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Kiss: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography

by David Leaf Ken Sharp

With unprecedented access to all four members of KISS-including their private archive of 30 years of photographs-here is the complete story of one of the most influential hard rock bands of all time. Dressed like leather-clad rock 'n' roll warriors from another planet and adorned in colorful greasepaint, KISS has sold more than 80 million albums and transfixed audiences around the world. In this shockingly revealing and comprehensive biography, the group unveils all the previously untold details of their struggling birth in New York City, to the breakthrough success of their seminal 1975 album, Alive!, to the triumphant reunion that propelled them right back to the highest ranks of music superstardom.

Nothin' to Lose

by Ken Sharp Paul Stanley Gene Simmons

Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975) chronicles, for the first time, the crucial formative years of the legendary rock band KISS, culminating with the groundbreaking success of their classic 1975 album Alive! and the smash single "Rock and Roll All Nite," a song that nearly four decades later remains one of rock's most enduring anthems. Drawing on more than two hundred interviews, the book offers a captivating and intimate fly-on-the-wall account of their launch, charting the struggles and ultimate victories that led them to the threshold of superstardom. Constructed as an oral history, the book includes original interviews with Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, as well as with producers; engineers; management; record company personnel; roadies; club owners; booking agents; concert promoters; costume, stage, and art designers; rock photographers; publicists; and key music journalists. Many of KISS's musical contemporaries from the time, most of whom shared concert bills with the band on their early tours, also lend their perspective via new interviews; these include Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, and Ted Nugent, as well as members of Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Rush, Slade, Blue Öyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Raspberries, The James Gang, The New York Dolls, Iggy & the Stooges, The Ramones, Suzi Quatro, Argent, and Uriah Heep, among others. The result is an indelible and irresistible portrait of a band on the rise and of the music scene they changed forever.

Starting Over

by Ken Sharp

The murder of John Lennon on December 8, 1980, sent shockwaves around the world. The most acclaimed singer/songwriter of his generation, first a Beatle and then a boundary-pushing solo artist, was senselessly silenced forever at age forty; immediately, his final musical statement, an intimate, pop-infused collection called Double Fantasy, released only weeks before his death, skyrocketed to #1 worldwide, as did its poignantly titled single, "(Just Like) Starting Over." His first studio recording since 1975's Rock 'n' Roll--and his first musical endeavor of any kind since taking a much-needed hiatus to raise Sean, his son with Yoko Ono--Double Fantasy represents more than a comeback album to Lennon fans and music critics alike. It captures a cultural icon at the pinnacle of his creative success and personal fulfillment; thirty years later it remains a musical touchstone and an affecting reminder of what could have been. Starting Over is an oral history of the making of Double Fantasy and the definitive account of John Lennon's last days. From early demos to sessions at New York City's The Hit Factory, from the electrifying chemistry of the studio band to keeping the project under wraps to the album's release and critical reception, here is fascinating, insightful commentary from all of the key players involved in its extraordinary creation: Yoko Ono, David Geffen, producer Jack Douglas, engineers, arrangers, session musicians, music journalists, and even Lennon himself via archival interviews. Featuring never-before-seen photos of John and Yoko in the studio, candid images taken by David M. Spindel and Roger Farrington, Starting Over is the essential portrait for anyone who hears both a beginning and ending in the tracks of Double Fantasy.

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