Wow! You nailed it man.....this is pretty much how I feel about their "evolution" and "Re-invention" I'm not old enough to have lived through the original KISS phenomenon, or to have even been around when they crashed, burned and started limping through the 80's I joined the party around 1990. I was always fascinated by this.....THING.....that had happened in the 70's. It was such an anomaly. At the time of their birth, North America had no use for Glam or Punk Rock....Alice Cooper, The Rolling Stones, Blondie......there were a few cool-looking acts that played simple and energetic music in the mainstream.....but from what I've read North America was far more into music that....I wouldn't even consider it "ROCK", let alone "ROCK n' ROLL"......very middle of the road....and in my opinion dull music, played by people who seemingly had ZERO interest in either looking cool, or entertaining their fans. (I get that music is subjective, and some may LOVE the stuff I'm talking about. I'm not saying it sucks, I'm just saying I DON'T GET IT!, just my opinion, no disrespect meant to any act that I'm sure was very good at doing what they did..and I am aware many people "Don't get" KISS.) There didn't seem to be any modern comparable to what they had been all those years ago. But not having been there, yet knowing how popular it had been at one point. It was utterly baffling/fascinating how what they had been turned into what they were at the point I boarded the KISS train. Because the way I remember it.....they were kind of an "embarrassment" in the music biz at that point. Gene's look in the "Tears are falling" video, or his L.A Gear Runners and Spandex pants during "Crazy Nights.....Paul's bizarre overly-informative, sex story, stage raps. (Hey, I've got a sense of humour... but Paul was SO obviously "trying too hard" that it was awkward to listen to.) The fact that they would constantly play songs WAY TOO FAST in concert.......It sounded terrible, I remember hearing them play "Creatures" at a Black Flag pace.....and when you are intimately in tune with the groove of a song because you have been listening to it for years.....it is....UNCOMFORTABLE to hear that song played out of "the pocket"....it can almost make you feel motion sick....maybe that's just me. But when aspects of a bands performance are literally producing nausea in you, something has gone terribly wrong....and this is an act performing with the giant KISS sign behind them....A sign, a brand, whatever you want to call it....that to you MEANS something....it STANDS for something...but the guys performing with that sign behind them don't seem to know or care how much the butcher what they created....it can be a bit upsetting....especially for a 12 year old. In retrospect people seem to have a lot of warm memories of 80's KISS.....but I maintain that there was much more to dislike about that band than to appreciate. The #1A and #1B things being a total disregard for quality control.....one good song per record was enough for them. And a co/leader who's insecurity and subsequent attempts to insulate his ego at any possible deflation, was actually the prime factor in the band's self-destructive behavior...And I maintain KISS was self-destructive. No, they didn't do drugs. But there's more than one way shipwreck your band. Paul cannot come to grips with the fact that he does NOT know EVERYTHING, that he is NOT qualified to be the ultimate authority in many aspects of putting together the product we know as KISS. One of the most telling things I've seen is on the inside of Asylum, amidst the usual liner notes it says this: "KISS is un-manageable, but can be reached through Winterland productions ect ect" (I think that may have been the company who held the licence to produce their merchandise....what the hell?!?!? That's not how you run a band....but, KISS merch ALWAYS sold...so these people could afford to tell Paul whatever he wanted to hear and keep collecting on what was probably their best revenue stream. All the while, not caring enough to sit P&G down and say...."You know you guys are making fools of yourselves?, Right?"