Reuters blog archive
In the business world, as in music, Simmons boasts an impressive record. A classic immigrant rags-to-riches tale, he’s worked tirelessly over the last 36 years to turn the KISS brand into an empire. His former blood-spitting “Demon” alter ego now graces more than 2,500 different products such as ketchup, condoms, coffins and credit cards.
In addition to KISS album sales (over 100 million units sold), Simmons earns $100,000 per speaking engagement, and has more than half a dozen booked for 2011 already. Among his other non-musical ventures are estate planning (he is a co-founder of Cool Springs Life Equity Strategy), books, magazines and a handful of television projects.
Reuters sat down with him recently in Toronto just before his keynote speech at Canada’s Advertising Week 2011. Here are some tips from Simmons on how to excel in business.
from Russell Boyce:
North Korea opened its doors and the internet to the World's media to allow a glimpse of the parade which marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party. More importantly, it gave the world its first independent look at the protege Kim Jong-un. China based Chief Photographer Petar Kujundzic took full advantage of the opportunity. The warmth of the picture of the women soldiers smiling - a rare glimpse into the world from which we normally only get formal, over compressed and pixelated images.
North Korean female soldiers smile before a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic
from Fan Fare:
Back in the 1940s and the "Casablanca" era, a kiss was famously "just a kiss"
Not any more.
It's been seven years since Britney Spears and Madonna notoriously locked lips in a live MTV Music Video Awards show. But women kissing women (or just pretending to) is still making front page news, whether it's Miley Cyrus on a "Britain's Got Talent" performance last week, or Sandra Bullock at the MTV Movie Awards show this weekend.
(And let's not even revisit the Adam Lambert male-on-male kiss furor last November)
from Fan Fare:
These are heady times for KISS fans. The hard-rock band is gearing up for the Oct. 6 release of its first album in 11 years, "Sonic Boom", and will hit the road to mark the 35th anniversary of its breakthrough concert album "Alive!"
And then there's the band's former guitarist, Ace Frehley, who on Tuesday will release his first solo album in 20 years, "Anomaly". The date is also significant because it marks his third year of sobriety.
from Oddly Enough Blog:
If you wanna know
If he loves you so
It's in his kiss!
(That's where it is!)
Yesterday was supposed to be the last day of voting in our Coolest Leader Dude reader poll, comparing U.S. President Barack Obama, Britain's Prince Charles and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
from Fan Fare:
The "Harry Potter" series is all grown up, that is if you count an on-screen lip lock as a sign of maturity. In one of the most talked about moments in an upcoming "Harry Potter" movie, Emma Watson, who plays witchcraft ingenue Hermione Granger, kisses Rupert Grint, the actor who plays Harry Potter's friend Ron Weasley.
It does not come in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which opens in the U.S. and many other countries on July 15, but in the next installment in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which is split into two movies.
from Fan Fare:
The Boss is heading into his Super Bowl half-time show on Sunday, and even though he is no football fan, Bruce Springsteen knows how to talk a good game.
Springsteen, 58, told reporters at a news conference ahead of the Bowl that his decades-old E Street Band has just gone through a "golden age" and is playing its best music ever.
"We're a bunch of old soldiers, but the band is still burning," he said.
President Barack Obama's election seems to have lightened up Springsteen, who cast a bleak view at the Bush administration. Click here to read about it.
Springsteen's new album "Working On a Dream" was released on Tuesday to mixed reviews. The first song on it "Outlaw Pete" has the Internet blogosphere buzzing over suggestions the melody sounds uncannily similar to costumed rock band Kiss' 1979 hit "I Was Made for Lovin' You."
Inevitably, the two songs were juxtaposed on video sharing site YouTube.com to give everyone a chance to judge the similarities.
Did the Boss really do it? In the modern music industry, borrowing a tune quickly gets labeled stealing. But Springsteen also comes from America's folk music tradition. Folk icon Woody Guthrie took the melody for his anthem "This Land Is Your Land" from the Carter Family, who are also legends in the folk world -- and his reputation was never hurt by that reinterpretation. Springsteen has called that song song "one of the most beautiful songs ever written."
Bob Dylan -- another Springsteen predecessor -- has made liberal use of "borrowed" material throughout his career in and out of folk music, most recently reworking the Muddy Waters song "Trouble No More" into the strikingly similar "Someday Baby" on his 2006 album "Modern Times."
So maybe Springsteen gets a pass if his song sounds like a Kiss track, especially since so many pop songs exist out there. Some are bound to start sounding alike. Then again, British supergroup Coldplay could never use the folk music excuse when they were pilloried for recording a song that appeared to resemble a riff from virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani.
If nothing else, Springsteen can rest assured that with his Super Bowl show and a budding song controversy, music fans are talking about him again. He's even reaching new audiences.
"If you don't die, after awhile young people show up in the front row," Springsteen wryly told reporters this week.
That's something you probably can't say about Kiss.
from Tales from the Trail:
A nonscientific survey by the dating site Match.com found that 77 percent of respondents believe Obama would be a better kisser than the Arizona Republican.
from Fan Fare:
It's probably hard to believe -- and is also pretty funny -- that Gene Simmons, the front man for rock band Kiss (the one with the long tongue who spits blood and fire) has become an author. But it's easier to fathom when you hear what the book is about: the history of prostitution.
Simmons, 58, talked up his "coffee table" book, titled "Ladies of the Night," on Thursday on the U.S. chat program "The Early Show" on CBS, calling the world's oldest profession a delicious subject that should not be taboo. But he was quick to note that he was not one to hire the ladies of the night -- or day, for that matter.