I'm sorry but I will NOT be re-typing that title again. This story was first published in Yankee Pot Roast in May of 2006, nearly a decade ago, yet it was the very FIRST thing I thought of earlier today on my drive home from work when I heard a little Paul Stanley patter on the radio.
Dave Housley writes about pop culture better than anybody I've read, and does so in what is both a satirical AND an admiring manner all at the same time. Seemingly impossible but while Dave realizes what needs to be skewered, he can't help but hold it in a soft spot close to his heart. I only wish I could skewer these things Dave writes about nearly as well as he does. In all honesty, it frightens me that no matter what he writes about, I know exactly why it needs to be skewered, but also semi-revered, as, like Dave, I seem to watch way too much tv, listen to way too much music, see or read about way too many movies, etc.
Born in 1966, I was between 8 and 13 when KISS was in their heyday. I don't think many of us boys that age escaped having some fondness for the band. I've never lost that fondness, no matter how snooty I've ever gotten about music (and that's been pretty snooty at times). I've probably listened to those first two KISS Alive albums more times than I'd truly care to know--the sort of listening that I know every guitar note in solos, know where a drum beat has been missed, etc. And as much as Ace Frehley's solos were what originally pulled me in, Paul Stanley's banter in between songs is simply amazing. Excited, bombastic, drawing the crowd to a frenzy and saying ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Housley absolutely nails the pacing, the tone, and the excitement in these Stanley parodies. He simply sneaks in some Shakespeare into each lead in, matching plays with individual KISS songs in a sneaky way.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, January 26, 1977
Paul: Yeah! You all are crazy, Tulsa! I think … I think … I think Tulsa might be the craziest place we played ON THIS TOUR. That’s right, Tulsa! You know what gets me crazy, Tulsa? You wanna knooooooooow what gets me CRAAAAA-AAAAA-AAAA-ZEEEEEE? I get craaaaazeeee when I see them young girls, Tulsa. I see ’em walkin’ down the street so young and clean and I just can’t help myself, people! Remind me of another young boy couldn’t help himself when he saw them young girls. And I ain’t talkin’ about just anybody Tulsa! I ain’t talking about you … or me … or Peter or Ace or even Gene, people! I’m talking bout a man named Romeo, Tulsa! ROOOOO-MEEEEEEE-OOOOOOH! My man Romeo he loved them young girls, Tulsa, oh YEAH, he loved ’em! And this one girl he loved her special. You know who I’m talkin’ about … shout it out Tulsa … tell me Romeo and …
Paul: What you say Tulsa? I can’t HEEAAAR YOU.
Paul: That’s right, Tulsa. This song is about a Juliet all my own, a little girl named … CHRISTINE SIXTEEN!
There is NOTHING off about this. The mentioning of women or young girls from the city the concert is in...the ridiculously drawn out words...the back and forth with the crowd...and especially the rising sounds leading to his booming out the upcoming song. This time just with a little Romeo and Juliet references fitting perfectly within.
The thing that kills me reading Housley's works are how effortless he makes it seem. Reading this story had me hearing Paul Stanley's voice--just nothing out of place at all. The only way something can read this effortless to me, well, I can't imagine just how much work Housley put into it. Nearly a decade since I first read this story and it came to my mind in a heartbeat this afternoon. That doesn't happen all that often.