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February 6, 2002
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Terry Gross gets more than she bargained for from KISS frontman. Don't you think they'd make a cute couple? (Maybe soon we'll see her here.)
posted by ColdChef (74 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Gene Simmons has done something I'd never though possible: He's put me on the same side as Terry Gross and NPR. If there anything worse than the self-righteous, self-important droners at NPR, it's a self-righteous, flatulent pretend rock star. At least NPR occasionally plays in interesting tune in between tedious news segments. That's more than Kiss has been able to in its entire career.
posted by Faze at 7:48 AM on February 6, 2002


Ms. Gross made a mistake interviewing Simmons. Staid literary types are more her speed. iirc, she caught a bit of lunch interviewing some ex-military guy who ran a camp where inner city kids learned rifle skills...? Know your Audience is the first rule, but the second is Know your Strengths and Weaknesses...

Gross has a reputation for being a cogent interviewer, but I think that might be a bit overstated. I've heard her botch a few interviews, and her interviewing technique seems limited (like, she's reading the question off a pad and not listening to the answers). She rarely seems aware enough of what the guest is saying to follow interesting conversational turns, and she seems to repeat herself quite a bit when the interviewee gets ahead of her on the question list.
posted by UncleFes at 7:51 AM on February 6, 2002


I agree with UncleFes in that I don't think of Ms. Gross as a strong interviewer - to come off well, one has to be interesting in one's own right... as an interviewer, she doesn't really add anything, other than a passive ear and a passive tone, to the conversation. It's as if she learned to interview on the psychiatrist's couch. To her credit, however, she usually has interesting guests.

However, kudos to ColdChef... I needed that laugh.
posted by LAM at 7:58 AM on February 6, 2002


Would that happen to be this interview, UncleFes?
posted by dglynn at 8:01 AM on February 6, 2002


flatulent pretend rock star.
I have never been much of a Kiss fan but if Gene isn't a rock star who is?
posted by thirteen at 8:07 AM on February 6, 2002


Wait, so Gene Simmons told Terry Gross she'd have to "stand in line" to have sex with him? Seems a bit out of character...
posted by tpl1212 at 8:10 AM on February 6, 2002


I think Gene was spontaneous and direct and Terry Gross came off like a caricature of an NPR host with a stick up her ass. Come on:

Simmons: I was going to suggest you get outside of the musty place where you can count the dust particles falling around you and get out into the world and see what everybody else is doing.

Gross: Having sex with you?

Simmons: Well, if you choose, but you'd have to stand in line.


That's funny! And, Faze, musical tastes might, you know, differ. (Oh, yeah, you're the anti-New-York troll guy who got schooled by Mo and joe. Never mind.)
posted by nicwolff at 8:10 AM on February 6, 2002


I remember this from when Matt talked about it in MetaTalk. Very funny stuff. (Can't find it via a search though)
posted by riffola at 8:13 AM on February 6, 2002


nicwolff: I love New York. But I had an upstairs neighbor there who played Kiss constantly day and night. Even NPR would have been preferable. But not by much.
posted by Faze at 8:14 AM on February 6, 2002


I don't remember having heard Ms. Gross, but I've read this transcript before. It was amusing then, and it's amusing now. Like him or not, Gene Simmons isn't afraid to say what he really thinks, and I for one find him very entertaining (as a person, if not necessarily as a musician). I like it when people say things they're not supposed to say in a given forum (i.e. when they don't play the nicey-nice game), especially when those things are snarky-smart-amusing. I thought Gross initially handled herself better than some people have when confronted by the sharp (and long) tongue of Simmons, but then she decided to take things personally instead of being good-humoured about it.
posted by biscotti at 8:16 AM on February 6, 2002


MAN! Sorry I missed hearing that one...thanks ColdChef.

How about a tag team interview, Simmons and Ted Nugent against Gross and Jane Pauley?
posted by groundhog at 8:18 AM on February 6, 2002


I listened to this on the way home from work on Monday and I have to say that it comes across much harsher in print than it did on air. Yes, Gene is a chauvinist meathead with enough self-esteem to power a fleet of hot-air balloons around the world 7 or 8 times, but Gross sounded like a pinched little schoolmarm who could've used a good yell in the green room before the show.

I think that it's a match made in heaven...or hell.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:23 AM on February 6, 2002


Would that happen to be this interview, UncleFes?

I'll be damned. A perfectly good line of crap, denounced once again by that pecker Snopes :)

I stand behind my other statements about Gross, though.
posted by UncleFes at 8:25 AM on February 6, 2002


If anyone's pretending to be surprised by this interview, they haven't ever seen any interview he's ever given before. Simmons pulls out the same threadbare bag of tricks he always does: grandiose sexual claims, sweeping insults directed at women, half-assed swipes at the interviewer. Come on. If this asshole wasn't a *swoon* rock star, he'd be dismissed as an aging frat boy who never quite remembered to cancel his subscription to "Juggs." I find him about as funny and interesting as a case of gout.
posted by Skot at 8:30 AM on February 6, 2002


Everyone knows Terry's already going steady with Lemmy.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:33 AM on February 6, 2002


Well, he's a a jerk, but we know that. Older he gets, the weirder it seems, is all.
posted by lucien at 8:43 AM on February 6, 2002


I listened to this on the way home from work on Monday and I have to say that it comes across much harsher in print than it did on air.

I dunno...I heard most of it on the air, too, and it was pretty harsh. I could almost feel her getting more and more exasperated and him realizing that he had her on the ropes and going in for the knockout. Terry Gross is not exactly a toe-to-toe kind of interviewer, but she wasn't afraid to tell him on the air that he was obnoxious, and the more she complained, the worse he got.
posted by briank at 8:45 AM on February 6, 2002


I also listened on Monday. I found it harsh and turned it off. It stared in a bad place, with a miscommunication about his name and an awkward discussion about religious affiliation. Neither of them came off well. It seemed to go down hill. I quickly became tired of his references to money. However, it was interesting to hear her be on the defensive. But it was interesting in an accident sort of way, (you don’t want to look but you are too curious not to).
posted by mmm at 8:54 AM on February 6, 2002


Ms. Gross obviously did not do her homework. Every interview I've seen with Gene is obnoxious and chauvanistic. But that's him and that's Kiss, and if you want the interview, you have to deal with it. But for the love of God, don't act surprised and revolted! That just encourages him.

I remember Oprah inteviewing him. She asked exactly how long his tongue was. "Long enough to make me your very best friend," was his response. She laughed to the point of tears.
posted by goto11 at 8:55 AM on February 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


I've heard Terry Gross get her clock cleaned by her guests one too many times to have much respect for her as an interviewer any more...The time when she tried to interview Chuck D. was quite possibly one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I've ever heard on NPR. He basically ran the interview, and it became clear quite early on that Gross had NO clue about Public Enemy, or even hip-hop in general.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:56 AM on February 6, 2002


How about where Simmons told Gross had "a gentile mouth" and therefore could not pronounce his real name correctly. And she had to inform him that her mouth was most decidedly not gentile. I mean, he was more or less implying that she was not a real Jew, for crying out loud. That may go beyond good-natured, professional wrestler-style obnoxiousness.
posted by Faze at 9:01 AM on February 6, 2002


Well. harumph. I've listened to Terry G nearly every day for most of ten years. I chime in that she is an excellent interviewer... I can think of none better, to tell you the truth.

I heard this show and while she seemed to get a annoyed with Gene, she was hardly on the ropes. Also, it should be noted that her interviews are editied down from 3-10 hours of tape. She chose to include that segment.

Fes and all have bashed her with no indication of someone that is her better. Her recent interview with Wes Anderson, for example, stands as the only one of many in the recent months that made him and his perspective real to me. She is great. I wish I had a copy of an interview she did with Woody Allen so long ago. She does her show every day and sometimes it makes for a long hour (her interview with Linus Torvolds) but she is doing the good work and occasionally her show is pure brilliance.

You know. I'm going to go on record here saying that MeFi's average response to nearly everything these days is becoming a predictable bash-fest. Is life so hard? I'm a frustrated computer programmer (should be the most jaded type of person) and I look for things to wonder at here on on mefi and the net, not things to scoff at -- or even worse to scoff at things of wonder. Everyone seems to know everything already and be all /.-y. Maybe some of the bashers should confess their love of something, anything every now and again.
posted by n9 at 9:04 AM on February 6, 2002


I think in general Terry is a lot better -- fantastic, actually -- with friendly interviewees than she is with hostile interviewees. Another recent example of this was the military spokesman she interviewed as counterpoint to the female Air Force pilot suing the DoD over clothing restrictions for US military women stationed in Saudi Arabia. The canonical example was the Lewinsky interview, which Terry has said was one neither of them (herself nor Monica) wanted to do. Maybe that's the pattern: a good Fresh Air interview is one that both parties want to do.
posted by precipice at 9:24 AM on February 6, 2002


I'll just second n9 here and say that I think Terry Gross is an excellent interviewer. After hearing her with Gene Simmons, I have to conclude that he is the most crass and humorless rockstar asshole I have ever seen or heard. You would think with all his fame and fortune, he'd be capable of being the least bit cool about it. Yeah, I don't think she handled it all that well, but she's not a confrontational shock jock, nor should she have to be.
posted by whuppy at 9:28 AM on February 6, 2002


I don't think it was bashing Terry Gross to say she's not a confrontational interviewer. Moreover, the bulk of the comments are directed at just how obnoxious Simmons was, not directed at her. You're over-reacting a smidge, n9.
posted by briank at 9:30 AM on February 6, 2002


Yeah, Terry is only good when she is interviewing human beings. This Gene Simmons/Howard Stern type schtick is not funny or shocking. It's just tiresome.
posted by evanizer at 9:32 AM on February 6, 2002


I confess my love of bashing Terry Gross.
posted by rocketman at 9:37 AM on February 6, 2002


May I officially be the first one to admit....
I love Kiss.
I have bought Kiss's records, seen them in concert many times, was one of the original members of the Kiss army, and secretly wish that I could be as rich and arrogant as Gene is. I bet a lot of people do too. And If I was rich, this is exactly how I would act. Becuase, after all, you don't have to kiss anyone's ass anymore. You are the ass to be kissed.
Must feel great.
Rock On.
heh.
posted by bradth27 at 9:38 AM on February 6, 2002


It was interesting when Gene Simmons was talking about all the Kiss comic books and lunch boxes and so on. He said something to the effect of "Who wants to be in a rock band? Not me. I'd much rather be part of a rock brand."

I think Gene Simmons has a perfectly valid view of reality considering that, for better or worse, he's got this thirty year history of being a rock star. His theory of how the world works is, in fact, how the world around him works. Not particularly useful for regular schmoes like me; if I were to say the things he says, I'd probably be slapped in the face.

And I'd feel like I deserved it, too.
posted by jmcmurry at 9:39 AM on February 6, 2002


I didn't hear the interview, but in the transcript, it looks like simmons that comes off as the idiot. A wannabe howard stern, and even if you think stern used to be funny, it's pretty old now. I'm all for straightforwardness, and did think howard stern was refreshing in a way, but this guy's just using lame lines to avoid interacting.

I like NPR but have no particular respect for any of their interviewers, and agree that if she was surprised by his attitude then she didn't do her HW. Still, in transcript, she sounds like she takes it pretty well.
posted by mdn at 9:45 AM on February 6, 2002


Becuase, after all, you don't have to kiss anyone's ass anymore.
I respectfully submit that there's a vast gulf between "not kissing ass" and Gene Simmons' behavior. Just because he's absolutely right about how this crass and lowbrow world of ours works, and became immensely rich and famous as a result, doesn't mean he's not a tremendous asshole.
posted by whuppy at 9:49 AM on February 6, 2002


Also, don't lump Gene Simmons in with Howard Stern. Stern's obnoxious, but he's also a genius, and he often displays genuine, human emotions. Simmons sounds like the sociopathic hellspawn of Pee-Wee Herman and David St. Hubbins. He probably thought Spinal Tap was an instuctional video.
posted by whuppy at 9:56 AM on February 6, 2002


Yeah, but he's right about one thing. Terry G is boring. So is Fresh Ass or whatever her show is called. I'd rather listen to a bad Kiss song than a good Gross interview anyday.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:01 AM on February 6, 2002


Shoot, whuppy, you got that backwards.

Howard Strern is a genius? Who do you think Howie models himself after? Gene Simmons was Howard Stern before Howie was.

Where do you think the idea for Spinal Tap came from?

All of that Gene stuff is the same schtick he's been selling for 30 years now, and you people fell for it.

Suckers.

Terry Gross (I listen at work most evenings) should never interview anyone in rock and roll. I've heard her bomb on more than a few interviews.She should stick to books, politics and preachy self-important films.

I heard this show and it wasn't that bad, but Gross did come off like a pompous person with no sense of humor.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 10:19 AM on February 6, 2002


Thanks, BarneyFifesBullet. Gene speaks several languages, has a degree, taught English for a while, and is generally considered to be a very educated and well read man. I would be willing to bet Gross intended for the interview to go this way, and Gene figured it out pretty quick, and gave her what she wanted.
posted by bradth27 at 10:24 AM on February 6, 2002


Cf.
posted by EngineBeak at 10:32 AM on February 6, 2002


Gene Simmon's is actually a fairly intelligent guy. His view of women is a little bit piggish, but then again, he's a rock star what do you expect?
Quite frankly, I think he was hoping she'd retort with with some raunchy banter back at him and it would all erupt into a goodhumored raunchfest.
Like me, I guess Gene recognizes NPR(and especially Terry Gross) for the airless, piched bastion of middlebrow snobbery that they are. Everytime, I listen to NPR, I keep hoping someone will blow a loud fart and break up all the sober seriousness.
Evanizer and whuppy, with all due respect brothers, intelligence erudition and lowbrow crudity and obnoxiousness can quite comfortably exist in the same person. Am I the only person on earth who admires both Jedidiah Purdy and Howard Stern? Kiss is an adolescent power fantasy shtick with the added bonus of some great rock and roll songs. Lay back and enjoy it. Now if you dont mind...

"Shout it, Shout it, Shout it out loud....."
posted by jonmc at 11:12 AM on February 6, 2002


"You're over-reacting a smidge, n9." -briank



Whatever. Read Fes's first comment in this thread. Gross is generally considered to be the _best_ interviewer on radio by Ira Glass and numerous others because she spends so much time on her research and pays such close attention to her guests. She's a personal hero of mine and it's odd in a world of Fox news and Larry King to hear someone take a competent interviewer to task for things like Fes did. Sometimes the way people react in this forum just seems so knee-jerky negative, and I said something about it. It might just be me but I see a generalized negativity in many web communities right now.
posted by n9 at 11:14 AM on February 6, 2002


At least she didn't ask him about his childhood. Every. Single. Terry Gross. Interview. I. Have. Ever. Heard. included Terry asking the guest about his or her childhood.

I listen to a lot of NPR. I like NPR. When they do the five-minute-long recitation of WAMC frequencies, I hum along. But Terry Gross bores me to tears.
posted by ook at 11:22 AM on February 6, 2002


johnmc,

You are ridiculous! What do you want? Everything to be a South Park episode? I listen to NPR more than 5 hours a day every day and I have to say that it is the one truely good media outlet in the US and that it and the Daily Show are the only things that I actually love to tune in to.

Your commentary that Simmons's "view of women is a little piggish" is alone the most fucked up thing I've read today. That's like saying that the French Revolutin was a "little bloody." What he espouses, joke or no joke, it hateful speech. I would argue that any acceptance of that kind of rubbish is in turn hateful. It's not funny to treat women as sex objects in the way that he does, even if he does come off like a stupid 15 year old. It is as insulting (and as stupid) as making racist jokes.

I have to wonder where this hate of NPR comes from. It seems like a symptom of something. I mean I don't like to listen to 1010WINS AM, but I just don't turn it on, easy as that and I don't have a rant to spout about how shitty it is and how it is the "pitched bastion of taxidriver snobbery" and all. jeez.
posted by n9 at 11:30 AM on February 6, 2002


I listen to NPR, but it is a highly elitist media outlet. Phenomena that most of America takes for granted: rock, hip hop, football is treated as an "amusing curiousity I've never heard of" by the folks on NPR.

I heard a lot about Terry Gross on Mefi and other sites before I ever heard her, then I listened to her show. While she's not as terrible as say a Diane Sawyer, I would have to say she's not this great interviewer people keep saying she is.
posted by owillis at 11:35 AM on February 6, 2002


Whoa there n9, don't sugarcoat it or anything tell me how you feel.

This thread actually points up an important divide occuring here on MeFi, NPR and many other places-between those people who appoint themselves guardians of propriety and good taste and those who consider it all one big groovy ball of wax.
NPR has set themselves up as pre-eminent examples of the former. Now I enjoy hearing about people like Linus Torvalds, Neal Stephenson and Toni Morrison as much as you do. But I also enjoy my WWF, Howard Stern and yes, my South Park. They all are part of a good cultural diet in the right doses.
Their(and your) adoption of this "barbarians at the gates" attitude regarding parts of american culture is what is alienating people like Gene Simmons, uncle fes and myself.
I mean you sound a little bit like someeone in a suburban subdivision looking out your window at a guy working on his muscle car in the driveway saying "oh dear, THEY'VE moved in. There goes the neighborhood."
posted by jonmc at 11:40 AM on February 6, 2002


jonmc: Word. Ain't nothin' wrong with gettin jiggy with Undertaker after listening to Talk of the Nation.
posted by owillis at 11:45 AM on February 6, 2002


Read Fes's first comment in this thread.

I said her reputation as a cogent interviewer may be a bit overstated . Hardly a diatribe. [shrugs] It's my opinion, tempered by having been a reporter, that's all.

And I like to think I'm one of the more positive, upbeat Mefis. Downright cheerful, even :)
posted by UncleFes at 11:59 AM on February 6, 2002


johnmc --

No one at NPR or in my house has appointed themselves guaridans of anything. We all do what we want jsut like you should. I just don't appreciate people going out of their way to drag down my loves. I think that everything you do is fine. Whatever. But what your point in spouting venom about something like NPR? In doing so *you* are establishing *youself* as one who speaks to the acceptability of other's likes and dislikes rather than my acting as a guardian of acceptability. This is not a barbarian at the gates rant... if I went into that rant your head would stop spinning next week.

Now, that will likely bring the retort that I came down hard on ol' Gene by saying that he was not OK and I was being too critical in that. Well, I did and he is a sexist pig. He has slept with 3000+ women and he degrades women with his actions and speech in ways too numerous to list. I think that that is hateful behavior and I don't have any tolerance for it. You conclude that it is reasonably ok behavior, a little piggish that he does and says what he does. I disagree with you and let you know the same way I did my cabbie yesterday when he started talking about putting all the arab-americans into camps. Simmonsesque attitudes towards women are racist and are in the same category and if you find them acceptable you are a part of the problem. Now go back and watch your Fox News and live in the spectacle like a good boy... I'm sorry if I disturbed the soma.
posted by n9 at 12:00 PM on February 6, 2002


Gross: So you really have no sense of humor about this, do you?
Simmons: I was going to suggest you get outside of the musty place where you can count the dust particles falling around you and get out into the world and see what everybody else is doing.
Gross: Having sex with you?
Simmons: Well, if you choose, but you'd have to stand in line.


She has no sense of humor? I didn't hear the interview, but I thought the "having sex with you?" line was great.

I love it when people cover up disgusting behavior by saying "Hey, I'm just being honest!" I think she nailed it when she said that he had no sense of humor about it. I think Gene Simmons takes himself very very seriously.
posted by witchstone at 12:07 PM on February 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


This thread actually points up an important divide occuring here on MeFi, NPR and many other places-between those people who appoint themselves guardians of propriety and good taste and those who consider it all one big groovy ball of wax.

Guardian? No. Have all your bad taste and Howard Stern that you can suck up into your big head! You just, hopefully, won't find it on NPR.

I happen to think that Gross has has a bad year. She's been doing Fresh Air for awhile and I would say a couple years ago that she was the best interviewer I've ever heard. And, in fact, I've really enjoyed the interviews she's done with musicians and find her taste in music to be pretty broad. However, I don't think hip-hop and Gene Simmons (though I could see her listening to KISS) aren't her bag.

In older interviews, I thought that she had a very lively question and answer and rarely sounded like she was on a script. I wonder if she isn't just tiring of this job a bit.

Someone mentioned the Col. McNally interview recently. Her chat near the end with a military spokesperson were wonderful. I enjoyed the McNally interview as well but felt like Gross was getting distracted and that's a bit frustrating. I still think she's a much more entertaining interviewer than almost anyone out there.

"It holds my manhood; otherwise it would be too much for you to take," Simmons said. "You'd have to put the book down and confront life."

Please. Who cares what this guy thinks? He's a total dork.
posted by amanda at 12:09 PM on February 6, 2002


with all due respect brothers, intelligence erudition and lowbrow crudity and obnoxiousness can quite comfortably exist in the same person
I never said they couldn't. (cf. my praise of Howard Stern, supra). I'm just saying Gene Simmons sounded like a didactic, pompous, humorless sociopath. I seem to recall even Howard found him tiresome.
posted by whuppy at 12:15 PM on February 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


(shrugs also.)

Fes: don't confuse the issue, please. I just said you bashed her. I didn't say you murdered her. And you did go a little further than your recap of your post, but that's symantics.

johnmc: Sorry, I couldn't let your idea that Simmons was "slightly piggish" past.

I got pretty pissed and I'm all done now. Sorry.
posted by n9 at 12:17 PM on February 6, 2002


n9 - hoo, boy. Where to begin?

First of all, someone posting a thread about this interview is an open invitation for all of us to post our opinions on the subject, which we did. Now remember that opinions. I don't think much of NPR. If you love it, fine, listen to it till your ears bleed.

Second, Gene's "sexism". First of all when did sleeping with a lot of women become sexist? He's a rock star, rock stars attract a lot of women and he avails himself of their favors. As long as it's consenting adults, he's merely doing what a lot of men would do in his shoes. And, the crude remaks he makes are merely (really large)tongue-in-cheek comments designed to tweak overly sensitive folks like you and terry gross into a froth and they succeeded quite nicely.

As for your last comment- I just have to applaud. You are so brilliant and erudite. so superior to us unwashed rabble down here in the gutter. I bow to your genius.

Seriously, n9, we've met in previous threads and while we've differed I've always respected you. I'm not sure why you feel the need to present yourself as some kind of pedagogue pointing to me as an example of everything thats wrong with the world.
posted by jonmc at 12:17 PM on February 6, 2002


And, the crude remaks he makes are merely (really large)tongue-in-cheek comments designed to tweak overly sensitive folks like you and terry gross into a froth and they succeeded quite nicely.

Riiiiight.

I forgot -- he's a genius!!!
posted by amanda at 12:19 PM on February 6, 2002


I just don't appreciate people going out of their way to drag down my loves.
Word. Why does NPR stick in people's craws so bad? Just because Terry Gross, TotN, TAL, etc. don't appeal to the lowest common denominator, that makes 'em unacceptably snooty arbiters of taste and culture?
posted by whuppy at 12:21 PM on February 6, 2002


Just because Terry Gross, TotN, TAL, etc. don't appeal to the lowest common denominator, that makes 'em unacceptably snooty arbiters of taste and culture?

No, whuppy, but the "amusing curiosity" attitude owillis was talking about does.
posted by jonmc at 12:24 PM on February 6, 2002


I like NPR. Sometimes. I was all excited to hear that Terry was interviewing Cate Blanchett and I couldn't wait to hear it. Too bad traffic was bad enough I actually had to listen to some of it. I thought it was dreadful and monotone and boring! Boring Boring Boring. I understand why they do those sketches on SNL about the two NPR women.

Honestly I have tried to give Terry a chance and I just can't find anything that makes me want to listen. (Now ALF on the other hand, there was a show with something going for it!) I never thought I'd utter this sentence, but here goes: I'm in Oprah's camp. Long enough to be your very best friend? That's hilarious. Granted, I'm not the girliest of grrls, but I still think it was pretty gol-durned entertaining.

Now if you all will stop being such whiners about taste or pissed off Kid Rock fans, jonmc and owillis and I are off to watch WWF Smackdown! Don'tchoo boys bogart the pork rinds!

(ps: I'm not trying to flame or troll. I'm trying to make you laugh after adding my two bits. Thanks.)
posted by verso at 12:41 PM on February 6, 2002


Here's the difference between NPR and, say, MSNBC or Fox News:

NPR is run by older people who don't necessarily understand things like hip hop, the WWF, or internet culture, and they treat those subjects, as owillis says, as a curiosity. When they "get" something, its the best thing around. But when they don't, they admit they're clueless and take a very dull, old fashioned approach towards them, which is often elitist.

The commercial news outlets are run by older people who don't necessarily understand things like hip hop, the WWF, or internet culture, and they treat those subjects poorly and without understanding, but they claim authority when they speak of them. Just because they claim to get it doesn't mean they do. And then they either pander towards youth ("hippest new thing!") or exploitatively strike fear in their parents ("is rap music turning your son gay?").

Which is why one should ignore all of those people and turn to owillis as the arbiter of all that is right and holy.
posted by thebigpoop at 12:55 PM on February 6, 2002


Next up on late night NBC....Get Your Shit Straight with Owillis. (special guest star, Brittney!).
What say we try to organize this?
I think this would be a great friggin show. Owillis, you in?
posted by bradth27 at 1:23 PM on February 6, 2002


NPR is run by older people who don't necessarily understand things like hip hop, the WWF, or internet culture, and they treat those subjects, as owillis says, as a curiosity. When they "get" something, its the best thing around. But when they don't, they admit they're clueless and take a very dull, old fashioned approach towards them, which is often elitist.

Where do you guys get this stuff? Perhaps your NPR station doesn't carry "Only A Game", but mine does. Or maybe Afropop Worldwide? Or Le Show? Seems to me NPR gets pop culture, sports, funk music, political satire, etc. just fine.

NPR stations do vary in their programming from market to market (although we recently talked about the disturbing trend towards sameness in programming), so maybe you just have a crappy NPR station, but your sweeping generalizations are just wrong.
posted by briank at 1:37 PM on February 6, 2002


While I have picked up on NPR's "amusing curiosity" attitude from time to time, it doesn't really bother me. Must be getting old, it's often my own reaction to a lot of the "new stuff" they play.

I'm still waiting for a better overall source of radio entertainment. Maybe the Technology Fairy will leave one of those fancy digital satellite or whatever receivers under my pillow.

Back to the interview, I didn't hear it, but surely Gross couldn't have been too surprised. The guy's a complete asshole. An ego like the Hindenburg, with all the talent of a whoopee cushion.

I guess we can should give him the benefit of the doubt, and say he was promoting the next Kiss tour. Being obnoxious sells tickets.
posted by groundhog at 1:56 PM on February 6, 2002


I heard the interview, I liked this exchange:

Gross: I'd like to think the personality you presented on our show today is a persona that you've affected as a member of KISS, but that you're not nearly as obnoxious when you're at home or with friends.

Simmons: Fair enough, and I'd like to think that the boring lady who's talking to me now is a lot sexier and more interesting than the one's who's doing NPR, studious and reserved.


Funny thing is, Gross does put on a persona. I've heard her interviewed, and she's much more with it than her "suburban housefrau amazed-by-everything" schtick lets on. I thought she handled the interview really well, at one point telling Simmons that it was "a drag" interviewing him. This just cut him off at the knees. For someone like Simmons, being called boring is about the worst insult imaginable, and he was noticeably deflated, for a few moments at least.

All in all, highly entertaining. Great radio. I want more like this.
posted by Ty Webb at 1:57 PM on February 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


While I have picked up on NPR's "amusing curiosity" attitude from time to time, it doesn't really bother me. I must be one of those aforementioned old people. "Amused and curious" is often my own reaction to a lot of the "new stuff" they trot out.

I'm still waiting for a better overall source of radio entertainment. Maybe the Technology Fairy will leave one of those fancy digital satellite or whatever receivers under my pillow. Until then...

Back to the interview, I didn't hear it, but surely Gross couldn't have been too surprised. The guy's a complete asshole. An ego like the Hindenburg, with all the talent of a whoopee cushion.

I guess we should give him the benefit of the doubt, and say he was just promoting the next Kiss tour. He just had to do it.
posted by groundhog at 2:03 PM on February 6, 2002


verso has this one pegged, IMO. Saw the O interview Gene Simmons and it was a great funny interview. I listen to NPR very rarely and to Ms. Gross only a couple of times. Do not care for her style of interview.
posted by bjgeiger at 2:12 PM on February 6, 2002


My cousin is very seriously dating Ace Frehley's daughter.

I cannot wait for the wedding.

I will post pictures.
posted by aaron at 2:20 PM on February 6, 2002


I don't listen to NPR, and I've never been a KISS fan, but it sounds to me like Ms. Gross was woefully unprepared for the interview. Isn't it important to know your subject? If she'd done any research at all she'd have known what she was in for. I wouldn't get into a bullfighting ring without expecting the bull to try and stick his horns into my gut, and I wouldn't attempt to interview Gene Simmons without expecting him to act like Gene Simmons always acts.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:46 PM on February 6, 2002


NPR stations do vary in their programming from market to market (although we recently talked about the disturbing trend towards sameness in programming), so maybe you just have a crappy NPR station, but your sweeping generalizations are just wrong.

Sorry for being vague... I was referring specifically to NPR News, such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Talk of the Nation, and of course, Fresh Air. I personally love my local NPR station (KCRW) and don't think it fits this generalization in its own programming. The music you hear on KCRW you'd never hear on a commercial station in a million years (at least any I've ever heard), and its local news and commentary is quite fresh. But I think that old fogie categorization fits pretty well for the national news shows coming from Washington.
posted by thebigpoop at 2:52 PM on February 6, 2002


Dan Mitchell of NPR says the transcript isn't available because Gene Simmons didn't grant permission.
posted by whuppy at 3:21 PM on February 6, 2002


Oops. Not transcript. Archived audio. Simmons is still a sociopathic troglodyte, though.
posted by whuppy at 3:24 PM on February 6, 2002


I have to give Gene respect, though, for having discovered Van Halen, which will be remembered as his greatest contribution to the world of music.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:30 PM on February 6, 2002


I have to give Gene respect, though, for having discovered Van Halen, which will be remembered as his greatest contribution to the world of music.

David Lee Roth: Everybody's got a little Van Halen in 'em

Lester Bangs: Where can I go to get mine removed?
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:07 PM on February 6, 2002


Was it the same as this, the transcript I heard last month?
posted by mathowie at 5:52 PM on February 6, 2002


Curse you, Mathowie! Always... one... step... ahead...
posted by ColdChef at 7:04 PM on February 6, 2002


This just sounds like an old rock star attempting to get some attention for his catalog of disks.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:09 PM on February 6, 2002


Maybe Simmons just thought "Gross" was her radio name; that she was a shock jock?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:10 PM on February 6, 2002


Yeah, but he's right about one thing. Terry G is boring. So is Fresh Ass or whatever her show is called. I'd rather listen to a bad Kiss song than a good Gross interview anyday.

I'd go so far as to say I'd rather listen to a half-assed band doing bad cover of a bad Kiss song than listen to Gross any day.
posted by AFrayedKnot at 11:48 PM on February 6, 2002


Terry Gross is a great, GREAT intereviewer. I have heard some astonishingly interesting exchanges on that show. Sorry if she's not as exciting as Jay Leno.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:06 AM on February 7, 2002 [1 favorite]


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