Gene Simmons On Sex, Money And Washing-Up


December 10, 2007

It’s a new take on the superstar who fronts one of the world’s most successful bands.

But there he is, large as life, cleaning up after the cat, washing the dishes and climbing into bed in his bright red pyjama suit.

Ageing rocker Gene Simmons, tongue-wagging KISS frontman and bassist who claims to have slept with over 4,600 women, is about to reveal all for Australian television.

Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels is a reality television show that follows the family life of the rockstar, his former Playboy Playmate of the Year partner Shannon Tweed and their two children Nick, 18 and Sophie, 15.

The first series of the show will go to air in Australia from January 9 on Foxtel’s Bio Channel.

Simmons says he didn’t consult his family before filming started because, well, he’s Gene Simmons.

“I have a peculiar lifestyle, I don’t really check around to see if it’s okay,” Simmons told AAP from Beverly Hills.

“I sort of do what I want to do and then people whose lives I make possible trust that my judgments are correct.

“The idea of democracy in a home is highly overrated.”

However, the rocker doesn’t seem quite as tough on the first episode of the show, as his wife forces him to do the housework on her birthday.

It’s a very different insight into the man who fronts one of the world’s most successful bands.

KISS recorded 32 albums over 36 years and their record sales exceed 75 million worldwide.

Simmons himself has written two books, Kiss and Makeup in 2001, and Sex, Money, Kiss in 2003, produced the film Detroit Rock City and has his own record company.

And Family Jewels isn’t Simmons’ first foray into reality television.

He starred in Gene Simmons’ School of Rock, where he taught classically-trained music students the art of rock and roll.

Again, Simmons says he is attracted to reality television simply because he is Gene Simmons.

“I’m in the Gene Simmons business and anything I want to do that appeals to me, I do and I don’t really question it much,” he says.

“I did (Rock School) because I wanted to do it, it’s sort of like if you’re lucky and blessed in the way I have been and continue to be, life gives you a menu and you have a choice.

“Most of the people on the planet don’t have any choices.

“You know, you go to work at jobs you hate, you wind up having to go to your mother-in-law’s house, the church forces you to get married.

“I refuse to lead my life that way, I do what I want to do … I pick what I want from the menu of life.”

Simmons says he also refuses pressure to marry his partner of 23 years, model and former Playboy Playmate of the Year Shannon Tweed.

He says the pair are “happily unmarried” rather than “married and miserable”.

“As we both know, when the girls get together you always ask the same thing: ‘why can’t guys commit, why are they after my girlfriend?’,” he says.

“Because it’s the nature of man and you will forever be tortured by it.

“And you will finally come to the conclusion the only thing wrong with marriage is one of the two getting married tends to be a man.”

The show is now in its third season in the US and Simmons’ renowned magic touch with women – he claims to have slept with 4,897 women – is being stolen from him by his son.

“Nick has usurped my throne, as the alpha-male of all alpha-males,” he says.

“So when I’m in public and the girls run over and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Simmons, you devil you’ve still got it’.

“And you know when they giggle? (That’s when) I’m thinking ‘Yeah babe, I’ve still got it’ and they go: ‘Where’s Nick?’.”

The show reveals Simmons’ children as polite, intelligent and well-behaved.

So how did he manage it? With attitude, of course.

“The old adage of you’ll do as I say as long as you live under my roof is a very good rule,” he says.

Episodes of Family Jewels include home video footage of Simmons dancing with a younger Sophie at a wedding, sitting with his children as toddlers at the dinner table and spending time with them backstage at a KISS show.

Simmons says just because he is famous, doesn’t mean his children could get away with everything and their childhood was relatively normal.

“I think society has become far too permissive, that’s why you have 12-year-old crack addicts running around, because there’s no repercussion for bad behaviour,” he says.

“And that’s why both Sophie and Nick are A-list students and are charming and well-behaved, because (they’re) not allowed not to be.”

Simmons hasn’t left his touring days behind, with KISS scheduled to play at the Australian Grand Prix in March next year.

“Of course, to get up on stage and to be an extrovert and make a complete spectacle out of myself, of course, is a privilege,” he says.

“And also, it’s time to show all the little bands how the big boys do it.”

Courtesy of