Gene Simmons can't stop taking swings at Kiss co-founders Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. In the current issue of Rolling Stone, Simmons who carries on the Kiss banner 40 years later with Paul Stanley, talked about the group, while publicizing his and Stanley's joint memoir, Nothin' To Lose: The Making Of Kiss (1972-75).
As always, Simmons pulled no punches when talking about the disappointment he feels towards Criss and Frehley, but refused to take any of the blame the former drummer and guitarist -- along with millions of fans -- continue throw his way, declaring, "I am the bad guy. I won't stand for drunks and alcoholics who get up on stage and consider it their birthright. I consider it a privilege to get up there and arrive on time and be sober, and I'll be an a***hole to anybody who thinks otherwise. You know who else is an a***hole? Your teacher was an a**hole. Your parents are a**holes. Your drill sergeant was an a***hole. Because they wouldn't let you get away with s***. Ace and Peter have had a lifetime of being losers. And not just with drugs and alcohol. They're losers because of wrong decisions. You sleep in the bed you make. How many chances in life do you get? They were in and out of the band three different times. Why should they get another chance?"
- Simmons went on to say: "Anybody who gets angry at us are just small people with small dreams who never achieved anything and will always be angry. But they're mostly angry with themselves for being losers."
- Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current Kiss lineup -- guitarist Tommy Thayer and longtime drummer Eric Singer -- dress up as Criss' and Frehley's respective "spaceman" and "catman" personas. We asked Simmons what it feels like to turn around and see the spitting image of his former bandmates -- yet it's someone else: "Y'know, we still have a tug of the heart. It's like your drunken dysfunctional father who was a bum and you finally had to get rid of him -- but you still remember the beginning when he was a good dad. Ace and Peter are beloved, as they should be, for the beginning. For helping launch the band -- if you don't mind me saying so -- that changed the face of rock 'n roll, literally and figuratively speaking. But equally as important part of the beginning of Kiss, it's also important to know that with them in the band today, Kiss wouldn't be around."
- Nothin' To Lose: The Making Of Kiss (1972-75), was co-written with Ken Sharpand draws on "more than 200 interviews, offering a captivating and intimate fly-on-the-wall account of their launch, charting the struggles and ultimate victories that led them to the threshold of super-stardom. Constructed as an oral history, the book includes original interviews with Paul, Gene, Ace, and Peter, as well as producers, engineers, management, roadies, costume and stage designers, fans, and musical contemporaries from the time."
- In addition to chats with late Kiss manager Bill Aucoin, and Casablanca Records late founder Neil Bogart; the book includes testimony from Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, members of Aerosmith, Rush, Styx, Slade, Blue Oyster Cult, the New York Dolls, the Ramones, and many more.
DID YOU KNOW???
- Ace Frehley left Kiss after their 2002 Farewell dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously.
- Peter Criss claimed that his contract with Kiss wasn't renewed in March 2004.
- Both charges have been disputed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
INTERNET COMMENTS at UltimateClassicRock.com -- agree or not?
Tony Gisolfi wrote: "Ace is sober 7 years now without ace the band would never be !!! Gene & Paul always never gave credit for the music ace wrote F-you !!! Gene"
Christopher Pizzaia wrote: "i have no problem with them getting fired for not performing well being drunk and on drugs...i do have a problem with gene and paul taking 100% of the credit and not giving these guys there due...plus giving tommy and eric the same characters peter and ace used...the least they can do is be original...to me thats no repect to ace,peter or tommy and eric for that matter...they have no input on the characters..plus its insulting to the fans..."
Phil Rappaport wrote: "Ace designed the infamous Kiss logo, Peter co-wrote and sang what just may be the single greatest ballad of all time, by anyone, and the two 'hired hands' now in the band are using Ace and Peter's old make-up and costumes. Ace has now sobered up and wrote a best selling autobiography, these do not sound like the accomplishments of losers, to me! Oh and Peter and Ace are far superior musicians to the two hacks in the band now. . . Everything Tommy Thayer does now is a complete rip off of Ace, including (and especially) his guitar playing! If they are such losers why do Gene and Paul want the new guys to emulate everything the originals did????"
Gary Knechtel wrote: "As much as I love the original Kiss, Peter and Ace brought nothing to the band after Love Gun. Gene and Paul kept the band going and they get my respect and admiration for keeping it going for forty years through all the ups and downs and line up changes. Kiss Rules!"
Rick Castle wrote "Ace Frehley gave kiss their sound, look and more. the fact that so many of his solos got cut out or reduced or simmons brought in rick derringer to order around, i'd get upset, too. i've met simmons twice, no autograph either time. i met ace once, he autographed everything everyone had."
Jeffrey H. Gerhart wrote: "Sometimes I think Gene Simmons takes his whole Demon personality too literally. Gene, it's a character you play, you don't have to be "The Demon" all the time. Ask Alice Cooper how trying to be a nasty character 24/7 is not a smart thing to do. That's why Alice Cooper is only in his character during his shows now. He learned."
David Kaiser wrote: ". . . come on the last 2 KISS records they have made have been the best they have made in years. ACE has put out some good stuff to but you can't pay me to listen to peter's crap. the only 2 songs he ever did were beth and hard luck woman and they were only hits after they were fixed by gene and paul before they were recorded"
Glenn Marcoux wrote: "Ace and Peter are/were losers....deal with it."
CHECK IT OUT: Kiss in 1979 performing "New York Groove" live in Largo:
Gene Simmons On Ace Frehley And Peter Criss
Read more at Ultimate Classic Rock