Kiss Is Just A Kiss, A

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A Kiss is Just a Kiss or A Kiss is Still a Kiss is the name of a radio program produced by Joe Frank.

Program Information

It is not clear when the program originally aired. The WFMU FAQ lists the program date as 2002, but this is clearly not the original air date. I [ddyer] have aircheck tapes for parts 2 and 3 which date from KCRW in 1986.

The only known exiting copy is divided into three parts of unequal length, and the first part has been lost. It is not clear if the division is original.


  • Part 2:
    • Johnny and his relationship to his stepmother at the start of WWII.
    • He fights with fascists in a German-American movie theater. He and his stepmother kiss.
    • He runs off, gets drunk, and enlists in the Canadian air force.
    • Enthusiastic recruits board the ship for Europe.
    • His plane goes down and he gets a desk job, invites death when London is bombed.
  • Part3:
    • Johnny returns from Europe after the war.
    • He finds religion in a Thomas Merton poem and joins the monastery in Gethsemani.

Interesting Facts

Shares text with To the Bar Life.


Please see guidelines on commentary and share your personal thoughts in this section.


From the tenor of Joe's voice and the style of the sound mix, it sounds to me like a fairly early program. There are a few moments where Joe slips on a word and then continues, and the background music is sparse and looping isn't obvious, which suggest that it may have been produced under unusual conditions. Was it broadcast live? Is it a demo-tape? A WBAI remnant? Or is it just another example of Joe doing something experimental and unlike everything else in his repertoire?


I suspect this program falls into the category of early works the author would prefer to be forgotten. It doesn't appear anywhere on Joe's official web site. Too bad though - you can really see Joe's development as an artist in progress here, particularly in sequence in part 3 involving the homosexual vegetarian monks killing a pig for their feast day.

External Links


Joe Frank at the Marc Taper Auditorium | Joe Frank at the Viper Room | Joe Frank in Concert (Bushido) | Joe Frank in Performance (Third Coast Festival) | Joe Frank in Performance (UCLA's Wadsworth Theatre) | Joe Frank Live (Museum of Contemporary Art) | Kiss Is Just a Kiss, A | Kpfa Interview, Feb 22, 2004 | LA Live (Natural History Museum) | Live at Market Street | Live at The Evidence Room | Live at The Great American Music Hall | Live at The UCLA Hammer Museum | One Night Stand (South Coast Repertory) | Pledge Drive Show, KPFA, Jan 15, 2004 | Queen of Puerto Rico, The (book) | Rare Recording, The | War vs. Peace