Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS are bringing their Rock & Brews restaurant chain to Chicago with plans to open 10 to 15 locations in the city
The Chicago Tribune reports that the rockers plan to expand the chain over the next five to seven years with the first Chicago-area restaurant scheduled to open next year, though the location is still being negotiated.
An expansion that large is considered a risky gamble. The 67-year-old Simmons said, “Either Chicago is America or it’s not. Everywhere we’ve gone, it works beyond expectation. The only thing you could say is, it’s not going to work here because we’re in Zimbabwe.”
He added, “Look, we’re not McDonald’s, we’re in a higher end, but when it works, boy, it works. When a brand gets it right for their audience, it can work almost anywhere.”
Since launching in 2012, Rock & Brews has grown to 20 locations in the U.S. and Mexico. They offer rock-themed casual dining with a wide variety of locally brewed craft beer on tap. Each location has 30 to 40 televisions, playing sports and rock videos.
The plan is to get to 100 locations in the next five years.
As the latest guitar star to feature in Ernie Ball’s ongoing web series, String Theory, Paul Stanley goes into detail about his lifelong love for the guitar, its importance in rock’n’roll, as well as his time spent in a certain face-painted 1970’s rock band. Watch the video below.
Ace Frehley is keeping his hot streak burning with a newly expanded deluxe edition of his 2009 album Anomaly, which arrives on vinyl, CD and digital formats Sept. 8. You can listen to our exclusive premiere of the bonus track “Hard for Me” above.
“I think this new edition of the album is great – a special treat for the fans,” says Frehley. “And, with the bonus tracks, they’ll get a little more insight into how the album came together.” For example, “Hard for Me” is a previously unreleased demo that evolved into Anomaly‘s lead-off track, “Foxy & Free.”
Anomaly Deluxe also features a slower version of “Pain in the Neck,” and the previously digital-only track “Return of the Space Bear.” It will also include enhanced album art, a new live poster and extensive liner notes featuring track-by-track commentary from Frehley.
Matthew Wilkenring | Loudwire
“Literally two days ago I was with Ace,” Simmons told 92 KQRS (via Blabbermouth). “He asked me to write for his next solo record. So I went over to his place, way out in the desert some place, and we wrote two things.”
There is no confirmed release date or title for Frehley’s apparently in-progress seventh studio album, which would be the follow up to 2014’s well-received Space Invader.
This will mark the first time Simmons and Frehley worked together on a record since 1998’s Psycho Circus, which was intended to be a studio reunion of the original Kiss lineup but wound up being a much more fractured effort.
Daniel Bukszpan | Music & Musicians
Earlier this month, legendary KISS bassist and singer Gene Simmons submitted a trademark application that sought to register a familiar sight at rock concerts. The business-savvy rocker wanted to corner the market on the “devil horns” hand gesture, a fixture among heavy metal audiences for decades.
Simmons’ attempt was met by criticism from throughout the music world, and widespread derision in the media. The controversy proved short-lived, as Simmons this week abandoned his quest with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Simmons did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Still, the rocker’s attempt raised an interesting question about whether he–or anyone else for that matter–could actually prevail in such a quest to make money from a hand gesture. In the wake of Simmons’ aborted effort, CNBC canvased a few experts to get their take.
“It is very highly unlikely that the United States Patent and Trademark Office, who examines and registers trademarks, would issue one for Mr. Simmons,” said John Conway, a trademark and business law attorney and CEO of the Astonish media group.
“Mr. Simmons would have to somehow demonstrate the uniqueness or special meaning… that consumers would automatically connect that hand signal to Mr. Simmons as an artist,” he added. Conway also pointed out that the gesture is used in sign language, and is similar to the one used by Spider-Man to spin a web—which dates back to at least the 1960’s.
The web-slinging teen from Queens is far from the only one.
“John Lennon used it at least as early as 1969 on the cover of the Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ album,” Conway added. “It has been used by many other artists and fans in the heavy metal genre for decades. The origins of the hand sign go back to medieval Italian hand signs to ward off curses.”
Rocker Gene Simmons has abandoned his application to trademark his signature “rock on” hand gesture.
The KISS frontman filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier in June to trademark the use of his “devil horns” hand gesture for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.”
In the application, he claimed he was the first to use it in 1974, and he was subsequently mocked by members of the rock world, with many fans pointing out the symbol pre-dates the bass player.
The rocker has now withdrawn his bid, with the status on application’s page now reading, “DEAD/APPLICATION/Withdrawn/Abandoned… The owner of the trademark application withdrew (e.g. abandoned) the application and the application is no longer active.”
The listing shows the case was withdrawn on Tuesday, after the applicant “filed an express abandonment.”