I was a couple years too old back in the seventies to think they were any good. All the junior high and freshmen kids in my neighborhood loved them though. We juniors and seniors were way too hip. KISS were just stupid. Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, however, had depth and meaning. Purple even had classical parts. Though listening recently to Made In Japan, I couldn’t tell where the classical parts were. In any case, I soon heard the Ramones and the Pistols, and KISS seemed more bogus than ever. And the Ramones didn’t even have any classical parts.


Wicked Lester–Gene Simmons (standing on left) and Paul Stanley (seated in center)–in their folk rocking hippie pad, 1971. 

Classic rock


You get to a certain age and your friends stop pretending they never liked Stevie Nicks. I wish I’d never brought it up. It was bad enough hearing how great Heart was. The radio was on some classic rock station in the kitchen as I washed a zillion Thanksgiving dishes a couple nights ago. Eddie Money came on. No. Absolutely not. I reached up with a sudsy hand and switched it off, thinking that in a room full of my old punk rock and jazz buddies, half the punks would confess to always liking that song, and half the jazzers would have been on the session. He seemed like a cool cat, they’d say. I’d relent and let the punk rockers sing Two Tickets to Paradise. Air guitar. Oh god.