KISS: Gene Simmons pays homage to ultimate rock heroes 'Not fit to walk in their shadow'
Simmons is currently coming to the end of the exhaustive (and quite likely exhausting) End of The Road World Tour, which he and original band member Paul Stanley have declared will be their last. The 73-year-old is undeniably a legend in his own lifetime. He has never been shy about sharing his opinions, or his impressive self-belief. But his passionate declaration of adoration and worship for another band is extraordinary, including his wish that KISS’ last ever show should be the ultimate tribute to his heroes. SCROLL DOWN TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW.
In a new interview with Planet Rock, Simmons talked about the earliest and most important influences on him as a musician, and the band that changed his entire life and made him give up his ‘day job.’
He said: “The UK is holy ground. You gave the world The Beatles and for that I can almost forgive you for being a colonial power. They literally changed the world… They had no idea the impact they had on yours truly…”
The KISS icon described how his secret dream for his last ever gig would bring him to his knees. Incredibly, it is a million miles away from the bombast and huge productions of a trademark KISS show.
Simmons said: “”I have dream scenarios in my mind – I don’t have the right to say these words; I’m not qualified to say those words. It’s even semi-sacrilegious.
“Boy, would I love the last time to play very small amps at the Cavern Club. Even if nobody was there; just some sort of full circle, a tip of my soulful hat to these four guys who came out of… Liverpool!? You’re killing me! That not just changed my life, but gave me a reason.”
He says he was still working on a government-funded project i New York and about to become a school teacher. He had saved a nest egg of $23,000 and was set for a comfortable life but listening to The Beatles made him leave everything behind.
Simmons added: “I just couldn’t see going through life without somehow picking up the guitars, and basses, and all that, and trying to do what those guys did.
“Of course, we can’t shine their shoes. We can’t. We can’t. We’re not qualified to walk in their shadows. But homage is a good word. My knees would buckle at the thought of playing that very last show, maybe to a group of friends at the Cavern Club.”
The Cavern Club is, of course, the iconic Liverpool live venue where the Fab Four, along with the likes of Gerry & The Pacemakers and Cilla Black started out, and also hosted The Rolling Stones, Elton John and more.
Simmons also paid special tribute to another iconic UK band
The KISS star expressed pride in his own material, but said that sometimes a song came along that was more than just music, that transcended its origins.
Along with singing a few bars of the famous chorus, Simmons added: “I’m happy to say Dr Brian May is a friend… When you hear We Will Rock You in a stadium full of people it’s less a song and more ‘we are one.'”
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