All Access Pass: Gene Simmons
By Billy Kidd / 100.3 JACK FM
Wow, talking with Gene Simmons was awesome! I might be a little biased since I had Kiss posters on my wall when I was a kid and my first album ever KISS Alive II. But Gene is as interesting as I thought he would be and super nice as well!
Gene and I talked about his new restaurant Rock & Brews in The Colony. Gene and fellow KISS member Paul Stanley will be in town to celebrate the grand opening Tuesday May 10th. They’ll have a special luncheon that day with part of the proceeds benefiting veterans and the local charity AirBorne Angel Cadets of Texas.
Gene said that he feels strongly about the military and that giving back is the least we can do. Simmons’ mom was in a concentration camp during World War II. “She might have died if it weren’t for the Americans.” Gene said. The family moved from Israel to the U.S. when Gene was eight. He says America is the greatest country in the world so why not celebrate those who make our freedom available to us.
I asked Gene about his comments on N.W.A and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although Simmons has a ton of respect for the group including Ice Cube, he said they belong in the hip hop hall of fame but not the R&R HOF. He said it’d be like putting Kiss in the Jazz Hall of Fame. I think he has a point!
I wanted to get Gene’s take on the presidential race. He said it didn’t matter what he thought and that “Celebrities should basically shut the “F” up and let Americans vote their conscience when they get into the ballot.”
KISS has the reputation for being one of the best live acts of all time. I saw them when they last came through Dallas. It was the middle of the summer, the band was up on stage sweating, pouring everything they had into their performance. I asked how he can put so much work into each show and he said the secret is “You gotta remember where you came from.” Gene added that he’s done several different jobs and being a rock star is a privilege and he acts like each concert is the only concert he’ll do in his life.