I wrote the rant below immediately in the wake of KISS bass player and lead jerkhole, Gene Simmons’ appearance on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. While I think it’s only fair that Terry get taken down a peg by one of her guests from time to time (lest she begin to believe that anyone is tuning in to hear her talk, as opposed to the guests) Gene obviously wasn’t the man to do it. For one thing, he was on there to plug his book about the wild and crazy life he’s led. I’ve read bits of that book, and if his is the best life a rock star can manage, I’ll pass. What a depressing catalog of ways in which a human being can piss his life away. Secondly, knocking Terry Gross down a peg wasn’t a job for Gene Simmons because the best that tool could manage was to behave like a low rent version of John Updike. Big yawn.Regardless, the rant below was totally off the cuff, off the top of my head and written the morning the interview aired and posted to an email list I subscribe to while I was waiting for a tedious work-related meeting to start. I’ve left the typos and spelling errors intact, mostly because I’m too lazy to fix ’em.
Gene Simmons was on Fresh Air on NPR this morning and he couldn’t have been a
bigger prick if he’d been getting paid for it. That guy needs to get his
dick bitten off by a groupie.
He’s a shitty bass player whose band wore clown makeup because they were so
ugly that was the only way they’d ever get anyone to look at them. And if
you can find me a band whose first three LPs were recorded shittier on a major
label budget I owe you a cracker.
Here’s the KISS run-down for ya:
Gene Simmons – worst bass player in rock
Peter Criss – makes Ringo Starr look like a flashy drummer
Ace Frehley – I could play every one of his licks when I was 11
Paul Stanley – only moderately talented person in the band, dances like a
recently headless chicken onstage and wears a girdle onstage
KISS – best songs they ever wrote. the production is dodgy.
Hotter Than Hell – ugliest record cover of the 70s, and that’s saying a lot,
production even dodgier than the first record.
Dressed to Kill – Rock and Roll All Night is an anthem to nothing. still
more dodgy production.
Alive – they recently admitted that the huge crowd noise on this “live”
record was lifted from “Woodstock.” the concerts these “live recordings” were
allegedly taken from apparently never happened.
Destroyer – finally they decide to hire a competent producer, Bob Ezrin, and
the first thing he does is prevent them from actually playing on the record,
bringing session guys to record nearly everything. Bob Ezrin also co-wrote
the entire record.
Rock & Roll Over – they hire a cheaper competent producer, Eddie Kramer, and
so this record doesn’t sound as shitty as their first three, but absent Bob
Ezrin’s songwriting the songs are pretty weak.
Love Gun – Eddie Kramer returns, in the midst of a huge alcohol problem, and
actually manages to make a record that sounds almost as crummy as the first
three. Frehley and Criss are so far down the bottom of the bottle that
neither plays much on this record.
Alive II – “Hey guys, let’s rip off the fans again.”
Dynasty – KISS go Disco, as we called it in 8th grade. Or to put it the way
my metal fan friends did – “fuckin’ weak, dude.”
Unmasked – should have been called “Cheese Whiz” or “How to make a band with
balls the size of ball bearings sound like outright creampuffs.” Almost the
entire record is co-written by Phil Spector cast-off, Vinnie Poncia. At this
point Peter Criss looks in the mirror and has the good sense to quit.
Music from ‘The Elder’ – “Hey guys, we can barely play our instruments, let’s
make a concept album. They brought Ezrin back for this one, but he was a
couple of months ahead of a long-term stay in rehab. The only real imprint
he made was to once again bring in a bunch of session musicians to actually play
on the record. Frehley too looks in the mirror and bolts. The debut of Eric
Creatures of the Night – This is how lame these dorks are. They put Ace on
the cover even though he hadn’t spoken to them in over a year. The debut of
Vinnie Vincent, who apparently is an even bigger asshole than Simmons.
Lick It Up – Good Christ!!! Who told you guys to take off the makeup? Lick
my butthole you horrible crappy band.
Animalize – Ok, so now we’ve lost the makeup and you’re doing power ballads?
Someone kill them. Vincent is fired and replaced by Mark St. John. The band
wears the stupidest stage clothes of the early 80s hard rock scene, which
ought to be regarded as an achievement, I guess.
Asylum – Bruce Kulick, whose brother was the session man who played most of
the guitar on the later Ace-era records, replaces Mark St. John and more power
ballads are offered. Even Gene thinks this record sucks.
Crazy Nights – sounds like the title of a party record, right? Wrong. Sucks
harder than Asylum.
Hot In The Shade – KISS decide to self-produce and basically rip off Def
Leppard. Oh, and there are still more power ballads here. Kill them. Oops,
shouldn’t have said that. Eric Carr dies from cancer about a year after this
Revenge – They drag post-rehab Ezrin back into the studio, fill Carr’s seat
with Eric Singer and actually make their first hard rock record since
Creatures of the Night. There are actually a handful of good songs here. Too bad they
decided to nix this band and bring back the least talented lead guitar player
and drummer ever to walk the earth pretty much right after they toured for
Alive III – enough already.
MTV Unplugged – this show was always a bad idea, it got worse when it caused
the original KISS to reunite.
Psycho Circus – “Hey, if we reunite we won’t have to work hard on new
material and it will still sell.” Fucking die already.
It really pains me to think that this sack of shit excuse for a rock band
took hundreds of thousands of dollars from record labels to make some of the worst
music ever heard by man or beast. And yeah, I admit it, I thought they were
cool when I was 10. But I also liked ELO then.