Conversations with Phantoms: Exclusive Interviews About the 1978 TV Movie, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (hardback)
All Wrongs Will Be Righted With This Book!
Or maybe, some people will still not like its subject matter! In the late 1970s, the makeup and costumes wearing rock group Kiss conquered American album charts and stormed the nation’s arenas, putting on hundreds of their explosive concerts for their fans, the “Kiss Army.” True rock ’n’ roll superheroes, they also began making inroads in merchandising, such as having their own comic book. The next step was to do some kind of film. Since its first airing in October of 1978, the resulting NBC TV movie Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park has been overwhelmingly perceived as a hokey misstep in the band’s history. While lamenting what it is not, detractors have forgotten what it is: fun, super ’70s, and vintage Kiss.
Conversations With Phantoms is author and lifelong Kiss fan Ron Albanese’s deep dive behind the scenes of Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park. Thirteen never-before-published interviews plus “Phantom Findings” comprise an informative and entertaining read, not only for the band’s followers, but for anyone into 1970s pop culture.
About the Author
Ron Albanese first heard of Kiss in 1976, when a fellow first grader sang “I Want You” to him. He would hear them directly for the first time in the summer of 1977, when his mother included the band’s Rock and Roll Over album in one of those “choose 10 8-tracks for a penny” deals. He would request she play it whenever they were driving around in her Cadillac.
Like so many Kiss fans, his eyes were glued to the TV at 8 p.m. on October 28, 1978, to watch their TV movie Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park. Turning up the 19-inch Magnavox console as loud as it would go, Ron was mesmerized. At its conclusion, he spontaneously made a giant Kiss logo with his hands in his family’s recreation room shag carpet, and went to bed a now-permanent member of the Kiss Army.
Years later, after becoming a professional writer, and wanting to create a book related to “the hottest band in the world,” Kiss Meets … immediately came to mind. Ron did research, conducted interviews, and then took an extended break as other things in his life started happening, such as starting a family and a children’s entertainment business. Years later, he came across the interview tapes, and decided to put them “out there” --- the result is in your hands!
See the long interview about the book.