Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gene Simmons - Paragon of Integrity

In a surprise announcement that has left audiences stunned and sent shockwaves rippling throughout the musical community, Gene Simmons of the rock brand KISS has publicly berated rival band Radiohead for contributing to the demise of the record industry. Simmons, the stalwart songwriter and sometimes crooner of such romantic ballads as "(You Make Me) Rock Hard", "Love Gun" and the ever popular "Lick It Up" expressed concern that Radiohead's recent "Pay what you think the music's worth" campaign for their latest album may have confused audiences by making them assume that music is art.

"I believe in my heart that anyone who gets up there and says what they're doing is art is on crack and is delusional," Simmons was quoted as saying, adding that real reason he or anybody else gets involved with music, "was to get laid and make lots of money". "Anybody who picks up a guitar and tells you that there's some inner message that they're trying to convey . . . it's nonsense. They're not being honest. The reason they're doing this is they wanna get lots of chicks and they don't want to work for a living."

Radiohead, a pretentious art-house band who have thus far produced only one song that made the charts (at number 22, no less) have achieved only 3 platinum and 4 gold albums in a career spanning nearly two decades. At the comparable point in KISS' career, they had already produced 11 platinum and 8 gold albums, as well as a movie, comic books, action figures, condoms, coffins, frisbees, trading cards, books, postage stamps, shirts, underwear, calendars, hats, pins, posters, glassware, jewelry and many other musical accoutrements too numerous to number. To date, Radiohead has barely capitalized on their name, releasing only a handful of posters and shirts.

Simmons expressed remorse over the decision of "art fags" such as Radiohead to provide their "art" for bargain basement prices, but believes he knows what heinous acts drove a decision of such desperation.

"The record industry is dead. It's six feet underground and unfortunately the fans have done this. They've decided to download and file share," Simmons noted, adding that "Every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth."

It is this meticulous attention to detail and understanding of the nature of fandom that has allowed Simmons and fellow KISS members Starchild, Spaceman and The Catman the opportunity to enjoy the finer things that life has to offer.

When questioned about how he was able to balance his integrity against his desire to shovel bags of cash into his personal accounts, Gene had this to say: "Prostitute yourself. As far as I'm concerned, that's even braver than waiting for the public to catch on."

Radiohead, who have to date never once referred to love as "a glove that fits just right" or a "muscle that makes me want to flex" have managed to achieve their minor level of fame without once breathing fire, spitting blood or traipsing about the stage in 8-inch platform shoes and studded codpieces. Simmons feels that this may very well be part of the reason for their comparative lack of success.

"I was never interested in being a rock star," he opined, "I wanted to be in a band that gave bang for the buck. I wanted to be in the band who didn't look like a bunch of guys who, you know, should be in a library studying for their finals." He went on to remind his fellow musicians that "when KISS became the No. 1 band, you know, within a year and a half, we were playing Anaheim Stadium and we had toys, games, comic books, everything you can imagine...And now in the '90s and the 2000 era, we've got over 2,500 licenses."

Gene Simmons can currently be seen on the family drama "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" on A&E.

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2 comments:

Lara said...

How dare you mock the musical genius who is Gene Simmons?! He and his band revolutionized the music industry back before you were even born. Their music is rocking and their lyrics are timeless, touching, and deep. Does Radiohead make you want to “Rock and roll all night and party EVERY day?!” I think not. In fact, they make you fall asleep. Did you know that KISS’s original band name was supposed to be F**K? Yep, but it was deemed too edgy just like KISS themselves. (I never saw that full name in writing, but am assuming it’s FUNK or maybe FORK). You think KISS only writes about sex? Really?! Have you ever really sat down and listened to the lyrics to Love Gun, Plaster Caster, or Lick It Up?

Love Gun is about Gene’s girlfriend at the time. She loves playing Duck Hunt on Nintendo, but doesn’t have her own system. She goes to Gene’s house and uses his gun. He jokingly calls it his love gun because he absolutely adores both her and the game. It’s very sweet, actually. And if it truly was about sex (ha!) why would he say he’ll make her “feel OK?” That’s far from bragging. If they were just in this for sex it seems they would boast a little more. Who wants to be with someone who just makes you feel OK? The local grocery bagger makes me feel OK. Doesn’t mean I want a relationship.

Plaster Caster is about when Gene used to work in one of those do-it-yourself pottery stores. Obviously, this goes way back to before he was the rock god of today. He loves what he does and it shows in his work. Here’s a quick snippet of the lyrics, “The plaster’s getting harder and my love is perfection; a token of my love for her collection.” I actually have a tear in my eye from that it’s so touching. I wish he’d make me a plaster owl, but he’s probably lost his magic touch by now. Then again, his love for his job and his craft is perfection. You probably never lose it.

Lick It Up is about when the guys were on a diet. They really wanted a big ice cream cone, but just couldn’t justify it. They then realized that they absolutely deserved it after all their hard rocking. “Life’s such a treat and it’s time you taste it. There ain’t a reason on Earth to waste it. It ain’t a crime to be good to yourself. Lick it up. Lick it up. It’s only right now.” My thoughts exactly. It’s only right and certainly no crime to treat yourself to a delicious cone. Good for them!

If they were such a sexual band would parents really buy their kids their costumes for Halloween? Of course not! They’re all about good wholesome family fun. Does Radiohead have Halloween costumes? Sheets? Condoms? Comic books? Coffins? NO and for good reason. If you really want to pick on a band and tear them apart then move on to Aerosmith. My Big Ten Inch?! :P

E said...

That's not fair. Big Ten Inch is all about listening to records. /folds arms/

Granted, I went into this already having preconceived notions about KISS. I don't like them. That's been well established. :)

But every quote you saw there is actually from Gene. It seems pretty disingenuous to openly admit to your fans that you don't care about music, integrity or THEM, just those dolla bills rollin' in.

And agreed, not ALL of their songs are about sex. "Let's Put the X in Sex", "Rocket Ride", and "Uh! All Night" are definitely not related to sexual relations.

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