|Hello to KISS fans
everywhere around the world! My name is Jon
and I'm a 42-year old KISS
fanatic and collector from New York whose earliest memories include
Want You" at most family functions at the
tender age of 4. Thankfully, my older brother Cliff was a big fan, and
my initial exposure to the greatest band of all time. In 1975,
he actually taped KISS
pictures to my baby crib, which for some reason my parents didn't know
or they would have probably disowned him. So that is why I can say I
was a fan almost literally from birth! Anyway, I
up listening to KISS
all the time, and was Ace
Frehley for Halloween every year in
school (but never won the costume contest). Paul's
solo album was the first KISS
record I ever actually bought for myself (on cassette), while
inheriting my brother's
vinyl collection in 1979 after he and his trend-happy cronies decided KISS
was no longer cool upon buying "Dynasty."
But I never gave up on them because I always felt that the notion of KISS
was so much bigger than just one album; so when the music strayed a bit
off course, I still knew that there was much more coming from this
in the future that I never lost the faith. To those who skipped
out on the 80s KISS,
you missed a great time (R.I.P. Eric Carr
and the thunderous drum intro of "I Love It Loud" - need I say more?)
and to those who kept
the faith, we were repayed for our loyalty ten-fold, starting with the
record-breaking 1996 reunion tour of the original
the exciting Psycho Circus
album & tour. Of course, we had the Farewell
2000 tour to enjoy, which never quite
ended, yet after a handful of summer tours, 3 kick-ass KISSOLOGY
DVD releases and a brand new studio album in 2009, KISS
found a way to stay relevant through another
decade. 40+ years later,
music clearly lives on, and all of the naysayers and critics who
it was a joke can only laugh at themselves now, especially with their
comically long-overdue induction into the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame. All it takes is
listen to the newest CD Monster
to realize the band is as solid as it has ever been, and their live
performances are still setting the bar for bands 25 years their
junior. At the end of the day, KISS
is the ultimate force to be reckoned with and has achieved so much in
such a glorious, phenomenal and unique history.
Combine my deep passion for this band with an entrepreneurial spirit and you have the beginnings of the KISS ROCKS Fan Club. In late 1984, a simple eight-page black and white newsletter called KISS ROCKS debuted as one of the first KISS fanzines in an underground press that would soon expand tremendously. An ad in the back of a 1985 Circus magazine (coincidentally w/Paul on the cover, 2/28/85) started it all, and soon the membership grew to include fans in over 25 countries and almost all 50 states. Over the years I had the distinct pleasure and honor of conducting phone interviews with Eric Carr, Gene Simmons, Vinnie Vincent, and Bruce Kulick, as well as meeting all members of KISS past and present. I was also proud to see KISS ROCKS listed in the "thank you" section of the "Hot In the Shade" liner notes, where many KISS fanzines were applauded for their hard work. Fast forward to 2009 and I was absolutely thrilled that KISS ROCKS was included (and well-represented) in Gene Simmons' book 'The Ultimate KISS Fanzine Phenomenon 1976-2009' (pgs 88-89). It is a book like this that sums up exactly the relationship between the band and its fans. Highly recommended!!
The newsletter was a great way for me to express my passion and dedication for the band, and a perfect venue to share it with others. It also set the stage for some of the contacts and good friends I've made along the way with whom I still correspond and trade merchandise. The funniest thing about it all was that I never told anyone my real age, because being only 12 or 13 years old, I thought that I wouldn't be taken seriously (and I never gave anyone my phone number because my pre-pubescent voice would have surely given me away!) Anyway, after finishing high school in 1991 and getting ready to head off to college (with a slightly deeper voice), I decided to stop publishing the newsletter simply because I wouldn't have the time anymore to do the best job possible. So after 7 years, I stopped publishing KISS ROCKS -- but my love for the band certainly remained.
hosted their own conventions in 1995, my interest in the original
began to increase and I decided to build upon my already decent-sized
I started collecting anything and everything with the official KISS
logo on it, and soon had my own tables at many exciting KISS
conventions in 'rock cities' such as Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia,
Providence, Boston, Baltimore - and of course the always awesome Annual
New York/New Jersey KISS EXPO (where I've
been a dealer for 18 straight years (!).
JON RUBIN @ 2006 NY/NJ KISS EXPO JON w/FELLOW FAN & MAJOR HELP GREG JENSEN...
AND A NEW UP-AND-COMING ASSISTANT!
JON & CLIFF AT THE 2006 NY/NJ EXPO
*For more comments about me, check out my eBay feedback profile - 100% positive feedback since 1998!*
**Check out my list of every KISS show and official KISS event I've ever attended**
Hangin' with Ace at his Birthday Bash in New Jersey the day before the 16th Annual NY/NJ EXPO, 4/27/02
At the Washburn booth with Paul at
the New York Custom Guitar Show, 1/9/00
Backstage at the Meadowlands, NJ, 6/28/00 with the Spaceman himself (the only photo I have of me with a band member in full make-up and costume!)
with Bruce Kulick backstage on the Revenge tour at the Capital Centre, Largo, MD, 10/18/92
Backstage at B.B. King's in NYC before Ace takes the stage, 10/26/11
and with the whole band!! 10/10/10 Madison Square Garden, NYC
It ain't KISS but it's pretty damn close to it...
Hanging with my friends in the awesome NYC tribute band KISSNATION, backstage at Don Hill's, NYC 4/21/04
PHOTO JUST FOUND!**
Mark Slaughter from the VINNIE VINCENT INVASION holding up a copy of his favorite KISS 'zine, KISS ROCKS! July 1988
Thanks again and please click HOME below to find all of the merchandise available on this site!