RECORDS STORE TALES #1003: Animalize Live Uncensored
36 summers ago, I taped Kiss Animalize Live Uncensored off next door neighbor George. I recorded the video (which he recorded from a rental) onto a VHS, and the audio onto a 90 minute blank cassette. For that summer, Animalize Live was my Kiss live experience. I only had Alive on vinyl, which wasn’t portable. I didn’t have Alive II yet. My cassette copy of Animalize Live was constantly in my ears all summer.
I knew every word of every Paul rap.
“Detroit let me tell ya something just between you and me. That baby had the longest fuckin’ tongue I ever seen in my life!”
“Paul, what are you doing with a pistol down your pants?”
“Eric may look like a baby, but he’s built like a man.”
Paul did a striptease, and the guys hung the panties that they were thrown by girls in the crowd from their microphone stands. The concert dripped of raw sex and I was like a kid in shock. I had never seen anything like this before. I didn’t even know if I wanted to! But there it was in full glory, Paul Stanley telling stories about his “Love Gun” and me sitting there watching it multiple times a week. The summer I had mono. I couldn’t do much else. I watched a lot of videos and a lot of them were Kiss.
Listening today, I remember every note of every solo. Paul went first with a guitar solo. Bruce Kulick, the new kid, was standing in for Mark St. John and didn’t even get an introduction or solo. Eric’s drum solo was second, and Gene’s bass solo last. I liked the bass solo. It actually seemed more musical than the other two. Its simplicity is one thing…but I was humming the bass solo hours later.
I still know every vocal divergence each song takes in this live incarnation. Like old muscle memory. And you know what? There’s something to be said about 80s Kiss. They were playing things faster and Eric Carr added his own unique elements to Kiss, as did Bruce. On some songs the speed works. I was just thinking that if they came out playing “Creatures of the Night” this fast today in 2022, people would lose their minds.
On my Walkman, I went for cottage adventures with this concert in my ears. It was the worst recording possible; a cassette copy of a VHS copy of a VHS copy, in mono. Bootleggy as hell. But there I sat in the grass, as Paul Stanley told us of the women who wanted to “mother” Eric Carr. And I had no idea what, specifically, “mothering” Eric Carr meant. I knew it meant sexy times of some kind, but…nope, right over my head.
Animalize Live Uncensored was my Alive III from a time when we didn’t think we’d get an Alive III. Or at least, I didn’t. It was several albums and several years before we did get one, and Eric was gone by then. I liked it. I still do.