KISS: My Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Speech

KISS has finally been named as an inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, albeit 15 years too late. But never mind that now, they are now exactly where they belong. Well, sort of…

In my opinion, KISS does not belong to any organization. They belong solely to their fans, the “KISS Army.” To paraphrase a quote from Paul Stanley, “the audience is not lucky that we are there to play for them, WE are lucky that they came to see US.” That quote has always resonated with me, as that is how it should be! To paraphrase a quote from Gene Simmons, “The fans are our bosses.” This type of attitude and work ethic is what has propelled KISS to a 40+ year career, and they are still going strong.

KISS has now been a part of my life for 37 of almost 40 years. Here is a little story about what they have done for me. Going back to when I was around 5 years old in the late 70’s (having already been a seasoned veteran of the KISS Army for a few years), I came down with a pretty nasty illness. I had the whole thing, pretty high fever, sore throat, etc. I was absolutely miserable. As hard as my mom tried, I was pretty inconsolable, weak, scared, etc. I recall laying in bed, very upset, when all of a sudden, I “saw” all four members of KISS next to my bed! To this day, I have no idea if it was an incredibly vivid dream, or maybe a feverish hallucination. All I know is that in my 5 year old mind, KISS was there to protect me and help me feel better.

Fast forward to my current life, and things have not changed much. KISS still provides me happiness, security, comfort, and so much more. I know I am not the only one. Even though they don’t know us all individually, they know how important they are to each of our lives who have always looked to them as heroes. And today, with the announcement of the Rock Hall induction, I hope they feel the love radiating from the entire Kiss Army.

To the originals: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss; I thank you for many, many years of joy you have brought to me. I wish I could pay you back, but all I have to give you is my loyalty.

To the past KISS members: Eric Carr (R.I.P), Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John (R.I.P.), and Bruce Kulick; Thank you for keeping KISS moving forward, where at times, it seemed that things may not be going down a good road. Your contributions will never be forgotten!

To the other current KISS members: Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer; Thank you for helping to keep the machine rolling at a high level, both live and in the studio. Here’s to many more years of rock and roll to come!

And finally, to the Kiss Army; “They try to tell us we don’t belong. But that’s alright, we’re millions strong!”

Horns Up!

Mike

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Concert Review: Halestorm- House Of Blues Cleveland

Sometimes in life you experience something that justifies your actions and feelings. I had an experience like that last night at a packed House Of Blues Cleveland.

The mighty Halestorm was in town for the big Rock Show supporting their juggernaut The Strange Case Of… record, as well as the newly released ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP. They kicked things off with a blistering version of ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and just never let up. The setlist overall touched on all eras of the band’s recording history, mixing in a few deep cuts among the more well known songs.

Being a fairly new fan, I was curious as to how Lzzy’s voice would compare to the amazing vocals on record. She MORE than surpassed my expectations, absolutely nailing the screams that punctuate many of Halestorm’s songs. She crushed it on the cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Dissident Aggressor,’ as well as “I Miss The Misery” which was part of the encore. Guitarist Joe plays absolutely perfectly to fit each song, with no overplaying. His stage presence is incredibly strong and engaging (and on a personal note, I would like to thank him for the picks, since I was directly in front of him!). Bassist Josh holds down the low end and plays some really intricate stuff, while adding great backing vocals. But Halestorm has a secret weapon that puts them over the top into the upper echelon of hard rock bands, and his name is Arejay.

If Arejay Hale is not already on the cover of every drumming magazine on the newsstand, he damn well should be. He is ridiculously entertaining to watch, and he has an absolute perfect balance of power and finesse to his playing. He is worth the price of admission alone, but instead, you get a killer band with amazing chemistry that is clicking on all cylinders right now.

Going back to what I said at the beginning, the Halestorm show reaffirmed for me exactly why I have spent the last 27 years or so attending 350+ shows. When a band puts out killer records, can back them up with an amazing live show, AND shows a genuine appreciation for their supporters, there is nothing in the world better to me. Halestorm is that band, and I urge anyone who is reading this to go out and support them if you ever get the chance.

By the way, if anyone happened to see me at the show last night, I just wanted to clear something up. When Lzzy performed ‘Break In’ solo with her piano, I had something in my eye, I swear! Don’t you judge me…

Horns Up!

Mike