Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: KISS off

About 'Fresh Air' : NPR

This week, an unusual oldie.

Terry Gross at National Public Radio (NPR) hosts “Fresh Air,” a national radio talk show the network claims nearly 5 million people listen to every week on more than 624 NPR stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits the program with “probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights.”

Millions may be but I’m not a fan. Let me be succinct. I find Gross to be a bore. Plus she’s too far left for my blood.

Gross did make some pop culture history 20 years ago today, February 4, 2002. Her guest:

No photo description available.

Gene Simmons of the famous rock group KISS.

Bonnie Stiernberg, a senior editor at InsideHook writes that Gross lost her cool.

It went so poorly that Simmons, who was on the show to promote his book KISS and Make-Up, refused to allow NPR to post it on their website. Unfortunately for him, transcripts and bootleg recordings of the conversation exist online, allowing us to revisit the cringe-y spectacle.

Things really went off the rails when Simmons began talking about the studded codpiece he wears onstage. “It holds in my manhood,” he said. “Otherwise it would be too much for you to take. You’d have to put the book down and confront life. The notion is that if you want to welcome me with open arms, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to welcome me with open legs.”

Gross called him out for it, remarking, “That’s a really obnoxious thing to say.”

You can read the entire column about the interview here.


The Winter Olympic Games are now underway in Beijing.

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