Gene Simmons Call Kiss Co-Founder 'Drunks' And 'Losers'
Gene Simmons can't stop taking swings at Kiss co-founders Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. In the current issue of Rolling Stone, Simmons who carries on the Kiss banner 40 years later with Paul Stanley, talked about the group, while publicizing his and Stanley's joint memoir, Nothin' To Lose: The Making Of Kiss (1972-75).
As always, Simmons pulled no punches when talking about the disappointment he feels towards Criss and Frehley, but refused to take any of the blame the former drummer and guitarist -- along with millions of fans -- continue throw his way, declaring, "I am the bad guy. I won't stand for drunks and alcoholics who get up on stage and consider it their birthright. I consider it a privilege to get up there and arrive on time and be sober, and I'll be an a***hole to anybody who thinks otherwise. You know who else is an a***hole? Your teacher was an a**hole. Your parents are a**holes. Your drill sergeant was an a***hole. Because they wouldn't let you get away with s***. Ace and Peter have had a lifetime of being losers. And not just with drugs and alcohol. They're losers because of wrong decisions. You sleep in the bed you make. How many chances in life do you get? They were in and out of the band three different times. Why should they get another chance?"
Simmons went on to say: "Anybody who gets angry at us are just small people with small dreams who never achieved anything and will always be angry. But they're mostly angry with themselves for being losers."
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current Kiss lineup -- guitarist Tommy Thayer and longtime drummer Eric Singer -- dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "spaceman" and "catman" personas. We asked Simmons what it feels like to turn around and see the spitting image of his former bandmates -- yet it's someone else: "Y'know, we still have a tug of the heart. It's like your drunken dysfunctional father who was a bum and you finally had to get rid of him -- but you still remember the beginning when he was a good dad. Ace and Peter are beloved, as they should be, for the beginning. For helping launch the band -- if you don't mind me saying so -- that changed the face of rock 'n roll, literally and figuratively speaking. But equally as important part of the beginning of Kiss, it's also important to know that with them in the band today, Kiss wouldn't be around."
Nothin' To Lose: The Making Of Kiss (1972-75), was co-written with Ken Sharp and draws on "more than 200 interviews, offering a captivating and intimate fly-on-the-wall account of their launch, charting the struggles and ultimate victories that led them to the threshold of super-stardom. Constructed as an oral history, the book includes original interviews with Paul, Gene, Ace, and Peter, as well as producers, engineers, management, roadies, costume and stage designers, fans, and musical contemporaries from the time."
In addition to chats with late Kiss manager Bill Aucoin, and Casablanca Records late founder Neil Bogart; the book includes testimony from Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, members of Aerosmith, Rush, Styx, Slade, Blue Oyster Cult, the New York Dolls, the Ramones, and many more.
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