Gene Simmons Outdoes Himself

The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan)

Final Edition Section: What’s On; Gerry Krochak; Pg. F1
September 26, 2002 Thursday

Gene Simmons outdoes himself
by Gerry Krochak, The Leader-Post

As if his blood-spitting, fire-breathing, tongue-flicking prowess wasn’t enough, my favourite kabuki-faced bat-lizard has added “magazine mogul” to his pedigree.

Gene Simmons Tongue — for real, dude — hit magazine racks a few months back, the latest in a long line of bad, soft-core-porn men’s magazines vying to dumb down the dumbest of them all: Maxim.

It promises “Sex, Style and Rock and Roll,” all for only $4.99. How could I resist? Breasts spilling off the front cover, not to mention the headline 10 THINGS YOU DO WRONG IN BED (THAT SHE WON’T TELL YOU) … I sheepishly paid for the dang thing and rushed home.

Also featured in this issue, #2 of the quarterly publication, is Dr. Ava Cadell with a spirited column entitled WHY MEN LOVE BIG BREASTS, as well as something called GROUPIE GABFEST, in which legendary groupie Pamela Des Barres and her modern-day counterpart, Michelle Dupont, discuss what it means to be a “music lover.”

But wait, there’s more: “A no-holds-barred, intimate conversation between Simmons and former KISS drummer Peter Criss (which, unfortunately, is nowhere near as interesting as it should be) along with another Simmons-conducted interview with Tony Hawk, who is skateboarding’s Michael Jordan.

What else have we got? Several pages of photos from the launches of Gene Simmons Tongue in Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas, which seem to imply: “We’re rich, famous and beautiful . . . and you’re not.” Then, of course, there’s some saucy pictures of the late Eric Carr’s wife (as if taste ever enters into it), a “Rock Star Threads” section, a travel segment featuring more photos of bosomy babes, and a feature on Motley Crue bassist (and Gene Simmons protege) Nikki Sixx.

Beyond even more pictorials featuring yet more boobs, there’s some movie, video game and music reviews, as well as a story on the life and grisly death of former Hogan’s Heroes star (and noted kinkster) Bob Crane. Crane was filming his sexual exploits long before Simmons even bought his first Betamax!

There are no fewer than six pages of ads for KISS-related merchandise — including (yikes!) KISS KONDOMS — in “Tongue Lubricated Gene,” “Studded Paul” and “Love Gun Protection,” which is surpassed only by the three dozen pages of — this is a recording — yet more sweater puppets.

Besides his fearlessness, the thing that I admire most about Simmons is his ability to sell … well, judging by this magazine, just about anything!

Gene Simmons Tongue should never have seen the light of day — any more than Gene Simmons should ever have become a mega-million-selling rock star.

Having interviewed the man on two separate occasions, I can honestly say he is without a doubt the best talker in music. I’ve always said, if you ever have to speak with someone and then write about it, Simmons is a dream come true. He is smart, funny, candid, lightning quick, opinionated — and he holds nothing back.

Based on content alone, I find it hard to believe there will ever be a third or fourth or fifth issue of Gene Simmons Tongue. But I’m also smart enough to know not to bet against him — or his tongue.

– Gerry Krochak’s column appears Thursdays in What’s On. You can reach him by e-mail at [email protected]