Thursday , February 22 2024
From demon to clown in three decades...

Verse Chorus Verse: Kiss – “Calling Dr. Love”

Is it just me or is hilarious to see Gene Simmons shilling for Cherry Dr. Pepper.  There was a time when talking about Kiss on Black Friday would have had a completely different connotation.  Oh, they times they are a-changing.

When I was a kid, my mom was pretty convinced you'd be roasting weenies with Hitler and Stalin if you listened to Kiss.  A lot of parents felt the same way, but that didn't stop the band from launching a line of action figures back in the '70s.  I wanted one.  I put it on my Christmas list.  I thought Santa might override my parents' wishes.  I thought wrong.  It was long rumored Kiss was actually an acronym for "Knights in Satan's Service."  From the service of the dark lord to product endorsement in three short decades.

The commercial is actually kind of funny seeing Gene's kid imitating him.  First Ozzy Osbourne became a sitcom dad, then it was Gene Simmons.  Ozzy hawked Pepsi products, now Gene is pimping Cherry Dr. Pepper.

That's genius marketing.  Gene Simmons played the "Demon" character, spitting blood and doing the human torch trick and yet Kiss was marketing products directly to the youth of the country.  They managed to shock and horrify while simultaneously accessorizing.  What a country!

When all the theatrics and marketing are set aside, there are a metric buttload of really stupid songs and a few classics that stand up and "Calling Dr. Love" is one of the latter.  It blends glam attitude and a badass riff with one of the catchiest choruses the band ever created.  Kiss has dared critics and fans to dismiss them and the genius marketing and lineup changes have watered down the brand, but ignoring that handful of classic cuts is lazy and wrong.  They may not be a great band, but they do have a handful of great songs.  Clearly credibility isn't everything.

About Josh Hathaway

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