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Non-Prog Book Reviews


Nothin’ To Lose: The Making Of Kiss (1972-1975) written by Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Ken Sharp

Review by Greg Olma

There have been many books released about the band Kiss. Much of that trend started back in 1996 when the four original members reunited for a tour and subsequent album Psycho Circus. Ever since then, the demand for books on Kiss has not seemed to wane. I have been a fan since 1976, so when this was promoted about six months before release, I was already salivating. I was hoping the book would delve into the “dirt” of what it was like when these road dogs were trying to make a name for themselves and quite honestly, Nothin’ To Lose did not disappoint.

The book starts before the band was truly born and follows the events all the way to Kiss Alive. It is written in the same fashion as Motley Crue’s The Dirt. It is a collection of quotes for that particular time period or event. It reads in chronological order, so it is easy to follow. Ken Sharp (with the help of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley) has really provided a great look at the birth of the band and their rise to the top. Along the way we get quotes from not only band members but also core individuals like Bill Aucoin, Joyce Bogart, Eddie Sloan, family members, roadies, and even members of Rush, Blue Öyster Cult, and Aerosmith, to name a few. This is by far the most in depth look at the making of Kiss that has passed through my hands. Even on a visual level, the book is a winner. I have seen some of the pictures before but there are a number of shots that I never knew existed. My only complaint is that there may have been more “dirt” that was edited out because both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had a hand in creating this book. They probably took out some of the quotes that may have painted them or the band in a bad light. That small complaint aside, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Even if you have every other Kiss book on the market, Nothin’ To Lose is more of a companion piece to what you already have in your collection.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at

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