RECORD STORE TALES #1007: Kissathon Tomahawk
According to my Facebook memories, on this day in 2009 I was listening to a massive all-encompassing Kissathon. This was done so I could review all the albums before the release of Sonic Boom. The first run of Kiss reviews here on this site came from that 2009 Kissathon. By coincidence only, this past weekend was a mini-Kissathon, started on Thursday night with some music we don’t play as often in the car.
1. Crazy Nights (1987). Even the underdogs deserve some love. Listening to this album inspired me to write a new Record Store Tale about the experience of hearing it for the first time. You see, for me this album was unique. I got into Kiss in 1985 just as Asylum was released. In two years, I collected, listened to, and absorbed all the Kiss albums to a degree only a kid that age can. Crazy Nights, therefore, was the first “new” Kiss album to come after completing my journey through their discography. And unlike Asylum, it was different. I spent a morning writing up the impressions I had in 1987. As for the car trip, we laughed at some of the terrible lyrics and obvious musical attempts to copy Bon Jovi, but it was an enjoyable listen.
2. Dynasty (1979). After the Paul-dominated Crazy Nights, I wanted to hear something with all four guys singing lead. There are very few albums like that, and only three with the original lineup: Love Gun, Dynasty, and Psycho-Circus. I went with Dynasty this time. A short but very energetic listen as we passed through Palmerston, Wingham, and Whitechurch on the way to the cottage.
3. Gene Simmons (selections from) (1978). Once we hit Lucknow it was time to put on an album for the last 20 minutes or so of our drive. Gene Simmons was under-represented in our first two choices. Only two Gene songs on Dynasty, and only four on Crazy Nights. The Demon needed some love, and I wanted to expose Jen to some of his more…ahem…questionable material. We played a lot, some good some bad. The good: “Radioactive”, “Mr. Make Believe”, “See You Tonight” “Always Near You/Nowhere To Hide”. The bad: “Burnin’ Up With Fever”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Living In Sin” and…yes…”When You Wish Upon A Star”. I remember back in the old days going to the lake with my parents. Sometimes they’d let us listen to an album on the car deck instead of our headphones. My dad praised “When You Wish Upon a Star”. “Finally, a good song!” he said. Good song perhaps, but not a good vocal performance! I explained to Jen how Kiss fans were shocked and flabbergasted when Gene’s album was finally released.
As the gentle strains of Pinocchio completed their final crescendos, we pulled into the driveway at our humble place in paradise.
Our little furry friends the chipmunks began visiting, as did a pair of blue jays that I named Domaso Garcia and Lloyd Moseby. These blue jays were brave little birds and I managed to get a little bit of footage up close. However by Friday morning the calm turned to distraction! I worked on completing an upcoming list, my second collaboration with Jonathan Lee. If you recall, Jonathan and I ranked all the Kiss albums from worst to first a short while ago. Now we are finishing up another comprehensive pair of lists, on another band we both love (and you do too). When they are ready, the lists will be revealed…but not until they are ripe! I had to work on my list while the chipmunks and blue jays made annoyances of themselves, distracting me from my rock and roll duty. Therefore the peanut supply was cut off for the rest of the weekend, especially when the chipmunk ate his way through the bag.
Unlike the last several weekends, this one was fairly uneventful. We did get in a good swim, and some footage of crystal clear waters. Listening to Kiss (and then Judas Priest) on the porch, working on writing, playing video games and cooking meals. In fact the only “new” thing that really happened this weekend was the cooking of the Saturday steak.
For the first time we tackled a 2″ thick tomahawk steak. It was actually 2 1/2″ at the thickest point. It was fun to cook but the fat content caused lots of flame-ups so it was a matter of taking care. Jen thought it was the steak of the summer.
Traveling home was uneventful, until we passed Listowel (home of the original Helix). At this point, traffic was heavy. An impatient pair of blondes in a red jeep decided that passing cars the conventional way going to take too long, and so they went onto the gravel shoulder, and passed three cars including myself on the right. I gave ’em the horn as they endangered my life, and they didn’t even look over. I imagine the inside of their jeep smelled like Patty and Selma from the Simpsons. They had that kind of look.
A few miles down the road, I had an opening so I went for it and passed them, flipping them the bird as I did. They didn’t seem to notice, but they remained stuck in the line of traffic for the rest of the ride home. I never saw that red jeep again. This all happened to the tunes of Raise Your First and Yell by Alice Cooper. The exact song they passed me on was “Chop, Chop, Chop”.
We came home tired and had some naps. Funny that even though the weekend was less active than others this summer, we were just exhausted. I was too wiped out to work on a video, but hopefully that will come. In the meantime I’ll just sleep and wish upon a star.