Gene's first solo album was released on September 18,
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 Eugene (Gene)
Gene has a Bachelors Degree in Education from Sullivan County College,
and speaks four languages fluently; Hebrew, Hungarian, English and German.
At 6'2", Gene is the tallest member of KISS.
Gene was attempting to show a different side of the 'demon' persona
on his solo album. Apparently the Beatles were his biggest influence
and he wanted to go for a lighter rock 'n roll flare.
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 on "Married
With Children"), 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.
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.
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 surprisingly Ace Frehley's album that began outselling
Simmons was recorded by Gene and Double Platinum producer Sean Delaney
in a barn near Oxford, England.
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
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.
magician named Amaze-O taught Gene how to breathe fire.
wrote some songs with Bob Dylan in the 1990's.
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.
solo album was the most heavily criticized by fans and critics.
Gene at this time began bragging of a collection of Polaroids of the
supposed 2,000 women he had slept with up to that point. We're all
so impressed! Not!
Gene's tongue has been measured at over 7 inches long.