Tagged: Gene Simmons
You don’t have to be stupid to rock!
Rockers have often been brushed off as stupid airheads with nothing in their heads but chicks and parties. You know – bad vocabulary, bad choices, not much to contribute with. Kind of like these guys:
But after almost 25 years in the business, interviewing more bands and artists than I can even remember, it hit me that I’ve rarely thought of anyone as “stupid”. Some have formal educations, some are street smart, and some are just naturally intelligent. You don’t always have to be a rocket scientist to be smart. Very few have been total airheads actually.
Then I started digging into it. You’d be surprised how many rockers you’ll find that have fancy titles and impressive degrees to brag with.
Brian May (Queen) for instance… PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College in London. He began working on it 30 years prior to completing it in 2007, but got sidetracked when Queen hit the big-time. Apparently its never too late to finish what you started…!
Offspring’s Dexter Holland: He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology, both from the University of Southern California.
In the rearview mirror – GENE SIMMONS
[Short clip from “that” interview….]
I was drifting away into dreamland when the phone rang, killing the silence. I took a quick look at the digital alarm-clock and the green digits showed that it was almost 2 in the morning.
I closed my eyes and decided to ignore the ringing.
There was a quick squeaking sound coming from the other bedroom, followed by steps that disappeared into the kitchen. The ringing stopped. I heard my mother’s voice saying something I couldn’t hear and then footsteps that got closer…. She knocked on my door, and I heard her say with a tired voice, somewhere from the darkness of my room:
“It’s for you. It’s Gene Simmons…”.
Dammit. I was angry. Who did he think he was? I got up, walked with determined steps to the kitchen where the handset was lying next to the phone. I grabbed it and said: “Yes?”
“Hello, Daniela, this is Gene Simmons…”, said the very professional voice at the other end. I wasn’t in the mood for diplomacy, so I just blurted it out:
“You were supposed to call three hours ago, I didn’t expect this call. You’ll have to wait a few minutes, I need to get my taperecorder…”
I didn’t wait for an answer. I just put the handset back where I found it and went back to my room to get my stuff. I didn’t even care if he would still be there when I came back. But he was and I finally got my interview. At frikkin’ two am in the morning, when the whole house was sleeping.
A Kiss-loving friend of mine almost dropped down dead when I told her what had happened. “You can’t be serious! You let Gene Simmons wait on the phone?! Are you NUTS?”
It didn’t even occur to me at the time that it was rude or that you shouldn’t handle a rockstar that way. As usual, I was driven by emotions and I was just pissed off that night. It was the third attempt for an interview with Gene.
Kiss had just released “Hot In The Shade” and Brita Jungberg from the record company PolyGram had offered me an interview with Gene. She said he would call me on a Tuesday at 8 pm Swedish time. I was well prepared and that evening I waited by the phone, excited to get a good interview with one of the greatest names in hard rock.
I waited. And waited…. And waited. He never called. No big deal, anything can happen, I was sure there was a good reason why didn’t. I called Brita the next day and told her that Gene hadn’t called, so she set up a new time for me.
Once again, I sat there in the kitchen, trying to keep the parakeets quiet, bored to death but I couldn’t imagine that he wouldn’t call again. But the phone was as dead that evening as it had been the first time.
I was getting pretty annoyed, cause my time is just as valuable as anybody else’s. I thought it showed a lack of respect to act that way. I didn’t feel like doing that darn interview cause I had lost the enthusiasm for it, but I decided to call Brita one last time and see what the hell was going on. She wasn’t sure but she thought it had something to do with bad weather and problems with the phone lines or something. Oh well. Whatever.
That evening, I sat there staring at the phone for the third time, and it didn’t ring. I was absolutely furious when I went to bed that night. I cursed Gene Simmons and fuckin’ goddamn shitty Kiss, mumbling all kinds of things, with black smoke coming out of my ears. That’s how I fell asleep that night. Until my mother woke me up after having answered the phone at 2 am. And there he was – mister “fuckin’ goddamn shitty” Simmons.
Most people don’t get waked by the Demon himself in the middle of the night on a Wednesday..
But the interview turned out well. And it made a memory – at least until the next time I met him and he asked me (and a bunch of other blondes I’m sure) if I wanted to be the mother of his unborn child.
I looked at him as if he was from another planet. Well, at least he’s got a sense of humor! :D