Title: 'I was made for loving you': 'Kiss' as perpetual capitalist entertainment product

Authors: Kieran James; Bligh Grant

Addresses: University of Fiji , Saweni Campus, Private Mail Bag, Lautoka, Fiji Islands ' C/- UNE Business School, W42, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia

Abstract: Bryer (1994, 1995, 1999, 2006) writes that the goal of accounting under capitalism is to serve capital by the regular reporting of the rate of return on capital to equity holders. For Jinnai (2009), following Karl Marx, accounting is the 'brain' or the 'self-consciousness' of capital as a living organism. This paper is a collective effort on the part of the authors to remember 'Kiss', one of the greatest shock-rock bands of the mid- to late-1970s. The Corporate Kiss Machine turned over USD111 million in calendar year 1978 alone, equal to that of a Fortune 500 company, half of which was from merchandising. In accounting and financial terms the Kiss of the mid- to late-1970s was a huge success, achieving the goal of capitalist self-valorisation to an extent previously unimaginable. Kiss branched out beyond sales of musical product to sales of a vast array of merchandise and memorabilia which nearly certainly has not been surpassed by any band in terms of the quantity and the range of items sold. Kiss showed how far it was possible to extend and exploit the concept of a band for the purpose of capital accumulation. This paper also looks at the band's use of 'American Dream' ideology to assist its success.

Keywords: Marxism; Kiss; rock music; popular music; popular culture; capital accumulation; authenticity; capitalism; commodification; pop music; capitalist entertainment; shock-rock bands; Marx; American Dream.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2014.068372

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2014 Vol.6 No.5/6, pp.452 - 468

Published online: 15 Apr 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article