This song dates back to a band called Chelsea, which future Kiss drummer Peter Criss was in with the guitarist Stan Penridge from 1970-1972. Criss and Penridge came up with a song called "Beck," which was about the wife of their guitarist Mike Brand, whose name was Becky. She was constantly interrupting their band practices asking when Mike was coming home, and the song was a joke directed at him.
In August 2000, less than a year before Penridge died at age 50, he explained to the KissFAQ
: "'Beck' was written, almost word for word, from Mike Brand's responses to his wife's constant calls that interrupted our rehearsals. It got to the point where I wrote down his remarks over a period of three or four days in what I called my 'wizard book.' It was merely a small notebook I carried to jot down silly sayings, sketch in, to save ideas. If you look at the lyrics and view them as a hen-pecked hubby's remarks to his nagging wife you'll see what I mean. Just pause after every sentence and pretend there's a bitch at the other end of the line. You'll catch it - I'm sure. Absolutely not responsible at all. Another poorman's copyright by me in '70."
Penridge and Criss recorded a demo of "Beck" but never released the song. In 1976, after Criss joined Kiss, he and Penridge revived the song and with the help of producer Bob Ezrin, they changed the title to "Beth" and made it more sentimental, changing the end of the first verse from:
"I know you love complaining, but Beck what can I do?"
"I think I hear them callin', Oh, Beth what can I do?"