Today, Gene Simmons is one of the more outspoken musicians on the planet.
Whether he’s tweeting from his popular social media handle or speaking in interviews about friends or foes, Simmons always offers an interesting perspective.
One of the front people for the legendary rock band KISS, Simmons has made quite a name for himself in the world of music and, more recently, in the world of opinion giving.
So, we thought, why not dive into some of the best things the 72-year-old, Israel-born artist has ever said? That’s the point behind this exercise, to find the 30 best Gene Simmons quotes.
And without further ado, let’s do just that.
1. “When you are a rock star in front of 20,000 people, you receive instant gratification. A rock star on tour is a king in his domain.”
2. “I don’t wanna go on vacation. There’s nothing about it that appeals to me. People look forward to doing that; I look forward to getting up every day and doing something.”
3. “I’m from Israel, so America has no limits. I started a record label, and then I started managing other artists, like Liza Minelli.”
4. “If you win a race, you don’t ask how you did it, as long as you do it.”
5. “I would urge all bands that say they only care about credibility and don’t care about money to send Gene Simmons every dollar that they don’t want. I’d be happy to take it off them.”
6. “Before a show, you might have aches or pains, or it’s a bad rainy day, or it’s too humid. We all complain about stuff. But… how do I put this poetically? Once it’s the roar of the crowd and the smell of the greasepaint, forget it. Once the adrenaline kicks in and your chest expands, you forget about all that.”
7. “Life is too short to have anything but delusional notions about yourself.”
8. “I’m fascinated with myself and love hearing the sound of my own voice. I’d like to hear what I have to say. A lot of people don’t like being alone because they truly don’t like themselves, but I love me.”
9. “Live and think like a poor man and you’ll always be OK.”
10. “Never underestimate the power of being popular in pop culture. You have to be able to do something. You can have a good seat at the restaurant, but you still have to pay for the meal. Fame is important, but to be rich is more important.”
11. “I am an entrepreneur in the classic mold.” No matter what I do—outside of sticking my tongue out—I tend to make money, and quite a bit in non-KISS stuff.”
12. “I have to have an emotional connection to what I am ultimately selling because it is emotion, whether you are selling religion, politics, even a breath mint.”
13. “Never negotiate with kids. They don’t have life experience, and they don’t have repercussions for bad decisions; they still get fed and housed.”
14. “The Beatles weren’t like any other band. Everybody in the band sang, which is why you knew everybody in the band.”
15. “I like to approach every day like it’s the only day I will ever have.”
16. “The root of all evil isn’t money; rather, it’s not having enough money.”
17. “James Bond has a license to kill, rockstars have a license to be outrageous.” Rock is about grabbing people’s attention.”
18. “My mother had a horrific life. At fourteen, she was in the Nazi concentration camps. Her sense about life now is, every day above ground is a good day.”
19. “My mother is probably the wisest person I’ve ever known. She’s not schooled, she’s not well-read. But she has a philosophy of life that makes well-read people seem like morons.”
20. “If you’re the greatest, it’s okay to say you’re the greatest. My suggestion to everybody is to be their own greatest fan. Weaker personas and personalities define that as egotistical or arrogant, but what it means is their self-esteem isn’t that strong.”
21. “Personally I support 14,000 kids in Zambia—I feed and clothe them—but I don’t hold press conferences about it. I don’t do it so you’ll think what a nice person I am; it’s private.”
22. “I wanted to be in a band that gave bang for the buck. I wanted to be in the band who didn’t look like a bunch of guys who, you know, should be in a library studying for their finals.”
23. “The makeup is simply an extension of the personality and colors, clothing, makeup all express something.”
24. “I work for everything I’ve got. I started off as a very poor kid. I want to get paid.”
25. “Rock is about finding who you are. You don’t necessarily have to play your instrument very well at all. You can just barely get by and you can be in a rock band.”
26. “The sad thing is most people have to check with someone before they do the things that make them happy. We’re all passing through; the least we can do is be happy, and the only way to do that is by being selfish.”
27. “Television and comic books are, and continue to be, probably the biggest influence in my life. It’s the biggest influence on everybody’s life.”
28. “People who are the salt of the earth get up and go to a job that they hate.”
29. “I crave ideas, and when an idea hits me, it grips me and it tortures me until I master it.”
30. “I fail all of the time. It means nothing.”
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