KEITH RICHARDS: UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Poffy The Cucumber

The Smoothest Criminal. Nobody wants to get old – but they don’t wanna die young either. — Keith Richards. His face is the underside of a running shoe, his voice is weather-beaten phlegm, his fingers arthritic memories, smoke curling from a constantly-lit cigarette. So this is what Gollum is doing now? No wait, the guy in this documentary is Keith … Read More

KISS | Revenge

Jon Dunmore

God Gaveth Rock and Roll and Taketh the Backbeat away… he amazing happens! The unthinkable becomes fact! On KISS’s 16th studio album, all Gene’s songs are better than Paul’s songs! It only took 16 albums… Revenge, produced by Bob Ezrin (who produced the KISS career high – Destroyer – AND career low – The Elder), is a cohesive, steel-belted sharpshooter. … Read More

KISS | Animalize

Jon Dunmore

Selling better, sounding worse… ISS’s 12th studio album was a platinum seller, with some very metal songs, but was not very appealing or enjoyable. A lot of it had to do with bees. Animalize continued the rise and rise of KISS in their non-makeup era; through all their adversity with not solidifying a lineup, not selling out arenas, and not … Read More

KISS | Sonic Boom

Jon Dunmore

Classic Lightning, vocal frightening… t’s big and booming, it’s rock and roll and heavy metal, an homage to classic KISS and a testament to modern KISS. Sonic Boom is the 19th KISS studio album (after an 11-year gap since the last one – Psycho Circus, 1998); the 44th KISS release (counting Solos, Compilations and Live albums), the most successful KISS … Read More

KISS | Creatures Of The Night

Jon Dunmore

Howling in the shadows until we start to bite… hey called Destroyer The Return of KISS. They called Dynasty The Return of KISS. And now Creatures Of The Night – The Return of KISS (hooray! Uh… what?). Then the next album without makeup – Lick It Up – The Return of KISS (again!), then in 1996, The Return of KISS (with original members)… … Read More

KISS | Lick It Up

Jon Dunmore

And on the 8th Day, begins anew the naked journey… ISS – unmasked. No, really! Not like that album called Unmasked where it was just a joke. (Many would call that album a joke as well so, uh – ahem – moving on…) The news of KISS removing their signature makeup would, in a sense, overshadow the fact that Lick … Read More

KISS | Crazy Nights

Jon Dunmore

Crazy, Crazy Fluff. No No No Thank You. razy Nights, the 14th studio album by KISS, and the fourth in a row to be certified Platinum, is the Unmasked of the unmasked era – the guilty pleasure. Crazy Nights is an anomaly in the KISS discography. Sandwiched between two heavier albums, 1985’s Asylum and 1989’s  Hot In The Shade, Paul … Read More

KISS | Destroyer

Jon Dunmore

Modern day men of steel… y 1976, KISS were superheroes. Just look at the cover of Destroyer. See? It’s true. Destroyer, the fourth KISS studio album, marks the beginning of a new phase in KISS-tory. That phase where the fearsome face-painted foursome from New York (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss) would become the Biggest Band in the … Read More

KISS | Dynasty

Jon Dunmore

No More Magic Touch. ISS disco? KISSCO! Dynasty was billed as The Return of KISS. It was their first studio album as a group after the four KISS Solo Albums. And after the hard rock havoc each member strutted individually in their Solo projects (except for Peter), Dynasty was a shock to the senses, as we find KISS bringing their … Read More

KISS | Psycho Circus

Jon Dunmore

You Wanted The Best — You Got… a facsimile thereof.   drummer that forced hotel staff to put tinfoil on his windows that faced a certain direction and a lead guitarist that would rather play cards with his friends than catch a plane to a gig with the biggest band in the world. It truly was a… Psycho Circus. Did … Read More

KISS | Unmasked

Jon Dunmore

More lick-ass than kick-ass. nmasked should have been called Guilty Pleasure. With its sanitized disco pop and bubblegum bop, Unmasked was a calculated sequel to 1979’s Dynasty. But someone calculated wrong. Because 1 (album of shit) + 1 (album of shit) = more minus-fans than plus-fans. It was the first album since 1975’s Dressed To Kill that would stall at … Read More

KISS | Alive!

Jon Dunmore

Headed For Commotion… he album cover is tectonic. You feel it shudder like those bad camera effects in 1970’s earthquake movies. If the San Andreas Fault formed a band, this is what it would look like. Lightning bolts on the guitarist’s body run in perfect action lines, like shockwaves turning his guitar upside down from the earth-shaking joltage. Shot in … Read More

KISS | Dressed To Kill

Jon Dunmore

So let’s Write an Anthem Right, and Pawdy Evv-ree Day! s I write, it’s October 2015, and we’ve all read KISS frontman Paul Stanley’s book Face The Music: A Life Exposed — oh, you haven’t yet? I suggest you do, Outlander… … so we know of young Paul’s search for fulfillment, of discovering that fame didn’t bring it, that fortune … Read More

KISS | Hotter Than Hell

Jon Dunmore

A four-alarm Firehouse. n October 1974, the second KISS album, Hotter Than Hell, would appear just eight months after their debut, Kiss (Feb 1974). What the critics thought was a one-off stunt – this bunch of klowns wearing makeup – came back and slapped them in the face real quick real hard. Like a mastodon struggling through quicksand, Hotter Than … Read More

KISS | (Music From) The Elder

Jon Dunmore

A Light amongst the Dark. he most maligned album in the KISS catalog, (Music From) The Elder – is also their best by a mile! The ninth KISS studio album shifts gears so ferociously that the gearbox falls out and everyone goes through the windshield. Constructed with a solid foundation of classically heavy riffs, augmented magnificently by orchestral flourishes and … Read More

KISS | Kiss

Jon Dunmore

A Diamond in the Black. n February 1974, the world changed. Some might say, not for the better… They were The Lover, The Cat, The Demon, The Spaceman. KISS had arrived. In a hail of powerhouse rock and roll and a fog of crabby production, the debut album Kiss introduced the world to what would become a seminal influence on … Read More

ADAM LAMBERT: The Fury and the Passion (and the High Heels)

Jon Dunmore

Over the entire season, you have been one of the best, most original contestants we’ve ever had on the show. And the whole idea about doing a show like this is that you hope that you can find a worldwide star. I genuinely believe with all my heart that we have found that with you. — Simon Cowell, AMERICAN IDOL … Read More

IF I STAY

Poffy The Cucumber

I thought I was out. But they pulled me back IN…. Chloe Grace Moretz stares at herself sleeping. I can think of worse ways to spend eternity. After a family car accident that puts her into a coma, 17-year-old Mia (Moretz) wanders the hospital as a ghost, wondering, IF I STAY… what’s in it for me? And that’s this movie … Read More

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

Poffy The Cucumber

Attitude Adjustaz. I don’t know anything about hip hop but I know this is special. — Interscope Records rep. Admittedly, rock and roll is my forte, though it might come as a surprise to many that I’ve done innumerable studio sessions with hip hop acts. Around 1992, I was tracking in a Hawthorne studio with rap group after rap group, … Read More

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

Poffy The Cucumber

A Sweathog Comes of Age. I said a-bar bar bar – bar Barbarino A-bar bar bar – bar Barbarino A-bar bar bar – bar Barbarino You got me rockin’ and a-reelin’ got me rockin’ and a-reelin’ Barbar-i-no!… — Vinny Barbarino, WELCOME BACK KOTTER, 1975 Ever wondered what Vinnie Barbarino would look like on the big screen? John Travolta made this … Read More