Kiss Kiss Kiss
Who were the Beatles? Only another boy band with bad hair cuts and gaggles of mindless pre-teens fainting at their feet. What, they were both tuneful AND ground-breaking? Please. I’ve heard better tunes in the sing-song of my favorite drag queen. And if I wanted to hear the phrase “number nine” shouted at me repeatedly from a speaker I’d make another trip to my friendly neighborhood STD clinic. The only thing useful the Beatles ever brought me was the Nehru jacket. And that was when I was in my “boy” phase.
Oh, they brought one other thing: Yoko. Yoko, the destroyer of the greatest band of all time. Yoko, the performance artist who could dance like a butterfly and sing like a bee…or was it a fly? Yoko, the wall of hair, like something out of a Japanese horror movie, or my fondest dream. Yoko could have been just another loft-living, clothing-cutting, fly-impersonating, obscure-because-I’m-avant-garde performance artist, but she I had the good fortune for her to marry one of the most famous men of all time. Lucky me.
Out of all the songs featuring orgasmic moaning (I’ve heard Jane Birkin on J’Taime, moi non plus, and I’ve heard Donna Summer Loving to Love Me, Baby) Kiss Kiss Kiss this is the only song featuring orgasmic moaning to which I can contribute my personal growth.
I know we all remember the time when we first realized what and who we were, THAT way. For some guys it’s when they first saw a picture of Pamela Anderson. For some girls it’s when they first borrowed some goat-smelling teenage boy’s flannel shirt on a cold winter night at summer camp. For me it was when I first heard this song.
I wasn’t wearing a Nehru jacket at the time, though I was most definitely in my “boy” phase. At sixteen I had worn it once, for a date with a girl who most definitely didn’t appreciate the fact that I was shopping vintage and she was shopping Wet Seal. That’s fine, I told her. Cancel my subscription, ’cause I’m over your issues. I was quick with a snappy comeback, but slow to recover. I didn’t want to date her anyway, just get some guys at school off my back. It didn’t work, and the Nehru jacket went back in the closet, along with my damaged psyche. I died my hair jet black, to match my mood.
When she heard about it, my good friend Sloane promised a fabulous night out. She knew she could get us into the Store House, a sleazy biker bar uptown, mostly because when she did herself up like a two-dollar hooker she could pass for twenty-five. When I did myself up like a two-dollar hooker all I could pass for was a Superstar Barbie who’d been attacked by toddlers with crayons and blunt scissors.
But we got in, and we got drinks. Sloane had a Zima, I had a rum-and-Crystal-Pepsi. I think we were fitting in nicely. But there wasn’t much action, there was no dance floor, and the jukebox roster was filled with AC/DC and Cheap Trick. And I had left my torn Def Leppard t-shirt and roach clip hair accessory at home, so no one asked me to dance.
But for some reason they had this song Kiss Kiss Kiss on the jukebox. Maybe because John Lennon was a Beatle? It was as out of place as culottes at a cotillion, but then so were we.
Sloane dared me to put it on.
When I was five my sister offered me her stash of Zotz candies if I would jump off of the top of our two-story apartment building into the dumpster. There was no way I was going to pass up a handful of fizzing, vinegar-and-baking-soda flavored candies just because there was danger involved. Luckily the dumpster was filled to the brim with after-Christmas Hefties full of discarded wrapping paper. I escaped with minor bruises.
But this was far more dangerous. Maybe it was a death-wish. Maybe it was the Crystal Pepsi. Maybe it was the first manifestation of a life-long perversity that later led me to get oh-so-briefly married to an orange vendor that I met at the intersection of La Cienega and Centinela. But I put the quarter in, and the carnage began. You could see the bikers looking up from their beers. The balls on the billiard table stopped clacking together. Incredulous stares scanned the Store Room, eventually landing on us as the only likely culprits.
Oblivious, Sloane and I laughed our asses off as Yoko moaned her way towards climax.
As the song ended and there was a gap before the jukebox found its next Cheap Trick song, the silence in that bar was profounder than the Declaration of Independence and the Book of Matthew and the Collected Lyrics of Abba rolled into one.
Sloane and I ran like hell.
But when I got home, I knew who I was. And I never tried to date a girl who shopped at Wet Seal again.
And my hair was already black, just like Yoko’s.