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Kissing Christ Goodbye: Gene Simmons' Rock School Episode 6


– Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

It’s here! It’s here! The grand finale! The Class opens for Motorhead tonight! What grade has Gene Simmons earned as a teacher? Has he created little rock gods out of the midget classicists? I suppose we’ll soon find out.

Dee Snyder recaps last episode’s revolt. Then says that the class’ final exam is terrifying. Sure, opening up for Motorhead in front of thousands of metal fans is terrifying. Just being around Motorhead can be pretty scary for a bunch of twelve and thirteen year olds who don’t know metal.

Cut to Josh in a sound booth sing/shouting the lyrics into a mic. Bagpuss, Dudders, and Poor Camilla all have earphones on and are recording their original single, “Let It Out.” That’s a pretty cool title for a single.

Dee Snyder is a voice over narrating fool this episode. He explains that since Josh nicknamed himself Emperor, he’s developed an ego that basically allows him to alienate himself even more from the group. Dudders makes fun of him in a very Austin Powers way but I don’t think he’s imitating Austin Powers; he’s just being British.

However, Gene thinks that Emperor is not the weakest link at all. Why not? Because Josh is alienated by society as well as his peers. Now that screams rock n roll. “Weird is good.” Sure.

Cut to a very upset looking Josh—his eyes are rimmed with red so he may have been crying—discussing an altercation he had earlier in the day with Rods. He tells Gene that there was some jostling and some swinging. How is that “weird is good” philosophy workin’ for ya now, Mr. S?

Next, Josh confronts the entire class by saying that Rods is not their best manager. They both tell their own sides of the fight that happened earlier in the day. Rods makes sure to point out that Josh can’t sing. So Josh asks if they want him out of their band. Rods tells him that he can’t quit because of their personal issues and he can’t let down the band.

Enter Gene. He explains how all the bands on the posters in the classroom had issues. He points to several bands that broke up. He explains that the class is experiencing what every band goes through. So every band has a manager who tells the lead singer, who speaks elvish, that he can’t sing. Gotcha. He says that the nonsense never ends, even when they become adults. Why not? Because “people by and large don’t like each other.” How profound. Gene has become quite a philosopher in this final episode.

He then asks if they are all for one and one for all. Since when are the Three Musketeers rock n roll? He encourages them to be united because he believes in them. They’re all for it. They all are together, united, one.

Having unity once again, the students interview about their upcoming gig. Poor Camilla, who I think is about 41, talks about how she hopes Mr. Simmons realizes that, no matter the outcome of the performance, they are doing their best. Bagpuss, too, is nervous. Josh is excited and can’t wait to see adoring fans. Heehee.

Gene then makes very candid comments about how the project started about him and being self-serving but became something very different—it developed into the quest to capture rock n roll and young people overcoming their own inhibitions and becoming confident in doing something new.

Then “Comfortably Numb” kicks in. Oh, yeahhhhh. Frances interviews that she’s worried they’ll “muck up.” Lovin the British. Rods interviews that he’s worried he won’t get the crowd pumped up enough. Oh, come on. It’s a Motorhead crowd. They’re all gonna be drunk or high or both. And who can hate little British kids? Quit your bitchin.

Mr. Cool looks at the bigger picture. The worst that could happen would be falling off stage or Dudley breaking his drum kit. Cool.

Mr. Simmons interviews that if they mess up, he’s not stepping in, and he’ll let them go down in flames by themselves. Whatever happened to the captain going down with his ship?

Time to meet Motorhead. How great is that? I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to be thirteen and meeting a bunch of hairy old guys who rock for a living? And you know who’s on the marquee at the Hammerstin Apollo in London? The Class! Ultra Cool. And I know I totally got the name of the place wrong but Dee Snyder said it way too quickly.

Three hours to showtime. The students are mesmerized by the sheer size of the arena. And they’re taken aback by Motorhead’s music. Gene gives some last minute pointers as the band gets ready. Then Lemmy comes in to offer advice.

The kids file by, shake hands, and shudder. Lemmy grunts things at them. Then he and Gene hug and strike an embracing pose for the camera. Heehee. Josh is especially intrigued by Lemmy, a fellow frontman. Lemmy tells them some war stories about being spit on by some people in the audience. Wow, these guys need to learn something about the appropriateness of certain content in school. Then again, they’re rockers, it’s a television show, and the teacher in me needs to shut the hell up.

The Class thanks Motorhead. Motorhead wishes them luck. They tell them that they look cool, which was unexpected. Nice motivation. Nice touch. Love Motorhead.

A crowd is forming outside of screaming crazy fans. Alongside them are the nervous parents. Oh, yeah, security should keep a close eye on them.

Backstage, Gene gives a pep talk in which he says the word “team” about eighteen times within thirteen seconds. Then they do the Three Musketeers all for one and one for all chant. Because that screams rock. Frances gives Josh his own personal pep talk: “Do good and we’ll never laugh at you again.” Heehee. Then the students pray or chant a school mantra or something.

And then? It’s showtime. Gene’s pacing around like a nervous father and tells them to take their time as they go out on stage. And they do because we see them in slow motion going out on stage. The crowd shouts lamely.

Rods grabs the mic and yells, “London, are you ready to rock?!?!” He receives the same lame shouts. He continues without flinching as Gene, backstage, looks as if he’s going to puke. Rods introduces, THE CLASS!!!! The crowd cheers a bit more.

Then Emperor Josh takes over with his “So you think I speak elvish but now I’m a rocker” song intro. Then he growls and shouts and they all start rockin out really heavily and the crowd claps and kinda jumps around to the beat. Backstage, Rods and the stage crew sing along with the band on stage. And can I just say, they are friggin awesome!!!! The crowd really gets into it and screams and pumps their fists in the air and headbang. The song ends with them all banging heavily on their instruments. They all raise their arms and points at the crowd and walk off.

Meanwhile, Gene the proud papa is going nuts backstage. He’s pumping his fists and clapping and is maniacally instructing them to “WAVE WAVE WAVE” as they come off stage. Gene and some other semi-drunk dude explain to The Class what they’ve just done—they performed in front of a Motorhead audience that could have eaten them alive. And I’m not sure, but I think Josh pukes in his hand. Whatever. It’s rock n roll.

All the parents come back and congratulate their children on a job well done. Hugs all around. Mr. S is still dazed and confused. He mugs to the camera, “How to age ten years in five minutes…oh, my God.”

And now The Class must return to Christ’s School for the British. Dee Snyder says they return as rock n roll heroes. They play their song. Gene then makes a speech: “I came here as an arrogant guy who thought he knew it all . . . I thought I was here to teach them something . . . along the way they taught me a few things as well . . . a bit of humility . . . I’ve learned how to act like a grown up . . . you’ve touched my heart . . . and I love you all” and everyone awwws. And then he drops the mic all rock star like, trying to be macho but he’s so not. Then he goes and signs some autographs to feel important again and to hide the fact that he’s a big mush.

“God Gave Rock N Roll To You” plays one final time while all the students interview about the experience. They think it’s been amazing and tiring. Bagpuss thinks that she’s been in a pretty good band. Camilla is amazed that she hasn’t wound up hating Gene and that means he’s a good teacher. She thinks she may bump into him again in her lifetime.

Dudders finally endears himself to me as he gushes over how much he’s learned from Gene and that, although at first there were some seriously rough spots, the experience turned out to be priceless and Gene was a pretty cool guy. He thinks of Gene as a friend.

Mr. Cool and Gene exchange a handshake. Gene tells him that’s the best handshake he’s ever gotten. Aww.

Gene hugs Francis and tells her not to cry because he’s going to cry. Isn’t that how it always is? Some adults just say that to get kids not to cry but here, I think Gene really means it. Aw, Mr. S., you bring a tear to my eye, too.

Mr. Simmons tells the class that it’s been an honor to work with them. He’s truly enjoyed the experience. So have they. Then they do the Three Musketeers thing once more.

Emperor Josh points out that although Gene is decades older than they are, he would love it if Gene kept in touch. Because they’re all really cool rockers now.

Quotes of the Week:
Josh and Gene on the altercation between manager and lead singer:
Josh: “He hates me.” Gene: “Well that may be true.” HAHAHAHA. No, he does go on to explain that the manager, Rods, really works FOR Josh and has no right to hate him because Josh can fire him. But still, funny.

Josh asking Lemmy for advice:
Josh: “You know when you ask the audience ‘Are you ready to rock?’ and they shout ‘yeah’! What if they don’t shout anything?” Lemmy: “Then you just start playing quickly.”

So if you were filling out Gene Simmons’ report card, what grade would he receive for teaching? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com


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