Friday, August 17, 2012


Gene Simmons in “Runaway” (1984)
It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock’n'roll, claims AC/DC. For Gene Simmons, bassist for KISS and former movie star, that was most certainly the case. The rocker, now 62, earned his first buck ($1.75 actually) scrubbing fat off the local butcher’s chopping block at age 12.
Born in Isreal, Simmons emigrated to the U.S. with his mother at age 9, settling in Jackson Heights, Queens. There he found work at a butcher’s shop.
“From the fat butcher block to the KISS empire, it’s always been about pride,” said Simmons. “Pride in what you do, doing it well, and who you are.”
Simmons said he learned a sense of responsibility, not in the task itself, which was admittedly menial, but in the fundamental idea of maintaining a job.
Simmons didn’t remember what he spent the money on, but he emphasized that wasn’t really the point. “Getting up for work is bigger than the payoff. It was then and it is now,” said Simmons.
Simmons is currently touring with Paul Stanley, his longtime bandmate, the other two members of KISS, and Motley Crue.

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