Dave Grohl spoke to the power of Kiss Wednesday night when he honored Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley with an award recognizing their influence as a songwriting team. His speech was part of the ASCAP Pop Music Awards – put on by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, an organization that collects money and pays songwriters for performances of their songs – where he presented the duo with the ASCAP Founders Award. The Doobie Brothers and St. Vincent were also honored at the Los Angeles ceremony.
“Everybody remembers their first Kiss record, and this is how I remember mine,” the Foo Fighters frontman said of Kiss’ 1976 LP Destroyer, according to Billboard. “With nuclear anticipation, I let the needle drop on that legendary intro to ‘Detroit Rock City,’ perhaps the greatest introduction to any rock & roll album ever recorded. It filled my speakers and my imagination. Thirty-four minutes later and 27 seconds later, Kiss had filled my soul. I was now a member of the infamous Kiss Army.”
Grohl recalled turning his bedroom into a “fucking shrine” to Kiss as he became a fan, lining it with posters and action figures. “Every morning, I would wake up in my tiny bedroom and take a good look at my superheroes before walking to school,” he said. “They got me through those years and ultimately inspired me to follow this unreasonable dream of becoming a professional rock & roll musician.” He liked the band so much, he said, that Kiss “even made fuckin’ disco look cool” with their 1979 single “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.”
“Forty years later, my love of Kiss is still strong,” Grohl said. “And these days I still spend every morning before school with Paul Stanley…in the parking lot of our kids’ fuckin’ elementary school, chatting about Zeppelin and Electric Lady [studios] and touring and school fundraisers. So I’d say that my unreasonable dream definitely came true.”
Last year, Stanley told Rolling Stone how he has seen Grohl every day for the past three years at their kids’ school, as well as what a big fan of the Foo Fighters he was. “There were times that I would hear music on the radio – just something great – and not know who it was and very often it was Foo Fighters,” he said. “It’s incredible to think of somebody coming out from behind the drums with such a full concept as Dave has had and create music. I mean, the first Foo Fighters album, that’s just Dave. So the template and everything he’s been working from is bigger than anyone expected from the guy who was just viewed as the drummer of Nirvana.”
Read Grohl’s entire speech at Billboard.