I tend to avoid re-posting rants, even when I agree with them, as I hate bringing attention to the people and institutions that inspired the rants in the first place. Odds are, those people and institutions are drunk with power and not in need of any more publicity than their idiocy has provided them. Gene Simmons is a perfect example.
That being said, my buddy Larry Fulford (a touring comic and HARD touring drummer) posted this the other night in response to Mr. Simmons’ excruciatingly out of touch diatribe about ” the death of rock n’ roll” or some other clickbait bullshit. While Dr. Klein is probably just drumming up publicity for KISS’ latest poking-their-rotting-corpse tour, he clearly comes from a perspective that, for lack of a better term, is completely out of place and nearing extinction.
Last night, I tweeted something fairly mean-spirited that I’ve always secretly believed. If you’re the type of person who says that “music sucks today,” that’s really an analog for you admitting you just stopped going to shows and paying attentions years ago, and that you’re not a horrible interesting person on top of it. You can definitely be a great person, just not the type of person I’d bend over backwards to share bands, comedians, and other groundbreaking art with, since you’ll probably never leave your house to come support it unless it’s at the point where it doesn’t really need your support as badly anymore.
That being said, here’s Larry’s wonderful response:
“Where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators?”
They’re traveling the country in vans held together by duct tape, falling asleep on the floors of good-hearted fans/friends, crossing their fingers no one breaks into their shitty vans overnight to steal the very expensive tools of their trade. Tools they bought without endorsement deals.
And, for the most part, they’re doing this without tour support or record labels with any substantial money or distribution at all. They’re doing this on a whim, by the seat of their pants, on a hope and a prayer, with boxes of records and t-shirts they paid for crammed into the back of the van alongside the instruments, passion, desperation.
THAT’S rock ‘n’ roll, Mr. Simmons. Naïve, adolescent, stubborn. Willing to fight for what you believe in, no matter the odds. And not even necessarily because you want to, but because you genuinely feel like you HAVE to. A force greater than yourself puts your stupid ass in that van and says, “Go.” And you go.
The road to rock stardom isn’t paved in gold anymore, or glitter, or ridiculous make-up, because the people making true rock ‘n’ roll these days don’t give a Flying V about “rock stardom.” Most that I know would be happy making the equivalent of a policeman’s salary doing what they love, writing from their hearts, connecting with fellow human beings.
But I imagine these concepts are foreign to you, and rightfully so. You came up in a different time on a different landscape. And now you’re so out of the loop, the loop itself looks like a tiny, twinkling star in a galaxy far, far away that you’d need more than moon boots to get back to.
So, let’s make a deal, shall we? You don’t talk to us or make assumptions about the vital signs of rock ‘n’ roll and I won’t pretend to know anything about teasing my hair or pyrotechnics. Cool? Cool.
NOW THAT THAT’S OUT OF THE WAY, make sure to come watch myself in character as an 80’s rock star (but not Simon LeBon; I tore through that one at the QED show last night), tearing a dais full of Knoxville comics dressed like rock stars a collective new one at the Knox Comedy Roast of Axl Rose this Saturday night. Tickets available now or at the door. Like most everyone we’re lampooning did years ago, it’s probably going to sell out. And, spoiler, “Gene Simmons” will be on the dais.