04 January 2009

On bad dreadlocks and hair pieces, and limp-wristed gods of thunder...

Jesus, does the new Guns N' Roses album SUCK or what?! I finally managed to force myself to listen to part of Chinese Democracy, even after vehemently proclaiming to everyone within earshot that I never would. Yep, curiosity got the better of me, but god damn me if Axl Rose will ever see a dime of my money for that auditory abortion. You know what, man? Send it back. Axl was past his prime in 1992 when pissy whiner Kurt Cobain moped onto the scene and rendered what was left of GN'R irrevocably obsolete. Yes, okay, GRANTED, Appetite for Destruction is a great record. But that is all. Anyway, it'll be awfully hard to resume my indifference after hearing the record, but I'll try.

Suffice to say, I've been on a real nostalgia kick musically lately, and not just because Metallica and GN'R released records last year. And yes, I did really like Death Magnetic, surprisingly.

The mp3 player on my phone is loaded up with a bunch of oldschool shit, and one of the bands I've been recapturing my misspent youth with is of course, KISS. As you can see, there is photographic evidence of where it all went wrong here at left. I believe that's ×mas 1978, which puts me at about three. But that's a whole other story.

First off, let me clarify, I AM NOT A KISS FAN. Not in the way you think of "KISS fans". True, while I sported a pretty sweet Jaromir Jagr mullet in the late '80s (who didn't?), I'm not into things like NASCAR or Coors Light, and I don't drive a truck. Sadly, I saw them on their first reunion tour in 1996 and it was the worst concert I've ever been to. All I could think was how old they must be, because the drummer couldn't keep up with his own beats.

I know, when you think of KISS now, you think of sleazy old men in bad hair-pieces trying to sell you ANY and EVERY KISS product they can (honestly, can a "KISSBurger" be far off a this point? Christ, they've already got a coffee shop).

But, once upon a time until about 1978 - okay, maybe 1979, KISS WERE the 'hottest band in the land'. And if you were born between 1964 and 1975, you, like me, at one point in the '70s:
1) had a "Nicholas" hairdo
2) had a Star Wars lunchbox, and
3) loved, friggin' LOVED KISS.

So, I found some of the demos of their songs on the 2001 box set, one of which is "God of Thunder" - always one of my favorites. Now, for those of you familiar with the band, did you know that Paul "Starchild" Stanley wrote the song originally? Did you also know that his original demo version was this sleazy, upbeat disco track that sounds like it wouldn't have been out of place at say, Plato's Retreat or the Hellfire Club?

Yes, the lurching, demonic, thud-fart wallop of Gene Simmons belting out how he's the "lord of the wasteland", was actually originally a simpering, sucky Starchild song, instead whimping about being, "a master of leather" and how he and his wench will "make love 'til we're pleased".

Yes, and instead of being "raised by the demons, trained the reign as The One", the prissy god of thunder in the original demo was instead "raised by the women, I live for pleasure and fun".

Now far be it from me to mock a good disco song (well, okay, disco sucks, we all know that). And hey, if you want to mince around and do a shoulder-shimmy now and then while singing about being a (ahem) god of thunder (yeah, right), then by all means, be my guest. Truth is, nobody has believed Paul Stanley's straight act for years, of course. I think the only person who still believes Paul Stanley is not gay is Paul Stanley himself. And even he's not convinced.

But ey, don't just take my word for it:

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