Gene Simmons Facts:
- Gene was born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel on August 25, 1949. He came to the United States at age 9 and soon changed his name to Gene Klein.
- At 6'2", Gene is the tallest member of KISS.
-Gene was attempting to show a different side of the 'demon' persona he had always portrayed. Apparently the Beatles were his biggest influence and he wanted to go for a lighter rock 'n roll flare.
-Special guests on the album; Bob Seger, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, country star Helen Reddy, Donna Summer, Janis Ian, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Cher, Kate Sagal (Peg Bundy), The Doobie Brothers guitarist,
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, and the Azusa Citrus College Choir. Gene also wanted Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr., Dinah Shore, Paul McCartney, and Chaka Khan to appear on his album but they did not for various reasons. The result was one of the most expensive records ever produced at the time.
-Ace Frehley was also apparently scheduled to play the guitar solo on 'Tunnel of Love' but commitments to his own solo album prevented it from ever taking place. Too bad, it might have helped the song.
-Gene Simmons was the highest charting of the four solo albums, peaking at # 22 on the Billboard album chart. This was probably mostly due to the fact that Gene's character was the most popular of the four. As time went on, it was surpisingly Ace Frehley's album that began outselling the rest.
-Gene Simmons was recorded by Gene and Double Platinum producer Sean Delaney in a barn near Oxford, England.
-Gene can speak several languages including Hebrew, Hungarian, Spanish, and of course, English.
-Gene is the only original KISS member with a post-secondary education, having graduated from Richmond College in Staten Island, New York with a teaching degree. Before Kiss, Gene spent some time as an elementary school teacher. He trained to be a rabbi as a teenager but chose to become a teacher instead. He would eventually teach sixth grade in New York's Spanish Harlem district.
- Gene is a huge horror movie fan, which is why he chose his 'demon' character. His favorite actors include Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and silent horror film star Lon Chaney. Gene paid homage to Chaney with Man of 1,000 Faces, which was the actor's nickname. Chaney always did his own makeup for his films including The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the original Phantom of the Opera and earned the nickname for his ability to transform himself into indistinguishable characters.
- A magician named Amaze-O taught Gene how to breathe fire.
-Gene wrote some songs with Bob Dylan in the 1990's.
-Gene discovered bands like Angel, Van Halen, Cinderella, House of Lords, and several others and helped to get them record contracts.
- In the early 1980's, Gene had cosmetic surgery done on his nose.
- Gene's solo album was the most heavily criticized by fans and critics.
- Gene at this time began bragging of a collection of Polaroids or the supposed 2,000 women he had slept with. We're all so impressed! Not!
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