The Blog Lagoon’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 15: Halloween with KISS!

Halloween_Costume_Kiss

Paul Stanley always looked taller on stage.

1970920839_1eb347cda6Lots of people would argue that Alice Cooper is the official rock and roller of Halloween, but you can put my name down for awarding that prestigious title to KISS. I love KISS. I’ve always loved KISS. The first music album my parents ever bought me was KISS ALIVE II and the cover scared the hell out of me. (I was 5!) KISS and Halloween, have always seemed to naturally go hand in hand because, though you don’t see it much anymore, dressing up as KISS for trick or treating was pretty common back in the late 70s and early 80s. Somewhere in a shoebox of old pictures, is a Halloween shot of me (dressed as Mickey Mouse) surrounded by all the neighborhood kids dressed in their costumes. I have no idea which kids are dressed as Gene Simmons and Peter Criss (Again, I was probably about 5 at the time) but the image of those costumes has been burned into my brain forever as two of the coolest, store-bought, mask-and-vinyl-vest-in-a-box-from-K-Mart costumes I’d ever seen. I don’t know where that picture is, but I’ve included images I was able to dig up from other people’s collections on Flickr. Costume78

Though, I don’t have any great KISS shares to offer, I can direct you toward two very interesting (if not watchable) Halloween-friendly KISS showcases.

First, is KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park — an absolutely terrible made-for-TV special that must be seen to be believed. (My original review for it is here.)

Second, is the jaw-droppingly outlandish Paul Lynde Halloween Special. Maybe you’ve heard of it? If not, it’s second only to the infamous Star Wars Holiday (read: Christmas) Special and as far as I’m concerned infinitely more watchable, primarily because you can’t believe what you’re seeing. Sure, the Star Wars special had Harvey Corman, Bea Arthur, and Jefferson Airplane. But Mr. Lynde ups the ante with appearances by Donnie and Marie Osmond, Bettie White, Roz “Pinky” Tuscadero (of Happy Days fame), Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, in witch make-up for the first and only time since appearing in Oz!), Billie Hayes (Witchie Poo from H.R. Puff’nStuff), Billy Barty, Florence (Carol Brady) Henderson, Tim Conway, and finally, “a rock and roll explosion…KISS!” The jokes range from sub-par Hollywood Squares material, to non-jokes and KISS couldn’t look more out of place. Oh, but what a joy to watch. I’m not the only person to post about this fascinating trainwreck of a special, so if you look around you may be able to find generous souls offering rips of the soundtrack elsewhere, but first, you should really soak up all the craptastic entertainment in context on YouTube. KISS for their part, manage to walk away relatively unscathed. Their dialogue is minimal but they get to perform three songs, including the decidedly non-Halloweeny power ballad, “Beth(!).” Enjoy!

Watch the amazing masterpiece of pop culture oddities that is The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976) on YouTube:

Watch KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978) on YouTube:

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Looks like someone traded their drum kit for candy.

~ by Number5ive on October 15, 2009.

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