At a certain point we all get to see behind the curtain and find what we thought was a mystical or divine entity is nothing but a little old man and a projector.Much to the chagrin of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, we’ve all seen behind the curtain of KISS.We’ve seen the cracks in the mirrored guitar and the wrinkles in the makeup.As much as they have to be aware of this, Gene and Paul go forth as if we don’t know what they look like without makeup.
One of the more recent examples of outward delusion has been Paul’s insistence that if he could do it over he would’ve had Eric Carr wear Peter’s Criss’ makeup and Vinnie Vincent would’ve worn Ace Frehley’s. Well that’s just stupid. And he knows it. Yet he still says it. Why? Well he does this for one of two reasons.
1)Like many rock stars whose days of relevance is over a decade behind him, he truly is so immersed in the bullshit his hangers on feed him that he can’t see the reality that his days of being looked to for more than nostalgia are over.
2)It helps justify the decision to do that with current Ace and Peter understudies Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
I Think You Mean “Starchild” (KISS)
His basic argument is based on the premise that it’s working now and the opposite didn’t work then.To that I say:Post Hoc Ergo Proctor Hoc! It’s revisionist bullshit that fits the current storyline. And he knows it. KISS was a sinking ship in 1980.And it wasn’t because Eric Carr was a Fox and not a Cat.Dressing Eric as Peter would’ve only turned off even more fans.And Paul knows it.He knew it so much that I doubt it even crossed his mind at the time.By 1979 KISS’ peak was behind them.I doubt the teenagers who got stoned listening to KISS Alive! were enamored with KISS bed sheets and garbage cans.Dynasty simultaneously sold well while also starting the decline of KISS.Unmasked was pretty much ignored and to follow that up with a serious concept album by men in greasepaint?Did they really think cutting their hair and switching from platform boots to standard high heels would make people respect them more?
As much as their career seemed to be tanking, there was still reason to believe it could be turned around.They weren’t even at the 8 year mark of being a band when the Elder came out.They were replacing a member of the band not an actor in a play.KISS’ popularity was waning because of many things.Punk, disco, new wave were all hitting during this time.The economy was in the tank.I really doubt having Eric Carr in Peter’s cat makeup would’ve made Creatures sell better any more than pretending Ace was still in the band did.And imagine the reaction the few fans they had left in 1982 would have reacted to Vinnie Vincent dressed in Ace’s costume and makeup.It would’ve made an already dire time worse.Again.Paul knows it.
Hey. Who are those guys?
Paul also talks of how each character is internationally recognized.While he is right, the bulk of the people he’s talking about can’t name a song and wouldn’t be able to pick the original 4 out of a picture of all six characters KISS has had.In other words, the people who would know, would prefer Tommy and Eric had their own make up.And the people who don’t know would have no idea they were new anyways.While I doubt he’s lost much sleep thinking about my thoughts on the situation I can say I find it a bit offensive both he and Gene seem more concerned with what the Diane Sawyer’s of the world think than what I think.
He can pretend it’s about 4 characters all he wants, but the truth is when they reunited in 1996 it wasn’t Demon and Starchild getting back together with Spaceman and Catman.It was Gene, Peter, Ace and Paul.There is plenty of evidence to back that up.Again.Paul knows it.Unlike 1980, KISS is very much a nostalgia act now.This next generation of fans they like to brag about are largely children of fans of the band who have grown up and insist that their kids see KISS.And why wouldn’t a kid want to?KISS is fun.Make up and costumes and fire.Fuck yeah. But they will never have the same passion. So while I don’t like what they are doing I do understand it and have come to accept it. But it’s time Paul stopped talking like we’re all stupid.He talks of a time when he and Gene are replaced.Paul. That time is now.There are KISS tribute bands all over the world. Some of them pretty advanced. And none of them are selling out arena’s at 60 bucks a pop.Paul knows it.
They can dress up Eric and Tommy as Ace and Peter now and get away with it for one reason.People don’t care as much as they once did.I’m in the group that is against it.But even I have to admit when I first heard they were doing, it didn’t register much more than an eye roll.My reaction would’ve been much stronger when Eric Carr joined or when Vinnie Vincent suddenly appeared.So if someone who actually gives a shit doesn’t care that much, there will be plenty of people afraid to let go that will drink the blood colored Kool-Aid you are serving when you make these stupid remarks.That’s right.Paul knows it.
He’s not an idiot.He is very aware of what he’s doing.Politicians call it spin.I call it bullshit.And I have a personal message for Paul.
Paul.Baby.It’s me. Bakko.We met in 1995 at the Bloomington KISS Konvention.Well maybe you don’t remember but it was a pretty big deal to me.But I digress.By your own admission and volition you have been in therapy most of your life.I don’t think it’s working.You have gotten everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve achieved everything you ever dreamed of.You pretty much run KISS.You basically built your own cash machine.You seem to have a wonderful family.Your kids get to be the entitled pieces of shit you resented growing up.You’re in the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame man.Yet you will minimize yourself just for the chance to kick Ace and Peter.That’s fucking crazy man.At the end of the day is it your intention to come off as petty and bitter?Fuck sakes man, you’re in your 60’s.Let it go.
KISS has in many ways defined me for the last 37 years.You don’t owe me anything.I can honestly say my life is better because of KISS.And the influence you personally have had on my life is immeasurable.But I know what you’re doing and I know why.And you should know that.
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