Gene Simmons Credits Detroit for Helping to Break Kiss
While Kiss bassist Gene Simmons is known for making splashy attention grabbing statements, every once in a while he chooses instead to wax poetic, which is what he did recently when asked about the impact the city of Detroit had on his career.
In an interview with MLive, Simmons pointed out that, "We broke in Detroit before any other city, even though we’re from New York.” While New York and Los Angeles have long been the cultural meccas of the country, in the 70s Detroit, home of Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop and the Stooges, was quite literally rock city.
“You can’t name a band from New York other than Kiss that played stadiums all over the world — not one,” Simmons argued. “Not the [New York] Dolls, not the Ramones, not anybody; these were small club bands. And that’s because we had a lot more in common with Detroit.”
Echoing a similar statement from lead singer Paul Stanley, Simmons was quite quick to point out the importance of the group’s legendary stands at the city’s famed Cobo Hall. “It would have taken longer [to get fame and notoriety],” he said. “We would have (made it), but it would have taken much longer. [Playing at Cobo Hall] was sort of the crossroads for the band starting to make some noise — before MTV, before digital, even before voicemail. There was nothing in those days. You got into the back of your car or your truck and you went from town to town and took your gigs to the people.”
And as for Kiss’ own musical ode to the motor city? “I have to say we’ve played it in the encore; we’ve begun shows with it. Whenever that show comes on, people pump their fists in the air. It’s kind of a national anthem of rock if you will. Sure, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll All Night’ is a celebration, but there’s something about ‘Detroit Rock City’ that just says ‘Heartland.’”