Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons


8/25/1949, Haifa, Israel

Birth Name

Chaim Witz



Also Known As

Gene Klein, Chaim Klein Witz, Kiss, Chaim Witz, Gary Mezzer
  • Rock legend Gene Simons from the band Ki...
  • Rock legend Gene Simons from the band Ki...
  • Rock legend Gene Simmons from the band K...
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Gene Simmons was born on August 25th, 1949 in Haifa, Israel and is best known as the fire breathing, blood splitting and larger than life co-founder of the hard rock supergroup, KISS. As a child, Gene moved to New York with his parents and was highly influenced by…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In France, there was once a coca cola bottle with Gene Simmons' face on it.

    • A magician called "Amaze-O" taught Gene Simmons how to breathe fire.

    • In March of 2007, Gene Simmons, along with his longtime girlfriend, Shannon Tweed, got his and hers facelifts.

    • Gene Simmons can shoot fire out of his mouth 15 feet high. The world record is 20 feet, which makes him one of the top five people who can breathe fire in the world.

    • Gene once lost his voice onstage in Osaka, Japan on January 22, 1997.

    • Gene accidentally caught his hair on fire on December 31, 1973 in New York.

    • In August, 2006 Gene sent a video recording to an Israeli soldier severely wounded in combat in Lebanon, praising him as his hero.

    • Gene's nicknames are Gene the Nazarene and Genie.

    • Gene's parents are named Feri Witz and Florence Klein.

    • Gene was offered the role of Nick Hurley in the film, Flashdance, but turned the role down because of scheduling conflicts with KISS. Michael Nouri ended up getting the part.

    • Gene is of Hungarian and Jewish descent.

    • Gene graduated from Sullivan County Community College with a Bachelor's degree in Education.

    • Gene's famous tongue has been measured at over 7 inches in length.

    • Gene's trade marks are his tongue, his axe-shaped bass guitar and the Demon makeup he wore during his days in KISS.

    • Gene was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Oct 15, 2006 along with fellow Kiss members Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley.

    • Gene has a cartoon show based on his family life on Nickelodeon, titled My Dad The Rock Star.

    • Gene and his family are the subject of a new reality show on the A&E Network, titled Family Jewels.

    • Gene is a former member of the Mickey Mouse Club.

    • Gene created and published his own line of fanzines as a teen. Some of his titles include: Cosmos, Faun, and Lamaba Gamma. His magazines were based on fantasy, science fiction, and basic creative imagination comics.

    • Gene shared a live-in relationship with Cher for awhile, before meeting longtime love Shannon Tweed.

    • Gene worked at Glamour magazine, then at Vogue as assistant to the editor, Kate Lloyd.

    • Gene was executive Producer on the movie Detroit Rock City.

    • Gene worked with kids & rock music on the VH-1 reality hit Rock School.

    • Gene is publisher of his magazine Gene Simmon's Tongue.

    • Gene's first job was delivering the Long Island Star Journal in Queens, he made $37.50 a week, then added a second route for an additional $28.00 a week.

    • Gene Simmons and a former girlfriend, Georgann Walsh Ward, have settled a defamation lawsuit in which he made her sound like a "sex-addicted nymphomaniac" during a TV documentary. Walsh was Gene's girlfriend in the '70s and received no financial payment for appearing in the film When KISS Ruled the World. Her lawsuit also alleges the film defamed her by juxtaposing Gene's commentary with photographs that included her.

    • Gene has his own 39 cent postage stamp now. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Humane Society.

    • Gene has the same birthday as Rob Halford, the vocalist for Judas Priest .

    • Even though, Gene is the co-founder of the band, Paul Stanley is actually the one who suggested the name KISS.

    • Gene founded Simmons Publishing, which publishes books and magazines.

    • Gene played in a band called Cathedral several years before forming KISS.

    • Gene has never used alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

    • Gene claims to have slept with over 4,600 women.

    • Gene gave Cher's son, Elijah Blue, his first guitar at age 11.

    • Gene launched his Gene Simmons - Dragonfly fashion label in August, 2002.

    • Gene has been publishing the magazine entitled Tongue since late 2001. He is currently working on a KISS brand of condoms, among other things. Most of his post-KISS career will be spent producing feature films and creating new KISS merchandise.

    • Gene discovered Van Halen in 1977 and produced the demo that got them signed to Warner Brothers Records.

    • Gene produced many entertainment acts in the 1980's, including Keel, Wendy O' Williams, EZO,Liza Minelli, and Black & Blue.

    • Gene designed the axe shaped bass guitar.

    • Before deciding on a career in the music industry, Gene considered becoming a rabbi.

    • Gene was once in a band called Bullfrog Beer. Other pre-KISS bands he was a member of include Coffee, The Long Island Sounds, and Wicked Lester (with Paul Stanley).

    • Gene speaks five languages. He can speak English, German, Hungarian, Japanese and Hebrew.

    • Eddie Van Halen once begged Gene and Paul Stanley to let him join KISS, during a time when his band, Van Halen, was having problems. He was rejected because Gene and Paul were still trying to convince Ace Frehley to stay, though their efforts were unsuccessful as Frehley left the band in 1983. He was replaced by Vinnie Vincent, then Mark St. John, and finally Bruce Kulick.

    • Gene has a son, Nicholas, who was born in 1989 and a daughter, Sophie, who was born in 1992. Shannon Tweed is the mother of both children.

    • Gene has lived with model/actress Shannon Tweed since 1983, but they've never married. He calls marriage an "institution", and says he doesn't believe in institutions.

    • Gene dated Norwegian actress, Liv Ullmann.

    • Gene was involved in a live in relationship with Diana Ross.

    • Prior to forming KISS, Gene Simmons was a 6th grade teacher in Spanish Harlem.

    • Gene was the co-founder of the hard rock band, KISS. The band is famous for outrageous antics and kabuki style make-up.

    • Gene is 6' 2" tall.

    • Gene has written two books. He wrote Sex, Money, KISS and KISS and Make-up.

  • Quotes

    • Gene Simmons: As an Israeli, I want you to look at me first. I want you to search my anal cavity and look at my tax records. I want you to look at me first, and then at every guy named Muhammad.

    • Gene Simmons: It is embarrassing what's happening to America nowadays. I'm embarrassed. The same thing happened in Vietnam, and I lived through that era. It was unbelievable. The answer seems to be, from some political experts, just get up and leave and the bad guys will decide, "Hey let's disarm and everything's going to be okay." I'm so sick and tired of such idiotic behavior.

    • Gene Simmons: I refuse to lead a Jekyll-and-Hyde life. There are Djs who get caught with prostitutes, and M.P.s with stockings on their head. It's waste of time. Just say, 'This is who I am. Take it or leave it.' Then you sleep well.

    • Gene Simmons: My hero is me. Why? Because I was a poor little kid who was told, "Hey stupid, can't you speak English?" Now all those people work for me.

    • Gene: It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

    • Gene: I'm perhaps the persona of a really simple message: You should all be blessed because you're standing on hallowed ground. This is Indy, baby...These are the fastest cars on four wheels. We have rock stars and rockets. These cars will drive on the ceiling.

    • Gene: KISS isn't one of the top 100 bands in history, but it is one of the best known.

    • Gene: The sleeping giant is not China. It's Indy. It's exploding like a cluster bomb...Indy is about life or death, literally.

    • Gene: Perception is everything. You could be just another horse in a race, but if it's done right, you become the Kentucky Derby, baby!

    • Gene: Walk amongst the natives by day, but in your heart be Superman .

    • Gene: The only thing wrong with marriage is that one of the persons involved is a man.

    • Gene: I recorded Disney's When You Wish Upon A Star , one of my favorite songs of all time. It ended with a falsetto high note. I didn't think about it at first, but after I heard my vocal on 1,000 Dreams , I noticed the end had an eerie connection to Wish Upon A Star .

    • Gene: I've always admired Frank Zappa . He invited me over to his house right before he unfortunately passed away. We had a real heart to heart . He said some very kind things to me and showed me his library of tapes, things that had never been released.

    • Gene: Secretly, the most extreme alternative person is gonna put on an ABBA record when nobody is looking. Everybody has eclectic taste, it's just that sometimes people are afraid to admit it.

    • Gene: My taste is eclectic and all over the place. I love all kinds of artists, from Patsy Cline to The Beatles ,Motown to Hoobastank.

    • Gene: The people who come to see us are families, it's parents bringing their kids. They dress up like KISS and all come together.

    • Gene: I'm all about money and beautiful women. That's what life's all about.

    • Gene: Like when my boy went to kindergarten, and they asked the kids to bring in photos, and things to talk about what their parents do. One boy brought scissors, because his dad was a barber, another kid brought a hammer, because his dad built houses. My son walked in with a poster of me spitting fire and drooling blood.

    • Gene: I'm an only child, and I'm not from America, so I like attention.

    • Gene: I've always felt like an outsider, I still do, but America has given me everything I've ever dreamed of, and there are no limitations.

    • Gene: I've never taken a vacation in my life. You have a lot of time to have a long vacation when you're underground.

    • Gene: This is me, this is who I am, you don't have to like it, but this is me, period.

    • Gene: Last time I checked, the only one who owns me is the mother who gave me birth. In return for life, she is allowed to torture me. No other woman is allowed to do that, they have not earned that right!

  • One of the members of KISS

    I have been listoning to KISS since i was a little kid because my parents were big fans of theirs. I grew up beening a KISS fan and thinking tht Gene Simmons was one of the best preformers that I have ever seen. I have seen KISS live and thought that he puts on a great show. I Like that he has his own show with his family. I think that it is weird to see Gene Simmons around his fmily because it is a different side of him that you do not see when he is on stage performing.moreless