I get bombarded by news stories all the time in my news feed and 98% of it slides by with barely a notice: this band is playing here, feuding with a bandmate there… at least it’s nice to see shows are returning.
However, this article caught my eye and I just had to bring it here.
Kiss was brought into my life by my friend Alan. I remember being at his Twin Lakes place and listening to “Destroyer” while we hung out. It was a great time to be a Kiss fan, they were pre-unmasked and their movie was about to be on TV (remember “Kiss Meets Phantom Of The Park” 1978?). It was cool.
Fast forward to the unmasked years, then the band breakup and then the comeback and Ace and Peter leaving… you all thought it was over… but no! Even though Ace wasn’t really a part of “Creatures Of The Night”, when “Lick It Up” came out and he wasn’t on the cover even the casual Kiss fan was like… Huh?
I have to admit that I thought Kiss may fade out and my “Kiss Alive” album would be played occasionally as a tribute, but Kiss lived and is living on today. There is a new movie coming out and they played a short set to promote it, and damn, I didn’t expect to watch it all, but it is actually a 5 song set with all the best bits from Paul and Gene and really fun to watch. No blood spitting of course.
Which brings us back around to the article.
There was some coverage of the other guitar and drums, and no disrespect to them (they play great) but I was there to watch Paul and Gene. Which begs the question, if Paul and Gene weren’t in the band anymore, would Kiss survive?
This reminds me of that summer I spent at my father’s place and I ended up watching, I think it was “The Young And The Restless” for a while. It was a weird time for me, but the point is, at some point they switched out the actress with the old on air announcement of “the part of blah blah will now be played by what’s her face”. The show just went on like it had always been that way. So strange, but… that show biz.
I suppose Kiss is no different? I’m not so sure, but in fact there have been lineup changes before. That stuff happens in lots of bands. I am reminded of Yes and the in and out and in again and then out again of Jon Anderson. It was a long time before I realized that he was NOT the singer on the Yes album “Drama”. Does it now ruin it for me?… no. I still love that album. Do the post Jon Anderson Yes albums suck?… also no. I am fascinated as I write this that in fact there have been 2 other lead singers for Yes post Jon Anderson. Both they and Trevor Horn (the actual lead singer on “Drama”) all sound very much like Jon Anderson. I suppose that is by design.
Regardless, I also think to myself when nostalgia bands come to the area and play the off off Broadway type of venues… are there any original member of the band left? I suppose there is a contingent of people who really don’t care who is in the band as long as they can hear their old familiar jams. That’s not me though. I go for the music but the band members are just as important to me.
At the time of writing this, if I’m not mistaken Paul is 69 and Gene is 71. I mean, at some point they will have to give it up, right, but should Kiss continue without them?
In my humble opinion, continuing without them would dilute the best of what they have created. I would expect that band to come to the off off Broadway venues as something like KISS “featuring Johnny and Jimmy!” as if they were a giant draw.
I mean, wouldn’t that then be essentially a tribute band? Nothing against tribute band, but when I want to see Kiss, I don’t want to see a Kiss cover band.
End it clean Paul. When you’re done with the rhinestones and feathers and when you can’t swing your guitar over your head anymore… bring it all to a close with a final final no really final tour.
THAT I would try and go see.