back to article Tech renders iconic rockers Kiss genuinely immortal

After half a century of recording and performing, rock icons Kiss closed out "The End of Road" farewell tour on Saturday night. But the encore revealed something we all knew deep down to be true – Kiss is forever. With co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons in their 70s, and Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer no spring chickens …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge


    Sticky Vicky, in her prime, but as a hologram.

    Finally we'd all be able to see her and the lightbulb without ever going near Benidorm.

  2. Scotthva5


    Isn't "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park" punishment enough?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge
  3. Candy

    Gorillaz would be the perfect next step. No uncanny valley there...

  4. imanidiot Silver badge

    Blatant cash grab seems a little blatant...

    1. tony72

      I suspect this will only widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots in the music industry; now you're not just competing with established bands to get your foot in the door, you're competing with their immortal holographic dopplegangers, who could potentially be in multiple places at once.

      1. HuBo

        Exactly! To compensate, Immortal Industries and Poophouse Entertainment should shove that AI (or whatever tech this is) into little kids' toy dolls to do realistic (and inexpensive) mini-shows at that child's every whim and birthday, with mini-guitars and all ... the "haves" could get true-to-size Madame Tussauds versions instead! It'd be less bloody than achieving immortality by choping everyone else's head off, with a big sword (except for Gene Simmons of course!)!

      2. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Ah yes, The Immortal Holographic Dopplegangers. I saw them at The Roundhouse, Camden Town, must have been 1973 or so. They were in the audience listening to a decent band.

      3. hittitezombie

        Age does not matter in 2025s!

        Judas Priest just dropped a new video a couple of days ago - they're going since mid-1970s too!

        As I commented upon watching the video, the grandpas have escaped from the retirement home for the last time!

        Seriously, when Iron Maiden had hit their first 10th year anniversary I was thinking "wow, that's a long time for a band". They're still around, still headlining. This is not right. Where are the new bands we need, more importantly, the young need? They shouldn't have to identify with some 70 year old grandpas...

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: Age does not matter in 2025s!

          Judas Priest just dropped a new video a couple of days ago - they're going since mid-1970s too!

          Their lead singer has recently released a duet with Dolly Parton, and she's been on the go since before the mid-70s

          1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

            Re: Age does not matter in 2025s!

            >>she's been on the go since before the mid-70s

            About 10 years before the mid-70s. First album dropped in 1967... 56 years is a loooong time.

        2. Killing Time

          Re: Age does not matter in 2025s!

          'Where are the new bands we need'

          They are out there, you just have to go out and look for them rather than expect mainstream radio and video to deliver them to you.

          If they are not doing their own thing touring small venues they are are on the support slots for the 70 year old Grandad's or the day slots at the festivals headlined by those same Grandad's.

          It's up to they young to get out there rather than let a streaming service algorithm drip feed them the bland junk that passes for most pop these days.

          You can't force an attitude on anybody, it generally develops through outside influence. Hardship and political injustice used to do it. Difficult to see what puts a rocket up the youths collective ass these days.

        3. EricB123 Silver badge

          Re: Age does not matter in 2025s!

          A synth or two are a lot cheaper than the more creative humans. Besides, synths don't die from overdoses.

    2. Just Enough

      Crash grab

      Gene Simmons is very much a free-market capitalist. As long as people are willing to buy, he is always willing to take their cash.

  5. b0llchit Silver badge

    Immortality until...

    Immortal, yes, until the (proprietary) file format is rendered obsolete and no one on earth can use, read or understand it any more.

    I wouldn't be the first data that suffers from archaeological bitrot.

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Immortality until...

      We had the same fears with mainframes. Until someone figured you could easily emulate the hardware using today's tech. I haven't heard this argument ever since.

      1. hittitezombie

        Re: Immortality until...

        BBC Domesday project says hello.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Immortality until...

        Tell it to the Electronic Literature Project. Or the Acid Free Bits project.

        What you have or haven't heard might not be a particularly accurate gauge of reality.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Immortality until...

      Nah, that is mostly a danger for little used (proprietary) files and file formats, stored away in an archive sight unseen for a few decades. Files like these would get enough use that it's likely they'll get converted to newer formats as time goes on and be preserved.

  6. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    Plenty of Kpop acts do this already, and a couple haven't even bothered with the meat-sack stage. Apoki have done one for the pronouns by identifying as a rabbit astronaut.

    1. NATTtrash

      Plenty of Kpop acts do this already, and a couple haven't even bothered with the meat-sack stage.

      Indeed. But more in general, it kind of shows you the evolution of pop music in the last decades, right?

      Sure, every musician wanted to become famous and at least fund the Rolls (or habits ;) with their talents. However, today it all is primary a product, marketed as such (ignoring some odd-one-outs), devoid of any emotion, inspiration, or dare I say talent. You will see it already a bit looking at the hot thing with kids now - where in my age and time you would shame your eyes out of your head to say you liked the music of your nan (and secretly did), anemia is now all over the place, with industry rehashing and reselling. And then I'm not even talking about potential "ideas" connected to youth movements, often critical to those "at the head of the table", triggered and supported by new music and ideas. So no more free love, hair peace dancing naked through the meadow while protesting against war, no swearing on TV, addressing the touchy subject of royalty "differently" while proclaiming a new anarchy. Nope, market the much known (and cheap due to recycling!) product that doesn't ripple, sells well, and can be labeled as the family experience. Oh, that Brave New World...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Nope, market the much known (and cheap due to recycling!) product that doesn't ripple, sells well, and can be labeled as the family experience. Oh, that Brave New World...


        While *real* musicians operate on a day-to-day basis, making money from being session musicians because their primary passion (jazz/prog/folk/blues) is trendy enough to get them noticed by the record companies.

        Either that or capitalising on past glory (like Steve Hackett - although he's very much an outlier because, as well as doing the Genesis Revisited stuff, he also still produces copious amounts of new material. So, if you go to one of his shows, you get the Genesis stuff, liberally sprinkled with his own stuff. He's the musician that lead my wife to coin the description of "too many notes and all in the wrong place")

        I am, by nature, a fan of complex music be it Classical, Prog Rock, Jazz (old and new, big band and modern). Much of the pap that's output by the music companies is, frankly, elevator music - designed to occupy a slot in the charts for a week or two and very little else. Generally tied to MOTAS eye-candy.

        There are good musicians doing exciting stuff on Bandcamp/YouTube et. al. but they are by far outweighed by the mass-produced, made to formula junk.

        1. hittitezombie

          There are a lot of real young musicians, but they are not only competing against their age group, they are also competing against a bunch of very famous and rich 70-year old grandpas who have cornered their own market for a long, long time.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Blah blah blah, music today is terrible, not what we had in my youth. If only someone had the courage to say this sooner!

        Honestly, as tiresome rants go, this might be the most tiresome.

        I've been listening to music for more than half a century myself, and I call bullshit on this entire nostalgia-filled, self-indulgent argument. Most of the music of the 1970s, '80s, '90s, and 2000s was crap. Most of everything is crap. And the good stuff being created today is just as valid as the good stuff created in any year.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've been listening to music for slightly less than half a century, and I agree. There is a lot of rubbish from any era, but there is some great music from pretty much any era. I'd also argue that a lot of bands produce some really great music, then later in their careers, produce some that's merely "OK".

  7. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Which acts would you actually pay to see in digital form?

    Ed Sheeran, but only as long as I knew that his physical form would be destoyed by the digitising process. I'd pay a back row, limited vision seat price for that, though I'd never actually pick up the ticket and attend the faux-gig.

    1. CorwinX Bronze badge

      Re: Which acts would you actually pay to see in digital form?

      The only word I have is "Why?"

      I'd be happy to pay to see the band actually play/sing even if they came on using zimmer frames!

      I greatly admire George Lucas and ILM for for the digital trickery they can conjure up - Carrie Fisher/Leia at the end of Rogue One was a work of art.

      But this stuff is just about getting just one last paycheck.

  8. tonique

    I was made for cashin' in on you, baby ♫

  9. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Better than real

    My experience with concerts is that they always fail to capture the energy of the original studio recording. I, therefore, would think that these digital recreations, based on the original multitrack tapes, are probably much closer to the original than most live concerts.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

      Re: Better than real

      ITYM better than life

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Better than real

      My experience with concerts is that they always fail to capture the energy of the original studio recording

      You haven't been going to the right concerts then.. seeing a bunch of talented, skillful musicians [1] plying their craft is often better than a studio recording - especially when the crowd gets caught up in it as well.

      Doesn't really work in larger venues though.

      [1] Which, obviously, excludes a great deal of the successful chart acts. Especially those that rely on autotune or lipsync.

    3. Telecide

      Re: Better than real

      I saw Kiss live at the O2 in London in 2019 and they were nothing like what they would have been back in 1976 (or even later) and they have been accused of using backing tracks recently. So this new virtual concert won't fail to capture that 2019 energy because it wasn't really there on the night. Without the smoke and explosions it would have been a total loss. You can tell I'm a fan who grew up listening to them at their best when I was a teen.

    4. PermissionToSpeakPlease

      Re: Better than real

      There's no value at all in a live performance that just replicates a studio recording. A good live performance should give you a whole different level of energy, and new insights into the music being performed.

    5. Killing Time

      Re: Better than real

      Nicely facetious, missed by most. Have an upvote!

  10. BlackPeter

    1976 me approves

    damn, that was a long time ago.

    I guess it's kind of like going to the movies, but louder and more expensive.

  11. CorwinX Bronze badge

    Not my music but...

    Gene Simmons deserves to be immortalised. 1000 years from now, in the unlikely event the human race survives, the Kiss makeup and the music will still be iconic of the 70s.

    1. CorwinX Bronze badge

      Re: Not my music but...

      Not really sure why I'm getting the thumbs down here. I saluted the band for what they were, even though not exactly my vibe.

      What's controversial in that?

  12. an.other_tech

    Wasn't it Peter Gabriel who was the first digitised pop star ?

    Much like Lucas' re editing of the original trilogy to include 'new footage' and better digital effects.

    Which was very much like when Widescreen format came out on VHS (the boxey things before DVDs, which were before streaming)

    So after buying Stat Wars on VHS , you could then buy the Widescreen version, and oh boy oh boy, then the extended version cane out.

    Shortly thereafter DVD became mainstream,

    Which was then followed by BluRay.

    Let's say you also stumped up for Laserdisc.

    (Yes, that is old)

    You then had, of the same film title, let's count them up.

    VHS : 4 (normal, widescreen, extended, remastered)

    DVD : 3 (16;9 , extended, remastered)

    BluRay : 1

    Laserdisc : 1

    In this example, that's 9 copies of a film. Potentially.

    Each costing between £10-£30.

    That's a lot of pocket money.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Thing is, annoyingly with your example, is that every release changed the film.

      I got a copy of Star Wars on Laserdisc last year thinking it was the version that hadn't been CGI'ed with Jabba the Hutt. Nope, it was the 1997 release.

      Now, if I go out and buy the BluRay version, it'll be edited even more to include the bit where Luke falls down from the platform and Darth Vader is there holding his hand out - the BluRay version includes Vader going "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO".

      Fuck that. I just want to see the original Star Wars films how they were released in the beginning. None of the tinkering, just the OG film.

      Same applies to music and this "remastered" bullshit. I'm specifically looking at you Brian May, fucking around with Star Fleet for a re-release. Twat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Star Fleet? Was Brian May F Zero One?

    2. Paul Herber Silver badge

      But at least there's only one Star Wars film.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Wasn't it Peter Gabriel who was the first digitised pop star ?

      He (and Genesis) pioneered a lot of the now-standard video/live techniques. They were progressive in more than their music.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    delete the bits, they need to fade in to oblivion

    kiss are just money grabbing arseholes and don't get me started on that pile of shit simmons

  14. hittitezombie

    Money for nothing

    Do the world really need a digital Kiss?

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Money for nothing

      A digital Kiss would be a 1 0ff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money for nothing

      Well, you'll soon have to have your face scanned to get that kiss....

  15. Santa from Exeter

    More pop than Rock

    Kiss were never truly a Rock group, they were, at best, heavy-ish pop with OTT theatrics to cover up the failings of the music.

    It was no real suprise to me that, after taking off the makeup for a bit (the adulation was more sychophantic than genuine IMHO) when they were flagging, they quickly put it back on again as that was their schtick.

    There were plenty of true Rock bands in the 70's and 80's that far outperformed the lacklustre Kiss IMHO.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: More pop than Rock

      I use to wonder why the occasional disco track of theirs were played at rock nightclubs.

  16. observer144

    Great, I'll have to buy a new version of the White Album again.

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