Wannabes and Buffoons! I find it almost poetic that it was WWE star Chris Jericho that lit a fuse resulting in a war of words between two legendary rock and roll frontmen. In case you missed it and I doubt Decibel Geek fans did, Paul Stanley of KISS and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister have dropped the gloves in what could well be the greatest lead up to Wrestlemania since the Mega-Powers exploded in 1989.
Before I dive headfirst into the shark infested waters that this feud has created with the power of social media, let me explain a little about myself. I am a KISS fan, always have been, always will be, just ask my friends. I am also a Twisted Sister fan and have always enjoyed Dee’s outspoken, often opinionated personality. I am a metal fan and throughout my teenage years that often meant defending my favourite bands to anyone who dared question the talent and importance of the music I so loved. As a teenager, I spent many hours debating the merits of KISS and Twisted Sister vs. the awful pop sounds of Duran Duran and Wham.
Metal fans are loyal and unwavering and do not sit quietly when their favourite bands are dissed. We wear our metal t-shirts as badges of honour telling the world who we have pledged allegiance to. So I found it very interesting to watch not only the exchange between Mr. Stanley and Mr. Snider but also to the flood of internet comments that followed these headlines. Being a true fan of both bands, knowing their histories and loving the genre of music these bands belong to, it’s tough to remove any emotions. Much like being a fan of a sports team, negative words can get the blood boiling. BLACKHAWKS RULE!
I want to take a moment here and dissect this, as only a true Decibel Geek would spend this much time thinking about this.
I am a big listener of podcasts (hmmm, go figure), in fact, I subscribe to Dee Snider’s Comments and the Talk is Jericho podcast as well. I am well aware of Dee’s opinion about KISS and its current lineup. He completely disagrees with the decision to have Eric and Tommy wearing the makeup created by Peter and Ace and he feels very strongly about it as do many KISS fans themselves. Although I do not necessarily agree with Dee, he has every right to his opinion and to voice that opinion. Listening back to Dee’s comments on that subject he began by stating that he is, in fact, a KISS fan and respects the band.
Never has there been an issue that has polarized KISS fans as much as the Eric/Tommy – Peter/Ace debate that never seems to die. This argument has lasted for years, I understand both sides of the debate and have voiced my opinion on the subject many times but at this point I am all but exhausted on that subject. It is what it is, as a KISS fan you either accept the state of KISS or you don’t. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s their decision (Paul and Gene’s), they made it right or wrong, it’s obviously what is right for them.
Now we get to the Talk is Jericho interview with Paul Stanley. I still love to hear what the guys have to say, the road stories and such. Then near the end of the interview Chris Jericho poked the hornet’s nest and asked Paul what he thought of Dee’s views on the current lineup of KISS. I have to say, listening to Paul ignore the question at hand and resort to calling Dee a “wannabe” and Twisted Sister as a bunch of “buffoons” that “nobody would take seriously” was actually quite pathetic and sad. I understand Paul might also be exhausted with the topic but his disrespect of Dee and Twisted Sister made him come across as a complete pompous ass and as a KISS fan I was actually disappointed.
There are many that look upon both of these bands as complete jokes. The makeup and gimmicks both of these bands used is often used as fuel to downplay the validity of the music. Those of us that get it, we understand that it’s the music that keeps us fans. I don’t listen to the makeup, I listen to the rock and both bands have created some amazing rock and roll music that I will always turn to and enjoy.
Not one to back down from anything Dee posted an open letter online in response to derogatory statements aimed at him and his band. Taking most offense to the term “wannabe” he challenged Paul to come out and play “Well then…any time, any stage. But let’s do this old school –no costumes, no pyro, no bullshit – let’s just get up there and rock. I will bury you, son.”
Now taking off my fan glasses and looking at this objectively, you have two grown men now in their sixties. Both of them famous for being long-haired rock stars who wear makeup and women’s underwear beating their chests and defending their band. Removing the emotion from the equation, it’s actually quite a comical image.
That said, taking the emotion out of the equation questions the very passion that metal fans pride themselves on. If you want proof turn your attention to the hundreds if not thousands of social media comments on the subject that continue to pop up bashing either Paul or Dee or KISS or Twisted. It’s like the SMF’s vs. the KISS ARMY in a scene from the Outsiders. What happens though when you open your closet like me only to find a KISS t-shirt and a Twisted Sister t-shirt? Oh my lord, “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!?”
Looking at it through my pair of capitalist glasses (Hey Gene, listen up) this is absolute gold! Someone should be booking this tour KISS vs Twisted Sister World Tour 2016 with special guests Fozzy! Hell, can you imagine the marketing possibilities? KISS vs TS wrestling video game where you choose your rockstar and have them battle it out in the ring? KISS vs TS Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots? A KISS vs TS Guitar Hero video game to rock out and see who is crowned the Champions of Rock!? Count me in I want all of this \m/!