“My hero is me. Why? Because I was a poor little kid who was told “Hey stupid, can’t you speak English?” now all those people work for me.” – Probably this one quote tells you more about Gene Simmons then an entire biography. Immigrated to the United States when he was 8 years old, having lost his entire family to the Holocaust and his father having abandoned them; his mother worked two jobs to make ends meet. Emotionally scarred, a very young Gene Simmons had understood the power of money and visibility and strived to earn enough for a lifetime. Throughout his ongoing career, there are some very intriguing Gene Simmons facts that make an interesting read.
Perhaps the most talked about for his tongue sticking, facts relating to Gene Simmons’s Kiss days are most interesting. A magician called ‘Amaze-O’ had taught him how to breathe fire. The world record for shooting fire with one’s mouth is at 20 feet; Gene Simmons can shoot up to 15 feet high! That makes him the top five people in the world who can breathe fire. Well, another Gene Simmons fact related to fire had nothing to do with breathing but concerns his hair! He accidentally caught his hair on fire in New York on December 31, 1973.
Nicknamed the Nazarene and Genie, Gene Simmons has a bachelor’s degree in Education. He was also a former member of the Mickey Mouse club and worked at glamorous magazines – Vogue and Glamour. Before becoming a musician, Gene considered becoming a rabbi! Till the time Kiss was formed, he was a 6th grade teacher at Spanish Harlem. Another Gene Simmons fact is that even though Gene is living with his love, Shannon Tweed, since 1983 and has two children with her; he does not believe in the institution of marriage. To quote him, “Last time I checked, the only one who owns me is the mother who gave me birth. In return for life, she is allowed to torture me. No other woman is allowed to do that; they have not earned that right!”
Gene’s famous tongue is really long, measuring 7 inches in length! The other trademarks are the demonic make up he wore during his Kiss days and the axe-shaped bass guitar. It is a fact that Gene had designed the axe shaped guitar and he gifted his first guitar at age 11 to Elijah Blue, Cher’s son. Gene Simmons fact file states that he had a live in relationship with Cher before he met Shannon. He claims to have slept with 4600 women and has never used tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
Gene Simmons facts will probably keep growing in numbers with every year, month and day just like his business ventures and his mostly biting remarks and quotes during interviews. From featuring on a coca-cola bottle in France to diversifying Kiss into a brand of condoms, they are equally bizarre too! To end this fact file in his own words would be justice to all his memorable times, “This is me, this is who I am, you don’t have to like it, but this is me, period.”