I was what you would call â€œmusically shelteredâ€ as a young child. My parents really werenâ€™t huge music fans but they had their favorites. For instance, my dad loved Anne Murray and my mom was an Elvis fan, but we didnâ€™t hear very much of his music because my dad thought Elvis was an idiot. They both loved the Carpenters and John Denver. When my dad was feeling really crazy we listened to groups like the Oakridge Boys.
I was the 4th of 5 children and one of my older sisters, who was the second born, did not allow the musical sheltering to last for very long. One day when my sister was 7 years old, which made me 4 years old at the time, she brought home a 45 single of the Ohio Players song, â€œFireâ€. My dad took one listen to that song, grabbed the 45 off the player, and snapped it in two while he shouted, â€œWe will not be listening to this kind of music in my house!â€ Listening to that song now I have to cut him some slack because it really is a pretty spicey song.
Los Angeles was the place we called home during the â€œFire Incidentâ€. We stayed there for a few more years but we eventually migrated to Washington State to be near my fatherâ€™s family. My parents worked hard to keep their tidy little cultural shelter around us while my sister did her best to tear it down. She was more successful during her teenage years but she still managed to throw us all into major shock and sorrow by participating in â€œThe Pepsi Challengeâ€ and other such degenerate activities while she was still in her tweens.
One day, when I was about nine, I was riding in the car with my mom. I canâ€™t remember where we were going, but our drive took us past the old orange water tower that stood on one side of our town. Usually I didnâ€™t pay it much attention but today was different. Today I noticed that some misguided soul had spray painted (quite nicely) a gigantic Kiss logo on the side.
My mom â€œtskedâ€ with a disgusted look on her face and I felt ill, maybe even a little bit heartsick. â€œWhat horrible person would do such a thing?â€ I asked myself. They must be devil worshippers, I thought to myself. What other explanation could there be? Everyone knew that KISS stood for â€œKnights in Satanâ€™s Serviceâ€!
It really bothered me for a while, thinking that there were Satanists among us, but soon I developed an obsession with the Smurfs and I was able to move on.
The funniest part of this story is that about the same time my future husband brought in the Kiss â€œDestroyerâ€ album as his contribution to his 5th grade party. If I had only known!
Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
[Associated Radio Thang Songs: Kiss – Detroit Rock City; Kiss – Shout It Out Loud; Ohio Players – Fire]