Music News


Kiss's makeup is the foundation of the band in more ways than one. Truth be told, the group's only got about three good songs -- and, no, "Beth" isn't one of them. The reason Kiss didn't descend into rock-and-roll hell a long time ago, then, is due to its collective genius for shtick, with the blood-spitting, fire-breathing and pyro displays paling in comparison to the white-face routine. The gobs of cosmetics these guys go through on a nightly basis not only hide a multitude of wrinkles, but they mask identities as a whole. Original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss aren't participating on this tour, presumably because they had the gall to feel that stars Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley should treat them as actual partners in the project rather than disposable sidemen. But with a little help from Maybelline, willing substitutes Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer look exactly like the real thing, and they probably have better posture, so who gives a rat's ass? Someday Simmons may sit things out, too, hiring a big-tongued look-alike with a high tolerance for paint fumes to do the dirty work while he sits at home counting his cash and boning Shannon Tweed. That would take the phrase "cover songs" to a whole new level.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts