Archive for March 13, 2010

KISS Fan Fiction: A Scene From My Unauthorized KISS Biopic Which Doesn’t Exist, Will Never Exist And Will Likely Not Be Made Into A Motion Picture Starring Robert Pattinson.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2010 by pulmyears

I was watching Dakota Fanning on a talk show the other night, talking about preparing for the role of Cherie Currie in The Runaways biopic.

Earlier in the week, Joan Jett herself was on a show discussing how the film was very close to the truth, but with a few “movie” moments added to make the story better. Fair enough, I thought, that’s par for the course with rock biopics.The whole thing reminded me how, last year, I became somewhat fascinated with Fan Fiction, fabulistic stories about one’s fave band or artiste, written by fans who often know everything about that artist, whether its true or not. The beauty of the whole genre is that, in our wikiality-based world, it doesn’t matter if these stories are based on myth or hard facts. It’s fiction, it’s free time dreaming. Around that time I imagined a feature film that could never be made, for obvious legal reasons, that was almost 100% fact free and completely based on dreamy speculation.  I had just interviewed Syl Sylvain, of the New York Dolls, and he’d been talking about the early days of their band and how they’d clearly influenced Wicked Lester, who of course became KISS. He wasn’t dissing KISS, merely claiming the obvious truth about the Dolls glam impact on New York rock and roll. Anyway, Syl got me speculating about the early days of KISS, so I made this whole movie up in my head. Unfortunately, the phone rang or I had to go feed the cat so all I got written was one short scene. With that said, please to be enjoying the world premiere of Hey, Who Moved My Fake Blood? The Completely Untrue Story Of KISS.

This movie is not yet rated. In fact, it does not exist.

As the scene opens, it is January 30, 1973, and we are backstage with the band at The Popcorn Club in Queens, NY, as they prepare for their debut concert. We pan across  a row of theatrical makeup mirrors as four gentlemen, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss apply stage makeup to their faces in preparation for their debut show as KISS. Within six months, they will have met legendary producer Eddie Kramer, sign a record deal with Neal Bogart’s Casablanca label and go on to become one of rock’s most iconic groups. But tonight, none of that has transpired. And while a total of three tickets been sold for this inauspicious unveiling, you’d never know it by the purposeful tension and nervous chatter at the makeup table.

GENE: Where’s my blood?
ACE: What?

GENE: My fake blood, it was right here a second ago. (To ALL) Hey, who moved my fake blood?

PAUL: You mean that red yogurt shit?

GENE: Yes, the red yogurt. I mix in some red dye #2; it looks like blood under the lights.
PAUL: Sorry, I threw it away. I thought it had gone bad, man. It was making me sick just looking at.

GENE: I was gonna spit it out right in the middle of “Strutter”, so the audience would think it was my blood.

PAUL: Tell me again, Gene, that’s rock and roll, how?

GENE: It looks like blood, dude! Can’t get more rock and roll than that!

PAUL: (rolling eyes) If you say so… Hey who wants to zip me up?

ACE: How come Jimi Hendrix never needed to spit blood, (thinks about it) onstage at least? (Motioning to PETER) Hey, Crissy, Pass me the silver grease paint.

PETER: Say, Ace, what are you supposed to be anyway?

ACE: Me, I’m The Spaceman.

GENE (points index finger to temple in circular “dialing” motion): You got that right.

ACE: Hey stop bustin’ my balls, I told you, I’m the space Ace, the spaceman. I’ve been to the future man, and I’ve seen shit…and… stuff. Anyway, that’s better than Paul’s drag queen thing over here.

PAUL: Back off Ace-hole, I’m The Starchild, the starry-eyed, hopeless romantic. Chicks dig that sort of thing. Ain’t you heard the New York Dolls? Those guys are up to their boas in pussy!

ACE: … horny old queens. Okay, Crissy, I give up. What’s your thing?
PETER: I’m the Catman, based on the fact that I had nine lives during my rough childhood growin’ up in Brooklyn. (strikes a pose) MEEE-OOWWW.

GENE: More like the pussy man if you ask me.

PAUL: Geez, Chaim, enough with the ball busting already!

GENE: Hey Stanley, it’s Gene! Here my name is Gene, don’t you ever call me Chaim outside of the synagogue!

PAUL: Alright, alright. Okay then, Gene, explain this fag Kabuki dragon look.

GENE: I’m the Demon, an expression of my overarching cynicism, my dark sense of humor and my love of comic books. Someday, I’ll explain it to this bookish chick on NPR, you’ll see.

ACE: Where’d you get that from, Wikipedia?

GENE: Wiki-what? What the hell is that?
ACE: (glancing around, realizing he’s given something away) Oh, right, I meant I…I… got take a wicked pee! (Leaves room).

PETER: Where’s Levi?
ACE: (Calling out) Levi!

GENE: Levi! Get out here.

LEVI KAPLAN, the band’s cellist, emerges from Men’s Room. He is made up as the great clown Emmet Kelly. He picks up his cello and proceeds to tune up.

GENE: You look like a fucking clown. You embarrass me.

LEVI: I AM a fucking clown, only the greatest clown! Who cares, you all look silly too, besides without my cello we’re nothing but a confident, if shaky, four-piece good time rock band with a brilliant future. You need me if you want to remain arty and obscure.

PAUL: That reminds me.  Levi, Eddie Kramer’s gonna be out there tonight and if we rock, we’ll get a shot at our own record deal. So, um, we were wondering if we could cut a few songs out of the set tonight.

LEVI: What did you have in mind?
GENE: Let’s not play “Renaissance Faire Woman.”

PAUL: And cut “Celtic Fantasy”

PETER: Oh and let’s do “Cold Gin” instead of “Baroque Air in C minor”.

LEVI is alarmed.

LEVI: Hey, those are all the songs I play on. What will I do for the set?
GENE: We were thinking lights.

ALL (in unison): You can do lights.

PETER: And set off the flash pots.

PAUL: And sell band merch.

LEVI: Hey, I see what you’re up to. Well, you know what? I quit. Catch you later assholes, see you in hell. You won’t have Levi Kaplan to kick around anymore!

LEVI storms out, and the rest of KISS plays the set of their lives. The next week, they get a record deal and the rest you know.


Surprise: Music Is The Fallon Advantage

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2010 by pulmyears

Coco Over America (Presented by American Express, doncha know!)

News of the Conan O’Brien live tour (and its expensive ticket prices) has reminded me that there’s something I wanted to say about the State of Late Night on American television. What may have been lost in all the coverage of the late night TV battles of Jay vs. Coco or  Jay vs. Dave, was the slow, steady emergence of  Jimmy Fallon as his show becomes a surprisingly convincing air to the mantle handed to him by Conan O’Brien.

Click on this to go to

I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical when NBC announced that Jimmy Fallon would be taking over from Conan on March 2, 2009. Conan was, and is, a TV natural who had himself drawn fire when he took over from David Letterman in the same job over 13 years earlier. But Conan took the brand handed to him and pushed the boundaries in a way only Letterman himself had. Conan moving to 11:35 was always going to be as potentially fraught with compromise as it had been for Dave on CBS, and no one looks to today’s Letterman for that kind of innovation or madcap excitement. Frankly, though, I feel Dave has proved his early innovation and has earned a victory lap. Let him have it.

Letterman’s music tastes (or the tastes of his bookers) have not faltered however and most nights you get the feeling that the bands and solo artists he presents are top quality, proven or rather new artist alike. This is the big time, Broadway (the Ed Sullivan Theater) and it shows. Paul Shaffer and his excellent band are the real deal and every night feels like a Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame gig.

Probably sensing that he had tough shoes to fill, the Fallon Late Night so many things right, straight out of the gate. For one thing, choosing The Roots as his house band (announced nightly as “the legendary Roots crew!”) was an inspired and inspiring move.

The Roots, two-tiers of funk, on set at Fallon (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

I loved it when newly skinny Elvis Costello sat in with The Roots on Fallon a while back:

Elvis Costello (centre) rehearses with The Roots.

If Shaffer owns 11:35, then this Philly born soul revue, lead by the enigmatic drummer Questlove (?uestlove) can claim 12:35.

Besides leaning more toward sketch comedy material, as his predecessor did, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon has made an agressive bid to be give Letterman a run for his money in the “breaking bands” department. A series of great musical moments has redefined the show as DVR worthy.

For me, the first begrudging moment was when they embraced Yacht Rock by having Christopher Cross perform “Ride Like The Wind” complete with guest Michael McDonald. Then came Fallon’s dead-on Neil Young impersonation “Pants On The Ground,” a Youngian adaptation of the fad American Idol viral video hit, which itself went viral.

Forgive the quality of this YouTube clip, recorded off the TV:

Then after that, I really started noticing that the musical acts weren’t just cutting edge, some of them were barely off the pages of Pitchfork (where I suspect the bookers get their tips).

NBC are very covetous of their clips so its a hard slog to get them up here on my blog, I’m indebted to a great website called The Audio Perv, who have some Fallon and other stuff up, like this one of Regina Spektor that I’m having trouble embedding:

And here’s a link to Audio Perv’s clip of Beach House on Fallon doing “Zebra”:

Audio Perv actually pointed me to some great clips that are currently up on YouTube, that is until NBC shuts down the links.

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists doing “The Mighty Sparrow”

Last night they had Broken Bells, the new project from Danger Mouse and Jason Mercer from The Shins. This was “The Ghost Inside”

Here (until NBC takes it down) was The National debuting new material, “Terrible Love” the other night

The musical acts are mostly great and Jimmy and the team seem to truly “get it”, they love TV and they love putting on a show worthy of staying up for, or at least recording, every night.

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