The Redemption of Gene Simmons…
(The Conclusion of Gene Simmons at Fright Night Fandomfest)
“Just go in there and enjoy a nice a conversation with Gene Simmons,” the staff person told us before leading us into a small room with a table of snacks (cheese and crackers) and non alcoholic beverages. There was a line of chairs set up in a half circle with Gene Simmons standing in front of them…no sun glasses this time.
Simmons: Come on in and make yourselves comfortable, that’s what this is all about. Feel free to grab yourself a refreshment. Ah…nice to see we have some women in the group.
One of them offered Gene a bottle of Snapple which he happily accepted (though he never opened it during this discussion). “See? This is why it’s nice having women!” he said. “Men just grab what they want and sit down but a woman will make sure you’re needs are met first.”
We all took a seat as he continued on the subject of women. Initially he discussed how wonderful they are before delving into their uncanny ability to remember every mistake a man’s ever made along with the impossibility of winning arguments with them.
The small talk continued as the woman who’d offered him the drink (a school teacher) asked how his kids were. He happily discussed their current projects such as daughter, Sophie, opening a second “Sophie’s Place” (haven for abused girls) in British Columbia and his son, Nick, working with clothes designer, John Varvatos. Simmons asked if anyone had heard of Varvatos and another woman in the group said, “Yes, I heard about him on The Howard Stern Show.”
Simmons: Seriously? That’s how you’ve heard of him? That’s like learning about the circus through one of the clowns!
He passed around his cell phone (its case the cover of the KISS Rock and Roll Over album) so we could all look at their latest pictures - Nick looking dapper with short hair while sporting one of Varvatos’ suits and Sophie shining a smile. He talked about how she wasn’t married and all the pressure society puts on women to be wed at a certain age (though I could tell that, in her case, he was in no hurry to see it happen). He also mentioned that Sophie and her mom, Shannon Tweed, are working on their own reality show spin-off of Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
Someone asked about upcoming KISS products (which must have been music to his ears) and he happily shared their latest merchandise plans including KISS Hello Kitty, Family Guy, Angry Birds, and a new KISSOLOGY collection. His AXE guitars came up and how he’s planning on having artist, Ken Kelly (who made the covers of both the Love Gun and Destroyer albums) create original, one-of-a-kind designs for some of them. He also mentioned plans to release KISS solo box sets featuring all kinds of rare tracks that nobody’s heard before (though I’m pretty sure that, thanks to Jason, I’d heard many of his). “I’m a regurgitator,” he said. If I have something I did that I liked I’ll use it again for something else.” He brought up other bands using The Beatles as a point of reference and sang the chorus of All you need is love (seriously).
At this point I started to get a little irked. It was Sunday evening, poor Russ was waiting for me outside and anxious to get home, and this whole “Meet and Greet” was starting to look more like a KISS Tupperware Party. I was about ready to ask if he’d brought along catalogs for us when that mild-mannered school teacher proved herself more than just a suck-up.
“How’s Paul Stanley’s voice?” she asked.
This was the only instance in the discussion when Simmons would not provide eye contact and I understood why. I recently watched a show from their current Monster Tour on YouTube and the deterioration of Stanley’s voice border-lined on tragic.
Simmons: Sometimes it’s good…and sometimes it’s not so good. You know it’s like anything else when you use something a lot it’s gonna start to wear down. For some reason my voice has endured…and I’m not sure why that is.
This entry was posted on August 23, 2013 by Terror Dave. It was filed under 1980'S Horror Films, Celebrities, Godzilla, Heavy Metal, Horror, HORROR CONVENTION, Horror Fans, Japanese Monsters, KISS, Monster Fans, Monster Magazaine, Monster Movies, Monsters, Movies, Music, Rock and Roll, Rock Music, Television Horror Hosts, Universal Monsters and was tagged with ACE FREHLEY, Chris Alexander, Destroyer, Elvis Presley, Fangoria, Fright Night/Fandomfest, GENE SIMMONS, Howard Stern, John Varvatos, Ken Kelly, KISS, KISS Meets the Phantom, Love Gun, Madonna, Never too young to Die, Nick Simmons, PAUL STANLEY, PETER CRISS, Rihanna, Searching for Sugar Man, Shakira, Shannon Tweed, Sixto Rodriguez, Sophie Tweed Simmons, Sophie's Place, Taylor Swift, Trick or Treat.