Gene Simmons

Last updated

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons 2012.jpg
Simmons in October 2012
Background information
Birth nameChaim Witz
Also known as
  • The Demon
  • The God of Thunder
  • Dr. Love
  • Reginald Van Helsing
Born (1949-08-25) August 25, 1949 (age 69)
Tirat Carmel, Israel
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • entrepreneur
  • television personality
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • bass guitar
Years active1970–present
Associated acts
Website genesimmons.com

Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz [lower-alpha 1] on August 25, 1949), known professionally as Gene Simmons, is an Israeli-American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, author, and television personality. Also known by his stage persona The Demon, he is the bassist and co-lead singer of Kiss, the rock band he co-founded with lead singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley in the early 1970s.

Kiss (band) American band

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Paul Stanley American hard rock guitarist, musician, singer-songwriter and painter

Paul Stanley is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and painter, best known for being the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Kiss. He is the writer or co-writer of many of the band's highest-charting hits. Stanley established The Starchild character for his Kiss persona.

Contents

Life and career

Early life

Simmons was born as Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949, at Rambam Hospital, in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish emigrants from Hungary. His mother, Florence Klein (originally Flóra Kovács), was born in Jánd, Hungary, and survived internment in Nazi concentration camps. [1] She and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only members of the family to survive the Holocaust. His father, Ferenc "Feri" Yehiel Witz, was a carpenter. Simmons spent his early childhood in Tirat Carmel, and was raised in a Jewish household. He practiced playing his guitar for hours on end. [2] He has said that his family was "dirt poor," scraping by on rationed bread and milk. [3] At age seven, he began to pick wild fruit and sell it on roadsides together with a friend. [4]

Haifa Place in Israel

Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel – after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – with a population of 281,087 in 2017. The city of Haifa forms part of the Haifa metropolitan area, the second- or third-most populous metropolitan area in Israel. It is home to the Bahá'í World Centre, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Bahá'í pilgrims.

Jánd Place in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Hungary

Jánd is a village in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, in the Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary.

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

At age eight, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and settled in New York City. His father remained in Israel, where he had one other son and three daughters. In the United States, Simmons changed his name to Eugene Klein, adopting his mother's maiden name. At age nine, he briefly attended a Jewish religious school, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, before transferring to a public school. [5] He later attended Richmond College [6] and Sullivan County Community College, both in New York, and chose a stage name in tribute to the rockabilly singer Jumpin' Gene Simmons. [7] Before his musical career began, Klein/Simmons worked a variety of jobs in the city. An "excellent typist", he served as an assistant to an editor of the fashion magazine Vogue , and also spent several months as a sixth grade instructor on the Upper West Side. [8]

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Yeshiva Torah Vodaas

Yeshiva Torah Vodaath is a yeshiva in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

Jumpin' Gene Simmons was an American rockabilly singer and songwriter, best known for his 1964 novelty single "Haunted House".

The Beatles had a significant influence on Simmons. "There is no way I'd be doing what I do now if it wasn't for the Beatles. I was watching The Ed Sullivan Show and I saw them. Those skinny little boys, kind of androgynous, with long hair like girls. It blew me away that these four boys [from] the middle of nowhere could make that music." [9]

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most influential band of all time. The group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. Their sound, rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways. In later years they experimented with unconventional recording techniques and additional music styles, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

<i>The Ed Sullivan Show</i> American television series

The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran on CBS from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced in September 1971 by the CBS Sunday Night Movie.

Kiss

Gene Simmons as "The Demon", 2010 Gene Simmons - Azkena Rock Festival 2010 6.jpg
Gene Simmons as "The Demon", 2010

Simmons became involved with his first band, Lynx, then renamed the Missing Links, when he was a teenager. Eventually, he disbanded the band to form the Long Island Sounds, the name being a pun on Long Island Sound. While he played in these bands, he worked at odd jobs on the side to make more money, including trading used comic books. Simmons attended Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York. He joined a new band, Bullfrog Bheer, and the band recorded a demo, "Leeta"; this was later included on the Kiss box set.

Long Island Sound A tidal estuary on the east coast of the United States

Long Island Sound is a tidal estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, lying predominantly between the U.S. state of Connecticut to the north, and Long Island in New York to the south. From west to east, the sound stretches 110 miles (177 km) from the East River in New York City, along the North Shore of Long Island, to Block Island Sound. A mix of freshwater from tributaries and saltwater from the ocean, Long Island Sound is 21 miles (34 km) at its widest point and varies in depth from 65 to 230 feet.

Loch Sheldrake, New York CDP & hamlet in New York, United States

Loch Sheldrake is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Fallsburg, New York, in Sullivan County, New York. The zip code for Loch Sheldrake is 12759.

Simmons formed the rock band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s with Stanley Eisen (now known as Paul Stanley) and recorded one album, which was never released. Dissatisfied with Wicked Lester's sound and look, Simmons and Stanley attempted to fire their band members; they were met with resistance, and they quit Wicked Lester, walking away from their record deal with Epic Records. They decided to form the "ultimate rock band", and started looking for a drummer. Simmons and Stanley found an ad placed by George Peter John Criscuola (known as Peter Criss) who was playing clubs in Brooklyn at the time; they joined and started out as a trio.[ citation needed ]

Wicked Lester New York based rock band

Wicked Lester was a New York-based rock and roll band that would later re-member and become the band known as Kiss. The band formed in 1970, under the name Rainbow. Two notable members were bassist Gene Klein and rhythm guitarist Stanley Eisen, who later adopted the stage names Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, respectively. In 1971 the band changed their name to Wicked Lester, and recorded an album for Epic Records, which was never officially released.

Epic Records American record label

Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc., the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but later expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, rock, and hip hop. Epic Records has released music by artists including Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, George Michael, The Yardbirds, Donovan, Shakin Stevens, Europe, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent, Shakira, Sly & the Family Stone, The Hollies, Celine Dion, ABBA, Culture Club, Boston, Dave Clark Five, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Michael Jackson. Along with Arista, Columbia and RCA Records, Epic is one of Sony Music Entertainment's four flagship record labels.

Peter Criss American drummer

George Peter John Criscuola, better known by his stage name Peter Criss, is a retired American musician and actor, best known as a co-founder, original drummer, and occasional vocalist of the hard rock band Kiss. Criss established the Catman character for his Kiss persona. In 2014, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Kiss.

During this time, Criss and Simmons also appeared on an unreleased album by Captain Sanity together with members from Criss' previous band Chelsea. Paul Frehley (better known as Ace Frehley) responded to an ad they put in The Village Voice for a lead guitar player, and soon joined them. Kiss released their self-titled debut album in February 1974. Stanley took on the role of lead performer on stage, while Simmons became the driving force behind what became an extensive Kiss merchandising franchise. The eye section of his "Demon" makeup with Kiss came from the wing design of comic book character Black Bolt. [10]

Simmons' 'The Demon' make-up KISS devil face.svg
Simmons' 'The Demon' make-up

Although all sorts of claims have been made about the source and "real" meaning of the name "Kiss", in fact it is a tribute to Simmon's mother, with whom he has an extremely close relationship. Her German surname Klein means "small" in English. Although German and English are related languages, Hungarian is an unrelated language. One Hungarian word for small is kis. [11]

In 1983, when the fame of Kiss was waning, the members took off their trademark make-up and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity that continued into the 1990s. At this time, Peter Criss, the original drummer, was voted out of the band, and a replacement was sought to fill his vacancy. The new drummer was Paul Charles Caravello, who went by the stage name of Eric Carr, and played for Kiss from 1980 until his death in 1991. The band hosted its own fan conventions in 1995, and fan feedback about the original Kiss members reunion influenced the highly successful 1996–1997 Alive Worldwide reunion tour. In 1998, the band released Psycho Circus . Since then, the original line-up has once again dissolved, with Tommy Thayer replacing Ace Frehley on lead guitar and Eric Singer (who performed with Kiss from 1991 through 1996) replacing Peter Criss on drums.

Playing style

Among most Kiss songs, lead vocal duties are split between Simmons and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley. Some notable songs featuring Simmons singing lead include "Rock and Roll All Nite", "A World Without Heroes", "I Love It Loud", "Calling Dr. Love", "Unholy", "Spit" (second lead vocals), "Boomerang", and "You Wanted the Best" (first lead vocals), "Christine Sixteen", among others.

Stage makeup and persona

In addition to playing bass, Simmons is known for his long tongue, which he frequently sticks out while performing, and on stage is known for his demonic figure by spitting fire and vomiting stage blood.

During an interview in 1999, Simmons was asked about the source and significance of Kiss' stage makeup and personas:

I've always been a fan of Americana, and Americana has always been about imagery, often above content. I think there's nothing wrong with that. The world worships this culture. Most people only think about America in terms of rock & roll, movies and television. Kiss is very all-American, in the sense that our constituency has never had anything in common with critics ... because our power, our lifeblood, our very reason for existence is our fans. Without them, we'd be nothing.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Gene Simmons fire breathing. Gene Simmons - Azkena Rock Festival 2010 7.jpg
Gene Simmons fire breathing.

Simmons is a science fiction and comic book fan and published several science fiction fanzines, among them Id, Cosmos (which eventually merged with Stilletto to become Cosmos-Stilletto and then Faun), Tinderbox, Sci-Fi Showcase, Mantis and Adventure. He also contributed to other fanzines, among them BeABohema and Sirruish. [12] By 1977, however, he would write in a letter of comment to Janus, "I haven't been active [in fandom] for about five years". [13]

Simmons lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Canadian former Playboy Playmate and actress Shannon Lee Tweed. Although they began dating in 1983, they did not marry until 28 years later. [14] Simmons often joked that he and Tweed were "happily unmarried" for over 20 years. He also often stated, "Marriage is an institution, and I don't want to live in an institution". Simmons and Tweed wed on October 1, 2011, at the Beverly Hills Hotel. [14] [15] [16] They have two children: a son, Nick (born January 22, 1989), and a daughter, Sophie (born July 7, 1992). He formerly had live-in relationships with Cher and Diana Ross, [17] revealing that he fell in love with Ross while dating Cher. [18] Simmons can speak Hungarian, German, English, Hebrew and some Japanese. [17]

Homecoming visit to Israel

In March 2011, Simmons visited his birth country, Israel. He described the trip as a "life changing experience". He talked about how he still feels that he is an Israeli: "I'm Israeli. I'm a stranger in America. I'm an outsider". [19] While there, Simmons met his half-brother Kobi, and triplet half-sisters Drora, Sharon, and Ogenia. [20] Simmons has plans to take Kiss to Israel. He has said that he is an ardent supporter of Israel. [21] At a press conference in Israel, he spoke in both Hebrew and English. [22]

Political views

Simmons was a supporter of the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. [23] He supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, writing on his website: "I'm ashamed to be surrounded by people calling themselves liberal who are, in my opinion, spitting on the graves of brave American soldiers who gave their life to fight a war that wasn't theirs... in a country they've never been to... simply to liberate the people therein". [24] In a follow-up, Simmons explained his position and wrote about his love and support for the United States: "I wasn't born here. But I have a love for this country and its people that knows no bounds. I will forever be grateful to America for going into World War II, when it had nothing to gain, in a country that was far away... and rescued my mother from the Nazi German concentration camps. She is alive and I am alive because of America. And, if you have a problem with America, you have a problem with me". [24]

During the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Lebanon, Simmons sent a televised message of support (in both English and Hebrew) to an Israeli soldier seriously wounded in fighting in Lebanon, calling him his "hero". [25]

In 2010, Simmons said he regretted voting for Barack Obama and criticized the 2009 health care reforms. [26] Following Obama's 2011 speech on the Middle East in which the President called on Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a settlement "based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps", [27] Simmons told CNBC that Obama was gravely misguided. "If you have never been to the moon, you can't issue policy about the moon. For the president to be sitting in Washington D.C. and saying, 'Go back to your '67 borders in Israel' – how about you live there and try to defend an indefensible border – nine miles (14 km) wide?" Simmons also accused the United Nations of being "the most pathetic body on the face of the earth". [28]

During his visit to Israel in 2011, he stated that the artists refusing to perform in Israel for political reasons are "stupid". [29]

In an April 2012 interview, Simmons endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for President: "America should be in business and it should be run by a businessman." [30]

On November 6, 2015, he attended a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gala in Beverly Hills, which raised more than $31 million. [31]

Philanthropy

Simmons is a known advocate for ChildFund International's work. He traveled to Zambia during his Gene Simmons Family Jewels show to visit several of his sponsored children, of whom he has more than 1400. [32] Simmons said that the trip "[was] a stark reminder that life doesn't treat everyone the same". [33]

Simmons' family received the MEND Humanitarian Award for their philanthropic efforts and support for Mending Kids International at the organization's annual gala on November 9, 2013. The award was presented by Mel Gibson. [34] In his acceptance speech, Simmons spoke of his own difficult childhood in Israel in a bullet-riddled house. He recalled his mother's excitement when they received a CARE box one day. [35]

Simmons helped found "The Children Matter", which is a collaborative initiative with the charity MATTER that fights to get kids around the world access to health care. [36]

Controversy

On November 16, 2017, Simmons made an appearance on Fox & Friends to promote a new book, but shortly afterward, he burst into a staff meeting uninvited, yanking his shirt and telling jokes. The next day, on November 17, Fox News announced that Simmons had been banned for life from their program. [37] [38] [39]

Other projects

On August 15, 2013, Simmons, Paul Stanley and manager Doc McGhee became a part of the ownership group that created the LA Kiss Arena Football League team, which plays their home games at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The team has since folded.

He has his own magazine, Gene Simmons Tongue Magazine, his own label, Simmons Records, and animated series, My Dad the Rock Star .

Public statements and image

Promiscuity

Simmons has boasted many times about having bedded thousands of women. In 2010, he claimed the tally stood at 5,000 and that he has a Polaroid picture of each liaison, including the hotel key where it took place [40] . A number of years prior, as a guest on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg, Simmons told fellow guest Thea Andrews he had slept with 4,500 women, to which Andrews replied she wasn't interested in being 4,501 [41] . The show's other guest, Mark Tewksbury, offered himself to Simmons instead, to which Simmons declined [42] . Tewksbury would state in a 2012 interview with the National Post that Simmons shook his head at Tewksbury off-camera [43] .

He told Terry Gross: "If you want to welcome me with open arms, I'm afraid you're also going to have to welcome me with open legs", paraphrasing a lyric from the Who's 1981 song "You Better You Bet". Gross replied: "That's a really obnoxious thing to say". At the time, Simmons refused to grant permission to NPR to make the interview available online. [44] However, it appears in print in Gross' book All I Did Was Ask and unauthorized transcripts are available. NPR re-broadcast part of the interview in August 2007. [45] In a 2014 interview with The Huffington Post , Simmons noted he was upset over what he perceived as Gross's "holier-than-thou" attitude, which included mislabeling his band Kiss as "the Kiss". [46]

Islam comments in Australia

In 2004, during an interview in Melbourne, Australia, while talking about Islamic extremists, Simmons described Islam as a "vile culture", saying that Muslim women had to walk behind their husbands and were not allowed to be educated or to own houses. He said: "They want to come and live right where you live and they think that you're evil." Australia's Muslim of the Year Susan Carland argued that Simmons' stereotyping of Muslims was inaccurate. [47] Simmons later clarified his comments on his website, saying he had been talking specifically about Muslim extremists. [48]

Defamation lawsuit by former girlfriend

In 2005, Simmons was sued by a former girlfriend, Georgeann Walsh Ward, who said she had been "defamed" in the VH1 documentary When Kiss Ruled the World and portrayed as an "unchaste woman". [49] A settlement was reached in June 2006. [50]

Views on musical piracy

In 2007, Simmons openly spoke out against music piracy, and called for file-sharers to be sued. [51] A year later, he threatened further lawsuits, and to withhold new recordings, if file-sharing continued. In 2010, Anonymous staged a DDoS on his website, prompting Simmons to hit back with provocative comments once he was back online, at which point Anonymous staged a second DDoS, taking Simmons' site down again. [52]

Comments on suicide and depression

In August 2014, Simmons made comments in an interview with Songfacts.com that seemed to openly encourage people with depression to kill themselves. The comments drew criticism from Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe who had suffered from depression in the past. [53] Following his comments, both Triple M and Winnipeg radio station Power 97 stated that they were pulling all Kiss songs from their lineup in protest. [54] Simmons later clarified his comments and apologized for the incident. [55]

Decline of music industry

In September 2014, Simmons said "The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered". Simmons blames file sharing and that no one values music "enough to pay you for it" for the decline of the rock music scene. [56]

Film and television career

Simmons has been involved with such television projects as:

In 1985 Simmons appeared on the TV series Miami Vice in and episode titled "The Prodigal Son". The episode served as the season premiere of the show's second season. [58] Simmons appeared as a psychic working at the Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice, California on the American hidden camera prank TV series I Get That a Lot . [59] He also guest-starred as himself in the 2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode Long Road Home.

Simmons performed in the 1984 Michael Crichton thriller Runaway starring Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes and Kirstie Alley as well as the 1987 Gary Sherman action film Wanted: Dead or Alive starring Rutger Hauer. [60]

In March 2015 Simmons founded the film production company Erebus Pictures [61] and announced as the first project was the Horror-thriller film Armed Response . [62]

Awards and recognition

On January 28, 2011, Simmons was in Dallas, Texas, to host the Aces & Angels Salute to the Troops charity event. Simmons was presented the key to the city, and a street (Gene Simmons Boulevard) was named for him. Simmons and Tweed also visited the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood to support the troops as a part of the Aces & Angels event.[ citation needed ]

On June 15 of the same year he was given the key to the city in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 2012, Simmons was awarded the Golden God award by the Revolver magazine. [63]

In 2013, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History accepted an autographed Gene Simmons Axe bass into their collection. The Smithsonian wrote, in part: "The bass will now be cared for in our permanent collections... We are happy to include the Axe bass as it relates to the impact Mr. Simmons and his band Kiss have had on American culture, especially in the creation of a unique and iconic brand that has been embraced by fans worldwide ... The story of Mr. Simmons' American experience deserves to be preserved. An immigrant and son of a holocaust survivor, he used creative vision and entrepreneurial acumen to make a significant impact for our nation's popular culture, becoming an iconic figure in American music and entertainment." [64]

Simmons is an honorary board member of Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged U.S. public schools. A&E's Gene Simmons Family Jewels visited a Little Kids Rock classroom and featured the segment on the show. He also decorated a guitar for auction with his son Nick. [65]

On December 15, 2014, Simmons was awarded the Golden Medal by the Reial Circle Artístic de Barcelona (Royal Artistic Circle of Barcelona). [66]

Filmography

YearFilmRoleBandmatesMiscellaneous
1978 Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park The Demon/Himself Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley TV movie
1984 Runaway Dr. Charles Luther
1986 Never Too Young to Die Carruthers / Velvet Von Ragner
1986 Trick or Treat Nuke (radio DJ)
1987 Wanted: Dead or Alive Malak Al Rahim
1988 The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years HimselfPaul StanleyDocumentary
1989Red SurfDoc
1999 Detroit Rock City HimselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul StanleySimmons also produced
2001 Wish You Were Dead Vinny
2002 The New Guy Reverend
2008 Detroit Metal City Jack lll DarkJapanese movie
2009 Extract [67] Joe Adler
2010 Expecting Mary Taylor
2010 Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage HimselfDocumentary
2013 Sample This: The Incredible Story of the Incredible Bongo Band HimselfDocumentary
2015 Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery The DemonPaul Stanley, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer Voice only
2016 We Are X HimselfDocumentary
2016 Why Him? HimselfPaul StanleyCameo
2017 Armed Response
TBAUntitled Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery Sequel [68] The DemonPaul Stanley, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer [68] Voice only

Television appearances

YearShowEpisodeRoleBandmatesMiscellaneous
1974 The Mike Douglas Show June 11, 1974HimselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul StanleyKiss' first national television appearance, performed "Firehouse".
1976 The Paul Lynde Halloween Special October 29, 1976HimselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul StanleyPerformed "Detroit Rock City," "King of the Night Time World," and "Beth"
1979TomorrowHimselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley
1985 Miami Vice "Prodigal Son"Newton Blade
1986 The Hitchhiker "O.D.Feelin'" January 28, 1986Mr. Big
1997 Action League Now! "Rock-A-Big-Baby"Toy version of himselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul StanleyPerformed "Rock and Roll All Nite"
1998 MADtv [69] October 31, 1998 (#406)HimselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley.Halloween special; performed in five sketches
1998 Millennium "...Thirteen Years Later" October 30, 1998Hector LeachmanPaul Stanley, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley
2000"That 70's Show""Red sees Red"as The Devil
2001 Family Guy "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas"Animated version of himselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley
2001 Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? May 27, 2001HimselfWon $32,000 for a charity
2001 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart [70] June 12, 2001HimselfAlmost licked Jon Stewart's face in response to Jon being unable to explain the difference between pleasure and joy to a man with a 'twelve-inch tongue'
2002 Family Guy "Road to Europe"Animated version of himselfPeter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul StanleyLois Griffin claims she dated Gene Simmons while they were in high school, and calls him by his birth name, Chaim Witz.
2002 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno September 6, 2002Himself
2003 King of the Hill "Reborn to Be Wild"Jessie
2004 Third Watch "Higher Calling"Donald Mann
2004 Third Watch "Monsters"Donald Mann
2004 Third Watch "More Monsters"Donald Mann
2005 American Idol "Auditions: New Orleans"Himself- guest judge
2005 Family Guy "Don't Make Me Over"Animated version of himself/ Prisoner No. 3
2005 Mind of Mencia Episode #1.7Himself
2006 The View August 1, 2006HimselfPromotional appearance for Gene Simmons Family Jewels
2007 SpongeBob SquarePants "20,000 Patties Under the Sea"Sea Monster
2007 Shrink Rap "Gene Simmons"HimselfUK's More4 show
2008 Entertainment Tonight January 2, 2008Himself
2008 Jimmy Kimmel Live! January 18, 2008Himself
2008 Rachael Ray March 11, 2008Himself
2008 Criss Angel Mindfreak "Mindfreaking with the Stars"Himself
2008 Ugly Betty "The Kids Are Alright"Himself
2008 Ugly Betty "A Thousand Words by Friday"Himself
2008 Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Episode #3.9HimselfWon $500,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation charity
2008 The Celebrity Apprentice First three episodesHimselfWon $20,000 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation charity; Fired in the third episode
2008Jingles [71] Celebrity judge Mark Burnett reality show
2009 Glenn Martin DDS Glenn Gary, Glenn Martinhimself
2009 American Idol Season FinaleHimself Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Paul StanleyPerformed medley of 3 songs with contestant Adam Lambert
2009 The Fairly OddParents "Wishology – Part 1: The Big Beginning"Animated version of himself Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley
2009 The Fairly OddParents "Wishology – Part 3: The Final Ending"Animated version of himself Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley
2010 I Get That a Lot Episode 2As HimselfSimmons appeared as a psychic working at the Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice, California
2010 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Episode 160As HimselfKiss made a personal appearance during the Wagstaff family's vacation in Disneyland and honored them as special guests at one of their concerts. Kiss also made a personal appearance at a local school where a donation of new musical instruments was made in the Wagstaff family's name.
2010 I'm in a Rock 'n' Roll Band! Episode 1 And 5As HimselfDiscussing the requirements of being in a rock band.
2011 Castle To Love and Die in LAAs Himself
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Long Road HomeAs Himself
2014 American Idol Season 13 FinaleHimself Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Paul StanleyPerformed with Caleb Johnson
2014 Welcome to Sweden S1 Ep4: Get a Job/FarthinderHimself
2015 Scorpion S2 Ep1:Himself30 September 2015, Himself, Interview
2016 Angie Tribeca (2016 TBS TV Series)S1 Ep9:Himself
2018 Jeopardy! October 31 episodeHimselfReading clues about Halloween in costume and makeup. As a publicity stunt, Alex Trebek was briefly made up and costumed as Simmons. Short video of that appeared as a commercial bump; longer video posted to show web site.

Video games

YearVideo GameRole
2014 Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Himself

Music video appearances

In 1994, Simmons appears as auditioning for the band with actor Al Lewis & comedian Gilbert Gottfried in a music video for "I'll Talk My Way Out Of It" by Howard Stern comedian Stuttering John. In 2007, he appeared alongside other celebrities, as well as regular people, in the music video for "Rockstar" by Nickelback.[ citation needed ]

Video game appearances

Gene Simmons is a playable character in Tony Hawk's Underground , unlocked when completing the story mode on Normal difficulty, and also appears with his Kiss bandmates in the Hotter Than Hell level to play one of three songs upon collecting the four K-I-S-S letters.[ citation needed ]

Gene Simmons' Kiss character, The Demon, is a playable character in Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child . Simmons also has a large role in the 2010 music video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock . In addition to narrating the main storyline, voicing the character Demigod of Rock in cutscenes, and doing advertising for the game, the Kiss song "Love Gun" is playable.[ citation needed ]

A Pokémon who is introduced in Pokémon Sword and Shield known as Obstagoon resembles Gene Simmons’ Kiss character. [72]

Discography

Studio albums

Other Appearances

Box sets

DVDs

Publishing career

In 2002, Simmons launched Gene Simmons' Tongue, a men's lifestyle magazine. [73] The magazine lasted five issues before being discontinued.[ citation needed ]

Other ventures

In 1976-77, Simmons signed a management/production contract with the band Van Halen. He produced a Van Halen demo tape and attempted to find a record deal for the band with a variety of major record labels. When no deal materialised, he released them from their contract.[ citation needed ]

From 2006–2008, Simmons served in a marketing and publicity role with the Indy Racing League. [74]

In 2012, Simmons partnered with Paul Stanley and three other investors to form the restaurant franchise Rock & Brews.[ citation needed ]

In 2017, Simmons launched "The Vault" which is a compilation of all of his major works selling for $2,000. [75]

In 2018, Simmons was named as "Chief Evangelist Officer" of the Canadian cannabis company Invictus MD Strategies. [76] Simmons also holds a large investment stake in the company. [77]

Published works



Notes

  1. Hebrew: חיים ויץ, pronounced  [χaˈim ˈvits] .

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