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"Would you want to be in a group with Criss and Frehley?"
September 24, 2013 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Nathan Rabin reviews the Kiss autobiographies for the A.V. Club. The memoir of Kiss drummer Peter Criss is endearingly needy and sleazy: "Makeup To Breakup positively vibrates with rage toward Criss' former bandmates, Kiss' management, and everything Kiss represents." Gene Simmons' Kiss And Make-Up lets The Demon speak for himself: "To critics who ask how he could have treated core members of his group so coldly, he responds, "Would you want to be in a group with Criss and Frehley?"" Spaceman Ace Frehley offers his bland version of Kiss’ story in No Regrets: "For better or worse, No Regrets, Frehley's curiously underwhelming 2011 memoir, is the product of an author who can also now assure himself that no matter how debauched or crazy he might get, at least he isn't Ace Frehley-in-the-'70s-level debauched or crazy."
posted by paleyellowwithorange (72 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
The makeup is a mask they use to hide from themselves.
posted by Freen at 5:20 PM on September 24, 2013


I do like the reviewer's theory on why Criss calls his penis "the Spoiler."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:23 PM on September 24, 2013


I'd suggest reading Peter Criss's book review last, as it's the best. Long pull quote:
Criss’ book is wonderfully sleazy and graphic even for a rock-star memoir. At the height of Kiss mania, Criss almost literally had to fight girls off with a stick. His entire universe was saturated with orgies, champagne, and cocaine freak-outs. There are levels to rock-star decadence. The beginning level is pretty tame. It involves drinking too much, the occasional blackout, indulging in groupies, and maybe smoking a little weed. On the second level comes cocaine, threesomes with groupies, and wrecking hotel rooms. Criss and Frehley quickly graduated to the most advanced level of rock-star decadence, one attained by the Mötley Crües, Led Zeppelins, and Iggy Pops of the world. The band went from smoking weed and chasing girls to fucking 19-year-olds in their signature make-up and costumes (the ultimate form of rock-star narcissism), doing mountains of blow, destroying hotels, hurling lunch meat on naked groupies then shoving them in hotel elevators (a stunt in which Marilyn Manson’s crew also engaged), and, in one of Criss’ more regrettable misadventures, dressing up like Nazis and knocking on the door to Simmons’ hotel room and demanding to see his papers. That would be an almost unforgivably offensive transgression under the best of circumstances, but Simmons is the progeny of Holocaust survivors (not to mention a mean, humorless bastard), so he was particularly horrified by his bandmates’ shenanigans.
If you read the review if Simmon's memoir first, that last bit, horrific as it is, may actually make you smile.
posted by mosk at 5:30 PM on September 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I always knew that the lunchbox business was crazy.
posted by thelonius at 5:36 PM on September 24, 2013


"He created KISS to destroy KISS...and he lost."
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


i don't get kiss - never did, never will - knights in the service of stupid
posted by pyramid termite at 5:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Having read both Criss and Frehley's books (and the gossipy Kiss and Tell book by Ace's buds) it's hilarious that they all relate the story of: a) firing a gun indiscriminately into a darkened concrete basement for fun because they were bored and lonely, and b) dressing up like Nazis to hassle Gene - both writing as the protagonist.

So one of them is mistaken and misremembering the story or just deliberately mining the other's stories and calling them his own. Or they both agreed to lie but forgot who was supposed to write about it.

Drugs are bad. Mmmkay.
posted by petebest at 5:37 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's probably all because Gene Simmons never had a personal computer when he was a kid.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:41 PM on September 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


I have to say that one of the most painful things I've ever heard was Terry Gross interviewing Gene Simmons for Fresh Air. The program never aired, but the audio is out there.
posted by jquinby at 5:41 PM on September 24, 2013


(or if it aired, it was never archived - the entry for the show is here).
posted by jquinby at 5:43 PM on September 24, 2013


If you can't get enough KISS related stories then John Robison's Look Me in the Eye is interesting since he was the person who developed the pyrotechnic guitars for Frehly. Anway, it is a good book about being Aspergers and incidentally, crew for KISS.
posted by jadepearl at 5:44 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The program never aired

Yes it did! That night I was driving around Blacksburg trying to recover my book bag that I'd left on one of the BT busses, listening to WVTF, and - um, yeah, I'm trying to think of creative ways of saying "and I'll never forget that", but the plain statement will have to suffice because nothing would be adequate anyway.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:45 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


All you really need to know about Ace Frehley -- aside from the following -- is summed up in Ozone. (TL;DR: "I'm the kind of guy who likes gettin' high. Gettin' high and dry. And I do it all the time!")

Having read both Criss and Frehley's books (and the gossipy Kiss and Tell book by Ace's buds) it's hilarious that they all relate the story of: a) firing a gun indiscriminately into a darkened concrete basement for fun because they were bored and lonely, and b) dressing up like Nazis to hassle Gene - both writing as the protagonist.

Gene seems pretty clear about b) being Ace.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:45 PM on September 24, 2013


From a sheerly musical standpoint, at least, you have to admit that they looked good on a lunchbox.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:52 PM on September 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


Grantland also had an entertaining review of Criss' book.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:56 PM on September 24, 2013


"There are four people in the KISS car, but two of them are in the back seat"
-Gene Simmons, on why Frehley & Criss were making so much less than Simmons & Stanley during their full-on all-makeup reunion tour.

If you're a KISS fan and you haven't seen Detroit Rock City about 4 kids from the suburbs on an epic quest to make it to the KISS concert... you should.

Although I admit, my favorite version of DRC isn't by KISS.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:01 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


From the AVClub review:

Kiss’ manager, Bill Aucoin, was also gay, and in one of the book’s many sordid revelations, Criss writes that Frehley may very well have performed oral sex on Criss during one of the group’s many coke-fueled orgies. Criss writes that Frehley didn’t discriminate between men and women during drugged-out sex parties, possibly because he was so fucked-up he genuinely couldn’t delineate between actual women and dudes who were awful pretty.

Or possibly because he got off with people over gender. Sordid, I know, but it does happen and even -shock, horror - if you're actually aware what it is you're doing and with whom.

There is very little in Kiss that does not count as axolotl-grade neoteny, but that para does little to distinguish the reviewer from the reviewed.
posted by Devonian at 6:07 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I bought Rock And Roll Over when I was 9 or 10. With all the stickers and such. What a load of crap.

Even at that tender age I realized the scam.

AC/DC, however, delivered.
posted by Max Power at 6:16 PM on September 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


The best news of all is that a Paul Stanley autobiography is in the works.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:20 PM on September 24, 2013






Man, I wish GG Allin had written a 300 page autobiography that was 1 page of "Rock stars shouldn't write autobiographies" and 299 pages of blood, vomit, and shit stains.
posted by dogwalker at 6:28 PM on September 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


I bought Rock And Roll Over when I was 9 or 10. With all the stickers and such. What a load of crap.

Even at that tender age I realized the scam.


Pfft. That's because Destroyer was where it was at. Or, oddly enough you could have also chosen, on the other side, Love Gun. Both were he-man sized meat and cheese fried sounds that went really fast and pretty heavy for bedtime fare.

AC/DC, however, delivered.

Sustained.
posted by petebest at 6:38 PM on September 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


KISS is one of the most disappointing rock and roll bands ever. A good collection of talent and showmanship, yet without passion for the craft. Or even fun, as if the groupie sexcapades and substance abuse and overall unbridled hedonism were contractual obligations to be fulfilled. The seeds of solid, power glam were there, good hooks, solid delivery, but always with an eye on the next incongruent attention grabbing publicity move, and lyrics that can make even a 7th grade boy roll his eyes.
posted by 2N2222 at 6:56 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best news of all is that a Paul Stanley autobiography is in the works.

Paul Stanley: Look at this Fucking Hip.
posted by hal9k at 6:57 PM on September 24, 2013


Rock and Roll Over is the only KISS album that works for me. It's a fine little rock and roll record. And, I despise Simmons. And - have you seen this?
posted by davebush at 7:10 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can listen to Dynasty any day of the week.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:19 PM on September 24, 2013


Having been to a couple KISS shows on a couple of their Reunion tours, even if they are assholes, their shows are still fantastic.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:51 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Those were hilarious. I never understood their lasting popularity and indeed of shit metal but then it actually didn't last.
posted by juiceCake at 8:14 PM on September 24, 2013


Ghostride The Whip: "Having been to a couple KISS shows on a couple of their Reunion tours, even if they are assholes, their shows are still fantastic."

Damn straight! Saw 'em (the original four) in 1996, and it was an outstanding show. I had forgotten what real pyrotechnics at a concert were.

AC/DC (both Bon and Brian versions) rules as well, it's just that KISS and AC/DC are apples and oranges, IMHO.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 8:18 PM on September 24, 2013


I think I was just about the perfect age when KISS took over the world in the late 1970s; as a little kid the iconography, makeup and theatrics were like something from another planet... and their earlier music in particular had some killer hooks. My older brother was a fan too, so that was something we were able to bond over. My parents correctly judged that the innuendo/double entendres in those ridiculous lyrics would fly right over my head until I was old enough to know better. As a grown-up it's hard to stay as fond of KISS as I still am of most of the other bands I listened to as a kid... I liked them a lot better when I didn't know anything about them other than their music and cool makeup/costumes.

In any event, no internet discussion about KISS is complete without a link to Paul Stanley's Folgers jingle.
posted by usonian at 8:49 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


...or a mention of Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:02 PM on September 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think that to understand KISS, you have to realize how much of an influence Alice Cooper had on them. KISS formed in 1973, the year that Alice Cooper and his original band (all guys that Alice had gone to high school with) had their biggest hit. KISS' best album, Destroyer, was produced by Bob Ezrin, who had previously turned Alice Cooper from a joke band into a really good one (Frank Zappa released their earlier albums for the same reason that he was a fan of The Shaggs; they had the reputation as being the worst band in L.A.) Do you remember the joke from the first Men in Black movie, where Agent Kay holds up what looks like a miniature CD and says that it's going to be the next big format, and that that means that he'll have to buy the Beatles' White Album yet again? Well, that's what Destroyer was for me--it, Sgt. Pepper, and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars are the only records that I've owned on LP, cassette and CD, and I probably would have bought it on 8-track if I could have afforded the player at the time.

I thought they were the shit when I was 13, but my interest in them faded pretty quickly. The solo albums were obviously crap, and Love Gun just seemed embarrassing--some of that may have been my musical tastes broadening. Even the much-heralded KISS comic book ("printed with real KISS blood!") was probably the worst thing that Steve "Howard the Duck" Gerber ever wrote. And, of course, Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, which was an even more half-assed version of the comic. Even though I can still listen to Destroyer, it's not without a sense of amazement that I ever took these guys seriously; "God of Thunder" is like every last little bit of Glenn Danzig's pomposity and comic-book Satanism squeezed into one song, and "Shout It Out Loud" and "Flaming Youth" sound more like parodies of teen rebellion anthems than the real thing. And "Beth", of course, is the most half-assed apology to a rock and roll wife ever, gosh, honey, so sorry but me and the boys will be balling groupiesplayin' all night, ah-ahhhh. Alice Cooper's early Ezrin-produced stuff holds up much better.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:12 PM on September 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I should also mention, WRT the Alice Cooper-KISS comparison, that KISS' stage show was mostly Gene sticking his tongue out, Gene blowing fire, and random fireworks, while Alice Cooper's show was designed, built, and acted in by none other than James Randi.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:14 PM on September 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The solo albums were obviously crap
I dunno... Paul Stanley's album features some pretty solid pop/rock 1970s songwriting and I think Ace's was the best of all of them, it was like a brief window where he got to break out and show what he could do before he completely self-destructed. And Anton Fig kills it on the drums.
posted by usonian at 9:25 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


...or a mention of Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.

...or a mention of the European version with different scenes and music and editing and so forth.

KISS as a performing rock band is undeniable. As authors and actors, less so, but that came after, just like Marky Ramone's Pasta Sauce.
posted by rhizome at 9:41 PM on September 24, 2013




Seconding Ace Frehley's solo album as the best Kiss solo record. It still holds up and I find myself listening to it every 6 months or so. I mean, just listen to this.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:09 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Peter Criss review is just a marvel and Simmons clearly deserves every bit of bile regurgitated back in his general direction, but man, the dude's riff on Frehley's Comet was so harsh I almost felt sorry for Ace.

And then I remembered not even 13-year-old hair-metalhead me took Frehley's Comet seriously.

deedle-deedle-deedle-deedle-deedle-deedle-dee

\m/ \m/

posted by gompa at 10:41 PM on September 24, 2013


It's probably all because Gene Simmons never had a personal computer when he was a kid.


Your child's future doesn't have to look like this.
posted by Dokterrock at 11:41 PM on September 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was in hs in the 70's when KISS was monstrously big. I never cared for them, myself, but my brother was a huge fan, and went to their shows whenever they came to town (thankfully, he never did the fanboi makeup thing).

In retrospect, even though I find their music dull, I find myself wishing I had gone to at least one show, just to be able to say I saw one. I understand they were quite the spectacle.

Simmons seems to show-up on various tv shows pretty regularly, playing himself. Even standing still and reciting some written lines, the prickishness oozes forth.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:31 AM on September 25, 2013


Kiss’ manager, Bill Aucoin, was also gay, and in one of the book’s many sordid revelations, Criss writes that Frehley may very well have performed oral sex on Criss during one of the group’s many coke-fueled orgies.

That immediately reminded me of this Onion piece.
posted by TedW at 5:56 AM on September 25, 2013


AC/DC, however, delivered

Yyyeah. I can see why people like Kiss -- Detroit Rock City is a pretty okay song -- but they always seemed like the safe, nonthreatening, kind of manufactured alternative to actual metal. And to me, proper metal requires a pretty big helping of earnest sincerity, ideally taken to pretty eye-rolling levels, that Kiss never had. I mean, the dudes in Sabbath or Maiden or BoC meant that shit, and Ronnie James Dio took meaning that shit to Olympic levels.

I mean, sure, if you were a high school kid in the late 70s you could wait for the new Kiss album and Kiss tour. But you could also have waited for new AC/DC, or new Sabbath, or new Led Zeppelin, or that new band Motorhead or Judas Priest, or you could wonder if Deep Purple were going to get back together, or you could think they all suck and wait for Iron Maiden to appear in a couple of years. It just seems hard to me, as someone who (born in 70) was a little too young for that, to imagine looking at that menu and picking Kiss.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:32 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rock Memoir Book Club sounds fun in general.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:27 AM on September 25, 2013


In high school, a friend and I had a Blue Oyster Cult / KISS rivalry thing happening (BOC was my band). One night, I discovered that the new unreleased KISS album (Love Gun, I think) was going to be played in full on the local FM station. I warmed up my tape deck and recorded the whole album. The next day, I invited my KISS-loving buddy to listen to "this incredible guitar solo by Buck Dharma", which was in fact a Frehley solo from a track he'd never heard before. I got the reaction I wanted, nailed him - and life was good.
posted by davebush at 7:41 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


TedW: "That immediately reminded me of this Onion piece."

Or this Office bit.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:44 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My bit of cognitive dissonance with KISS has always been the way they looked vs. the music they played. Their visual image was practically proto-GWAR with the spikey shoes and leather and freaky makeup, but hell, they didn't even sound particularly metal. They didn't really sound that much different from Cheap Trick.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:55 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can pretty much do without KISS, but I sure do love KISS covers. (i.e. Nirvana's cover of "Do You Love Me?" and the Donnas' cover of "Strutter,")
posted by entropicamericana at 7:56 AM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My Kiss phase lasted about one or two months in 6th grade after I got the Alive album, quickly followed by an Aerosmith phase, a Styx phase, and a Rush phase. (I guess that one never really ended)
I've never had a lick of interest in Kiss as a band or as individuals since.
posted by rocket88 at 7:59 AM on September 25, 2013


I had the same experience as Cookiebastard---I saw pictures of them, and thought "Oh man, this is gonna be some craaaaazy evil music." And then it was just ordinary radio-friendly hard rock, significantly less badass than Sabbath, or even Alice Cooper. It was an enraging bait-and-switch.

Then again, I had the same disappointed reaction the first time I bought that freaky-looking record with the grinning skeleton on the cover, by a band that even had "Dead" right there in the name.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:21 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


They didn't really sound that much different from Cheap Trick.

They were sort of like Cheap Trick, and probably shared a lot of fans. But Cheap Trick were quite a few steps up from Kiss. Really, Kiss were a dumber, thinner Bachman Turner Overdrive.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:41 AM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow. A dumber BTO. That's pretty fuckin' cold, Sys Rq.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:57 AM on September 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Then again, I had the same disappointed reaction the first time I bought that freaky-looking record with the grinning skeleton on the cover, by a band that even had "Dead" right there in the name.
It's nice to have some validation all these years later! I'd seen Grateful Dead posters/t-shirts/stickers/patches here and there for years before I ever actually heard their music, and when I finally did it was a major letdown. I mean come on! A band name like 'Grateful Dead' with an album cover like this really seemed to promise something a little more badass than this.
posted by usonian at 10:27 AM on September 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


they didn't even sound particularly metal

You may be revising history, because for the time, it did. Consider sounds from the album for which the term "heavy metal" was coined.
posted by rhizome at 10:50 AM on September 25, 2013


I also thought the Grateful Dead was going to be super heavy and scary before I heard them. Just goes to show the weaknesses of imagery and symbolism, I guess.
posted by rhizome at 10:51 AM on September 25, 2013


I can pretty much do without KISS, but I sure do love KISS covers. (i.e. Nirvana's cover of "Do You Love Me?" and the Donnas' cover of "Strutter,")
posted by entropicamericana


The Replacements' cover of "Black Diamond" is a towering phallus of rock.
posted by COBRA! at 10:56 AM on September 25, 2013


You may be revising history,

Or just anachronistically mis-using the word "Metal", but by 1973 Black Sabbath had put out more music that would be considered "metal" than KISS did in their entire career.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:25 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jim O'Rourke on Kiss
--
When I was seven, the band Kiss were in their glory days and pretty much impossible to miss if you left your house. For some reason I hadn't actually heard them but their album covers scared the hell out of me. Older kids were saying things like "if you ask Gene Simmons for his autograph, he sticks a spike through your arm!" This filled me with absolute terror and the image of the foursome made me imagine the most bonecrunching, ominous, most downright evil music on Earth, Years later I was teaching guitar to a seemingly endless supply of Beavis and Buttheads when one student brought in a Kiss cassette, wanting to learn a tune. It struck me that I still hadn't heard them and was a bit excited to finally hear the obvious mayhem awaiting....

I put the cassette in, pressed play, and...."Wait a minute! This, this is Cowbell Rock!" I felt betrayed; where was that music I had heard in my head? I grudgingly moved on and wroteout the song for the student, thinking, "How can people who look like that make music like this?"
posted by porn in the woods at 11:35 AM on September 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I graduated from high school in '75 so I was a hair too old by the time KISS broke big. They played Minot North Dakota, 90 miles away from me, when they only had two or three albums out (not the live album). The show was impressive but for those of us that had already graduated to Bowie, Zep, Floyd, Sabbath, Yes, or the Who, it was obvious this was second tier stuff at best. And this band from Boston named Aerosmith played the same venue months before and they were HUNGRY!

When I got to college, only two of my wide circle were into KISS. The rest were either into prog, the upper tier of bands above, or moving into punk. My brother was still in high school and he reported that a lot of his age were playing Simmons and company. So I will always think of them as a band for those in grade school or early high school in the late 70s. Second tier live act, third tier music. Fun songs if you heard them covered in a bar but that was about it.

If I play any KISS song these days, it's this track by Ace, which does indeed have a nice little groove.
posted by Ber at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


You may be revising history, because for the time, it did. Consider sounds from the album for which the term "heavy metal" was coined.

And oh, what a coin it was:
In the November 12, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone, [Mike Saunders] commented on an album put out the previous year by the British band Humble Pie: "Safe as Yesterday Is, their first American release, proved that Humble Pie could be boring in lots of different ways. Here they were a noisy, unmelodic, heavy metal-leaden shit-rock band with the loud and noisy parts beyond doubt. There were a couple of nice songs...and one monumental pile of refuse." He described the band's latest, self-titled release as "more of the same 27th-rate heavy metal crap."*
posted by Sys Rq at 12:07 PM on September 25, 2013


Kiss is like wrestling, honestly. When you're a little kid, you totally buy into it because it's AN AMAZING SPECTACLE OF MIND-BLOWING AWESOMENESS. It's a titanic battle between opposing forces (in Kiss' case it'd be ROCK AND ROLL versus MOM or something). It's operatic. And sometimes you grow up and yeah it's four dudes in silly makeup playing not particularly inspiring cock rock but it's pretty fun to sing along and watch them do their thing and shoot fireballs out of guitars, especially when I saw them in the late 90s when everyone was earnestly standing on stage staring at their shoes for 2 hours because moving around and having fun wasn't cool. Like wrestling you either grow to appreciate the ridiculous craftsmanship of the live shows night after night after night or you still think it's real and get REALLY into it or you think it's lower-class entertainment for rubes or it's something you remember being into as a preteen and get kind of embarrassed about.

Like I saw Marilyn Manson do his thing about the same time and that guy's way too bright to actually think he's Pop Hitler, the role he was playing at the time, but he used the symbolism well and put on an amazing, exhausting live show that was a ton of fun to watch even if I wasn't actually a quasi-fascist follower of Pop Culture Hitler.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:39 PM on September 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


This 3-2-1 Contact segment was the best thing ever.
posted by usonian at 1:50 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Devonian: "There is very little in Kiss that does not count as axolotl-grade neoteny..."

Damn.

Is there a Man Booker Prize for sentence fragments?
posted by IAmBroom at 2:41 PM on September 25, 2013


If you live in Williamsburg/Greenpoint or any part of Brooklyn for that matter, the first several chapters of Criss' book is worth it for the depiction of these neighborhoods as they were when he grew up in them and was playing mobster joints in them as a drummer prior to Kiss.
posted by spicynuts at 2:55 PM on September 25, 2013


I also thought the Grateful Dead was going to be super heavy and scary before I heard them.

at one time (1967), they were the world's greatest garage/space/punk band

song 2, from 1966

for those times, they were super heavy and scary
posted by pyramid termite at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw pictures of them, and thought "Oh man, this is gonna be some craaaaazy evil music." And then it was just ordinary

This is how I felt about the Sex Pistols. For years I was aware of them, of their name, their names, their image, their reputation. And then I actually heard them and it was just straightforward pub rock. Total letdown.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:38 PM on September 25, 2013


the sex pistols straightforward pub rock? - not with mr rotten singing

although, come to think of it malcolm morley and deke leonard could get close ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:08 PM on September 25, 2013


Well, okay, but the band certainly sounded pretty ordinary. The first song of theirs I listened to was 'Anarchy in the UK'. With a title like that, and the song's reputation, I was expecting something way more incendiary.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the Pistols - the problem was with my expectations.

Also, perhaps when your musical journey has taken you via Pungent Stench, you no longer have the ability to be shocked.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 8:14 PM on September 25, 2013


I had a completely different reaction to "Anarchy in the UK". When I heard the opening, with Johnny Rotten laughing, I thought that that's how the devil would really laugh, not the rich baritone mua-ha-ha that you imagine as a kid.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:52 PM on September 25, 2013


Heh. Whereas to me, he just sounded like a cartoon character.

Again, I had come via death metal, so, you know.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:03 PM on September 25, 2013


If I play any KISS song these days, it's this track by Ace, which does indeed have a nice little groove.

Frehley's "New York Groove" is a cover; it was written by Russ Ballard who also wrote "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You" for Argent, "Liar", for Argent and Three Dog Night, and unfortunately, the excrusiatingly dull "Since You Been Gone", for Rainbow et al, as well as a ton of other songs recorded by a variety of artists.

Here's a big chunk of Steve Gerber's Kiss comic. My favourite thing about it is Ace's power of teleportation -- specifically, how it is invoked; well done.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:46 AM on September 26, 2013


I did like it when they appeared as interdimensional demons in Howard The Duck. For that brief, fleeting moment, KISS was as badass as they looked.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:51 AM on September 26, 2013


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