As if we needed any more proof that KISS is all about the merchandising, the reality-TV wedding of (the notoriously marriage-averse) Gene Simmons and longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed now has its own line of official souvenir merchandise.
The couple, who star in the A&E reality series "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" alongside their two children, were married October 1st in a star-studded ceremony in Beverly Hills. The store is selling everything from guitar picks to an engraved crystal chiller/ice-bucket. An acrylic reproduction of the wedding invitation is also available for the low, low price of $48.95. Is anyone even surprised by this kind of thing anymore?
KISS have been at the forefront of over-merchandising for well over 20 years. Fans around the globe can purchase all manner of officially licensed swag. Everything from comic books and underwear to "KISS Kaskets" can be had for a price. In fact, former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell was buried in one following his murder in 2004. Sales figures are unavailable, but it's not a stretch to assume that more than a few have been put to good use in funeral homes across the globe.
KISS, in another merchandizing move sure to confound all but the most loyal fans, have also introduced a line of "award-winning" fine wines. "KISS Zin-Fire", according to the official website, contains "a brazen blend of blackberry and pepper [that] gives the wine a hard-rocking kick and spicy smooth finish." KISS co founder (and notable non-drinker) had this to say: “This stuff will set your taste buds on fire.”
In this endeavor, however, they are not without competition. Lemmy Killmister, leader and bass player for seminal speed-metal enthusiasts Motorhead, also sells wine in his spare time. According to the official website for the Australian Shiraz,"The wine has a very fruity aroma with flavours of vanilla, blackberries, plums, eucalyptus and liquorice. It is full-bodied with soft rounded tannins and packs a real punch." One can only hope that translates to "Tastes like 'Ace of Spades' sounds."
80's hair metal stalwarts Warrant and Ratt are also making a move into the wine game with their own limited edition concoctions, once again trying (and failing) to copy KISS. What else is an aging rocker supposed to do? Nobody wants to frame the invitation to Jani Lane or Stephen Pearcy's wedding, right?