KISS’ Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley Condemn Celebrities Getting Involved In Politics


kiss-gene-simmonsWith the election on the tips of everyone’s tongue, candidates will jump at the chance to get themselves a celebrity endorsement. But Gene Simmons from KISS feels a bit differently.

“They should all shut their pieholes,” Gene told Yahoo Music. “I really believe democracy doesn’t work well when celebrities butt their heads into places they don’t belong. And what I mean by that is because you’ve got fans – Katy PerryGene SimmonsChubby Checker, I don’t care who you are – you’ve got influence, and you fans tend sometimes to do stuff they would normally not do just because they’re your fans. I think when celebrities tell you who they’re voting for, that rapes the democratic process.”

Fellow rocker Alice Cooper shared the same sentiment in August when he called out musicians getting political by saying, “We’re not smarter than anybody else.”

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Interview: Gene Simmons Talks About What Makes America Great

Chris Bopst | Style Weekly

at35_music_kissFor a good three years of my life, all I remember is Kiss.

As any child who fell under the original shock-rockers’ spell during their heyday in the 1970s might tell you: I wasn’t only a fan, I was obsessed. I lived, breathed and was defined by my all-encompassing passion for the kings of the nighttime world.

Though I eventually revoked my membership in the Kiss Army during the onset of puberty, I am who I am today because of them — in particular because of the band’s fire-breathing mastermind and most iconic member, bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons.

While I wait on the phone to interview the legend about the group’s Friday, Sept. 9, appearance at the Richmond Coliseum, I realize that I’ve spent the majority of my life waiting for this very moment. After what seems to be an eternity, I finally hear his unmistakable baritone, a voice I’ve heard thousands of times before.

“Hello, Mr. Simmons. My name is Chris Bopst and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.”

It was true. It’s not every day you get to interview one of your childhood idols.

These are the first words he said to me — words I’ve been waiting a lifetime to hear addressed to me: “Excuse me, but can you get off the line? I am in the middle of an interview and I don’t know who you are or why you are interrupting us.”

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The unbelievably sweet reason why Gene Simmons of KISS has never done drugs or gotten drunk

James Fell | LA Times

la-1472850793-snap-photoRcker Gene Simmons says there’s no big secret to his ability to play a show night after night while wearing 50 pounds of gear (that’s between the armor and his guitar):

“I’ve never been drunk and I’ve never been high,” said Simmons, 67, who is currently on tour with KISS.

Although a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle practically preaches indulgence of booze and drugs, Simmons said he went against the grain — for his mother, who survived a Nazi concentration camp while many in her family did not.

“I’m my mother’s only child,” Simmons said. “I was concerned I had no right to harm my mother. Life did that enough.”

Simmons said abstaining has helped him stay on top of the music industry and continue to fill stadiums after more than four decades.

“I literally never drink. Privately or publicly. I simply don’t like the taste or the smell of anything with alcohol in it. I have never been drunk in my life and have never taken more than a sip of anything, and hated it every time. I will toast just to be social, but that’s it.”

“Life is a race and we’re in constant competition,” added Simmons, whose band is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was named the top American gold-record-earning band of all time by the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

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Smyrna girl gets birthday KISS

Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times

Morgan Tarr, 10, of Smyrna received the birthday gift of a lifetime Sunday as she was brought onto the stage during KISS' concert at the Cross Insurance Arena. She is the daughter of Jenny and Jeremy Tarr.

Morgan Tarr, 10, of Smyrna received the birthday gift of a lifetime Sunday as she was brought onto the stage during KISS’ concert at the Cross Insurance Arena. She is the daughter of Jenny and Jeremy Tarr.

PORTLAND, Maine — Most people struggle to remember where they were for their first kiss.

But for Morgan Tarr, 10, of Smyrna, that first kiss happened to be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group KISS during a concert Sunday evening at the Cross Insurance Arena in front of about 8,000 fans.

Tarr received the birthday gift of a lifetime, as she was brought onto the stage by KISS lead singer Paul Stanley during the group’s concert in Portland and stayed on the stage for an entire song as Stanley wrapped his arms around her and played guitar.

“I was so nervous before going onstage,” Morgan said. “But I felt fine once we were out there.”

“Morgan is a huge KISS fan,” her mother, Jenny Tarr, said Tuesday morning. “She’s liked the group for a couple of years because both Jeremy [her father] and I are huge fans. We always told her that if KISS ever came back to Maine, we would take her to a concert.”

The parents kept the concert a secret and surprised Morgan with tickets to the concert for her birthday party on Aug. 27. Her actual birthday is Aug. 26, but she celebrated the following day with a KISS-themed party.

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Tornado warning interrupts KISS concert in Ohio

The Associated Press

marvel-comics-super-special-01-kiss-24INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on tornadoes that touched down in Indiana and Ohio (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Not even KISS could rock ‘n’ roll all night with tornado sirens blaring.

Frontman Gene Simmons tweeted that the band’s show in Toledo, Ohio, was stopped briefly Wednesday night during a tornado warning.

He says some people went into the arena to seek shelter until the storm passed.

While no tornadoes touched down in Toledo, there was a long line of damage across the northwestern part of the state from the storm that first hit central and northern Indiana.

About six trailers were damaged at a mobile home park near Hicksville in Ohio.

Officials in Van Wert County say at least two tornadoes touched down about 2 miles apart, tearing roofs off homes and flattening barns.


Ace Frehley delivers in spades at rainy Batfest

David Glessner | Austin 360

Sure, the rain threatened Saturday’s downtown Batfest, but at least it wasn’t hotter than hell (or a typical August in Texas). By the time legendary rock guitar hero Ace Frehley img_0951landed on stage, the downpour dried and it was all systems go.

At the height of his galactic domination throughout the 1970s, Frehley and drummer Peter Criss were the “party-every-day” half of rock titans, KISS. Now solo, sober and free of the wobbly platform boots and iconic face paint that brought him riches, fame and bad habits, Frehley is still giving his fans what they want.

Opening with the hard-charging “Rip It Out” from his 1978 solo album (the best-selling of the individual KISS solo albums), Frehley prowled the stage with his trusty Les Paul and 24-7 shades. Backed by longtime partner-in-crime Richie Scarlet on guitar (a hair-metal pirate not unlike Keith Richards), bassist Chris Wyse (ex-The Cult) and drummer Scot Coogan (Brides of Destruction), Frehley is as comfortably suited for the small stage as he was for the arenas he once shared with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

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KISS: still shouting out loud, Tommy interview

Darren Tromblay | City View

Whether you like the music or not, there’s a certainty that comes with seeing KISS perform live on a big stage: You will be entertained. The pyro, lasers, video, thousands of lights and moving mechanical stage parts are as spectacular as anything a concert-goer will experience. Ever.  And of course, there’s the band — the Demon, the Starchild, the Spaceman and the Catman, characters that are synonymous with the creation of some of the most hook-laden and oft-played rock and roll of the past 40 years that has been enjoyed by a legion known as the KISS Army.


Bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer bring the KISS machine to the Iowa State Fair Friday night on its Freedom to Rock Tour. Thayer spoke with Cityview’s Darren Tromblay recently from the road.

CV: The Freedom to Rock tour began on July 4, so you’ve been out awhile now. Tell me about this trek.

Tommy Thayer: We’re doing the secondary markets, which are amazing, actually, because a lot of bands don’t go to Boise, Idaho and Bozeman, Montana. People there love it even more than anywhere else. We love it, too, because it creates a great energy between the band and the audience that we look forward to.

CV: You were in Des Moines a couple of years ago, but it’s going to be a different venue this time, outdoors. Staging-wise what should we expect?

Tommy Thayer: It’s going to be big and bombastic like always. We’re basing the stage on the one we used in Las Vegas (residency). There’s a lot of video, pyro. And even though it will be outside and a little warmer out there (laughs), maybe a little more humid, it will be rocking. We’ll be bringing all the firepower.

CV: Leather, makeup and 100-degree temperatures sound like trouble.

Tommy Thayer: (laughs) We love playing in any condition, but it can be brutal outside in the summer, especially at certain times. The leather, the boots, the makeup, the pyro, all that stuff; combine it and it heats up exponentially, but we can deal with it. Continue reading