RECORD STORE TAKES MkII: Getting More Tale
#414: Get the Firehouse!
Initially, I wanted to do a post called “Miscellaneous Mailings”, with all sorts of fan club and fanzine paraphernalia. Once I started digging through said bags and boxes of postal paraphernalia, I realized I had enough Kiss curiosities here just to do a post on them alone.
Canada’s Firehouse Magazine’s claim to fame was being the longest running Kiss fan club in world. Based out of Surrey BC, I first became aware of Firehouse via Len, a customer of mine at the Record Store. They had an actual mail order service where you could buy Kiss bootlegs, both audio and video. That must have really chapped Gene’s ass. We all know how much Gene likes fansites and fanzines….
Len gave me the Firehouse catalogue which I used to buy a live tape and some back issues. There are plenty of cool things inside these books to drool over. News about concert dates, new releases, chart positions and set lists were regular. There are even exclusive interviews! The Sept./Oct. 1996 issue features the Ace man himself! I really like the personals ads in the back. “Hey Kissexy female Kiss fans of all ages! I will answer all!”
Other neat things I found in the bag o’ mail: bumper stickers, an official Kiss catalogue, and the sales chart from Canada’s The Record magazine, showing Kiss’ Psycho-Circus debuting at #2 on the top retail albums! The only thing that held it back was the Armageddon soundtrack, which jumped to #1 after 16 weeks on the charts. Take a look for yourself, and bask in the nostalgia of a period that boasted such luminaries as Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys on the charts.
Lastly, and certainly not least: an unsigned letter from “Gene Simmons” to my mom, who put the Kisstory II book on her credit card. Gene was apologizing for a manufacturing delay that had caused the book to be several months late. He assured my mom that her credit card would not be charged until the book shipped. How kind of him! I thought this was amusing, so I kept the letter! I’m sure my mom appreciated hearing it from Gene personally.
Enjoy the treasures below from my bag o’ Kiss!