What If the World’s Best Guitarist Auditioned for Kiss?
Mitch Albom's new novel, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, finds the bestselling author spinning a yarn about a Spanish war orphan who sails to America carrying nothing but a guitar and grows up to carve a Forrest Gump-style path across the 20th century music business, rubbing shoulders with a long list of luminaries that includes the members of Kiss.
While the book's synopsis doesn't mention a Kiss cameo — saying only that Frankie "translates for Django Reinhardt, advises Little Richard, backs up Elvis Presley and counsels Hank Williams" — we know his story includes meeting the band because of this video clip, in which Paul Stanley recalls their time together.
Frankie Presto is still obviously a fictional character, and none of the events Stanley describes here — including Frankie auditioning for Kiss — actually happened. But it's all in good fun, and for rockers who read, it should be nice to see a new novel getting such a huge promotional push. For Kiss fans, it's yet another example of the flair for the dramatic that made Stanley a natural pitchman for Folgers coffee.
Stanley is just one of several musicians who've shared their "memories" of Frankie Presto, as you can see at the book's site, where clips from interviews with Tony Bennett, Ingrid Michaelson, Burt Bacharach, Wynton Marsalis, Roger McGuinn, Darlene Love and others are collected for viewing. The book has also inspired a soundtrack, which blends original songs with previously released material (including Kiss' "Creatures of the Night").
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is due to be released Nov. 10, and is available for pre-order now.
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