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Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons talks about coming to America when he just turned nine years old. Although he didn’t speak any English, hearing Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Sam Cook, Otis Redding and James Brown on the radio made perfect sense to him. The music moved him and he moved to it!  At that young age, he couldn’t quite figure out what it was that excited him so. One thing he knew for certain, he was smitten by the music.  Gene reflects on the first time he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show; “and then it all made sense, this kind of hybrid of little white boys out of  England who spoke with an accent.  They looked small and weird and came from some place else.  I felt connected somehow, that like me, they weren’t from America.  They were different and they were still accepted.  Then I started strumming guitar.”  After learning a few chords, Gene wrote and recorded his first song at the age of fourteen, “My Uncle is a Raft” which is contained in “The Vault”  along with 150 other unreleased recordings spanning his 50 year music career.  Gene also talks about his earlier bands: The Long Island Sounds,  Bull Frog Beer and Cathedral before he formed Wicked Lester with Paul Stanley, which lead up to acquiring Ace Frehley and Peter Criss to form KISS.

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