Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Gene Simmons' Sharp Tongues

To hear Gene Simmons tell it, he's the sexiest, richest and hardest-working man in show business (sorry, James Brown). And on his current DVD release, Speaking in Tongues, the demon-faced bassist of KISS documents his id-gone-wild lecture tour of Australia. Simmons is also keeping a high TV profile with a guest shot on the new season of Third Watch and a (still-in-discussion) makeover on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Seems like a good time to play a little kiss and tell. TV Guide Online: On your new DVD, you are honest about your unconventional views about relationships.Gene Simmons: I pretty much tell the truth: I love women. Gene Simmons the public person and Gene Simmons the private person are exactly the same guy. The reason the rags [tabloids] are in existence is because people have Jekyll-and-Hyde lives. I don't. TVGO: How many women have you been with?Simmons: I'm getting close to 4700. I know that b

Tim Williams

To hear Gene Simmons tell it, he's the sexiest, richest and hardest-working man in show business (sorry, James Brown). And on his current DVD release, Speaking in Tongues, the demon-faced bassist of KISS documents his id-gone-wild lecture tour of Australia. Simmons is also keeping a high TV profile with a guest shot on the new season of Third Watch and a (still-in-discussion) makeover on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Seems like a good time to play a little kiss and tell.

TV Guide Online: On your new DVD, you are honest about your unconventional views about relationships.
Gene Simmons:
I pretty much tell the truth: I love women. Gene Simmons the public person and Gene Simmons the private person are exactly the same guy. The reason the rags [tabloids] are in existence is because people have Jekyll-and-Hyde lives. I don't.

TVGO: How many women have you been with?
Simmons:
I'm getting close to 4700. I know that by counting the photos, which I keep in books. I have names, cities and dates on the back of each picture. It's difficult to remember them all.

TVGO: You've been in a long relationship with Shannon Tweed. Could you ever love just one woman?
Simmons:
Every man loves more than one woman — don't kid yourself. Nobody would ever ask a mother if she could love more than one child. Why can't a man love more than one woman? Everyone should read the book The Myth of Monogamy."

TVGO: You've dated some pretty famous women, like Cher and Diana Ross. Were they cool with your views?
Simmons:
Cher was the best kind of modern woman. She didn't define herself by a man; she doesn't need a man's last name.

TVGO: You hang with a lot of famous folks, too. You even wrote a song with Bob Dylan on your latest solo album. How did that come about?
Simmons:
I picked up the phone and said, "Do you want to write a song?" And Bob said, "Sure, Mr. KISS." He came over to my house and we strummed acoustic guitars. And a half hour later we had the guts of a song. Just two Jewish guys who assimilated and took on gentile names.

TVGO: Besides Dylan, you are also a big fan of the Beatles.
Simmons:
The first time I saw the Beatles it was an epiphany. They were so different, they might as well have come from another planet. And I immediately thought, "Hey, these guys are cool!" I like to think KISS is just the Beatles on steroids. But we couldn't shine their shoes.

TVGO: KISS has become an amazing money-making juggernaut.
Simmons:
KISS was the first band that was shameless in shilling itself. I prefer to be a whore. I want to be paid for my time. Who cares about artistic integrity? I'm enormously rich.

TVGO: Rich from those thousands of KISS products. You think you'll be buried in the officially licensed KISS casket?
Simmons:
No, I don't want to take up any space in the ground. But do remember that the casket can also be used as a cooler for beer.

TVGO: I see — it can store cold bodies or cold beers. I wanted to ask you about TV.
Simmons:
TV was the biggest influence on my life. As a kid I was fascinated with Superman, starring George Reeves. Superman was an immigrant like me, but he didn't just come from another land. He came from another planet. And I saw myself as Superman.

TVGO: You still wear a costume like Superman. Ever get tired of the KISS getup?
Simmons:
Ah, I've worn more makeup and high heels than your mother ever did.

TVGO: True. Thanks for taking the time to chat.
Simmons:
It's been my pleasure. I like talking about my favorite subject — me.