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Article: Rockabye Baby's Movie Night: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park


Rockabye Baby's Movie Night: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

The year is 1978. A 6-year-old kid is slumped in a beanbag, wearing a pair of oversized headphones while staring intensely at an album cover of guys in full makeup and otherworldly costumes with flames behind them. The album is Destroyer by KISS. And the music is infectious. As the record plays the songs  "Detroit Rock City" and "Beth" on his grandmother's record player, the young boy is trying to imagine who and what are KISS. I was that boy. And KISS was unlike anything I'd seen before. (I was listening to Elvis and songs like "Puff the Magic Dragon" at that age.) Were the band members demons sent here from another dimension? Or gods from a time before man? Perhaps they were sent here to conquer the youth with their music? Kids all over the nation, including myself, would have followed KISS just as the children followed the Pied Piper in the famous fable. And this had folks, well, my grandmother, very concerned. And then along came the made-for-television film KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, the same year I was introduced to them. It is a film that the band likes to forget. There was a time when anyone employed by KISS were not allowed to speak of the film in the band's presence. But there is something special about this film. Sure it was a Hanna-Barbera film with loads of campy music throughout the film (think Scooby Doo or Josie and the Pussycats episodes), but in it, KISS weren't demons at all-KISS were the good guys. If my memory serves me, with their special powers (fire, laser eyes, flying and acrobatics) KISS does battle with an evil scientist, helps a damsel in distress, defeats several robots and still finds the time to jam for their fans at Magic Mountain. KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park may not have won awards, but it helped me win over my grandmother. She never complained about KISS again. Watching the film with her was a very special time for me, and I hope it will be for you and your "Little Gods of Thunder," too. Of course, for the littlest gods in your life, they can enjoy the movie, too, with Rockabye Baby's Lullaby Renditions of KISS.

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