KISS Related

Mitch Weissman (2013)
Background vocalist/original "Beatlemania" cast member recalls his contributions to Gene Simmons' 1978 solo album and his work with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on albums such as "Animalize" and "Crazy Nights," plus a potpourri of KISS stories and tangents.

David Snowden (2013)
Longtime KISS fan and former head of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion fan club talks "All Systems Go" and various KISS-related topics

Mark Opitz (2013)
Producer details his work on "KISS Symphony: Alive IV"

Bruce Foster (2012)
Grammy-nominated musician discusses working with KISS and playing piano on "Nothin' To Lose"

David Wolfert (2012)
Grammy- and Emmy-nominated producer recalls working with Peter Criss on his first post-KISS solo album, 1980's "Out Of Control"

Bob Ezrin (2012)
Legendary producer details "Destroyer: Resurrected" and the making of the album

Lydia Criss (2012)
Author discusses the second printing of "Sealed With A KISS" and various Peter Criss- and KISS-related topics

Jean Beauvoir (2010)
Songwriter/recording artist recalls collaborations with KISS on "Animalize," "Asylum" and more

Kenny Kerner (2010)
Recalling KISS' early days with the co-producer of "KISS" and "Hotter Than Hell"

Eric Singer (2010)
Exclusive interview with KISS' current drummer regarding a variety of topics

Ace Frehley (2009)
KISS' original Spaceman details his first studio album in 20 years, "Anomaly"

Bruce Kulick (2009)
Non-makeup-era axeman discusses KISS tenure and latest album, "BK3"

Mike Japp (2005)
A discussion with KISS collaborator on the "Killers" and "Creatures Of The Night" albums

Dick Wagner (2004)
KISS' favorite "ghost" guitarist discusses his guitar playing on "Destroyer" and "Revenge"

Jesse Damon (2003)
Former member of Silent Rage on his collaborations with Gene Simmons

Stan Penridge (2000)
Peter Criss' right-hand man talks Chelsea, Lips and working with the Catman

Bruce Kulick (1999)
Guitarist talks Union project with John Corabi, Eric Carr and ESP

Sean Delaney (1998)
A brief encounter with the "fifth" member of KISS

Bob Ezrin (1998)
Former KOL webmaster Michael Brandvold grills the legendary producer regarding his work with KISS

Brief Communication with Dick Wagner

By Julian Gill

Before there was Bob Kulick, ghosting on KISS records as "Ace Frehley," there was Dick Wagner, who had by 1976 a long association with producer Bob Ezrin, most notably due to his session work, and later as a band member, with Alice Cooper. However, Dick's musical history went much further than the musical footnotes of his session work with the likes of KISS and Aerosmith, but to dig into that would be beyond the scope of this Q&A! The KissFAQ thanks Dick for being willing to take the time to answer some questions!

KissFAQ: "Destroyer". Do you recall at what point Bob Ezrin brought you into the sessions? There seems to have been two main separate recording sessions (late-75, and then Jan. 76) where the recording was done.
Dick Wagner: It was winter and I was living at the Plaza Hotel when Bob asked me to come over to the studio and play a little guitar for a KISS record. I was thrilled to be part of it, but as to exactly when it happened, all I remember is it was cold outside and I froze my ass trying to catch a cab downtown.

KF: Do you recall how Bob got you involved and how he suggested that you were needed in the studio?
DW: Bob liked my solo work and he suggested I was the guy he wanted for certain solo sections on a couple songs... So I did my best to make everyone happy.

KF: "Flaming Youth". You play guitar on this song, but do you recall whether Ace had any lead on the song or did you simply do punch-ins to finish the piece?
DW: I don't think Ace had any of that solo... I did it as an overdub after the tracks had been cut.

KF: "Sweet Pain". Ace has commented that he had already recorded a solo for the song, so what led to you doing guitar work on the song and is the solo in fact yours?
DW: "Sweet Pain" is in fact my solo...what happened to Ace's solo I have no idea.

KF: "Beth". I've never heard any guitars on the "Destroyer" album version of the song (though that doesn't mean that they're not there!). You've made comments that you played on Beth - does this mean that you are the guitarist on the acoustic version of the song which KISS used on the Phantom movie? If so, what can you recall about recording this song?
DW: I recall playing acoustic guitar on "Beth," the album version. Listen closely... you will hear it. I'm surprised you haven't before.

KF: You did your work on "Destroyer" quickly; do you recall who was in the studio when you were doing your work? Was there any direction, to play similar to Ace, and how easily did your work come together? Was there any question of multiple takes, where efforts didn't sound like "KISS."
DW: I work quickly. In the studio, Ezrin and I forget who else. I only play like I play and would never try to sound like Ace or anyone else. I just go for the feel and the mood of the song.

KF: Would you care to rate Ace Frehley as a guitarist?
DW: Ace is a very good guitarist and I thank him for the opportunity to be a part of their history.

KF: Bob Ezrin brought you back into the studio to do work on KISS' "Revenge" album. How did that come about?
DW: I happened to be in Los Angeles at the time they were recording and Paul suggested I play on a track.

KF: You played the solo on "Every Time I Look At You." Did you make any other contributions to the album?
DW: I offered to go for coffee but I was over-ruled.

KF: You and Alan Schwartzberg have been un-credited players for more KISS members than anyone else. How do you view the necessity of session players in a band's studio recording effort?
DW: Sometimes very necessary... Not all band players are great studio players at all times.

KF: Since you played on both "Destroyer" and "Revenge," it's worth asking whether Bob involved you on the other KISS album he produced: "The Elder" (1981). Ace wasn't actively participating in the recording of the album fully...
DW: No other albums I am sorry to say. I loved the band and Mr. Ezrin as well but I was not needed again.

KF: You've done a lot of session work, from this context, Aerosmith and KISS are the most notable. How much did you know about KISS prior to becoming involved in their recordings?
DW: I was aware of them... Who wasn't! But I wasn't a follower or anything like that.

KF: How do you rate KISS as a band?
DW: I rate them as one of the great rock bands/rock shows of the 20th [Century].

September 24, 2004

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