Tag Archives: Gene Simmons

KISS Japan Tour 2015 goods

21 Feb

KISS is on their way to Japan now to begin their 2015 Japan tour on Monday.
(Click here to see my post about the announcement of this tour, the tour dates, and their special guests for the Tokyo Dome show).

The T-shirts and other merchandise that KISS will be selling for their shows in Japan have been revealed.

I like towels from concerts. These types of towels are unique to Japan, aren’t they?

Click here to see the page with the complete list of official KISS Japan Tour 2015 merchandise (Japanese only).

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KISS Shrine Lanterns

9 Jan

Udo Music Promoters, the Japanese company in charge of organizing and promoting the upcoming KISS Japan Tour 2015 (My post about it) has put up many billboards and flyers around Japan about the KISS concerts, they’ve also had KISS on Japanese TV programs.
Those are normal for concert promotion.

But sometimes Udo Music will do something unique and unusual to promote a band.
For example, before the 2013 KISS Japan Tour, there were “KISS Spicy Niku-man” dumplings available at convenience stores here. (They were delicious!)

Well, often when shrines in Japan have a festival, there will be rows of 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) with the names of companies, organizations and individuals who made monetary contributions to the shrine.

Rows and rows of 提灯 with contributors’ names printed on them at the “Mitama Festival” at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

They’re a very common sight in Japan.

But what is unusual is the Udo Music has arranged to have two KISS 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) at a festival at the famous 「今宮戎神社」 (“Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine”) in Osaka, Japan!

One says “Gene Simmons” and the other says “Paul Stanley“.

They say 「ジーン・シモンズ」 (“Gene Simmons” (l)) and 「ポール・スタンレー」 (“Paul Stanley” (r)).

I don’t know if Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley made contributions to the shrine, or if Udo Music made the contribution in their names…but either way, these lanterns are cool!
I want them!
I wish they were at a shrine in Tokyo rather than on the other side of the country in Osaka!

Hey, Ima-Miya-Ebisu Shrine, after the festival, give me those lanterns, please!

Unfinished Business

24 Nov

Peter Criss was the original drummer of the rock band KISS. His “character” was the “Catman”.
But Peter Criss left the band in 1980 and was replaced by Eric Carr…the “Fox”.

Eric Carr ended up being a member of KISS for a longer period of time than Peter Criss. Eric was in the band from 1980 until he passed away in 1991.
Eric Carr was a legendary hard rock drummer and also a classy person…he was happy to meet with fans after a concert and he personally answered all of his fan mail.

I was very sad when I heard the news that Eric Carr died of cancer on 1991 November 24th! And I can’t believe that today is already the twentieth anniversary of his passing!

To honor Eric Carr, his family and friends have put together some previously unreleased songs and interviews of Eric’s onto a new album titled “Unfinished Business“.

This album, Eric Carr “Unfinished Business” goes on sale today, 2011 November 24th, the twentieth anniversary of his death.

Here’s a promo clip for this new album:

Oh yeah…today is also the 20th anniversary of the death of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen. He died the same day as Eric Carr.

Rest in peace, both Eric Carr and Freddie Mercury.

I like monsters

25 Aug

KISS has announced that they will release an album of all new songs sometime next year (2012) titled “Monster“.

KISS...still the hottest band in the world!

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always liked monsters.

When I watched the Disney cartoon “Peter Pan” as a child, for example, I didn’t care for Peter Pan or any of his friends. They were too “regular”.
Unlike Peter Pan with his pansy outfit and little knife, Captain Hook had a sword and a sharp hook instead of a hand.
(Admittedly though, Peter Pan could fly, which would be fun and Hook didn’t dress much better than Peter Pan.)
Captain Hook was the first movie character that frightened me…and even at that young age I enjoyed being frightened a bit.

Who cares about a practical prosthetic when you can have one that puts the fear of god in people?!

When I was a bit older, I saw Star Wars for the first time.  I was only seven years old when the first movie in the series was released, so I was a bit too young to fully understand the story.  But I still  enjoyed it a lot.  Especially when “Darth Vader” made his entrance!
Luke Skywalker was the hero…but Darth Vader stole every scene in was in.

The "Dark Side"

And of course I’ve always like the “traditional” monsters…Frankenstein’s Monster, The Werewolf, and Dracula.

And when I came to Japan, I learned about 妖怪 (Japanese monsters).

"Ge-ge-ge Kitaro" is Japanese cartoon inspired by traditional Japanese monster and ghost stories.

Even my favorite superhero character has always been “The Incredible Hulk“. He’s anger-incarnate. A huge pissed-off monster! The coolest of the superheroes.

Hulk will smash even Superman

Even the music I listen to reflects my interest in monsters.
I like heavy metal music. There’s a reason that the soundtracks to many horror movies are full of heavy metal music…heavy metal is to music as horror is to movies.

If you’re not interested in heavy metal, you may not know that that genre of music is further divided into sub-genres.
The sub-genre of metal music that I like the most is “Shock Rock“. It’s just as visual as it is musical. Shock Rock artist—such as KISS, W.A.S.P., Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Lordi—often look like monsters.

Alice Cooper

Anyways, as I mentioned at the top of this post, KISS will be releasing a new album soon.  The last time they they released a new album was about two years ago…it was titled “Sonic Boom“.

As I mentioned, KISS‘s new album will be titled “Monster“.  It’s an excellent album title…I can’t believe they haven’t used it before!

So far only five song titles have been confirmed by the band.  They are: “Hell Or Hallelujah”, “Born To Be A Sinner”, “Out Of This World”, “Are You Ready?”, and “Wall Of Sound”.

I’m looking forward to getting this album.

Metal condolences to Japan

14 Mar

A number of heavy metal, rock and pop bands have written messages of condolences and concern to the people in Japan who were affected by last Friday’s terrible earthquake and tsunami in the Sendai area.

Japanese flag and sakura image from the KISSOnline.com website.

KISS, who recently postponed their Japan tour, wrote on their official website:

To all our loyal fans, friends and their families devastated by the effects of the earthquake in Japan: We stand side by side with you in support and you will remain in our prayers through this time of tragedy.

(Signed) Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer

Iron Maiden, who had concerts scheduled near Tokyo on March 12th and 13th (one and two days after the earthquake) and had their flight to Tokyo diverted to Nagoya, Japan and their concerts canceled, had this to say on their website:

We are extremely saddened by the calamitous events of the last day or so which led to the cancellation or our two shows in Tokyo. Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone affected by this disaster — our fans in Japan, the people of Japan and those in many other places suffering from the Tsunami. We are also aware that a number of fans flew into Tokyo from various parts of the world to see a Maiden show there and we hope you guys are safe and sound. We have had a long relationship with this wonderful country and have always been made to feel most welcome – this would have been something like our 16th tour. Our sincerest condolences to all those who have suffered and to the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives.

– Iron Maiden

 

Mr. Big are very popular in Japan…maybe even more so than even in their home country of America.
They have a number of “Live In Japan” albums, their lead singer has two solo albums on which he sings remakes of Japanese pop songs in English, and their guitarist moved to Tokyo a while back for a year or so with his Japanese wife.

They wrote a message to the people of Japan in Japanese on their website:

To our brothers and sisters in Japan:
この大地震で被害を受けている皆様へ:どうか気を強く持って下さい。皆様が助け合って、立ち直られますことを僕たちも心から願っています。
-Mr. Big

(I’d translate it as:
“To our brothers and sisters in Japan:
To the victims of the giant earthquake: Please have a strong mind. With everyone’s help, we hope you will be back on your feet again.”)

Postponed…or canceled?

6 Mar

As I mentioned in this post, the American hard rock band KISS were scheduled to perform in concert seven nights in a six-city tour around Japan this coming April (2011).

The KISS flyer for the four dates KISS were scheduled to perform in the Tokyo area.

I say that they “were scheduled” to come to Japan because it was announced today that KISS “postponed” their tour of Japan.

The "radio schedule" from the newspaper that the postponement of the KISS tour will be explained tonight.

My friend told me that the famous hard rock / heavy metal music critic / journalist Masa Ito mentioned on his radio show that KISS are now tentatively scheduled to come to Japan this autumn (2011).

Hopefully they won’t just decide to cancel the tour altogether.

A “Sonic Boom” will hit Japan

27 Feb

First of all, as I mentioned in this comment, the “2011 Tokyo International Marathon” was held today.

30,000 people from Japan and other countries ran the 42.195 KM (over 26 miles) course through the streets of Tokyo.
For the past five years now, the Tokyo Marathon has been an annual event held at the end of February.

++++++

Anyways, my friend has just informed me that the American rock band KISS will be coming to Japan this April to play seven shows around Japan to support their “Sonic Boom” album.

(I did an interview with the artist who designed this album cover, by the way.)

The dates of the shows that KISS are scheduled to play in Japan are:

2011 April 13 – Nagoya, Japan at the Aichi Prefecture Gymnasium
2011 April 14 – Yokohama, Japan at the Pacifico Yokohama
2011 April 17 – Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena
2011 April 18 – Kobe, Japan at the World Hall
2011 April 20 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 21 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 23 – Sapporo, Japan at the Makomanai Indoor Stadium

Tickets for the shows in the Tokyo area (which are Yokohama, Saitama and Tokyo) will go on sale on 2011 March 12th.

I have seen KISS play in Japan in both Yokohama and Tokyo before. In Yokohama, I saw them at the “Yokohama Arena” (not the “Pacifico”, where they’ll being playing this time). In Tokyo, I saw them at both the “Tokyo Dome” and the “Nippon Budokan”.

An interesting thing about this tour is that KISS will play a show in Sapporo, Japan. KISS has played many shows in Japan since their first time here in the 1970’s and they’ve never played northern Japan before. I’m sure that KISS fans in Hokkaido are happy to hear that there will finally be a KISS concert in their area!

The name of the 「日本武道館」 (Nippon Budokan) in Tokyo means “Japan Martial-arts Hall”.
Traditionalists don’t really like the idea of musicians playing pop music in this “sacred” hall. The first pop band to play there were The Beatles when they first came to Japan. The traditionalists protested their concerts. But The Beatles drew huge crowds to the Budokan…and they held the record for the most consecutive sell-out shows there. They played four sold-out shows in a row at the Budokan.
But KISS beat The Beatles‘s record when they played five sold-out shows at the Budokan on their first Japan tour in the late ’70s.

Since then it’s become quite normal for musicians to perform at the Nippon Budokan. Even with the bigger and newer “Tokyo Dome” not far from the Budokan, upcoming Japanese pop stars still consider it a sign of success to play at the Nippon Budokan…not unlike American musicians playing at the “Madison Square Garden”.

The famous "Nippon Budokan"; Tokyo, Japan

Have you ever seen a KISS concert? If not, you’re missing out on the best live show by any band. Their shows are quite exciting…fire-breathing, blood, flying guitars, flying musicians, outrageous costumes, kabuki-style face paint.

To get an idea, watch this music promotion video for the single “Modern Day Delilah” from their most recent album “Sonic Boom”:

And, in a more good news for us KISS fans…the band has announced that a new KISS studio album of brand-new songs is due out later this year (2011)!

A number of newspapers in Japan had articles about the upcoming KISS tour here.
I bought today’s copy of 「夕刊フジ」 (“Yuukan-Fuji“) evening paper:

Here’s a close-up of the article about KISS:

 

The headline says: "Hell's group" KISS return for a Japan tour after four-and-a-half years!