KISS: First Producer Dies
Kenny Kerner, who along with Richie Wise produced the first two KISS albums, KISS and Hotter Than Hell, has died. The cause of death was complications from diabetes. Kerner had been working on his autobiography, which he’d planned to publish this year.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have issued a statement, saying, “We are shocked to hear of Kenny Kerner’s passing. He was an early supporter of the band… He additionally did some terrific work that produced numerous hits including ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ for Gladys Knight and the Pips and ‘Brother Louie’ for Stories. He remained a friend till the end and we will never forget his contributions to our early years.”
KISS wanted Eddie Kramer, who produced their demo, to produce the first album, but Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart chose Kerner and Wise who he had previously worked with. The albums failed to make a dent sales-wise and the band was never pleased with the production, feeling Kerner and Wise never captured the energy and beefiness of their shows.