I was huge Kiss fan when I was a kid. If this had happened in the 70s, I’m sure that it would have been an easier thing, but since most of my childhood and my awkward teenage years happened in the 90’s, it wasn’t exactly the most popular thing to like. Still, the idea of a bunch of guys playing heavy metal while covered in weird makeup and blowing shit up was really appealing to my 13 year old mind, and I felt really frustrated when I kept being unable to see them live.
A lot has happened since those days. I’ve seen Kiss live, I started to pay attention to their lyrics and, finally, my former love for the band became a source of embarrassment and frustration. Nowadays the only thing on my mind when I hear anything about Kiss is: “Please, just stop”.
Front and center of these has-beens is bassist, singer and anti-Semitic caricature, Gene Simmons, a man whose marketing techniques would make Sharon Osbourne blush. It’s not just that he seems like the kind of person who would do anything for a buck, but that he is such a piece of shit that I’m surprised a swarm of flies doesn’t follow him around.
Since I’m sure that these words probably make many Kiss fans (you know the type: the mid 50s fat guy with the ill-fitting cut-off jacket who lists his education as “university of life” and brags about the amount of porn he watches) get angry and breathe almost as heavily as when they go up a flight of stairs, let’s just look at the evidence:
1. He is a misogynist
While misogyny has always existed in metal due to it being a mostly male-dominated genre, Simmons has elevated it to the level of an art.
Back in 2002, Gene Simmons was interviewed by NPR’s Terry Gross. Although Simmons tried to prevent the interview from being published after he realized how much of a piece of shit he had shown to be, everything was eventually released. While you can listen to the full audio of the interview online, or just read the full transcript, here are some of the beautiful nuggets of wisdom from the feminist hero:
In regards to money being the most important thing in life, and what needs to be done to get it:
“The first thing you need — besides air, which so far is free, and by the way if you went scuba diving, you’re paying for air — the other thing besides that is food, it’s what we need to survive. I don’t know what other tool I would use besides money to buy it. Although, as a woman of course you have the ability to sell your body, then get the money, and then, with that, get food. But ultimately money is part of it. And so –“
When speaking about why he wears a codpiece:
“Terry Gross: No. Let’s get to the studded codpiece.
Gene Simmons: Oh yes.
Terry Gross: Do you have a sense of humor about that?
Gene Simmons: No.
Terry Gross: Does that seem funny to you? Are you —
Gene Simmons: No, it holds in my manhood.
Terry Gross: [laughs] That’s right.
Gene Simmons: Otherwise it would be too much for you to take. You’d have to put the book down and confront life. The notion is that if you want to welcome me with open arms, I’m afraid you’re also going to have to welcome me with open legs.”
Although Gross called his “comments obnoxious” (and would later describe him as a misogynist and a misanthrope) Simmons opted to double down, even asking her if she was “sexier” when she was not on NPR, demonstrating that his level of respect for women is akin to that of Ted Bundy. Which brings us to…
2. He is creepy
Some time ago, in the Opie and Anthony Show, one of the hosts commented how undercover sexual predator Gene Simmons once harassed his then-girlfriend, Jill Nicoletti. The level of harassment was such that her boss had to get involved to sort of diffuse the situation, since his flirtatious technique of pinning her against a fucking wall were clearly not working well enough.
As a man who brags about having had sex with about 5,000 women (he adds “so far”) Simmons has gone through some legal problems, like being accused of sexually harassing a make-up artist, choking some women who tried to record him and defaming his ex-girlfriend (with whom he settled). Of course, Gene accused them of just going after his money; after all, how could anyone suggest that this man, known for photographing every woman he has fucked, singing about statutory rape and for wanting to fuck his (trailer trash) groupies and their mothers, was not a nice person.
In Gene Simmons’ world, accusations come from gold-diggers, while the untapped reservoir of vaginas where he claims to live is only the result of his sexual prowess and abilities as a lover. Thanks to the internet, however, we have access to a leaked sex tape of this man, where we see him demonstrating his technique for the best part of 6 minutes.
Seriously. It’s out there. Google it and get get ready to witness the amazing and minuscule penis of this sexagenerian sex-tape terrorist going into a “model”, while wearing a t-shirt and keeping his pants and underwear around his ankles.
Although, at the time, Gene Simmons attacked those who “leaked” the sex tape, the fact that it coincided with the beginning of his cringe-inducing reality show did raise the questions as to whether it was a publicity stunt. After all…
3. He will do anything for a buck
In his NPR interview, Gene Simmons made it clear: Money is the most important thing in his life. He stressed that for him music was “to get laid and make lots of money”. To put things into perspective, this means that if little Gene here had started his band in the late 90’s then he would have been rapping side by side with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, since that was the best way to get laid back then. Remember to bring this up whenever any of the mullet-wearing members of the Kiss Army brings up how great they are.
In all fairness, however, in addition to the collection of genital warts that in all likelihood adorn this man’s decrepit and barely functioning penis, he does have a lot of money. The problem is that, as any trafficked child can attest, it’s not just about making money, but how you make it.
It’s not just that Kiss will sell anything to you, from lycra shorts to Christmas ornaments and even a fucking a casket (demonstrating their incredible taste, Simmons did specify that it could also serve as a beer cooler); It’s that they keep pushing their crap as if their life depended on it, making Shakespeare’s Shylock seem like an exemplary merchant in comparison.
What makes Simmons special as a businessman is that there are no depths he won’t sink to in order to make money. No product is too tacky and no technique is too sleazy. It’s not just that, as he proudly claims, it was never about the music, it’s that it was also never about the fans; how do we know this? Well, when asked about the crisis in the music industry, Gene’s approach towards file sharing was not a change in the industry standards, or offering the fans a better bang for their buck, it was the scorched earth policy of suing the kids that download music into oblivion, taking their houses and wiping them off the face of the earth. Considering that this is a man that charges his fans thousands of dollars for a meet and greet (with the added risk of STDs, bruises and molestation), and therefore doesn’t need to be suing children who download music, you’d think he’d have a less aggressive approach. But no, not Gene.
Nowadays Simmons can be found promoting LA Kiss, an arena football team that he proudly claims is pure “wholesome family entertainment”. The hypocrisy of a man known for writing a song about coercing his girlfriend into getting buttfucked, talking about “wholesome family entertainment” is obviously not something that Gene “welcome me with open legs” Simmons cares about; hell, he even went as far as pandering to the American Christian right in order to get exposure for his b-list team, by saying that they would recruit Tim Tebow, who had totally been discriminated against because of his Christian values™.
Having Simmons develop this parasitic relation with the Christian right is, of course, incredible, especially when you consider that
4. He is a racist and ignorant moron
During his run on A&E’s Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, Gene Simmons told his son that he shouldn’t try to fix his own car, because that’s “what gentiles are for”. In other words, Gene said that goym, the non-Jews, are made for manual labor, to serve the Jewish people. You have to wonder whether while he was kissing the ass of the Christian Right, the chutzpah of which went unnoticed, Gene remembered that he was talking to gentiles.
Imagine if he had been more specific on his racist remarks, targeting only blacks, instead of all non-jews. Would we be OK with him if he had said “that’s what blacks are for”? What about “that’s what Chinese are for”?
Of course, this is far from being Gene‘s only racist remark; after all, he has gone on the record calling Muslims “a vile culture” (he then backtracked and pretended that he had only meant extremists). Simmons is just so massively ignorant about everything around him (but surrounds himself with enough “yes men” to believe otherwise) that he has expressed his disdain at anybody opposing Israel‘s war crimes in the occupied territories; has praised the siege of the Gaza Strip (called by Richard Falk, UN’s Special Rapporteur a “crime against humanity” and deemed illegal by every human right organization), advocated bombing Iran and attacked both the UN and the Obama administration for not standing behind Israel on everything.
Gene’s remarkably moronic criticisms of Obama, a man I’m not fond of, included that he had no right to “dictate” policies for Israel, because he didn’t live there (also an analogy about the moon that is so incredibly stupid that it needs to be seen to be believed). Of course, neither does Gene, who actually waited a good 51 years before even visiting his country of birth; but that didn’t stop him from claiming that Israel was his home, and that he was always “a stranger in America”. For Gene it’s all about whoever it is that he’s trying to exploit. You know, just like a psychopath
Although from time to time Gene shows his true nature, the fact of the matter is that for a big chunk of his career he didn’t demonstrate how much of a gigantic turd he was. The reasons for this are obvious, after all
5. He is a terrible musician and a horrible songwriter who even wrote a song about fucking a child.
During his visit to Israel, Simmons explained to his audience that if Kiss was to start today, they would be the saviors of music and that they’d be just as popular. What Simmons seems to forget is that what propelled Kiss into fame was not their music, but the make-up and the special effects gimmick, something that nowadays would hardly carry the same shock-value that it had in the 70s.
Aside from the skill of pre-addiction Ace Frehley, at the end of the day Kiss were a band known for simple melodies, choruses that were repeated countless of times, and lyrics so stupid and tacky that they make Ke$ha seem like a Nobel laureate.
The problem is not that the lyrics are terrible; after all, not every band needs to write complex concept albums or use their songs as social criticisms. The thing is to see that Gene tries to pass those songs as if they were musical masterpieces (as opposed to the unremarkable, yet catchy, tunes they are). It’s not that, as a musician, Gene Simmons pisses on your leg and tells you it’s raining; it’s that he pisses on your leg and then charges your for the VIP experience.
Although in his songwriting career Gene has made sure to set low standards and then fail to meet them, he reached an undisputed low when he penned the famous “Christeen Sixteen”, a romantic song about statutory rape.
While Simmons pulled no punches after the death of Michael Jackson, a man who was more of a threat to children than whooping cough, and made plenty of comments regarding his love for giving hefty settlements to kids who couldn’t keep a secret, he has had no problem in singing this lovely tune. All of this, of course, despite being a 64 years old man…
A 64 year old misogynistic, misanthropic, creepy, greedy, racist, ignorant and untalented man who really, really, really, seems to want to fuck a