A couple of things crossed my desk over the past month or so (and promptly got eaten by the leaning tower of papeerwork) that I thought were interesting. Even more interesting, they both involve the band Kiss.
You remember Kiss, don't you? The 70's....and 80's.....and 90' costumed rockers that were THE THING for the longest time. Well, NPR has a music blog called "All Songs Considered", and every so often, they "...ask our unimaginably young interns to review classic albums they've never heard before." It's an interesting concept, and they fed one of their interns Kiss Alive, the late '75 lp that really put the band on the map.
She didn't like it. Really didn't like it. How much didn't she like it? Read for yourself.
In retrospect, she's probably right, although the lp proved (at least to me) that Kiss suffered from J. Giles Band syndrome. They don't do knockout studio albums. At the time of "Alive"'s release, they were a major concert draw, but really didn't sell a lot of records. "Alive", and their previous lp, "Dressed To Kill" helped cement their reputation, such as it may have been.
I'll grant you, Kiss was one of those bands that you either love or hate, like Grand Funk and Boys 2 Men, but I also wonder if part of the problem was the poor intern had never actually seen Kiss. I bring this part up because there is a Kiss movie in the planning stages. No, it's not a concert film, or a documentary about the band. It's about their visit to a small town. Like Wenatchee.
Could you imagine what would have happened if Kiss had shown up to play the homecoming dance at Wenatchee High in 1975? Scary thought, isn't it? Well, they did about the same thing in Cadillac, Michigan that year. It's a city in Northwest Michigan, about Wenatchee's size, and in 1975 was considered a backwater town (except in winter, when it became a ski destination resort, My wife's responce when she saw the slope was "That's a ski hill?" Reminded me of Badger Mountain), but the high school football coach liked the band, and used them to motivate his players. It's something that would take too long to explain, so watch this. You won't believe the city's response.
That was made (and the interviews with Kiss) in 2010, I believe, which would have been the 35th anniversery of that show. Another little You Tube clip of the visit, complete with better shots of the breakfast with the Cadillac City Council is here....
The footage is different here, and if you could read behind the stupid banner, it's the foodball coach, Jim Neff who describes the action.
By the way, the school put one restriction on the band. "No Blood". The band complied, and Gene Simmons once said it was the only time they ever modified their show. But the band loved it. For years after, during the football season, the band followed the Cadillac Vikings, phoning the coach to get the score of that week's game.
As to the Kiss film i alluded to, in pre-production is a movie about the visit. I don't know if Kiss is involved directly, but I believe it starts filming this fall. Should be an interesting piece of history.
And Kiss is still at it. They kicked off the 2012 tour last weekend to a large, screaming crowd in New Orleans, costumes, makeup and all. And when you consider that Paul Stanley is 60 and Gene Simmons is 62 (the two original members still with the group), more power to them. 40 years and they're still selling out arenas, like they probably will when they visit Auburn's White River Amphitheatre with Motley Crue August 18th.
Am I a big fan? No. But do I have a favorite? Of course.
Almost makes me want to dance. Bad knees and all.....