May 24, 2008

KISS (Knitting Is Strongly Subscribed)

With my recent civilized rant about Mariah Carey's moronic song and video "touch my body" and THIS post I may start competing with the likes of ΤΗΕ defamer. I know I said I don't like bashing celebrities but when KISS decide - at the youthful age of ~58 to go on world tour with full makeup and (get this)... full costume I can't resist the urge to poke fun.

KISS posing as cuddly panda bearsLast weekend KISS gave a concert here in Athens. Did I go? No, I'm not a fan.I like "Beth", their (only?) ballad and I know some of their tunes because I grew up listening to FM ROCK radio but that's where our paths end. I didn't really like them back in the 70's when they came out with all their gimmickry: the ludicrous costumes, ridiculous shoes and, of course, the world renown makeup. They might have had a fighting chance with me as a rock band if Gene Simmons had kept his tongue in his mouth (as nature intended, otherwise we'd all breathe like dogs). They were smart enough to find a newfangled concept to sell themselves as a rock group - I'll give them that - at a time where a lot of rock bands were struggling to come out on top. I bet the Finnish rock band "Lordi", the winners of the 2006 Eurovision song contest had posters of KISS next to their Moomin bedroom lamps when they were kids.

My brother, on the other hand, liked them and even sneaked their LP 'Detsroyer' in the house. Luckily then (unfortunately for now) he destroyed the album's cover, lest Mom found it and send for the priest from her village all the way to Chicago - for an exorcism. As it turns out, the album is in my possession because my sibling never brought himself an LP player, making me keeper of all long-play and 45 vinyls. I'm thinking I could make a buck out of the selling the album, but without the cover what self-respecting KISS fan would want it?

Anyway, a few years later, KISS' popularity waned, they took off their makeup ending the mystery that made KISS sell for the amount of time they could push the satan's knights notion and weird look. They had reunited -like most rock bands who decide to keep their image alive (and sell some more to newer generations). And it was only recently Greek rock radio stations started blaring that KISS were coming to the Terravibe rock-fest stage (at the outskirts of Athens) with full show, with complete makeup and costumes. I shuddered at the god-awful-ugly aesthetics of imagining them almost 60, still wearing their tighter than tight, spandex lycra, silver-studded gear and trying to prance on a stage with those appalling shoes.

I have nothing against old-rockers as long as they just come on stage with a pair of jeans (lycra and/or leather pants should be reserved for robust, youthful tooshies), a decent shirt (pretending a naked 60 year old torso is sexy is just plain sad) and smart shoes (broken bones at their age do not mend easily).

When KANSAS toured Europe a few years back I caught their show in Athens, and Robby Steinhardt was still with them. They made me proud to be a fan because there was nothing embarrassing about their appearance or stage performance at the ripe age of ~55-60. They even looked sexy, no gimmicks, no makeup, no blood-spitting. Just good old rock.

Here's a funny video about old rockers