This musical contrast kinda sums it up, but let’s look at a couple more things:
|Power Ballad?||Invented it||Yeah, but “Home Sweet Home” kicks “Beth”‘s ass|
|Look like French Hookers?||And beyond, to Geishas, and back again||The whole 1980s. Moved on to ex-methhead|
|Junkies and drunks||Fired them (you assholes) (nevermind Paul in the 1970s)||Raison d’etre|
|Pussy?||If Gene and Paul can hoard some Viagra.||Raison d’etre|
I enjoy them both, but here’s the big distinction
– KISS (as it happens) is a couple of old Jewish dudes squeezing every last dollar out of Chaim and Stanley‘s Music Emporium. Oh sure, they hired a couple of nice boys to fill in for the junkies and drunks and dead replacements, but those losers will never run the place. The “danger” of KISS is in their minds, or in the risk of Gene having a coronary/heat stroke, or the audience stabbing Paul when he won’t shut up about the new album being available only at Wal Mart.
– The Crue always seemed like a gang of L.A. punks whose contribution to society was in using musical “axes” and sticks to bang heads instead of using literal ones to bang on actual heads. Where KISS pretends to amass SRO crowds of pussy backstage, pretends to even want it any more, and their groupies pretend that they want to put out for Grandpa, the Crue actually seems to be swimming in it. My teenage daughters could go backstage with KISS and be completely safe; not on your life with the other guys.
Danger is the sad part. It’s a sad caricature with KISS. It’s part of the ongoing appeal of the Crue. What I don’t understand is why KISS tries to perpetuate the lie of their edginess, while the Crue tries to distance themselves from it. Nikki Sixx said in an interview that the Crue is basically a job – they don’t hang out offstage, like ordinary mortals don’t hang out with their coworkers. Sixx, dude, we want to believe the whole badass thing, but if you want to shit on that image and have us picturing you feeding Cheerios to your toddlers in Malibu while Vince Neil floats in his Vegas pool pretending to be Moby Dick and Mick Mars gets another hip replacement with his AARP discount, well so be it. Fucks.
Coming up sometime after tonight: Can the geezers and the inkfiends still get it up?