GENE SIMMONS - "KISS Would Not Have Happened Without ACE FREHLEY And PETER CRISS... But I Don’t Think KISS Would Have Survived With Ace And Peter"
November 22, 2023, 3 months ago
KISS are set to play the final date on The End Of The Road tour on December 2 at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden. Singer/bassist, Gene Simmons, spoke with USA Today about the band's final live date.
USA Today: What can you share about any special plans for the last show?
Gene Simmons: "We’ve put in what is approaching multiple seven figures to have film crews and amazing stuff. You’re not going to be able to step into a cab or walk down any street in New York and not be inundated by KISS. The Empire State Building – you’ll see. There’s going to be one effect that we’re doing only in New York. It’s a separate technology we’re debuting, but I can’t say too much about it."
USA Today: As the clock ticks toward those final shows, and after all of the months you’ve been on the road with this show, how are you feeling?
Simmons: "It’s complex. I can sit here in my hotel room and wax poetic about all of this stuff, but those are matters of the mind, the semantics emanating out of my oral passage. You can talk about something but until you’re there, the matters of the heart don’t kick in. There is an enormous sense of pride the band has, including Tommy (Thayer) and Eric (Singer), who have been with us more than 20 years. We’re enormously proud of what we did. If you go see (Paul) McCartney or WWE, you will see pyro. That didn’t come from the 1910 Fruitgum Company singing “Yummy, yummy, yummy I got love in my tummy.” That came from a band that wanted to combine all of the fun things about Fourth of July – fireworks, outfits and personas – and bring it onstage with some loud guitars. We decided to march to the beat of our own drummer. Through punk, new romantic, thrash, this and that, we were KISS. We stayed true. It’s been such an amazing journey and the proudest part of it all is, we did it our way.
USA Today: I’m sure there are fans hoping for a reunion with (original guitarist and drummer) Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Simmons: "Ace and Peter had been in and out of band three times. We love and cherish them and they will always be part of the KISS family and we’ve had many differences about unprofessional behaviour. KISS has always been a machine. We show up on time and we tried on three occasions over three decades to bring them back into the band and it always wound up the same. And what do you do with Tommy and Eric who have been loyal and professional and never turned their back on the band? Now, I do know, KISS would not have happened without Ace and Peter. There’s no question of the chemistry. But I don’t think KISS would have survived with Ace and Peter. Not everyone has the DNA. It’s hard damn work to stick through it for 50 years."
Read more at USA Today.
KISS were forced to cancel last night’s concert at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON. Live Nation Ontario released a statement confirming an illness within the "band party": “Due to an unforeseen illness in the band party, KISS is unable to perform tonight in Ottawa. Refunds will be available at your point of purchase.”
The legendary rockers are scheduled to play at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON tonight, November 22, as part of The End Of The Road Tour.
A recent message from KISS: "We are celebrating our Final live shows ever, taking place at Madison Square Garden December 1 and 2 at 7:30pm ET, with an epic NYC takeover! To celebrate this historic moment, various takeover activations and experiential events are scheduled across a 5-day period. In partnership with Bravado, Universal Music Group’s industry-leading merchandise and brand management company, we have carefully curated and developed these events to pay tribute to our deep legacy and history with New York City.
“We’re thrilled to be performing our final shows at MSG since the band originated in New York City over 50 years ago. We are thankful for our long legacy of fans, the KISS Army, and excited to be celebrating through these activations."
“I’ve been a fan of KISS since I was 7 years old, and our team has enjoyed being a part of the KISS Franchise for the last 10 years,” said Matt Young, President, Bravado. “Bravado is honored to commemorate this extraordinary moment in the band’s legendary career by partnering with them to execute this massive NYC Takeover.”
The takeover will kick off on November 29 with the following activations:
- KISSTORE POP-UP (11/30-12/3) – This immersive KISS experience which will feature memorabilia, apparel, accessories and collectible items from partnerships with Ed Hardy, Oxford Pennant, Trick or Treat Studios, Funko and exclusive KISS popup store merchandise. Located blocks away from MSG at 248 West 37th Street, New York, NY 10018.
- KISS NYC Takeover Google Map – An immersive Interactive map, built in partnership with Google Maps Platform, will let fans easily locate the KISS activation spots pinned throughout the city. See here.
- KISS Metro Cards – Penn Station and Herald Square Station will have 50,000 limited-edition KISS branded metro cards available for purchase starting Monday, 11/27.
- New York Rangers ‘KISS’ Game Night at MSG (11/29 @ 7:30pm ET) – The Rangers match-up against the Detroit Red Wings will feature special KISS-themed activities and limited-edition KISS x Rangers merchandise.
- New York Post Activation (11/29-12/1) – Find the KISS branded trikes and brand ambassadors passing out commemorative newspaper wraps and custom KISS cookies.
- Penn Station Digital Ads (11/30-12/2) – KISS’s branded digital adverts will run throughout the area.
- KISS Taxi Fleet (11/30) – One of a kind KISS wrapped taxis will be driving throughout the city.
- Taxis Digital Ads – 800+ taxis will feature KISS digital tops and special KISS TTV content.
- Peloton – KISS is Peloton’s newest Artist Series with classes on the Bike, Tread, Row and App dropping on the Peloton platform November 30th.
- Prince Street Pizza – KISS-themed pizza & collectible KISS pizza box available with all orders of KISS pizza.
- Inked NYC (12/1-12/2) – Complimentary KISS flash tattoos will be available from 11am – 7pm and face painting from 1pm – 5pm at Inked NYC, located at 150 W. 22nd St.
- RIPNDIP – Exclusive KISS x RIPNDIP merchandise will be available for purchase at the RIPNDIP NYC store at 620 Broadway beginning 11/29.
KISS previously announced that their Madison Square Garden show will be streaming on Pay-Per-View, exclusively on PPV.com.
Event Description: KISS Live! America’s greatest rock band ends their legendary 50-year run with one FINAL epic concert! Your last chance ever to see these Gods of Rock - LIVE from Madison Square Garden on December 2 at 8 PM, ET.
Place your order, and get further details, at PPV.com. Watch a video trailer below: