Gene Simmons and the Kiss

Gene Simmons and the Kiss

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Érdekességek Gene Simmons-ról és a Kiss együttesről. Például tudtad, hogy a "Démon" folyékonyan beszél magyarul? :) 

KISS is an American rock band and is one of the best-selling bands of all time. Starting in 1973 they have released over 40 albums (many of which are gold or platinum) and sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Their stage shows are known for over the top performances including costumes, full makeup, fire breathing, firing rockets, and loud music.  Gene Simmons is its legendary frontman with wild behaviour, dramatic stage makeup and his stage personality “The Demon”, lately famous for his TV show ‘Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.

The band are currently on a farewell tour, where they will also visit Hungary. What people might not know is that Simmons’ parents were from Hungary and he speaks Hungarian fluently.

Early life

Gene Simmons was born on August 25, 1949, as Chaim Witz. His parents were Jewish immigrants. His mother, Florence Klein was born in Jánd, Hungary, she and her brother were the only members of her family to survive the Holocaust and she was in Nazi concentration camps. His father, Ferenc "Feri" Yehiel Witz, was a carpenter.

The family were poor, and Simmons spent his childhood in Tirat Carmel, in a Jewish household. When he was only 7, he started picking fruit to sell on roadsides.

His parents split up and at 8 he went to live in New York City with his mother, he changed his name to Eugene Klein. His father stayed in Israel, where he later had other children.

He went to college in New York and took his stage name from the singer Jumpin' Gene Simmons. He had a few jobs including teaching and typing work he also worked as an assistant at Vogue magazine.

He had decided he wanted to be in a band in middle school, after watching The Beatles on television.  Simmons said he thought, "If I go and start a band, maybe the girls will scream at me."

KISS

Simmons was in a few bands including Wicked Lester in the early 1970s with Paul Stanley. Not happy with the band they left it to start the rock band KISS.

First to join them was Peter Criss as drummer, then Ave Frehley as lead guitarist. This was the original and best-known line-up

Stanley took on the role as lead performer alongside bass player Simmons with his "Demon" makeup which came from the design of comic book character Black Bolt. Simmons also learnt to breathe fire for his performances. The group played their first concert in January 1973 in New York. There were only three people in the audience!

In October 1973 KISS got a record contract and they released their self-titled first album in 1974. Throughout the 1970s, the band toured with wild stage performances and built a following of fans called the "KISS Army”. The band didn’t get popular until their live album Alive! in 1975 which included the hit single, "Rock and Roll All Nite."

Their next successful albums were Destroyer and Rock and Roll Over, in 1976 followed by Love Guns and Alive II in 1979.  By the end of that year, KISS were the most popular band in America and doing well in the UK, Japan, Canada, Sweden and Germany.

However, Criss left the group in 1979, in 1982 Frehley also left and the band went through a few replacements before the new line-up of Stanley, Simmons, Eric Carr, and Bruce Kulick. This worked well and they began releasing more platinum albums in the eighties. The band had started performing without makeup from 1983.  Carr died in 1991 and the band took on a new drummer Eric Singer. They released the album Revenge in 1992.

There was a reunion tour of original members in 1996 back with full makeup and shows and an album Psycho Circus in 1998, their first album as the original group in almost 20 years. The original group split again, and Tommy Thayer replaced Ace Frehley joining as lead guitarist and Eric Singer replaced Peter Criss on drums. There have been farewell tours since, including the original band members in 2000.

Personal life

Simmons has been linked to Liza Minelli, Cher, and Diana Ross but now lives in California, with his wife, Canadian former Playboy Playmate and actress Shannon Lee Tweed. They have two children.

Simmons can speak Hungarian, German, English, Hebrew and some Japanese.Simmons gets involved in charities and is very vocal about politics.

Goodbye Tour

After an epic 45-year career which made them rock’n roll legends, KISS started their final ever tour in 2019 with sold-out shows across the world. The tour is again with band members Simmons and Stanley with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. The tour began in January 2019 in Canada and will finish in July 2021 in New York. 

On Thursday 16th July 2020 KISS will perform at the Budapest Arena, HUNGARY!

Vocabulary

to release

kiadni, megjelentetni

over the top

extravagáns, túlzott

costume

jelmez

fire breathing

tűzokádás

firing rockets

rakétakilövés

farewell tour

búcsúfellépések

fluently

folyékonyan

Jewish

zsidó

immigrant

bevándorló

to survive

túlélni

carpenter

ács

to split up

szakítani

stage name

művésznév

 

to join

csatlakozni

drummer

dobos

line-up

felállás

alongside

mellett

audience

közönség

record contract

lemezszerződés

self-titled

magukról elnevezett

replacement

pótlás, csere

Hebrew

héber

charity

jótékonysági szervezet

vocal

hallatja a hangját

sold-out

teltházas

to perform

előadni

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