KISS got a really bad review in 1974, and Gene Simmons is still not over it.
The review is from the Seattle Daily Times and is pretty brutal: “I hope the four guys who make up the group, whose names don’t matter, are putting money away for the future. The near future, because KISS won’t be around long.”
You can’t see the author’s name or any other unkind remarks from the story, but according to the website Ultimate Classic Rock, it was written by Patrick MacDonald about the group’s May 25, 1974, stop at the Paramount Northwest, a Seattle venue. It also called KISS “a very flashy glitter band that tries to make up in theatrics what it lacks musically” and said the songs are “strictly on the moron level … made up of a series of simple chords any child could learn and lyrics that are there because they rhyme.” Ouch.
So whatever became of MacDonald? While we like to think that he rocks a T-shirt with his review on it now and then, we do know that he retired in 2008 after 35 years as the Seattle Times music critic and 46 years of covering music in Seattle. In his parting column, he signed off with a KISS quote, of all things: “What am I going to do now? Well, of course, I’m going to rock ’n’ roll all night and party every day!”
Simmons’s 44-year obsession with this bad review is still holding the grudge and there doesn’t seem to be any chance it’ll be ending anytime soon, which comes as no surprise to many in (and out of) the biz.