Category Archives: Pop Culture

Airing Tonight: “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” Season 4

Attention all KISS Fans and Reality Television Fans of the world, it is time to unite once more because Season 4 of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” begins tonight on the A&E Network. Have you watched this program yet? I hope so if you are a KISS fan of any kind.

Photo - Gene Simmons Family Jewels

For those who are unaware of the premise even after three seasons have run, I can quickly say that it follows the life and times of Gene Simmons, musician and businessman along with his significant other Shannon Tweed and gives you an inside look into his happenings. I’ll admit I am a little bit behind in the program myself but I love it. Of course I’ve been a KISS fan since about 1977 or so and as a former business student I love getting the chance to see what Simmons does to keep his name in the public eye. His kids are actually also a lot of fun as they are well rounded individuals and show no signs of being spoiled by good fortune. I think if you enjoy these kinds of shows that you should find some interest as the show reaches its fourth season. That’s all I have for you right now my friends, its time for me to set the VHS Recorder now in case I cannot stay up from all these shows.

Official Show Wiki:

The first three seasons of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” are available on DVD and I’ve embedded some links for you to purchase on – Enjoy.

KISS “Ikons” Trading Cards from PressPass Inc.

press pass logo

When I was growing up and all of my friends were collecting Baseball cards I had to say that the things that appealed to me a whole lot more were those weird advertisements that were found depicted on the “Wacky Packages” stickers. My love of absurd humor and wisecracks combined with my interest in comic books probably led this to being the case and soon this all moved onto an interest in Rock & Roll music, most specifically anything that the guys in KISS were doing. In 1978 they made the collector in me go absolutely crazy by sanctioning Don Russ cards to release the first real set of KISS trading cards and I had to say that I spent a lot of allowance money on the things in my quest to complete the set. Back in this ancient day, the packs were only $.20 apiece and I think contained five or six cards along with a horrible stick of gum. There were 66 total cards in the set and the backs featured relevant KISS information and formed a poster. Here is a graphic of the original wrapper that I found while clicking around. As I looked at it, I recall having hundreds upon hundreds of the individual cards and yet in today’s world only think that part of a full set is even in my possession somewhere in a closet that I have safely kept them in for posterity.


Since that time long, long ago there have been numerous other companies that delivered KISS in trading card form and each of them holds some special memories for the ardent KISS fan without any question. The bands reunion and makeup touring sparked a renewed interest in this sort of thing a few years ago and now thanks to the fine folks at Press Pass Inc., those collectors get yet another trading card set to add to their collection that is called KISS “Ikons”. I managed to get my hands on some samples of these wonderful cards and had to say that they made me feel like the kid who rushed to the candy store to buy those Don Russ cards back in 1978 all over again. In looking at the images that they used for the cards I had to say that they did a lot better than I thought they could have and even managed to now rate higher in my ranking of such things when I compared them to the already thought of as cool Cornerstone cards that we saw back in 1999. The trading cards had come a long way from the years of those Don Russ editions and thankfully there was no piece of plaster that was mislabeled as gum included in these. With so many different aspects in this set, I figured I would give a brief overview to better whet the palette for your love of all things KISS.
Continue reading KISS “Ikons” Trading Cards from PressPass Inc.

Opening Today: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (5/1/2009)

They’ve been talking about a solo tale of Wolverine’s past for awhile now and here it is, the origin story that takes place before the first “X-Men” film. It stars Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine and its clear to me that he loves this role. That is fine with me.

Poster - X-Men Origins Wolverine
Continue reading Opening Today: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (5/1/2009)

Airing Tonight: “That Metal Show” Season 2

Earlier in the year, VH1 Classic gave us a brand new program that was dedicated to “all things Hard Rock and Heavy Metal” and it was hosted by radio personality Eddie Trunk and called “That Metal Show”. He is joined by co-hosts Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine who are both comedians. Tonight begins the second season of the program and I’ve used the blog to showcase the occasional television or film subject that works in our readers interest so let’s continue the practice and herald stuff like this.

As with the first season, the show remains at a half hour so its over before you know it (well at least it feels that way to me when I sit down to watch it). The segments of “Stump The Trunk” and “The Throwdown” will return for the sophomore season and the publicized guests are as follows. Please check your local listings for the airing times/dates.

1 – Pantera: Vinnie Paul
2 – Anthrax: Frank Bello
3 – Extreme: Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone
4 – Anvil: Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner
5 – Guns N’ Roses: Duff McKagan
6 – Queensrÿche: Geoff Tate
7 – Thin Lizzy: Scott Gorham
8 – Heaven & Hell: Ronnie James Dio and Geezer Butler
9 – That Metal Show Presents: Download Festival ’09 Tommy Lee, Slipknot, Hatebreed, Tesla, Mike Portnoy, Buckcherry, Duff McKagan, Tim “Ripper” Owens and many others

Watch Full Episodes HERE if you are curious about it. Comments are open on this post to let us know what you think about the show.

Official Website:
Official Facebook Page:

VH1 Classic Gives Us “That Metal Show”

The other night VH1 Classic gave us a brand new program that is dedicated to “all things Hard Rock and Heavy Metal”. It’s name is “That Metal Show” and its hosted by radio personality Eddie Trunk (from the “Friday Night Rocks” and some Sirius XM stations) along with comedians Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine.

Initially I was surprised to see this happening on VH1 Classic but then again the original station along with MTV are more about R&B/Rap styles and “reality” programs about teen pregnancy, sobriety or how to find love if you are an aging music personality these days. Sigh. I remember the days when MTV first showed killer videos and then you at least had VH1 when the original station stopped. The times they are a changing eh? I guess this was the only place it had to land.

So what’s the premise? OK, the show is done in a talk show format with Eddie and his co-hosts discussing a number of Hard Rock or Metal related topics and of course since two of them are comedians there is a lot of ribbing on Eddie being done. They also do a quick interview with a guest of the week and the debut show found eighties rocker Lita Ford which I found to be a little bit of a surprise on a debut show. If I had the ability to launch something like this I would have really tried to get a super power lead off and not someone who most Metal fans stopped being curious about ages ago. Perhaps Lita’s new album had something to do with it. In this episode the guitarist shows her appreciation of the support she was given on her touring return and we even get a quick appearance by her husband Jim Gillette. I posted a review of the NYC appearance of Lita a few months ago which can be enjoyed HERE. There was not the biggest crowd to be quite honest so maybe that had me wondering why she was the first guest. There was also a rant from Eddie and a segment they call “Stump The Trunk” where Eddie tests his Metal cred against the viewing audience who pose questions to him. If the audience wins the shows “Miss Box Of Junk” comes out and gives them a prize. The girl who is assigned the role of Miss Box of Junk is the lovely Keri Lee Tucker. The show is filmed in NYC and runs for one half hour. I will be honest and say that the show moves very quickly especially if watching on DVR and bypassing the commercials.

Thoughts On It? Well, it is nice to have another Hard Rock and Metal related program on television and Eddie has been around long enough to deserve being the host. I am not sure what I think about the presence of the comedians after only one episode and only hope that they do not have too much banter and hence time wasted that could have been used on interviews and things of that kind. Upcoming guests for the season are said to be Yngwie Malmsteen, Rush and Twisted Sister along with many others. Good and legendary artists for sure but nothing that is pushing the envelope as far as bands are concerned. The show is very different when compared to the no longer running “Talking Metal On Fuse” which I really liked (and not only because I was one of their couch guests for an episode – seen HERE).

I’ll remain hopeful that the show will offer some insight and attention into a bunch of things that make Metal a special genre to me and that we don’t get the same old same old. Congrats to you Eddie and good luck with the show.

Season One Guests:
1. The Runaways – Lita Ford
2. Yngwie Malmsteen
3. Twisted Sister – Dee Snider and Jay Jay French
4. Dream Theater – Mike Portnoy
5. Mike Piazza
6. KISS – Ace Frehley
7. Rush – Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

Official Websites:
Eddie Trunk:
That Metal Show:
Don Jamieson:
Jim Florentine: