GREG PRATO - Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked
December 9, 2019, 2 months ago
As a lifelong KISS devotee, I can safely say that this—a book focused entirely on the band’s non-makeup years—is a very, very good idea. Sure, no one is arguing that, say, Hot In The Shade is the band’s best album, but every KISS fan out there—because we’re nuts—is actually arguing that we need to spend more time reading about that era. And does Greg Prato ever deliver here, the man diving deep (he’s clearly a huge fan) into the Lick It Up-onwards era. And, man, I was fascinated reading about some of these albums in detail.
For me, the fuzz of nostalgia is huge with these albums, but I stand behind them being great releases regardless: Crazy Nights rules, and no one complaining about keyboards is going to change my mind on that. Prato uses main non-makeup-era guitarist Bruce Kulick’s expertise throughout the book, as well as interviews with other people involved with the releases, other rockers, and KISS experts, all of which means there’s tons of interesting opinion and info here as he takes us on an album-by-album exploration. There's some stuff I really never thought about, too, such as the fascinating fact that Gene Simmons really didn’t have a solid post-demon persona (and with that, a solid confidence) in the makeup era for many years. And while I won’t give spoilers, there was a period of about three pages here maybe three-quarters of the way through where I, literally, said “Wow!” or “What?!” out loud three times while learning of new KISS trivia and factoids. And I’ve been studying this band since I was just a kid. Some of the concepts here (for example, “Michael Angelo Batio [of Nitro] discusses ALL of KISS' guitarists!”) are brilliant and make for very fun reading. So, highly recommended book here, Prato delivering one that any diehard KISS fans should enjoy.