Gene Simmons On Idea Of KISS Continuing Without Original Members

Ultimate Guitar

KISS cofounder Gene Simmons doesn’t appear to have a problem with the idea of the band continuing without him or Paul Stanley, he revealed in a recent interview.

Simmons was asked by, “The idea of KISS moving on without Paul Stanley and yourself is another highly-debated topic among Kiss fans. You see it working to some degree with bands like AC/DC with only one original member and Foreigner, who often play live with none. Is it a testament to the strength of the music that an idea like that could work for generations to come?”

Gene responded, “Well, AC/DC has had 21 different members. But it’s more than music. It’s a vibe. You can’t just get a jazz musician to step up there with a rock band, I don’t care who it is, and make it convincing. Not just in how you play, but how you stand on stage. People are listening with their eyes. They’re bringing their eyes, and you better make that work. It’s not just your ears. When you stayed at home in the old days, you could turn on the radio, and you didn’t know what anybody looked like. That’s different.

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Guitarist Adam Bomb Recalls His Audition for KISS

Jeff Giles | Ultimate Classic Rock

Kiss auditioned dozens of potential replacements after Ace Frehley departed the lineup in the early ’80s — including a teenage guitarist calling himself Adam Bomb, who recounts the experience in his upcoming memoir.

Classic Rock has premiered an excerpt from Bomb’s book, titled 911 Is Disconnected … So This Is Rock & Roll, in which he takes readers through his version of the events surrounding his brief brush with Kiss. At the time, he was just a young musician looking for a gig, and had no idea when he responded to a Billboard ad from a band seeking a guitarist that he’d end up on the phone with drummer Eric Carr.

Invited to audition — and informed he’d have to make his own way to Los Angeles — Bomb hurriedly brushed up on the four songs he was told he’d need to play: “Firehouse,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Black Diamond” and “Calling Doctor Love.” Determined to take his shot even though he was neither old nor tall enough to fit the description posted in the ad, he learned “every lick, shake and squeak that Ace Frehley made on the live and studio albums. … If nothing else, I was going to play those songs with Kiss.”

Arriving early enough to catch another hopeful’s failed audition, Bomb made his way into the rehearsal studio — and, as he tells it, regardless of how the experience ultimately turned out in terms of employment opportunities, it lived up to his dreams. “I wanted to scream but I kept my cool. I was still a huge fan. I pictured them in my mind from the record jacket for Kiss Alive and from seeing them in concert in Seattle. I felt like the whole world stopped turning for a moment,” he wrote. “It was just me in a room in Hollywood, playing lead guitar with Kiss.” Continue reading

Katey Sagal Opens Up About Affair with Gene Simmons, Says He Helped Boost Her Career

Just Jared

Katey Sagal is opening up about her longtime affair with Gene Simmons while she was just an aspiring singer and actress.

The 62-year-old actress has revealed that she and the Kiss frontman had an affair back when she was in her 20s work as a singing waitress at an Los Angeles restaurant, according to the NY Daily News.

CHECK OUT: Katey Sagal Reveals 15-Year Battle with Drug Addiction

Katey writes in her upcoming memoir “Grace Notes” that one night Gene came into the restaurant where she sang for him before taking him home “because he was quite persuasive, and I like men.”

Katey admits that she was attracted to Gene because he was “weird” and “he was cute and had a lot of confidence.”

Gene would eventually go on to help Katey and her band get signed to Kiss‘ record label, giving her one of her first starts in the business.

Despite her band fizzling out, Katey and Gene continued their affair until she learned of his womanizer way, but had always “fantasized” that she would be the one to change him.

Matthew Willening | Ultimate Classic Rock

Prior to the March 12, 1999 stop of their Psycho Circus world tour, Kiss were ordered not to use any of their customary pyrotechnics by the fire marshal of Breman, Germany.

They almost obeyed that order.

Two songs into the show, after inviting a German translator out onto the stage, frontman Paul Stanley explained to the audience that they wouldn’t be getting the typical Kiss visual experience. “We brought all kinds of bombs, explosions, all kinds of smoke. But the fire marshal, the fire department, will not let us do it tonight!”

After the expected chorus of boos rained down, he rallied the crowd by shifting into showman mode: “I want you to know something. They can stop the bombs; they can stop the fire – but they cannot stop Kiss!”

However, judging from the above video, it would seem Kiss or someone on their crew either changed their mind or had no intention of following the fire marshal’s orders after all. Instead, as the final crescendo of the show-closing “Black Diamond” rang out, every last bit of the pyrotechnics the band had planned on using during the concert were set off in a defiant 30-second blast, to the delight of the audience.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the group’s punishment ranged anywhere from a fine to a lifelong ban from the city’s stages. However rebellious this particular act was, speaking in the wake of the tragic fire that claimed over 100 lives at a Great White concert in Rhode Island two years later, Stanley stressed that Kiss has always put a high priority on safety when it comes to their pyrotechnic displays.

“We certainly do everything possible to make sure that the people most qualified are in charge,” he explained. “We are not the people who are most qualified. But we certainly have enough money to make sure that we can ensure, or as much as possible, the safety of people at the show and ourselves.”
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Ace Frehley insists there’s still a chance he’ll rejoin KISS

Scott Munro | Team Rock

Ace Frehley says there’s still a chance that he’ll rejoin Kiss.

Speculation has increased in recent months that the guitarist might commence a third stint with the band after Paul Stanley guested on his solo album.

But last month, Stanley appeared to rule out the possibility reporting that he had “no thoughts of re-visiting the past.”

He said: “I sang on Ace’s most recent album and did a video with him. I have the connection and the reconnection and to celebrate the good things we’ve done together is terrific.

“The band as it is – I’ve played with Eric Singer for I think 25 years and Tommy Thayer’s been in the band probably 15 years at this point. I have no thoughts of re-visiting the past.

“With that said I am happy to enhance or do whatever I can for anyone who has helped put me where I am, but that doesn’t include getting hitched again to somebody I unhitched from.”

But when asked by Brazil’s Kazagastao if there’s a chance he could rejoin Kiss, Frehley says: “I haven’t heard anything, but if I were a betting man, I’d say maybe 50-50. That’s good odds.”

Frehley also reports that he’s planning his next solo album which will be his first release since his covers album Origins Vol.1 which launched last year. Continue reading

Fantasy meets reality: Gene Simmons on comics, rock, KISS

BJ Lisko | Cantonrep

“I started off a comic book geek, and I’m still a comic book geek,” Gene Simmons said. Take our KISS poll.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers Kiss are tailor-made for the world of comic books. The iconic rock group with its own superhero-like quality first appeared on comic pages in 1977 in the 12th issue of “Howard the Duck.” Later that year, Marvel Comics published a magazine-format, full-color comic book titled “A Marvel Comics Super Special!: Kiss,” marking the first time since The Beatles that a band had been depicted as superheroes on Marvel’s pages. To promote the special, in what was perhaps one of the greatest marketing stunts of all time, the band had blood drawn from a registered nurse to be poured into the vats of red ink used for printing.

Kiss bassist, and the blood-spitting demon himself, Gene Simmons, readily admits he’s had a love affair with comic books his entire life.

“I’m still a geek,” Simmons said recently by phone. “I started off a comic book geek, and I’m still a comic book geek. Our first Kiss comics came out through Marvel in 1978, and at that time were Marvel’s biggest selling comic books.”

Since then, Kiss stories and adventures have been published by not only Marvel, but by the Image, Dark Horse, Platinum Studios, Archie Comics, IDW and Dynamite Comics imprints, and the Kiss legend heads his own Simmons Comics Group.

“This is gonna be a first for me,” Simmons said. “Outside of Kiss, I’ve never done a solo tour. I never did anything like that. Every once in a while I’ll jump up on stage and do a song with somebody. Johnny Depp and I did a few songs together, a few other knuckleheads, but that’s about it. When Wizard World and I agreed to do five events together, the idea of jumping up onstage and gulping it on for an hour or so came up. And I got a great bunch of guys, real rocking guys who are gonna get up with me, and we’ll play all the hits and have ourselves a good old time.”

Q. The Agora was one of the first venues Kiss played outside of New York, correct?

A. “We started (in Cleveland) 43 years ago at the Agora, and it brings back a lot of memories. It’s really funny, when you’re a kid, the world seems like a big place. And when we started touring, we were in the back of a station wagon, and everything was big. We’d only played clubs before we went off on our first tour. When we saw the Agora, we thought, ‘Wow, what a big place!’ Of course, in a few months after that when we started playing 10,000-seaters, all of the sudden the world got much bigger, and the places we thought were big got much smaller. But, we have very fond memories of the area, the people and the gig. I’ve never been high or drunk in my life, so I remember it all.”

Q. Of course another Cleveland connection is that a few years ago Kiss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What did the honor mean to you?

A. “It’s appreciated, but I never thought much about it. Like most entities, they’re political. Some people in a back room decide who gets in and who does not. There are people from different genres that I don’t believe belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There’s disco and rap and all kinds of stuff. And I highly respect rap, but on the day Led Zeppelin gets put into the hip hop Hall of Fame, is the day I will personally accept rap artists as being brought into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It just ain’t the same thing. You go to Apple Music, and you go to different genres and you type in ‘rock,’ you’re not gonna find a single rap band in that category. Likewise, if you look at hip hop or rap, you’re not gonna see AC/DC or Kiss in the list in there.” Continue reading

Gene Simmons: Musicians Today Have to Live in Their Mother’s Basement & Give Music for Free, It’s Very Sad

Ultimate Guitar

Gene Simmons said he still shares that “rock is dead” stance, stressing that being a new band these days “has got to be horrible.”

During a recent CR interview, Gene was asked whether rock music “might be perhaps taking on a different form or evolving into something else? The idea being that this generation’s rock isn’t the same as their parents, just like their parents’ generation of rock wasn’t the same as their grandparents?”

The musician replied: “No. It’s not evolving at all, and that’s because there’s not really any record companies.

“That’s why it’s not evolving, because musicians can’t really spend full time working on their art. They have to go work for a living and live in their mother’s basement and give away their music for free. It’s very sad.

“It doesn’t affect us, but to be a new band today has got to be horrible. Because they will never have the chance we did.”

Gene added: “So from 1958 to 1988 we had Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, Hendrix, and a thousand others that stand the test of time. Then you had Metallica, Madonna, Prince and U2 and all of that. But from 1988 to today, who is the new Beatles? Where’s Elvis? Where are the Stones? Who is taking their place?”