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Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup [Paperback]

C.K. Lendt
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books,U.S. (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823075516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823075515
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Follows the rise and fall and rise of the rock band, describing how music and commerce combined to make them successful.

From the Publisher

KISS AND SELL exposes the real world of rock and roll .
Author C.K. Lendt takes the reader behind the curtains and into the real world of Rock and Roll in KISS AND SELL. An eyewitness account of the dramatic rise and decline, and spectacular re-emergence, of one of the '70's most successful and provocative supergroups, the book offers a behind-the-painted -faces look at the lives, loves, image making, and business dealings of the band known simply as KISS. More than simply an insider's tell-all, KISS AND SELL provides a fascinating look inside the business of music. KISS fans agree, as evidenced by the following quote from a review on the Kiss Otaku web site: "C.K. Lendt's book 'KISS and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup' is the most insightful, balanced, and open book ever written about KISS. It dared to do what no other book had thus-far attempted. It dared to tell a story without hype. It dared to share a perspective without passing judgement. It dared to chronicle an experience when spinning some grotesque fantasy might surely sell more books."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars KISS & Sell is a good, but trying read. 24 July 1998
By A Customer
Overall, KISS and Sell is a worthy read. However, Lendt's fixation with using big words leaves one needing a thesaurus to understand what he is often saying. It is almost as if he is trying to accredit himself by speaking above his readers. I hold a degree in English and I often had no idea what Lendt what was saying. The average reader will undoubtedly find the same. Lendt's other main downfall lies in the fact that he tends to waiver from KISS. The seemingly endless pages about Diana Ross and The Isley Brothers, for example, tended to lose me and I skimmed them more than read them. And who really cares about Gene's dalliances with Cher and Diana Ross enough to warrant nearly 30 pages of text?! Because of Lendt's background in business rather than the music industry, one can expect to find the book's emphasis placed accordingly. Lendt does include a great many stories in his book, some of which I at least have never heard. Because Lendt was w! ith the band so much for twelve years, he obviously has many stories to relate that perhaps outsiders would not be able to offer. Unfortunately, the majority of these tales deal with the corruption of a young group who became obsessed--and eventually ruined by--their own fame and fortune. Lendt's main revelation is the gross spending habits of the band members. Who knew that such ignorance to money matters occurred within the band? Lendt's take on the financial situation of the band is a new one and should not be ignored by any true KISS fan. Gene's misogyny, buffonery, and mogulling overshadows what many fans (including myself) believed to be rumour for the most part. Ace's and Peter's reckless lifestyles and eventual displeasure with being in the band have been previously documented but are thoroughly threshed out here by Lendt. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An amusing, lively, and not all-together complimentary look at the rise and fall of the rock band that helped define the American music scene for a generation.

As a former business manager for KISS, author C.K. Lendt presents an entirely credible recollection of the dizzying amounts of money earned, then lost by the band. Long time fans will find Lendt's book filled with confirmation of oft-told stories of the group's sometimes lurid personal excesses; but perhaps more interesting is the author's observation of the varying degrees of insecurity and self doubt that plagued certain members of KISS during the course of their meteoric rise.

Though well pace and skillfully written, "KISS and Sell" is likely to appeal only to die hard devotees of the band. It's major flaw is a baffling detour (of over a dozen pages) to the author's memories of handling the business affairs of Diana Ross, a former romantic interest of KISS bassist Gene Simmons. Other celebrity ladyfriends are given much more digestible page allotments. A few more behind the scenes photos of the band in its heydey would also have been appreciated.

In the end, C.K. Lendt manages to tell a story that keeps the reader engaged and entertained, and waxes just nostalgic enough. It's a solid read.
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By A Customer
KISS and Sell was a very hard read. The author paid too much attention to tedious details of fashion, cuisine and interior decorating. If all of these unimportant details were edited out of the book the page count would be substantially smaller and would've kept my attention better. Plus, I had a hard time reading all these stories with this kind of detail when it happened twenty years ago. That and the overuse of the thesaurus trying to find the most intricate word that Einstein would have to go to a dictionary to find the meaning. It's a book about KISS not a college term paper. The author also left you hanging with some stories like Sweet Connie (the famous groupie) and the "importance" of Miss Judy, etc... Once you get past all I've mentioned it's still an interesting read. KISS & Tell (The book by Gebert and McAdams) on the other hand, is right on the mark as a Rock and Roll book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It's an easy read, very interesting, sad and funny at the same time. There are a lot more photos (over 60) than KISS and Sell (28). KISS and Sell had no documents, letters, etc.. back up supposed facts in the book. KISS & Tell substantiated its' stories a little better with all the photos and documents, etc.. I've met several people in the KISS circle that have told me "off the record" that KISS & Tell is probably mostly true. It's a real shocker even if half the stories are true.
I did find similarities in the two books that kind of confirm the validity of some of the stories. 1.] The ridiculing of Paul Stanley by the band 2.] Ace's habits, appearance and life style, gambling, etc.. 3.] Peter's penchant for guns and temperament 4.] Peter's condition before performing and the alternate plans 5.
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By A Customer
All in all, KISS & Sell is a good book. My only complaint, however, is the seemingly endless chapters that chronicle the non-KISS experiences that Lendt faced. Why does he drone on about the Isley Brothers? And who really cares about Gene's dalliances with Cher and Diana Ross enough to warrant nearly 30 pages of text?! Sure its part of "KISStory" but Lendt's editor should have recognized that such material could have been greatly trimmed for content. There are many interesting stories that Lendt brings to light such as Gene's mogulling, Peter's manic behavior, Ace's extravagant recording studio, and Paul's perseverance in keeping the band together. He also reveals the gross spending habits of the band members. Who knew that such ignorance to money matters occurred within the band? Lendt's take on the financial situation of the band is a new one and should not be ignored by any true KISS fan; however, Lendt's obvious reliance on a Roget's thesaurus may distract some readers from enjoying an interesting read--I am a university graduate with an English degree and I frequently had no idea what Lendt was saying because of the big words he uses. Also, one has to question the credibility of some of Lendt's stories. His memory of minute details, for example, how many cigars Howard Marks held in his cigar case at a 1979 business meeting, is endless--and apparently flawless. Perhaps he added some of these details for dramatic effect but overall it takes away the reader's faith in Lendt's stories. If Lendt had not paid as much attention to this endless minutiae, his position could certainly hold greater credibility.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Debunking the myth!!!!
excellent book for the kiss fan probably boring if your not,this is a sometimes laborious read but it is fascinating all the same,the debunking of the myth that surrounds this... Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2010 by Mr Blackwell
5.0 out of 5 stars The inner workings of rock
I loved this book. Tales like these that come straight from the horses mouth (from people who have actually worked with the band) are fairly hard to come by when it comes to KISS. Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2003 by Emil Ortenmark
4.0 out of 5 stars Kiss and Sell is a great book
Kiss and Sell is a fantastic journey into the Making of the Supergroup Kiss.. This is a detailed look into the members of Kiss as well as the music industry as a whole.. Read more
Published on 30 Aug 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is a SNOOZER!
KISS and Sell is such a chore to read. Very laborious.
KISS and Sell's counterpart book KISS and Tell by Gebert and McAdams was a much better read. Read more
Published on 20 Mar 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Why Did Lendt Really Get Fired?
Every side has two stories. I'd love to hear Gene's and Paul's side of this one. Though my loyalty to KISS is undying, you can already see them making the same mistakes in their... Read more
Published on 10 Feb 1999
2.0 out of 5 stars Bogged Down
Sorry, but this one didn't grab me. Lendt seems to be obsessed with what people wear to meetings, which retaurants he enjoyed, and using words that English Teachers will have to... Read more
Published on 1 Feb 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed but intense read! Kept me wanting to read more.
C.K. Lendt has written one of the better KISS books. A lot of fans may complain it was a hard read because of all the details, but that is what I loved about it - It is not just... Read more
Published on 23 Jan 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars KISS' Financial Roller Coaster Exposed At Last
I have read the book, KISS and Sell and I found it to be an accurate, and well written tome on how, not only KISS, but how the music industry is run. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 1998
3.0 out of 5 stars Accurate but bleak financial bio of KISS, 1976-1996
Chris Lendt was KISS's financial advisor and on-the-road label rep for Polygram from 1976 to 1995. Through accounts of board meetings and road stories, Lendt paints a rather... Read more
Published on 23 Nov 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars An insider's view of The Hottest Band In The World
I loved this book! It was so interesting to read about the behind the scenes workings of a super-group. Read more
Published on 30 Jun 1998
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