In the fall of 2017, Gene Simmons released “The Vault.” The collection of 50 years of various media and memorabilia is an arguably worthwhile investment for the die-hard fan. The most important component of the collection is the 150 new songs recorded onto 10 discs. However, for serious fans of Simmons, “The Vault” comes with the opportunity to purchase “experiences.” Those experiences allow fans to not only receive the jam-packed product “The Vault,” but to meet the bass player in various settings.
“The Vault”: target audiences
While the ranks of the KISS Army have been legendary, it is unclear how much of that enthusiasm is reserved solely for Simmons. Whatever the case, it is an audacious move to pack an actual 38-lb. vault full of CD’s, a book, a commemorative coin, and a Gene Simmons’ “businessman” action figure and charge $2,000.
The steep price is maybe justified for the serious fan of Simmons. Maybe. Certainly, the dollar amount is not unheard of – – it is roughly the cost of a decent vacation, but usually when rock ‘n’ roll collections cost more than a few hundred dollars, some fans and critics raise questions.
In all fairness, the book is the length of a short novel (50,000 words) and contains photos and other graphics of interest to Simmons’ fan base. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, each song comes with commentary by Simmons. That alone might justify the price of the release.
Therefore, it is probably safe to say that only die-hard fans will find the price of “The Vault” worth paying. According to the performer’s website, only a few thousand vaults will be made. The limited quantity might add to the overall value of the collection. But the physical vault and its contents are not the only opportunities fans have to invest in Simmons’ memories and potential song contributions to KISS.
There are two different “experiences” associated with “The Vault.” For $2,000, the buyer and a guest can meet Simmons’ in a major city. Simmons will also hand-deliver “The Vault” to purchasers’ homes. This experience can take place in the US or international locations. Purchasers can get a “Vault” pre-pack that includes a signed golden ticket, t-shirt, and a download card. Throughout the remainder of this month, meet and greets are scheduled in cities as varied as Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Sydney, Tokyo, and London. Other locations are included. More cities have been added, but no dates have been assigned to them yet. Vaults are numbered.
The website makes clear that attendance at a meet and greet is not required to receive “The Vault.” However, the price of the release does not change.
For those who are ready to invest even more, the price increases substantially for the second vault experience. The “Gene Simmons’ At Your Party” experience is available for the somewhat immodest price of $50,000. This vault experience is only available in the 48 contiguous states. The price affords purchasers the opportunity to host Simmons in their homes, along with up to 25 guests, for two hours. Those who opt for this experience are “guaranteed” a low-numbered vault, according to genesimmons.com. Also included is a “Songs & Stories” session that involves listening to music and a Q&A session with the performer. For more information visit http://www.genesimmonsvault.com.
Despite all the other trappings that might attend a vault experience (with the exception perhaps of meeting Simmons), what makes “The Vault” special is the plethora of unheard songs on the CDs. Fans can decide for themselves which price point is more appropriate for their budgets and level of dedication to the performer.