Gene Simmons: Fans ‘Loved’ Fire-Breathing Fail at First Kiss Show
In a clip from the two-part Biography: KISStory documentary, the bassist discussed how their first manager, Bill Aucoin, helped forge the image that projected them to stardom. The clip – including the fire-breathing incident gone wrong – can be seen below.
Referring to a song on their 1974 debut album, Simmons recalled: “Bill Aucoin said, ‘You guys are doing a song called ‘Firehouse’ – one of you guys has to spit fire.’ Literally the very first show we did, My hair went up like a fucking matchstick. And the fans loved it.”
Bandmate Paul Stanley said of Aucoin: “Bill was also the guy who came up with the idea, ‘You’re never gonna be seen without makeup.’” Simmons added: “He said to us, ‘Marilyn Monroe, she never took a photo where she looked frumpy without her makeup. Whenever you saw her, she was Marilyn Monroe 24 hours a day. That’s what you guys should be doing.’” He reflected: “It’s crazy when you think about it – there was nothing out there like us.”
In a recent interview with Q104.3 in New York, Simmons described the documentary as an opportunity to “come clean” to fans ahead of their upcoming retirement from touring. “We owe them everything – least of all is the truth,” he said. “It's gonna upset some fans; but it happens in families too, when mom sits the kids down and says, ‘Okay, kids, your father’s a drunk. He’s a loser. He’s losing his job because he doesn’t love himself enough to get straight, and he doesn’t love the family enough.’ You've got to tell the truth. Tough love is the best way to be with your loved ones – by the way, and also with people you hate. Just tell the truth: good, bad or otherwise.”
Watch a Clip from ‘Biography: KISStory’