Those of you who didn’t worship the Knights In Satan’s Service in your pre-teen years may not know this, but before KISS was hawking condoms, caskets and toilet paper, they were once a struggling band, eating out of dumpsters and living off their manager’s credit card. Their self-titled debut failed to chart; its follow-up, Hotter Than Hell, didn’t have a successful single and Dressed to Kill didn’t do much initially, despite harbouring what would become one of the greatest rock anthems of all-time. In 1975, KISS was broke and floundering on a fledgling disco label that was putting its profits up its nose (see And Party Every Day by Larry Harris). They needed a game-changer–which came in the form of a live album.
Though it wasn’t the first live album (Made in Japan), nor the last (take your pick), there’s no denying that Alive! was a game-changer. The live double-disc would go on to sell millions of copies and launch KISS into the stratosphere, giving birth to the commercial juggernaut that you know and hate today. Like I said, there have been countless live albums recorded since ’75–but they’ve been mainly used as a means to squeeze more money out of a loyal fanbase when a certain band doesn’t have enough material to make it back into the studio. Rarely have we seen another band use a live recording to launch their career… until tonite.
“Grow up in Windsor Ontario Canada and you grow up in Detroit Rock City. With just a mile of water separating the two cities, the influences run deep.” I stole this from a now-defunct(?) band‘s Myspace page cuz I thought it’s always rang true. Some of the best underground heavy rock bands in the province have hailed from Windsor Rock City, though rarely has any of them received their due. Windsor bands that sell out the Coach and Horses barely draw 20 people in Toronto–and I would know, since I’ve been one of them. Case in point: Gypsy Chief Goliath.
Formed out of the ashes of Mister Bones, one of this province’s longest-running stoner-rock/”southern metal” bands, as well as a few lesser-known acts, these guys have been kicking around for a couple years now, though it seems like yesterday that I saw their first Toronto gig at Rancho Relaxo. (It was, in fact, May 7, 2010.) Their first record, It’s a Walk in the Mist, released on Swedish imprint Black Vulture Records, hardly set the scene ablaze–though it wasn’t for lack of sizzle. They’ve toured up and down the East Coast a couple times since then, and have a new record in the works–but even still, they’re hardly a household name. And that’s where the live album comes in.
As the poster says, the band’s booked the Coach for a live recording tonite, to be released on vinyl by the end of the year. It might not sell nine-million copies, but ever you ever wanted to hear your request for “Freebird!” captured live on wax, you might wanna head down there. 😉
Gypsy Chief Goliath LIVE RECORDING @ Coach and Horses, Windsor, ON, June 30th. Doors @ 9. $5.