Gene Simmons (formerly of the band KISS) makes me laugh out loud.
In a recent interview, Simmons calls college students "crooks" and claims they have created a situation of "chaos and anarchy" where music artists can no longer earn an honest living.
[Point: Chris Cornell was in Allentown last Thursday. The show cost $32.50 and it was sold out. Let's see, 2000 people times $32.50 = $65,000. That's not a bad payday for a musician.]
But back to the Simmons article: Ironically, Simmons begins by commenting about how big KISS's marketing/merchandising empire is. He says "in the music world...nobody can shine our shoes [when it comes to peddling merchandise]". Obviously, he's making lots of money as a result of his time spent in the music industry. so, what's his beef?
Well, right after that, he launches into a tirade against college students, claiming that "Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth [by the RIAA for stealing music]."
But wait a minute. If you sue all those kids, who will buy KISS merchandise?
Most ironic of all, Simmons later claims that "The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care?"
Huuuuhhh? Music? Was that the priority of KISS? So, like Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon, KISS were all about the music. Riiiiiight.
That's not how I remember it. They were merchandising monsters from the outset, and, apparently, they are still cashing in.
Besides, hasn't Gene Simmons has made tons of money as the face of Mr. Counter-Culture? So what happened to Mr. Paint-Your-Face-and-Stick-Your-Tongue-Out-at-People-So-You-Can-Make-Money? What happened to the guy who encouraged you to give the finger to the man?
He's now saying that "fresh faced college kids" stole the music and ruined the industry. Apparently, he didn't mean for you to REALLy give the finger to the man. It was just a prank...it was just Simmons' schtick.
But speaking of stealing music, I thought KISS stole the music. Talk about a band where costumes and spectacle outranked good songwriting and you have KISS. Outside of one or two good songs, KISS pretty much sucked when it came to writing good music. They were comic book characters with guitars and stage antics. The music was secondary.
And, let me ask, who is he selling all of his junk to? Not me. I expect it's a bunch of kids who think KISS is cool because they own the KISS action figures. Geez...Mr. Music-Comes-First. What bullshit.
Ironic, isn't it? Today, the once-iconoclastic Gene Simmons sounds like an old fuddy-duddy: "Those young whipper-snappers...they ruined everything and they ought to be punished." What a dick.
You know, I can remember the day when oldsters said the same thing about Gene Simmons...