A Public Service Announcement for KISS Fans: Mandatory Holiday Viewing - by Anne Marie

My son is a huge James Franco fan and he recently suggested Why Him? for family movie night.  Why Him? came out last December.  Set at Christmas time, it features Bryan Cranston as Ned Fleming, Hollywood's version of a Midwest normal dad, going out to California with his wife and son to spend the holiday with his daughter at Stanford to meet her new boyfriend.  As a comedy, it's pretty much a ripoff of the Meet the Parents storyline, but it has some funny moments and I especially liked Keegan-Micheal Key's character, Gustav.

As we watched it, and repeated reference was made to the fact that the Flemings' favorite band was KISS, and KISS was on the soundtrack and worked into the very fabric of the plotline, I thought, "How has Colin not mentioned this? This must be on his annual holiday watch list."  And when I asked him, I was floored when he responded, “I don’t know that one!  You have one-upped me on KISS!  How is that possible?”

How is that possible?!?  This is the dude whose blog has more than 30 articles devoted to KISS, who has himself written multiple articles about the band, one in which he describes an entire Sunday morning devoted to Googling Kiss setlists and then watching the videos on Youtube and another in which he compares the finer points of Paul and Ace’s respective solo albums, and who can expertly steer any conversation towards the band, to wit this recent Facebook discussion which began as which Rock Hall nominees would become inductees in 2018, and then became which bands were fully formed on their debut album, and then somehow became an all out KISS-o-mania celebration:

James Baumann I always think of The Pretenders and The Clash as the answers to this question. R.E.M. is a good choice as well.

Colin Gawel Scott Carr I don’t think they really hit stride until Heaven Tonight. Love the debut but it’s pretty quirky.

Matt Walters KISS’ debut is pretty hard to beat, although they weren’t really “fully formed” in the sense they weren’t a whopper with cheese yet. 😉 The Jam, The Beastie Boys, Exploding Hearts (RIP), Television all have 5/5 debuts, too. I might also throw Franz and TVOTR in there too. Also You Am I but nobody’s ever heard of them.

Peter Nichols Colin Gawel Sh*t, I forgot "Get The Knack".

'Twas brilliant!

Peter Nichols I mean, the drumming alone deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

James Baumann Matt Walters Love me some You Am I.

Steve Elshoff Van Halen.

Steve Elshoff Jeff Buckley.

Colin Gawel Matt Walters KISS is but sonically it just doesn't have the goods. Alive is really the record in my opinion.

Colin Gawel Van Halen ! duh. Facepalm.

Kyle Siegrist Metallica Kill 'Em All

Kyle Siegrist Colin Gawel IMO the Kiss debut lp is their best, but I agree Alive put them on the map.

Colin Gawel Kyle Siegrist best songs no doubt but I always play Alive for folks. Actually, they probably hit their peak on Destroyer. Artwork - sound - songs - all that jazz.

Colin Gawel Or possibly Crazy Nights.

Scott Carr Rock And Roll Over beats Destroyer all day long.....

Colin Gawel Scott Carr now you are just trolling me. Everybody knows I’m a Destroyer guy.

Scott Carr hehe....

Kyle Siegrist Remember I'm not really a Kiss fan like you or Scott. For whatever reason I personally just like thier debut best. I also really like The Elder.

Colin Gawel In other KISS related news I guess the greatest book ever written is being re released and I’m not talking about the Bible.

Scott Carr Colin Gawel I thought you were a Crazy Nights guy????

Scott Carr that book is anazing...

Colin Gawel Guess the author was on Eddie Trunk and an updated version coming out. And rumor has it Vinnie Vincent is on the cover. Seriously.

Matt Walters vinnie's also on the back cover! It's a commemorative edition specifically highlighting how overrrated he is by certain fans of the band ;)

Matt Walters I think this discussion about KISS vis-a-vis the "fully formed on the debut" comment is really interesting. On KISS boards, the debut typically is a solid #2 among fan aggregate polls (behind RARO - usually Hotter than Hell is third and Destroyer is f...See More

Colin Gawel Kyle Siegrist I think reasonable people can agree The Elder is better than The Wall.

Rick Kinsinger Am I the only one who suspects that Colin's motive for this entire thread was to turn it into a discussion about the KISS discography?

Kyle Siegrist Colin Gawel yeah that's a no brainier

Nate Puderbaugh Oasis "Definitely Maybe"

Pete Vogel Some of my fave debut albums: VH, Boston, Foreigner, The Cars, Tom Petty, Led Zep. All broke new ground, IMO.

Scott Carr Rick Kinsinger isn't that why all Facebook threads are started?

Colin Gawel Matt Walters I can't find pre order for updated KISS touring history? Can you help a brother out?

Scott Carr ColinGawel I think the only place they are taking orders is through pledge music.....

Colin Gawel Scott Carr good tip. Stumbled on many other Kiss books in my quest. You read that Elder one?

Scott Carr yeah The Elder one is good. If you have the solo album book, it's done by the same guy. Lots of info....

Matt Walters Colin Gawel I believe it sold out. Let me check the FAQ

Scott Carr Colin Gawel

So if you, like Colin, are a KISS fanatic who hasn't seen Why Him? yet, or if you are just looking for another Christmas-themed raunchy comedy to pass a couple of hours, Why Him? is currently on demand.



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