Hugs and Kisses

Forty-two years ago a traumatic incident ‘rocked’ my world.

Back in 1980 – the year the Rubik’s Cube debuted – I was 14 years old and a walloping huge KISS fan.

The band toured Australia that year. But I didn’t get to go. Instead, some mates and I had to listen to freckled-faced Joe Cranitch – a boy in our class who would later grow up to wear a police uniform – recite HIS experience of having been front and centre in the fourth row at KISS’S Brisbane concert the previous night.

A bitter pill to swallow, by anyone’s reckoning. The disappointment of missing out on that Brisbane concert, light years ago, left lifelong scars. But apparently time heals all wounds (and wounds all heels) and three nights ago SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK took a massive step forward in righting the wrongs of the past.

Three nights ago, SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK attended the 2022 Brisbane KISS concert.

A KISS concert has always been about much more than just the music; in much same way the Mona Lisa could never be described as just another painting.

KISS live is about staging a full-on, no-holds-barred theatrical ‘show’, in the truest sense of that word. One complete with trench-warfare-like intensity. On Tuesday night the band delivered in spectacular fashion.

Eric Singer’s Eight Minute Drum Solo

As a former band drummer myself, this was always going to be a highlight. And it was. All eight platform-raising minutes of it.

Paul Stanley’s Monologues Between Songs

They were all pretty funny. Especially the one about why the concert had been postponed twice prior to Tuesday night (Covid).

Gene Simmons’ Fire Beathing Act

Knew this one one was coming. Ouch!

Avoiding the $120 T-Shirts at the ‘Merch’ Bars

I’m all for getting carried away in the moment. But not THAT carried away.

The Support Act

Support bands are supposed to be good, but not THAT good. Right? These Led-Zeppelin-ish-sounding Brisbane lads were freakin’ world class.

The Girl at the Candy Bar

That was a looooooooong queue to get a packet of Maltesers and some bottled water. But the young girl serving all by herself down that end of the counter was calm, so poised, so old-skool, understated nice. Getting the chocolates from her in that way was a moment to itself.

THE DEMON

Bloody good theatre! And I do mean BLOODY good.

THE KISS ARMY

KISS fans like to dress up. That’s putting it mildly. There were plenty of whole families – Mum, Dad, and three kids – all rockin’ wigs, facepaint and costume outfits. That’s the KISS way.

Random Sighting

Something pretty random happened on the drive-home after the concert. During the show’s finale, which I’ll get to next, hundreds of Kiss-logo emblazoned, oversized beachballs – each the size of an armchair -were released down onto the crowd from high up in the rafters.

About 15 km away, while driving along my route home at 1am, I spotted a lone figure in the darkness by the side of the road. It was a genuine KISS fan sighting. And what was this person hugging close to his chest to put the final strokes on the weird-random factor? One of those giant beachballs!

THE BONKERS AMAZING FINALE

Every show needs a grand finale and this one had one of the trophy-winning grandest. More fireworks and ear-piercing explosions went off in that last five minutes than a lifetimes worth of rugged SAS training courses.

Guitar smashing, platform risers, 20-foot-high flame stacks, confetti cannons by the dozen and hundreds of frenetic lazers. This had it all. Nothing – absolutely nothing – was saved in the tank.

No one could have asked for more.

And to round things off, there’s this… Someone with a lot of time on their hands and a lot of skill has put together this morphing video, charting the evolution of KISS.

Something tells me SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK doesn’t have too many genuine KISS fans as readers, so I don’t expect this’ll get a lot of views but hey… if you’re gonna pay tribute you may as well go all out. Right?

Happy days indeed! For HAPPY DAYS of a different kind, click HERE.

13 thoughts on “Hugs and Kisses

  1. Two bands, actually.
    THE GROOVEDIGGERS and THE JIVING GARGOYES.
    This was during my University days.
    We played some local clubs in the city that were about at the time. We were in the newspaper as well one time – and I don’t mean the ‘local rag’.lol
    If memory serves me correctly I believe we even harbored the requisite dreams of ‘cutting a record deal’ but of course nothing came of that. I used to have to put up with all the drummer jokes back then as well – things like ‘drummers are people who hang around musicians’.

    I also recall my poor neighbors who had to put up with my long practice sessions. Those were the days.

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  2. I’m surprised as well about the drumming, Glen! That’s radical, as the kids say. If I were going to be in a band, drumming is what I’d go for, for sure. I can only imagine all the EST-like expulsion of various emotions, mostly anger (for me) that could come with drumming, lol.
    Can’t believe an 8-minute solo was performed. He must have been sweating like a pig after that. And I love the gif above of one of the members briefly Frenching his guitar.
    So glad you were able to somewhat undo that past frustration and right a terrible wrong and attend this performance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Me too!
    Love how you put that about Paul Stanley ‘Frenching’ his guitar.
    Which reminds me – I’ve been meaning to do a post for sometime now about who I consider to be Rock’s best ‘frontmen’ (ok, ‘front people’).

    No list like that could be taken seriously without the obvious inclusion of names like Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger and Robert Plant – but my list would definitely feature Paul Stanley from Kiss, as well as some personal faves including Michael Hutchens (1960 – 1997) from Australian band INXS, David Lee Roth (Van Halen), Debbie Harry, (Blondie), Chrissy Amphlett (1959 – 2013) from Australian band Divinyls, Bon Scott (1946 – 1980) – ACDC’s original frontman and Fred Schneider from the B52’s.

    Gosh, I do believe that’s 10. And I couldn’t even find room for Roger Daltry of THE WHO! Would love to know a couple of names that might make your Top Ten Band ‘Frontpersons’ list Stacey.

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  4. I thought you were gonna leave David Lee Roth out… but you didn’t, lol! I know he’s was super obnoxious, but he’s also an interesting character who can fly helicopters, is a licensed medical technician, and of course the jujitsu and all that.
    Also, can’t forget Steve Perry Journey. Only the guy that sings “Take On Me” can reach the vocal heights that Steve Perry did, right?!
    And lastly I’ll say Stevie Nicks AND Grace Slick.

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  5. With you all the way on Steve Perry, and of course superstar Stevie Nicks.

    For anyone unfamiliar, here’s a taste of the magic Steve Perry vocal – from the soundtrack to Season Four of STRANGER THINGS –

    And for those who want to go right back to the original from ’83 –

    (The video might be a little on the cringeworthy side, ok, maybe a LOT on the cringeworthy side (“Hey, it was the 80’s and if you were there, well…you have the ownership rights. Right? ) but the opening keyboard notes still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention)

    And just to round out the impromptu Perry-a-thon, seem to recall he had a verse-line all to himself in 1985’s charity raiser WE ARE THE WORLD (USA for AFRICA) , so yeah, here’s that thrown in as well…

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  6. They really sound like a unique band that do so much more than sing their hits for an hour and a half. That top 10 list is very impressive and makes me wish I could’ve seen this legendary band that have sold over 100 million records.

    What I can’t believe is that bands like KISS are still touring in their 70’s and doing it well. Other bands like ‘Fleetwood Mac,’ Rolling Stones,’ ‘Eagles,’ ‘Aerosmith,’ and then you’ve got solo artists like Elton John and Paul McCartney and Stevie Nicks also still going strong. It’s amazing that they still have the passion because I doubt they would need the money.

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  7. So true Matt.
    The motivation can no longer be money, if it ever was.
    Once wealth accumulates to a certain level, you’re left asking, as Charlie Sheen’s character (Bud Fox) did in the movie WALL STREET (1987) – “How many yachts can you waterski behind?”

    That line can be heard at the 1 minute 36 second mark in the clip below.

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  8. I wasn’t able to go to Guns N’ Roses when they played at Eastern Creek in 1993. I told my parents I would never forgive them and I did hold a grudge on this one. I was lucky enough to get to see them back in 2017 and it was one of the best nights of my life! So I understand how you feel about having to wait so long. Sounds like you had a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha ha!
    You can relate!
    I’ve got a friend who’s attending the November 22 Brisbane concert at Suncorp Stadium, so no doubt I will hear how that one goes. BTW, I’ve been meaning to ask you – and since we’ve been talking about wild, untamed hard rock bands, maybe it’s not as far off topic as it sounds – how’s the dreaded ‘animal smell’ challenge going at your place?

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