KISS Kronikles -- The Paul Stanley Edition

I’ve got some bad news, folks. I’ve been saying this for the last 8 years but…autographs are going to be harder and harder to get. It’s a mix of so many things. Paparazzi snapping pictures, or fans snapping pictures – and not knowing how their own cameras/cell phones work. That means the celeb you want a signature from has to spend even more time standing around being bothered. Add to all that the biggest thing that’s hurting us – the folks that sell this stuff on eBay and various auctions. The stars have gotten so turned off by it all, that they think there are only two kinds of people – the real fans, and the autograph dealers. They don’t realize there are also autograph collectors, who are fans as well. They see a handful of albums and just think you see money signs in your pupils.

That leads me into this latest bit of news. KISS lead singer Paul Stanley has been hawking his autobiography. He’s been on numerous shows, and hit many book stores. I’m not the biggest KISS fan. I have their Greatest Hits CD, and I think that’s all you really need in your collection. As a kid in the ‘70s, I was sick of all my friends wearing the KISS make-up on Halloween. That being said, I have seen them in concert a few times (in my defense, I worked at a classic rock radio station for 7 years, so…you get free tickets).

Yet since I had a few KISS CDs that were signed by other band members (I’ll be writing the next blog about all the Gene Simmons meetings over the years)…I figured it wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Stanley signing it.

Yet a friend of mine had met him after a few different concerts, and he always refuses to sign autographs. At book stores, if it’s a movie star or musician, they’re always putting signs up saying things like “no memorabilia signed, just books purchased here.”

There are ways you can get it done, but you have to say the right thing, and have your item out of sight until right before you get to the table. Yet I didn’t feel like driving 30 minutes to the bookstore, just to wait in a long line, and be turned down. Yet I know two women, who went to two different book stores, and I thought I’d see if they could get it done. After all, a friend of mine that worked at a radio station in Detroit told me how Paul Stanley showed him how he points out to the crowd, in a way that the roadies know which girls he wants brought backstage for him. I’m guessing that sending two beautiful women with CDs for signatures, would have better odds than this balding fan in his 40s.

On Thursday at the local bookstore, he showed up an hour late. The fans dressed up in their makeup, with white all over their face and a star painted over an eye, didn’t seem to mind. They were in line sharing stories about their favorite band. Yet with each person that approached, Paul and his people refused to sign anything else. He also wasn’t very friendly. One woman had a service dog, and he was rather rude to her. The woman that brought my CD was turned down, even though she said something to him that only a true fan would know.

The next day, Stanley did a book signing on the Miramar Base (where they filmed the movie Top Gun). The woman that brought my CD to that was sure she could get him to sign.

On the news that morning, Stanley mentioned a dollar from each book sold on the base, would go to a charity supporting the soldiers. That was great to hear. It was also great to hear one of the newscasters talk about the various things Paul Stanley signed for the crew at the station. Certainly if he’s signing for newscasters and cameramen that make a good living being on TV…he’ll sign for soldiers that fought for our country and have been injured in the field of battle.

Again, Stanley was late, but this time only half an hour. My friend thanked him for supporting the troops, and as her book was being signed, she handed him the CD. Somebody jumped in and said he wouldn’t sign it, but if she waited afterwards, when all the books were signed, they’d see if they had time. She sternly said to Stanley, “You signed for people at the TV station, I’d think you’d sign for the military personal that fight for this country.”

His jaw dropped, and he looked shocked. I told her this would happen and said if it did, tell them you don’t want the book.

She was prepared to return it, but a guy in line offered to buy it from her, so he wouldn’t have to wait. You see…the autograph collectors don’t get their items signed, but every person in line could walk around the table and spend 5 minutes trying to get the perfect picture. In regards to that, the woman standing with him said, “He may not sign your CD, but you can get a picture.”

She said she didn’t know how her phone camera worked and this woman said, “Well, we have a camera. We can take the photo.”

Just as she was preparing to do that, she asked the woman how she’d get the photo from her. This woman said, “Oh, well…we can’t get you the photo. We just take these for media and publicity purposes, not to give out to fans.”

To which my friend wondered…why even offer to take my picture then?

She waited an hour to get the CD signed for me afterwards (women are so damn sweet), but he just signed one autograph for a person in the crowd, and quickly jumped into his car and took off.

This is a lead singer who is missing an ear (true story), that I’d love to grab by his one good ear, and yell into it, “We made you guys very, very rich. You’re an average band with good pyro-technics on stage. And how hard would it be for your dumb ass to say “For every book you buy, you can have an additional item signed.”

One woman in line had purchased five books. Surely that should warrant a few of her other items signed.

So, I decided to take one of KISS’ biggest hits “Rock and Roll All Nite” and change the lyrics. Here it is.

 

 You showed up to sell your book

You kept us waiting and the store got hot

You’re getting rich, but you drive us crazy.

 

You say only books you will sign

But you’ll party with these gals, if you like their behind

You drive me nuts, you must be crazy.

 

You kept us waiting, you kept us waiting

And I, wanna an autograph tonight

Just sign a few today.

I want an autograph tonight

You’ll only sign if you get paid.

I want an autograph tonight

You’re more concerned with getting laid!

 

You keep on saying how grateful you are

You act all fancy, but you have no style

You can sign for the fans, so stop being lazy

You wrote about everything you got

Stanley, Stanley, it’s all from us!

Return the favor, signing should be a must.

You keep on shouting, no autograph signing!

I, want an autograph tonight.

But you don’t care what we say.

I, want an autograph today

But you’re afraid they’ll be on eBay

I, want an autograph today

The Hall of Fame, I say the Hall of Shame!

And this I’ll keep shouting…yes, I’ll keep shouting!

Views: 1232

Tags: Gene Simmons, KISS, Miramar Base, Paul Stanley, Rock and Roll All Nite, Top Gun

Comment by Mark Roberts on April 22, 2014 at 12:16pm

Funny and sad at the same time… I have 3 albums that I need to get completed with only Pauls name missing on them.  I know the ONLY way to get this is to pay what they charge for going back stage.  They always talk about HOW THE FANS mean so much to them.  

Comment by Brian on April 23, 2014 at 5:55am

I went to the Gene & Paul "Nothin to Lose" book signing in NJ. I brought a 8x10 photo of ME in 1979 on the first day of school with my Kiss lunchbox (already signed by Ace & Peter). I knew there was a no memorabilia policy at these signings, but figured I probably won't get face to face with these guys ever again. So, when I got up to their table with my books, I pulled out the photo and the book store staff starts shouting at me "no memorabilia!!", I say it isn't! Its a photo of me! I couldn't even get Paul to look at it or speak to me, let alone sign it. Gene said "it doesn't have my face on it". He's wearing sunglasses, so I point out the lunchbox - it DOES have your face on it. He just shrugs. I knew it was a long shot. I imagine the book store itself was a big part of the problem. But I didn't expect them to be THAT stone faced and indifferent. Obviously, I've been a fan for a while. Best case I was hoping for "hey, cool photo, sorry catch us another time." no dice.

Comment by Steve S on April 23, 2014 at 1:16pm

I was personally at the Miramar signing and will offer a different version of events.  One thing to note is that I've never met Paul Stanley before in my life so can't say one way or another how he typically is.  

I walked away with 3 Rolling Stone Magazines signed and 1 Guitar magazine as well as 3 books.  I went through the line twice and each time he was very nice, posed for a picture both times and signed two magazines.  My friend, who went through with his friend, was able to get 5 photos signed as well as a few magazines.

So he did sign outside items and to me and the other people I know, he did not argue or complain about it.  He was pretty nice the whole time.  I do think I saw your friend with the CD when she was done.  She mentioned something like he couldn't sign the CD her first time through, but said he would later.  I think if she had waited in like the second time, she could've gotten it done.  It was true that initially he didn't want to do outside items, but after 50-75 people he did change and was not really a problem.

I'm not saying he's hard or that autographs are easy.  They're not.  But it's not impossible - you just need to have the patience to - if someone says no the first time - try again! 

There was a book signing the night before at a bookstore in La Jolla, and I was told by a friend in attendance he did not sign any outside items there.  So it may have been just at Miramar but it was still a nice event!

Comment by Robert Babb on April 23, 2014 at 2:00pm

nice story josh! I saw him on fox news a few weeks back and he did not seem to be like that! I know with some of my in person experiences that staff and security can be the rudest people!

Comment by Brian on April 23, 2014 at 2:43pm

I certainly wouldn't say Gene or Paul were rude. The staff at the bookstore - now THEY were rude. The staff told people no photos at the table, but G&P made a few exceptions. They had a few hundred people to take care of and about 2 hours to do it. I'm sure tensions were high all around. 

Comment by Carl Ryan on April 23, 2014 at 5:52pm

Hopefully Paul will get plenty of the infamous laser pointers in his eyes for doing this to you Josh, lol

Comment by Carl Ryan on April 23, 2014 at 5:54pm
Comment by Brian Burger on April 23, 2014 at 7:57pm

Great story Josh! I had a similar experience with Gene and Paul last August and realized my rock and roll heroes are two rude nasty individuals that do not care about the fans. I am a fan who has bought tons of Kiss material since 76 and they were very rude to me and a couple friends and it was a very eye opening experience my first and only time meeting the two of them . I will not be going out of my way to meet them or spend any money on their concerts or merchandise from now on.

Comment by roger epperson on April 24, 2014 at 8:06am

Paul and Gene are so fake, they act like they love their fans and everything they do is for the fans.  Sure it's for the fans, the fans that will pony up $1250 for a meet and greet to get their autographs!

Comment by Carl Ryan on April 24, 2014 at 6:22pm

Peter and Ace have some interesting things to say about Paul and Gene with Eddy Trunk, and Trunk seemed to agree with it. Gene, in my opinion, is one of the most money hungry people in hollywood, and he makes no bones about it. He kinda is a genius in the aspect of getting money wherever he can. I heard that Gene went through a great deal of words and titles to find uncopyrighted items, that he could then copyright, to collect there royalties.

And one was the copyright sympbol itself ( i guess the trademark symbol). LOL. Both crazy and kinda genius at the same time.

Definetly not a fan of Kiss though. They have talent, but are just an avg band in my opinion. 

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