Hey Kiss Fans - Google “Kiss Pencilstorm.” You are welcome.
So far Pencilstorm has published two stories on Sirius Kiss Army radio. The first by Ricki C. saying how much he hates it, and the second by Scott Carr saying how much he loves it. So right now, the judges have it split down the middle. As luck would have it, I’m now prepared to become the deciding vote.
It took a fortuitous chain of events to put me in this position. See, I don’t have satellite radio (anymore) so I had been missing all the fun. Or not fun, depending on whether you love or hate Kiss. First, my son’s basketball tournament on President’s Day was suddenly moved from 4:30 pm to 11:30 am. This sort of thing happens to freshman teams, as they are low on the hoops food chain.
The upshot was that parents were scrambling to get the kids out to the game on time so I called Biggie and borrowed the Watershed van so I could help out and just drive the whole team there. Once behind the wheel I noticed the Satellite radio had been turned back on and immediately started looking for KISS Army radio. I couldn’t find it and assumed that it ended the day before because that is what Scott had said in his article.
The next morning at the coffee shop my pal Mark stopped in and said “Make mine to go, they are playing the entire Whisky Au Go Go show on Kiss radio, I want to get back out to listen.”
“Whaa?? It’s still on?”
“Yup, it’s on a specialty channel so you have to know where to look. It’s channel 30.”
Sonic Boom. I was in the game.
I picked up Owen from school blasting KISS. I took Owen to baseball blasting Kiss. I took Owen to basketball blasting Kiss. I picked Owen up from basketball blasting Kiss. You get the idea.
I’ve enjoyed many of the XM/Sirius specialty channels over the years, especially Springsteen and Petty. But even I was surprised how much I enjoyed listening to Kiss radio. The playlist crosses all eras and even the stinkers are fun because you know a good one must be coming up. And the programming seems to have a sense of humor. How else do you explain God of Thunder (Live) followed by Shandi? Even Owen laughed as I screamed “Bow down and kneel before the God of Thunder” as I cranked Shandi to ear-shattering volume. Or as loud as you can crank a song from Unmasked.
Other things I heard off the top of my head:
Paul talking about his friendship with Johnny Ramone as an intro to the KISS cover of Rock n Roll Radio / Strutter / Tomorrow / Room Service (live) / King of the Night Time World (Live) / Dreaming / Gene explaining how silly he feels being dressed up like the demon singing the disco do do do do do part of I Was Made for Loving You / Flaming Youth / Tears Are Falling / A World Without Heroes ( I explained The Elder disaster to Owen) / Who Wants to Be Lonely / Do You Love Me / New Your Groove / Nothing to Lose (Kiss Unplugged) / Got to Choose / What Makes the World Go Round? / Danger Us / Detroit Rock City (Kiss Symphony).
They also mixed in bands who had opened for Kiss and I had the good fortune of hearing AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock and Tom Petty’s Breakdown. Though I’m secretly hoping for a New England track since they opened for KISS at my first show in 4th grade. Owen brought up a band he saw open for Kiss at one of the three times he has seen them and said, “That was worst band I’ve ever seen. It was like me and three friends up there playing. How did they get that gig?” My reply? “They probably paid Gene.” **
I’m grinning just trying to remember all of this.
KISS is fun. The good and the bad. It’s all just fun. I suppose I could imagine a world without heroes, but I’d have a hard time picturing a world without Kiss. That wouldn’t be any fun at all.
The scorecards are in and Kiss Army Radio wins in a majority decision.
Colin Gawel founded Pencilstorm and wrote this on a snowy day at Colin’s Coffee. The fact that he skipped town last Mother’s Day to attend a Kiss expo in no way influenced his opinion.
** editor’s note: After a little research the band Owen was referring too was The Envy. After reading this depressing post on their website from 2013 I felt bad Owen gave them such a harsh review. No hard feelings guys, he was 8 and waiting for Kiss to come onstage.
Heavy Metal above and below.