So some of you know that I play in a little southern rock band called Radiolucent. Just a few good ole country boys who love music and love rock n roll. A couple of weeks ago my manager sends me an email that reads, “Hey Mike, can you go to the Bahamas?” What planet would you need to be from to answer no? In fact, if you know of someone let me know. I’ll put together the firing squad. That’s an entire segment of the gene pool that simply need not be. Turns out KISS, yes, KISS is putting on this little cruise to Nassau with a couple thousand of their biggest fans. The Wet, Wild, and Rockin’ KISS Kruise to be exact. And yes, I mean their BIGGEST fans. Imagine a quiet breakfast when you glance to your left at a table of people in full KISS attire complete with face makeup. It’s both startling and fantastic. Greatest bunch of fans I’ve ever encountered. I was so humbled by these people of all ages that I realized I’ve never been a fan of anyone. Listen, until you will wear leather and metal spikes and face paint to breakfast, you aren’t a fan.
Day two we land on some private little island to swim and drink and tan and drink and watch KISS face makeup ooze down people’s sweaty faces for the day. It was lovely. At some point I lost my wife’s and my ship entry cards. My manager, Cohutta, yes, Cohutta from the REAL WORLD, lost his card AND his driver’s license as well. We didn’t discover this until about 45 minutes before the last ferry leaves the island. Armed with a pair of goggles and 4 other drunk people and the biggest stingray I’d ever seen, we managed to find all four cards on the bottom of the goddamned ocean! Can you even appreciate, dear reader, the miracle that was? The enormity of that? Well probably not, but that’s why you’re reading and I’m writing. At one point, while hovering a few feet over the stingray, a thought occurred to me. The thought went something like this, “That stingray is huge. Crocodile Hunter. He’s amazing. His stinger is about 3 feet long. Crocodile Hunter. Look at those gills. Wow he’s fast. Wow he’s close. I could touch him, right? Crocodile Hunter. Crocodile Hunter. Hrm, did a stingray KILL the Crocodile Hunter? I’m nothing like the Crocodile Hunter. Why am I here?”
On a boat full of rockers in face paint, 4 country boys and one country girl donning some fine cowboy boots were able to effectively rock ourselves into some small amount legend. I mean hell, the first night we managed to catch a speaker on fire. Fire. As in smoke and ship security running to the scene as if Gene Simmons himself had been mugged. As I left the ship, knees still shaky from the constant swaying, I knew that given just one millionth of a chance, I’d be back next month to do it all over again. This time, I’d bring face paint. Oh and by the way, on Saturday night I saw KISS perform a 2 hour show. Not sure if you realized this or not, but those dudes can ROCK. I mean rock. I’m talking they could melt grandmas face right off her skull and laugh as 3 dozen vampire bats flew screaming from her mind, salty blood dripping from their fangs. That kind of ROCK! Thanks KISS. Before I was fan. Today, I’m a FANatic.
I’m the smirky one by Gene. And you see his thumb? Right, that’s black and blue from the previous night’s show. Goddamn I love Rock n Roll.