It’s been a good month for KISS. Earlier this week it was announced that they were nominated for consideration to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with 15 other acts, including Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Link Wray, and the Zombies.
Later this week KISS will commence a quick tour of Japan, with one gig in Osaka and three shows in Tokyo, two of them at the legendary Budokan. To celebrate their arrival, the Circle K Sunkus convenience stores yesterday began selling its promotional line of KISS Super-Spicy Chili Tomatoman meat buns.
As the report from RocketNews24 describes the experience of eating this delicacy:
Mr. Sato purchased the lone dumpling for 100 yen (US$1), and dashed back to the office. When he peeled back the wrapping he was in awe of the stylish Kiss logo branded on the top of the bun. ...
When he broke the black bun in two a glowing red tomato paste could be seen inside. It was so red Mr. Sato’s eyes stung a little. It certainly looked hot, but how does it taste? The display case had said that it contained the habanero chili pepper which once held the Guinness World Record for hottest chili.
After biting into it, tears began to roll down Mr. Sato’s face which he wiped off with his Destroyer T-shirt. It was every bit as hot as the lava like substance it looked like. Probably it was too hot, but anything less just wouldn’t be rock and roll so he accepted the spicy intensity with pleasure.
As an added bonus, the wrapper had the Peter Criss/Eric Singer Catman logo printed on it. There are five wrappers to collect; one for each member and one with all of them and the Kiss logo. Mr. Sato was hoping for a Gene Simmons Demon wrapper but it would have to wait for next time.
The eight-year-old me would have done just about anything for one of these wrappers, I tell you.
Here’s KISS performing “Cold Gin” in Cobo Hall, Detroit, in 1975:
“During this time, the gummi bears, hereafter referred to as The Fuel, were being carefully processed in the fuel system of Space Ship Me. I can only assume that The Fuel is a highly advanced binary propellant because it is non-reactive and benign in storage and even during initial ingestion. But as with all binary propellants, when mixed with the complementary other half of the pairing, the results are highly energetic.”
I suppose, in a way this is NSFW. Visually it’s just another Amazon page. The NSFW element will be your helpless laughter as you read it.
Kuma’s Corner in Chicago specializes in hamburgers—big, juicy burgers. They really like their punk and heavy metal and frequently name their burgers after their favorite bands. They have a wicked sense of humor, too—on their Facebook banner image they call themselves “Purveyors of the Bovine Genocide.” I’m not super familiar with Chicago—but I really like the Kuma’s attitude, and I really hope they are (or are rapidly on their way to becoming) a beloved Chicago institution.
They have two locations, Kuma’s Corner on 2900 Belmont and Kuma’s Too on 666 W. Diversey Parkway. Every month each location introduces a new themed burger that’s only available for that month and only available at that location.
This month, the Belmont location’s themed burger, which pays homage to the heavy metal band Ghost from Linköping, Sweden, is a doozy. The thing about Ghost is that they’re not just any heavy metal band: They’re a bit like the Residents in that they haven’t disclosed their true identities and they’re really theatrical. The five instrumentalists all wear identical black robes on stage, and the lead singer, who goes by the name Papa Emeritus II, wears skull make-up and the garb of a Catholic Cardinal.
Here are the ingredients of the Ghost Burger, according to a Facebook blast they sent out when October arrived:
In the spirit of our undying reverence for the lord and all things holy, we give you the Ghost which we think is a fitting tribute to the supreme blasphemous activities carried out by the band itself.
Ghost chile aioli
Slow braised Goat shoulder
Aged white cheddar cheese
Red Wine Reduction (the blood of christ)
with Communion Wafer garnish (the body of christ)
A communion wafer! MMMMM mmmmm, blasphemy never tasted so good. As Facebook user and Kuba’s fan Chris Ptacek wrote, “Holy shit you line crossing motherfuckers! Sacrilicious!”
Here’s Ghost playing “Con Clavi Con Dio” at Hellfest:
Lemmy Kilmister makes an (amusing) appearance in this British TV advert for the chocolate-covered, wafer-biscuit bar Kit Kat from 2001.
The ad features a selection of (I guess what you’d call) UK celebrities, such as former Manchester United player Roy Keane (known for being a bit of a hardman—he once deliberate broke another player’s leg) who is seen practicing his needlepoint; the late comic actor Mel Smith exercises; model/actress Kelly Brook rejects an outfit for being too revealing; some long haired fop asks to have his locks shorn; sexist comedian Bernard Manning manages to go against type by being nice; and the Daleks bring peace and love. You’ll see what Lemmy gets up to—it’s just shame he’s advertising a Nestlé product.
The harmless notion that good nutrition could aid the human body in fighting illnesses was so threatening in the late ‘60s that the FBI was willing to confiscate and burn books to suppress it.
Two major early champions of natural foods – and indomitable entrepreneurs—were two American brothers, Gregory and Craig Sams. Craig (who now owns Green & Black’s organic chocolate with his wife Josephine Fairley) was the cook who prepared food in his home for the short-lived UFO Club in London. He also imported books and pamphlets on the macrobiotic lifestyle from the Ohsawa Foundation in Los Angeles and sold them through the Indica Bookshop.
Craig was in New York the day the FBI raided a macrobiotic bookshop in the East Village. He wrote in 2005:
I visited [the macrobiotic restaurant Paradox] the same day I visited the macrobiotic bookshop – the day it was investigated by the FBI and told not to sell any books until they had reviewed their content (they contained illegal statements such as that poor diet could cause cancer and healthy diet could help cure cancer). Eventually all the books were taken away and burned.
The macrobiotic diet is not the countercultural revolution it once was, and some of its once radical tenets are now rather mainstream, such as sticking to unrefined, whole, natural food, grown locally and eaten in season. But in the late ‘60s, it was still underground.
The Sams brothers opened the first macrobiotic restaurant in London, Seed, in early 1968. The laid-back, Bedouin tent atmosphere of Seed was described by a visitor as feeling like somewhere he “might get stabbed or something.” Not at all what a typical vegan or raw food restaurant looks like today!
Craig recalled the layout of the restaurant and some of its more famous customers:
Seed had two rooms, in a big rambling basement of the [Gloucester] hotel. One had cushions on the floor set around tables made out of the 4-5 ft diameter reels that mains electrical cable was wound around, so customers met one another as there were no reservations and no exclusivity of tables in that room. In the other room there was a tent style hanging from the ceiling and normal square wooden tables with bentwood chairs. —snip—
Marc Bolan of Tyrannosaurus Rex walked to Seed to get the free meal and it was at Seed that he met Mickey Finn, an event that rock historians cited when calling for a blue plaque for historical buildings to be put up on the site many years later. Regular visitors included John and Yoko, Terence Stamp, most of the Stones as well as vegetarian/macrobiotic activists and enthusiasts and most of the denizens of the Underground alternative culture that was springing up all over the country.
In his memoir, Jazz Christmas, Al Gromer Khan called Seed “restaurant, Zen monastery and doctor´s practice all in one, a subterranean place where guests sat cross-legged, setting standards for legions of psycho-analysts who came thirty or so years later, for us to get in touch with our inner selves.”
The Sams also started Ceres grain shops (that was how hard it was to find whole grains back then), the U.K.‘s first organic food shop, Ceres Bakery, the U.K.‘s first 100% wholemeal and sugar-free bakery, Ceres Bookshop, Green Genes Café (a “macrobiotic workingman’s café”), Harmony Foods (now Whole Earth Foods), and the original VegeBurger.
They also ambitiously catered the first Glastonbury and Isle of Wight festivals. Craig described the Glastonbury fare from 1970:
We were the only food suppliers at Glastonbury and all the festivalgoers either ate our food (muesli, brown rice, red bean stew, porridge, unleavened bread with tahini/miso spread) or brought their own. We also supplied some food to Sid Rawles, who led the Diggers, who gave out free food from the cowshed near the farmhouse up on the hill.
On the Sunday afternoon the local hot dog and ice cream vendors discovered there was a crowd at the farm and drove down to the site. They were met by the festivalgoers who blocked their route and rocked their vans, shouting ‘Out, Out Out’ until they turned around and disappeared.
Gregory Sams self-published three issues the exhaustively informative newsletter, Harmony, with recipes, vegetarian resources, articles about health, eco-consciousness, and nutrition. It was an ongoing counterdebate to the kinds of alarmist anti-vegetarian articles being published at the time, most notably Harvard professor Frederick Stare’s infamous Reader’s Digest article “The Hippie Diet That’s Killing Our Kids” (which, incidentally, if anyone has a link to the text of that article, please pass it along). John Lennon, a regular at Seed, contributed a cartoon to Harmony extolling the macrobiotic diet and Gregory’s evangelizing. Later the Sams brothers and their father published Seed: The Journal of Organic Living, which ran from 1971 to 1977.
John and Yoko and Chuck Berry assist at a macrobiotic cooking demonstration on The Mike Douglas Show, below:
Look at the detail on that thing! It’s truly incredible. It’s got the biggest head I’ve ever seen on a Pez dispenser and the dedication to reproducing H. R. Giger’s nightmarish and biologically persuasive design concept for outer space’s most terrifying acid-spewer is positively remarkable.
Hats off to Peter “Rat D” Davidson, credited as the little gizmo’s creator.
Now, if only we can make the little Pez candies in the shape of the ghastly creature that famously burst through John Hurt’s sternum….
These “Ice Cream Cigars” were spotted in Germany last month. It’s rather hard to find out details on this product. The company that manufactures it, ABLIG Feinfrost GmbH, is based in Thüringen, and there isn’t much information out there about it.
Earlier this year the prominent German tabloid newspaper BILD wrote of the “Havana ice cream cigars,” “Warum prangt auf der Packung der Kopf von Che Guevara? Nun, die Hersteller haben sich die Freiheit genommen, Windbeutel in handlicher Zigarrenform auf den Markt zu bringen. Sahnig, klebrig, teigig, mag ich.” [Why is the head of Che Guevara emblazoned on the package? Well, the manufacturers have taken the liberty to put puffs on the market in a handy cigar shape. Creamy, sticky, doughy, I like it.]
Australian ice cream manufacturer Magnum created a Dove-style bar with the name Cherry Guevara. For whatever reason this bar is persistently confused with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, which is a whole different deal. For example, in the political journal Americas Quarterly, Eusebio Mujal-León grumbles, “In the decades after Che’s death, the icon found new life as a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor (Cherry Guevara), on a bikini worn by model Giselle Bündchen and most irreverently and ironically on a Coca-Cola ad sponsoring a Che memorial event on the 40th anniversary of his death.” Well yeah, but Ben & Jerry’s never made any such product, and Che Guevara and Jerry Garcia are totally different people.
When you eat a Magnum Cherry Guevara, once you’re done with the tasty ice cream snack, you’re left with a little wooden stick with the cheeky statement “We will bite to the end!”
In 2011 Stoyn, an independent advertising firm based in Lobnya, Russia, introduced an experimental line of ice cream treats in the shapes of the heads of various prominent figures with adventurous flavor combinations: Vladimir Mayakovsky gets cranberry and vodka, while Darth Vader tastes like blueberry and licorice. Che Guevara’s combination is maté and rum. Other Stoyn ice cream figures include Mickey Mouse, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Zuckerberg, and Mario the Plumber.
Below we have a video of the Stoyn guys transporting a massive and more permanent version of their Mickey Mouse ice cream treat:
A cafe in Glasgow, Scotland, has come under criticism for selling Breaking Bad crystal meth cupcakes.
The Riverhill Coffee Bar is selling the cupcakes, with a blue topping that resembles the crystal meth drug manufactured by Bryan Cranston’s character, Walter White, in the hit TV series, at $3.00 a hit.
Christine Duncan, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, told Glasgow’s Evening Times:
“The glamorising of drugs is completely distasteful.
“We know from our membership base that the impact of drug misuse on families includes financial instability, breakdown in family relationships and the loss of employment.”
Two different points being made by Christine here, neither of which relate to the subject of cupcakes.
Meanwhile Nina Parker, city councillor for the Green Party said:
“It doesn’t sit well with the work that is being done to tackle drug abuse. Quite frankly, there’s nothing funny about recreational drug use.”