KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons recently spoke to Blender.com about the women he's loved, bands he's helped break out, his parenting skills, the Kiss Coffeehouse and the "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" reality TV show. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Blender.com: So, tell us a secret: How did you get Shannon Tweed to not marry you but still stay around?
Gene: Guys have become such wimps, it just shocks me. My God, what happened to the alpha male? I believe in total honesty. I believe in full disclosure before the fact, before you get with a girl. If you wanna marry her, say, "OK, I wanna marry, but let's talk about if we get divorced," because statistics say you will. So you must ask her the most important question, which is: If you want money, let me know how much. Let me make an educated decision.
Blender.com: You've said, "Women are great housekeepers: They get to keep the house."
Gene: Well, every hotel you've all been to is by definition a cohabitation agreement. You sign on the dotted line, and you agree to abide by the rules of the owner of the hotel. When you leave the hotel, you don't take half the hotel with you.
Blender.com: Have any of your exes ever come back to haunt you?
Gene: The reason you never find out some dark secret about me in those rags that women are addicted to — you know, The Sun and The Star and all the other stuff — is that there really is nothing to tell. The very first thing I did was show Shannon the photos I've taken, thousands of them, before we moved in together. In law that's called full disclosure, before the fact.
Blender.com: Was that a tough night?
Gene: No. It's better to find out there's trouble in paradise before you move into it than after. I like to think that I have the dignity and ethics of a prostitute: Before the blow job, I'm going to tell you it's gonna cost 75 dollars, this is what it is and so on. But women don't seem to have that integrity. If you ask really serious questions, they won't answer it.
Blender.com: Which band would you say you are most proud of offering that honor of opening for you?
Gene: AC/DC. That's my favorite band.
Blender.com: What was it about AC/DC?
Gene: I saw the boys play at a small club first in London with Bon Scott, and I'll never forget. They were starving, there were just 100 people in the club, and the lights went out, and even during the blackout, Angus was still going, doing his little dance step, back and forth. I thought, "Boy, these guys really care," so I cornered Angus, in Los Angeles after a show, and I said, "Do you wanna go grab a bite?" and he says, "Yeah let's go, mate." And when he smiled, I noticed he didn't have any front teeth. Literally. And I took him to a place called Ben Frank's, and he literally had beans and franks, and he had to chew on the side of his mouth. I thought to myself, "This poor little guy's got the heart of a lion," and I said at the table, "You're going out on tour with us." And his eyes were just like, "What?" You know, they thought they were forever gonna be in these little hellholes.
Read the entire interview at Blender.com.