What if Kiss’ “Beth” Was Only One Side of a Phone Conversation?
They say that genius is the simple idea no one has ever thought of before. If that’s true, then Bob Winter, of the ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is definitely a genius.
The short film Beth — which is Winter’s brainchild — is positively inspired. It imagines Kiss’ hit 1976 ballad of the same name as one side of a phone conversation between drummer Peter Criss (who handles vocals on the song — I’m assuming you knew that, but if for some reason you didn’t…) and his wife, Beth… and it provides Beth’s side of the conversation, too, ostensibly turning the song into a stereotypical sitcom fight in which the wife is upset because the husband won’t come home for dinner. It’s a one-joke flick, sure, but its brief running time keeps it from getting old. Watch:
Of course, this is all B.S. — to the best of my knowledge, Peter Criss was never actually married to a woman named Beth. In fact, according to Wikipedia:
“The song was written before Criss had joined Kiss, while he was still a member of Chelsea. A bootleg exists of the song from 1971, but the song was sung ‘Beck, what can I do?’ “Beck” was the nickname of fellow Chelsea member Mike Brand’s wife, Becky, who would call often during practices to ask Mike when he was coming home. Years later, while in Kiss, both Bob Ezrin and Gene Simmons are credited for changing the song’s title to ‘Beth,’ presumably to be more recognizable as a female name.”
So, there ya go. One of the biggest hits of Kiss’ career, and Kiss didn’t even write the damn thing.