Wednesday, June 11, 2008

KISS 2? It's Closer Than You Think

Speaking of replacing band members, the buzz in Kiss-world this week is all about comments Gene Simmons made on Norwegian television regarding replacing ALL the members of KISS so that the b(r)and could continue after all the original members were dead and gone.

Simmons and Kiss manager Doc McGhee went so far as to say that the band is planning on finding the members of the "new" KISS through a TV show, similar to programs like "Rock Star" and "American Idol." Simmons went so far as to say that the deal has just been signed and is coming soon.

McGhee said, "I believe that KISS can go on forever. I believe that there is a way — and we are talking to people and we're pretty close to getting it done — about finding the four new members of KISS."

Paul Stanley was quick to pour water on the campfire, saying "no deal has been signed." Although he didn't rule out an 'official' version of KISS someday that had no original members. On KISS' official site (and his own, he says:

A KISS clone reality show? First of all, contrary to what was said by anyone, there is no signed deal. Secondly, if we were to do a "KISS II", and I don't rule that out, it would be in addition to, and never in place of KISS. If we were to do it, I know it would be done in a ground breaking way and would be tremendously entertaining. KISS has always defined itself by the rules we break, so what's the big surprise? We are in the middle of our biggest and most successful tour of Europe ever, playing to over a half million people, and neither KISS or I have any plans to stop afterwards!

This is just stupid. There are enough KISS tribute bands out there without having one that is officially sanctioned by the band. It's bad enough that Gene and Paul replaced Ace Frehley and Peter Criss years ago with very talented impostors who wear the makeup and do the same moves, down to having Ace actor Tommy Thayer sing Ace's tune Shock Me.

Now don't get me wrong. Tommy Thayer has been with the KISS organization since the late 80s, and drummer Eric Singer has as well, all the way back to Paul Stanley's first solo tour in 1989. And they are much tighter musicians than Ace and Peter ever were, so the band is about as solid as its ever been.

But I have to say, unlike the current Journey situation where they are playing up the fact the new singer Arnel Pineda is NOT Steve Perry, I wonder how many of the European fans who are seeing KISS for the very first time have any idea that they are being duped?

At least under this new idea, it would be very obvious and public that KISS is replacing itself with look alikes. I guess the question would be, would anyone go and see it? Would the draw be that maybe a 75 year old Paul Stanley would roll his leather studded wheelchair out to cameo a quick "Love Gun" while the KISS impostors backed him up?

I don't see people going for it, and I almost don't think it's doable. You can fool people into thinking that those dudes onstage are Peter and Ace, and you might even be able to replace Gene Simmons' onstage persona. But they are going to have a hard time finding someone who can sing and strut like Paul Stanley. The dude is a one of a kind.

Which is totally besides the point. This is a money grubbing move by Simmons and McGhee and I personally think it's bogus.

Here is the video in question:

1 comment:

VoxMoose said...

Well-put, ski: b(r)and$

This demonstrates what we have been thinking all along: Gene thinks of Kiss as a "entity," not a band. However, in fairness, this "having the b(r)and live on" is not a new idea by a long shot. For example, in a more traditional vein, the official Count Basie's Orchestra is still an artistic entity performing regular gigs (granted, no one is dressing up like Count Basie and acting like him) -- similar with The Glen Miller Band. No one thinks these other "entities" are remotely strange (even though the namesakes have long passed away and original members are exceedingly rare), but the idea is similar in spirit as what Gene is hinting at.

I think this may be a part of the natural cycle of any subculture. Kiss is just leading the charge for rock and roll (I still think it is weird in that genre, though).