NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 119: KISS at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City!

Today’s t-shirt memorializes the very KISS stadium concert at Jersey City’s Roosevelt Stadium in 1976! This tee is available at their official page KISSonline.com

Wow, we love demolishing stadiums in this state, don’t we? Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City was a baseball stadium that opened in 1937 and was demolished in 1985. Sure, it had its share of memorable sporting events and concerts, but one in particular featured my favorite band ever, KISS.

When you think of famed KISS concerts, you may think of Cobo Hall in Detroit, or even Madison Square Garden in New York City, but merely days after America’s Bicentennial 4th of July celebration, on July 10th, 1976, KISS played very first stadium show right in The Sexiest of all Armpits.

Headlining a big baseball stadium was no easy task. The band had to be louder and crazier than the crowd was, and naturally, KISS was up for the task. At the time, they were riding high on what would become their biggest album of all time, Destroyer, so they were properly equipped to blast everyone directly out of the stadium with their mammoth sound and explosions, and that’s exactly what they did.

For non-KISS fans, it’s easy to believe that if you’ve seen one KISS concert, you’ve seen them all, but I’m here to tell you that’s just simply not the case. There was a special kind of magic going on with the early KISS shows. A group of musicians with a wild idea to mix ghastly face paint, elaborate costumes, and an explosive stage show were still in their formative years as a band. Hell, much like some of their other early concerts, the Roosevelt Stadium show was filmed in black and white, lending it an even more macabre atmosphere. B&W is one quality that always intrigued me with early KISS shows and bootlegs, especially knowing that Gene is such a horror movie fanatic.

Many of you have lived through the many incarnations of KISS. For over 40 years now KISS has been evolving their music, their look, and their stage show. To me, nothing beats those early years. Their music was darker and more seedy, their look was more basic, albeit scary. I wasn’t lucky enough to live through their ’70s heyday, but I relived them on my own through VHS bootlegs as a kid. Now, all that footage is on DVD box sets and of course, YouTube! You can see footage from the Roosevelt Stadium show below.

*Opening for KISS at Roosevelt Stadium was The J.Geils Band and Point Blank. It’s a heinous crime that at of the time of this post this show was somehow not included in the notable KISS concert list on Wikipedia. That is totally insane. Someone please fix this!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz3Kd3B9Zxg?rel=0&showinfo=0]

Rob Zombie’s Super Monster Sex Action Tour Is Coming To Starland Ballroom

He claimed he would be swearing off horror for a while to delve into other genres, but Rob Zombie isn’t keeping his word. There’s more movies and music to be made and Zombie seems like he’s Never Gonna Stop. I’m more than cool with his self-defiance. The hard working and hard rocking horror icon, a.k.a Rob Cummings, will be unleashing his own brand of hell onto the Starland Ballroom is Sayreville, NJ on Saturday, June 6th 2015. It’s the Super Monster Sex Action Tour, and it’s gonna be insane.

Zombie’s ability to churn out new music is astounding. This guy is a creative machine. For Zombie fans, each of his albums have consistently delivered, all while throwing up a middle finger to the mainstream. I’m hoping a few new tracks will be unveiled at the sold out show.

How does he do it all? I have a hard time working, blogging, and putting the dishes away, but this guy writes and directs films AND tours in support of albums crammed with songs he writes and records with his band. Whatever magic juice he’s drinking, gimme some of that!

In the movie realm, on the horizon for Zombie is his own crowdfunded horror film, 31. Early clues such as plot, storyboards, and character design point to this being the best work of his career, which is encouraging for people who were left underwhelmed by The Lords of Salem. Not saying it’s a great film, but personally, I enjoyed it.

Also coming up, he’ll be executive producing and providing some voice work for the animated The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning. Getting Zombie on board for an installment in this franchise couldn’t be more in his wheelhouse, it’s a total no-brainer.

Back to the topic of Zombie’s concerts – they are always quite a spectacle. You won’t be hearing any A Capella or harmonizing, it’s all about the rock. You’ll have a bad case of rockneck from all the headbanging. He often throws in some surprises too. For instance, last year, at his concert in Camden, NJ, Zombie brought out the Catman himself, Peter Criss, for a special performance of “God of Thunder.” He eloquently urged his legion of fans in a courteous manner that, “Now would be the time to take out those stupid fucking phones, you might want to film this…” You can check out the entire clip courtesy of Jim Powers’ YouTube account below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfyteTznq-U]

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 116: KISS of DEATH!

This post is appropriate of everything since we are approaching both Friday the 13th AND Valentine’s Day.

At this point in February, ordering a last minute gift online for that special someone probably isn’t the best idea. We’re merely days away from Valentine’s Day, so you’ll have to go to Walgreen’s and get the old standby chocolate assortment in a heart lavishly wrapped in cellophane. Having this tee posted several weeks ago would’ve been infintiely more helpful, but there’s always Arbor Day…you’ll definitely have it in time for that. Oh c’mon, I can’t be the only one who exchanges gifts for that.

Being that we’re beyond the online gift ordering cutoff for V-day, you can still get your special person a little something from Rock n Horror Apparel…for Arbor Day!

This online shop makes some kickass stuff. I came across them on Instagram last year. What grabbed me was their Kiss of Death shirt design. It’s a pun get it? And this next pun is also intended: this shirt is a KILLER! I bought it right away and I’m still in awe that a tee this cool exists.

For a guy like me who is obsessed with both the Friday the 13th franchise AND KISS, this shirt is one maximum mash-up. Emblazoned on the front is the iconic Jason mask adorned with Paul Stanley’s famous Starchild makeup design. The mere idea of combining these two things excites me and makes me wish that KISS would make a sequel to KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park where they have a run-in with the masked, machete wielding killer of Crystal Lake.

My only reservation is that if Jason Voorhees was to embody a member of KISS, he certainly wouldn’t be the charismatic frontman, Paul Stanley. Since Jason is more the quiet and reserved type, I’d peg him for the Catman.

Rock n Horror Apparel was founded by a rocker and a scream queen, hence the namesake. The shop also offers alternate Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Edgar Allan Poe inspired shirts along with various other clothing like thermals, sweats, leggings, tank tops, and even baby Jason Voorhees onesies! Check them out: http://www.rocknhorrorapparel.bigcartel.com

Nerd Lunch EXTRA Helping: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park!

In case you missed this news, hot off the heels of a fun Nerd Lunch Halloween special with guest Dinosaur Dracula, I’m back again with Jeeg and Pax for an EXTRA HELPING of the podcast where we discuss all the intricacies of the legendary film KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park! We had a great time with this one so definitely check it out right here, or on iTunes!

Hopped Up on Halloween: A Fright Fest Memory

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When reflecting on the Halloween season, the act of simply stepping outside and taking in a breath of fresh air could bring a flood of fall memories to rushing back into your mind.

One memory that came to my mind was the time I headed down to Great Adventure during Fright Fest when I first got my license. I was actually still on my learner’s permit (shhh, don’t tell anyone). It was probably the first trip I ever took there on my own, so I felt pretty badass. Well, I wasn’t really on my own. I took my girlfriend at the time, Beth. At least, she was the equivalent of what teenagers considered a girlfriend at the time. We went to the mall and kissed in public. We thought we were cool. Taking her to Fright Fest though – that was the shit. If you asked me at the time, going there was my ultimate date night. Let’s pretend you’re Chuck Woolery and I’m the contestant on Love Connection. Here’s how the date went.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike I had the windows cracked and I remember there being a nice October chill in the air. Just cool enough for a light jacket, but still mild enough not to freeze our asses off. It was the mid ’90s, (I know, I’m old – fuck off) and the only entertainment in my car back then was the radio and a cassette player. Naturally, some people had CD players, but they were lucky bastards. Dopey teenagers hopped up on young love and Mountain Dew didn’t have the means for a CD player in the car, unless they were savvy enough to hook up a DiscMan to their car stereo, an enhancement that was still another year down the road for me. The stations get a little fuzzy as we get further south, so the only thing we had to listen to aside from the drone of the LeBaron and the awkward moments of silence on the 40 minute drive down was the cassette player.

If Beth had it her way she wanted to listen to Hot 97 the whole way down. To appease her and show her that I’m open to all kinds of music, including blazing hip-hop and R&B, we listened to it until Exit 9 and then I was called upon by the Gods of Rock themselves. There was no choice in the matter. It was time for the Holy Grail of mixtapes. THE ULTIMATE KISS MIXTAPE. Sure, back then it was fun to listen to The Misfits, Alice Cooper and White Zombie during October, but there was always something just as fitting about listening to KISS during Halloween time too.

At the time, Beth had absolutely zero clue who KISS was. What was even funnier was that she had less of a clue that the title of one of their biggest songs bared her name. She didn’t care either. She really, really, really didn’t care. Every girl I seemed to like had no interest in the music that I listened to, which made my heart sink to the depth of the murky Arthur Kill. As I shoved the tape into the deck, I vividly remember the tape started playing in the middle of “Got To Choose” from Hotter Than Hell. I can hear that grungy riff and that funky bassline in my mind right now. In fact I’m going to pull it up on my iTunes right now. It’s amazing, this whole technology thing, isn’t it? Ha. You should put it on too (if you have it), to get the full effect of this story!

To a non-KISS fan not only was “Got To Choose” one of the least interesting tracks on my mix tape, but to make matters worse, side one of the cassette always cut off about three quarters into it. Just as soon as my mind is rocking out and vibing to the tune, it clicked off and the awkward silence returned. I knew she wanted Hot 97 on, but I didn’t care. I was being selfish, I felt like it was my turn to really enjoy this drive. It was a cool October night, my favorite time of the year, and we were racing down to Six Flags for one of the most fun things to do in Jersey during Halloween. I was feeling pretty awesome needless to say. I turned the cassette over and popped it back in. “Beth I hear you callin’…”

BLANK. _______. Beth was completely blank when I told her about the KISS song that was playing called, “Beth.” In the back of my mind I thought “Didn’t your father or your uncle tell you about this?” I was shocked that another person wasn’t as obsessed with KISS as I was. I had a hard time remembering that this was the mid-90s, not 1977 mind you.

As we got closer and closer to Exit 7, our conversation began to pick up and I lowered the volume to a reasonable level (except when “Parasite” came on, of course).

On a normal basis she pretty much laughed at everything I said, which gave me a little boost, but truthfully, she just laughed at everything that was remotely amusing in general. I could act like an obnoxious ass and she would just eat it up. I appreciated it because she genuinely found me funny. From there, we started trading anecdotes about our favorite rides in the park. Although both of us had been going down to Great Adventure since we were kids, we both felt the level of excitement building up. We were getting a rush before we even went on any rides.

Our time was running out. By the time we arrived, found parking, walked a mile to the ticket booth, and then bought tickets, we had about 2 hours in the park if we were lucky. And as I said, I didn’t have a CD player in my car so I wasn’t necessarily the luckiest guy in the world. This lack of time definitely weighed on my mind because when it comes to theme parks and vacations I’m like Clark Griswold, always trying to maximize the fun.

Our spirits were so uplifted, among other things, that our dumbasses wasted even more time before actually heading into the park. After the long trek from the car to the entrance, we stopped at one of the planters and parked half of our butts for a minute to take in the night…and of course make out. So dumb, so simple, soo had nothing to do with romance. This was about HALLOWEEN. I wanted the bejesus scared out of me and my endorphins were runnin’ wild. Like I said, high spirits, otherwise HOT 97 and KISS MIXTAPE wouldn’t have been lip locked to each other the whole night as if we were the only two people left on the planet.

What was the attraction with Beth? I wondered to myself as I stood staring a hole through a nearby tree shedding frail pale orange leaves. She was a natural blonde, she had a cute smile with dimples, and had big boobs. At the time, coincidentally, as stereotypical as it sounds, that was all I wanted out of life. What can I say? I was a product of the times. Baywatch was a highly rated show, OK? So, back at Six Flags, Beth and I managed to detach our mouths from each others and we walked briskly inside with a little bounce in our step.

It was dark, breezy, the trees were bare, and Fright Fest was in full effect. Zombies and ghastly characters roamed about trying to scare us. Beth genuinely got scared a few times and grabbed a hold of me, then we just got overly hysterical about it as if we just heard the funniest joke of all time delivered by the most smart mouthed comedian of all time. Despite what many people might think of the lines, the atmosphere takes center stage and it’s easy to forget the rest.

The macabre elements such as the fog, the bloody fountain, and the costumed actors jumping out at you when you least expect it, help to far outweigh any of the typical theme park complaints. Being there is the fun. In fact, Fright Fest is such a part of my Halloween celebration every year that it actually makes me get that nostalgic fuzzy feeling. I didn’t get paid for that so let me get back to my story.

Beth and I went on every ride we possibly could, stopping at any chance we could to hug, hold hands, or take part in some other cheesy public display of affection. It was the spirit of the season that was getting us all charged up. And yes, we even went on the freakin’ ferris wheel. Remember when Mikey from The Goonies said ‘It’s our time down here!” well October is our time and I’ve always felt that way. Just hearing the Misfits lyric “Bonfires Burning Bright, Pumpkin Faces in the Night, I remember Halloween,” DUH, of course I remember! I remember Halloween and all the memories come rushing back every time I walk outside and breath in the fall air or gaze into the colorful fall foliage.

Halloween moments are the most memorable ones in my life. I can’t help but think that each of those moments wouldn’t still resonate today if they took place during any other time of the year. Intertwined in the calm and colorful fall backdrop are so many memories waiting to be conjured up. Be inspired. Go outside, close your eyes, and let yourself recall all that is spooky and sentimental to you.

NJ KISS Expo 2013 Recap

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This weekend was packed with stuff that I want to tell you about. The first of these adventures was the New Jersey KISS Expo at the NJ Convention & Expo Center in Edison, NJ.

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Oh, you know there’s an old adage that my great great great Aunt Florence used to say and that was “If you’ve been to one KISS convention, you’ve been to them all.” That might be true, but after going to a shit ton of them in my life, I can’t say there’s ever a moment when I’m at one that I’m ever NOT amused every second. Of course, if you’re not down with KISS, which many people aren’t, then you might not enjoy one of these, but there’s also a chance that if you aren’t a fan, you might be leaving as a newly inducted member of the KISS Army. That’s usually what happens.

KISS cons and expos have a way of seducing non-fans. An outsider might see the mystique and aura that surrounds the band, especially if they know nothing about them. That’s the best part of KISS. Walking around the expo center in Edison on Saturday, was no different than the other KISS expos I’ve been to, but it’s just a good time and a chance to not only buy KISS stuff, but also mingle with fellow KISS Army members. It was a total geek-out for us.

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One time a friend once asked me, “What do you do at a KISS convention?” I always thought that was a silly question, but it really isn’t because not everyone knows what KISS is all about. For many fans, including myself, it’s about the music foremost, but there’s a large part of it that’s about collecting cool KISS crap. So yeah, buy some KISS stuff, look at some KISS stuff, listen to a KISS tribute band, can you see the underlying theme here?

Sometimes though, it’s almost like you MUST buy something just to justify why you go to KISS cons. My only minor complaint about the NJ KISS expo is that attendees pay anywhere from $10-$20 dollars admission, but the show is relatively small. There are 2 large dealer rooms and that’s about it. Unless you purchase a ticket to a V.I.P signing, such as Tommy Thayer (or last year was Peter Criss I believe) that’s the extent of the show. I was hoping this year would be bigger, but it was pretty much the same as previous years. Also featured was KISSNation, a KISS Tribute band, but next year they need to get the larger space in the building and make the event a bigger deal. They can open up their dealer rooms to not only KISS dealers, but also toy and pop culture dealers as well.

You want me to stop with all the jibber jabber and cut to the point where I tell you what I bought? Actually, I will do that because if I don’t, I’ll literally continue writing about KISS until 6 a.m tomorrow morning. Luckily, for brevity’s sake, I only picked up 2 things. Well, it was ALMOST four.

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The only reason why I decided against the above pictured jacket was because it probably wouldn’t have fit me. Otherwise, why wouldn’t I want a ridiculously colorful KISS jacket that looked like it was made out of a kid’s plastic kite from Toys R Us in 1991? I still have my KISS rain slicker made out of a yellow Slip ‘n Slide material from ’86 that I never wear. In retrospect, cooler heads prevailed here, and by cooler I mean I wasn’t swayed by my emotions. A cooler head would obviously be wearing this insane KISS jacket while writing this.

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That jacket would really go well with a silver $20 dollar FUCK ring. Just to explain that one…it’s a Twent-ttty-doll-har ringgg that has the word F-U-C-K on it. Who would ever need a wedding band or an engagement ring when you can have a FUCK ring?

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For realz though, my first real acquisition was a KISS poster. the poster was affectionately labeled “Pink Creatures Poster.” I would’ve bought it on best name principle alone. KISS fans know what this means, even the casual ones. It’s a whimsical title, but it’s not a secret code, it’s just stating that the background is pink and the album it was made in promotion of was Creatures of the Night, and poster means it’s a big ass photograph printed on a quite large piece of paper. Keep in mind that this is a 30 year old poster, not one you could find all over Spencer’s in the mall in 1999. The poster features the late Eric Carr, my favorite drummer, and it caught my eye because its pink background stood out. I admit that was part of why I bought it. It’s always cool to see KISS in front of a background that’s not black or gray. KISS did pose for a lot pictures in front of brightly colored canvases in the late ’70s as well as through the ’80s, and this was one of the cooler ones.

Let me make it abundantly clear that I DO NOT need any more posters. I own so many damn posters that I could probably wallpaper the entire interior of the New Jersey Expo Center. At this point, I have two framed posters waiting patiently to be put up on my wall and this new one’s probably waited 30 some odd years to get put up and now it won’t see the light of day until, I don’t know, 2023? Sorry pink creatures poster 🙁 you’ll always be posted right here on my blog.

kissexpo09Next up was an old metal magazine. Typically I wouldn’t buy just a random old rock or metal magazine, but I found the cover to be pretty funny and appropriate. As if you hadn’t noticed, my favorite rock band of all time is KISS while Miss Sexy Armpit’s favorite “rock” band is Bon Jovi. I loved Bon Jovi in the ’80s and even in the ’90s, but basically all of their modern stuff has been totally weak. They lose even more points for alienating Richie Sambora and then firing him! If you know Richie, he’s a genuinely kickass guy and deserves much better treatment than that. So screw you Jon Bon Jovi!

KISS vs Bon Jovi? NO F*CKING CONTEST. Just blast a few of the hardest KISS tracks like “Parasite,” “Deuce,” “War Machine,” “I Stole Your Love,” and “Unholy” and you’ll know in a second who’s the better band. Even performing their weakest tracks in a concert 600 miles away from New Jersey, KISS would still blow Bon Jovi into the Atlantic Ocean. I’m pretty sure this was one of the easiest ways to sell a magazine in January of 1988. Motley Crue vs. Skid Row! ROUND 2 – FIGHT!

The Demon of Mountainside and the KISS/Wrestling Crossover

kissdemonNJ01One my friends used to always pose a theory to me that he formulated about the crossover appeal of KISS and professional wrestling. He used to swear that every KISS fan was also a pro-wrestling fan and vice versa. I’d have to agree with him, but it’s not an absolute. Of course, they have many elements in common such as theatrics, both properties put on an entertaining spectacle, they both have legions of loyal fans, they both feature people in costumes, as well as incorporate colorful lights, loud music, and pyro. But, unbeknownst to him, only a couple of years before he hypothesized about KISS and wrestling fans, the two worlds merged for a brief moment in time.

When Gene Simmons from KISS struck a deal with then head of WCW, Eric Bischoff, to create a KISS inspired wrestler, it seemed like a such a logical mash-up at the time. For the crossover KISS/wrestling fans, this was literally a dream come true. After all, KISS was a band of four larger than life characters that translated seamlessly into comic books, but putting them in the squared circle was uncharted territory. It sounded good on paper.

It also sounded great to the crossover fans. In fact, just thinking back to when The Demon wrestled in WCW, as much as I didn’t enjoy WCW’s product, it was pretty thrilling for me to see a Gene Simmons gimmick in my other favorite universe, the world of professional wrestling. With all the lame gimmicks in wrestling through the years including a garbage man, a plumber, and a rooster, having a KISS Demon was actually far from lame. To those who weren’t familiar with KISS at the time, they probably thought the Demon was supposed to be some Satan worshipping fiend from beyond the gates of hell. Both are appealing in their own way.

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Meanwhile, the Mountainside, NJ-born Dale Torborg’s wrestling career began after meeting Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage on a flight to L.A. Early on, Torborg wrestled as the MVP (Most Violent Player) gimmick in the AWF, WWE and WCW. He played an evil baseball player inspired by the film The Warriors that also tied into his own baseball experience (his father Jeff managed several MLB teams and Dale’s own minor league baseball career ended with a fastball to the face.) Then, in 1999, during the first couple of Demon appearances in WCW, Brian Adams a.k.a Crush played the character, but he never actually wrestled as the gimmick. Soon Torborg was chosen to become the Demon character because Gene Simmons thought he looked most like him.

Visually, The Demon was badass. Torborg portrayed Gene Simmons in a more authentic way than Brian Adams. Torborg was such a KISS fanatic that he knew how to mimic all of Gene’s stage mannerisms. “I don’t think there was a Halloween that I didn’t dress up as one of the members of KISS” said Torborg in an interview with ESPN. For any member of the KISS Army, it had to be a real kick to be playing one of his rock and roll superheroes. Torborg mentioned that his choice to take on the Demon character wasn’t popular a one with his mother who “…hates two things, wrestling and KISS, and I’m doing both” he told ESPN. Regardless of what his mom thought, Torborg loved being The Demon .

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMx8lHUaeek]

The concept could’ve went far, but it was just the wrong time in the wrestling business. To help debut the Demon wrestler, KISS performed live on WCW Nitro . According to various wrestling sites and Wikipedia, the performance turned out to be a very low rated segment, which dispels my friends theory about the KISS/wrestling crossover. Fans of WCW, especially at the time, were bombarded by WWE Raw and WCW Nitro, and they wanted wrestling, not Mr. Simmons’ Wild Ride so to speak. WWE was coming very close to buying out WCW. Eric Bischoff lost his job and The Demon kept getting buried and losing most of his matches. WCW was contractually obligated to feature The Demon from then on, but they weren’t required to make him soar to new heights within the company though, so he wound up blacklisted.

From a personal standpoint, I really loved Torborg as The Demon. It was a cringe inducing moment for many wrestling fans at the time, but just the idea of two of my favorite things colliding nearly melted my brain, in a good way. Younger wrestling fans may not have been familiar with KISS at the time, but The Demon was still so imposing that it didn’t really matter if they knew KISS as a band or not.

Dale Torborg was a perfect choice to play The Demon. I appreciated how he was a lifelong fan of KISS. As far as wrestling ability goes, he’s a big athletic guy at 6’7″, had a good physique, and was better in the ring that many of the guys on the WCW roster at that time. My only complaint was his finishing move (Cobra Cluth Slam a.k.a The Love Gun) didn’t capture his power or match his look.

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Torborg is proud of his days as The Demon as he told WWE.com in their column Where Are They Now? posted on August 3rd, 2011. After WWE bought out WCW, Dale Torborg went to work in the MLB. Since 2004, Torborg has worked as the conditioning coordinator for the Chicago White Sox, and he dabbled in wrestling again, making appearances in TNA for a couple of years starting in 2005.

Not every wrestling fan was as pleased with this KISS/Wrestling combo. Prorasslin.com took the stance of the non-KISS fan-wrestling fan by stating that “This gimmick was bad” and that Torborg was “rightfully condemned to jobbing for the rest of his professional career” in their column Ghastly Gimmicks. It’s unfortunate that The Demon gets lumped into the pile of failed gimmick wrestlers. Naturally, I question why he was written to face the guys that he did and lose. If he was around after the WWE takeover, it would’ve been cool to see him in feuds with guys like Goldust or Kane, both would make memorable programs for sure.

It would probably never happen, but if Gene Simmons were to allow his likeness to be used again, any number of up and coming wrestlers could take on The Demon gimmick. Vince McMahon would never bring him back though because he couldn’t make any money off a character that he didn’t own the rights to. It would have to be changed to something like The Shemon and she’d squash all the ladies in the Divas division.

*Dale’s father Jeff was born in Plainfield, NJ and went to Westfield High School, played baseball there, and then went on to play at Rutgers.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 106: KILL Tour T-Shirt from Fright Rags

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Often, when something “limited edition” comes down the pike I just have to own it. A prime example is the KILL tour t-shirt that was released as a special edition by Fright Rags recently. Fright Rags is known for printing up genius, one of a kind horror tees, and this may be one of the best they ever conceived. Check it out and you can be the judge of that.

The KILL Tour T-shirt is inspired by the Destroyer album cover art from my favorite band, KISS. Anytime the world of horror combines with KISS, it’s a win-win. The t-shirt art includes Freddy, Chucky, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface taking the place of KISS. What knocks this baseball style tee right out of the old Roosevelt Stadium is KILL’s tour stops are listed on the back just like an old vintage concert t-shirt! On KILL’s Decades of Destruction Tour, in honor of the release of the original Friday the 13th film, the band’s May 9th, 1980 tour stop was at Crystal Lake…in NEW JERSAAAY!

Previous releases that I also HAD TO HAVE included G.I Jason (the GI Joe/Jason Voorhees mashup) and one of their beautiful Friday the 13th The Final Chapter tees. Artist Jason Edmiston was responsible for the artwork on both the GI Jason tee as well as this KILL tour shirt, but the new one may take the cake. It’s a dead heat for me. What do you think? If you own the regular black t-shirt version of “KILL,” it’s slightly more accurate to the Destroyer cover, but I opted for the larger KILL logo on the baseball tee.

You can now see why I felt so compelled to make this shirt part of my wardrobe. But surprisingly, this shirt wasn’t released without criticism since it’s hard to please everyone. The flack on this shirt was that Michael Myers should’ve been in the artwork instead of Chucky. I’m not sure why that happened, but if Myers was on the shirt instead it would indeed be perfect. I’m not complaining one bit though, I think it was an awesome idea and I’d like to see more cool ideas like this from Fright Rags.

KISS Slot Machines Now In Atlantic City, NJ!

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For a while Miss Sexy Armpit and I thought that we’d have to go back to Vegas to play the new KISS slot machines, but this weekend we were proven wrong! It was a big surprise to see them at Harrah’s resort which was awesome.

Visually the machines look badass. The game play itself isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but naturally, it’s KISS-ified. There are a few different bonus games, but after playing 2 different machines, none of them popped up! BOO! One of the neighboring machines had a few bonuses so we were able to check them out. They were pretty cool and showed some concert footage and had you choose from various album covers to unlock more credits or another bonus game. The game plays a few KISS songs. The ones we heard included “Detroit Rock City,” and “I Was Made For Loving You.”
I’m happy that KISS is finally represented in Atlantic City. So far we’ve got Batman, Ghostbusters, The Phantom, Playboy, and now KISS. Not too many more left – I’m pretty happy with the selection!

GREAT GEEK GORGE #6: Christmas 2012 Edition

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A few friends have asked me what kind of cool stuff I got for Christmas. I told them that in due time they’ll be able to read all about it at The Sexy Armpit. See, that’s the beauty of having a blog. I avoid having to rattle off the same list of things at different times to handfuls of people. I decided to incorporate a run-down of some of the awesome 2012 Christmas gifts I got into one of my favorite columns here, the Great Geek Gorge.

I can’t say that I actually had anything specific that I wanted for Christmas this year, but I did indeed drop a few hints at some items that were bouncing around in my brain.

Christmas 2012

It’s hard for my family and Miss Sexy Armpit’s family to buy me any kind of media. Buying me a DVD or a CD will usually be futile since I have thousands of them and it will most likely be a duplicate. I’m maturing a bit though. Or should I say I’ve been practicing restraint? I waited on buying The Dark Knight Rises and the WWE’s C.M Punk documentary on Bluray because I knew Christmas was coming up, so I threw that idea out there to Miss Sexy Armpit and her mom got them for me! It was like magic.

Miss Sexy Armpit did a great job picking up cool gifts for me as always. She got me a Batman plush “pillow” and throw blanket. I don’t see how the plush doll is a pillow but maybe since it’s geared toward boys they didn’t want to explicitly describe it as a doll or plush toy. Either way, it’s pretty awesome and I had a similar Superman doll like that but from the Knickerbocker company when I was a kid.

Before I get to the big crowd-pleasers there were a few things that I didn’t ask for, but I was still very happy to receive. First I got an awesome black cross with a diamond in it on a chain as well as a pair of work out pants. There was also an awesome K’nex KISS set, a USB salt rock lamp for my desk, and a knit hat with ear buds built in. Then, there aren’t many other ways to describe it but here it goes – a Coach “man purse,” It’s more like a mini backpack, but really there’s no other way around it. At the end of the day it’s still going to be referred to as a man purse. It’s pretty swank though. It’s a step up from my old TV Guide duffel bag that they sent me for free. I can understand not wanting to be seen in public with a guy carrying that around, especially while on vacation.

For those who know me or follow me on Twitter (@sexyarmpit) I’ve been obsessed with A&E’s Storage Wars for the last few months. I’m not into the other variations on the show, just the original incarnation. My favorite is Barry Weiss – that guy cracks me up. He always puts on these black skeleton gloves before he picks stuff out of lockers and I wanted a pair of my own.

The gloves and the next item you’ll read about were the only items I actually threw out as ideas for Christmas. I was a little sad that I didn’t get the gloves after my girlfriend and I exchanged gifts, but then, soon after, I was ecstatic when Miss Sexy Armpit’s mom got them for me!

Jay and 24-inch Gene SimmonsOne KISS collectible that I always wanted but never got my hands on was a limited edition 24-inch Gene Simmons statue by a budding (at the time) New York toy company called Art Asylum. The statue was part of the full band collection and created in the comic book style of the Destroyer album cover art. When pushed in, the statue’s base plays “God of Thunder.” The 24 inch line was sold at Spencer Gifts in 1999 and they each retailed for about $150.00. Back then it was too pricey for me. Nowadays a full set mint in box would probably go for close to $1,000. although I’m no Toy Hunter. Jordan Hembrough would probably ask $1300!

Around the time their big comeback record Psycho Circus, the KISS craze was on again worldwide. Toys, t-shirts, and comics filled stores like Spencer’s and KISS fans were going nuts buying everything in sight. The 24 inchers were the highest quality figures at the time, but with KISS fans you have to pick and choose what to spend money on, especially back then. There were concert tickets to be purchased, and plenty of other items that I lusted after, so I tried to ignore the most ultimate Gene Simmons figure I’d ever seen. Then, years later, at KISS cons and on eBay, the prices increased a bit.

Aside from my KISS fountain that spews blood out of Gene’s mouth, dubbed “The Gene Simmons Vomitizer” by Sebastian Bach on an episode of MTV Cribs (which coincidentally Miss Sexy Armpit ALSO got for me for Christmas one year), this giant limited edition figure is the Holy Grail of Gene Simmons collectibles in my opinion. It was hot on my mind and I figured I’d tell Santa, Miss Sexy Armpit, or anyone who would listen that I wanted this giant Gene for Christmas. So what if I was 14 years late on the mark?

Miss Sexy Armpit came through and continued to feed my KISS habit! She also came up with the idea to customize a pair of Sexy Armpit sunglasses for me. These are very cool pilot style sunglasses made by a company called Vaunt – check them out! The Sexy Armpit logo and name are etched into the lenses! The company can put anything you want on the lenses so it’s a cool gift idea!

Thank you to everyone who made this Christmas kick ass for The Sexy Armpit!