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Kissology, a visual chronicle that celebrates forty years of KISS proved to be one of the most impressive treasure troves to make their way onto DVD. Collecting televisions appearances, rare concert footage and even the 1978 feature film KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, the three box-sets charted the first twenty-five years of their career. Naturally, volume one was the most impressive, which captured the group at the peak of their success and creativity during the mid-to-late 1970s, boasting full-length shows shot in San Francisco, Detroit and Tokyo. The second volume focused on the era when the band abandoned their trademark make-up, underwent line-up changes and embraced the flourishing hair metal scene of the 1980s, while the third documented the four-piece during the 1990s, when they made an acoustic appearance on MTV Unplugged and promoted their latest album, Psycho Circus, at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium.
The three volumes were released over the span of fourteen months, but since the last volume debuted shortly before Christmas 2007 there has been little talk of a fourth, presumably documenting the last sixteen years of their lives, picking up where the third volume left off. But in a new interview with blogger Michael Cavacini guitarist Tommy Thayer, who replaced Ace Frehley in 2002, has revealed that the majority of the work has been completed. ‘I don’t know if it was officially slated to be released then. It’s still on hold. It’s about eighty-five per cent done,’ he explains. ‘I put it together and produced what we’ve done so far. Kissology 4, like the other Kissologies will chronicle a certain era of the band. It will chronicle the band from early 2001/2002 up until the current date.’
He continues, ‘It will also include vintage footage from the KISS archives that people haven’t seen. Getting back to your question, I don’t know if I have a good reason why it hasn’t come out yet. There’s just been so many other things going on, and something as important as that, has to have its own window of time where it’s focused and committed to, so it gets the right attention. Sometimes that kind of stuff happens. A project like that is timeless so you have more flexibility where it doesn’t have to come out at a certain time. We’re waiting to find the right time to put it out so it gets the attention that it deserves.
Thayer also addressed the criticism many fans have made over the last fourteen years of how the guitarist chose to adopt Frehley’s KISS persona the Spaceman. ‘It really doesn’t bother me. You can’t be fooled by a handful people that go on websites and complain. Some people complain about everything, really, not just who’s the guitar player. In that context, it doesn’t really mean anything to me. If anything, I chuckle and smile when I hear things like that. It really has nothing to do with what’s happening in reality. Put it this way: KISS continues to go out and play big shows and be the phenomenon that it is. I give more merit to that fact, than what a few oddballs say online. I don’t really care.’But it isn’t just fans who have commented on Thayer portraying the Spaceman, as Frehley himself commented on the issue during a 2014 interview with Village Voice. ‘I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a KISS cover band,’ claimed the band’s former guitarist, who was initially fired alongside original drummer Peter Criss in the early 1980s. ‘Any lingering ill will is in perspective: ‘He didn’t do anything; he was hired by Paul and Gene to put on my make-up and costume and play my guitar solos – a business deal. Look, if he wouldn’t have done it, they would have hired somebody else. I walked out on the band; I quit. What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different make-up like they did with Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That’s what the fans are upset about.’ Then then added, ‘I always thought that anyone could hide behind KISS‘ make-up. The band could grow old and no one could see through the make-up: a brilliant idea. Tommy Thayer is one hell of a nice guy but he is not Ace Frehley and shouldn’t be in Ace’s shoes. There is only one Ace! I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?’