From a young Israel-born immigrant to recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Gene Simmons has overcome enormous obstacles to become one of the most successful rockers of all time. This morning, Gene joined The K-EARTH 101 Morning Show on the phone to talk about his road to success in KISS, plus appearing in tonight’s episode of CSI.
Gene will appear as himself in a guest role on the hit CBS crime drama CSI, a role he says he was “born to play.”
“I’ve done this before,” said Gene on playing himself on TV. “I did ‘Ugly Betty’ as Gene Simmons, ‘Castle’ as Gene Simmons and the ‘Entourage’ movie they’re filming now just called and wants me to play Gene Simmons.”
Gene has expanded his acting chops over the years in movie roles, reality TV and more, but he says that acting isn’t his “main focus” right now. Instead, he’s getting ready to hit the road with KISS for a 40th anniversary tour this summer.
“We look forward to showing people the kind of stage show they’ve never seen before,” he said.
It’s hard to believe that KISS is now celebrating its 4oth anniversary in music this year, a feat a young Gene Simmons never could have predicted. As an Israel-born immigrant, Gene emigrated to the states with his mother when he was eight years old and spoke no English. He told Gary and Lisa that he always felt out of place growing up, but then he saw four young musicians from England take America by storm on The Ed Sullivan Show, which inspired Gene on his own musical journey.
“I always felt like an outsider, because when I first came here, I spoke with a very thick accent…and I couldn’t quite figure out whether or not I’d be accepted,” he explained. “Then I saw the Beatles and I saw guys who didn’t look like they came from here…and I went ‘oh, they got an accent too, maybe it’s ok’. And the rest is plain old hard work.”
And now KISS has become a huge part of American pop culture whose merchandising now outsells The Beatles and Elvis put together. That includes over 5,000 licensed KISS products from the KISS golf course in Las Vegas to limo service, coffee houses, Rock and Brews restaurant chain and even KISS condoms and caskets.
From merchandise to television, there’s no denying that Gene Simmons is just about everywhere these days, including on tonight’s episode of CSI.
The plot of tonight’s CSI is about a “woman found murdered and a disappearance of a prostitute that both had ties to a mysterious band” according to the show’s site. Tune in to CSI tonight at 10pm to see the “powerful and attractive” Gene Simmons guest star!
Listen to our full interview with Gene Simmons below.