Kiss and make up

By Rob South

It was hot and tepid, the creatures of the night were slowly gathering, scurrying into their massive cave. The electricity grew as the creatures left the daylight. Then it happened: the four gods they came to worship lowered from the sky. The one they call Gene stuck his serpent-like tongue out and the crowd went into a frenzy.

Fire burst from nowhere; I could feel the heat cross my face. The converts around me were all pumping their fists to the same rhythm as we screamed, "Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud." In less than a minute, the four gods had us in their hypnotic trance. Fortunately, these were kind gods who were not there to harm us, but rather have us join them in their magical ways.

Paul took on the role of preacher as their movement, their army, surged with enthusiasm. The message was a simple one of love, acceptance and energy. We, the creatures/parishioners could feel the genuine affection he had for us. Showing a scholarly knowledge of his movement’s history, Paul shared with us the joy he had visiting Calgary in 1974, before his following had truly taken root.

The dark service took us down a familiar yet exciting path: lights bedazzled us, strange images captivated us, fire shot from the implements of power, breasts were bared and the gods flew. Some in the congregation were in a mind-altered state, but the preacher reminded us that the movement was only about sex and rock ‘n roll.

For years, heretics said the leaders of the movement were showing their age, but certainly on this night they were proven wrong. Ace’s enchanting guitar licks, Gene’s menacing presence and Paul’s bottomless well of energy made for an unforgettable service.

The slow rock ballad that played as I left served as a surprising sweet kiss goodnight. I had not had the full-on make-out session of some of the more experienced creatures, but this was good, for one does not want to go to head over heels on their first KISS.

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