Sorry, Not Sorry

For the uninitiated, Music from “The Elder” was KISS’s greatest misstep in a long career with more than a few. After 1980’s Unmasked bombed (they didn’t even tour behind it!), the band decided it was time to get back to basics, working again with the producer who had given them their most successful album, Destroyer. Instead, Bob Ezrin’s cocaine habit talked Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley into a concept album to rival Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

This is hilarious for many reasons, but especially funny when you consider that 99.998% of previous KISS songs were about partying and getting laid. Even Ace Frehley, the crazy, off-the-rails alcoholic in the band, knew this was a terrible idea. It was conceived as a soundtrack to a movie that didn’t exist! Here’s the story, courtesy of Wikipedia

The basic plot of “The Elder” involves the recruitment and training of a young hero (The Boy) by the Council of Elders who belong to the Order of the Rose, a mysterious group dedicated to combating evil. The Boy is guided by an elderly caretaker named Morpheus. The album’s lyrics describe the boy’s feelings during his journey and training, as he overcomes his early doubts to become confident and self-assured. The only spoken dialogue is at the end of the last track, “I”. During the passage, Morpheus proclaims to the Elders that The Boy is ready to undertake his odyssey.

How could this be anything but a cocaine album?

So That’s What He’s Singing

Heard this on First Wave the other day and realized I never knew the words to this Fables of the Reconstruction classic. So here they are, the lyrics to which you also probably mumbled along back in the mid-Eighties.

When the world is a monster
Bad to swallow you whole
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in
Throw your trolls out the door
If you’re needing inspiration
Philomath is where I go by dawn
Lawyer Jeff, he knows the lowdown
He’s mighty bad to visit home

(I’ve been there, I know the way)
Can’t get there from here
(I’ve been there, I know the way)
Can’t get there from here
(I’ve been there, I know the way)
Can’t get there from here
(I’ve been there, I know the way)

When your hands are feeling empty
Stick head jumping off the ground, ground
Tris is sure to shirr the deer out
Brother Ray can sing my song

CHORUS

Hands down, Calechee bound
Landlocked, kiss the ground
Dirt of seven continents going ’round and ’round
Go on ahead, Mr. Citywide, hypnotized, suit-and-tied
Gentlemen, testify

If your world is a monster
Bad to swallow you whole
Philomath, they know the lowdown
Throw your trolls out the door

CHORUS

The Worst Thing You’ll See All Week

Mrs. Renfield and I were discussing bad 70’s TV shows, and I suddenly remembered laughing my ass off at this episode of CHiPs, where Erik Estrada et al. turn their forensic skills on solving death threats against satanic rocker, “Moloch.”  They don’t go to any trouble to hide their inspiration for Moloch, who apparently is so revered that he can get away with one-song concerts.  This is even worse than I remember, and I post with deepest apologies.

Sandinista Turns 40

Self-indulgent mess?  Misunderstood masterpiece?  I usually have an opinion on matters musical, but it’s now been forty years and I’m still not sure what to make of this album.  Which may be the point.  Or not.

Peter Grant Doc

An ok documentary about the kind of manager all bands need but few get. Wears thin in places, but few documentaries don’t.