Chaim Witz, who would later go on to be known as Gene Simmons, "The Demon" in Kiss
He's the son of a Nazi camp survivor
-His mother, Florence Klein, was the only one, other than her brother Larry Klein, to survive the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. She worked as a beautician in the camp, tending to the wives of the Nazi officers and was made to watch as her grandmother was sent into the gas chamber. Florence's own mother went in as well because her grandmother did not want to die alone
Was the victim of a cruel prank by Ace and Peter
-Both Ace and Peter, unaware of Gene's personal history with the Holocaust, pulled a very mean prank one night. Ace had a habit of dressing in Nazi garb and he even enlisted Peter on this one. They both dressed as Nazis and did the worst thing possible: THEY KNOCKED ON GENE'S DOOR! When he opened it, Peter said in a mock German accent "Where are your papers otherwise we'll throw your Jewish a-- into the ovens!" He calmly closed the door and when they were back in their room, a very clearly angry Paul Stanley burst in, asking them "What the f--- is wrong with you? Are you insane? Don't you know his grandmother died in the f---ing ovens?" They apologized to him
Is the only member of Kiss who is truly Jewish
-Born in Tirat Carmel, Israel, Gene is the only member of Kiss who is actually Jewish born, while band mate Paul Stanley is only German-Jewish
Learned to speak English by reading comic books
-When Gene was eight, he and his mother moved to Jackson Heights, in Queens, NY. He spoke no English and learned to speak it by reading comic books
-He can speak over 4 languages, including Hebrew, English, High German, Hungarian
His tongue sets a record
-It's measured at over 7'' long
For fun, he showed up without his famous "Demon" persona
-He bought a ticket to one of his own shows, walking in without makeup and costume to see if anyone would recognize him. No one did
Set a record for fire breathing
-The world record is 27 feet. He can shoot a fireball 15 feet
Gave Elijah Allman, son of Gregg Allman and Cher, his first guitar at age 11
Helped Van Halen along with Warner Brothers Records in 1977
-Gene told him to stick things out with Van Halen, that good things would come. This came at a time when things were particularly rocky with Van Halen. Tension was building between David Lee Roth and the two Van Halen brothers
Held a variety of odd jobs
-In his youth, to make money, he had a wide selection of jobs, from male secretary to editor of Vogue Fashion magazine. He also taught 6th grade at an elementary school in Spanish Harlem. The teachers there did not approve of his methods of teaching the kids to read or learn English if some of them couldn't, by telling them to read comic books
Modeled his stage name after Jean Simmons, the actress
-Thinking his Jewish name, Chaim Witz, wouldn't be a good idea, he modeled his stage name after the actress Jean Simmons, only changing it from the female spelling to the male spelling of Gene
Along with the rest of the lineup of Kiss, provided his voice for cartoons
-The current lineup of Kiss provided their voices to the episode of Family Guy titled "Road to Europe", where Peter and Lois go to a Kiss concert and she reveals she knows nothing about the band. Along with the Fairly OddParents episode Wishology- Pt. 1: The Big Beginning and Wishology- Pt. 3: The Final Ending
|Wanted: Dead or Alive|
|Trick or Treat|
-When his father died in 2002, he found out he had a half-brother named Kobi and 3 half-sisters named Sharon, Ogenia, Drora
During the 1970s, Kiss was thought to stand for "Knights in Satan's Service"
-This highly angered him, along with accusations of being Nazis in disguise because of the lightning bolt "S" in the logo, which was changed to the "backwards Z"
Good friends with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi
-It is time for me to grow up. I'm 62. I've been doing a lot of wacky stuff for an awfully long time... and there's nobody I've ever said 'I love you' to. I even find it difficult to say 'I love you' to my mother. But I love Shannon with all my heart and all my soul, and always will.
-Don't know what to think about this one: "[on the dismissal of his KISS band-mates Peter Criss and Ace Frehley in the early 1980s] They were let go for being into alcohol and worse drugs, pure and simple. I love both those guys to death. But I didn't want them to die on tour."
The first thing I did when I met Shannon Tweed, or Cher, was say: 'Here, there are no skeletons in Gene Simmons's closet.' I refuse to lead a Dr Jekyll-and-Mr Hyde life. There are DJs who get caught with prostitutes, MPs with stockings on their head. It's a waste of time. Just say, 'This is who I am. Take it or leave it'. Then you sleep well.