Ruddle Me This! with Taylor Ruddle

33. The Hottest Band In The World, KISS w/ Craig Westenberg

October 23, 2023 Taylor Ruddle Episode 33
Ruddle Me This! with Taylor Ruddle
33. The Hottest Band In The World, KISS w/ Craig Westenberg
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, I'm joined by up-and-coming Auckland-based stand-up comedian Craig Westenberg. If you've been following me since the days of my first podcast Ramblin' With Ruddle, you'll recognize Craig as my first ever podcast guest. Craig's been my go-to music friend for years, he is very learned around all sorts of artists and genres and often has insightful knowledge about them. This time I thought it would be fun to bring Craig onto the show and talk about his favourite band, the hottest band in the world - KISS! I've been a bit of a bandwagon fan of Kiss for many years, always liked their music but never really delved into the history of the band or what sort of evolution they've been through as a unit, that's where Craig came in. It's a really interesting listen about one of the most unique bands in entertainment.

Follow Craig online on Facebook, Insta, Tiktok or check out his Linktree, you can also catch him LIVE most weeks at The Classic comedy club up in Auckland.

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Music Used:

Ruddle Me This: Funky Retro Funk by MokkaMusic
Ramblin' With Ruddle: Rock Your World by Audionautix

Happy Monday to you, Ruddle Maniacs. Once again, we are back for another episode of Rattle Me This with your host, Taylor Ruddle, the man in the low castle. In today's episode, we are talking to a very good friend of mine and stand-up comedian, Craig Westenberg. The topic we are talking about today is the band KISS. Pretty much the whole time I've known Craig, I've known he is a big fan of this band, so I thought it would be only fitting to bring him on and talk to us about the history of the band, the evolution of the band. and all that other good stuff involved. If you listen to this podcast regularly, you'll know that I am a big fan of the business and the merch side of entertainment. So this was a really cool episode to talk about that, as if there is one band out there that we could all agree are probably the king of merchandising, it would definitely be Kass. I'm currently still on tour with David Kareos, hence another episode from the archives, but I hope you enjoy it all the same. A lot of the tour has sold out but we still do have some tickets available so visit and check out what you can join us at. The time of this recording I am about half way through the tour and I've got an absolute cracker of 30 minutes worth of comedy so I'd love to see you at one of those shows come along and have a giggle. But as for right now I'm not going to talk too much more as my voice is very much something I have to conserve at this point of the tour so we'll get straight on to it. Ladies and gentlemen, you wanted the best. But anyway, here's Taylor Ruddle and Craig Westenberg. Welcome to the podcast, Mr. Westenberg, am I saying that correctly? That is correct, yes. No, the fruity log type listeners of my nonsense, they'll recognise Craig from the first... What was it called back then? Rambling with Ruddell was the first one, wasn't it? Yeah, and that has been erased from the internet, so as late as finally... As it should have been, yeah. I'm hoping this doesn't take a similar fate because... Despite my best efforts. The people have spoken, they've gotten rid of the whole rambling with Ruddle. Do you know when I'm recording this, sometimes I still say welcome to rambling with Ruddle, even though the name is different. I should have just left it the same, but you know, here we are. Yeah, I think you hit gold the first time. People still call me the Rambler because of that. People still call me Rudzilla as well, because of that show that I did twice. But anyway, welcome to the podcast, Craig. Greg, to have you back. What are we going to be talking about today? I believe we're going to be talking about the greatest band of all time, Kes. That's a perfect setup. Would you say they are your favorite band or are they just like in your kind of top panthing? Because I know you're an Oasis man, I know you're a Steel Panther man. I don't know where Kes stacks up around there. I can assure you Steel Panther is not near the top at all. Oh, they're not right? I didn't realize it was ironic. It's not ironic to me. Kiss would be, they always flip-flop between one and two. I kind of switched between Smashing Pumpkins and Kiss. So I think, you know, people ask, if you go back in time and see any concert ever, any band at any point, I think to me, the best concert ever would be 1998, the stadium in LA. It was Smashing Pumpkins opening for KISS. And that would have been like, it's like my turn right there, that's it. That'd be the show, yeah. I was watching a few KISS live performances on YouTube last night to just kind of get back into the mindset. Their concerts don't look that great on YouTube, but I imagine they're pretty fun. Have you ever seen them live? I saw them live in 2016. Was that here or was that, did you have to go to Australia for that? No, that was at Spark Arena. Yeah. And then, yeah, it was amazing. Was that when Ace's voice was going a bit sort of all over the show? I wish Ace hasn't been in the band for about 20 years. Wait, no, who am I thinking? Who's Starman? That's, um... That's, that's Paul Stanley. He was having trouble with his voice a few years ago, but I heard a concert from 2022 and it actually sounded quite good again. I mean, he sounded great. It was the same when I saw Aerosmith Live, people were like, Oh, Steven Tyler's voice is gone. But when you're in the stadium and it's that loud, and then you're just like taking it back by the experience, it sounded perfectly fine to me. I think it's the same with like comedy. It's like, you know, these very good Netflix specials, but watching it on a screen, it doesn't like the experience doesn't quite cross over as much as actually being there. To be in the room, yeah. But I mean, it sounded good. I mean, I realized that if there was some talk of like, oh, they're using like backing vocals or like, I think it's called like vocal cues or cue tipping or whatever, but it's like, I don't mind because he's like 70 at this point. He's definitely earned the right to have lost his TFA. Oh, absolutely. And I mean, if they need a backing track to come in to make it sound a little bit better, I'm not upset. I'm not like, oh, it has to be the full live authentic experience. It's just like, I don't really mind. I mean, you know, he's earned his right. He's like a legend at this point. And if you need some help, that's fine. I mean, I can't sing now when I'm 26. I can imagine trying when I'm like 70, you know. Don't think you're doing it for 40 years. Yeah, I think when you go to a Kiss concert as well. It's more about the experience as a whole, the merch, the fireworks, they used to spit blood in the audience at one point, didn't they? They still do. Oh, okay. They still do. Gene usually does a bass solo, and then he will, the bass solo, it's not amazing, but he will like, he usually splits blood out of the audience, and then he has like, straps onto him and then he like flies up to the roof. And then they usually play either I Love It Loud or God of Thunder. They also, I haven't seen footage of the recent final will talk so I kind of want to wait until I see it but they do as well bring out, he has I don't know what it is in his mouth. And then they bring out like fire on a pole and then he like spits something at it and it looks like he's bringing fire out of his mouth. Yeah. Kerosene or whatever they use for those fire shows. I noticed A lot of what Gene's role in the band from the concerts that I was watching last night seems to be like wiggling his tongue at people and pointing at the audience. That seemed to be a lot of what he was doing in the band. Like, is he a very sort of, you know, like when you have like critical acclaim, is he a well received bassist or is it kind of like, you know, he's not he's not hanging his hat on it? Well, he's not like, people don't consider him, like if you're talking about great bassist, it's like, it's not like, you know, Flea and then Fieldie from Korn and then Gene Simmons. It's just, I mean, he's a great songwriter. His space in the band, I think he does it well. I mean, cause the songs aren't overly complicated. They're really simplistic. They're kind of like the ultimate sing-alongs of like. I think, I think, cause it's like one of the most popular songs of all time is Mr. Brightside by the killers. And I think part of that is because both verses have the exact same lyrics. So by the time, if you're listening to the song for the first time, before it's even ended, you already know all the words. And if you look at any KISS song, it's like the ultimate sing-along. It's like, you know, I remember Dave Grohl once said like the secret of songwriting is like, don't bore us, get to the chorus. And I think with KISS it's just like chorus, chorus. So it's, you know. It's simple, but anyone can catch on to it. It's like the perfect band for like, just, just any old schmuck can go along and like know the words and have a great time. That was the other thing I noticed is, um, I didn't think I knew that many kiss songs, but every single one that they started playing, I was like, Oh, I love the song. It's so like, yeah, it's like, they're just, it's like all bangers when they do their concerts. Oh, it is. It's like nonstop. Um, and I think especially now they've kind of a lot of bands, they sort of tilt over to like a nostalgia act. And then very few bands are able to maintain the momentum of new music. It's like, I think one of the- They have to slip those in between their old songs. Yeah. One of the very few bands that does it really well is Radiohead. Like 30 years on people are still, a new album comes out, they're engaged. Same with Tool, when I saw Tool, they literally played the entire new album and then two songs at the end of people's year. Yeah, yeah. But with Kass, like if you look at them as set lists, the majority of it is from 1974 to 79. And then they have a couple songs here and there from like, I think they have one from the eighties. And then I think they might play one from like 2009, but it's mostly old, super old songs that they knew. I mean, there's a reason why they blew up. It's because they were great then, and they're still great now. Yeah. I was going to ask you this actually, you'll be the right person to ask this question with Blink. I was thinking about Blink 182 for the listeners. I was listening to, I don't know what song it was the other day, but it was something from like their first couple of albums or whatever. When did Blink start? Were they 80s? I think, no, they were 90s. They were 90s. Yeah, I'm saying Blink, I'm following them around the country, so I'm seeing them in Auckland and Christchurch when they're here. I believe their first album Chessire Cat, I think it was 94, 95. They were sort of in the same vein of like, when Green Day were kind of first sort of kicking around. They were like three or four years after Green Day, but they really sort of blew up around like, I think Dammit was 98 and then like all the small things was up the 99 album in the middle of the state. So they're very much late nineties. But I think I've been around for a couple of years before that, but definitely not 80s though, they're not that old. Yeah, I was thinking about how bizarre that must be for them to play songs now that they probably wrote when they were like, what, 18, 20, something like that? I think it depends on, like, they seem super fine into it because especially with Cass, it's gone into like the next generation where there's like... You know, you see families there who's, you know, they, the dad saw Kiss when they were like 20, and then now they're bringing their children to it. Which I find kind of funny, because nearly every single song is about sex. So I've tried to help parents, I've kind of turned into like a children come along sort of band. But I think, I think that's, I think that fully into it. You know, I think. They're not like, cause he's so max like, I know Daniel Johns from Silverchair just like straight up. He doesn't do concerts anymore, but back in the day, he just like, he hated playing songs off Frogs on the first album because he was 14 when it came out. And he was like, I've done so much more, I've accomplished so much more since then. But with Kiss, it's kind of interesting because they started off punk and then they just changed. genres, so it was like the first few out, super punk, and then late 70s, they kind of went disco a little bit, and then you get into the 80s and they went full glam, but like super glam, and then like, Paul Stanley was doing like vocal gymnastics, and like the guitar solos were a lot more intense, and like, it was just harder music to play, so I'm sure he's not fully upset that he doesn't have to strain his voice every single night to play those songs, when like the songs from the 70s are much easier to play, and people would rather hear them. I noticed as well with the early days of Kiss, there was a lot more clown or carnival kind of imagery that they used, which obviously they went away from. But it is kind of funny to think that back then people would have seen them in makeup and been like, oh, they're like clowns, aren't they? It's funny you say they went away from it because in 98 they put out an album called Psycho Circus where they really leaned into it. Oh, was it in the 90s? Oh my God. Yeah. No, that was 1998. That was like, that was the reunion tour. But I don't think they were seen as clowns. They weren't the first band to do makeup. They were the first band, I think, to really break through to the mainstream wearing makeup. They got the idea from there was a band called the New York Dolls who used to just wear white. But I don't think I'll view this clowns. They were they were viewed more satanic, like back in the day, people. Like very Christian families thought Kiss stood for night and Satan's service. And there's actually, that's a great name. Yeah. They put out a movie and I think it was 98 called Detroit Rock City, where it was just, it's set in the seventies where there's four kids trying to get to a kiss concert and one of their parents is super religious. It's the same woman who's in Insidious. Um, and she's just like, you know, the say turn it, they'll do it. Well, she can't go. And then it's like them getting to the concert, but was that. Was that during that satanic panic time that I've heard a little bit about? It was, it was, yeah. Which seems so time in comparison to now. It really is. Yeah. I mean, cause they started in 74 and it's like, people thought that Elvis was like the anti-Christ and then it's like Elvis's music is like, even compared to kids, it's like super time. And they used to not be able to show Elvis's hips on TV cause they were worried it would drive women into a frenzy and stuff like that, right? Yeah, yeah, exactly. I can't remember what TV show, but there's an interview Gene Simmons did on a talk show and the host was just like, I think behind all of that makeup and demon iconography, there's just a nice Jewish boy. I've seen that interview. Doesn't he sheepishly kind of go, you might be surprised or something, right? Yeah, he does. They really wanted to keep in character during the early years. And I think it was around like 75, 76. It was like, A photo of them unmasked would be worth like millions just because they were so good at covering their face. I believe there's footage of, I think 1980 when they touched down at Wellington for the first ever New Zealand show, you see them going from the private jet and Paul Stanley's just like got his scarf covering his face and like sunglasses. That's that interesting thing with like Daft Punk is another one, the fact that Daft Punk can kind of go out in public, they can be these mega famous artists and then they can just walk down to the supermarket. no one, you know, they can kind of have their anonymity. Um, a little bit harder with face paint, because I guess you can at least tell kind, like, like Paul Stanley doesn't look that different in and out of makeup. You know what I mean? Like he still looked, he just has the star painted over his eye. Um, but then you were talking before about when people thought they were demonic and stuff. I remember being really shocked at how upbeat and like kind of happy their music was, cause I'd just seen photos of them and I thought, Jesus, these guys look terrifying. Like it must be. that kind of Norwegian screaming kind of, what do they call it? Thresh metal or something. And then heard like, I was made for loving you or something. And I was like, okay, that's not what I was expecting at all. Yeah. I think, well, that's the interesting thing, especially like recently they've been playing festivals where it's like quite death metal, sort of like, and then they come on at the end and people love it. But it's interesting because that's the same reaction I had when I first heard Ghost music. I was like, oh man, these guys look demonic. And I'm like, this is going to be cool. And then it's like dance pop music with a distorted guitar. And I'm like, what? Yeah. But I mean, some of their songs are a little bit darker than others. If you listen to off the second album, Hotter Than Hell, there's a song called Going Blind, which is quite like downbeat. But. They didn't go disco until the late 70s, 79. And actually that album, so I was made loving of something called Dynasty, which turned a lot of fans off because it was a whole like disco verse rock thing. And I remember Paul Stanley wrote that song because he wanted to show how easy it is to write a disco song. And then it became like one of the biggest songs ever. Yeah. Was that around the time when they unmasked? Like, what was the story with that? I don't know when it happened, but I know they had a couple of albums where they were out of the makeup. What was the story with that? They unmasked in, I think it was it was 83 or 84 with an album called Lick It Up. Great, great album. Two of the band aren't so Eric Carr was the drummer and then he sadly died and then Vinnie Vincent who is still kicking around. So it wasn't as big as like Ace and Peter coming out, but I can't remember the full story. I think they had a few like commercial flops. So they put out an album called Music from the Elder, which was so bad that the record company dropped them. They didn't even tour it. I think they made one live TV show. It's like the best way to describe it is like a Dungeons and Dragons album. It's like, it's just so. off putting to everything else. And it's about like tales of like nights, you know, like it's very weird. Um, but that was a huge flop and then the kind of star was fading. And I think it was like, I think I just decided like, we can do this without the makeup. Yeah. So kind of regained popularity and they changed the sound. Once they took the makeup off, the sound changed. Um, and that was kind of like the glam era. And then they wore makeup for about 12 years. Yeah, they put it back on in 96 for the reunion tour. I did not realize it was for that long. I thought they did it for like a couple of years and then went back to it. No, 83 to about 95 I think. Yeah. And then they put it back on for the reunion tour. Yeah. I know the band has swapped members out a lot. They've always had Gene and Paul. They've always been consistently in the band or have they ever split up and like sort of that kind of thing? No, it's always been Gene and Paul. It's always been Gene and Paul. So... When the band started, the concept was they wanted to be a heavy metal version of the Beatles. They kind of had like an all for one mentality. So Paul and Gene were both songwriters. So they kind of wanted like a Leonard and McCartney relationship. Yeah. And then Ace and Peter kind of ducked out for various reasons. They both sort of struggled with alcoholism and drug use. I remember hearing that. They had substance abuse issues. Yeah. Whereas, yeah. And Paul and Gene were quite clean cut. they didn't do any of that. Gene is straight edge, isn't he, almost? Yeah, he is straight edge. Yeah. He doesn't even touch alcohol. Yeah. I read Ace's book. I think the one time he's even been high was they played a prank on him. So they gave him pot brownies instead of actual brownies. And that was the only time he's even been high. Right, right. But yeah, they've stayed the same. And then through the 80s, they went through a couple guitarists, Vinnie Vincent kind of... came and left. Eric Carr stayed in the band until he died in 1991. He actually died on the same day as Freddie Mercury. Yeah. So there wasn't much news coverage about it. And then throughout the eighties as well. Yeah. All the days to pass away with one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. Yeah. And they had Bruce Kulick throughout the eighties. And then the only reason after Eric Carr died, they had Eric Singer come in who's still with the band now. pretty much they did the MTV unplugged show. And then, cause it was filmed in New York. And then it's like a surprise though, like, Oh, we got a couple of members of the family. They brought out Ace Freely and Peter Chris. And like the audience went insane. Like they blew the roof off the fucking, oh, sorry. They blew the roof off the place. Oh no, I swear it's not as loud man. It's okay. Good old fucking Kiwidi podcast, mate. So they played a song together. And then like Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer had been on stage the whole night. You have to remember, I subpoenaed, none of the audience knew they were gonna be there. It was just a surprise reunion. And then they were like, oh, let's bring out, let's bring back out Bruce and Eric. The crowd started booing them. These were the two previous members of the band. Yeah, they'd been in the band for like six years. And the crowd started. booing them and it's like that's such a juxtaposition of like, you know, they just played like 14 songs, people are like, yeah, we love you, you're the best. And then they go for one song, they come back on and people are like, no, fuck you, get off the stage. We want the other two. Yeah, they cut it from the TV edit, but Ace was just like, he was like, Hey, calm down now, like some members of the family as well. And then it's like, you can see the dollar signs light up in Gene's eyes. So then that was when they decided they were going to do a reunion tour. Of course. But do it properly as they did in the seventies with like the makeup. So that's why they put it back on. I see. And then from that, Ace and Peter both dropped out of the band again. And then Eric came in and Eric just wore the makeup Peter Chris wore. Yeah, Tommy Day, who was actually Ace's guitar tech, also just wore the same makeup that Ace wore. Right. And there was some dispute over that, but Ace and Peter needed them to trademark their makeup, so they had full right to use it. And then there's been some back and forth between them. I've noticed that people are getting, as entertainers are getting more savvy about trademarking stuff like that. I know a couple of professional wrestlers have started trademarking for that exact same reason so that people can't just like, I guess do bootleg, bootlegs of their merch and things like that. Which leads us quite nicely into something else, a big part of Kiss is the fact that, like you said, Gene saw the dollar signs in his eyes. Did you know about the trademark he owns, that money bag symbol? I did, yeah, I read his book a few years ago. Yeah. And that's on the cover. He said he just like checked to see if anyone had trademarked it and no one had, so he just trademarked it. The merch game of KISS is insane. Like, do you think they were the first band to like really, I don't want to use the term sell out because it sounds like they owned all the trademarks and everything, but the first band that had like a really strong merch game, are there any others around the time of them that did something similar? No, they were definitely the first. Definitely the first. And it tore, a lot of people were mixed on it. Even the band were mixed on it. Like Ace was like, you know, he understands a band selling t-shirts, but like action figures. Coffins and stuff like that, right? Yeah. Dimebag Darrell is buried in a Kiss coffin. Is he really? Yeah, he is. He is. And they also buried him with Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrate guitar. Wow. Which is why Eddie stopped playing that, because it was buried with Dimebag. But yeah, I mean, I have I have I have Kiss Hello Kitty. I'm waiting like I have like a kiss tie coming in the mail. But I think like, that was the beauty, I think with the makeup it's like they could do that, they could have action figures. You might as well right? Yeah. And it works. I love it yeah. I think it's great. The person who has the world's biggest kiss collection is actually Gene Simmons. He owns the most merged, the most kissed merge. He's probably the, he's probably like number 000001 in their fan club registry too. Yeah. Um, although they did say no to some things. I was reading Paul Stanisław's backstage pass this morning. They said no to kiss cigarettes. They didn't want to do those. Um, and then I don't think it was a kissing, but, but Paul said that someone approached him about making a coffee table book of porn stars. He said no to it because he wouldn't be able to explain that to his children. Oh, that's so funny. So that would be what they would take famous porn stars and paint them up and like the demon or the star man or something and then release them? I think so. He didn't go into specifics, but yeah, I think it would have just been like a picture collection of Paul's favorite porn stars. It's just really funny to think about. That's a bold thing to have as a coffee table book. I don't know who's pitching coffee table porn books. What kind of company are you entertaining where you're like, I'll just browse my coffee table books while I'm preparing dinner? Yeah, exactly. What do you think is the most obscure, like the thing that you saw a piece of Kes merch and you were like, what the hell is that? I think they did toilet paper once. That's really funny. I mean, I had... I have one, but I don't know, when they partnered with Hello Kitty, I was like, do we have to really do that? Yeah, yeah. That is funny. They sort of, oh, actually, you know what, the one I hate the most, and there's a lot on Trami, but I refuse to buy them because I think it's so stupid. Yeah. They did like Hot Wheels cars, and I just don't see the point in it. You know, it's just a Hot Wheels car with like, I'm like, no, there's a whole bunch of them on Trami. I'm not buying the fucking Hot Wheels, man. I just, that's where I draw the line. It's just stupid. Yeah, that's understandable. I was gonna say something about, you said before that with the families coming out to the concert together, there's something weird about Kiss, where they're this like, they're almost kind of family friendly, like the fact they didn't wanna promote cigarettes, because I assume because they didn't wanna encourage children to smoke. And I think the four of them are quite, nerdy for lack of a better word, right? Which four? Yeah, okay. So I'll say Gene is a comic book guy, isn't he? To some extent, yes. And then what about Paul? Paul is quite artsy. He's big into art. He does a lot of painting. I'm not sure if he's super nerdy. I mean, I guess to some extent, not in the same way that like, driveway in My Chemical Romance were. Yeah, because a lot of their... Like there was an album cover that's like basically a comic book. I can't remember what the album was called, but it's like a nine panel comic book of them unmasking and remasking or something. Oh, that's Unmasked. Yeah, okay, yeah. That's their Unmasked album, yeah. Really good album that one. Underrated. A lot of people gloss over it. I really like it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I don't know. I just assume... For some reason, I assume that they were a lot nerder than they actually are, but that's alright. I, in an interview... with Gene years ago, someone floated the idea to him about once the original members kind of retire, they would consider bringing in new people with different face paint and kind of continued on. Like, what are your thoughts on that? Yeah, no one liked that idea. Oh really? That wasn't a popular idea, was it? No, even Eric Singer, who's in the band at the moment, was like, yeah, I'm not doing it without Gene and Paul. I mean, like, it's noble of them to try. I remember with that interview, I haven't heard them bring it up since. I don't see it happening. I really don't see it happening. I mean, they could try, but it's like, you know, right now they play stadiums and arenas. If they tried doing it that way, they, you know, they might be playing like bars and clubs. They'd have to work it back up. It would just be a cover band. So it's like, what's the point? I just don't see the point of that. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it would be a cool... Okay. I'd see a hologram is what I would like. A hologram show, sure. So you'd be fine with seeing a hologram of Kiss? Yeah, but these other schmucks are like nah. Yeah. I'd love to see a reality TV show, we're kind of like American Idol where they, people have to come in with their costume and their face paint and they have to like... I don't know, or like no audition, but whatever American Idol is do the performances and everything. I think I'd watch that. We got about nine minutes left on the Zoom call. So we'll get into a little bit of maybe why the band kind of resonated with you, because you referred to it as something like a war cry for the common man. Well, yeah, I mean, I found them back in the day, MTV every Friday would do like concerts from around the world and they'd like play, you know, a short and for them and I remember seeing their Rock and Ring from 2010 set in that and it was just it blew me away because it was like so cool and it was so like um because I mean if you if you listen to the lyrics it's like I think it's the same reason I picked up on like Oasis you know even something like Shout It Out Loud it's like the first lyric of the song is like if you don't feel good there's a way you could don't sit there brokenhearted call up with your friends in the neighborhood, get the party started. It's even the same with like, I was made for loving you. It's like, you know, tonight, I want to give it all to you. And it's like, Oh, oh, it's so good. Even rock and roll all night. You know, I want to rock and roll all night. And that was like the key difference between kiss and queen. It went from like, you know, we will rock you to I want to rock and roll. And it was just, it was just cool. It was like a party. It was like uplifting. It was like, feel good. It was like, I can get behind this, you know, it wasn't too deep. too introverted, too personal. It's, you know, it's not, he's not like singing about personal issues. It's like, nah, just, you know, have a good time. Yeah. They're very wholesome in that sense, aren't they? It's all about just kind of like, let's try and have a good night now. And then sort of, you know, we'll worry about tomorrow kind of when it comes, right? Yeah, it's a rock and roll party. So let's just, you know, let's have fun. They are a great party band. I was gonna say as well, Do you have a top like maybe five songs? Oh man, that's a... That's a tough one. Yeah, I am... Because there's so many good ones. Off the top of my head, I would say Lick It Up. Detroit Rock City, shock me. Oh, it's so hard. That's such a hard question. I really like calling Dr. Love and Love Gun as well. Love Gun's great. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Did you watch the movie Role Models? I haven't seen Role Models, no. You haven't seen that movie? No. Wow. Do you know how much Kass has intertwined in that movie? Yeah, I know there's a lot. Yeah, okay, so if you're aware you still haven't seen it then fair enough. I just haven't got round to it. Yeah, I think I'm gonna watch it. I'm gonna watch it. Yeah, I think it's one of those ones where I remember watching it for the first time and I kind of thought like, geez, did Kiss have like shares in this movie or something? Because it's very like, kind of like what you're saying before, they are dissecting lyrics. Like what was the one that... Paul Stanley wrote it for his girlfriend and it's about how he's like in the studio and they can't find the sound. What's that called? That's called Beth. That was actually written by Peter Chris. Oh, so that's not a Kiss song? No, it is a Kiss song. That one was, they weren't expecting that to be a hit. They actually put that on the B side. So we're not promoting Destroyer. They put Detroit Rock City on the A side so that radio stations will play that. And then on the B side, they put Beth, because it didn't sound like anything they'd ever done before. No, it was different. And then radios, yeah, then radio stations ended up playing the B side and not the A side. So it became like a big hit. But yeah, that was written by Peter Criss. Yeah, they use that, like the main characters, I think fiance or wife is called Beth in that. And so, you know, you can imagine. They do that and they do like a whole. they join like a live action role play game and they have to come up with their own team. So they all just do kiss, like makeup and costumes. And like, there's a quite a funny bit where one of the characters, he's played by Stifler and from American Pie. I don't know his name, but he, you know, he's basically playing the same character. Well-meaning, but kind of goofy. And he's explaining, he's playing, he's playing love gun to this kid. And the kid's like, wow, this is a great song. And he's like, Yeah, the love guns is his penis. He's talking about his penis and he's like, like as if it's this mind blowing like revelation to this kid. When they first put out that album, they did have a toy love gun that came with it that they had to stop putting out because they're like, because yeah, it is. It's about his penis. Like literally, like basically every song's about sex. Which is why it's so good. It's all done through metaphors and whatnot, but maybe at the time lyrics weren't as complicated so people were more accepting of it because they're pretty obvious when you read them just on the paper, right? Yeah, yeah. I think in the 70s, at least not for rock and roll, it wasn't anything too elaborate. No. It wasn't until the late 80s and then 90s is when the real... facing in a struggle sort of kicked off. But yeah, it was pretty basic and straightforward, which is why I find it, like even when like looking up like the first lyric of the song is don't want to wait till you know me better. Let's just be glad for the time together. And then you just see like children singing along to it. And it's like, it's so funny to me. It's such a funny like crossover. All right. So we've got a couple of minutes left. We thank you for joining us on the podcast. It's been a fun, fun chat. Hey, thanks for having me. What are your, give the people where they can find you online if they want to get some more of you. You can find me on TikTok. I have been pushing that lately. It's just a bunch of general, I talk about the news, you know, I figured I'd finally put that journalism degree to use. Yeah. And then there's a few stand up clips. I'm trying to put more on. I'm sort of just amassing a few at the moment. I'm going to edit and do them soon. But yeah, TikTok and then Instagram. is probably the best place. You can also find me on Facebook, but I really don't post that much on there. It's definitely a weird platform, Facebook. It's in an odd spot at the moment, isn't it? You are on Twitter as well? I am on Twitter. I'll chuck all these links. But I don't do my best work on Twitter, but I am on Twitter. But that's kind of the role of Twitter these days is kind of your B jokes. Like I have a joke about seeing a therapist for abandonment issues. And I say, He said, you should come back next week. And I said, and you'll be here too. Right. And like on the stage, it gets a chuckle, but it's not like a killer for this, for this generation who love like mental health and therapy jokes, you know, I'm killing on Twitter with that joke, but not in real life. So there is a time and a place for jokes on Twitter. Like I've seen a few, I've sort of been scrolling through some of yours and my spare time and some good, some good yucks on there. So definitely check them out. Thanks man. It's good to do it for the fan. Yes, it's always nice to meet the fans, isn't it? Yeah. Alright dude, thanks for joining us. Hey, thanks man. I appreciate it. And we are back. I hope you enjoyed that episode. That was a lot of fun to talk to a very good friend of mine about something he's super passionate about. I really enjoyed it. Hope you learned something at the band and maybe about music in general, the music industry. If you want more Craig in your life, you can follow him on Facebook at Craig Westenberg Comedian. On Instagram, he is simply Craig Westenberg and also on TikTok at Craig Westenberg. As always, you can find me on all the social media platforms at TaylorRuddleComedy. and I'll give you a brief rundown of the rest of the dates for the tour. So I'm recording this a couple of weeks into the past but by the time this podcast drops it is actually the last leg of our tour. You can join us at Sprig and Fern Merevale. I think this might be sold out by now. As of right now we have sold out but then a couple of tickets got refunded so there may be some available. Check that out if you're interested in joining us there. And then on Friday we are driving up to Marlborough to do a show at the Imaginarium in Motueka. I'm really looking forward to that. I've never played the Imaginarium and it seems like a really cool little theatre. And then on the 28th we are in Nelson for two shows at Studio One in Nelson, one of my favourite venues in the country to play and I am so delighted that we are capping off the tour with that one there. We'll probably go for a little drinky drink out at Kismet afterwards so if you want to join us and have a bit of a chat or just general... Help us celebrate the end of the tour. You're more than welcome to come along So once again visit and you can see where to get your tickets there Like I said before about halfway into the tour and our seats are shaping up really nicely I've got a fantastic chunk on our ram raids as well as a big chunk on the restaurant hungry walk So if you want to find out what that's all about come down and check out a show suppose while I'm here I should plug this as well on the 1st of November I'm going to be up in Auckland. I'm coming up to see Phil Wang on the 2nd at Sky City Theatre but I've been lucky enough to get a spot at the Wednesday show at the Classic. That's the 1st of November, the big Wednesday and this is my first time doing that show so I'm pretty stoked to be levelling up slightly in Auckland. I'm sure you can find tickets for that on the Classic's website. So that's all the plugs done. Hope you've enjoyed the episode for the week again. I um... Probably do another one from the archives next week. And then the following week, I'm gonna do a full breakdown of the tour. Talk about what I learnt, what went well, maybe what didn't go so good, and what we could possibly change if we were gonna do a massive tour like this next year. So until then, stay safe. I really appreciate you listening. If you are one of the listeners, who is checking out the podcast because of the flyers that I've been handing out on the tour. Flick me a little DM on Facebook and let me know, or Instagram, whatever. Just let me know, I'm curious to see if they're working or not. But otherwise, we'll call it there. Really appreciate you listening. We'll see you next Monday. Ruddler out!

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