We are not the least bit ashamed to admit that we enjoy blasting some KISS jams on occasion. You’d be hard pressed to find a better Friday night than one that starts by emptying a sixer of special edition camouflage High Life tallboys to the soothing strains of “Strutter” or “Detroit Rock City.” Hell, in our weaker moments we’ll even listen to “Beth” (if we are reasonably sure no one else is around). But while drinking with KISS on the hi-fi is one of life’s great pleasures, the prospect of drinking with Gene Simmons in person ranks somewhere between having our nipples hooked up to a car battery and sitting in between Carlos Mencia and Nancy Grace on a transatlantic flight on the list of things we would like to do.
It is difficult to find an appropriate place to start the criticism of a man completely devoid of redeeming qualities. Annoying, abrasive personality? Check. Obnoxious politics? Check. Absurdly inflated sense of self worth? You better believe it. Hell, we’re not even sure if the guy is any good at bass (Alive! features a re-recorded bass part because Simmons biffed so many notes in the actual live recording). We suggest Mr. Simmons follow the example of his fellow spooky makeup-wearing rocker, Alice Cooper. Mr. Cooper has a sense of humor about his persona and has aged gracefully, doing charity work, golfing, opening a restaurant, and still putting on a great show. All the while Mr. Simmons and his disturbing tongue are still out trying to pick up chicks (“Wilt Chamberlain I will catch you!”)
Perhaps the most telling indictment of Mr. Simmons is that we have overwhelming feelings of sympathy for anyone who has the misfortune of interacting with him. We feel sorry for Shannon Tweed for leaving the glamorous world of Showtime soft porn to settle into domesticity with the man described by Al Franken as “the most awful person I’ve ever met.” We feel sorry for Terry Gross for having to put up with the disgusting advances of a man who manages to walk the thought-to-be-impossible line of thinking he is God’s gift to women while looking like the bastard child of Frankenstein and a Nassau grouper. Most of all, we feel sorry for Peter Criss, Eric Carr and Eric Singer, who have collectively spent the better part of thirty years behind the drums having to look up and see Mr. Simmons’ bare, hairy thighs staring back at them. It is for the honor of these people, our own satisfaction, and the general good of humanity that we must punch Gene Simmons.