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!

Six Scores From The Flea Market!

I believe it was an ancient Chinese Proverb that stated, “The early bird catches the worm, well, usually, but only if he can wake his ass up in time.”

Since I’m on a schedule where I wake up ungodly early for work each day, my body’s own alarm clock buzzed me out of a dead sleep around 7am on Saturday. The incessant chirping of birds near my window didn’t help either. The flea market trip wasn’t for a few hours, so I did my best to waste time. Ate some cereal, watched Big Hero 6 for the 11th time, inventoried my entire Monster High collection…HA! Just kidding, that would take me 3 1/2 weeks. Then, before I knew it, it was time to embark on another journey to the Englishtown Auction with Matt from Dinosaur Dracula.

To say that I was soured on my experiences is an understatement. Do you remember when Luke’s X-Wing fighter sunk into the murky swamp on Dagobah? Well, that’s basically what happened to my car, just at a Flea Market in New Jersey. If you missed that little debacle, you can read about it here!

Matt reported that his last trip to Englishtown was a major success, and I chalked that propaganda up to the natural high of finding the absolute most beautiful ceramic E.T bank that was actually manufactured in 1982 by a Hallmark-like stationary store on Brodo Asogi. Come to think of it, maybe getting my ass back there was an intergalactic imperative.

It seriously couldn’t have been a more perfect day for 3-hour walk around an outdoor flea market. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the low ’70s. Even the insane traffic couldn’t agitate me, well, that’s a baldfaced lie. Traffic always agitates me, but when I’m with friends, it agitates me considerably less. Maybe it’s because I can’t let them see my usual stuck in a car with no air conditioning type meltdowns.

Frequently, every weekend even, you tend to see people posting their big finds from the various yard sales (I always called them Garage Sales) and Flea Markets on Instagram and Twitter. What’s irksome to me is that everyone elsewhere across the country seems to find some utterly amazing shit, while often, all I come home with is a Taylor Dane LP not realizing that I already owned 2 copies. I can never get enough of “Tell it To My Heart,” so all is well. Though, records weren’t the only crap I came home with from the Flea Market this weekend.

Their trash is my treasure as they say, and this trip defined that old saying in spades. The dirty bags of junk I hauled into my apartment last night were filled with things that seriously almost no one would’ve purchased. Except maybe our friend, Trash Culture.

Literally, the first table I stopped at gave me an early indication that we’d have a wondrous experience on this day. This guy’s table was filled with the most random junk EVER. The friendly vendor was willing to work with me on prices too.

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1. GENE SIMMONS PLAQUE

Out of all the amazing stuff at the table, my eyes zeroed in on an old Gene Simmons plaque that looked like it was hanging in a den covered in wood paneling in 1978. What that translates to is me having to own this without question. FIVE BUCKS. Boom. Take my money.

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2. FLABBER DOLL – BIG BAD BEETLEBORGS

Oh wait up vendor man, you have a Flabber doll from the Big Bad Beetleborgs? WTF, are you seriously kidding me right now? I will give you $160 dollars for it. 2 days prior, I just got done telling Matt how creepy I thought that dude Flabber was. I think the spirit animal thing has been done to death by this point, but whatever the modern equivalent is, good ol’ Flabs is mine. He was Jay Leno mixed with the ghost of Liberace. NEED.

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3. PROMOTIONAL SOPRANOS WATER SNOW GLOBE TV THINGY

Oh no, wait, don’t ring me up yet, you also have this promotional Sopranos TV that doubles as a snow globe, but instead of snow it’s dollar signs? How much for f*cking Flabber AND the Sopranos promotional TV water globe thing? 4 bucks! How could I go wrong? I could’ve stopped right there and went home with the same level of happiness of a little kid in 1986 leaving TRU with an action figure. Just realizing now that this thing goes for some decent cash on eBay. Some Buy It Now listings for it range from $24 to $66 dollars!

As if these finds weren’t preposterous enough, this was all from the freaking same table! If I hadn’t already overused caps in this post I would’ve typed that entire previous sentence in caps and maybe even bold. A big thanks to that vendor too, because after I was done looting his table, Matt noticed his insane collection of old fridge magnets and he cut him a great deal for the entire collection.

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4. RECORDS! MORE RECORDS!

Leaving a flea market without a vinyl LP is a virtual impossibility for me. This time, I actually had one in mind that I’m trying to track down, but couldn’t find it. Looking at my haul, there was about 10 records, most were a buck, 2 were free, and then with a couple of Tiffany 45s thrown in the mix (Matt found them! One of these I already had, but whatevs, that’s a bad habit of mine.) I won’t detail all of the records I picked up, but I’ll show you some of the best ones.

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First, the most random “get” was My Stepmother is an Alien Soundtrack. The fact that this even exists in 2015 is a miracle. The inspiration for owning this soundtrack was clearly not the music etched into the vinyl. Look at that cover! Was that photo one of the rejects from an ad for the Playboy Channel in the late ’80s? So awesome. From there, a Hall and Oates single, one of my favorite tunes by them: “Adult Education,” with the lyrics on the back cover! Also, Wendy and Lisa’s Fruit at the Bottom, former tag-team backup for Prince. And of course, those Tiffany 45s. The design of these covers were so simple, yet so effective. They didn’t overthink it at all. Slap a glamour shot on the cover, a typical font of the era, and some minimal effect, and nowadays you have artists trying with all of their ingenuity to recreate this style on their own releases.

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5. HERCULES THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS FIGURES, 1996

My condo is packed with about 685 million action figures, so clearly I needed more. I don’t even know a damn thing about the Hercules TV show or Xena for that matter, but one thing I will say in my defense is that I won’t needlessly buy figures unless I’m drawn to them in a specific way. Now, when reading the name of this next figure, how could I not be drawn to her?

SHE-DEMON.

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I’m attracted to She-Demons, what can I say?

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys from Toy Biz figures were 2 for $5 bucks. I wasn’t an avid viewer of the show, but I’ve definitely seen it on TV, I believe it aired on our local WWOR-9 at the time. It was that shlocky Saturday mid-day programming that always came through for me when I was eating lunch in the kitchen and needed a temporary diversion. I don’t know too much about the show, but I can now tell you that the figure line was amazing. There are monsters, there are heroes, there are Mesomorphs. I went with that stone cold fox She-Demon and Xena II with her red warrior disguise.

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6. WONDER GIRL CUP 7-11, 1973

Something tells me that a roving therapist or psychiatrist would benefit some of the people at the Englishtown Auction. Whether people want to admit it or not, there are some nutsos running a few of the tables. Some of them are just wacky, while others are seriously delusional.

This one lady had about 5 or 6 of these vintage 7-11 cups on her garbage filled table. Keep in mind, people go to these flea markets to get good deals, not to overpay with eBay pricing. I asked “How much are these cups?” as if I didn’t know anything about them. With that, this woman starts asking me all kinds of questions like “Which one are you interested in, I can sell you all five for $100 dollars, you know they are all so expensive.”

I explained that I didn’t want all of them. She then offered me the price of $15 each and reminded me again how expensive they were, which technically, by eBay standards was actually pretty fair, but we were standing on a pile of dirt that was clouding up every time people walked by, we were in the middle of a big open space with picnic tables that have been there since the ’60s, and there was no freaking way I was prepared to shell out $15 bucks for this damn cup, no matter how bad I wanted it. She asked me how I felt about that price and stone faced I said, “That is too steep for me,” and began to walk away. “3 DOLLARS!” she yelled to me.

SOLD.

And there you have it folks, one of the most successful and entertaining flea market trips I’ve ever taken part in. There were a few other items too, so I’m sure they’ll surface here in the near future. Thanks for reading!

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 .

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.

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.

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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!

NJ KISS EXPO 2012 Recap

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Cobo Hall in Detroit, MI may be one of the arenas where KISS recorded their monumental ALIVE album in 1975, but the NJ Expo Center in Edison, NJ is where the 2012 KISS EXPO took place on Saturday September 8th, 2012. The Sexy Armpit was there merely to take in the scene and report back to you, because I promised myself I wouldn’t get out of control with spending. Like many of you reading this, I’m a long time member of the KISS ARMY – hell, I’m probably a Lieutenant General by now. I feel good that I didn’t spend a lot and we still had a good time. Continue on for the recap!

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. This expo is referred to as the NJ/NY KISS EXPO, which makes me happy that it refers to NJ first, but it’s also lame because NOTHING that happens in New York EVER acknowledges Jersey. It’s NOT the NY/NJ Comic Con, is it? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved New York since I was a little kid, but why the hell can’t we have our own damn KISS expo?

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Miss Sexy Armpit rocking some Paul Stanley style sunglasses 
and making Paul’s signature KISS face

God Gave Rock and Roll to me, well not to me personally, but you know what I mean, so who am I to refuse a freaking KISS expo merely a few miles away? Just show me where to sign! Well, I didn’t sign anything, but the tickets for the show started at $20 bucks each. Typical of most events like this, there were extra charges to meet Peter Criss and Bruce Kulick, but they were charged by the band member, not the expo itself. Since I was watching my spending I steered clear of all that anyway.

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Usually I go to these things with an agenda or looking for a few items I’d like to own, but this time I just wanted to go and shoot the breeze with my woman and meet up with my friend Jim. That lucky guy is going on the upcoming KISS KRUISE II! Jim brought along his custom mint-in-box Peter Criss PEZ that he made himself to get signed. At this point, I’m pretty sure he’s had all the band members sign his custom made KISS PEZ set! Gene even told him not to sell them, what an A-HOLE! HAHA. I don’t care, I love that big old Demon anyway.

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Gene Simmons can’t be mentioned in the same sentence without the thought of $$ MONEY $$, so let me tell you what I bought. First and foremost, I have enough KISS stuff to last me a life time, so the days of pining over KISS stuff are beyond me, that is…until something awesome crosses my path. Miss Sexy Armpit and I were digging through piles of t-shirts, (tees are some of my favorite things in life), and I didn’t see any I really liked for myself, but found an awesome Rock and Roll Over tee that I bought for Miss Armpit. As you can see, it was hard to pass up! It will do nicely for the KISS/CRUE show at the PNC Bank Arts Center on 9/21! Plus, it will match the patch on the back of “Irvin,” a.k.a my old denim KISS vest.

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One of the only disappointments about the expo was the scale of the show. It wasn’t as vast as I imagined it would be. I missed last years expo so I can’t compare it, but this one had 2 fairly large rooms with plenty of vendors, but I guess I’m spoiled. Considering I’ve been going to Chiller and Monster Mania for years now, an expo like this feels small. It really wasn’t small at all though. 
As for entertainment, there was Dylan, a 9-year old Peter Criss impersonator playing drums along with KISS tracks, which was pretty cool. He kicked ass on the drums too. One thing I’d like to see the expo add next year is a few sets from a KISS tribute band. I understand they come with a pretty hefty price tag, but that would be worth the admission for me. I love watching KISS tribute bands, obviously not as much as I do the original band, but it’s still fun and an added attraction. Or Dylan can just get some of his friends and they can start up their own tribute band called KIDD. Do it Dylan!

Greatest Mask EVER…

Diabolical Disc Demon Mask

I was literally stunned to see this mask at a booth at the New York Comic Con this year. For those of you who are not familiar with who this mask is supposed to be, you need to take a trip back to your childhood! The slab of rubbery glory is a triumph for Scooby-Doo fans, well, for me at least. The mask is based off of The Diabolical Disc Demon, a villainous knockoff of Gene Simmons from one of my all time favorite episodes of Scooby Doo: Where Are You? that first aired in 1978. I’m pretty sure The Disc Demon could’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling stoners and their dog! Other classic Scooby villains are also available in case you for some reason haven’t figured out what to dress up as for Halloween.

Click below to read all about The Disc Demon episode and the appearance of KISS on Scooby-Doo in a classic Sexy Armpit post: