The Trashman

Where unit-shifting heroes of rock are exposed as the passionless poseurs they really are

I confronted the want ads this morning. Help wanted. Yeah. The agony. If I ever commit suicide, there'll be a newspaper open to the want ads somewhere near my dead body.

One ad read: Yo-Yo technician, assembly and stringing--no experience necessary. Drug test required. Another: Circle K offers career opportunities to those who are willing to dedicate themselves to commitment and hard work. Advancement and good pay with benefits. Drug test required.

Drug tests? My question is this: Shouldn't job qualifications be based upon performance and not what one puts into his body in off hours? What right does anyone have to go nosing in on what's floating around in someone else's blood? Nancy "Valium Queen" Reagan and that piglet Newt Gingrich are lousy with their Drug Free America banter and offer nothing to counter anything. A drug-free America is a dismal thought.

A drug-free state? Is it possible? Perhaps, that is, if one has his personal drug receptors surgically removed from his brain. The way I see things going, I can picture a federal move in that direction, some kind of insane law requiring just such an operation, and if one refuses to obey said law, that person will be stripped of all rights. Jail! Joy.

Picture the homogenous horror of a drug-free country. No dope, friends, just nice, clean-living Americans. No slums. No color. All aspects of dissent disregarded and replaced with conformist thought and ideas. Herd mentality.

Conformity? Why? What would there be? Everyone's true nature, neutered. This underlying evil of right-wing rhetoric is built on ignorance, visions of false harmony, and denial. And it's a heady mix, friends.

That's it. The want ads found their way into the trash, and I made for the Circle K. After confronting the wall of beer, refrigerated and behind glass, I found my medicine. I grabbed two 40s of King Kobra and made for the counter. I paid the woman behind the register the required $3.75 and headed on foot to the trailer.

Back on the dreaded gravel grounds of the proletariat, I walked past the various facades of desolate tin houses until I reached mine. Home. I opened my door and went in. I picked up the package that arrived from my editor earlier in the day. I put one 40 in the box, opened the other and moved to the front room. I got in my chair and knocked back the first drink of the day. It's 2 p.m., and I feel better.

I am never going to get a job, this I know. I tear into the large envelope from New Times, and out falls the following:

Eddie Money
Shakin' With the Money Man
(CMC International)

Well, the money-man moniker, I dunno. From what I understand, Eddie's closer to the bankrupt side of the coin, but that's his problem, right? This live collection mops up his very past hits and some very forgettable new tunes, which are tossed in for bad measure. Somehow, I highly doubt that this low-caliber effort, recorded at the Galaxy Theatre in Los Angeles, will do anything to remedy Mr. Money's purported financial woes.

Singing is but a dream, as time has whittled Eddie's three-note range down to a memory, heightening the mediocrity of classic-rock-radio requiems like "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "I Think I'm in Love."

More deterioration ensues, when strumpet Ronnie Spector brings her harlotry back to "Take Me Home Tonight"--as if anyone would want to--and "Shakin'" recalls the fallen pop star's bout with coke and the resulting stroke which limited his vocalese to one side of the mouth. One can just picture his facial contortions as seen in yesteryear's video of this song.

Time's been up, pal. And my heart pumps dishwater.

KISS
Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions
(Mercury Records)

When I first heard this recording, from one of the most famous rock bands in history, I experienced not the joyous renewal of contact so much as the sagging weight of the medium that never changes, that can never deliver itself from its own materialism.

They now come packaged with photos altered, so as to create the illusion that they are skinny and young. The music, as always, plays second fiddle to commerce. The handy enclosed mail-order booklet includes such pricey trash as an official KISS convention litho, and a Double Jacquard weave cotton throw blanket. How about pure silver proof commemorative coins, each with an individual head stamp of the old men looking much younger, and two sets of all four for only $199? And if ya want the coins with gold, it's $279, but act fast 'cause there are only 1,000 sets worldwide. The best offer, though, is the official Tour Action Figure Set of the old bastards intricately detailed and complete with authentic KISS black-and-white makeup, platform boots and, gosh, flamboyant clothing. Of course, you can forgo all of the above in favor of the KISS Army classic antique leather jacket. It's full-cut, waist-belted with two front pockets, zippers and inside pockets. And it's only $650.

Nothing wrong with a bit of blatant commercialism or a taste of dairy product from the old cash cow, but when saddled with these geezers who masquerade the dollar sign under the guise of antiestablishment attitudes, one could feel a bit cheated. Yes? Well, never underestimate the lack of intelligence of your average KISS flunky, kids.

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