Rodney Anonymous checks in with the following defense of KISS.
5 Reasons Why They Rule and Their Critics Eat Stool
1) Gene Simmons has slept with over 5000 women (Terry Gross included). OK, before you launch into your “So what? [Insert name of under appreciated angst-ridden indeed artist here] made great records with intelligent lyrics and used augmented 9th chords” rant, just take a minute to remember why you picked up a guitar in the first place: Here kitty, kitty, kitty! Do you think Alex Chilton could’ve nailed Cher back when she was worth bragging about nailing? And I’m even gonna give Simmons bonus points for being a Jew!
2) Knights In Satan’s Service. Yeah, I know that KISS really wasn’t an acronym for that. But hey, AC/DC didn’t stand for “Antichrist/Devil Child” and REM wasn’t shorthand for “Rectally Engaged Mumblefest”. The point is that YOUR PARENTS (and nearly every Baptist youth pastor) believed that’s what KISS stood for. They went to bed each night with one eye open out of fear that some track on Love Gun would incite you to patricide. What did mommy and daddy think when you started listening to Belle and Sebastian? “Hmmm…how pleasant. I think we’ll do the den in beige.”
3) “She’s a dancer, a romancer. She’s a Capricorn and I’m a Cancer.” I am, without dispute, America’s greatest living lyricist, and not even I could’ve thought of a line that clever. By singling out a specific zodiac sign, KISS managed to convince approximately 1/12 of the world’s female population that they were singing to them. (See reason #1.)
4) KISS Meets the Phantom. Not only did KISS meet the Phantom, they kicked his ass and the asses of their evil robotic twins. This single act would remain an unparalleled moment in Rock ‘n’ Roll for almost 20 years, until the 1990 Lifetime Network premier of Jesus and Mary Chain Save Christmas.
5) The guys who worked at the gas station liked ‘em. Sure those guys might not have taken the same college prep courses you did, but they didn’t shell out $12.98 for a copy of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music either.
Thank you. We will now consider this matter closed. Don’t make me kick your asses.
Damned straight! Tell it Rodney, Tell it!
We were South Jersey twelve-year old hicks who played in the woods, watched wrestling and horror movies and our favorite band was Kiss. It was a small posse of kids whose parents weren’t so religious we couldn’t have some Kiss stuff or Mad Magazines in the house. It was a real religious town, most kids were really scared of Kiss and the fact that we were into it, with Kiss stickers on our folders, had us pegged as future delinquents. My Kiss-obsessed best friend got caught shoplifting Hustler magazines for us and his parents made him and his brother take all their Kiss pictures down from the playroom wall. A few years passed and I went New Wave and most of my buddies went metal, blasting Judas Priest from their boomboxes all the way to the Vo-Tech Center.
Kiss? I’m strictly an ALIVE to LOVE GUN fan, plus the Ace solo record. Their BEHIND THE MUSIC is pretty funny. But Gene and Paul really are pretty excrutiating to hear interviewed today, they’ve got that weird hyper-ego malady you similarly see in interviews with Bill Cosby or Jerry Lewis. And why is it if I’m comfortable with gay people that macho closet cases like Paul Stanley and Tim Hardaway seem so disturbingly creepy? Stanley interview in DECLINE 2, where he’s in bed with ten woman, was a sad cry for help.
np Gruff Rhys – CANDYLION
Unfortunately it’s “I’m a Capricorn and she’s a Cancer.”
changes the whole “meaning” of the song if Paul was a Cancer and not a Capricorn. If the girl was a Capricorn, would she really be a dancer AND a romancer? I think not.
AMEN BROTHER RODNEY !!!
As Townsman dbuskirk says:
“But Gene and Paul really are pretty excrutiating to hear interviewed today…”
I think this is my major gripe with them. They don’t seem to be having any fun with it – way too serious…
Rodney has come to both praise and bury KISS. He’s also dangerously close to summing up how I feel about the band. Much like Buskirk, I was an 8 year old Alabama hick running around nicking hidden issues of Playboy, learning how to smoke Kools and stealing painting supplies from construction sites….all with the steady soundtrack of KISS in the background. As an 8 year old, how could you resist? They were big badass cartoon characters in a rock band that EVEN MADE MOVIES FOR ABC.
But even though I still love the records, I can see right through the glitz. Stupid lyrics? Clumsy guitar solos? Crappy production values? PIANO BALLADS, for god’s sake? How can you take it seriously? It’s a goddamn kabuki circus with blood, explosions and 120dB of late 70’s NYC glam rock turned all the way up to 11. KISS was and continues to be absolutely ridiculous on many levels. Therein lies the charm for me.
I think the KISS I liked the most disappeared rather quickly, with Detroyer or so. Mr. Clean’s comment about their self-seriousness is certainly spot on for this century, but they sounded very different, and much more tongue in [their own] cheek when they were quipping single entendres with Dr. Joyce Brothers on Mike Douglas. The first three albums, I maintain, are juvenile mostly in a good way. I’m with you, Mr. Mod, on Strutter, Deuce and some others. I liked Cold Gin as an instrumental with annoying but ignorable vocal sounds. But Black Diamond? What’s your beef with that one? It’s like AC/DC with notes! Isn’t that what you’ve been after? The other thing to keep in mind, here, is the timing. We were all listening to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and so on. So there was no ignoring the fact that KISS were, if not funny, per se, at least they were Entertainment as much as music. If you came to them in the 80s, the line between them and bands that didn’t know they were joking was much harder to define.
General Slocum, to tell the truth, I can’t remember if I ever had a beef with “Black Diamond”. I knew I hated either that one or “Cold Gin”, so I hedged my bets.
Not I. Before my 1978 Rock Reawakening, I was listening to The Spinners, George McRea’s “Rock Your Baby”, and other AM radio stuff. That and my Beatles, Band, Traffic, and Hendrix albums given to me by my hippie uncle as a young boy. I had almost no context for hard rock of any degree of quality in the mid-70s. But this isn’t about me…
Terry Gross: No. Let’s get to the studded codpiece.
Gene Simmons: Oh yes.
Terry Gross: Do you have a sense of humor about that?
Gene Simmons: No.
Terry Gross: Does that seem funny to you? Are you —
Gene Simmons: No, it holds in my manhood.
Terry Gross: [laughs] That’s right.
Gene Simmons: Otherwise it would be too much for you to take. You’d have to put the book down and confront life. The notion is that if you want to welcome me with open arms, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to welcome me with open legs.
Terry Gross: That’s a really obnoxious thing to say.
Gene Simmons: No it’s not, it’s being — why should I say something behind your back that I can’t tell you to your face?
Terry Gross: Wait, it — it — has it come to this? Is this the only way that you can talk to a woman? To do that shtick?
Gene Simmons: Let me ask you something. Why is it shtick when all women have ever wanted ever since we’ve crawled out of caves is, Why can’t a man just tell me the truth and just speak to me plainly? Though, if I do that — you can’t have it both ways.
Terry Gross: So you really have no sense of humor about this, do you?
Gene Simmons: Oh, I’m laughing all the way. You know, we’re —
Terry Gross: Oh, to the bank, right?
Gene Simmons: Well of course. [laughs] Don’t I sound like a happy guy?
Terry Gross: Not really, to be honest with you.
Gene Simmons: I was going to suggest that you get outside of the musty place where you can count the dust particles falling around you. And get out in the world and see what everybody else is doing.
Terry Gross: Having sex with you?
Gene Simmons: Well, if you chose, but you’d have to stand in line.
Terry Gross: Well, that’s the thing. We might as well get to this since you … since you keep bringing it up. Uh … yeah. You’ve had 4,000 —
Gene Simmons: I didn’t actually, you did.
Terry Gross: You write in your book you’ve had 4,600 sexual liaisons —
Gene Simmons: You’re supposed to say “so far.”
Terry Gross: So far.
Gene Simmons: Right.
Terry Gross: To you, this will be asking the obvious, but why have you wanted so many encounters?
Gene Simmons: I can only spell it in three letters. M-A-N.
I’m stuck in an airport. This stuff’s gettin me hot!
Hey, one thing I notice based on today’s poll that’s dismaying: Poll voters, for the most part, are not feeling the slightest bit healed, and most of those who’ve reported the lack of healing report wanting to kick some KISS fan’s ass. But here’s the telling thing: Is this tough talk in the polls reflected in the Comments sections for today’s entries? NO! It’s the KISS fans who are standing tall. Most KISS haters have kept their mouths shut. This is not helping anyone, people. It’s time we let it rip. I’m trying to play Moderatory right now, but I think I’ve made it clear where I stand. Let me do my job. You KISS haters need to bleed a bit, so to speak. You can’t hold it in any longer. It’s not healthy.