Underground Diaries, Part 19
I first heard about MiniKiss when a neighbor returned from a night out in Hollywood with foggy memories of having ended the evening by sucking face with a little dude (she may have used the M-word) from a Kiss tribute band comprised entirely of little dudes (she may have repeated the M-word).
When I told my Yahoo superiors that I wanted to do a feature on tribute bands and had arranged to shoot MiniKiss live at the Pechanga Resort and Casino…well, let’s just say I had them at MiniKiss.
I didn’t learn till later that the Daily Show had already made hay of a largely trumped-up enmity between MiniKiss and Tiny Kiss (another little person Kiss tribute band comprised of at least one former MiniKiss member). Though disappointed, I convinced myself it was cool because we weren’t copying the Daily Show, we were actually covering tribute bands, not goofy headlines about them.
It wasn’t until “sound check” at Pechanga that I realized (along with Didrik and his wife, Cynthia Jacobson) MiniKiss wasn’t actually a “band.” They didn’t actually play their instruments. We learned this during a “jam” when they actually did plug in actual instruments for a few actually painful minutes before turning their amps to “0” and switching on the karaoke soundtrack.
Disappointed yet again, upon interviewing Joey “Little Gene” Fatale, I was convinced A) of MiniKiss’s reverence for Kiss (a prerequisite for any tribute band) and B) that he does have a pretty long tongue.
When we published the feature, there was one naysaying commenter in particular — the lead singer of a U2 tribute band (the Bono, natch) — who deplored calling MiniKiss a tribute band because they didn’t actually play their instruments. I felt the guy’s pain.
Then again, Joey and his crew of mini mimes were contractually obligated to pose for pics after the gig and did so with dozens of people much bigger than them who’d been drinking and wanted to pose with the little dudes in Kiss drag. And though I’m pretty sure Joey and crew knew it wasn’t ’cause they played such an awesome, note-for-note gig, they were perfect gentlemen about it.
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