Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Can You Please Stop Playing Music And Just Talk Some More?"

As I made my way to my seat at the first, full-make-up Kiss reunion at Madison Square Garden back in 1996, I noticed my friend John just a few seats away. It was the second of a 2 or maybe 3 night stand for the band, and John had been there for night one, with plans on being there for as many nights as the band. I walk over and ask, "So how was last night?" He exploded, "Oh my God, it was fucking great! It was...oh saw them back in the day, right? '76, '77?" "Yeah," I said," why?" "Oh nevermind. This sucks, then."

That pretty much says it all.

John was a die-hard, a collector, a fanatic. John followed the band all over. John was a close personal friend of Gene, Peter, Paul and Ace. But even John knew, as much as there was to enjoy on the first 6 or so Kiss records, they were easy targets. The easiest, being Paul Stanley.

Kiss puts on a show, with every word uttered, note played, and hipsway scripted and delivered as precisely as a Broadway musical. There are no surprises...ever! No setlist changes, no extended jamming, no special guests. If they go off script, the empire may crumble.

If you've had the Kiss experience, and even if you haven't, you know all about the fire, and the blood, and the explosions, and the make-up. But above and beyond those theatrics is the brilliance of Paul Stanley's on stage banter. Shouted out loud with balls as big as Wyoming and what seems like little preparation--that's the trick, you see, making it sound spontaneous--- Paul's song introductions would more times than not, end up being more entertaining than the song itself. It's cringemaking entertainment at its finest.

Here, listen to a classic. This is the intro of "Cold Gin" from the Kiss Alive record.

Actually, here's another "Cold Gin" intro. (Hard to decide which was more hilarious.)

And how about this tribute to Canada?

Brilliant right? I mean, you want more, don't you?

I have a CD that some very patient person compiled, featuring 50 of these such intros. No songs, just these 30-90 second nightly bursts of genius.

I wish I had some loftier purpose here, but I'm afraid in the end, it's just about making fun of Paul Stanley.

In closing, I'd like to say that I am a Kiss fan, especially the first 6 classic records. But this was too good not to share.


FD13NYC said...

Sal, I never realized that his before song intros were so obnoxious yet hilarious at the same time. Guess I wasn't paying attention, just wanted to get to the songs.

That second Cold Gin intro almost made me fall on the floor laughing. But then again, it made me cringe a little too. Very funny and unusual post!

Dave Lifton said...

Comedian Pat Francis has a video segment called "Dear Starchild," in which he answers fan mail as Paul Stanley.

Christine said...

Sal, this was hilarious! More, please!

Ten years ago I took my 12-year-old son to see KISS. Ted Nugent opened up for them, and I think Skid Row. I was so excited for him to finally experience the band I loved so much as a teenager. Although we paid $75.00 per ticket, which, at the time, I thought was outrageous (look what's happened to ticket prices since!) I couldn't wait to go. Although we had a great time, we, as well as the people around us, just couldn't help yelling out "Shut up Paul!" every time he started screaming things like "199whatever we announce a tour, and they say 'Nobody's gonna care.' TEN SOLD OUT SHOWS AT BLAH BLAH BLAH....." and it went on all night! I asked my son what he thought about KISS, and he said he liked Ted Nugent better. Oh well, he's a guitar player.

Anonymous said...

When you are as successful as Paul Stanley, THEN you can make fun. But only then.

Get over yourself.

Sal Nunziato said...

I'm not as successful as Kim Kardashian. Can I make fun of her?

steve simels said...

As not a fan of Kiss as I am, I think the Replacements' cover of "Black Diamond" pretty much justifies Gene Simmons' career.

Hey -- a good song is a good song.

Although the Kiss cover of the Stones "2000 Man" is truly, truly heinous...

anythingshouldhappen said...

Great post Sal.

Have to say I've never seen anything at all appealing in Kiss.

Not here to slag them, just don't do anything at all for me.

My best mate is a massive Kiss fan and approaching 50, still takes his Kiss lunchbox to work.

Gene Simmons solo album wasn't bad though.

mattsirianni said...

Pure fun!
And isn't that what Rock is really about in the first place. Made me laugh. Great post!

(and kinda made me want to listen to Kiss)

Anonymous said...

My college roommate and I were making fun of the first clip 25 years ago. Hey Paul, what the hell does "AW EH!" mean? And who were you talkin' to backstage that told you a lotta people like to take a taste of alcohol? LOL