Gene-Simmons400 Justin Tedaldi of the Examiner spoke with KISS frontman Gene Simmons about his latest book, Me, Inc.: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business (out October 21st) and other topics. Excerpts appear below.

Examiner: What was the inspiration for this book?

Simmons: Life, really. I’ll ask you this question and see if you can answer it. You went to high school, I presume.

Examiner: Sure did.

Simmons: What was the name of the class that prepared you for what you do now for a living?

Examiner: I don’t believe there was one.

Simmons: How about that? Because I didn’t have a class that prepared me for this or the restaurant business or the football business or being in a rock band or branding or the television business or the movie business or the corporate speaking things—none of it. There is no class for that. In essence, it whittles down—although I didn’t understand it in those days—you have an inferred fiduciary duty to yourself, to learn people skills, language skills, have the right thing, be at the right place, and at the right time. And surround yourself with people who are smarter, not stupider, than you are. And get rid of all losers in your life and make smart life decisions.

Like, don’t get married, guys. Different rules for girls. Don’t get married in your early twenties—you’re an idiot; you’re still full of c—. You haven’t made your fortune, and why would you want to take on mortgages, kids, and, well, divorce, because statistics say you will get divorced, and in certain households of certain ethnic and/or racial groups, 80% of households don’t have a father—they run out. And if you’re of a certain religious belief, you might have ten kids. Why would you do that? When each child could cost a million dollars by the time they graduate college. A million dollars! That’s pretax; that means two million dollars per child at the highest tax rate—the highest tax rate just earn more than 250,000 dollars.

So the book is sort of Cliff Notes of life and business, because life is business. And the thing that made me write the book is sort of my personal journey to learn what I learned, and then more importantly, how to implement that. In other words, how to use what I know, and how to make a lot more money. And I make a lot of money. Not just with a rock band.

Examiner: You penned a memorable back cover blurb for Joe Perry of Aerosmith’s new book, saying, “When I grow up, I want to be Joe Perry.” How did that come together, and why do you want to be Joe Perry?

Simmons: Well, he asked me to write that and I’m trying to make nice. Wouldn’t you say nice things if I asked you to write the foreword to my book?….My thing is really: I make a living, I don’t need to write this book, but I think it’s an important book to write.

Examiner: You wrote the first KISS memoir as a member of the group back in 2001 with KISS and Make-Up. Would you be interested in penning another memoir at some point?

Simmons: Sure. But…maybe I’ll wait until the day that KISS ends, which is not happening anytime soon. We have a KISS golf course and LA KISS the football team, and all kinds of KISS stuff. And we continue to tour the world and have a great time. I think the only reason to write another sort of memoir is gonna be at the end of the train ride, when we look back and say, “What a crazy trip this has been” kind of thing….

What I’m trying to do [with Me, Inc.] is not to be so full of myself, and just be willing to kick people in the nuts and say, “Look, this is really important; you’ve gotta cut the sh— out.” And we all need that; I do, too. You know, if I stuff another piece of cake in my mouth, Shannon walks over and says, “Hey! Get out of here; put that down, you know it’s not good for you.” We all need that. And in life and business and anything else.

Go to the Examiner to read the entire interview.



58 Responses

  1. Love Gene, but he was embarrassing on the Today show this week. Just one big sound bite about his book, and he needs to stop thinking he is some kind of Life coach to everybody. His own life is pretty screwed up with his now wife and family (all shown on Family Jewels) and he is no prize so how does he think he should be coaching others in life? He looked terrible and sounded ridiculous in his delivery. Reminded me of Don King…just shut up and play Gene…

    1. George shut up. Looks like to me that you should be reading his book on a daily basis with Ace. Speaking of Ace, Ace at Chillah: Support. Kiss Nation 2014: Support. Word up.

    2. Understand the poor man, he is trying to find another meaning of life once Kiss will be gone …

  2. Chris. Thanks for posting that link brother! I saw Kiss as my 1st concert in Philly in 1976 at the ripe old age of 13. This brought back some awesome memories of when the music was above the theatrics/Schtick that eventually propelled these guys into the stratosphere. Thanks again for the link and that site!

  3. What if this new book will not be a success? Would it then, by its own means and standards, show up the absurdity of itself and the man’s “genius” behind it? I mean, this is about being successful, so if it does not sell well, this whole thing would be self-contradictory, a castle made of sand. He is trying to sell a book about how to be successful to be successful, so he must be judged by his own standards. I fear, this will end like all the books and band promotions he has endeavoured so far, big hype, then forgotten and to be found somewhere on his website for the sake of completeness.

    1. Yes it makes you wonder how he’s lasted the last 40 years being so unsuccessful. You talk more than Gene does, and that’s saying something. ‘Self-contradictory’, way to make up a term…congrats. If I tell you the truth, and you refuse to believe it, does that make me a liar? If I know how to be successful, but you don’t buy my book because you don’t want to learn from me, does that mean I don’t know how to be successful? Based on that reasoning, Britney Spears is a better musical talent than Deep Purple, because more people bought her music.

    2. You should have known I am too stupid to be able to reason, DR, does your memory fail you now – like the rest?

    3. If that was the best you could offer, you should’ve just remained quiet. Seeing as you like quotes so much, here’s one more for you..’better to stay quiet and look like a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt’. I’m sure they taught you that in your fancy university you speak so proudly of. My Prof had it hanging on the door on the way to his lecture hall. And yes surprisingly to you, I am also university educated. The difference is I don’t have to go on a website to show that. My real name you ask? Well tell me first, is your real name Mr. Guitar Slinger?

    4. I knew you would be evasive … I am not surprised, I knew that you must have graduated the university of Blatherskite. Once again you take things literally like the real name behind the name, the name of the game, pardon the pun, did they teach you that in your university, asking the obvious, stating the superfluous? You are witless as well as humorless, no fun at all, DR, do you not have that tiny bit of intelligence to understand and realize that it is a fun game this posting back and forth … people seem so very bullheaded on these forums that they take everything personally … now cheer up and go someplace else where people may take you seriously and you get the recognition you think you derserve.

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