Kiss book is larger than life

You would have to be a very dedicated and relatively wealthy Kiss fan to purchase the glam rock veterans’ latest artefact. The Kiss Monster Book is three feet high and five feet wide when opened. It has been published in a limited edition of 1000 copies each retailing at $4,299. Tempted?

It fits in with the Kiss history of going way over the top in everything they undertake, and traces 39 years of outlandish make-up, trashy glam-metal riffs, numerous bitchy break-ups and a surprisingly loyal global following.

Singer Gene Simmons denied they were originally inspired by The New York Dolls, although the similarities are conspicuous. "When they started playing we turned to each other and said: ‘We'll kill em," he said in The Guardian. "They could not play. Songs were all right, but they could not play guitars. Horrific."

Drummer Paul Stanley rejected the idea that Kiss is a vaudeville band, all about the make-up and the pyrotechnics. "The core of it always has been music," he insists. "It has to be. You can't last as long as we have because you have big smokebombs. A crappy band with a Kiss show is still a crappy band. There are many bands who can afford to do a Kiss show, and they do. But the DNA is Kiss."

It’s a surprisingly persistent DNA. Simmons paid tribute to the fervour and loyalty of Kiss fans, and their unique relationship with the band. "Nobody takes Bono's face and tattoos it on their ass," he said. "Kiss pervaded culture in ways I hadn't seen bands do."

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