By Alexandra Cheney/Speakeasy
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.