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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A KISS book with minimal band member bashing
I really dislike books about KISS.

I've read Gene's, Peter's, and Ace's, and felt that the things which interested me were glossed over. Meanwhile, band drama was highlighted with these books.

Nothin' To Lose takes a different take on the early formation of the band. Instead of a subjective commentary on band members and their squabbles, the book...
Published 11 months ago by T. Menard

versus
36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just at Chapter 10, not liking this book
I was expecting so much more from this book. The book is told in interview style, the same as Ken's other book, Kiss: Behind the Mask. I am scratching my head wondering why Paul and Gene are listed as authors, this is clearly Ken's book. Besides interjecting maybe some new insight on the topics, I don't see that Gene and Paul wrote anything, except some fresh Ace and...
Published 15 months ago by K. Wagoner


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A KISS book with minimal band member bashing, January 23, 2014
This review is from: Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) (Hardcover)
I really dislike books about KISS.

I've read Gene's, Peter's, and Ace's, and felt that the things which interested me were glossed over. Meanwhile, band drama was highlighted with these books.

Nothin' To Lose takes a different take on the early formation of the band. Instead of a subjective commentary on band members and their squabbles, the book focuses on factual events which lead to KISS's rise to fame.

PROS:
-Excerpts from many folks who worked in and around the band are prominently featured in this book. In short, it isn't just the words of Paul & Gene.

-The book focuses on the bands formative years, until just after the release of "Alive!".

-It gives the reader better insight into the band's logistics, and the amount of support employed to get this band off the ground.

-It is a fun read for most readers, and features info that would surprise even the most die hard KISS fan.

-The early photos of the band without makeup were pretty cool.

CONS:
-The book probably would've been better off without any band member commentary. I've pretty much heard all they've had to say. The only thing revealed by the band that I didn't know, was that they used to do AMC car company commercial recordings.

-I was bummed when it ended.

-I wish they went into more detail on the costumes and instruments. Then again, the general reader may find that boring.

-I wish it was an unauthorized book, because I felt that some observations were overly flattering of KISS.

This is the first KISS book I've read that I really enjoyed. I'd highly suggest it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Snapshot of the Era, September 10, 2013
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This review is from: Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) (Hardcover)
Ken has been known for years as an authority on KISS and rock n' roll in general but with this book he took things to another level. The depth of the information from all aspects of the bands formative years is incredible. Ken puts it all together in a great timeline. Amazing insight into how the band came to be the stage presence they are today. The old crew, managers, assistants, friends etc. make for a view from the inside that is not solely that of the band. A very unigue view and well put together. The photos, especially those from Eddie Solan's collection are incredible. KISS in studio as starving kids chasing the dream. There are dozens of KISS books but this sits right up at the top. A recommended read for any KISS or music fan. Kudos to Ken!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More like the manufacturing of Kiss, February 6, 2014
By 
monday night by satellite (Los Angeles, CA. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) (Hardcover)
Nothin' To Lose is an appropriate title. You wanted the best and you got lotsa text! Same anecdote, different person though not an EDITOR in the bunch. Once every waitress and lighting guy weighs in it takes all of 350 pages before Kiss even start on their 2nd album. Most revealing is nearly all credit going to manager Bill Aucoin and mentor Sean Delany who manipulated a so-so rock band from Queens into The Monkees with candelabra and dummy Marshall stacks.
Shock me indeed!
Kiss couldn't even figure out their makeup without the genius of Neil Bogart, Aucoin, Delany and whomever else might have wandered into The Nighttime World for a brief stay. Among them producer Eddie Kramer painstakingly re-creating Kiss "Alive!" (in the studio) saving the band, management and Casablanca Records from certain obscurity.
But you won't find those certain obscurities in this book... that's Peter's bio. It's amazing.
However unlike all other Kiss 'n' Tell's, "Kiss: Nothin' To Lose" has genuine warmth and heart. Much sincere praise from other touring bands - a welcome redundancy.
As for a hilarious redundancy: Various promoters all in agreement that although Kiss was outrageously theatrical and cutting edge, the music really sucked.
Regardless, Paul Stanley's entries are GREAT! Candid, witty, laughs a lot. And with Paul and Gene as co-authors it's no wonder Peter's brother is allowed as much dialogue as his Cat-faced sibling while Ace eventually vanishes altogether. Perhaps they should have had Bob Kulick do Ace's interview?
A solid read for the purist and anyone dismissive (Kissmissive?) of this rock band's perseverance. Todd Rundgren hated them of course but...where is Todd now? Ooooh snap!
Nothin' To Lose finds Kiss relentlessly dedicated if not a bit clueless but very lucky and very loud.
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36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just at Chapter 10, not liking this book, September 12, 2013
By 
K. Wagoner (Dayton, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) (Hardcover)
I was expecting so much more from this book. The book is told in interview style, the same as Ken's other book, Kiss: Behind the Mask. I am scratching my head wondering why Paul and Gene are listed as authors, this is clearly Ken's book. Besides interjecting maybe some new insight on the topics, I don't see that Gene and Paul wrote anything, except some fresh Ace and Peter bashing and some more rewrites to the past. And it is obvious some of the quotes in the book are from old interviews, some of the people quoted are long since deceased, and some have been printed before. The quotes have no context, so you don't know if the statement from Paul was 1979, 1989, 1999 or 2013. Peoples feelings and perceptions change, so a reference point would have been nice.
For a big Kiss fan like myself, having the book in the collection is nice. Being disappointed so early on does not bode well for me finishing it. Again, this is only the first sliver of the book. IF I can bring myself to complete it, a full review will be posted.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothin To Lose? Except More Money To Gene, October 22, 2013
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This review is from: Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) (Hardcover)
Before I start I will state that I am a lifelong die hard 70's KISS fan that has spent thousands of dollars on them so I have earned the right to complain...
Honestly ; this book is Not a book with a story line...
It's just a bunch of quotes and comments from Kiss members and roadies, techs, record execs, and so on.
What pissed me off the most is that the reader has No idea when the quotes are from, they could be from 1974 or 2013.
There are a few cool photos but overall I was kind of disappointed..
I was expecting a behind the scenes type of story with maybe a few quotes from people who were there..
But what I got was JUST quotes ..Most of which I'd heard before😡
Nothin To Lose? Just more money...lol
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For KISS fans, old stories, with new points of view, September 16, 2013
I've read tons of music biographies, and this book doesn't disappoint. If you're a KISS fan, you've no doubt heard most of these stories. But a lot of them have a been given a new spin, told by roadies, other bands, former band mates, and industry types. Gene and Paul are given more of a voice for this one, as Ace and Peter have recently released their own version of Kisstory, though they are in this book as well, offering up some welcome points of view. This book talks about the humble beginnings of the band, the whirlwind touring of small venues and recording schedule all crammed into a few short years. The struggle to break them into the scene is well documented, with the voices of Bill Aucoin and Neil Bogart lending a heavy hand to the story.
What may surprise and annoy most KISS fans are the negative views given by rival bands, rock critics and music industry leaders. This book bravely allows their opinions to be heard on what they thought of KISS in it's infancy. Perhaps it's a smack in the face to all of them, given KISS' ultimate success, but it shows what people really thought of the band when it first burst on the scene. I know as a young KISS fan growing up,I was never aware of such ridicule and hostility towards the band. I only knew that anything they put out, I would consume and devour without question. I love this book, so maybe there's still a bit of that blinding love for the band that still possesses me.
Good book, probably one of the better written documents on their early career.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mainly a collection of stories from the people who lived throuh the early years, September 17, 2013
By 
gpangel (World Wide Web) - See all my reviews
My rating:4 of 5 starsThe book starts way back when Paul and Gene first meet. The first group they were in- Wicked Lester, then the formation of KISS. The influence of groups like "The Brats" and "The New York Dolls" on them. Slowly we work our way up to the release of KISS ALIVE!, and the hit song "Rock and Roll All Night". For many diehard KISS fans that have read everything they could get their hands on, this book might be just a rehash of the same old, same old. But, although I was a KISS fan from way back, I didn't read any books about the band before this one. So, for me this book was like a trip down memory lane. It had the feel of a group of guys and gals sitting around talking about the good ole days. This book wasn't really written in the dry biography fashion so many performance arts books are written in. The majority of the book was a collage of interviews and stories from the people that lived through that time with the band. The roadies, the managers, the promoters, the opening acts, the bands the group opened for, the road experience, the first recording contract, the issues with the label, the slow process of making it in the music business is all covered. KISS was a very hard working band. Their makeup and costumes worked for them with the fans that were blown away by the live shows, but worked against them when it came to getting air play on the radio. People didn't know what to make of them. There was also the criticism of other musicians that felt that the group's outrageous stage show and the entertainment first attitude was putting music way down the list. KISS was never thought of as a band that broke ground musically. In my opinion though I thought their music was no worse, (or better) than other hard rock type music you heard in the seventies. KISS was a group that was needed for that time. The sixties and the seriousness of the lyrics in music, such as war and violence etc. was beginning to lose it's passion and people were ready to kick off the social conscience of the times and party a little bit. KISS was perfect for that. Sometimes people just want to have a good time and see a show and be entertained. There are lots of groups and singers etc. that are more focused on the music and when we want that we will buy that music or go to those concerts. KISS put on one hell of a good show. Early on they realized the fans were what it would be about for them. The music industry has never acknowledged KISS in that way. Sort of like the Academy Awards will never give a blockbuster action movie that raked in millions at the box office, a nomination for an award. But, there has never been a band like this one before or since. My favorite story in the book was about the visit to Cadillac High School. The writing wasn't really "writing" if you will, since it was a mainly a collection of stories from people involved with the group. Most of the stories were told by Gene and Paul and I guess that's way their names are on the cover as co-authors. (They didn't really write anything, but they were obviously the main contributors) I also enjoyed the stories about the group Rush and the help KISS gave the group in terms of how things should work on the road and so forth. There were also some really good pictures in here as well. Old photos of the band from way back and other bits of nostalgia. I found the book entertaining and for me many of these stories were new. I have read some reviews of this book that stated this was nothing new to them. But, if you are that big of a fan, you may want to at least give the book a try since so many of these stories are told by the actual people who were there. These are actual quotes and told in first person. The book is rather long and there were times when I had to put it down and read something else for a while. I think some things could have been edited out without compromising anything, but I think all the stories were chosen for a reason by either the main author or the members of the band. Overall I give this one an A. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the DRC of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of an Earlier Kiss, July 3, 2014
KISS fans have been inundated the last few years with books from writers and band members themselves, but rarely have the "shadow people" (the club owners, booking agents, roadies, local scene makers, fans and just passersbys) been given a voice...until now.
These people who would eventually fade into KISStory or move on to more serious pursuits are allowed to recount a period where KISS played (to varying degrees) a part in their lives.
Laid out chronologically, the book is easy to conceptually follow, but the unfamiliarity of the names will cause the reader pause to try to remember who the speaker is. Fortunately the story does not suffer from the variety of commentators and lends a more blended and nuanced version of events.
We learn a lot (how to pack a flashpot) and wished we knew more (how set lists are created or costumes yearly changed), but if I know KISS this could be fodder for another book.
Great Expectations: The Undoing of Kiss (1976-1981) could follow and after that Unmasked 1982-1990 years could follow that and so on and so.......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Early Story, April 14, 2014
This review is from: Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) (Hardcover)
KISS continues to re-write their beginnings up until they became the Hottest Band in the Land. Just recently inducted in the Rock & Rock HOF and at the beginning of their 40th Anniversary World Tour. KISS continues to entertain us every night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intricate details about the formation of the "hottest band in the world.", November 6, 2013
By 
Kim Sparks (Albuquerque, New Mexico) - See all my reviews
This book is for fans that want to know the intimate and intricate details of the band from the beginning. The story has been told before but, this book contains some tidbits of info that people didn't know. Take it for the historical value. I love the band and their music. I respect Gene and Paul for their ability to market the band for over 40 years.
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Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975)
Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) by Ken Sharp (Hardcover - September 10, 2013)
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