KISS: The Ritz on Fire (Gold Fish)

The Ritz on Fire
(Gold Fish)

This live radio broadcast from August 12, 1988 was originally released on vinyl under the title ‘Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry.’ It’s an interesting look into Kisstory and the lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr towards the end of the ‘Crazy Nights’ tour. The band played two intimate shows (capacity 1,500 both nights) at the Ritz in New York, New York as a warm up to European and festival dates, such as Donington. The first of these shows was broadcast live on WNEW. The band rolls through old and new songs competently. The quality of the recording is fair, but then again, it was a radio broadcast from nearly 30 years ago.

Anecdotally, this is an interesting show in that these shows supposedly mark the last known occasion that Paul Stanley threw a fire hat into the audience at the end of “Firehouse.”

This performance answered a question I’ve always had as a fan, and that is why Kulick wasn’t recruited to rejoin and put on Ace Frehley’s makeup after Ace departed for the final time in 2002. It’s clear listening to Kulick live that he would not have been a good fit. Kulick, a phenomenal lead player, would never have played Ace’s signature parts as recorded. It’s evident here. Kulick gives enough of Ace’s flavor to satisfy fans, but includes enough of himself to make the solos his own.

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