A Guide to KISS Bootlegs: The Rock and Roll Over Tour & The Origins of Alive II 1976-77

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Welcome to the sixth article of the A Guide to KISS Bootlegs series! This article will be focusing on the tour KISS did in support of the album Rock and Roll Over. This tour also coincided with the band’s first tour of Japan. This article will also go in-depth in regards to the unreleased live album from the Japanese tour, which also provided the basis of what would become Alive II. Enough of the chit-chat; let’s dig right in! Or as Paul Stanley would say, “If some of you girls wanna get yourselves kissed, meet us in the ladies’ room!”

Camp Curtis Guild Armory
Reading, MA
November 15, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Hard Luck Woman/Do You Love Me?/Cold Gin/Makin’ Love/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Deuce/Black Diamond

Here is the first recording of its kind to be introduced in this series: a tour rehearsal! There is some debate as to if this recording is from the SIR Studios rehearsals in New York or the Camp Curtis Guild Armory production rehearsals. The info I am basing this off on are the various vinyl and CD bootlegs that circulate of these recordings, which seem to state that these are from the production rehearsals. It should be mentioned that it was during these production rehearsals that the band was filmed lip-syncing to the songs “I Want You,” “Hard Luck Woman,” and “Love ‘Em an Leave ‘Em,” which were eventually broadcasted as a part of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. The source of this recording is more than likely taken from a tape recorder that was rolling as the band was working through the initial setlist of the tour, which sounds relatively good. Some songs are cut in places, but it is certainly interesting to hear the band run through songs that would only be played a handful of times on this tour, such as “Strutter,” “Hard Luck Woman,” and “Deuce.” This recording was released on vinyl under the title Choppers ‘n’ Chicks.

Mid-South Coliseum
Memphis, TN
December 2, 1976

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Strutter/Ladies Room/Firehouse/I Want You/Hard Luck Woman/Do You Love Me?/Cold Gin/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Beth/Makin’ Love/Black Diamond

The audience at this show must’ve been a little unruly because they were addressed several times during the show to clear the aisles, or the fire marshal was going to pull the plug. Towards the end of “Ladies Room,” there is a breakdown/vocal-only section that seemed to be short-lived as the band would then revert to playing it in the style of the studio version. It is also interesting to hear “Makin’ Love” played as an encore. The audience recording that circulates from this show is average sounding at best. The band’s performance can be made out, but the vocals are a bit tiny and distant sounding. It is rather significant since it is the only complete show from the early portion of the tour, which features a radically different setlist. This show was released on vinyl under the title Satan’s Blood.

Municipal Auditorium
New Orleans, LA
December 4, 1976

Setlist (Partial): Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Firehouse/Do You Love Me?/Ladies Room/Hard Luck Woman/I Want You/God of Thunder/Cold Gin

This is one of the last known cases where “Hard Luck Woman” was performed in the live set. The incomplete audience recording that circulates from this show is a little rough sounding. It tends to distort when the bass/lower frequencies kick in. The only vinyl release this show has seen is as part of a collection of shows from the tours in 1976-77 called The Originals II under the title Rock and Roll Over Tour In Concert – New Orleans.

Civic Center
Providence, RI
January 1, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording from this show that circulates is decent sounding. The recording overall has a “boomy” sound quality to it, but the band’s performance shines through. The one drawback is that it cuts before the end of “Black Diamond.” This show was released on vinyl under the aptly titled Happy New Year.

McNichols Arena
Denver, CO
January 15, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording from this show that circulates is very much on the same caliber as the Providence show. It has never seen a vinyl release.

Pershing Auditorium
Lincoln, NE
January 20, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite

After “Rock and Roll All Nite,” Ace announces to the crowd that it was Paul’s birthday. Since there were no females around to engage in any recreational activities, the band members dressed in drag to commemorate his birthday (as you can see in the photo!). The audience recording from this show that circulates is a bit harsh sounding in the higher frequencies to the point where it tends to distort in places. The vocals are a bit buried in the mix, but Paul’s in-between raps can be heard just fine. This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

Cobo Hall
Detroit, MI
January 27-29, 1977

Setlist for January 29: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite

In a move that exactly mirrors what they did just a year ago to the day during the Alive! tour, KISS managed to sell out another three consecutive nights at Cobo Hall. The shows were broadcasted on an overhead video screen and were archived on videotape. The master tape for the third show was put up for auction on eBay in the mid-2000s. While it is this show that widely circulates, the first two shows do exist and have yet to be unearthed. It is a shame that this show didn’t find a home in the KISSOLOGY Vol. 1 DVD because it is an absolutely stunning piece of video to behold of the band during this tour. The video features the band backstage walking down the corridor to the stage, which was most likely broadcasted just as the show began. The only drawbacks are that after the band walks to the stage, the show cuts into the second verse of “Detroit Rock City,” and it doesn’t have the encores. The audio source of the video is most definitely a soundboard recording. There is also a performance of “Beth” from one of the Cobo shows, with canned audio, that circulates since it was filmed to be featured in the 3rd Annual People’s Choice Awards since the song had won one of the awards, which Goldie Hawn presented and Lydia Criss accepted at the show. This show was released on vinyl under the title Firehouse in Detroit.

Hartford Civic Center
Hartford, CT
February 16, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Cold Gin/I Want You/God of Thunder/Makin’ Love/Rock and Roll All Nite/Black Diamond

The audience recording that circulates from this show is average sounding at best. There is a lot of tape hiss that runs throughout the recording. The taper must’ve had the tape recorder rolling several different times during the show since there are several songs missing in-between other songs, thus making it incomplete. This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

Madison Square Garden
New York City, NY
February 18, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

This was a huge moment in KISStory, as it is where they performed in front of a sold-out crowd at their hometown arena. The show was broadcasted on a screen above the stage, and it was also documented on videotape. Some of the angles are out of focus in some areas, but the band delivers such an exciting and amplified performance. The audio source of the video is taken from the soundboard. An edited version of this show was released as one of the bonus discs in the KISSOLOGY Vol. 1 DVD set. This show was released on vinyl under the title NYC77 Madison Square Garden.

Freedom Hall
Johnson City, TN
February 26, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/God of Thunder/Nothin’ to Lose/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Black Diamond

Days prior to this show, Peter Criss was involved in a car accident that led to the postponement of the scheduled show in Hampton, VA, on February 23rd. He was still suffering from the effects of the accident during the show, so “Beth” was dropped, and Paul sang “Black Diamond.” The audience recording that circulates from this show is decent sounding. Due to the condition of the source tape, the recording tends to drag in places. What makes this show an interesting listen is the chatter of the kids that were near the taper! This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

Rupp Arena
Lexington, KY
March 5, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording that circulates from this show is very poor sounding. The taper must’ve been far from the stage and the clapping of a nearby attendee tends to overpower the band’s performance in places. This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

Kosei-Nenkin Hall
Osaka, Japan
March 25, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

This is where the audience recordings from this tour start to pick up in terms of quality. The audience recording that circulates from this show is solid sounding. What is so unique about the Japanese audiences in some of the recordings from the Japanese leg of the tour is that they will applaud in unison during the show and remain quiet for the rest. This show was released on vinyl under the simple title Osaka, Japan, March 25, 1977.

Kyoto Kaikan Dai Ichi Hall
Kyoto, Japan
March 26, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/I Want You/Makin’ Love/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording that circulates from this show is another solid recording. It should be mentioned is that the individual who recorded this show is an individual by the name of Mr. Peach, who was rather synonymous in the world of bootleg recordings by capturing some rather well-EQ’d audience recordings of various bands that came to Japan. This show was released on vinyl under the title Burning Hellfire in Kyoto.

Aichiken Taiiku Hall
Nagoya, Japan
March 28, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording that circulates from this show is, you guessed it, another great-sounding recording. This show was released on vinyl under the title Makin’ Love in Nagoya.

Osaka Festival Hall
Osaka, Japan
March 29, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording from this show does not circulate often but is decent sounding. It sounds as if the recording is from a tape that has a few generations removed. Regardless, it is still an enjoyable show. This show was released on vinyl under the title Osaka, Japan, March 29, 1977.

Budokan Hall
Tokyo, Japan
April 1, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/I Want You/Makin’ Love/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

The audience recording that circulates from this show is perhaps the best recording from the Japanese tour. This was released on vinyl as one of the most well-known earliest KISS bootlegs called KISS Takes Tokyo.

Budokan Hall
Tokyo, Japan
April 2, 1977

Setlist (both 3pm and 7pm shows): Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

KISS performed two shows on this day, one at 3 pm and one at 7 pm. Both shows do circulate via audience recordings, and they sound relatively good; the 7 pm show has some accompanying handclaps from very enthusiastic concert attendees. Both shows were also filmed by local television station NHK, and the footage was edited for use on an episode of Young Music Show. For the American market, the footage was re-edited and shown on HBO. The 7 pm show was featured in the KISSOLOGY Vol. 1 DVD set. The audience recordings of both shows were released on vinyl under the title Tokyo 1977 Nippon Budokan Hall.

Budokan Hall
Tokyo, Japan
April 4, 1977

Setlist: Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll/Ladies Room/Firehouse/Makin’ Love/I Want You/Cold Gin/Do You Love Me?/Nothin’ to Lose/God of Thunder/Rock and Roll All Nite/Shout It Out Loud/Beth/Black Diamond

Unfortunately, the audience recording that circulates from this show is the poorest sounding recording from the Japanese tour. It is very muffled sounding and tends to get distorted when the bass drum really kicks in. This show has yet to see a vinyl release.

While there are some average-sounding audience recordings from the American leg of the tour (Memphis, Hartford, Johnson City), the quality of the audience recordings picks up during the Japanese shows. While the tour rehearsal recording stands out as being rather unique and different due to the nature of the recording, it is perhaps the single best amateur recording from this tour. The only “soundboard” recordings that exist from this tour are directly taken from the videos that were professionally archived, whether it be Detroit or New York.

Now onto the unreleased Japanese live album and the origins of Alive II

Eddie Kramer was enlisted to record the four shows at the Budokan Hall for a planned Japanese-only live album which was going to be called Rock ‘n’ Roll Party in Tokyo. The track list was going to be as follows:

Detroit Rock City/Take Me/Ladies Room/Do You Love Me?/Makin’ Love/I Want You/God of Thunder/Cold Gin/Beth/Shout It Out Loud/Rock and Roll All Nite

In July, while KISS was on tour for Love Gun, Eddie Kramer worked on various mixes for the album at Electric Lady Studios. One month later, the three shows at the Forum in Los Angeles were recorded for Alive II, and by September, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Party in Tokyo album was canceled. However, some of the recordings were included in Alive II. This unreleased live album has yet to be released, and a bootleg called Alive II The Outtakes consists of the proposed album.

Stay tuned for my next entry in the A Guide to KISS Bootlegs series, as Love Guns are about to get fired!

Dig this article? Check out the full archives of The Record Spinner, by Dylan Peggin, here: https://vinylwritermusic.com/the-record-spinner-archives/

Published by Dylan Peggin

Dylan Peggin was born and raised in Vineland, NJ, USA. Music has always played a huge part in his life, thanks to his parents who brought him up on bands such as Rush, Genesis and Yes. At the young age of two, he became a member of the KISS Army and has never looked back since. Dylan started his vinyl collecting journey in 2014, partly inspired by musician Jack White and his label, Third Man Records. What started out as a casual hobby turned into an issue when Dylan realized he could not expand his ceiling to make way for his ever-growing vinyl collection, featuring artists that reside in Rock, Metal, Punk, Alternative, Psych and Indie, just to name a few genres. On January 1st, 2018, Dylan started The Record Spinner, a YouTube channel about vinyl collecting and music. Videos are uploaded every Friday based on a myriad of topics such as mastering engineers, pressing plants and best-sounding pressings. Other content is featured, as well, such as artist analysis videos, monthly vinyl hauls, record store vlogs, unboxings, interviews with musicians, and much more. The channel has grown to reach almost 3K subscribers, obtained over 300K views and received 1.5 million minutes in watch time. Dylan is also studying to receive a BA in Music Business with Berklee College of Music and he hopes to take what he is doing on YouTube to bigger heights.

2 thoughts on “A Guide to KISS Bootlegs: The Rock and Roll Over Tour & The Origins of Alive II 1976-77

  1. These posts have been a great help for me in locating KISS bootlegs. Thanks Dylan, keep it up!

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