He is the well-known Israeli with the famous tongue, the bass player, and one of the founders of the legendary rock band "KISS" !!
So let's have 12 facts you may not have known about him...
1. He was born on August 25, 1949, in Haifa (yes, in Israel) under the name "Haim Weitz" but at the age of eight he moved with his mother to live in Queens and changed his name to "Eugene Klein", his stage name is Gene Simmons and his nickname in the band is The Demon.
2. Together with the band they released no less than 20 studio albums !!
3. He once owned a football team called "LA KISS" along with his bandmate Paul Stanley.
4. He never consumed alcohol or drugs because he promised his mother that he would not do so.
His mother is a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and Simmons is very attached to her.
5. He is a very big philanthropist and even received quite a number of awards for it, especially for his contributions to children.
6. Prior to his musical career Simmons was a sixth-grade teacher at the Spanish Harlem School in New York.
7. He speaks five languages: Hebrew, English, German, Hungarian and Japanese.
8. Believe it or not but his trademark, his famous tongue was measured and it stretches to a length of 17.8 cm !! He even has a lifestyle magazine bearing the name of the tongue "Gene Simmons' Tongue".
9. Simmons has a special talent he received not voluntarily. He can spit a flame of fire to a distance of almost 5 meters.
When the band director came up with the idea of pyrotechnics for performances, no one wanted to be the one spitting the fire so Simmons was chosen for the role and was trained by the magician "Amaze-O".
The first time he performed the stunt, the flame was so strong (with a combination of an excessive amount of hair spray) that he burned a significant portion of his head hair.
10. He released two solo albums, the first "Gene Simmons" in 1978 and the second "Asshole" in 2004.
11. On his first solo album he hired the services of actress Katay Sagal, to perform background vocals on the album, you probably know her as "Gemma" from the "Children of Anarchy" TV Series.
12. He discovered one of the great bands of rock !! Van Halen !! He signed them to his label and started recording demos with them but in light of his crazy schedule with KISS they decided to break up and went to sign with Warner Music.
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"Face/Off" - Israel's Rock Blog & Podcast