When gene Simmons decided he wanted to be a rock star, he had agreed with her mother: to sing in a group and to prove that he is able to pay the bills. He had many skills that could find application in the labour market. Chaim WITZ was the only son of his mother Flora, who brought it with him to new York from Israel. While in high school in Queens, he studied shorthand and typing. By age 13, Jaime was typing faster than my teacher. By 18 he was working as a temp Secretary and proved to be very popular in Manhattan, using the special demand among women leaders. In his work he used the recorder to speed up the printing process. Then heard about him editor in chief of Vogue Kate Rand Lloyd (Kate Rand Lloyd). He became her trusted assistant, a sort of robinsonesque Friday, and fixed her hectograph, and mimeograph printing machine.
April 29, 1974, Chaim WITZ first appeared on television in the show Michael Douglas as gene Simmons or the Demon from the rock band Kiss. He came to the Studio in shoes silver platforms weighing 13 pounds each, and his unusually long tongue out of his mouth and moved like a skinned snake. Whisper Simmons declared himself “evil incarnate”. Beside him on the sofa sat the Joker LTTE fields. “Mom is watching you?— she asked. — Well, not funny if under all that makeup would be just wonderful Jewish boy?” It took a year and a half, and Simmons got from her record company a check for half a million dollars. He showed his mother, and she asked: “And what are you going to do now?”
Today, Simmons is sitting in the garden on the roof of the Moscow hotel “Park Hyatt”. His curly hair gathered in a ponytail and is similar to black roofing. I was brought in for a few minutes to meet him before the interview, which was held two days later. Although, according to Simmons, he looks “like a newborn puppy,” the musician claims he slept with 4 600 women, and each of them took a picture on my camera. At the age of 67 he won the heart of a computer program Siri, which in it’s cell with the special case of Kiss refers to him as “My Lord and Redeemer”.
When the woman comes in, Simmons gets up. He estimates the size of her handbags, wondering how you can fit all essential cosmetics. When meeting with me, he looks at pictures of products on your cell Kiss guitars, Kiss, Kiss airbrush, and even a coffin Kiss, released in a limited edition. In one of these coffins buried the slain guitarist of Pantera [Dimebag’s] Durrell. This caricature of the representative of glam metal, which is 44 years engaged in music and promotion of products, very strong attachment. And he claims the authorship of the phrase “rich and famous”.
From the red square, hear the sounds of the rehearsal of the Russian may day: sonorous folk songs and the sound of his boots on the pavement. In the Kremlin Vladimir Putin prepares to call Donald Trump to talk with him about Syria. Russian-American relations fell to a record low. Simmons caused a flurry of newspaper headlines for his views that are in tune with the current Kremlin administration. Drug addicts should be sent to the Gulag, he said. Pedophiles need to be executed. Islam is a “vile culture”. A conversation about immigration with him it is better not to start. In the national day celebrations, Kiss will give a concert in Moscow sports complex “Olympic”, which will gather 15 thousand people who prefer not listen to the “Dubinushka,” and “Crazy Crazy Nights”.
Putin at the concert?
“If he will come then with me to learn will not be,” says Simmons, leaving to his room.
The tap Gene Simmons, allowing him to fly at a height of 10 feet above the stage, creates a huge strain on his body as a costume musician adds 23 pounds of weight. Recently, he fell on his back and could not get up like a turtle. At the concert he will spit blood. The blood is fake. But today’s rehearsal before a concert is very tedious: for three hours is spent on the analysis of the movements on the stage, checking of winches and how to move his feet. Front man of the group Simmons and Paul Stanley in uniform stand on the hydraulic levers and fly over an empty arena like gardeners engaged in cutting of trees. Simmons plays bass guitar, singing excerpts from “Peter and the Wolf” and the theme “the Pink Panther”. But it seems, well-established hymns Kiss interest him less.
When you look at them, musicians like the group of people gathered near the car which they repair, or digging a hole in the ground. They are completely absorbed in their work, but from time to time my face hurts hit guitar picks, although I’m sitting 10 metres from the stage. Throw in people colored guitar picks with the logo of the group is an integral part of the Dating ritual Kiss. Stanley greeted me remotely by sending me a handful of picks through the Manager of the tour — as the man orders a drink for the lady sitting at the other end of the bar. My forehead gets another pick. “Hey, you!”. Then another. “Somebody get her up on stage!”
In the retinue Kiss no women except that which is engaged in transportation of costumes, and one that carries on trucks banks with makeup and cosmetics. Men loading up the makeup themselves. Both women are quite young. Thirty years ago was a completely different story, which the New Statesman told Jon Bon Jovi. In those days the first Western rock concerts in Russia, the stadiums swept the old woman, deftly wielding brooms made of twigs.
In the center of the team Kiss is the man who confirms this fact. This music Mogul Doc McGee, who was fired Jovi after McGee was convicted of drug trafficking. In 1989, partly in order to avoid a prison cell in the United States, McGee began collaborating with Russian musician Stas Nominum and to bring in a country Western group. Grandfather Namin was the Bolshevik statesman, who worked under Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev. Under Gorbachev in Russia was the Moscow international peace festival. McGee spent three days in the Kremlin with the President, offering him $ 10 million for the rights to the book and the movie about his life. It could hardly be blamed for the effort.
In those days touring was harder to carry out. On an eight-hour journey had to devote 12 hours considering the time stops, during which the guards had to give a bribe in the form of plates. Or during the tour, we had to Wake up sleeping in the bus Alice Cooper to give an autograph, and it was possible to go further. McGee brought the ice from Scandinavia. Buy plates in Russia was impossible, but there is at each corner of the thriving black market records made from x-rays. One evening the group was joined by a young interpreter, who with glowing eyes begins to speak about the youth of their parents. “Now everything is different because everything is available, she said. — It makes no difference now”.
With her unlikely young men who have spent near the hotel three nights, hoping to see Simmons and Stanley. Cyril and Daniel flew to the concert from the Siberian city of Tomsk, spending on flights of four hours. Im 14 years old, and the white faces of the group they saw in the magazine. Dmitry, who is over 30, I learned about Kiss in the famous inscriptions of graffiti that appeared on red square. He liked the double zipper in the shape of the letter S, banned in some countries because of the similarity with the Nazi emblem. I pull from my pocket a handful of picks Stanley. Twenty boys desperately fight for them like pigeons over bread crumbs.
And at the rehearsal of Kiss leaving the stage system. From one another at a distance of seven meters, each accompanied by staff. This is a small hint of invisible rules, in secret rivalry, the contractual conditions and compromises that allow members of classic rock bands to exist side by side for decades. Simmons is the face of Kiss, but the limousine, Stanley arrives first. “Because he’s the boss,” mutters someone. Stanley in the dressing room, impose makeup effeminate character, known as “Star boy” and Simmons with the rest of the musicians sitting in the other dressing room, listening to the band the Kinks.
Gene usually, it takes more than two hours. “Because he’s all talk, says Stanley, it is Difficult to make-up, when your mouth is constantly moving. I can do it in half an hour”.
Stanley wanders down the hallway, and I slip in the acting the restroom after him. It was a real triumph of decoration of premises in the Soviet style. Wall colors of lime green, fluorescent lighting and satin Drapes. Very similar to the Prince’s dressing room. There is a bed with black satin linen, in case, if the musician, for some reason, it will be necessary to lie down. Are kettlebells of different sizes, close to medicine ball exercises. And in the corner of a dressing room actually lit by old fashioned lamps.
“These are my clown white, gently he says, taking the jar with a thick bottom, they found in the 70s. — And here are my lips.”
“Why did you impose yourself makeup?”
“Because it’s a ritual, he explains. Is the rite of initiation. Can’t even imagine sitting in the chair like a dummy while someone paints my face. I put on my uniform. Those are my colors. And to me it’s better than the chaos in the other room.”
Stanley sits on a leather couch, puts one leg over the other and looking at the floor. On the mirror a picture of him where he plays the main role in the musical “the phantom of the Opera”, set in 1999 in Toronto. Above the inscription “the star of the show”.
Stanley Harvey Eisen was the “little fat kid”, deaf in one ear due to the deformation of the ear. He grew up on Broadway, and brought him to the Opera. In his youth he worked as a taxi driver. Stanley says the precise phrase, but he says emotionally, and immediately goes to work.
“I always wondered why so evil by many critics in their hostility to us, he says. — Perhaps they need to talk about this with their psychoanalysts, lying them on the couch. Hostile attitude to the group was so abnormal and excessive that inevitably there is a desire to say to these critics: there is little you beaten as a child”.
In 1978, the magazine New Musical Express has published an interview with Simmons under the title, which was also the title of an interview with Freddie mercury: “This man a moron?”
“But the fact remains that what we do has passed the test of time, says Simmons. — What we do, no expiration date. Some critics have supported us when we started, and it was hard, but with contempt turned away from us when we succeed. When you recognize that every time we get a full house. That is, the rooms are overcrowded. I never felt the need to fend off attacks, because you were always too busy achieving success”.
Stanley Eisen — the son of Austrian and Polish Jews who fled to new York via Amsterdam. Mother Simmons was born in Hungary and spent many months in a Nazi concentration camp in Austria, where she lost most of her relatives. She moved to the new state of Israel, the birthplace of her only son, and in 1957 went to new York when her husband left her with child. Stanley and Simmons have experienced numerous changes in the composition of the group. Once the Kiss was musician Vince Cusano that Simmons was renamed Vinnie Vincent as the old name was “like a fruit vendor”. Their Manager, Steve Toth of the Hungarian and Jewish roots. Guitarist Tommy Thayer is the son of Brigadier General James Thayer, liberated 15 thousand Hungarian Jews from the concentration camp in Austria. Simmons believes that this camp could be his mother.
“We are the children of immigrants, says Stanley. — We are children of the aftermath of the Holocaust. We have a special mentality, mindset and work ethic. I was taught that someone else can not take, that you can’t take what you don’t deserve what you haven’t earned”.
“We’re like brothers, and more. But that doesn’t mean we want to spend all the time together. I told gene: “If I had a life like yours, I’d kill myself””.
“Because that attracts Gina in my life, I don’t like. And my life seems to him boring.” Stanley lies on the couch, in the sky, and starts a relaxation session.
In four hours from behind the curtain heard the muffled sounds of British music from the 60’s. This is the signal for the beginning of transformation. “Normal?” — heard barking London accent. I see a silver platform Simmons on a wooden box, but his face can not see.
“He’s the strangest guy told me the night before in the hotel bar Doc McGee. — What I mean? He’s the strangest of these guys I know — and I know guys bipolar, guys with mental disorders. Now, he has NO friends”.
The family life of Simmons revealed in 2011 in a popular reality show called “family treasures Gene Simmons”. For decades he was a “bastard happy” with the singer of erotic roles, actress Shannon tweed, who has played in several films including in the film “Meatballs 3” and “Obscene behavior.” The couple had two children, but together they lived.
“The show made him change the attitude of the family, told me McGee. It showed it from different angles, and seen he didn’t like”. This show inspired McGee to the creation of another transmission called “Extreme comb-over”, “You comb your thinning hair and you think you look good. But everyone can see you from a different angle. My first participants will be gene Simmons and Donald trump.” Simmons starred with trump in the TV series “the Apprentice” (trump fired him), but “Extreme comb-over” has not been removed yet.
Pulls back the curtain, and I see the profile of Simmons, appearing from behind the wall. When I throw at him, he rolls on his chair on wheels across the room and gets in front of me, spread her legs wide apart and showing off his groin, covered with a silver codpiece.
“So was that okay?”
Transformation Kiss in the flesh, always unexpectedly, and it has a psychological effect on the observer and on the group itself. One after another appear two-meter giant space clowns that above all in the building and whiter than the moon. Everyone surprised look. In the doorway of the dressing room Stanley face appears sad MIME, one eye which in the form of the black stars, and her lips inflated like the offended woman. He walks down the hallway carefully and gracefully as a giraffe. But in his manner there was something new: pride in the eyes, stage confidence, and even walk on the huge platforms. Suddenly, the brain flashes up the answer to the biggest secrets of the Kiss — they after all these years, can apply for such sexuality. Their white faces were frozen in time, these young men 25 years of age and not older. As for the costumes, if you can call it that, they provoke you in inappropriate physical relationship. All rules of personal space violated, and you, without even thinking about it, touch them and poke them with a finger. Satin ass Paul Stanley appears on the tail, and I take his hand.
“Is that a real rabbit?”
Simmons, whose hair is tied in a tight tail, and behind hanging giant leather wings of a bat, a creature of a different kind. His body clad in armor. This is partly Orc, and partly a Titan monster. And speaking of charm, it creates the impression of an unhappy woman from the middle ages that robbed and taken by force.
He says little, and more is due to the body language. He pulls me to his makeup, to embrace her — the hair pulling. They tell me that after the concert I under no circumstances don’t have to meet him on the way. If I do this, it harknet to me, fake blood and douse the smelly sweat. Simmons pretends not to see me suddenly with force pressed me to the wall, and its painful thorns sticking into my hands.
Sitting the next morning in the restaurant on the second floor, Simmons has Breakfast with Shannon tweed. In 2011, they finally got married. Tweed 60 years, she is dressed in pink and leafing through Time magazine. From Simmons, short and unkempt nails, which had not yet descended yesterday’s makeup. Gray hair curl. In their mirrored sunglasses and a military style shirt with gold ornamentation, it looks like Gaddafi is on vacation. My recorder is he moving closer to him.
On the way home from school, he often went to the library and read the encyclopedia. There he learned that Edward VI was torturing animals. “If you are king, who will tell you that with a living frog cannot be skinned?” he muses aloud. I ask about the heroes of his childhood. “I didn’t have heroes, he says. — Among real people. My heroes lived in my fantasies. They were perfect Superman, Einstein and ethereal demigods. Because if you have characters from real life, they always end up fucking pathetic. Like Elvis — naked, swollen, lying on the bathroom floor”.
He takes the phone and asks Siri program to show British dish — meatballs with gravy. “So tell me, what the hell is this?— he asks. — The British have always been insignificant for the food. After the war, they ate beans with toast, nothing else, damn it. In the States we had butter, pancakes, and all in large quantity. If Mick Jagger got into my costume, wearing 15-inch heels, began to spit blood and fly through the air, he would simply weary. And Bono’s wearing my clothes? Let them try!”
Looks like it’s time to ask him about how he feels on stage.
“Clearly put it into words I can’t,’ he says. But I really realize that there is a certain transformation (he pokes a finger on his chest). I understand that rib cage expands me, heart pounding. I can compare its condition to the condition of the boxer outside the ring playing with his little daughter, and then gets into the ring, ignoring the audience, begins to fight.”
Tweed looks at the meaning of the word “meatball” in the dictionary and read the definition slowly, as if she was under light anesthesia: “Meat ball boiled in broth.”
“Sounds a lot nicer than it looks,” says Simmons.
I ask the question about the reality show that changed his life. “I didn’t like looking at myself, he says. — I mean, I liked the way I look, except this affectation (he points at her sunglasses). They even filmed me doing a face lift — my face lay on her shoulder like a scarf. But during this show it became clear to me that I am a bastard”.
“As a child mother beating me, beating the shit when I wasn’t acting as it should. Becoming independent, I was limiting myself in some respects: I never consciously pumped in drugs, been drunk, never smoked cigarettes, because I didn’t want to break the heart of his mother. But other than that I was arrogant and believed that everyone owed me. I’m an only child, and therefore I refer only to myself. You misled by the sound of his own voice. And although I’m a pretty educated person, it does not mean that I am wise.”
In the early 2000-ies Simmons began to publish the magazine Tongue, which mostly praised the female form. All he has left five numbers. Will soon have a new magazine called Mogul. “It’s a high pop-culture, entrepreneurship,” he says and shows the layout of the cover with your own photo. Simmons has published several books, including “Night butterflies: a historical and personal perspective on the oldest profession in the world” (Ladies of the Night: a Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World) and “the Corporation “I” to create the army, unleash your inner God, win in life and business” (Me, Inc: Build an Army of One, Unleash Your Inner Rock God, Win in Life and Business).
“I evoke curiosity from people in high financial circles — tells me Simmons because I was not there and their Affairs was not engaged, but still decently earn a living. They can’t understand how and why I succeed”. Then he says about music: “What else will give you the money upfront and you never have to return them?”
He read books trump. “All the books about business — the big lie, says Simmons. Ten secrets of success? Yes, people are just looking at life the shortest distance. You have to learn, and then do bloody hard, exhausting work. Forget words like “innate”, “intrinsic”, “talent” or “gymnasium”. Without hard work nothing happens.”
In 2011, Simmons endorsed MITT Romney, saying that America should be in the hands of a businessman. “Government is a business, he says today. — People do not understand it. Many hate trump and I understand this. I know this man.”
“But it does not mean that you like him,” the grumbles tweed.
“He doesn’t care what other people think. We are talking about a man who is willing to fight with all media. I wish there was a businessman, a business man. Not someone who stingily gives us his grace, raising the minimum wage, while the country is mired deeper in debt. I want to be the person to tell America: “You’re fat, swollen, and you need to go on a strict diet”. And so we will continue to guzzle”.
“Sorry,” chimes his wife.
“You burp, when you say”.
“Really? Well, at least I don’t fart. In short, continues Simmons — I don’t know what value can have political opinions of a man whose guitar neck. I don’t care what your fine new Prime Minister thinks about the Kiss”.
He wipes his handkerchief eyebrows, sees a black spot and says thoughtfully: “hair Dye”. This is not the first familiar to me, the American rock star, shyly talking about Donald trump, despite their agreement with many of his views. They are all business people, all need catchy headlines. Before becoming President, trump forty years of hanging out on the same gala concerts.
“Rock stars suck, says Simmons. — But it is more characteristic of pragmatism. Let me show you a short video”. He pulls out his phone, and includes an interview with American journalist Dan Rather (Dan Rather). In it, Simmons said that immigrants to the US should learn fucking English.
Yesterday, their relatives ate dog food, he says — And today, they can literally sue the President for sexual harassment and win the case. Want to try it here in Russia?”
“Do you know what not to do celebrities?” Here intervenes in the conversation tweed: “to Talk about politics. Don’t talk about her. Come on, eat.”
Simmons eats porridge, and I ask the question about his relationship with Paul Stanley. “Too easy to say that we are both Jews, and the other guys there, and so we survive and they don’t deserve it. — As for Paul and me, we like the combination of different alloys of which titanium is obtained. It’s like with dogs. Purebred behind in development. Health provided by a mixture of blood”.
Of course, another is immigration.
“You say legal immigration?— whispers Simmons. — You know, there are huge differences. Need to know the fingerprints of each. Need to know social security number of each. The ghosts we don’t need. Twenty million in America! In most countries the population is less. You know what I mean?”
After returning from Russia, I get 16 messages in your mailbox Simmons (he has no assistant). Each contains an individual business project, which he wished me to meet. Here he is advertising Dr Pepper, here’s a reproduction of his logo clothing app MoneyBag, that’s a new toaster Kiss for sandwiches. But he rings the bell on the new York stock exchange.
“You know why there banned in Russia groups we were number one?— I asked Simmons. Because the most powerful word in the English language is “I”. And we have a bunch of songs begins with this words: “I want to rock and roll all night”, “I was born to love you”. For the authoritarian regime, there is no word worse than”.
Simmons asked to describe what he feels while singing. He replied.
“I can compare it only with the films of Leni Riefenstahl. One word Hitler and the masses begin to move in unison. This is an amazing feeling of power and strength. I like king Kong, which grief will eat a couple of ladies, and then knocks his chest. Or as Godzilla, walking through the streets of Tokyo. You could even say that I feel like God in heaven, and it is not an exaggeration”.
On the other side of the scene in “Olympic” are small bullet-proof tent. Paul Stanley flies over the crowd from 15 thousand Russian fans and lands on their platforms. He has two artificial joints. He vigorously says stage rather banal phrase: “And here’s a song from 1988!”
On the left, in the band of green light is a kind of madness — the absent expression of the face, eyes bulging, head twitches to the beat of the music, and the black mouth bubbling with sticky blood. In Simmons, there is something tragic. He’s like a mad bear on a chain, like a character from a freak show. And then from his mouth with flame. Two big guns spit out confetti on the crowd. A fire breaks out and the show ends.
Parking at the door of Simmons swings open with a Bang, and there appears our hero is in the light, with his head held high, with blobs of fake blood on his chin. The bodyguards lead him to the rear entrance, but knowing that he has a habit to insult people with blood in the same Elevator with him no one is going.