like “Is Darth Vader REALLY Luke’s father?” and “Do all of the Pac-Man boards basically look like this?”

“Creatures” is an album that has held up very well over the years, probably because it’s an unpretentious, straight-ahead rock record that somehow maintains its continuity and integrity despite the fact that there’s no solid lineup throughout the album. In this episode of PodKISSt, we celebrate this fan favorite by examining the album in the context of social trends, the band’s history, the evangelical protests, and more.

You’ll hear:
– the original BTO version of “Rock and Roll Hell,”
– raw drum tracks from the “Creatures” sessions,
– interviews and news clips from the “Creatures” era,
– rare live performances from KISS’ 10th Anniversary tour,
– and much, much more!!!

BIG THANKS to Tony, Ken, and the rest of our friends… and most of all, to YOU, the KISS Army, for being so patient and demanding what you’ve always demanded: THE BEST!!!

We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed assembling it. BE WARNED: Paul does use profanity in one of the live clips, so if you’re listening with a wee KISS Army member, cover those ears during the live version of “I Love it Loud!”

Rate us on iTunes, “like” us on Facebook, and join the “PodKISSt Army!”


Now, in the words of the Demon… TURN IT UP!!!

Posted on 27 Apr 2007 In: PodKISSt Episodes

PodKISSt #3 • Get All You Can Take

Sometimes, the really simple stuff is deceptively hard to understand. For example, here are a few tricky concepts I’ve been reading about at work, and trying to use every day:

Everything that exists exists right now.
• Nothing exists except for what exists right now.
• This moment is what it is, as it is, because it is.
• This moment cannot be changed, because it is a done deal.
• Everything else exists only in our minds, even the past.

Alive! may be the most misleading album title of all time, NOT because there are overdubs on the record, and NOT because it’s an inanimate object. It’s misleading because it has come and gone, just like these words I’m typing.

This is what we struggle with constantly. We refuse to accept the fact that this moment is ALL we have, and that it’s a done deal. Instead, we wind up saying things like:

“I should be making more money.”
“She should have said it more often.”
“He should have done it differently.”

Basically, we spend most of our lives should-ing on ourselves! Even worse, we miss out on everything that’s happening all around us. I don’t know who said it first, but there’s an expression that comes to mind:

“If you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you’re crapping on the present.”

And you know something? We, the members of the KISS Army, often make that mistake.
Think about it: how often do the “shoulds” come out when we’re talking about KISS lineups (who’s in and who’s out), KISS albums (who played and who didn’t), KISS tours (full seats and empty seats), and the big one since 2001, KISS makeup?

“Should” is a pointless word, because the past is absolutely gone. So what’s left? Everything!

Every time we put on our copies of “Alive!” it becomes a part of the present, and in some ways, it’s very much alive again.

We said “goodbye” to Eric Carr many moons ago, and now we’re saying “goodbye” to Mark St. John. Already, we’re being tempted by the “shoulds,” as we think about what was and what wasn’t and what could have been.

Instead, why don’t we listen to Animalize and enjoy what IS?

Rather than dedicate this show to the passing of Mark St. John, James and I want to dedicate this show to something that’s still alive and always will be: his music.

In this episode:

– We take another trip to ABNER’S LABORATORY to hear the Animalize
album in the making.

– We get HOOKED ON ROCK AND ROLL and find out where “Firehouse” came from.

– We present our EXCLUSIVE BRUCE KULICK INTERVIEW, conducted by our
good friends Corey Nowlin and Mike Flasch.

and much, much more!!!

So take some time to enjoy this installment of PodKISSt, and then do something else. Whatever you do, though, don’t let the autopilot take over, don’t let your memories capture your focus don’t get stuck in the “shoulds.” Just enjoy what is, as it is, because it is, and get all you can take.

Thanks, Mark, for being a part of this moment, and this one, and this one, and this one.

(Please check out our friend Corey Nowlin’s site http://www.effnshirts.com where Corey puts his own wild spin on KISS t-shirt designs!)

Rate us on iTunes, “like” us on Facebook, and join the “PodKISSt Army!”


Now, in the words of the Demon… TURN IT UP!!!


Well, KISS Army, here we are again! It’s time for the next installment of YOUR PodKISSt. Why is it YOUR PodKISSt? Simple: you’re the KISS Army! You did what the KISS Army has always done, you asked for KISS, KISS, and more KISS, so here you go. A full hour of KISS-related information, commentary, and (most of all) MUSIC, and best of all, it’s listener-driven. The responses we received to the 1st installment were varied and many, and we’ve tried to meet as many requests as we possibly can.

Keep in mind that this is only the beginning, so here’s what we’ve got in this episode:

– In our “Hooked on Rock and Roll” segment, we take a trip back in time to explore some of the music that served as an influence to KISS’ early songwriting. You may be surprised by how strongly late-60’s fuzz-guitar/psychedelic/garage punk influenced the thunderock of classic KISS, and who knows? Maybe you’ll add another band to your list of favorites!

– Next, we take a trip down to “Abner’s Laboratory,” where we witness the weird science that gives rise to the music of KISS. Some experiments yield rockin’ results, while others have never seen the light of day, until now! Put on your lab coat, and beware of the phantom!

– A frustrating financial fiasco that the fans WON’T blame on Gene? That’s right, we’re talking about The Great A&E Debacle of ’07!

– You wanted ’em, and you got ’em! We’re giving you a bevy of live KISS rarities! You won’t find these songs on any album that has the word “Alive” on the cover, but you’ll find ’em here!

– We dive into our big bag ‘o mail to find out “What’s On Your Mind!”

A big thanks to RisingForce, Fasterpdiddy, Ren5150, and the rest of our buddies at sagafoo.com for some of the kool, killer KISS kuts you’ll be hearing on the show. Be sure to check out kfkwkp.tk for Kevin Warhaft’s very own KISS podcast, as well as our friend Corey Nowlin’s site effnshirts.com where Corey puts his own wild spin on KISS t-shirt designs!

ALSO, don’t forget to send us your questions for BRUCE KULICK, who Corey will be interviewing at the upcoming KISS Expo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Email your questions to podkisst@gmail.com and remember, there are NO guarantees, we hope the interview happens, and we hope your questions get on there! The more interesting, the better, we don’t really need to know what Bruce’s favorite color is!

OK, enough talk! Big thanks to the usual gang, and of course … thanks to KEN for your outstanding artwork and thank you TONY for the great sites you run!!! Now click on the link, and let us know what you think!


Posted on 20 Jan 2007 In: PodKISSt Episodes

PodKISSt #1 – We Are Just Getting Started!

Hello and welcome!

This is your first taste of what’s to come… a sneak preview of PodKISSt for you to download and enjoy! As we move ahead throughout the year, we’ll be making steady changes (and hopefully improvements) to the sound, content, and presentation of the PodKISSt… but we can’t do it without YOU! So please, send us an email at our
podkisst@gmail.com address, and visit us online at www.podkisst.com

This sneak preview will give you a chance to meet us (James and Gary), and to get a sense of what we’re hoping to do in future programs. You’ll hear a little about us, find out how this PodKISSt idea got started, and then take a trip back in time to February 17th, 1977, when the 4 members of KISS appeared on 99X in New York City to promote
their first Madison Square Garden show!

A big THANKS to Ken, Tony, and everyone else who worked behind the scenes to make this possible… and thanks to THE KISS ARMY for taking an interest in the project!

We want to stress also that this is a labor of love. The internet is not always an easy place to be a fan; while there’s no shortage of information (and misinformation, too), there’s also plenty of quarreling, complaining, and one-upmanship. By no means do we intend to overlook key issues in the KISS world (past, present, and future), but we do want this to be a positive show overall… a celebration of KISS, their music, their fans, and their impact on popular culture.

Throughout the course of our shows, you may hear unreleased recordings that fans have been kind enough to share with us. We want to stress that PodKISSt does not endorse the sale or distribution of copyrighted material. We also want to encourage you to BUY THE STUFF THAT KISS PUTS OUT!!! Go get “KISSology!” Go get “Live to Win!” Go get “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” on DVD!

And of course, we want to thank Gene, Paul, Peter, Ace, Eric C., Vinnie, Mark, Bruce, Eric S., and Tommy. You are KISS. We are your Army. If you happen to hear the PodKISSt, we hope that it reminds you of how important you are to your fans!

So sit back and enjoy… and tell us what you think. We’re still working out the bugs (the hiss, the volume issues, etc.), but as Paul would say…


Rock and roll,
Gary and James

Rate us on iTunes, “like” us on Facebook, and join the “PodKISSt Army!”


Now, in the words of the Demon… TURN IT UP!!!