Tim McPhate | KissFAQ
In a NovElder exclusive, for the first time in KISStory, actor Chris Makepeace shares his recollections regarding his spoken word role on “Music From The Elder”
“Bob said that the plan was, should the album do well (and why wouldn’t it?), that KISS would unmask for the first time and tour while we made the movie.” — Chris Makepeace
Imagine “Music From The Elder,” the album we KISS fans are all too familiar with. Now imagine it complete with not only the 11 songs on the album, but with compelling spoken word dialogue weaved between the songs, drawing you in further and helping to unravel the legend of “The Elder.”
According to multiple sources who worked on the project, the purpose of the spoken word dialogue was designed to do exactly that: to help thread the tale of “The Boy” and his epic odyssey. Producer Bob Ezrin contracted the services of Canadian-based actors Robert Christie, Chris Makepeace and Antony Parr, a recording session was scheduled and dialog was, in fact, recorded. Makepeace, a teenage actor who had garnered success in films such as “Meatballs” and “My Bodyguard,” played the role of “The Boy.” Veteran actors Christie and Parr read the roles of the caretaker “Morpheus” and “Council of The Elder,” respectively.
What happened next is not clear. Someone – perhaps an executive at PolyGram – made the call to discard the dialogue component, save for the lines during the album’s final sequence, in what was likely a last-minute decision. One has to wonder why Ezrin would go through the trouble of recording dialogue only to not ultimately use it?
Whether there is one version of “Music From The Elder” that exists with the dialogue interspersed, or if there is simply a standalone recording of said dialogue, is unknown. Adding even more confusion, none of the spoken word participants ever went on record regarding their respective spoken word roles. As a result, this component has remained one of the biggest mysteries in KISStory.
Now, some 31 years later, KissFAQ tracked down the album’s lone living spoken word participant, Chris Makepeace, who in this NovElder exclusive shares for the first time his recollection of his “Elder” experience in the form of the following open letter to KissFAQ’s Tim McPhate:
I’ll tell you what I remember about my “Elder” experience, but I’ll have to confess that there isn’t much to tell. I’ll apologize in advance for any inaccuracies. Memories are funny things, and as time goes by and the stories get told and re-told, I wonder if it’s the memory that’s being told, or the memory of the story versions. But here’s what I remember:
Read the full letter here:
Through a series of brand-new KissFAQ interviews, original features and related special content, NovElder will shine a spotlight on “Music From The Elder” like never before throughout the month of November. More than 10 hours of interviews were conducted with various individuals who either worked on the project or have a connection of sorts, including professionals who have never told their “Elder story.” These interviews will provide interesting insights and unique perspectives regarding the album’s creative process and this fascinating period in KISStory, in addition to fun anecdotes and personal recollections. A series of topical features will shed more light on KISS’ activity in 1981 and early 1982 and dissect the album further with in-depth musical analysis, biographical information on the album’s participants, a revised KissFAQ Album Focus, and much more. NovElder will also take a look at the climate of the rock genre in 1981 and look at the bloodline of rock concept albums.
The odyssey continues this November at http://www.kissfaq.com/novelder/