KISS Army Radio on Sirius XM: Not One Good Song.......Yet - by Ricki C.

“Congratulations for only being 15 years behind everybody else technology-wise now, instead of 40 years behind.” Thus spake Michael “Biggie” McDermott in July 2017, the first time I was enthusing to him over getting Sirius XM radio in the new (used) car I had just bought. I was over the moon picking up Underground Garage, the Tom Petty station and Bruce Springsteen radio after moving up from a 1992 Toyota Camry that still had a cassette deck in it. Biggie was less than impressed.

Today my lovely wife Debbie returned from an early Saturday morning trip to the Worthington Farmer’s Market and greeted me at the door with, “Did you replace my Billy Joel channel on Sirius with the KISS Army Radio channel?” “No, I did not,” I replied, alarmed at the accusation, “why would I POSSIBLY do that?” For the uninitiated, in the Ricki C. Rock & Roll Universe, going from the Billy Joel channel to the KISS channel is the DEFINITION of going from the musical frying pan into the (pun intended) fire. (Or, the pyro, as it were.)

Debbie and I traded key fobs at the door as I left for my Saturday errands and the first song I heard on KISS Army Radio was Cheap Trick’s cover of “Ain’t That A Shame.” “Hey, this is pretty cool,” I said to myself as I cranked the volume to a pain threshold, “we might have something here.” Then, after Cheap Trick, Sirius started playing KISS music and for the rest of the 35-minute drive to Giant Eagle and Colin’s Coffee (where I was dropping off CD’s), they didn’t play ONE MORE SINGLE GOOD SONG.

Debbie had said to me on my way out the door that morning, “You can certainly see where the Watershed boys were influenced by KISS.” THAT statement (and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it) has always confused me, because I’ve never – from the very first time I saw Colin & the guys in 1990 when they were still called The Wires – heard ONE NOTE of KISS influence in Watershed. “KISS were the ones who made us want to pick up guitars and play,” Colin said to me when I related that idea to him. “We never would have been a band without KISS. They were possibly our biggest influence.”

I suppose that quote might be true, Colin really has no reason to lie to me. In that instance I just find myself thanking my God that Joe Oestreich and Colin Gawel learned to write good – in fact, GREAT – songs for Watershed along the way, something I have no recorded evidence on my KISS Army Radio channel to be true of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Here’s a random sampling of the tracks I heard in that first 35-minute drive: “Domino,” “Rocket Ride,” “I Just Wanna,” “Every Time I Look At You,” “Let’s Put The X In Sex,” a Paul Stanley solo track called “Tonight You Belong To Me” (that Colin seemed particularly galled that I included in the NOT ONE GOOD SONG list), and “Deuce,” among others.

So here’s my premise: I am going to put KISS Army Radio on in the car (I’ll have to move it to MY tier from Debbie’s tier, she ain’t havin’ it anymore) and when I HEAR a good song I will get back on Pencilstorm and call everyone’s attention to it. I’ll talk to you on down the road……… - Ricki C. / February 9th, 2019