Never growing up as a KISS fan, I was uncertain if I would enjoy any biography of the band. However, with Nothing To Lose; The Making of KISS, 1972-1975, rock journalist Ken Sharp does such a fantastic job at constructing the oral history of KISS (this includes band members and insiders) that I found the book hard to put down.

It’s hard to think of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as anything but larger-then-life. But they started off small — as an aspiring band in a modest rehearsal space with only a dream to hang their hats on. There’s no way they could have imagined creating one of the most famous bands in the history of — not just rock ‘n’ roll — but music.

And the success story behind KISS is as interesting as any. For instance, their first major gig was almost their last. And finding out the way their now-famous make-up evolved might be the biggest surprise of all. Focusing on a five year period in KISS’ career, Sharp leaves no stone unturned. No detail is small enough. This may be minutiae to some readers, but it’s really a habit of perfection by the author (a huge KISS fan himself). Sharp’s arrangement of details (with the help of Simmons and Stanley) only enhance the story.

I’m not sure if there’s going to be a continuation of the KISS story via Ken Sharp, But I’m already awaiting it.