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Kiss

Alice Cooper Band And Kiss 2008

It has been well documented (in Kiss biographies and interviews) that when Kiss formed, the idea was that "if one Alice Cooper worked, four Alice Cooper's would work as well". Members of the band and/or their manager Bill Aucoin, were at early '70s Alice shows. In a recent (1997) radio interview, when asked about his/their influences, Paul Stanley is reported to have listed various bands but not Alice. The interviewer questioned this to which Stanley replied "Well, Alice goes without saying". unfortunately, in recent years, there has been a habit of avoiding mentioning Alice (though they don't go as far out of there way as David Bowie does!).

Paul Stanley also took part in the 'Shocker' soundtrack with Alice.

Yes, that is a true story about Gene apologizing to Alice when he came to the 'Nightmare Returns' show in LA. Pretty funny. Alice has no problem with KISS anymore - it's ancient history. Alice was hanging with those guys a couple of years ago when they were both at A&M Studios working on their respective projects.
(Brian Nelson June 1995)

"What these guys need is a good gimmick."
(Alice Cooper c.1974)

Alice/Kiss links (by Kenneth Milk not me!):

-fact- in print (either 'KISS And Sell' or 'Black Diamond') it is stated that in the early days of KISS, people would ask Paul Stanley if he was Alice Cooper and many a times would reply 'yes'. He even went as far as to signing autographs as Alice Cooper.

-fact- An early publicity shot of KISS before they went 'full white face' (as seen on the 1st. issue of the 'KISS Underground' zine), Peter Criss sported 'Love It To Death' eyes.

-not fact- (yet)- A very huge and reputable KISS historian/collector had told me that WAY WAY back (before KISS was KISS) that the guys that were to become KISS had done an Alice Cooper tribute show in a club.

-fact- When asked about the Alice Cooper tribute show, Lydia Criss (original KISS drummer Peter Criss' first wife), told me that no such show ever happened but that the guys in KISS knew personally the Alice Cooper group and whenever Alice Cooper played in town (N.Y. City), they (KISS) would 'make it a point' to go to the concert.

-fact- When asked about the same event, Michael Bruce informed me that he did not go to/see the show, but that he definitely remembers seeing something in the newspaper advertised about it.

-fact- Photo of Alice along with Gene Simmons at KISS party is from same party that Gene had stated (not a quote but a recollection) -KISS threw the party for the press and other influential people-among them was Alice Cooper who was (professionally speaking) on his way out and we were the next big thing to happen. *Note- I recall reading in same interview that Gene had said that Alice had said something to the effect of, 'You guys sure have something going with that makeup'.

-fact- Detroit was quite important to the success of Alice Cooper years before the public was blatantly shown that the automotive capital was also the 'rock city'

-fact- Ace Frehley opened for Alice in 1987.

Alice Sues Kiss?!?

In late 1998, news broke that Alice was suing Kiss over a song on Kiss` Psycho Circus album called 'Dreaming' which showed more than a slight music resemblance to 'I`m Eighteen'. In fact Alice had nothing to do with it. The company who own the rights to 'I`m Eighteen' (Bizarre/Six Palms) were the ones who had brought the suit against Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick, the writers of 'Dreaming'.

Billboard reported:

Kiss, Alice Cooper In Legal Clash

Kiss members Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick are being sued for copyright infringement over the song "Dreamin'." The complaint alleges that the song sounds too similar to the Alice Cooper hit "Eighteen." Billboard Bulletin reports that Six Palms Music Corp., publisher of "Eighteen," which was written by Cooper and his band, filed the complaint Oct. 21 in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles; the suit also names PolyGram International Publishing Inc. and Mercury Records. "Dreamin'," written by Stanley and Kulick, is a track from the new Kiss album, "Psycho-Circus," released Sept. 22 on Mercury.

Six Palms, which also does business as Bizarre Music, is seeking unspecified financial damages.

The similarities are immediately obvious and to add to the problem there are quite a few other similarities through the album. Paul had been to see Alice at the House Of Blues shows in LA a couple of months earlier so had seen Alice`s Rock And Roll Carnival although the album was almost certainly recorded by then and the song was probably written earlier when Kulick was still a member of Kiss. However, Stanley cannot in honesty try to claim to be unfamiliar with Alice`s song. Also, just to add insult to injury, an interview with Peter Criss appeared a couple of weeks later in which Criss stated that the whole 'Psycho Circus' album was heavily influenced by Alice.

Eventually www.rollingstone.com reported:

Coop Vs. Kiss Case Put to Rest
Legal battle between Alice Cooper and Kiss settled out of court

Eleven months after Alice Cooper's former publishers filed a suit for copyright infringement against Kiss frontman Paul Stanley and former guitarist Bruce Kulick, the parties have reached an out-of-court settlement.

Six Palms Music Corp., which filed the complaint with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Oct. 28, 1998, contended that the Kiss song "Dreamin,'" from their latest album, Psycho Circus, sounded far too
much like the Cooper classic "Eighteen," released back in 1971. The company, which published the Cooper hit, alleges that Stanley had to have heard the chart-topping single on numerous occasions since the two groups were contemporaries in the Seventies shock rock scene.

According to insiders, Six Palms was initially asking for a rather high settlement amount and planned to take the case to court, but once the lawyers for Kiss's label presented them with the disappointing sales figures for Circus, they lowered the amount they were asking. Paul Stanley and Bruce Kulick were in attendance at the settlement talks, but Cooper was not. The parties reached their agreement on August 12.

Ironically, Bruce Kulick's brother Bob toured with the Alice Cooper in 1975 during their Welcome to My Nightmare tour, and he even produced last year's Alice Cooper tribute album, Humanary Stew, playing on its rendition of "Eighteen."

Evan Cohen, lawyer for Six Palms, confirmed that the case had been settled, but declined to give any further details. Cooper's management also confirmed that a settlement had been reached, but said they had no further details: "We heard that the suit had been settled, but since we weren't party to it, we didn't expect an official confirmation." Although no one is saying, it's rumored that the settlement was in the low six figures. Calls to McGhee Entertainment, Kiss's management company, were not returned.

JAAN UHELSZKI
(August 18, 1999)


Neal Smith was one of the drummers considered as the replacement for Anton Fig in Ace Frehley's group Frehley's Comet in 1987.