I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of KISS in the history of the world, but I certainly respect their place in rock history. I also give props to Gene Simmons for building such an empire out of…well, mediocrity. Come on, let’s be serious. Not great songwriters, not great musicians. Excellent live performers. Excellent marketers with tons of kid appeal. There’s a reason that just about every rock musician sites them as an early influence, and a reason that a tribute album released in the mid Nineties drew musicians ranging from Toad the Wet Sprocket to Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder to Garth Brooks.
Lenny and Stevie covered “Deuce”, which is probably my second favorite KISS song (after-don’t laugh-“I Was Made for Lovin’ You”), and the band performed it on the first annual VH-1 Rock Honors program. The show was designed to be the rock and roll alternative to the network’s wildly successful Hip-Hop Honors show, although despite solid performances like this one, I don’t think that happened. What works for one doesn’t always work for the other.
Anyway, the fact that the guys are still bringing it forty years in is pretty impressive.