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General information  

  • Real name : Chaim Witz
  • Place of birth : Haifa
  • Date of birth : 25/08/1949

Alias  

  • Chaim Witz
  • Simmons Gene
  • The Demon
  • The Demon (O Demônio)
  • The God Of Thunder

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Gene Simmons (1949)

Chaim Witz

Type :  

  Summary  

Gene Simmons is an Israeli-American entrepreneur, singer-songwriter, actor, and rock bassist. Known as "The Demon", he is the bassist/vocalist of Kiss, a hard rock band he co-founded in the early 1970s.

  Biography  

 Early life
Chaim Witz was born at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel in 1949. Mother and child emigrated to Jackson Heights, Queens in New York City when he was eight years old. His mother Flóra "Florence" Klein (formerly Kovács) was born in Jánd, Hungary. The German name Klein is sometimes used informally in Hungarian as Kiss, that gave the rock band's name. Florence and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only members of the family to survive the Holocaust. Simmons' father, Feri Witz, also Hungarian-born, remained in Israel, where he had one other son and three daughters. Simmons says the family was "dirt poor," scraping by on bread and milk. In the United States, Simmons changed his name to Eugene Klein , adopting his mother's maiden name. He attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as a child, from 7 am to 9:30 pm

 Kiss
Simmons became involved with his first band, Lynx, then renamed The Missing Links, when he was a teenager. Eventually, he disbanded The Missing Links to form The Long Island Sounds, the name being a play on words relating to the estuary separating Long Island from Westchester County, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. While he played in these bands, he kept up odd jobs on the side to make more money, including trading used comic books. Simmons attended Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York. He then joined a new band, Bullfrog Bheer, and the band recorded a demo, "Leeta"; this was later included on the Kiss box set.


Simmons formed the rock band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s with Stanley Harvey Eisen and recorded one album, which was never released. Dissatisfied with Wicked Lester's sound and look, Simmons and Stanley attempted to fire their band members; they were met with resistance, and they quit Wicked Lester, walking away from their record deal with Epic Records. They decided to form the ultimate rock band, and started looking for a drummer. Simmons and Stanley found an ad placed by Peter Criscoula, known as Peter Criss, who was playing clubs in Brooklyn at the time; they joined and started out as a trio. Paul Frehley, better known as Ace Frehley, responded to an ad they put in The Village Voice for a lead guitar player, and soon joined them. Kiss released its self-titled debut album in February 1974. Stanley took on the role of lead performer on stage, while Simmons became the driving force behind what became an extensive Kiss merchandising franchise. The eye section of his "Vampire" makeup with KISS came from the wing design of comic book character Black Bolt.

In 1983, while Kiss' fame was waning, the members took off their trademark make-up and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity that continued into the 1990s. The band hosted their own fan conventions throughout 1995, and fan feedback about the original Kiss members reunion influenced the highly successful 1996–1997 Alive Worldwide reunion tour. In 1998, the band released Psycho Circus. Since then, the original line-up has once again dissolved, with Tommy Thayer replacing Ace Frehley on lead guitar and Eric Singer replacing Peter Criss on drums.

 Stage makeup and persona
During an interview in 1999, Simmons was asked about the source and significance of Kiss' stage makeup and personas:
I've always been a fan of Americana, and Americana has always been about imagery, often above content. I think there's nothing wrong with that. The world worships this culture. Most people only think about America in terms of rock & roll, movies and television. Kiss is very all-American, in the sense that our constituency has never had anything in common with critics . . . because our power, our lifeblood, our very reason for existence is our fans. Without them, we'd be nothing.


Rock & roll is, in fact, all about gimmicks. Most people love gimmicks. I love gimmicks — Jerry Lee Lewis getting up and playing the piano with his foot. I love all of it — anything that puts on a show, where the performer makes a spectacle of himself — and that's everything we've ever been devoted to. If people think of Kiss as performers first and musicians or anything else later, that's wonderful. It's the most boring thing to be known as a musician, because those guys eventually wind up playing Holiday Inns.

 Political views
Simmons was a supporter of the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. He supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, writing on his website: "I'm ashamed to be surrounded by people calling themselves liberal who are, in my opinion, spitting on the graves of brave American soldiers who gave their life to fight a war that wasn't theirs...in a country they've never been to... simply to liberate the people therein". In a follow-up, Simmons explained his position and wrote about his love and support for the United States: "I wasn't born here. But I have a love for this country and its people that knows no bounds. I will forever be grateful to America for going into World War II, when it had nothing to gain, in a country that was far away... and rescued my mother from the Nazi German concentration camps. She is alive and I am alive because of America. And, if you have a problem with America, you have a problem with me".

During the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Lebanon, Simmons sent a televised message of support to an Israeli soldier seriously wounded in fighting in Lebanon, calling him his "hero".

In 2010, Simmons said he regretted voting for Barack Obama and criticized the 2009 health care reforms. Following Obama's 2011 Mideast speech, in which the President called on Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a settlement "based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps," Simmons told CNBC that Obama was gravely misguided. "If you have never been to the moon, you can't issue policy about the moon. For the president to be sitting in Washington D.C. and saying, 'Go back to your '67 borders in Israel' – how about you live there and try to defend an indefensible border – nine miles wide?" Simmons also accused the United Nations of being "the most pathetic body on the face of the earth."

During his visit to Israel in 2011, he stated that the artists refusing to perform in Israel for political reasons are "stupid," referring to artists who canceled planned concerts in Israel.

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  Played TV shows  

  Bands  

  Albums 

  • Studio album
  • Asshole
    13 tracks
    44:38
    2004

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
Carnival of Souls 03:26 08/06/2004
Weapons of Mass Destruction 03:44 08/06/2004
Black Tongue 04:28 08/06/2004
Firestarter 03:20 08/06/2004
Dog 03:07 08/06/2004
Sweet & Dirty Love 03:03 08/06/2004
Whatever Turns You On 03:14 08/06/2004
Now That You're Gone 03:20 08/06/2004
Asshole 03:19 08/06/2004
1,000 Dreams 03:19 08/06/2004
Beautiful 04:04 08/06/2004
If I Had a Gun 02:59 08/06/2004
Waiting for the Morning Light 03:22 08/06/2004

  Movie

  TV show

  Album

  Music track

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  Companies    

  Photos    

  Videos  

  Press reviews    

  User reviews

  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Gene Simmons", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.