Kiss frontman is also planning performance with Ace Frehley
By David Sands
September 12, 2017
It looks like Gene Simmons upcoming box set may include a little something for Van Halen fans. According to the Van Halen News Desk, the KISS frontman’s huge career-spanning solo box set, Gene Simmons: The Vault Experience, will include three never before released songs that were recorded with Alex and Eddie Van Halen for KISS’ 1977 Love Gun album: “Tunnel of Love,” “Got Love For Sale” and “Christine Sixteen.”
Perhaps the most intriguing of these is “Christine Sixteen,” which features a captivating solo by Eddie that was allegedly copied by KISS axeman Ace Frehley on the album’s final version.
In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, after remarking that he’d had helped discover Van Halen and produced their demo, Simmons said that the Van Halen brothers had helped him record the three tracks as a “favor.”
“I was in Los Angeles, and I called Alex and Ed,” he told the publication. “‘Listen, I got three songs. I’m going in at 2AM. Do you want to help me?’ Usually I put down all the parts, but I wanted to do three songs instead of one. So we did ‘Christine Sixteen,’ and I put the keyboards on, everything else. Ed did the solo to the rhythm guitar, bass, and Alex was on drums.’”
All told, The Vault will feature 10 CDs containing 150 tracks — including a recording with Bob Dylan — covering 50 years of Simmons music career from 1966 to 2016. The set will also come with a Gene Simmons action figure, “In Gene We Trust” oversized commemorative coin, and deluxe book containing 160-pages of never released photos and track-by-track commentary on each song.
Notably absent will be the inclusion of any digital downloads, a sore spot with the KISS frontman who has vocally come out against the online song piracy. The set, which is priced at $2,000, will be hand delivered by the artist himself beginning Dec. 31. More expensive versions that include hang out sessions with Simmons and an “Executive Producer” credit are also available.
In other Simmons news, Gene will be reuniting with Ace Frehley, KISS’ original lead guitarist, for their first live performance together since 2001. The pair are coming together on Sept. 20 for a Children Matter Benefit Concert in St. Paul, Minnesota which will benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey. Simmon’s solo band will be getting top billing at the show which will also feature Cheap Trick and ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder.
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