July 2014 has been an atrocious month for legendary guitarists: On the heels of Johnny Winter’s departure, famed Lou Reed and Alice Cooper collaborator Dick Wagner has died at 71. From The Detroit Free Press:

(Wagner) had famously overcome a series of medical issues during the past decade, retraining himself on guitar after a stroke paralyzed his left arm. He succumbed to respiratory failure at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare Shea Medical Center, where he had been in intensive care for the past two weeks following a cardiac procedure.

Aside from his high profile stints with the above, Wagner was also a widely recorded studio player, appearing (with various levels of public credit) on albums by Kiss and Aerosmith.

Read more at the Free Press.

Right here.

 

On the eve of KISS’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction there’s plenty of chatter from former band members. But none from onetime guitarist Vinnie Vincent. He seems to have gone off the grid following years of professional and personal turmoil, possibly culminating in the January 2014 death of his wife Diane Cusano. From a new Rolling Stone article:

Vincent’s fans and former bandmates have different theories about his current whereabouts: He might be in Nashville, with family in Connecticut, or with some sympathetic female Kiss fan. Wherever he’s gone, believes (promoter) Phil Elliott, Vincent will make his presence known once the bills start to pile up. ‘I don’t know how he’s going to stay afloat,’ Elliott says. ‘When he’s desperate enough, he’ll come out of the woodwork.’

Read more of the (somewhat spotty) profile and see a pic of Vincent’s seemingly abandoned house at RS.

Right here.

Bob Kulick’s little brother

This ad for SIT strings dates to Bruce Kulick’s stint in Kiss, specifically to the Revenge album. Scanned from Guitar School, July 1992.

From the Rooney Archive.

Robben Ford

Blues & jazz veteran Robben Ford has had a long career as a leader as well as being a sideman with the likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Musselwhite, and Joni Mitchell. But did you know his playing is also on the Kiss album Creatures of the Night? Go figure. This Seymour Duncan ad is from Guitar World, May 2002.

From the Rooney Archive.

Though some may think of him simply as “the guy in Ace Frehley’s makeup,” Tommy Thayer has a far more extensive Kiss resume. Noisecreep interviewed the guitarist and discussed his roots with the band:

(I)n 1985 my band Black ‘N Blue did about 24-25 shows with KISS and I got to know Paul and Gene. Black ‘N Blue then ran its course and I was hired to work behind the scenes with KISS, managing different sorts of things … archiving stuff, editing producing and directing videos, pay per views. Then ten years ago things evolved again and I came on board as lead guitarist.am today. Very ironic how it worked out.

Read more and check out a track from the new Kiss album Monster at Noisecreep.

Right here.

“Lightning bolt inlays and Ace peghead image for the true Ace look”

Unless this is Tommy Thayer, here is Ace Frehley with, of course, his own model of Les Paul. In ’97 KISS were in the throes of their first “reunion” and a year away from releasing Psycho Circus, which apparently minimally featured Ace in favor of Bruce Kulick and … Tommy Thayer.

Scanned from Guitar Player, December 1997.

Bruce Howard Kulick

Here we have Bruck Kulick in his KISS days touting the BBE Stinger, an early stomp box version of the Sonic Maximizer. This appeared in Guitar for the Practicing Musician, February 1990, the same issue that featured the KISS-less Mark St. John in a Westone ad.

At the time of this writing it appears that Kulick is a member of Grand Funk Railroad. Who knew?

Mark Leslie Norton, RIP

One of a series of Westone ads from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, February 1990.

Mark “St. John” was famous for playing guitar on the KISS album Animalize. After exiting the band due to an incapacitating arthritic condition he worked on various projects, including one called The Keep with Peter Criss around the time of this ad. Mark Leslie Norton died in 2007.

Here’s a KISS-related product that won’t line Gene Simmons’ pockets: No Regrets, A Rock & Roll Memoir is the upcoming book from Ace Frehley. Co-authored by Joe Layden and John Ostrosky, the volume is Ace’s tell-all chronicle. From the Amazon.com product description:

No Regrets goes behind the make-up, the money, the women, and the partying. Frehley recounts his battles with drug addiction and his brushes with death, sets the record straight about his complicated relationships with Simmons and Paul Stanley, and describes his evolution as a musician—all with his characteristic humor and honesty.

How could you go wrong?

Read more and pre-order the book at Amazon.

Right here.

This is a couple days old, but we’ve been away from the Pointy Guitar news desk. Apparently Vinnie Vincent, he of Kiss and Vinnie Vincent Invasion, was arrested in Tennessee last week for battery. Here’s how Vincent allegedly treated his wife, according to a New York Daily News article:

(He) dragged her through a pile of glass on the floor and threw her on the ground four times.

Authorities found something else interesting at the Vincent residence:

When cops arrived at the couple’s home, they reportedly found “four sealed containers containing deceased dogs.”

Oh. Ok.

Read more, if you dare, right here.

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