Top Ten Thursdays: Top Ten Reasons to Hate KISS

KISS plays tonight at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, but I wouldn't attend a KISS concert if it were in my living room. Here's why.

1. The Music

Kiss has never been known for producing anything but the most simplistic hard rock. On stage, the band struggles to recreate these brain-dead tunes. It's well documented that Kiss' 1975 breakthrough concert album Alive! had to be severely overdubbed in the studio before release. And then there are the lyrics -- misogynistic, humorless and moronic.

How does any grown man with a shred of dignity stand on stage and sing junior high clunkers like "Christine Sixteen," "Love Gun" and "Lick it Up." The latter, incidentally, features a most laughably objectifying video that shows the band sans makeup (watch clip below). Now you see why Simmons wanted the group covered in face paint -- at all times, forever. The teetotaler, former schoolteacher is about as handsome as a geriatric orangutan. Had it not been for Kiss, the unbelievably arrogant Simmons, born Chaim Witz, would have continued life as one of the ugliest, un-coolest dudes to ever drag his knuckles across the planet. 


2. The Makeup

Rock 'n' roll, at its most rewarding, is a means of self-expression on par with any of the more traditional art forms. At its worst, it's a sorry excuse for grown men to dress up like combatant, sex-starved cartoon characters with laughable handles like The Starchild, The Demon, The Spaceman, The Catman, The Fox, and, my personal fave, The Ankh Warrior.

Here's Kiss, in makeup at a press conference, sounding like idiots. Paul Stanley comparing his band to herpes. Simmons wags his tongue and complains about fans stealing his music, because, y'know, he needs the money. Interestingly, Simmons once again explains at great length how proud he is of Kiss, which make you wonder if deep down he isn't ultimately ashamed of his legacy: creating a body of often mean-spirited work that can only be truly appreciated by teenage boys -- and those with a similar mindset.


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32 comments
Joebo80
Joebo80

Early Kiss is the best. "Strange Ways" and "Cold Gin" are great. I don't think Kiss will get into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame simply because Gene Simmons is an asshole and pisses too many people off. 

Michael Little
Michael Little

"Kiss has never been known for producing anything but the most simplistic hard rock." I suppose you think that influential musicians like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were poor uneducated idiots that were lucky to have made it? What do you want from rock n' roll Mr. Tatangelo? Are you waiting for someone w/an electric guitar to come along and write songs w/deep lyrics that ponder the meaning of life and the cosmos? You might as well head down to the local coffee bar and listen to the beatnik poets 'cause It ain't gonna happen, thats NOT what rock and roll is about.Do you even know what the phrase "Rock and Roll" means? Its an old black slang term for SEX.I suppose two of the greatest songwriters in rock and roll (Lennon/McCartney) were simpletons as well? In fact, The Beatles were major influences of Simmons and Stanley.KISS was kicked off of more tours as an opening act than any other band on record because the headliners couldn't follow them. They also were instrumental in taking new acts like Y&T, RUSH, Motley Crue, Judas Priest (to name a few) on the road w/them and giving them a larger audience to play to. If it wasn't for Gene Simmons listening to a friend and walking into The Starwood Club in LA one night, the world would have never known who Eddie Van Halen was?"Rock 'n' roll, at its most rewarding, is a means of self-expression, at its worst, it's a sorry excuse for grown men to dress up like combatant, sex-starved cartoon characters" So, I guess you think Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Mark Bolan of T-Rex, New York Dolls (to name a few) were just cartoon characters? They were all highly successful.You want to talk simplistic? What about the greatest punk band to ever grace a stage? The Ramones. Two and a half min songs w/no guitar solos and no lyrics looking for the meaning of life, yet they made millions. I suppose they were idiots too huh? I'll admit, as a KISS fan from the inception I was a disappointed w/the bands material for a number of years after Destroyer, R&R Over, Love Gun came out. But when they took off the make-up, the band re-invented themselves and {like the perverbial Phoenix] rose from the ashes. Then came the reunion. They listened to the masses and gave the fans what they wanted and were reborn again. I know people who'd never seen KISS before that went to their show and walked away saying it was the best thing they'd ever seen. Thats what its all about, putting on the best show possible night after night. From the start, KISS wanted to give the fans what THEY wanted to see when they went to concerts, an experience to remember complete w/smoke bombs and fireworks.I'd like to see you sit in a room w/Gene Simmons and try to keep up w/him on ANY subject from, religion to history to politics. His command of the english language would make your head explode.My suggestion to you is...Go back to kissing Nora Jones' ass about how poetically expressive her lyrics are in the hopes of getting in her pants and leave Rock and Roll to the experts... us, the fans!!!

Diana
Diana

I can't WAIT to see Kiss for the 3rd time next Friday night! The energy at their shows is untoppable! Unfortuately, they picked Buckcherry to open. The last time I saw Kiss, they opened for Aerosmith. The Kiss/Buckcherry combo is definatly a step down, but it won't matter once Paul Stanley steps on stage!!!!!

KissFan Rowan
KissFan Rowan

Ok let me just stop you there on #9: the Nazi symbol? You must be retarded to say that considering Gene and Paul are Jewish you dumbfuck. Secondly, most of the music that's around today--including that godawful rap--wouldn't be here without Kiss. You're probably one of those people who just hate Kiss because you walked in on Gene squirting on your mom. I can think of 20 reasons for you to get a fucking life

dwp
dwp

KISS is just plain fun. Nothing wrong with that in this day and age. Paul Stanley once said something like "We are throwing a party..you're invited but we aren't going to miss you". Your loss Wade.

patricia m
patricia m

KISS is a good rock band to listen too, so enjoy it while you can, because music is always changing and KISS will not be around.

Mitch L
Mitch L

You, Wade Tatangelo, are an oxygen thief.You criticise with one hand and yet you advertise with the other. Thanks for the KISS videos, they are the best part of your article.Anyway, let me know what the weather is like when you finally extract your head out of your ass.

Brooke B.
Brooke B.

Wade,

I will speak on behalf of the Kiss Army in more eloquent terms:

Unfortunately, you messed with the wrong group of people by expressing your opinion of Kiss.Now, you are being harassed by our opinions of you.

CStomp
CStomp

KISS has always drawn strong love or hate reactions - nothing in between. That's usually the KISS of death - "Yea, I think they're ok." None of that with KISS. In a way, it's kind of nice to see there are still some haters out there. The reviews for Sonic Boom, and the band in general lately, have been so good, it kind of worried me.

In the meantime, the writer went to his second job after writing this piece:

"Would you like fries with that?"

Erik Cram
Erik Cram

Wow! Still tanking on a band that's been around 36 years and is obviously loved? That's like writing a review of Star Wars today and saying, "don't go see it, it sucks!". What a moron! You probably like all that Art-Rock music, or Zep, stuff that you HAVE to be stoned to listen too.

ThaFezz
ThaFezz

A KISS show is BEYOND comparison to anything you have ever seen. Trust me. Go see how the big boys do it.

SteveG.
SteveG.

Paul Stanley likes to describe his home as the "...house that bad reviews built". In other words, neither he nor Gene, Ace or Peter ever cared at all what the critics or haters had to say. For them, and the fans, all that mattered was the music and the spectacle that is KISS. And 35+ years later and hundreds of millions of dollars and sold-out stadium shows, they're still at it. That's what I call an incredible success story.

Sle
Sle

Man, you really stuck it to KISS. Sure they've been around for 35 years but I'm sure they will call it a day now that you've put them in their place. Loser.

Brooke B.
Brooke B.

I think it hilarious to bitch about Kiss after they have been successful for 35 years. Regardless of anyone's position on the situation, Kiss is a phenomenon, and people love them and all of their antics and merchandise.

They did well taking their cue from Alice Cooper, are you gonna have a "Top Ten Reasons to hate Alice Cooper"?

Oh yeah...Alice Cooper is 62, and still wearing makeup, selling merchandise, and being scary.

Josh S
Josh S

Reviewers like this fall right into Kiss's trap -- Kiss gladly accepts any attention, be it positive or negative. They've made a whole career out of it.

george pappas
george pappas

kiss rocks! They have been around for 30 plus years. Who is this goofy no name writer!

CW
CW

The writer (Wade) is just trying to push a few buttons. He is jealous of anyone who succeeds in life, because he can't hold a job! This guy is a laid-off bar reviewer, so you know he's talking out of his ass. Poor Wade..time to find another job.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I wonder what the New York Dolls or Slade or T-Rex represent in Mr. Tatangelo's view of Rock history. KISS is perhaps the most juvenile exponent of those but like it or not, Kurt truly was influenced by KISS. You'd be hard pressed to find ANY proper guitarist that doesn't think Ace Frehley is the shit precisely because his limitations made for some great riffs. Does Mr. Tatangelo think the innumerable who could barely play but were nonetheless cool are on par with KISS. I suspect Mr. Tatangelo never picked up an instrument in anger so he'll never get what makes the Circle Jerks cool is the same thing that makes KISS cool.

Suck it.

Almost Gene www.myspace.com/al
Almost Gene www.myspace.com/al

How can you argue with 90 million albums sold,over 2,ooo sold out concerts and the millions of die hard KISS Army fans?

Susie
Susie

You can't take away what KISS went through, particularly in the early 70s to get where they are. KISS are legends - this writer is just another dork.

kiss rules
kiss rules

garth....most sucsessful country star ever.

kravitz...a great guitarist, no question.

kurt cobain...not a personal fave but quite influental none the less.

and then there's pearl jam, antrax, pantera, rage against the machine, rob zombie, metallica....i can go on...

in closing, KISS rules!

NathaN
NathaN

Two simple words describe Wade Tatangelo; those two words are "boring idiot."

cb
cb

KISS is all marketing and Gene Simmons is a whore.

Wade Tatangelo
Wade Tatangelo

They influenced Garth Brooks AND Lenny Kravitz. Most impressive.

KISS RULES
KISS RULES

you wouldn't know a great rock band if you tripped over one!

KISS are legends and have influenced the likes of garth brooks, lenny kravitz, and the late kurt coabin to name but a few.

maybe WHAM! will get back together for a reunion tour and make your wet dream come true!

Sam
Sam

I agree with LW. Dude, get a life and catch a KISS show...wait a minute, they don't preach plotical correctness so you may be out.

LW
LW

How about the top ten reasons why you're an asshole who needs to get a life??

Alex Nelson
Alex Nelson

This is the funniest shit I've read in a while. And so true. I find that when I'm in need of a good laugh, kiss is always there to pick me. Just a quick listen to the lyrics in a Kiss song. One of my favorite lines is "Baby, let's put the X in sex - Love's like a muscle and you make me wanna flex ".

And i believe that the use of the word "baby" or "babe" were required to be in just about every song. And let's not forget the choreography. "Guitar Up down UP UP down" wait, was it "Up Down Down UP" DAMMIT!

Anyway, this is just my opinion. It is what it was. And a lot of people seem to still enjoy it. I think it's funny though that people will go find the time to see a band like this rather than find the time to see some local talent. But then again, Kiss is hurting for the money and it's been about 2 minutes since Gene Simmons has gotten any attention. I'm going to go drink my Diet Dr. Pepper now.

evanvorous
evanvorous

@Michael Little very well said Michael!!

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