Favorite

KISS-off 

One of the winners of our KISS essay contest offers a tale of innocence, innocence lost and betrayal.

1029a_elead-1.gif

KISS with

Buckcherry

Verizon Arena

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

$19.50-$127.95 

My early boyhood in Gravel Ridge was untainted and innocent. Most of my days were spent playing with the neighborhood gang, reading my Highlights magazine or the Family Bible Encyclopedia, and tromping through the woods behind my house. My family was big on camping and nature. Peaceful, happy times. No cares, no worries. 

Then my friend Mark introduced me to KISS.

KISS was at first only a concept, a band he told me about that I couldn't fathom. They breathed fire? Nuh-uh. Spit blood, wore huge boots and dressed like demonic cats? What? Then he showed me the album cover for “KISS Alive II.” When he spun it on the turntable, the tale became all too real. 

“KISS Alive II” fired my 9-year-old imagination like nothing before. As I inspected the gatefold cover of the double-live album, I left Gravel Ridge and became a resident of Detroit Rock City. I was in the crowd. I could feel the pyrotechnic heat. Christine Sixteen was by my side, whispering in my ear and calling me Dr. Love. Before the first side ended, I not only joined the KISS Army, I was the guy volunteering to storm the barricades (with my Love Gun), take that hill and win this war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Many, many hours were spent in my room Shouting It Out Loud (into my hairbrush). 

Frankly, it was a love affair.  I had a secret, one-sided love affair with four heavily made-up strangers. It was before I discovered girls. Like the other kids my age, I coveted the action figures and watched the incredible made-for-TV movie “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.” I was smitten. 

And then I betrayed them. For a girl.

I began dating a girl who was religious. Very religious.  So religious, in fact, that she warned me that my album collection was equivalent to flirting with hell. This went on for hours. Days. Weeks. Exhibit A in my Road to Damnation was the KISS albums. After I heard this “you're going to hell” about 9,000 times, I cracked. I took my albums and destroyed them in a fit of religious fervor (fueled also by my desire to remain in girlfriend's warm, soft graces). I'm not proud of it, but I rejected KISS for kisses. The girlfriend didn't last, but my guilt did. 

I've regretted the betrayal for 25 years. Like a sore tooth, it's been nagging at me. I need to properly atone for this sin. Frankly, I need a shot at redemption. This KISS concert is my chance to, in my own way, make things right. I foresee a night of ditching the hairbrush microphone and singing aloud, full-throated, to the Gods of Thunder from my youth. It's really the only way to balance out my KISS Karma. 

I went AWOL from the KISS Army, for the love of a girl, and it's now time to turn myself in. 

 

Editor's note: Check out the essay from our other winner, David Doty, on Rock Candy (arktimes.com/blogs/rockcandy).

 

Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Glen Hooks

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Watch the trailer for 'Shelter,' the Renaud Bros. new doc on homeless kids in New Orleans

    Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in A&E Feature

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation