How Bob Ezrin Rewrote ‘Beth’ to Get Girls to Like Kiss


Veteran producer Bob Ezrin recalled rewriting Kiss‘ basic “Beth” to make ladies just like the band.

Created as a a lot tougher tune by drummer Peter Criss, “Beth” appeared on the 1976 album Destroyer as a softer ballad. In a current episode of The Rockonteurs podcast, Ezrin defined he had a selected intention in thoughts as he labored on the LP.

“The aim of Destroyer, from my perspective, was to take them from being a cock-and-balls rock band that appeals to pimply 15-year-old boys and nobody else,” he stated. Citing the 1953 outlaw biker film The Wild One, he stated Kiss appeared just like the darkish, unapproachable Chino character performed by Lee Marvin and instructed them that was a “glass ceiling” place and so they wanted to be extra like Marlon Brando’s Johnny Strabler.

“Lee Marvin was monochromatic, wearing black, a nasty, dangerous, dangerous man,” Ezrin famous. “Lee Marvin was simply nasty. Whereas Marlon Brando – there was one thing about him that was a bit weak, a bit extra humane, and the woman … noticed one thing in Johnny … that she fell in love with. I stated to them … ‘We need to increase to the place each woman in America seems at you guys and goes, ‘I can repair that. I like him, and I’m gonna repair him.’ As a result of that’s what ladies do.”

You possibly can hear the interview beneath.

When he first heard “Beth,” Ezrin continued, it was “sort of smug. A man saying principally, ‘Screw you, you understand, I’m not coming house. Me and the boys are extra vital.’ I went again to my condo on 52nd Avenue and I sat at my piano, and I don’t know the place it got here from, however [the melody] simply got here out. I believed, ‘That is truly a really unhappy tune. Why isn’t he coming house? He is aware of that he’s breaking her coronary heart. Why? What’s happening? So we made it right into a ballad – a extremely sort of delicate, unhappy ballad. And Peter simply occurs to have this sort of smoky voice that lent itself to the tune completely in that kind.”

Ezrin added that he “simply knew that it was a success, however the remainder of the band didn’t really feel prefer it was consultant of Kiss. And it wasn’t, you understand, not on the time. It wasn’t consultant of Kiss as individuals knew them – but it surely was consultant of the Kiss of Destroyer.”

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