Tuesday, September 9, 2014

That Guy from Kiss

So Gene Simmons wasn't happy enough to spew his crap on his reality television show, but he is moving out into the masses.  I dislike Kiss, I always have, and I have my reasons.  First among them is that the band Kiss were the first sellouts.  They produced music, they did not make it, they were more about the money than the craft.  Sure, I love money like the next guy, but if I love my craft, the money is just a perk.

So a few years back Gene there said that Adam Lambert killed his career when he came out.  Well, I didn't know who Adam Lambert was, so I ignored Simmons.  Honestly, I do not care if someone is gay, if they have good music, I will listen to it, if I dislike their music, I won't.  But here is a snipet of what Simmons said about Lambert:
Adam should have won. On the other hand he should have kept his mouth shut about his sexual preferences. I don’t really care what he wants to do and neither does America. But this kid’s got talent, Adam Lambert can go on. As long as he’s quiet about whatever else he prefers to do indoors. I personally don’t care, I mean if you love farm animals, that’s fine, but I don’t wanna read a magazine about that.
Yeah, I had to check, I thought it was Phil Robertson talking, but he is innocent this time.  As for Gene, he declared that Lambert's career was over, dead.   Well, it doesn't look over to me, two studio albums in five years, both peaked in the top 5 on the charts.  Hardly a dead career in my book, not great but not terrible.

But Simmons did not catch my ire because of what he said about Lambert five years ago, its what he said the other day that really got me.  In his estimation Rock is dead.  Yeah, Rock and Roll died, it was murdered by fans with a sense of self entitlement (illegal downloads), and little industry support, and a lack of appreciation for the creators of the music.

Now this in and of itself is true, illegal downloads, poor business models in the industry along with a lack of support has hurt the record industry, but that doesn't mean rock is dead Mr. Simmons.  See, people like you hurt music, not just the glam rock you put out there with your for profit band.  See if anything can kill Rock and Roll, its people like you giving it a bum deal.  You weren't in it because you loved the music, you loved the money.  And for that reason, Rock will remain a staple.  It will have its ups and downs, it will swell in size and dwindle in numbers, but as long as there are people who love the music, it will speak to them in a way your music never could, and they will listen.  There is a reason that there have been and always will be underground bands, there is a reason that people sit in a garage jamming, its love.  There is more to this you see.  Most people play and listen to Rock and its sub-genres because they love them, and as long as that love is there people will discover the classics (Seger, Zeppelin, Floyd, Metallica, Hendrix, The Beatles, Lynard Skynard, Neil Young, Sabbath, and all the rest, even your own music).  As long as there are new kids sitting in a garage rocking out you will have bands like U2, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and so many others out there.

See Mr. Simmons while you are telling young people to not learn to play the guitar, or write music, you are destroying all music, not just Rock.  You say these new guys do not have a chance to do the things you have, and that is true, because the face of music has changed.  The ugly fact is, if you came up through the ranks today you might not make it, but it isn't because you wouldn't have the same support you had before.  It wouldn't be about your music being pirated.  The reason so many people do not make it in music today is because their music sucks.

See, things have changed.  Ten or twenty years ago, bands put a ton of effort into their songs, they didn't shove out an album a year, they made an album, they toured to support the album, while touring they wrote new material, when the tour finished they went back into the studio.  Today, they write crap, the record crap, they tour based on sales of said generic crap, and then they wash out in three to five years.  That is the major problem Mr. Simmons, rock isn't dead, its dormant.  It is sleeping, it is waiting on the next Cobain to start writing, it is waiting for the next Hendrix to pick up a guitar, and here you are telling them to not write and not learn to play.

Your advice is to go on a reality show and get hand picked with no skills, and talent enough to sing.  Grohl is right when he blasts you for saying Rock is dead.  He is also right to tell kids hit the garage with an old beat up guitar and start jamming with friends.  If you aren't talented enough to play another bands music (see U2), create your own.  But once again, you made your money and had your fame, so you would rather say its over, than do something else, maybe help and up and coming band get out of the garage to be the next Jimi Hendrix Experience, Beatles, or Nirvana.  You would rather be right about it, but you won't.

Because #GeneSimmons, as long as there is one person, just one, that picks up an AC/DC album, plays it and they start banging their head or singing along, Rock will not die.  As long as one person finds solace in a genre it will never die be it the Blues, Country, Pop, Rap, Classical, Metal or whatever type of music you want to throw out there, if there is a fan it is still alive.  Now shut up and go bleed for another comic book.