Thursday, February 18, 2010
02/18/83 - 27 Years Ago Today in Bloomington, MN - Kiss/Plasmatics: Kiss -VS- The Peters Brothers
02/18/83 Kiss in concert at Met Center in Bloomington, MN.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
27 years ago today, Kiss brought their "Creatures Of The Night" tour to Bloomington, MN. Special guest was the lovely and talented Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics.
*See a flyer and listen to the radio ad for the show HERE.
I picked up the above photo at a local antiques shop a few years ago for $1.00. The lady selling it had found it in a box of miscellaneous paper goods she was selling. She said her son had taken the photo at a Kiss concert at Met Center but she was unsure of the year. It is definately from the 02/18/83 show. You can see some really great shots from this show and an autographed (by Vinnie Vincent) show ad HERE.
Before the show started a few interesting things were occuring. Out in the parking lot of the Met Center, the Plasmatics were staging a fund raiser of some sort where, for $1.00, you could take a whack at helping to destroy a car a car with a sledge hammer. Meanwhile, backstage, the members of Kiss were busy defending their good name against charges of Satanism and leading the youth of America astray. Their adversaries: Pastors Dan and Steve Peters of the Zion Christian Life Center in St. Paul, MN. In 1979, the Peters Brothers as they were more commonly known, had started a group called "Truth About Rock Ministries" out of their concern about the supposed evil influences of rock and roll music on the youth of America. They wrote a few books on the subject and held their "educational seminars" and staged record burnings throughout the country for much of the 1980's, paving the way for later efforts by the P.M.R.C. On this particular day, their target was Kiss.
Revs. Dan & Steve Peters, founders of 'Truth About Rock Ministries'
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
A few days before this concert, Gene Simmons spoke to Dan Peters via telephone with the Star Tribune's Jon Bream acting as a sort of mediator. The interview ran on the day of the concert here, in the 02/18/83 issue of the Star Tribune. On the day of the show, before the concert got underway, Gene Simmons again chatted with Dan Peters via telephone, this time appearing on the local Ch.4 (WCCO) TV news. Mr. Peters said he had dreamed and prayed about meeting Kiss and Gene Simmons responded by saying, "See, your prayers can come true. And they will tonight." He was refering to the fact that The Peters Brothers were to interview the band in their dressing room later in the day at Met Center.
The following is a transcription of the phone interview between Gene Simmons and Dan Peters as it appeared in the Star Tribune newspaper:
"Minister, Kiss member Square off in bout over content of Albums"
by Jon Bream
Minneapolis Star Tribune 02/18/83
Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner, from New York City, the man with the endless tongue, the man who spits blood and breathes fire, the spokesman for heavy metal rock's most visible band, Kiss...at 32 years of age, Mr. Gene Simmons.
In the other corner, from North St. Paul, the man who preaches the gospel, the man who has urged young people to burn more Kiss records than any other devil-eradicating preacher, the man who will be attending his first Kiss concert tonight at Met Center, from Zion Christian Life Center, at age 31...the Rev. Dan Peters.
Your referee or moderator, a veteran of more Kiss concerts than record burnings, Mr. Jon Bream.
Bream: Gentleman, pick up your telephones. Can you hear me, Mr. Simmons? Can you hear me, Rev. Peters? Let's begin. Rev. Peters, have you ever heard Kiss's music?
Peters: Yeah, we've heard some of Kiss's music. I do not spend alot of time listening to records, we do read quite a few lyric sheets and try to read the pulp magazines that are coming out in the area of rock. I have heard enough to be a little familiar with your sound and have seen some videos of your stage shows.
Simmons: I can't say I'm at all familiar with Dan's work.
Peters: We do what we call a seminar on rock music. We call it "What In The Devil's Wrong with Rock Music?" We share a lot of different lyrics, we talk about life styles and what musicians say they are trying to accomplish through their music. Then we ask young people to go home and ask their parents about it and make a decision about what groups they do and don't want to listen to.
Let me ask you about some of your lyrics, Gene. What does this mean? "The plaster's getting harder and my love is perfection/A token of my love for her collection/Plaster Caster grab ahold of me faster/If you wanna see my love, just ask her."
Simmons: That was written for a group of groupies, girls, who were big rock 'n' roll fans who came out of Chicago. It's an actual song based on fact. What these girs would do, to put it bluntly, is take their favorite rock star's private parts and make plaster casts of them. The song is an homage to them. I would feel honored if they would (make a cast of me.) I would go on records as saying I espouse sex as often as consenting people like to do it.
Peters: Why should you be so proud of your sexual antics when you know young people, highly impressionable high school kids, are looking for role models?
Simmons: I obviously think there's nothing wrong with it. The point is I'm a sexual person. The fact that it doesn't happen to agree with your life style or morality doesn't mean it's wrong. I'm not a monogamous person. I've tried it and it doesn't work for me. But I'm not going to get up on a soap box and tell people to get married or not to. I'm telling them I'm happy in my life style. I've had a thousand girls. How about that? It is childish. I'm a big kid with big toys and my responsibility absolutely ends with who to vote for, who to pray to, or whether to pray at all, that's absolutely their own business. My responsibility is to give them the best show in the world.
Peters: I always assumed Kiss has advocated these things because you're trying to hype it to sell more records. But you're telling me you live the way you sing?
Simmons: Yes, I would say so.
Peters: How can the young person who is caught up with so many voices coming at him, how can he determine as Kiss sings or he reads about the antics of his hero Gene Simmons, how is he going to determine in his own mind to make value judgements. To determine from what his parents are teaching him about values and what Gene Simmons is teaching him about values?
Simmons: How old are these young people?
Peters: Lets call them teen-agers.
Simmons: I do think you have different responsibilities to preteens than teens.
Peters: The thing that I'm concerned about when you know young people are looking for a hero and they hear the voices of two people, one is the voice of their parents and the other is the voice of their favorite rock star.
Simmons: If a 16 or 17 year old is going to think once or twice about the life style they're going to lead, they're not going to get married or not get married because of Kiss. They're going to look at their moms and dads. I would want people, as mature, free thinking, 20th century man, to really make up their own minds, regardless of what mom and dad, preachers or rock stars espouse.
Bream: To perhaps clarify this, before Mr. Simmons was a member of Kiss he was a sixth grade teacher. What kind of responsibility and influence did you feel you had on your students then, and how has that concept of influence and responsibility to your audience changed?
Simmons: I think the responsibility of the teacher is to relay knowlendge as the teacher has learned it and to the best of the teacher's ability and as fairly as possible. Knowledge changes, morality changes. I stopped being a teacher for persoanl reasons. I didn't want to relay information. I wanted to entertain people and take them away from the fact they had homework to do or that their parents were on their backs. I wanted to be a fantasy figure.
Peters: Gene, I don't think rock music is solely responsible for all the evils of our society.
Simmons: Rock and roll is the savior of society in my estimation. It started off as race music in the 1950's. Your friends were burning rock 'n' roll records back then because it was "Nigra" records. It was the Inquisition all over again. Rock and roll saw right through that crap. It's got nothing to do with racism. This is great music and so what if it's black music?
Peters: We don't necessarily burn rock music because it's racist. What we do when we get out on stage is say, "You have a moral responsibility to your neighbor."
Simmons: Except there's one difference between you and I, Dan. At the end of our concerts, where it's my contention we don't preach anyting, we don't say, "Send your dollars to support our point of view because we want to have fuel for our Learjet." That's oversimplifying it but you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Peters: Gene, you're setting yourself wide open. I'd swap payrolls with you any day.
Simmons: You see, the ironic point is I could agree with you. What I'm doing is playing devils advocate because in this country what you believe is your absolute right to believe and you can't force anyone else to beleive that. And that's the point. You can't ask anybody if they're leading a good Christian life because it's none of your business, and good life is not synonymous with Christian because there are Jews and Bhudists and Muslims. The equation of one with the other is warped and archaic. And I resent it. I'm a humanist basically. And I've got high moral beliefs.
Peters: Tell us your high moral beliefs.
Simmons: Don't lie. Don't hurt anybody. I believe your common purpose in life is to work hard and enjoy life and part of enjoying life is really enjoying sex.
Peters: I accept the fact that there are going to be people who believe differently than me and that Gene Simmons believes differently than me. Then I would raise the question does Gene Simmons believe that being interviewed and sharing your life style and through your lyrics, do you influence the way anybody else thinks?
Simmons: I don't think there are many.
Bream: Rev. Peters, what do you think is constructive or destructive about burning records?
Peters: We think just as a rock musician makes a public statement about what he's saying, doing or trying to accomplish, whether it's entertainment or sharing values or teaching values without knowing they're teaching, we think that young people, when they make the decision which way they want to go, they should then go that direction. So in our seminars we give people the opportunity that if what Gene Simmons is singing about is diametrically opposed to the direction they want to go in their life - because studies have proven the power of music and Jimi Hendrix said, "You can hypnotize people with music," and he said, "We can really preach at the subconscience if you really wantr to," then we encourage young people to get rid of this material. Some of 'em break 'em, some of 'em burn 'em.
Simmons: Let me just say this about that. I believe Dan and the people he comes in contact with have every right in the world to burn any record they choose. I'd be proud if they were Kiss records, as long as they buy them first. Play them backwards, balance them on your nose, burn 'em. That's absolutely your right.
Peters: To me it's the same with garbage. If you've got garbage in your house and it stinks, get rid of it. If you have stuff in your house that you see no value in, get rid of it. What we're trying to do now, Gene, is to get people to stop listening to you, and instead of buying your records, we're encouraging them to buy guys like Joe English or B.J. Thomas who have gone on to singing the same style of music, but they're singing songs with positive values.
Simmons: But Dan, they're not cool. To a 17 year old teenage mind, it's not cool.
Peters: Some of them have got real with it sounds. There are some heavier groups. You can go either direction. There are some groups that are almost identical in sound to Kiss and yet they're singing about some positive values, things that will build that kid and make him a better part and useful part of society. Those are the things we encourage them to buy.
Simmons: First, realize the term rock 'n' roll, to be blunt, means...
Peters: Sexual Intercourse.
Simmons: You got it. It comes from an old blues tune, "Let me rock 'n' roll you all night long." Rock 'n' roll is sex.
Peters: We don't even like the title. That's why we prefer to call it "Contemporary Christian Music."
Simmons: Even the big word is offensive. It sounds like a guy with a three piece suit. I reject contemporary because it sounds pompous. It's like calling the garbage man a sanitary policeman.
Peters: Gene, let me tell you one thing we're doing. I really hope that we can affect your record sales. I'm hoping we can run you out of business. I'd love to see you get on stage and say, "I've really gone the wrong direction. I've lifted up sex as my God. I'm comiting my life to Jesus Christ."
Simmons (who grew up in a Jewish household): Oh my God.
Peters: "I want to live by His principals." There's nothing that would thrill me more. In fact, Gene, I've even had prayer meetings for you in Minneapolis.
Simmons: Thanks for praying for me. Let me get this straight. First you're espousing certain moral beliefs. Second, you want to make sure everyone converts to Christianity.
Peters: Yep. Just as you would like everyone to adopt your standards.
Simmons: That's not true. In all honesty, so help me God or anything else you hold sacred, I absolutely do not.You know why? Because not everyone will agree. All I'm telling you is I believe my life style agrees with me. I don't think you should do it because you believe getting married and having kids is great. I support you in that. I don't want you to do what I do. That's the basic difference between you and I.
Peters: Let me tell you our next step. We've started a national petition drive to rate rock records. We're attempting to get record producers, if the subject deals with groupies and making plaster casts of penises, we think there should be a logo in the upper right hand corner of the album that says, "Caution. This album includes lyrics that sing about making casts of penises." So the parents know what you're singing about upfront.
Simmons: Oh, I may even do that willingly. What a great idea! I may do it like a new movie, you know, "Thrills. Chills. Laughter. Watch this guy hurl into space. See the girl with no top on." I think it's a great idea. I would fight anybody to try to legislate any sort of situation, but I thank you for giving me the idea on the next record to put on some sort of thrilling logo.
Peters: Because so many parents coming to our seminars have said, "if only I'd known where Gene Simmons is coming from, I would never have given my money to this kid to buy that crazy record."
Simmons: He or she can't prevent their children from buying or doing whatever they want to do because they will anyway. And the more parents try to stop their children from leading their life style, the more attractive the life style is going to be. I thank you for giving me the idea. It's a wonderful marketing device. "New Kiss record: More sex than ever before!" I love it.
Bream: Well, you finally agree on something. And our time is up.
Later in the afternoon, Dan and Steve Peters met with Kiss in their dressing room backstage at the Met Center in Bloomington, MN where this conversation over "life styles" and "ideologies" continued. Kiss went on stage later in the evening, entertaining 5,370 fans. The Peter's Brothers attended the concert and were horified at what they witnessed. They even snuck a tape recorder into the show so they could record bits of the show to "give parents an idea of what goes on at a Kiss concert." At one point during the show Paul Stanley asked the crowd from the stage if they cared what "those preachers thought about us?" The crowd roared its disapproval with an emphatic "No!" Stanley then asked the crowd, "Do you care what your parents think about us?" Again, a ear shattering "No!" response from the crowd. Stanley, "We don't give a FUCK!!!" Crowd roars it's approval - concert continues.
A few months after the show, The Peters Brothers had put together and began selling a cassette at their "Truth About Rock" seminars, titled, "Kiss Exposed." The cassette featured a recording of the interview printed above, as well as the interview they conducted with the band backstage in in Bloomington on Feb. 18th. I managed to get a copy at one of their "seminars" that I attended a year or so later. I still have the tape.
Rare "Kiss Exposed" Interview cassette released by Truth About Rock Ministries in 1983.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
Friend of the Kiss Army Michael Brandvold has uploaded the entire tape.
You can listemn to it on his website HERE.
This was not the only tape of this type the Peters Brothers produced. There were others such as, "AC/DC: Wanted For Murder" (which dealt with AC/DC's lyrics, including "Shoot To Thrill" which had supposedly led some youngster somewhare to commit suicide), "Backmasking Unmasked" (which dealt with the supposed trend of rock artists recording hidden "backward Satanic messages" on their records) and even, "Stryper: Whose Side Are They Really On?" (which attacked the Christian band Stryper and questioned their "authenticity" in their belief and ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ). They also sold several (dis)informational pamphlets and in 1984 or so even released a book titled, "Why Knock Rock." Having attended the Peter's Brothers seminars a few times in my early teen years, I used to own all of these materials but over the years I have sold off most of them to friends. Only the "Kiss Exposed" cassette remains in my collection at this time.
Kiss were, by this point in their careers, well used to the attention and critisism they were receiving from religous people like the Peters Brothers. The above cartoon was published in the April 1980 issue of Playboy Magazine and described a protest outside a Kiss concert in Amarillo, TX on 12/03/79.
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
UPDATE: 10/29/13 - 5:55pm
After years of waiting for it to surface, someone has FINALLY uploaded some video from this concert. The 1:57 clip shows those not-so-lovable Peters Brothers in a concourse somewhere within the Met Center in Bloomington, discussing the evils of Kiss as the show was taking place inside the hall. Unfortunately the uploader has disabled the embed code - so you'll have to go check it out on Youtube HERE.