As difficult as it is to believe, Blow My Fuse, the seminal album recorded by 80s hard rockers Kix, turned 30 this year. And what better way to mark the occasion than to play the album in its entirety, from top to bottom, as part of the Maryland band’s current string of live performances?
From the down and dirty licks of top track “Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT” to the epic, MTV-saturated power ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes” to the rousing crowd favorite “Cold Blood” (during which frontman Steve Whiteman mischievously conducted an X-rated sing along with the crowd), to the infectious title track, the double entendre-laden masterpiece that brilliantly embodied the period — perhaps more than any other song of its era — still sounds as fresh as ever, even in its third decade of existence. To celebrate 30 years of Blow My Fuse, Kix put on a blistering performance for the duration of their 90-minute set at The Space at Westbury on April 7.
For original guitarist Brian “Damage” Forsythe, the decision to perform Blow My Fuse from start to finish was an easy one.
“It’s funny,” Forsythe told Royal Flush. “When we were putting the setlist together, we realized that there were only two or three songs from the album that we haven’t been playing anyway. So we thought we might as well put them in and do the whole record.”
In addition to those ten songs, Kix took those in attendance at The Space on a musical journey that spanned their entire career, opening with “Can’t Stop The Show,” off the band’s most recent effort, the criminally underrated Rock Your Face Off, before launching into the title track from Midnite Dynamite, that’s been a mainstay of the group’s live repertoire for years.
For those looking for early, pre-fame, material, 1981’s “The Itch” undoubtedly satiated those yearning for a deeper cut. Also represented was Hot Wire, via “Same Jane” and show closer “Girl Money,” the band’s early 90s effort that, while successful, didn’t quite match the prosperity of its celebrated predecessor. According to Forsythe, the album simply suffered from bad timing, as its release coincided with the beginning of the grunge movement that eventually wiped out the majority of the glam bands from the mainstream.
“When we did Hot Wire, I thought it was going to be even bigger than Fuse, that we were going to break through even further,” recalled Forsythe. “But then the whole 80s bubble popped. Between that and some other internal problems in the band, I felt it was the right time to go off and see what else I could find at that point.”
Forsythe would take a brief sabbatical from the group, dabbling in various other musical endeavors, before ultimately making his return in time for the band’s next studio creation, 1995’s Show Business, perhaps most remembered as being the final album to feature founding member and principal songwriter Donnie Purnell. Shortly after its release, Purnell and Whiteman had a falling out, a rift that still exists to this day.
“It’s a shame,” said Forsythe. “I don’t see us ever playing with Donnie again. It’s kind of hard to explain but he’s one of those guys that holds a grudge, so I don’t think he’ll ever forgive us for doing these shows without him for all these years,” he continued.
Despite the absence of the once-integral Purnell, replaced with bassist/songwriter Mark Schenker, Kix’s current lineup consists of an otherwise all-original cast of characters. Besides Forsythe and Whiteman, Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant and Ronnie “10/10” Younkins, on drums and guitar respectively, round out the quintet.
As for the future of Kix, new music is certainly possible, although nothing is currently in the works.
“We’re still kind of riding out our last record. Everybody in the band has some ideas, but we haven’t put anything together yet,” explained Forsythe. “It’s definitely a good possibility at some point. We just don’t know when.”
What is clear, however, as evidenced by the throngs of fans at The Space, is that whatever Kix decides to do next, there will not be a lack of interest.
- Can’t Stop The Show
- Midnite Dynamite
- The Itch
- Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT
- Get It While It’s Hot
- No Ring Around Rosie
- Don’t Close Your Eyes
- She Dropped Me The Bomb
- Cold Blood
- Piece Of The Pie
- Blow My Fuse
- Dirty Boys
- Same Jane
- Love Me With Your Top Down
- Girl Money
Click here for upcoming shows at The Space at Westbury.
Click here for Kix’s tour dates.