I was walking through an Antique Mall as my daughter had found another great place to buy used vinyl. We came to a booth that didn’t have a ton of books, but there was one book there that immediately caught my eye. It was the Gene Simmons’ autobiography called “Kiss and Make-Up”. I had not read yet, so I grabbed it. And at only $5, it was a steal.
And what did I think? It was okay. It was an easy read, but there was really nothing surprising or earth shattering. I did forget he dated Diana Ross, but I knew about Cher so no shocker. I had forgotten about some of the movies he did, but not ‘Runaway’ as I loved that one.
It was interesting to read about his childhood as it did explain a lot about who he is and why he is the way he is. Gene is definitely full of himself and you know what, that is okay. He knows it and I was worried I would like him even less after reading this, but I didn’t. I actually like a little more. I feel I understand him a little more.
I feel the book was pretty high-level, meaning he really didn’t dive into great detail about a whole lot. I would have liked more stories about the albums themselves and more dirt or interesting stories at least from the road. Everything was very glossed over. He talked about his sexcapades, but thankfully, not in too much gory detail.
He talks about the downfall of Peter & Ace…a lot!! Too much in fact. Still interesting to get his take on it and compare that to Paul’s, Ace’s & Peter’s viewpoint. He also talked about how awful Ace & Peter were…wait…did I mention that already? That is how much he talked about them. Now, he loves Paul and is very respectful of Paul throughout this book, probably because Paul is his best friend.
Another thing I think I was disappointed about is after he met his lovely wife, Shannon Tweed, he stopped talking about his tour stories with the women he encountered. I am sure it was out of respect for Shannon, but I don’t believe for a second he stopped when he met her. That made for a slightly less than truthful book in my opinion. Which reminds me, we didn’t get the Plaster Caster story either.
What I found interesting was that apparently Gene Simmons is the most brilliant man on Earth. His ideas are amazing as he invented the rock finger sign with the devil horns – \m/. I believe he even invented the internet (or was that Al Gore, I can’t remember).
There were several stories to show that Gene is human and a nice guy. He loves his mom and is a real momma’s boy. He also really loves Shannon and is a very doting father to Nick and Sophie. It is nice to see the softer side of Gene.
All-in-all, I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. Maybe because I have already read Paul’s book or maybe because I already knew most of the stories. Either way, it wasn’t very compelling. He does a fine job with it and it flows nicely, so I would like to see him write another one, but give us some tidbits that are juicy. Not necessarily scandal, just go into more detail about the writing of this song or that album or that show or whatever. Give me some meat on the bone.
Since this is a book review, I guess I need to rate the book. I would only give it a 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars. If you want the basic simple story of Gene this is it. If you are looking for anything of substance, that isn’t really here. As a Kiss fan, it is a must read even if it is only okay. If you have read it, let me know what you think.
P.S…in the book there was an article of a Charlotte, NC newspaper from 2004 that talked briefly about Gene, but the story was mostly on Tribute Bands. It was weird to find, but apparently the person that owned this book was a Gene fan. I say was because he (or she) got rid of the book. I actually don’t think the big picture is actually Gene though.