Book: Nothing To Loose
Author: Ken Sharp
Release Date: 2013-09-10
This is a great book. It’s presented in an oral history format, which I love. And Ken Sharp has done his homework, pulling quotes and interviewing countless individuals.
From roadies to managers, from band members to fans, this book delves deep into areas that’ve only been briefly referenced in the past. I learned more from this book than I’ve learned from any other source. It’s a treasure trove of information. This book is what KISStory should’ve been. And at 560 pages, it’s definitely closer to what it should’ve been.
While it only covers 1973 - 1975, this is the most complete history of KISS that I’ve read in only one volume. The quotes regarding Neil Bogart and the history of Casablanca alone make it worthwhile.
Unfortunately, several quotes reference time periods post-1975. Sharp does an excellent job of engulfing you in the ‘73-‘75 period, but many of the extended quotes reference periods when KISS was on top of the world. These quotes should’ve been edited to limit their scope. When you’re reading a book limited to a three year period, it’s unsettling to read quotes that reference 5-10 years out. It unnecessarily breaks character. It’s obvious Sharp has edited many quotes, so cutting out the non-linear portions of quotes should’ve been a no-brainer.
Moreover, Sharp spends considerable effort spewing quotes that reinforced the idea that KISS was up against the world, that their vision carried them forward, that it was a constant, uphill battle. While all these things are true, it grows old after a while, and I found myself skipping paragraphs to get to the meat of the material. After 100 pages, we get it. KISS’s road was tough. There’s no need to restate and reframe, yet again, the severity of their struggle every 25 pages. It’s this eternal chest beating and drum pounding that drops the book to 4 stars.
I don’t mean to say this book is repetitive (although at times, it can be). Overall, it works. It’s powerful and the information is first rate. After 35+ years as a fan, this book presented details I’d never read. It’s a powerful and solid addition to any fan’s library.
Go get it.