KISS Online Takes the Pruning Shears to Rocks Off's Already-Favorable Review

Rocks Off welcomes any artists' opinion of our critiques of their work, be it one of our more shining reviews or the instances where we pull up out the six-shooters and make them dance for their musical sins. But it's when you take our entire review, sanitize it for you and your fans pleasure, and shove it back out on your official website without proper linkage back to the our Web site, we get mad.

This member of the Rocks Off gang wrote a sweetly rockin' review of KISS' concert last Saturday at Toyota Center. (Perhaps you read it... if not, please do.) Through a severe flu bug, or whatever the fuck, we slogged it out and enjoyed every drop of the show, even when Paul Stanley plugged the new album by imploring us to head out to Wal-Mart to pick it up. We actually put our aggravation with that aside because they rocked our nuts off so hard on Saturday.

Sometime this morning we get a message from one of our Twitter follower, @jfra, that Kiss had cut up our review of the show and reprinted it back out onto the rockers' Web site, The band has done the same thing with live reviews from other papers in the Village Voice chain, including OC Weekly and the Phoenix New Times.

PNT writer Jay Bennett even wrote a little something on the matter like we are right now. He also points out that we nor our photographers signed anything saying that our work related to the show would be used on any website or publication. We hear the review the Houston Chronicle's Joey Guerra wrote suffered the same cut-and-paste fate that ours did.

What's so messed up about this turn of events is that, in fact, we liked the show very much. Other papers haven't been so lucky, with their unfavorable reviews being cut up to make it seem as if their staffers enjoyed the show. Rocks Off's review was a bare and honest account of what we saw, heard and felt, which were flashes of amazement, happiness and the band sounding as good as they have in the past decade.

We declined to comment on the weird-ass Paul Stanley Tarzan scream shit-fest in the middle of the show, and the fact that they didn't play "I Was Made For Loving You," only because those things seemed trivial in the grand scheme of the show.

Rocks Off is by not any means a highbrow dilettante reporter with a hard-on for his art to be taken seriously. We're just a rock-crazed guy in his late twenties who has had a love affair with rock and roll since before we could use the big-boy potty. We are lucky to have the job we have and thank the Good Lord Lemmy that we are in such a position. But credit and honesty are also some of the creeds we live by, or at least try our damnedest to uphold.

We understand that KISS is irked that not enough high-minded music critics buy into their rock shtick. It sucks for any sort of performing artist to have their hard work get lambasted by people who don't "get it." But guess what, Kiss? Rocks Off worked pretty hard on his review, staying up pretty late at night at home writing his overview of the show, forgoing valuable time bar time with Lady Vodka to convey to his readers what he saw at the Toyota Center.

Just because a thousand other music critics didn't get it over the years doesn't mean our work, and that of photographer Jay Lee, should be altered and marginalized on a promotional Web site to sell KISS ties and KISS coffins.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty