I was notified through a friend that the band Cynic was back together again and touring. Which I'm pretty excited about. But this tidbit of music news also made me think of my cousin Gary. Because it was my cousin Gary who got me into the band. Gary was much older than me and back in 1987 when I was a Sr in high school, we use to get together and listen to music. Cynic was one of the bands, and at the time, was one of his favorite bands. He loved that shit, and so did I....but much before that....WAY before that.....back in the 70's. Gary was a HUGE HUGE Kiss fan. He LOVED Kiss. He had posters of the band all over his wall. Had every record. The guy was even in the Kiss Army. I remember being a little kid and going to visit his family on weekends. My parents and his parents would hang out in the kitchen and Gary would be in charge of entertaining me and my little brother. Which meant he'd take us to his room and we'd play board games and listen to Kiss. Only problem. Kiss-scared-the-living-shit out of me. I mean I was terrified. This was around 1975 or 1976. So I must of been 6 or 7 years old. We'd go up to his room and there would be posters of his favorite band member, Gene Simmons with blood all over his face, on every corner of his room. Of course it didn't help that my cousin knew this and would then feed all these crazy ideas into my head to fuck with me. But he was also very kind in the fact that he had bunk beds. So he'd drap over sheets over both sides of the bunk and make a little fort for me. Shielding me from the scary pictures of Gene Simmons and the rest of Kiss. But in order to get to the fort, I had to walk through his room and beeline it to the bed...which was just like walking through gates of pure evil. So there would be a good 10 seconds of total fear on my part. But once I was in the fort, I was safe. From time to time whenever I'd get out of line he'd either threaten to call Kiss(he claimed that since he was in the Kiss Army, they could be summoned by him through an evil chant..which I now realize it was just him closing his eyes, putting his hands together and humming Kiss tunes) to come take me away..or worse, he'd throw me out of the bunk bed and wouldn't let me back in, exposing me to the evil pictures on the wall, where he would then do his chant to summon Gene Simmons to steal my soul and then kill my Mom, Dad and little brother. Then I'd start to cry, his mom would yell from the kitchen and then he'd let me back in. This was pretty much the cycle every Saturday for a couple of years. I remember the drive from my parents house to my cousins house was this hellish anxiety drive because I knew I had to deal with this. And it was always on the weekends! Can you imagine starting your Saturday mornings knowing you could possibly become souless and an orphan by the evil Gene Simmons instead of being at home in your PJ's watching hours of Scooby Doo and Johnny Quest with a belly full of Fruit Loops? Yeah, thanks for mentally fucking me up cuz. Eventually I got over it and realized they were nothing but a shitty rock band from New Jersey who needed a gimmick to get popular. Now days I fear my cholesterol more than anything. Every so often I'll run into my cousin and we'll laugh about it. He'll even do the chant if I ask.
Eventually the 80's came and the next stage of fear came along. My cousin Nicki use to come over on weekends and make me watch hours of Duran Duran video tapes with her.
I'm still in therapy over that one.