Keepin’ it positive for KISSmas – Gene Simmons

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Hey there, and a very Happy KISSmas in July! Just in case you’ve wandered in here by mistake, KISS is a huge band, commanding a huge and devoted following. Most fans have favourite eras and line-ups and enjoy them regardless but for some arguing about who & what is best seems to take up most of their time. Personally, I just like the music, and the performance, in and of itself, no matter what era or line-up.
It’s all Rawk N Roll to me.
So, channelling the great Matt Porter from The Kiss Room, I’m keeping it positive and showing my unashamed appreciation of the members who made KISS what it was, and is, and will always be.

Gene Simmons by Len DeLessio(photo (C) Len DeLessio -

Demon bass player, entrepreneur, all-round big mouth, and arguably the most recognisable of the original members. He is also one of the driving forces behind everything KISS and its bass player from the very start. Personally, I find it telling that, while Gene Simmons will take credit for almost everything in the known world, he’ll never take full kudos for the very thing he does exceptionally: play the bass. Gene is a killer bass guitar player, and one of his strengths is that he plays with absolutely no ego! His strict adherence to what the song requires means we get no superfluous showboating. Simmons’ bass playing idol is Paul McCartney so not only do we get solid basslines but they are often melodically interesting and always complement the song’s arrangement.

My favourite Gene Simmons moment, out of so many, is one that should really be an Ace moment… but “Strange Ways” from the Hotter Than Hell album is a perfect example of what Gene brings to KISS. Straight off the bat there’s the awesomely solid bassline mirroring the guitars, with Gene putting in some perfectly judged touches underneath Ace’s solo when so many others would just use it as an excuse to show-off. Then there’s the Simmons-heavy “Strange Ways” vocal for the chorus, which is Demon all the way. It may not be the best vocal, or bassline, or even a Gene song…but I love what he does on it.

Lick it up!



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