Thursday, August 13, 2015

Show #137 July 18, 2015

For Beth and Kids In Satanic Service!

Beth- No Use For A Name Making Friends 
Room Service- Kiss Dressed to Kill 
Heart Stops Beating- Nick Piunti Beyond The Static 
Daddy's Gone For Good- Ben Vaughn Mood Swings 
I've Got Your Number- Nick Gilder Rock America 
*Hard Luck Woman- The Hold Steady Rags 
*Getaway- The Carburetors Gods of Thunder - A Norwegian Tribute to Kiss 
*Christine Sixteen- Gin Blossoms Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved 
Mix Tape- Richie Parsons Honey and Tears 
FOH- Superchunk I Hate Music 
Goodbye Princess- Cheepskates It Wings Above 
*Strutter- The Donnas Strutter 
*Goin' Blind- Dinosaur Jr. Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved 
*Rock 'n Roll All Nite- The Summer Set Punk Goes Classic Rock 
Take It Easy- Sloan Commonwealth 
Don't Like Your Face- The Heats Have An Idea 
What's The Matter With Mary- Little Murders Stop Plus Singles 1978-1986 
*Deuce- Redd Kross Teen Babes From Monsanto 
*Do You Love Me- Girlschool Running Wild 
*Plaster Caster- The Lemonheads Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved
Could Be Worse- Bleu Redhead 
Mystery to Me- The Talk Not Just Hearsay 
*C'mon And Love Me- Smalltown Rockets Gods of Thunder - A Norwegian Tribute to Kiss 
*Black Diamond- The Replacements Let It Be
*Shout It Out Loud- Motorhead Larger Than Life 3 
>God Gave Rock And Roll To You- Argent God Gave Rock And Roll To You 
*Detroit Rock City- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Detroit Rock City 
*All American Man- The Hellacopters Cream Of The Crap Vol. 2 
Rock Bottom- Kiss Dressed to Kill 

^Power Pop Prototype:  (Kiss Version) #15 Billboard Hot 100 2/26/77

*SacroSet[s]:  Songs Kiss Taught Us

>Power Pop Prototype:  1973 (Kiss Version 1991)

When I was in the 4th Grade we moved from Brockton to Duxbury, Mass and it was a culture shock.  I was used to kids making fun of me for what I looked like or how I acted but it took some time to get used to kids making fun of me for the shoes and clothes I was wearing.  This is doubtless a "white people problem," but when everyone is in Adidas and Levi's while you're rocking no-name sneakers and Toughskins it can seem pretty bleak.  We had the money but my Mom, true to her Scottish heritage, drew the line at what were then $40 sneakers and $20 pants and she wasn't budging.

Needless to say, a few months later I was overjoyed to find what appeared to be the perfect pair of sneakers one town over at the Marshall's in Marshfield.  I'd finally have what everyone else had!  I proudly wore my new shoes to school the next day and wasn't in the door 30 seconds before some douche pointed out that my "Adidas" had an extra stripe.  
Four Stripes BAD!
I immediately saw what he was talking about and it was humiliating.  What's worse, I had to wear them the rest of the day and then try to explain to my mom why I couldn't wear them ever again.  She wasn't having any of it.  I ended up wearing the shoes for another two weeks before losing one "in the woods," but the damage was done.  Even years later in Intermediate School a kid name Sean McDonough would remind everyone about my four stripe "Adidas."

As a perennial outsider, I was always looking for a way "in" with the kids in my school.  A huge rock and roll fan, I'd been buying records for a few years when I started hearing other kids talk about music.  J. Geils Band and Bruce Springsteen were two names I'd often hear in the hallway.  I didn't like these particular artists but in my twisted imagination I thought I could parlay my passion for rock and roll into some kind of popularity.   My favorite band at the time was Kiss.  Cousin Rich had turned me on to the Destroyer album and I loved that record.  My dad, who always kept a keen eye on my interests, bought me my first rock and roll poster that year- for the Kiss Spirit of'76 tour. I'd listen to the album over and over and just stare at that poster.  I loved everything about it- the makeup, the clothes, the patriotic tableau which I'd seen in school and especially the looks on their faces.
A picture is worth 1000 words...
Paul seems pouty and defiant, Peter looks dazed (perhaps because of the head wound), Gene is summoning Satan and Ace is just happy to be along for the ride- he was probably late for the photo shoot and squeezed in at the last minute.  Of course at the time I had no idea that my initial reaction was spot-on, perfectly capturing the personality of each guy.

I was ready with my hard-earned paper route money when
Rock And Roll Over was released on November 11, 1976.  Imagine putting out Destroyer in March, heading out on the Spirit of '76 Tour from July through September, releasing Rock And Roll Over in November and then starting a tour for that record-  Kiss owned our Bicentennial Year!!  I was incredibly jealous that Cousin Rich got to see Kiss on the Spirit of '76 tour on July 11, 1976 at the Cape Cod Coliseum- their opening act was a young upstart out of Detroit named... wait for it... Bob Seger!  Jealousy aside, the seed was planted and I resolved to see Kiss before I died, which I did for the first time on February 2, 1978 at the Providence Civic Center.  They were even better than I imagined- that show still ranks among my all-time favorites.

Back in 7th Grade I failed to realize that "what" you loved was as, if not more, important than how much you loved it.  Kiss were great about including extra stuff in their albums (posters, booklets, tattoos, a Love Gun) and Rock And Roll Over came with a cool segmented sticker of the album cover.  I loved all these extras and kept them in pristine condition so it was a big deal for me when I decided to actually use the Rock And Roll Over sticker.  During Christmas break I painstakingly applied it to my school notebook, spacing out the segments perfectly, all the while picturing how cool I'd look walking down the halls of Duxbury Intermediate School with this awesome three-ring binder under my arm.  That first day it went about as well as it did with my fake "Adidas."  I wasn't 20 feet down the hall before someone yelled "KISS SUCKS!" and a bunch of kids laughed.  The rest of that year I kept the sticker side of the binder against my body so no one could see it.

Even Eddie couldn't make me cool
Kiss were the biggest rock and roll band in the world that year yet the kids in my school seemed to HATE them- I was really shocked it went down this way. At the time I thought it was because I wasn't cool so by association nothing I liked could be either.  The following year I brought Van Halen's first album to school to play Eddie's earth shattering solo "Eruption" for my 8th Grade music class and they made fun of me too.  (A year later in high school I'd see Van Halen shirts everywhere but by then I'd moved on to The Ramones and The Clash.)  

Can I give you my card?
I've since decided that while I would've been crapped on for whatever I liked, the hatred Kiss inspired was a different animal.  I'd later learn that most rock critics hated Kiss too- yet I don't think my 7th Grade classmates were reading Robert Christgau so that wasn't it.  No, I now realize that the few people I knew who liked Kiss shared one thing in common:  we are all first born children.  We didn't have older brothers and sisters telling us that Kiss were a joke, as opposed to "serious" bands like Yes and Led Zeppelin.  Free to like what whatever we wanted, Gene Simmons' vision of the ultimate rock and roll band proved irresistible.  That said, all the theatrics and tchotchkes aside, the music still stands on it own which is why 38 years after I bought my first Kiss album I'm doing a radio show of bands from around the world covering their songs.  Clearly I'm not the only one who loves "the hottest band in the world... KISS!!!"

Photos by Nica Love
As a postscript, I should point out that in 1994 I found a copy of Rock And Roll Over with the sticker included at Rocket Records in San Francisco- it cost me $30 bucks and was worth every penny!  

Also, as I write this I think it's important for you to know that I am wearing ... well let me just show you...

Three Stripes GOOD!
Dig those sweet Adidas Superstars... as Charlie Sheen would say:  WINNING!

Here are the links for this week's show, click to stream or to download, right click and "Save Link As:"
Hour 1
Hour 2

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