Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Hottest Band In The World, Indeed

I’ve been a Kiss fan for exactly 30.5 years (to the day, no less), which is probably longer than I’ve done anything else in my life (apart from breathing), so I’ll no doubt be yapping about them a lot on this blog. I am most pleased with their new triple-DVD set entitled Kissology, Vol. 1--1974-77, which features five—count ‘em—five full-length concerts from their heyday when they truly WERE the hottest band in the world. I didn’t get to see Kiss live in concert until the ’79 Dynasty tour (which was a good, but not great show, as it was the beginning of the end for the original foursome at the time), so the Tokyo and Houston concerts from 1977 on the DVD give a pretty good taste of the band during the height of their popularity (and why they didn’t use the audio from these for the Alive II album instead of the crappy-sounding L.A. Forum shows, I’ll never know!). They also loaded the DVDs up with several TV show appearances, including the “Paul Lynde Halloween Special” from 1976--which was the first time I ever saw them on the tube--as well as clips from “Midnight Special”, “Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert” and ABC’s “In Concert” (bless you, Dick Clark!).  This DVD is worth it alone for clip of their infamous “Mike Douglas Show” appearance—the band’s first exposure on national TV, albeit to an audience of middle-aged housewives like my Mom, who watched ol' Mike religiously. I’ve always meant to ask her if she happened to be watching the day Kiss was on, and if so, did she have to reach for the smelling salts?

I’d previously seen bits and pieces of the concerts and TV show clips on other bootleg videotapes and “official” Kiss video offerings, but this is definitely the most comprehensive collection so far, and totally worth the 20 bucks to see a young and hungry Kiss (and a THIN Gene Simmons!) at the top of their game, or as Paul Stanley has been known to preach during Kiss concerts in recent years, “WHEN IT WAS REAL!!!” (which, come to think of it, also refers to his hair!). I hear there are two more future collections in the works too, and I’m betting Vol. 2 (Vol. “Deuce”?) will include their infamous TV movie Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park, and their even more infamous “Tomorrow Show” appearance with Tom Snyder where Ace was drunk off his ass and pissing Gene and Paul off.  It’s “Cold Gin” time again…you know it’ll always win!