What can I say? I guess I like my music with a little bit of performance attached!
You can keep all of your bands who look like they just fell out of bed and onto the stage – bring me your Bowie, your Lady Gaga, and your KISS.
The Hottest Band in the World are touring the world next year, for the final time, and I’ve snagged a ticket.
I’ve been a KISS fan (a proud member of the KISS Army) since picking up a copy of their Greatest Hits back in 1999 for £9.99 from HMV. So much of that sentence sounds like another time, right? I liked the cover artwork, it was on sale, and I knew God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II from the end credits of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.
That one CD was to expand to every CD in the back catalogue and my collection now includes every KISS studio album and a few live ones to boot. I have DVDs too… I used to own VHS copies. I’ve owned the dolls and countless comics and bits of merch with the band’s logo on.
I may even request to be buried in the KISS Kasket, if we can switch out the beer in the cooler for a few bottles of crisp Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
I am fully aware of how silly non-fans find KISS, with their make-up and costumes, pyrotechnics and songs with titles such as Uh! All Night. Look past the title and enjoy the beauty in these lyrics…
“Well, we work all day
And we don’t know why
Well, there’s just one thing that money can’t buy
When your body’s been starved feed your appetite
When you work all day, you gotta Uh! all night
Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, whoo”
Stunning. It says everything that needs to be said on a Monday morning. #MondayMotivation
Outspoken and obnoxious, Gene Simmons (the demon painted bass player) has never claimed that KISS are anything other than a rock band. Their songs do not address the depths of the human condition or our place in the world at large – they sing songs about partying, having sex, and having a good time. That’s it. That’s enough.
If you really want to kick off your Monday with a smile (albeit perhaps a slightly confused one) on your face, check out this haunting ballad.
There is so much to be angry about in the world today – I seem to spend that many hours in my day shaking my head and wondering wtf is going on – I think we all need to find somewhere to let off a little of that pressure for the sake of our own sanity. I spent the first half of last week glued to the American mid-term elections and the second half of the week absorbing all of the analysis and wondering what it all means for the forseeable future. I am addicted to American politics in part because I cannot even deal with our own right now.
It’s not so much that I have my finger in my ears; it’s more like I choose to just sit quietly banging my head against my desk.
The need for something simply joyous has never been so great! Whatever it is that makes you smile is a really good thing.
KISS remain a big part of my life. They have been there for me in tough times before. Whenever I have found myself taking my life a little too seriously and the weight of the world has pressed hard upon my shoulders, there has been Shout It Out Loud or I Love It Loud or Love Gun. Each song a rousing cry of guitars, stalking basslines, heavy drum beats, and the kind of refrains that you can chant along with in your car as easily as you could watching the band live. I’m only allowed to listen to KISS at the volume I want it in my car.
I cannot wait to join my fellow KISS Army cadets in the summer. I will be trying to work my way towards the front of the crowd to dance, cheer, and sing along all whilst wearing my favourite KISS vest top. Turn up the speakers, I’m there!
Of course I would love to bake a cake for KISS, all of them, each and every member who has joined and left since the original line up formed in 1973 (1971 if you count their previous incarnation as Wicked Lester). If you take nothing away from this post and have zero interest in KISS, take this – as overblown as you may think that KISS are as a band with all of their make-up and costumes, pyrotechnics and songs with titles such as Lick It Up, remember that this band started out in the dive venues of New York City and paid their dues.
The band gigged hard and built up a reputation for their live performances. Their first albums were not instant hits but through hard work, recording, releasing, gigging, gigging, gigging, KISS built up a following. The KISS that we see today are the result of blood, sweat, and tears.
If you want to be a rock legend, you’d better work (to paraphrase Ru Paul).
How’s that for #MondayMotivation ?