Kiss and the Creepy Reporter

There's a private joke in the rock biz that Kiss look better with their makeup on. It goes along with the observation that if Kiss took their makeup off, no one would care, or notice. But since Kiss does continue to make such a big deal about not being photographed or seen withought their makeup, it's evident that the whole thing is a publicity gimmick which can only truly be appreciated by those who are between seven and eleven years old.

Admittedly, Kiss and their makeup are a good gimmick. Not completely original, since other rock stars before them got done up for one reason or another, be they Arthur Brown or the New York Dolls. But the Kiss makeup has nothing whatsoever to do with rock and roll. The true greats of rock have always let the music do the talking. The Kiss makeup is all show biz, something that Kiss are exceptionally good at.

The most recent Kiss album, Unmasked, is an obscure title for that reason, since Kiss certainly aren't about to unmask anything. They are ,however, pretty insensitive to the men and women journalists who they stereotype so flippantly. The Unmasked album arrived on this reporter's desk with a press kit from the Kiss offices that featured a color cartoon cover depicting the members of Kiss playing onstage, and also playing offstage. Paul with a martini in hand, Ace and Peter in a limo, Gene with his arm around a curvaceous female, and how tough it is for them because they're always being followed around by a reporter trying to get a photo of them without their makeup. At one point in the cartoon, Ace and Peter are stepping out of their limo when the reporter shows up camera in hand and Peter says to Ace, "Ace, get back in! Itís that creepy reporter!"

The time has come for Kiss to grow up and stop stereotyping others, be they reorters or women. This 'creepy' reporter has gone out of his way to be friendly with Kiss, spend hours listening to their theories about rock and roll, write stories about them, put them on magazine covers, and respect what they are doing. And his comment is that if Kiss don't want to be photographed without their makeup then they shouldnít go out without their makeup. Nobody tells them to show up at clubs and discos andparties without their makeup, but they do and then there's a hassle if a hard-working, non-millionaire reporter tries to take a photo.

I remember one party, for Lou Reed in New York, when Kiss showed up, girls on arms, let their pictures be taken, and then the next morning all hell broke loose and photos got brought up, so the pictures wouldnít be used. I ran some of these pix in a magazine, with the boys covering their faces with their hands, but still without makeup and I got an unpleasant phone call from the Kiss offices about how could I do that, etc., etc. My comment was , and still is, if they donít want their pictures taken without makeup, they should be smart enough to stay home, or go to the movies, or otherwise stop taunting and flaunting. And now I find out that Im just another creepy reporter. Frankly, Iím less creepy than some rock bands I could mention.