Gene Simmons

From Academic Kids

Gene Simmons (born Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949 in Haifa, Israel) is best known as the blood spitting, fire breathing, tongue-wagging egomaniacal bass player for the rock band KISS. In 1958, he emigrated to New York City as a child with his mother after his father, Feri Witz, abandoned his family. After immigrating to America, he took the name Gene Klein; he felt that 'Gene' was more American than 'Chaim', and under ancient Jewish law, he was permitted to take his mother's maiden name (Klein), since his father had left the family. In the late 1960s, he changed his name again, to Gene Simmons, as he simply felt that "Gene Klein" didn't have enough of a ring to it.

Simmons formed the rock band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s with Stanley Eisen (a.k.a. Paul Stanley) and recorded one album, which was never released. Dissatisfied with Wicked Lester's sound and look, Simmons and Stanley went looking for other musicians and eventually joined up with drummer Peter Criscoula and lead guitarist Paul Frehley—who would become Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, respectively. Simmons and Stanley then attempted to fire the other members of Wicked Lester and bring in Criss and Frehley; when the other members refused, Simmons and Stanley immediately quit Wicked Lester and formed a new band with Criss and Frehley, which they soon dubbed KISS. KISS released their first self-titled debut album in February of 1974. Simmons is the driving force behind the marketing of KISS.

Mr. Simmons is also a movie producer and actor who has appeared in a number of movies including Runaway, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Trick Or Treat, Red Surf, Detroit Rock City, The New Guy. He also created the animated television series called My Dad The Rock Star, by the Canadian animation company Nelvana, about the mild mannered son of a Gene Simmons-like rock star who wants to live a normal life, with his wealthy and eccentric father making such a life nearly impossible.

  • In 2004, Simmons released his first solo album in 26 years, Asshole with a remake of Prodigy's Firestarter.



  • "I'm sick of musicians saying 'I don't care what you want to hear, I'm gonna play whatever I want 'cause I'm an artist.' You're an artist? Paint my house, bitch!"

External links

nl:Gene Simmons sv:Gene Simmons


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