Gene Simmons has proclaimed the death of rock and roll, but this needs to be said loudly and succinctly:
Gene Simmons is full of it. He’s actually full of something that rhymes with “it,” and everyone reading this knows what that term is.
His comments were made in an interview–it reads more like a conversation, but we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt–with his son Nick. Controversial comments such as “Rock is dead” are guaranteed to get eyeballs on the interview, which is good for Esquire and, in turn, for his own son. Would another interviewer be given such a juicy quote for his or her interview? Of course not. Gene Simmons wants to give his son a boost–nothing wrong with that–by saying something particularly attention-grabbing. So he throws rock and roll under the bus in order to do it. It would be funny if it wasn’t so brazen.
Secondly, Gene Simmons’ band just wrapped up a tour with Def Leppard. Would these comments have seen the light of day while the band was still on tour? Of course they wouldn’t. He needed to put on his costume, and sing his songs, and play the same character that he created and has profited from immensely for 40 years now. If rock and roll truly was dead, would he have been able to do all that? Of course not.
And now that rock is dead–by his proclamation, anyway–does that mean his band will pull out of a scheduled appearance at Fashion Rocks in Brooklyn next Tuesday? And is their residency at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas in November now in jeopardy? Evidently not, based on the Ticketmaster.com website. No, the band will take the stage as always, and cash their checks as always, but the difference now is that we’ll know what a hypocrite Gene Simmons really is for doing it.
I wonder what Gene Simmons would have said to someone who told him–back in the early 1970s when KISS was forming in New York City–that rock was dead, or that writing songs was a waste of time. He would have ignored their advice, gone ahead with it anyway, and proven the doubters wrong. That defiance is what rock and roll is all about. I would have expected the man who co-wrote the greatest anthem in rock history to appreciate that, but time and gobs of money have apparently obscured this for him.
I would hope that any kid wanting to rock out for himself ignores Gene Simmons’ advice, and proceeds to prove him wrong. He once said he don’t want no compromise, and now that’s exactly what he wants. Don’t give him that satisfaction.