The magic, heart and soul of is their live performance.  And those "animals' who are fortunate enough to sit up close to the stage know what a thrill that is to catch a pick or drumstick.  Because of that thrill, guitar picks have become extremely sought after collectibles.


I regret to have to even create this page, but as pick collecting has grown in popularity, pirates and bootleggers hoping to take advantage of unsuspecting fans have begun to surface in recent years. Please note the years listed below represent approximately when the fakes first began to surface, not the year of the correspondingtour.



1996 "Destroyer" drumsticks


Fake Destroyer Drumsticks

Fake "Short" Destroyer era drumsticks


These particular sticks were bootlegged by a person in western Kentucky in the late 1990's. The same person also bootlegged early tour picks (shown below) and fire helmets. They arranged to have them made by Cappella, the same company that made Peter's early sticks, but the font is larger and not the right color blue, nor are they the same kind of wood. In some instances, the bootlegger stained the sticks to make them appear older. In addition to traditional length sticks, he also had pairs made in an 8" promotional size.  The Cappella company confirmed the machine they used to print the logo shown here was not even available until the 1990's. The bootlegger then sold a large lot of these sticks to, who continues to sell them through their website. They got suckered, and numerous people have informed them these are reproductions, but rather than be honest, they continue to sell them as authentic to recoup their losses.


Here is a side-by-side guide to help you distinguish:


The authentic sticks are oak, cobalt blue print which is 3mm in height and 3.5" in length.


The fake reproductions are white hickory, light metallic blue print which is 4mm in height and 3.875" in length.



1997 "Lost Cities Prototypes"


Lost Cities guitar picks

These are often called the "Lost Cities Tour prototypes" by collectors because they were made in late 1997 during the Lost Cities part of the tour and allegedly  Ace decided not to use them. However, these colors and prism pattern were not even available until after the tour was over, and neither Ace nor the techs ever remember seeing and evaluating them, suggesting they may have been made after the tour was complete for some other purpose, but they were not prototypes shown to the band. No doubt these picks were made at D'Andrea, but why and by whom are a mystery.

Herringbone prism on transparent green  (only 72 made)

Herringbone prism on transparent cranberry  (only 72 made)

Herringbone prism on transparent blue  (only 144 made)

Herringbone prism on transparent orange (only 72 made)

Herringbone prism on transparent magenta  (only 72 made)





Could you imagine using bright orange picks? Somehow I think the band and crew can spell 'acoustic' correctly!  This one was touted as being a prototype or demo pick for the Japan and Australia 1995 official conventions. These seem to have originated in Wigan, England. Apparently this bootlegger lures his prey with a tall tale a big collector in Australia who happened to "get a few". I verified with Gene's tech that no such pick was ever made by the band. 


1999  "COTN TOUR"



Multiple clues to this fake, although it is difficult to tell from this smaller scan. The plastic is too white, the signature is too thick and is pad printed, the ink is glossy and the jagged edges of thelogo are not consistent with the authentic picks from the period.


2000  "ALIVE! TOUR"



This one shows up every couple of years. The lettering is not spaced properly and the wrong "I" font is used.  In the second scan, you can see they scraped off the extra lines at the top and bottom of the "I", as well as an attempt at making the pick look played. Problem is, Paul is not a shredder on the guitar, and rarely does he ever (at least purposely) turn the pick and play with the top portion. In addition, the print is too glossy and these fakes are pad printed, whereas the authentic picks were stamped.





These particular picks began surfacing in the western Kentucky, near Paducah and Louisville.  Given the striking similarities to the other fake Alive! picks, perhaps the others originally came from this same source? On the Alive! and Destroyer picks, an incorrect font is used for the "I". Note the smudging on the logo side of the Destroyer pick.  Most fakes will smudge easily. The signatures are way too dark and way too thick on the Love Gun picks. I do not know what gauge or type of plastic these are printed on.




FAKE supposedly from Psycho Circus tour


This pick surfaced toward the end of 2000, two years after the Psycho Circus tour was already over. has never used or produced tortoise colored picks.  The lettering across the top is not an exact match to the originals and is too close to the logo. What fools collectors on this one is the fact that it is stamped instead of pad printed.




FAKES supposedly from the Farewell tour


A couple points to make.  The pattern and logo on the Peter pick is exact to the transparent green ones he made up for the tour, which uses his Reunion signature. All the others use the Spencer's signature used early in the tour.  I have not seen these in person, but my guess is the ink is pad printed. I received confirmation from Paul's tech that these picks were NEVER made by the band!


2001 "McFarlane"



Made in the USA, these colorful "copies" were patterned after the silver on black McFarlane Alive! figure picks.  They are blank on the back just like the original McFarlane picks.


2001-2002 "UNMASKED"



This pick began surfacing in Germany toward the end of 2001. It was represented as a rare 1980 Unmasked tour pick.  No doubt, it was patterned after Bruce Kulick's ESP picks.  The signature does not match any of Paul's other picks nor hasever put the logo and signature on the same side of the pick.


2001-2002 "DYNASTY"



These picks also began to surface in Germany toward the end of 2001.  Note you can almost see through to the other side.  That should not occur with bone picks, which is the material the real Dynasty picks were printed on.


Great efforts were made to "weather" both sides of the Gene pick to make it appear concert used, although you cannot see that detail in this small scan. The Gene pick is also a thin gauge pick, which Gene has never used.





Similar to the fake Dynasty picks, this is printed on the same thin material as the Gene Dynasty pick.  You probably cannot see it in the scan, but when titled in the light, this pick shows literally thousands of scratch marks on both sides of the pick, like someone rubbed it on its face up and down a fret board about 50 times in attempt to make it look concert used. 





This pick is hot stamped! So watch out folks. The bootleggers are becoming more sophisticated. However, there is no ink or foil in the crevices, which is why the signature appears faint in this scan. The signature is identical, although a tad smaller, than Eric's Japan and Australia picks from the Farewell Pacific tour. This one first surfaced in Texas with about 15 others, and then again in southern Maryland by the handful.





Similar to the "Lost Cities" Reunion tour picks, among the best fakes ever made. No doubt these picks were made at D'Andrea, but why and by whom are a mystery. Multiple sources have confirmed they were not commissioned by Ace or the band.  Moreover, the circle-dot foil print contains tiny pinhole imperfections, suggesting a rush job. Both of these sets initially surfaced in New York in 2002, but the second set of AFB picks arose again in mass quantities in Henderson, NV in the Spring of 2005.





These began to surface in the Chicago area in the Spring of 2004.  Blank on the back.





At the conclusion of the tour, a black on pearl pick bearing thelogo on one side and "Rock the Nation 2004 World Tour " on the reverse began to surface.  These picks were ordered by a "shady" crew member (not one of the techs) looking to make some extra cash from the Mexican locals at the end of the tour. They were manufactured by InTune Guitar Pick Company. Paul and Tommy's techs both confirmed these were not officially commissioned and were made without the knowledge or consent by anyone associated with the band.


2004-05 Fan Picks



These are not really fakes in that they do not attempt to duplicate authentic band picks.  Nonetheless, they are not sanctioned or licensed by the band and an unsuspecting novice might sped their hard earned money thinking they are an officialproduct. They aren't.





These drumsticks surfaced in Houston, TX.  The logo and name are lazered into the wood, a technology unavailable in the 1970's.  Peter's name is spelled incorrectly and the sticks are longer than a standard 2B size with giant beads on the end.   Pairs were made in both nylon and wood tips.


2005 Coloured PICKS



Made and sold on eBay in the UK, these picks are blank on the back.  Although the official logo is used, they are not sanctioned or licensed by the band and an unsuspecting novice might spend their hard earned money thinking they are an officialproduct. They aren't.


2007 "Live To Win" PICKS



Made and sold on eBay in the US.  These cheap photo picks are not sanctioned or licensed by Paul and an unsuspecting novice might spend their hard earned money thinking they are an official Live To Win product. They aren't.


2007 "Paul Stanley Wedding" PICKS



Made and sold on eBay in the US.  Nice looking picks, but they were not at Paul's wedding or commissioned by anyone associated with Paul.



2007 "80's Gene" PICK



Made from genuine tortoise (illegal in this country since 1973) by a Chinese immigrant known to be manufacturing and bootlegging Ritchie Blackmore picks for years. Apparently he's decided to branch out into bootlegging other bands, including .





These fakes first appeared on eBay by an individual close to the band (and who refuses to believe they are fake) who stated his fiancée received them on the 1975 US tour. Despite the claims, not a single thing "right" about these. First of all, the authentic Pastore picks weren't even made in 1975; They were made in January 1976. These fakes are the wrong font, wrong shape, wrong plastic and pad printed. Sadly, this same individual chose to provide these fakes to the designer of the special Alive 35 Cobo tourbook . This makes them especially dangerous since bootleggers will likely point to this tourbook as so-called "proof" they are real. They aren't!





FAKE supposedly from Psycho Circus tour


This pick surfaced on eBay at the end of 2009. The lettering across the top is not an exact match to the originals. Additionally the printing is glossy and seems to have a bit if texture to it.





More homemade fakes from the UK. Neither the band nor the promoters at the O2 commissioned these picks or ever saw them. Rumor has it solid red, white, & yellow also exist. Obviously also bootlegs.



These started being bootlegged in Europe within a couple weeks of the first UK dates of the tour. Often difficult to detect in photos unless scanned at very high DPI.


2010  "Superstar"



The origin of this one is unconfirmed, but believed to be possibly from Australia. The print on this fake is silver, not gold and very sloppy when examined up close or at high resolution.


2011  "ALIVE 35 TOUR"


Once the band began using 4-color printed picks, a rash of bootlegs began to surface from Germany and the UK, including these. Gene and Eric never even had Alive 35 picks in this style and the signatures for Paul & Tommy shown here never existed on any of their picks. They also tried to fake one of the tech picks, but the mage is too small and the detail missing. The shapes and plastics are also wrong.





Images tend to be zoomed in. The blue backside is darker in color and much of the stars detail missing.





Similar to the "Lost Cities" Ace Reunion "prototype" picks, among the best fakes ever made. No doubt these picks were made at D'Andrea, but why and by whom are a mystery. Multiple sources have confirmed they were not commissioned by Paul or the band.  The plastic is 2006-2007 era. Not too many bootleggers investing in signature stamps and foil machines. These first surfaced on eBay in 2018.





The Pastore picks continue to be the most faked picks. These printed in Australia.  The $IMMONS pick was never double-sided. Paul and Ace's first names are not larger than than their last names on the originals. And once again, wrong font and pick plastic.


2019 "ALIVE!" PICK



Someone got ripped off for $237.50 on eBay on this fake. The seller even attempted to "age" the pick by rubbing the surfaces to wear the print. But once again: wrong font, wrong plastic and pad printed.




These were being sold out of California in Facebook groups and on eBay. Seller claimed he got a few from a friend as part of a promo kit. Confirmed with multiple sources close to the band these are fake and not sponsored by the band.


These were also being sold on eBay by a different seller. No fames in the KISS logo and a different Paul signature. But also fake.



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