Sex, (No) Drugs And Rock And Roll For Gene Simmons

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KISS frontman Gene Simmons is probably one of those guys that most people either love or hate. It’s hard to imagine an in-between for a fellow who speaks his mind as openly as Simmons. He is, apparently, happy to let the chips fall where they may.

This time he’s dispensing some sound advice through the New York Post by saying that booze and drugs have no place in the life of a rock star.

“The only way to do it is no booze, no drugs. If you are not clean, you don’t belong up there. I’ve never been drunk or high in my life,” Simmons proclaims. Although that is a little hard to believe, it’s difficult to say that it cannot be true – even for a flamboyant rock god like Simmons.

Still, not even just a little bit tipsy, Gene?

Whatever the case may be, his advice would have well served many of his rock contemporaries, temptressas well as countless stars that have come before him. The lure of drugs and alcohol have led to the undoing of many a talented performer and in those infamous cases that we remember so well, even their untimely death.

There is, however, one temptation Simmons admits falling victim to. Females, which he refers to it as a temptation that can be enjoyed.

Of course no story about Gene Simmons would be complete without some controversy. Surely there are those that will consider the previous subject controversial, but we are operating within the context of rock and roll here.

The love Simmons has for the ladies is apparently equaled by the hatred he has for music critics.

Quoted in a BBC interview, Simmons refers to music critics as “an unnecessary life form.” Also adding that, “There’s a large Kiss cemetery at the back of our houses where we bury them.”

I’m not sure the vitriol he let lose with is warranted, but there is no arguing with the success of KISS through the years. This may sound a bit unusual coming from someone who does the occasional review in this space, but I think Simmons has a point, although he may have sharpened it a bit too much in this case. Not something all that surprising coming from him, however.

At any rate, reviews and criticisms are merely opinions. I’ve stressed that in the past and have no illusions that I am influencing the masses regarding their music purchases.

For example, I am not a KISS fan. Never owned a KISS album and can only name one song they ever did, which happens to be “Detroit Rock City,” and that’s only because a local band that used to play around the New England area covered it better than KISS did. (Take note: That’s another opinion and yours just might vary!)

Is Gene Simmons going to miss a mortgage payment or have to sell off some stocks and bonds because I don’t like KISS? Hardly. The best I can hope for is that some rock fans out there have taste in music that aligns somewhat with my own, and that they appreciate my viewpoint. Others might want to call me names, and that’s OK, too.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Opinions are like… Well, you get the idea.


  1. Todd October 15, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Interesting. I actually almost ALWAYS agree with you on all your opinions regarding bands & members. Esp Rush. But I have been a lifelong KISS fan, and while I agree Gene’s greed & incessant marketing of all things KISS & Gene gets annoying, they are a very talented band who has been, unfortunately, judged too much by image & not talent. If you never have, you should take the time to listen to some of their stuff. Especially the classic 70s stuff. But, as you say, that is just MY opinion… 🙂

    • Real Rock News October 15, 2009 at 9:48 am

      Hey, Todd. Thanks for those comments. Nice to know that there are some people out there who agree with me most of the time.

      I think you make an excellent point regarding KISS. I will admit that I have probably judged them by their image myself. The make-up, the costumes, etc. I could just never take them seriously because of that.

      With that said, I just may take your advice and listen to some of their older stuff. As I mentioned, “Detroit Rock City” is a great song, but I was so accustomed to seeing it performed live by one of the most talented bands (“Image” is the group, for those in the area who may be old enough to remember) that ever frequented the New England area club scene, that the recorded version from KISS just didn’t do it for me.

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