Scratch and Dent Sale: Kiss Army

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When I was a little kid, my two older brothers were both privates in the KISS ARMY. (Did that mean they kissed privates?)

I watched their indoctrination from across the hallway in a dazed-but-fascinated stupor. I didn't quite know what to make of this kind of hero worship. I just knew that my brothers were pretty cool... so I kind of assumed that their KISS fetish was cool, too?

Hey, that was my "normal." Don't judge.

At one point in the late 1970s, I think it was reported that KISS actually had the world's fifth largest army after the US, USSR, South Korea and Iraq.


Thank God my brothers never actually had to go to battle though... Even though they had cool uniforms (3/4 sleeve concert t-shirts, tight jeans and pooka shell necklaces) they would have been woefully unprepared for a real fight. Their meager weaponry would have only included:

1) A cardboard Gene Simmons Battle Axe Bass.

2) A fanatical ability to scream "I... ... WANNA ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT... ... AND PARTY EV-UH-REE DAY!!!" like crazed bozos.

3) And a pervasive-but-vague, homoerotic love for big-haired men in greasepaint, medieval battle gear, high heeled boots and tight trousers. If you can call that a weapon.

At the time, I really wished that I was older... so that I could have answered the call. I wanted to do my part. I wanted to join my brothers in whatever fight the KISS ARMY was preparing for. But I was just a kid... to0 young for the army.

My destiny didn't include joining the army. Any army.

Looking back, I now see the debt my brothers paid for me. Their commitment to something much, much larger than themselves. I honor their service. Are they heroes or were they just doing their job? I suppose we each have to answer that question for ourselves, in the quiet of our own hearts.

I know what I think.

I'm just glad they got out alive.

-- John Common

Scratch and Dent is the name of John Common's brand new column, which will appear here weekly, except when it doesn't. John came up with that name. We recommended punny designations we thought were, you know, clever, such as "Common Denominator" and "Uncommonly Good" and a litany of others. John politely informed us that he has "built up an aversion to all things 'punny' when it comes to my name. I think it stems from years of music writers being unable to resist the temptation in nearly every single story that I was lucky enough to get written on my behalf. I'd really like to avoid it, if possible." So there you have it. Scratch and Dent. Every week. Dig it. We do.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.