At approximately 5pm or thereabouts, having satisfied my dog’s daily walking needs for the day, I generally crank up the music and make my daily eats.
Today, whilst preparing another curry to use up the tub of yoghurt instead of letting it turn to yet another mould-topped glump, I pulled out a golden oldie, Kiss’s classic album, Love Gun (1977) to accompany my chopping.
It was my sister’s album back in the day, and for some reason the cover has disappeared, only the dusty, fine-lined vinyl remains. A shame, the cover is quite funny, Kiss standing god-like in full regalia with their oversized, studded cod-pieces on display if I remember correctly. And I do remember correctly oh yes I do.
I was a BIG fan of the band as a young lass and had a crush on Paul Stanley, his semi-gender-bending, hairy-chested effeminate prancings, his status as the front-man, and the thrill of the mystery of the face beneath make-up. Who were these masked men?
However, as a woman matured with significant feminist bendings, I can’t listen to this album without some serious cringing.
And it’s not because I no longer love the music. I’m not older and wiser with a more developed taste in music – I still rate this hard rock pop as much as I ever did, an album chockablock with great songs bar one or two. No. It’s the lyrics that give me the ick.
Okay. Let’s start with the title track, ‘Love Gun’.
…you pull the trigger on my…love gun, love gun , my love gun, love gun…
As far as I know, my 11 year old self had no idea of the sexual goings on behind this blindingly obvious metaphor, but fast-forward 40-odd years to my current good self, and I can’t help but feel grossed-out by the conflation of the male member with a weapon of mass destruction. And then, it gets a little bit creepy:
…you can’t forget me baby, don’t try to lie, you’ll never leave me mama, so don’t try…
Er. Okay. I think it might be time to get the authorities involved here…
Then there’s ‘Christine Sixteen,’ a little ditty about Gene Simmons’ lust for a sexually active young woman who is apparently hot ‘day and night’ for the goods beneath his rather menacing cod-piece.
…I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age, but when I saw you coming out of school that day, I knew, I knew, I’ve got to have you, I’ve got to have you…
Yes. Okay. She’s Christine and she’s sixteen. Not only does she rhyme quite nicely but she’s also reached the age of consent. And:
…she’s been around, but she’s young and clean…
Good to know Gene. Good to know she’s free of disease and won’t infect you with any nasty pox. And then there’s the famous, ‘Plaster Caster’:
…Plaster, caster, grab a hold of me faster, if you wanna see my love just ask her…
At least here Gene’s penis is ‘my love’ and not a horrible gun. By the way, the her in ask her refers to the actual artist Cynthia Plaster Caster, who made plaster molds of famous rock-star knobs and boobs. (I understand she turned Gene down when he offered himself up as a subject).
Anyhoo, despite the accompaniment of a few too many dick-obsessed lyrics, the curry turned out very nicely thank you.
And I will be listening to Love Gun again:)