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KISS: Absolutely disgraceful

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Growing up in Mahopac, N.Y. in 1970s, my best friend and I were KISS fanatics.

It started with Destroyer—an all-time legendary album with an all-time legendary cover. I vividly recall sitting in my living room, listening to Detroit Rock City while staring at the image of Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter walking atop a burnt-out city. The music got me. The imagery got me. The videos of Gene spitting blood … of Ace playing a fiery guitar … it got me, too. Hell, Gary Miller, my next-door neighbor and childhood best friend, still laugh over the time when we got in a fight while playing KISS in my living room. Gary wanted to be both Gene and Paul, which I thought was unfair. Tensions escalated, and it ended with one of us falling through a glass door.

Ah, memories.

It goes unsaid that I have a certain place in my heart for KISS. So it also must go unsaid that, in 2009, KISS makes me want to vomit. A band that has always preached fan loyalty has completely betrayed that trust—times 1,000. Sure, they’ve sold us every plastic piece of s%$# with their images on it for marked-up prices. Sure, they’ve put out some tragically horrific albums. But most members of the KISS Army could accept those transgressions. What they can’t accept—or shouldn’t accept—is what the band is doing now. Or, better said, what they have become.

For any die-hard rock fans, KISS is Gene—the demon; Paul—the star child; Ace—the space cadet; and Peter—the cat. Yet, in order to keep the sales a comin’, KISS has replaced Ace and Paul … while keeping their face paint. Their current guitarist is Tommy Thayer, a former studio musician unworthy of wearing Ace’s paint. And while Eric Singer, the drummer, replaced Eric Carr when he died (and is, in his own right, a top-notch musician), he has no business being dressed as the cat. It’s disrespectful, crass and—most of all—wrong. To the ex-members, sure. But primarily to the fans. To us.

Now KISS is releasing its first new studio album (on sale only in Wal-Mart) since Psycho Circus came out 10 years ago. The members are praising it as their best work since Destroyer, which is a friggin’ joke. KISS hasn’t played with heart and gusto in years. They’re old, tired and—to be honest—annoying.

When it comes to my music, I happen to be a loyalist. I hate Hall without Oates. I think Styx, sans Dennis DeYoung, doesn’t work. I would never go to a Fugees concert without Lauryn Hill, and if Tribe Called Quest ever replaced Phife, well, they’d lose me. Blind Melon, one of my all-time favorite bands, came out last year with a new CD—led by a singer named Travis Warren. It didn’t work.

But what KISS has done is completely revolutionary. The biggest sell-outs have sold out bigger than ever.

What a joke.

shannonandelliott

4 replies on “KISS: Absolutely disgraceful”

Jeff, what do you think of Gene’s show, Family Jewels? I was never a fan of KISS, but the show is effing hilarious. It’s kind of like the osbournes show, except this family loves each other and theyre functional.

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DUDE YOUR A JOKE AND NOT A DIE HARD FAN. kiSS IS KISS. TOMMY AND ERIC ARE GREAT AND PAUL AND GENE ARE THE MASTERS/. ACE AND PETER ARE GONE BECAUSE OF THERE OWN VICES. LET IT GO U ARE A LOSER

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