No long ago, Gene Simmons of KISS fame was the topic of conversation here on Ralph's blog.
At the time, Simmons was quoted as saying that all the kids who download music for free should be "sued off the face of the earth." Furthermore, Simmons called college students "crooks" and claimed they have created a situation of "chaos and anarchy" where music artists can no longer earn an honest living.
"After all" he said, "it's all about the music."
[Part of Simmons wish is coming true: The RIAA has successfully sued a number of college kids.]
However, the part of Simmons attitude that strikes me as disengenuous is when he says "it's all about the music." For Simmons, that's never been the case. For example, Simmons admits making tons of money by selling KISS merchanside (action figures, keychains, makeup, etc). I'll bet he's made more money selling junk to kids than just about any other rock star.
So, it's not about the music, right? It's about making money, right? It's a big con, so don't try to tell us that it's all about being true to the art form. That's just bullshit.
So, clearly, it is not "all about the music" for Mr. Simmons, despite what he would have us believe.
But it doesn't end there, last night, as I was flipping through the channels, I saw a few hideous moments of Gene Simmons getting a conoloscopy on television. So, here he is again, Mr. All About the Music, cashing in by having pictures of his colon broadcast on cable television.
Seems odd that a guy who supposedly argues for musical integrity---and uses that trope to argue for lawsuits against college kids---continues to make his money more through shock value than through musical artistry.
But that's always been the case for him. The music of KISS was not the attraction; instead, the shock value---the costumes, the fake blood, the explosions, and the tongue---was what brought in the fans.
It continues to this day: colonoscopies for entertainment value. What's next from this guy? Is he going to eat his own vomit?
So, in closing, when Gene Simmons argues for musical integrity. Don't bother listening. He doesn't care about that; he cares about money.
After all, Bob Dylan he ain't.
Enjoy your day.