Never ones to deviate from the bigger is better mantra, veteran rockers KISS announced Tuesday at the Viper Room that they'll be releasing a massive 45-pound photography book priced at a whopping $4,25o. Four large and change for a book with poster-size photos of the same four dudes over and over again? Sounds totally worth it. The book, dubbed KISS Monster, is a collection live photographs of the band performing in their trademark makeup and costumes, stretching back over the course of their four-decade career. It is autographed by all the band's current members and is limited to 1,000 copies in each of 10 countries.
Would you be willing to fork over that much for a book? In a time when many people are struggling to get by, it's pretty shocking that the band would release something like this to as much pomp and circumstance as they have. Yet, are you surprised? Isn't that the KISS way? We're talking about the band that's so egotistic, business-savvy and money-driven (yes, you can be all of the above) that they put out an official band casket. It's one thing to love money (not a bad thing), but it's another thing to whore out your name in such a ridiculous way.
We know that KISS loves making money, and who wouldn't? But when is enough, enough? The band has a group of loyal fans who have followed the band since their heyday in the '70s and, as a way to repay them,they put out a retrospective priced strictly for KISS Army's illustrious 1%? Granted, they probably wanted to make this a special release, but why go through the song and dance of hyping it up if there are only a limited number of books available?
KISS is the first band to take marketing to another stratosphere and it's safe to say that they're the model for any group wanting to turn their band into a brand. By taking this extra step, it's almost like they're insulting their fanbase even without intending to. These books are going for serious collectors, but why have a press conference in West Hollywood to introduce the item, which is out of the price range for most of their fans. It's in poor taste to flaunt extravagance in such a fashion and KISS is taking advantage of their fans in order to bilk an extra buck out them–something I guess the fans should be used to by now. As long as there are fans willing to pay for things, then the band can do whatever they want, but that doesn't mean that it's right.