Listen to the Terry Gross and Gene Simmons interview

gene simmons terry grossHere it is, boys and girls – the hilarious interview that Gene Simmons wouldn’t allow NPR to release as an archive like they normally do with Fresh Air, either because he couldn’t figure out how to make any money off it or because it makes him sound like a complete douche. My guess is the former.

Gene does his best to school the boring, repressed NPR listener on his fascinating philosophy of life; apparently a subtle blend of Ayn Rand and Ron Jeremy. Terry does her best not to get flustered while conducting a meaningful interview. She does a pretty good job in my opinion. Hey, she’s Terry Gross.

So, please enjoy, and leave some comments below if you feel so inspired. I’m thrilled to get them.


  1. inthewayboy says

    The one week I don’t listen to NPR…not that I’m a KISS fan, but I can appreciate the magnitude of this interview! She always seems to get at least one good question in. Now I’ll just have to stream it…thanx for the post!

  2. Sonja says

    Thanks a bunch for the audio. I’ve read the interview, but one doesn’t truly appreciate the extent of Simmons’ obnoxious remarks until you hear them. Now I know why he refuses to allow NPR to provide the interview.

  3. says

    I’m going to play Devil’s advocate: It seems to me that Terri Gross sought to prove that Gene Simmons is absurd, when everybody already knows that. Why go out of your way to prove the sun rises in the east?

    • Michelle says

      I disagree, she was trying to make a decent interview, and he was being obnoxious. She worked with what she was given, and asked his opinions so that they could be heard.

  4. says

    Simmons’s right, women can’t handle the truth. The one time when the show truly lived up to its name, but not for anything Gross did.

    Gross is priggish, a trait worth what, now, a whole dime a dozen? Simmons has *honest* dignity, a much rarer animal.

    Grow up already, Kids.

  5. Tony says

    The only thing smart about Gene Simmons is the fact that he refused to have this audio available to the public. He’s proven himself to be the biggest ass to ever talk on Fresh Air. I listen to Fresh Air on a regular basis and I’ve heard some pretty obnoxius people but nobody tops the obnoxious list like Gene Simmons. It’s clear that some guests have some preconceived opinions about the show and if they don’t like Fresh Air or NPR,they try to hide it. Others, like Gene use their ass instead of their head to show it. Gene didn’t want to challenge questions in a professional manner, he just wanted to make an ass out of himself by degrading Terry and Fresh Air when it was it completely uncalled for. If he really had any brains, he would have have refused the interview in the first place.

  6. says

    Thanks for providing this … helped push my afternoon along with a big ol’ smile on my face. Wouldn’t have believed it had I not heard it myslef. Thanks again.

  7. baaadbobby says

    while you faggots pounder genes words, make your little comments on him, i remind you he lives how he wants, bang the best ass on the planet, makes more in a day than you make in a year, and he’s the fucked up one.

    the man is the man, accept it and move the fuck on you little losers

  8. swingleader says

    This interview is one of those great controversial moments. How people feel about and react to it reflects their own outlook on life and their character.

    I think Terry was predisposed to do her normal interview thing, gene had his points that he wanted to put out to a new audience that he didn’t understand (marketing band, brand, himself, man/woman relationship) and the collision is a rare form of true spontaneous entertainment.

    My opinion on his man/woman relationship is that the points he makes are valid, interesting and certainly start good conversations, but they are very simple and shallow points and don’t reflect the complexity of how men and women interact. (e.g. yes, having a lot of money and getting laid a lot is very good, but there is more to life than that)

  9. Ben says

    Terri did a fairly masterful job at handling one of the biggest douche-bags I’ve heard from in some time. Paralleling the Kiss caricature of the larger-than-life rock band, Simmons’ personna of the megalomanical dipshit is actually outright masterful, if it weren’t so pathetically comical. I suppose that some might even credit him for being quite so honest about his pomposity. But do we really need to give kudos to anyone for exemplifying their sickness so thoroughly? In her handling of this insufferable prick, Terry ironically proves herself to have way more ‘balls’, you might call it, than Simmons will ever have. Gosh, and she doesn’t even need to wear a codpiece to prove it.

  10. Terry Simmons says

    Mr. Simmons never grew up, he is still the scared little Jewish boy from Israel he became at age ten when he sit foot in Queens. Trying to compensate with money, sex and a laughable attempt at appearing educated. Still, he seems happy and at the end of the day…..

  11. says

    Let’s face it, Terri met her match. Gene was correcting her. He was just being truthful and she was defensive.

    He is a very intelligent man who is in touch and knows how to play the game. It’s obvious Terri couldn’t really handle him!

    I would love to meet Gene’s Mom!

  12. Tad says

    Yes, he’s obnoxious; yes, he’s fairly accurate (albeit more than a little exaggerated; this is, after all, the man who wrote “Larger Than Life”) and not at all politically correct; I think these two make a pretty good example of the yin and yang of intelligent people. They will never really be able to understand each other, but they communicate their respective world views in a fairly articulate manner. This is fun in the same way a near-tragedy is fun on “Funniest Home Videos”.

  13. brd says

    I’ve always been entertained by this interview. Mind you, I’m not a huge KISS fan (good for the occasional chuckle), nor am I a big Fresh Aire fan (NPR can’t be all good, all the time). I have never understood anyone who thinks Gross “handled” Simmons here. She seems positively defensive the entire time. And she had reason to: although Simmons may be a pompous, venal egotist, he is also completely honest, forthright and unabashed about it. I am not sure what made Gross think she could cow Simmons into giving up his shame when he clearly has none to give, but she really missed the mark in trying.

  14. Adam says

    I used to listen to Fresh Air when I believed in redistrubiting wealth. Then I grew up. I heard about this interview on the radio today, and I’m glad someone had it posted on the web. I always enjoy it when a liberal elitist gets embarrassed by a capitalist. I’ve never been a fan of Kiss, but I am now a fan of Gene Simmons. His display of unabashed honesty, intelligence and wit was a real breath of Fresh Air.

  15. says

    T.Gross was 2 decades behind Simmon’s personal development in the questions she asked.

    He is extremely wealthy, not least in that his wealth is unfettered by obligations to shareholders.

    He has done the responsible thing with his freedom from struggle in making long and unflinchingly honest study of his position in relation to others, incl women.

    Gross could have provided tremendous insight to listeners by allowing Simmons to earnestly expound on the facts of elite existance he has had the luxury of learning, a perspective few, if any, NPR listeners will ever know firsthand.

    Instead she emphasized the long out of date, superficially tawdry aspects of Simmons’ alter ego brand name.

    Simmons tried to give a good interview;
    Gross’ defensive cliches prevented him from doing so.
    She acted oblivious to his jovial irony, so making the interview about herself instead of her subject.

    I never realized before how incompetent she is when faced by genuine power.
    She is too lightweight for her job.

    If, in fact, Simmons forbade NPR archival, he did Gross a favor in hiding her incompetence.

  16. optyman says

    I listened to this interview back when it originally aired in February, 2002 on Fresh Air. This morning I tried to find an archival file of this interview, only to see that Gene did not give permission for this interview to be repeated on the internet, nor in transcript form. If I were him, I wouldn’t either. He made a fool of himself.

    My initial reactions to the interview was that I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from Gene Simmons. I was in shock the whole interview.

    My take on listening to this again (on this web site) was that this was Gene Simmons attempting to pick-up Terry Gross in front of an on-air national audience, whereas Terry Gross was just trying to get a take on Gene Simmons. I would suspect that if you attended a party with Gene and if you overheard him talking to anyone else that he was interested in, his conversation would not be any different than the one we heard on-air. Gene stated that if he walked into a party, he’d be walking out with your girlfriend supports this stance. His goals of conquest and on life in general are of a primitive nature, and that he really has not experienced life to the fullest. Gene needs to learn that life is not just lived in bed….but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

  17. says

    I listened to the audio & read the transcript. She was asking him dumb questions about his makeup and spitting blood. If this is a “thinking person’s” type show then why not really probe his mind. She was in many ways trying to belittle him. He stood his ground and he let her know that he is also articulate, just because he is promiscuious is no reason to think he is not as intelligent as she it, if not more. I really do not think he was hitting on her. You all should look at a picture of her and you would realize this yourselves. She hates men that have not been feminized, he is the epitome of what she despises. She wants to be a man, she cannot ever be a man, so she takes it out on guys like Gene, unfortunately for her she did not realize before hand that he is very intelligent regardless of what any of you think of his view of women.

  18. Henry Rozycki says

    As a fan of Fresh Air, I was shocked and offended at how crude and obnoxious Mr. Simmons was to Ms. Gross, whom I thought of as an intelligent, well-informed and polite interviewer who was always well-prepared and could often pry out revealing aspects of her guests. Thanks to this copy, I feel the need to amend that. First to Mr. Simmons – he was pitching a book that had, as its selling point, the same sort of self-absorbed bravura that he showed during the interview. He was also, I think, trying to bait Ms. Gross into reacting. In between the lines, he did come across as an only child of a Holocaust survivor who then quickly became an adored rock star. He also came across as provocative and adept at using the same kind of almost ad hominem style seen in certain fair and balanced interviews. Ms. Gross, on the other hand, seems to have been less well-prepared than usual. If she had read his book beyond the headline-grabbing bits about 4600 women (which was prominently mentioned in the Publisher’s Weekly blurb), she might not have been suprised by his interview style. Also, as an interviewer with perhaps more experience than almost anyone else on this side of the Atlantic, I am surprised that she took his bait of her and became so defensive. Surely, journalism schools teach simple techniques of keeping the interviewer out of the subject matter. When Mr. Simmons mentioned NPR and criticized it, asking him if he listens to it would predictibly invite another attack, one likely to include Fresh Air given the previous 15 minutes or so. If Ms. Gross wanted to engage this topic, she might have asked whether Mr. Simmons thinks everything should sound the same or like Kiss and then maybe what kind of music he listens to, etc.
    Second hearing raises Mr. Simmons and diminishes Ms. Gross, to my ears but only in the limited circumstances of guests like this one. Thanks for posting it.

  19. says

    Man, why doesn’t anyone have a sense of humor? Gene Simmons was hilarious in that interview. It’s like he said, ‘Women always wish a man will be honest with them. Then when they are, they call them obnoxious and a pig. Gene Simmons speaks what most if not all men feel. Terry took him way too seriously.

  20. Jizzabomb says

    ‘Women always wish a man will be honest with them. Then when they are, they call them obnoxious and a pig.’

    SO TRUE.

  21. Avago says

    How sad it is, when cliches are touted as philosophy and reason.

    This interview had its moments, even if those moments are the sole result of the discontinuity between this and the other, generally excellent interviews that have come out of Fresh Air.

  22. liberal socialist nerdy type says

    Okay, take someone who has lived an interesting, atypical life, ask them on a show where such people discuss events, insights, anecdotes, and all he’ll say is

    “I am the greatest cause i’ve fucked everyone, and you and all your listeners are included in those I am superior to.”

    Fuck yeah that’s obnoxious. Call it honesty if you want to, I’d prefer he shut the fuck up. If he had said it gives him pleasure to fart that’d be honest too, doesn’t mean I want to hear all about it.

  23. Michael says

    After reading through the various posts on this blog I was honestly surprised at the number of people who were defending Gene Simmons. Regardless of whether or not you believe that he exemplifies a “real man’s” persona or that he was merely being “honest”, Simmons is truly a man who has lost a grip on reality. I find it hard to believe that some listeners thought his total self-absorption and obsession with money were admirable qualities. His ability to reduce and simplify the complexities of life to 2-minute sound bites only further demonstrated what a wacko he is. Take a listen again folks. Simmons opines as if he speaks for all of civilization. Well, I for one wouldn’t want that imbecile speaking for me.

  24. persephone says

    What an amazing interview!

    That man is extraordinary. I’ve heard that this little radio chat was funny, but I never thought it would be so profound.

    Hats off to Gene Simmons.

    His honesty is refreshing, particularly now when we’re bombarded with bullshit from all sides. This is not to say that I agree with everything he said, but I’m very impressed with the way he said it. That man could back up each point rationally, which is more than can be said for most public figures.

    I’m going to find that book and I’m going to pass this sound recording to everyone I know who will appreciate it.

    Simmons is one in a million. I don’t like his music, but now I admire the man who makes it.

    As to all you haters, and there are plenty, I suggest you listen to that recording again. Ask yourself how well you could defend your own beliefs. Would you have followed Terry Gross like a dog, or would you have stood up and stated your real position on life, especially if that position isn’t popular.

    Thanks to the person who posted this. Think about putting it up on YouTube…

  25. 7beers says

    Gene Simmons was rude and rambling in that interview. I think it has to do with his growing up in Israel, because his style is reminiscent of so many Israelis I’ve met.

  26. Pez D Spencer says

    Gene Simmons is certainly an enigma. It’s hard to believe that the fire-breathing and blood-spitting rocker is a non-drinker/non-drug user with a college education, who also speaks 5 languages. Regardless of how you feel about him or his views, which are indeed polarizing in their brutal honesty, Gene is the epitome of the American Dream.

    Yes, Gene is narcissistic, but he’ll be the first one to admit it. He was so into himself and needed attention so much that he admittedly got into teaching because the classroom provided him with a captive audience.

    Yes, Gene loves money and all the trappings of fame. However, that is perhaps driven more by the fact that he was a poor Israeli immigrant who came from nothing, was ridiculed as a child because he couldn’t speak English, and now those people work for him.

    Yes, Gene “loves” women and hates marriage, yet he and Shannon have a relationship that has lasted longer than many marriages, and he’s been shown to be a devoted father as well.

    Through it all, Gene Simmons has never pretended to be someone he isn’t, unlike some people including pseudo-intellectual liberals who can’t pronounce words in Hebrew.

  27. Rockets Redglare says

    Why was this interview not made available via NPR archives? I don’t know why either party would want to hide the interview. To me, it is excellent radio and more spontaneous than what we normally get. Gene seemed sane to me, if not a bit conceited.

  28. Vincent Madrigal says

    OK I have to admit that YES most times the way Gene acts is outrageous and showman like. But if you look past the show and listen to the meaning of his words there is NOTHING at all wrong with him, if anything what he is saying is exactly how soo many of us should live our lives.

    Thanks so much for posting this interview.

  29. Julie says

    I admit that I’ve given a fair amount of thought to what Gene Simmons must have been thinking when he went on Fresh Air. He clearly fancies himself one of the more eloquent former rock stars, as evidenced by his attempt at a smooth, thoughtful radio voice, so I was prepared for some pedantomania of the “yes, I might be a rock star but listen to how articulate I am” variety. I figured he would sound like an academic, telling us about KISS’s place in popular culture, the band’s success, his own intellectual prowess. And he had a forum in which he could actually speak uninterrupted! When I heard the original broadcast, I thought it was a joke.

    Simmons’s behavior must have based on one of two things: (1) he wasn’t ready to be interviewed by someone who wasn’t lobbing softballs at him and feeding him kiss-ass questions, and he reacted like an angry pubescent boy; or (2) he is a genius in self-promotion and knew that by being an unbelievable prick, people would talk about this interview for years to come. He must have known that Terry had been hosting Fresh Air for 15 years and had interviewed people of much more consequence than an aging rock star whose trademark was violently wagging his tongue while wearing clown makeup and platform shoes. How better to distinguish himself than by saying appalling things?

    As much of a dick as he is (or appears to be), there is something interesting about Gene Simmons as a character. He is unapologetic about his lifestyle and his lack of belief in monogamy, and seems to enjoy it when people try to pin their values on him. Whether he is really fulfilled or, as one poster put it, just a scared Jewish kid off the boat is anybody’s guess.

  30. says

    Actually, I heard this interview when it aired. They got off on the wrong foot immediately with Terry Gross and Simmmons sparring over his comment that assumed she was not Jewish, which she immediately claimed to be a misapprehension on his part.

    The first time I heard the interview I wasn’t listening carefully and I missed many instances where Gross blatantly told Simmons he had no sense of humor over this or that. She was fairly defensive and missed many opportunities for good interview lead-ins, such as the one where Simmons said, “My mother told me that every day above ground was a good day.” Basically saying, I suppose, carpe diem. And live your life by your own terms while you’re at it. Now THAT would have been a good lead-in, particularly given his ancestry. But she was persistently stuck to questions on her script that were actually not all that interesting.

    And at the beginning of the interview, in case it was missed, Simmons basically said, I’m not going to take this that seriously. We are talking about a band, not rocket science. He didn’t use the word rocket science, but you get my point. He had a sense of humor. She didn’t. In my opinion he should have released it for archiving.

    Terry Gross 0 – Gene Simmons 1

  31. Rock guy says

    First of all, Terry’s first question was pretty obnoxious.

    This is Rock n’ Roll, people. We are about freedom. We use profanity. We don’t give a fuck what you think. We strip away the shallow veneer of your so called civilization.

    If your kids don’t turn out how you want, it’s your fault. Not ours.

    Deal with it, or not, we don’t care.

  32. addie says

    he is what he is. Terry’s questions were lame in that silly therapy way, but right off the bat he was kind of ass-y.

  33. Rock guy says

    Terry Gross: Let’s start with the makeup. Did you like being covered up on stage, did it make you feel any less vulnerable, or any less like Gene Simmons or your other names — Gene Klein or Chaim White, which was your birth name?

    This was the first question. First of all, she did not even get his birth name right. Also, her question regarding the makeup is condescending. No wonder he want “ass-y” right off the bat.

  34. Rock guy says

    Terry Gross: Let’s start with the makeup. Did you like being covered up on stage, did it make you feel any less vulnerable, or any less like Gene Simmons or your other names — Gene Klein or Chaim White, which was your birth name?

    The was the first question. Not only did she not his birth name right, but the question isn’t merely lame, its condescending. No wonder he went “ass-y” right off the bat.

  35. Rocky says

    “and now for your entertainment…Gene Simmons!”

    When you talk to a congressman, you will always get some politics; when you talk with a comedian, you will always get a joke. So when you talk to GS, you will always get his shtick.

    I think Terry would have benefited from a little (little more) background work on GS before the interview. She should have just rolled with some of his punches so as to not fuel his remarks. Kudos to Gene for keeping a good attitude throughout it all.

    And to all, Gene did say on several occasions that his answers were of his own personal opinions. Real answers or staged, he took all of the responsibility.

    America…presenting Gene Simmons!!!

  36. Professor says

    Wow… I don’t know what is says about me, but I agree with most of what Simmons said AND I love the way he conducted himself. How can one not admire his honesty and FREEDOM? That is what he kept getting at with the money thing: he is a rich, healthy, adult male rock star, so he doesn’t have to talk in euphemisms or polite bullshit.

    When she said ‘not all men are like you,’ and he said ‘yes they are; we just lie to you all…’

    Guys, you can continue to placate the women by pretending that this interview is proof that Gene is some knuckle-dragging misogynist but he was simply keeping it real. And funny. And inciteful.

  37. Andy says

    Terry went into the interview thinking she is right and Gene Simmons needed to navigate around her.
    She exposed her assumptions to everyone. She wanted to disliked him before the interview started.

  38. Dendrite says

    Gene Simmons can fool some into thinking he’s eloquent and erudite, but when you consider the manner in which he constructs his thoughts, moves from one pre-formulated aphorism to another, and pontificates on the mundane, it is readily apparent that he’s merely a smart ass rather than a dumb ass. He ain’t no intellectual.

    Rock ‘n’ roll has always been primarily about prolonged puberty. Gene’s no exception.

    I spent a 1/2 day with Gene Simmons in connection with a television production. Just me, Gene and a couple of my staff. It would have been just a few hours except for the fact that we couldn’t get him to leave and we politely failed to ask. No one asked him for an autograph or to pose for a picture. When we work with celebrities we NEVER do those things. They tend to prefer it that way. Gene seemed to be a bit flummoxed by it. During the days before he arrived I was told many times over the course of several phone calls from one of his representatives that we “…shouldn’t worry. Gene’s very professional.” I was never concerned, but I heard it so many times that I began to wonder. His limo took him the entire 150 yards from the hotel to my facility. Despite the lack of any crowd (or interest), his people demanded that our building security meet him at the curb. He was immediately mistaken by a young African American woman for Steven Segal. Gene quickly pointed back and retorted, “Oprah Winfrey.” OK, a quick witted smart ass; I’ll give you that. His eyes then locked on a staff member’s chest and didn’t stray during the time it took to get from the curb; into elevator and up to our floor. Later he tried to impress her by pressing his hairy (dyed jet black) chest against her glass office door. Interest wasn’t even feigned. His political rant… well… I’m not going there. And no, it wasn’t about Israel or Palestine or the Middle East or Republicans & Democrats.

    It was clear throughout his stay that every conversation, whether on the record or not, had to be about one thing: Gene Simmons. He had no interest in anyone else’s thoughts –in fact had no interest in listening to anyone but himself. That was pretty clear in the Terry Gross interview as well.

    Gene Simmons is Gene Simmons. No very likable, but easily enough avoided if need be. Fodder for stories. Buy me a some beers and I’ll tell you a few more.

  39. George says

    Now that Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A&E has aired two sessions we see how he is. Take it or leave it. I read the transcript first and heard the interview second.

    Clearly the lady did not get his name right was retarded. Who cares if she is Jewish, her pronunciation of a hebrew name was pathetic. Also I never saw fish nets on the “Demon”. Last why do men want to be with woman, there vagina, thus the open legs comment. Crude, rude and disrespectful yes, but why should he KISS her ass? He does not care.

    The make up deal was a bore. Its make up for Gosh sakes. I understand Rock N Roll in the 70’s. I was in high school in the late 70’s and KISS was unique. Never a big fan, but I got what they where doing.

    Yes he is cynical, money is everything and marriage is a joke. A lot of people think that he’s just says it for affect. He believes it and lives it. There is some truth in his opinion by the way, at least if you are not a hippie. His reason for getting into a band, to get laid. It’s truth. Stop being a bunch of wussies.

    Gene’s “attitude” is Gene’s attitude. It works for him. God knows there are men and woman that are miserable married or poor. Some people should not get married. However he’s been with Shannon Tweed so long that if they broke up, she would get get all the divorce money of a wife, common law and all.

    Are hypocrites like David Vitter and Mark Foley better than a man that admits what he does and does it. I know a lot of men would love to live his life. Not me, but a good amount of people (if you are honest with yourself).

    He is an enigma. He does no drugs or alcohol, and he’s a family man, a Jewish boy with bushy black hair who was in the most successful Rock N Roll make-up band in history. He set the way for all the hair bands of the 80’s and even some “new wave” acts.

    I think its great. I think MORE MEN SHOULD FIND THERE CAJONES AND ACT LIKE MEN AND NOT LET WOMAN RULE THEM. Even the bible says men should be leaders; learn to lead and not follow. I am sure Terry is a total woman’s lib gal who thinks woman should have any roll in life that a man has. That is a lie. Not better or worse but men are men and woman are woman and there are rolls. I am sick of “30 something” single woman with a masters in libiral arts or english thinking their unhappiness is because of men. That is who listens to NPR. The only good thing on NPR is “Car Talk” and “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”.

    Terry Gross had a big stick up her a$$. No offense to Terry Gross. Make-up, fire eating where boring stupid questions. Not knowing the name was unforgivable for a so called Pro. BTW Gene is rocking more jew in his little finger than Terry has in her whole body. I am sure she has rejected any part of religion and way.

    Gene Rocks. Last, NPR should take some marketing lessons from Gene. He apparently has a gift. He came up with “I am INDY” for the Indy Race League car race series, including the Indy 500. I think Gene was a dick, but so what. Terry HAD NO CLUE WHO SHE WAS INTERVIEWING AND WHAT THIS GUY WAS ABOUT OR EVEN ROCK AND ROLL. MY GOD ITS ROCK AND ROLL LADY!!!!! (not folk rock lilith fair rock)

    (I know this interview is old but I knew about it from Tom Leykis, but never heard it till now. I am disappointed. It was not that bad. Gene is very mild tempered and not a yeller for sure.)

  40. Genes kids are not Jews says

    If your mother is a Jew THEN your Jewish and has nothing to do with the father. {Only tribal affiliation}
    Shannon Tweed ain’t a Jew and has never converted SO that makes his kids non Jews according to the state of Israel and Jewish law as there is no such thing as a half Jew.

  41. Kel says

    I met Gene in 2000 in Tucson during the whole Kiss Farewell Tour. I was truly looking forward to meeting a legend and was really disappointed. His whole persona is “wanna be”. He’s not a babe magnet unless you consider saggy old biker/rock gals “babes”. He truly thinks he’s a sex god and was undulating his hips and tonguing the air at the more attractive of our female staff who responded with stoicism and disinterest. The more uninterested they were, the harder he tried. It was pathetic really and we were embarrassed for him.

    Some have mentioned above that he “tells it like it is” between men and women. Not really. His whole perception of male/female relations is from a rockstar point of view when the only interactions these people have is with gold digging groupies. Not what I would call real ladies and in no way reflects my relations or interactions with my wife or other women I’ve been with.

    People like George who commented above that Terri (& other women) a women’s lib gag who blames men for their failings in life should stick to their biblical role are just as pathetic as Nazi feminists. Men like that tend to be men who blame women because they can’t get laid themselves due to their own failings.

    Gene is a business man. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s got a great marketing staff and has made wise investments. That is where his success lies. It doesn’t lie with women. Having 4600 notches on your belt or better yet TAKING THE TIME TO KEEP COUNT is a real eye into the soul of a child desperate for acceptance and attention – not a true man.

  42. JH says

    He spoke 100 percent absolute truth. Truth unfortunately is shocking to some who live in a fantasy world such as Terry Gross apperantly has.

  43. says

    Thank you for posting this.

    I have a quick point regarding this ridiculous human being – if he is such a rock and roll badass, who lives how he lives, and doesn’t care a bit about what the world thinks… then why did he insist that NPR not make this interview available online?

    It seems a bit disingenuous to me.

    Personally, I found him to be absurd. At no point did he actually listen to Terri Gross speak, or consider any of the questions she tried to ask… instead he sat for the interview, marinating in his own OBVIOUS stew of resentment and low self-image… both, probably, the result of being in a clownish, lame rock band whose better days were back in the 1980s… when moussed hair and checker-print pants were considered cool.

    He’s presumptuous and ignorant… and wrote some of the most inane music ever to hit the “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” bin at Kmart.

  44. Menudo's air guitar player says

    2 unusually ugly, unfortunate-looking individuals with little more going for them talent-wise than the art of self-promotion, got into a hissy-fight with each other on the air. Go figure. Let’s be real, if controversial questions weren’t asked and controversial answers weren’t given, these folks would’ve gotten far less publicity off of this interview. And neither one wanted that, hence the manufactured premeditated verbal spar that took place.

  45. DHem says

    Simmons is a good interview and a unique personality, but I wish he’d, at long last, be candid about that ridiculous hair weave of his. Yes, I know it’s odd that it’s the biggest problem I have with him, but it is.

  46. Sri says

    I like listening to Fresh Air although I think Terry Gross is a lightweight interviewer. Better on soft topics than hardball interviews. And the interviews with Bill O’Reilly, whom I think is a dick, and Gene Simmons proved it.

    Terry handled both interviews very badly. Gene Simmons was being a pompous rock star and perhaps he was being honest about it. However, he made some very interesting points which Terry should have followed up on. Unfortunately she seemed stuck on the script. Who cares about how he removes his makeup or if he breaks out from it.

    Terry never seems to ask the one extra question that gets into the heart of the matter (although that is true of most interviewers).

    I have never been a big KISS fan but I do own one album: Music From The Elder. It is an excellent concept album. Listen to it when you get a chance. Not your usual head banging stuff. You will be surprised.

  47. AZMDTG says

    If Terry had been smart, she would have pursued his quote about how a woman had to have her legs open as well as her arms. So, is he saying that woman are only worthy if they are sexual toys? Do guys have to bend over and spread their cheeks if they come with open arms? She didn’t ask good questions and he got by with belittling her because of this.

    He is obviously a misogynist and has some deep seated problems when it comes to women. Kind of weird when you consider how he puts his mom on a pedestal. Maybe he has an Oedipus Rex complex.

  48. says

    I heard the interview today on NPR. It made me sweat. I was fascinated and anxious throughout. Not sure why. I found myself rooting for Simmons. beleaguered undefunded NPR, hanging by a thread, seemed somehow, in that interview, to be embodying this shrewish, shrill, consciousness against which so many imbeciles like Rush Limbaugh rail. But Simmons was not an imbecile. He was witty. Deranged in many ways, crude, gross ( not pun) but sharp. I rooted for him, and then when he started with the 4600 I cringed.

    Some of these comments above are very smart. One said:

    “Having 4600 notches on your belt or better yet TAKING THE TIME TO KEEP COUNT is a real eye into the soul of a child desperate for acceptance and attention – not a true man.”

    Yes, and because of that… very interesting! Because of his Jewish and Israeli background, his experience of America as an immigrant… very interesting. And Terry Gross could not leave the script, and could not roll with the flow of his craziness. And although he almost defeated himself with his crudity and inane remarks, her defensiveness in the end made him seem almost like… a hero! Very confusing! That exchange at the end when she makes this condescending remark about his true nature hopefully not being what he put on display, and he fires back, “and I hope when you go home you’re not this boring…” Wow, sharp and alive somehow, even if totally stupid. The whole thing stirred me up and, I must say, made me think much less of Terry Gross and her show. Not sure why. Was it her priggishness, which in the end was less preferable, as company, to the witty, lewd, inane but, as has been remarked, refreshingly uncooperative vibe of Simmons?

  49. FreshAirFan says

    I heard the interview tonight for the first time. I’d heard about it but with Simmon’s blocking of the broadcast of it (well now – doesn’t THAT in itself tell you he is semi-aware that hmmm…. maybe he WASn’T as upstanding as he would like to think he is…), had never gotten to hear it initially. Oy – unbelievable, this guy is.

    Per the comment by a listener above re compensating for something. Yup. The man is the only child of a holocaust survivor. He has a double whammy to deal with and this is what happens. She invested every dream of survival into that child to get by spiritually herself. He grows up thinking that he is literally superior to everybody else. Add to that the very fact of his not having any siblings to struggle with re socialization at all – bingo, you get one helluvan obnoxious self-righteous child in a man’s body. It’s not so hard to imagine Mr. Simmon’s easily morphed onto the character of a 4 year old boy.

    The man has a view of women that is infantile and indicates the mother fixation deal.

    Bottom line, he was feeling pretty insecure from the sound of that interview. That he felt so compelled to be that condescending and self-righteously indignant in order to help himself feel superior to Terry – let’s just all pray for the guy. Or better yet, for his poor wife and kids who undoubtedly have to endure a shallow and frightening existence around this sick a*hole.

    Lastly, I’d like to say that his facts regarding Judaism, Hebrew, et al are wrong. But again, with his upbringing – he needs to cling to the idea that somehow he is right and knows what he’s pontificating on. Humility is not within his emotional vocabulary and the fact that he would use religion in order to demean someone, I dunno folks – if I were a neighbor or a teacher… I’d just kind of be keeping an eye and ear out for problems that could later on be a concern to others.

    I think he is a very sick man who is suffering. Delusional and filled with insecurity. The money just keeps him from growing up and perhaps gaining even a small amount of the socialization skills.

  50. GeneSimmonson says

    Hey folks – The reason Mr. Simmons is with Tweed is because somebody has to take care of the kids and clean the house. People, get a clue. By not marrying her, he keeps the money and she gets the kids, basically. He gets to check that off of his male adequacy checklist and she gets to check that off of her female adequacy list. he found someone as well who has a low enough sense of self esteem that she is willing to turn away from the opportunities to be more than a breeder and maidservant.

  51. KissOff says

    I just caught a replay of this last night – funny stuff! So, according to a previous post, Gene is the man because he has wealth, hot babes to bang and so on and so forth. Well, yeah that sounds pretty good I’ll have to admit, but you could find examples of someone with these things who is actually a pleasant personality as well. When I was a boy Simmons persona might have seemed alluring, but as a grown man it just seems like the over inflated whacking off of a minimally talented hack.
    Sorry, but Ms. Gross wins this one hands down.

  52. Linda says

    I’ve been SO entertained by “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.” This family is smart and witty compared to “The Osbornes.” Poor Gene! In the tv show he is totally controlled by his partner and his children who appear to be intelligent and well-adjusted. He’s not quite emasculated but all most so I was amused to hear his bravado with Terry Gross. I think he went in to this interview on the defensive. He probably thought NPR listeners would not think he was smart and that’s why he sprinkled his vocabulary with longer words and then self-consciously defined them for the audience. His children truly are jewels so he must be doing something right.

  53. skppen says

    While I listen quite frequently to NPR, I confess I’m not a Terry Gross fan. I find her a poor interviewer. The interview with Gene Simmons only helped to strengthen that view.
    Gene Simmons comes off as an arrogant, womanizing self-promoter. I don’t care. His approach to life seems to work for him and he’s clearly comfortable talking about it and challenging society’s “norms”.
    Throughout the entire interview, Simmons was cool, calm and collected, while Terry Gross was often flustered and changed the subject to such interesting topics as how Gene takes off his makeup.
    Gross didn’t do her homework for this interview. She seemed genuinely surprised that Simmons practices what he preaches.
    Simmons summed up the whole interview in a few sentences: “I’m not delusional in thinking what I do is important. The world can get along very well without us (meaning him and Ms. Gross). Our job is to entertain. I’m very entertaining, I don’t know about you.” I’m sure that last comment stuck in Gross’ craw.

  54. Dave says

    Just heard NPR’s repeat of the 2002 Gene Simmons interview. Wow! Absolutely the most entertaining interview ever heard on NPR’s Fresh Air! Both parties came with an agenda, and both were not particularly well-informed of the other.
    Yes, Gene Simmons was self-centered, vulgar and outrageous. Terry Gross could not compete with him in the interview, although she did sometimes try to exchange insults.
    Gross is a good interviewer, so long as the guest allows her to be in control. But I do wonder if SHE is really as passionately uptight as the personna she projects on NPR?
    The interview did not hurt the careers of either Simmons or Gross. It was entertainment. Pure fun…which Gross could use more of in her programs.
    The program reminded me of Jack Nicholson’s character sparring with Nurse Ratched. Yeah, Jack!

  55. Joe says

    Every Kiss song I’ve heard is crap except “Domino.” But Chiam Witz (Gene) is right. You got money, you fuck whoever you want. Why are people so shocked by that? Isn’t that fact of life, numero uno?

  56. Gary says

    Gene Simmons’s acquired wealth affords him the freedom to be the person he wishes to be without regard to what others would see him be if only they were in charge of him.

    That obviously irritates quite a few people.

  57. khandnalie says

    Gene Simmons is the lead singer of KISS!! He has pretty much earned the right to act however the hell he wants.
    You don’t argue with a Rock n’ Roll God

  58. bugfat says

    The fact that most of you don’t get it is absolutely hilarious. He is not a morally upstanding individual he doesn’t seek your acceptance. HE JUST WANTS YOUR MONEY. It’s not rocket science it’s capitalism. The reason he doesn’t let it fly about is MONEY he wants to make money on it. And since he can’t he creates controversy about it and creates greater buzz about him. Terry while a nice person is an idiot, and so are you if you think that Gene would act any different then he did, or should act different then he did.
    People have the God given right to be stupid, arrogant, intelligent, right, wrong or what ever and you don’t have the right to tell me or anyone else different. I guess you have the right to tell me it just means I don’t have to listen.
    So when you become mature enough to understand that the world is made up of a myriad of people, all with the right to be different from you, then you might understand. Good luck in your quest for intellect.

  59. Mick says

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve been looking forward to hearing this for some time. What a fascinating dude! He’s totally obnoxious in every way, but remains interesting as hell for his studied and almost painstaking disdain for propriety, decency, kindness, and humility. I mean, he’s a total bastard, but as the poster above points out, he’s still got us talking about him!

  60. Veritas says

    Gene is a no nonsense dude. Her pretentious crap came out early and often. So, she deserved every second of it. Gene was brilliant.

  61. Joe says

    I remeber listening to this interview when it was first aired and laughing my ass off. Thanks Gene. Terri fared better when she interviewed James Hetfield and Rob Halford. Probably cuz ones been in therapy and the other is homosexual. Gene just came in like a bulldozer and ran her over. I like Terri Gross, but she did a very poor interview with Mr. Simons.

  62. ???? says


    obviously gross did too, and she came off as totally stuck up.

  63. Heather says

    Gene Simmons must have been trying to assume Terry’s last name as an identity during this interview. I was shocked and appalled. It is very rare that I actually feel as though I have been verbally insulted while listening to an interview.

    It’s both about what he said — the entire coming to him with open arms and open legs thing, and the way in which he said it. As though he is entitled in some way to approach perfect strangers in such a way. I hate being spoken to like that and would not handle it well if I were at work.

    Asking questions about Gene Simmon’s on stage persona is fair game in an interview. Especially because so many of Gene Simmon’s interviews in the past (or at least the ones that I have read) focus on his acting like a rock star instead of on how he feels about being a rock star. I am always interested in Fresh Air, because Terry Gross asks questions that are not asked in other interviews. Through this process, she generally gets a unique response.

    This interview was definitely unique, but I don’t think it worked to make Gene Simmons look like a good guy. I also do not understand the idea that he is just being “honest.” Especially this stuff about him representing the view of a “real man” or whatever. There is no “real man.” Men that are not rich cannot talk to women that I know like that without getting slapped. Not to mention that maleness comes in many different forms and many different attitudes. There is no essential male point of view. There is no essential female point of view.

    To posit this interview as some kind of showing of essential male versus essential female is simplifying the human existence to the point of complete absurdity.

    Terry Gross has interviewed many MEN and many men that could be considered men’s men. This has not been a commonplace display, so I cannot help but think that she is not really at fault here. And I don’t think it is because everyone else she has interviewed “lacks balls” or anything.

    Gene Simmons sounds like a pissed-off fifteen year old boy trying to intellectualize. Which could be why so many people thought it was “funny.”

    • Troy says

      Yeah, I’ve known people who talk like Gene, and they are amusing in small doses, particularly if their douchebaggery is not aimed directly at you. Otherwise, the condescension, pedantry, and self-adulation gets old quickly. When every sentence they utter sounds like they’re bestowing ancient secret mysteries to you, or the pinnacle of human thought that only they have managed to ascertain, it’s easy to lose patience with them, as Terry does with Gene in this interview. True, she fumbled her way through this, but it is because Gene carried himself very unprofessionally for a radio interview, not even attempting to dial back his disdain for public radio in general.

  64. Anita says

    Even though I disagree with Gene and many of his notions about life he isn’t a blank and is interesting and without wanting to be rude like the girling asking the questions!

  65. fluxboy says

    Gene blew this interviewer out of the water. What was her name?

    (Note to the interviewer: The “I’m-an-indignant-woman” schtick is old hat. Find a new vice.)

    Funny interview. Gene completely stole the frame. But then, that’s what rock stars do. Even old, fat, balding ones.

  66. aeg says


    First off Terry is wonderful. I just heard this interview and thought it was at first funny but then after awhile you could tell the tension was building and then I started to get interested.
    After reading through the posts I was shocked to see how many people were in favor of Simmons! I can only assume the average age of the folks that are submitting the posts is very young because many folks actually thought Simmons was insightful. I found his positions on things to be very shallow and morally shameful.
    I could not tell but do you really think that is really Simmons or just a persona? If he is really like that then I feel a bit sorry for him. I would give up all his money not to be like that.
    At any rate, I think he got to Terry and she probably took the interview in a direction that she might have otherwise, but I liked it.
    Lastly, everyone is talking about how they admire Simmons for his unabashed honesty but what about Terry? At one point Simmons asked about the interview and she said it was kind of a drag because he was just giving speeches and stuff. That was great.
    I will score it… Terry 4 and Simmons 1

  67. Flamman says

    Gene Simmons IS Gene Simmons, he’s not pretending to be some holy man whose standards are above anyone else. He speaks for himself, and are not ashamed of being Gene Simmons.
    Moral? What is it but the majoritys politically corrected views? If the mentally disordered were in majority then we’d had a totally different view of the meaning of moral.
    It’s obvious that ms Gross can’t handle Gene Simmons’ “incorrectness”, because it really disturbs her. He’s being frank, speaking his own truth of how life is meant to be. He’s living it, and are not ashamed about it.

    • Ron says

      ” If the mentally disordered were in majority… ”

      Ha! They are!
      The oceans are dying and people are fighting over petty little bs.

  68. Yasker says

    It wasn’t necessarily just what GS said in the interview that made him come across as an asshat, it was the delivery.

    Why did you get into performing rock?
    “To get laid and make money.”

    That would have been keeping it real.

    “To get laid and make money. you know, there’s nothing else to life. huffapufflepuff… here are my obvious and trite observations on life, and it will only take me a few lectures to get it across. Don’t worry, I promise not to add anything novel or frank to the conversation. Just recycled platitudes I rehearsed and repeat ad nauseum.”

    I get the feeling, based on the simpleminded defenses of GS on this blog, that people on KISS websites talk about how awesomely “real” GS is in interviews, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Get a new idol fools, and take off your not-ass-tinted glasses.

  69. Doug Gibson says

    Clearly, NPR and Simmons are working together to a mutually beneficial situation. First, it got my interest to want to hear the interview, and so Simmons and Terry benefit. Someone once said ‘all publicity is good’. Even NPR needs money; hence it needs spice. Second, Gene has no more shame than she does and no less. Her radio liberal ‘shtick’ is no more an act than his ‘demon lover’ persona. He wants to perform publicly for the same reason she does, and you will know what I mean if you heard the interview. GOD only knows what they did after the interview. I had never heard of NPR before hearing about the interview being banned. Forbidden fruit tastes sweeter and the serpent knows that, pardon the pun. Sure got you all talking. Isn’t that right, Chaim?

  70. Doug Gibson says

    I apologize to Terry for pre-judging her on the basis of that one interview and my previous comments in the previous post were uncalled for, since I realize the interview is misleading. The wiki article on her puts her in a good light; Gene however, must realize the disservice he does to his mother by his regarding prostitutes as more virtuous than married women. He needs to make amends with Ace too before Gene pushes up daisies. I would prefer if my previous post was taken down if possible.

  71. Gene Simmons says

    Terry is a very gracious lady and Gene Simmons has a much alined logic to a highschool smart alec and a defense mechanism of a pimple faced child trying to convince himself that he’s better than what he is. How does he get off on the idea that listening to HIS sporadic (at best) ideology of a man is more interesting than Gross’ show? How does he portray himself with the bigot remarks…oh i forgot, he’s a man. And obviously a self proclaiming theologist as well. Too bad his ideas are as shallow and washed up as his makeup band.

  72. Milton says

    This is my all-time favorite interview. Gene Simmons is my new hero, and not merely because he rendered a ill-prepared and arrogant Terry Gross confused and incapable of generating intelligent responses. (I *loved* it when she said sarcastically, “Yeah, all the way to the bank!” as if that were a bad thing, and Simmons emphatically agreed with her!)

    What Gene Simmons represents to me is a perfect example of self-esteem. He does what he does, he is who he is, and he makes no apologies for it. He has no need to feel embarrassed or defensive about his position because he knows there’s nothing wrong with his position. If you disagree with him, then he grants you that right to disagree with him and doesn’t feel the tiniest bit threatened by your disapproval. I think that’s awesome and it’s a new personal goal for me.

    I think the people here calling him “insecure” are projecting. Think about it: wouldn’t you like to live as you do right now, except with more money and with a better sex life? The individual who denies that is either lying or is some kind of religious freak.

    Gene’s comment, “I’m not delusional in thinking what I do is important. The world can get along very well without us.” really puts things into focus: all media is entertainment and nothing more. The world can get by quite well without it. It kind of blows a hole in the claim that Simmons is “arrogant” doesn’t it? If he were arrogant, then he would think himself as a very important person who has a moral mandate to “inform” people about important issues of the day. A person like Terry Gross, in other words.

    Gene Simmons is awesome. He’s truly an individual to emulate. Terry Gross? As an entertainer, she’s boring. As an individual, she’s wholly uninspiring.

  73. Clambake says

    Ah, I haven’t heard this since it aired–what a hoot. I’ve seen the “self-appointed tzaddik” routine in the wild before, and I’m sure Gene is extraordinarily tiresome if one has to spend much time with him, but he justifiably nukes the jejune Gross from high orbit on this one. “Get out your Funk & Wagnall’s” is a classic.

  74. Saucepan says

    The comment he made about welcoming him with open arms and open legs….

    That was not a comment about all women having to have sex with him…

    That was a comment regarding the size of his manhood… he was bragging that it would get in the way… you know?

    He said that right after talking about the codpiece holding in his manhood…

    I actually thought he did a pretty good interview. 😉 If she hadn’t been so condescending right off the bat, he may not have been so obnoxious… :)

  75. Ornamental Mind says

    This interview is almost like watching Gene and “The Donald” on The Celebrity Apprentice. Mainly when Gene gets fired.
    Two people, two different views/languages.

  76. Daniel says

    It’s funny to me how many people on this site think that Gene Simmons was being “honest” and just laying down the truth left and right like some sort of prophet of selfishness. As if saying the most calculatedly offensive things were tantamount to speaking the truth. As if the very proof of his truth were how obnoxious it sounded. It’s the same shtick that every moron pundit uses — they’re the rebel and the square society can’t handle the truth! Truth is a subjective thing, and the layers of deception in any relationship, let alone an entire society, are many. So it doesn’t take much intelligence to pick one untruth (especially one that is generally acknowledged as a white lie to begin with) and go after it like a rat terrier. It’s just a self-aggrandizing act, and it takes a better actor than Gene Simmons to pull that act off.

  77. Daniel says

    I’m also amazed that so many people posting to this board have never heard of NPR before this interview. Talking about having your head up your ass. In addition to being bland, NPR is also known for thorough and objective reporting and avoiding moronic soundbites, unlike the kind of talk radio that Gene seems to be best suited for.

  78. chinca says

    in case you haven’t heard, a sex tape involving Gene and one of his “liaisons” has surfaced on the internet.

    It confirms that his persona is covering up his lack of everything in his sexual life.

    Terry Gross saw straight through his lies during this interview.

  79. Clambake says

    While I don’t exactly follow this topic with rapt attention, I’m relieved that it’s a Simmons tape rather than a Gross one.

  80. matt says

    Gene Simmons got so far under Terry’s skin, it’s no wonder *Terry* chose not to put the interview online. Gene Simmons couldn’t give two shits!

  81. Blanche Debris says

    Ha, I’m listening to this right now … Terri is the ultimate caricature of a liberal, ivory tower bluestocking and Gene is the ultimate caricature of American pop culture and capitalism. Oil, water anyone? I’m siding with Gene here, though. She is asking him really stupid questions, starting off the bat with asking him if his makeup makes him feel less “vulnerable” as a Jew. I’d be annoyed if that was the first question I got too, her automatically assuming that he is somehow “covering up” his Semitic insecurity with his makeup and costumes. She is trying to read *waaay* too much into what Gene is about, trying to find some kind of literary, existential meaning there. He just wants to make money. There’s no deeper meaning there. And she won’t stop with the makeup! A few sidetracks later, she comes *back* to the makeup — “what do you use in your makeup and does it ever break you out???” Uhm, who cares?

    Gene obviously makes Terri extremely nervous and he really is just pulling her leg, but she takes him really seriously and gets very defensive. She’s pretty damn humorless.

  82. Blanche Debris says

    I’m further into the interview … he IS being an a-hole to her and bashing NPR. He really reminds me of Howard Stern. They’re really looking down their noses at *each other* and trying to insult each other the whole time. They obviously really hate what each other is about. I think she annoyed him from the start, though, with her stupid, clueless questions. On the other hand, he’s not “intellectual” NPR material.

    “What does it all mean? Nothing! … For two hours we give you escapism.”

  83. Evaine says

    Good post. You make some great points that most people do not fully understand.

    “It’s a pretty amusing interview, actually, and I think Terry did a pretty good job of dealing with his bloviating. Usually, you can listen to archives of interviews on the NPR website, but not this time. Simmons refused to allow its release. So, I’m offering it here. At least until I hear from Gene’s lawyers. Enjoy.”

    I like how you explained that. Very helpful. Thanks.

  84. working photographer says

    I’ve worked with Simmons on a VH-1 a few years ago. On set he was a real professional. but he has the Public Gene Simmons shtick down pat –as he should after 30 years of working on it. Terry Gross nailed it at the end: she wasn’t really interviewing a person, she was interviewing a character Chaim Weitz has created.

    Would I want to be on the other side of a negotiation from him? No.

    Does he have a sense of humor? In public around strangers — not really, unless he is the one telling the jokes. (and he gets a trifle upset if you top his jokes.)

    “Gene Simmons got so far under Terry’s skin, it’s no wonder *Terry* chose not to put the interview online. Gene Simmons couldn’t give two shits!”

    Actually Gene Simons does give two shits- he who won’t let NPR rebroadcast it without paying him a fee.

    And having heard this when it was first broadcast and listening to it again, I think it actually is a terrific interview.

  85. josh says

    Terry Gross comes off as a judgmental pc-type, (oh, and that irritating defensive laugh) and she’s exposed as a terrible interviewer. She had no business being offended, and she missed really great opportunities to explore his insights. Um, Simmons must know a little something about success and achievement, but that was all lost on her, instead pursuing trivialities to try to regain control. She’s also clueless for not figuring out the motivation for his contemptuousness, and her reaction to this just proves he was indeed justified to be contemptuous of her and her ilk.

  86. Angie says

    Thank you for making this available.

    I’m a fan of Terry Gross, not a huge fan of Gene Simmons(nor KISS), although I highly respect both parties.

    I am also a woman, and consider myself to be reasonably bright.

    And coming from that perspective, I’m quite disappointed by Terry’s reaction to Gene. Not saying that I agree with everything he said during this conversation, but I do recognize (as so many people did here) the importance of his brutal honesty and the insight he shared. Only wish that Terry picked it up and went further with it.

    Also: I work in public radio (and am on a personal mission to explain how NPR does not equal public radio). Yes, there’s passion in our work; yes, we make a whole lot less money than your commercial counterpart; but NO, you cannot convince me that the bottom line isn’t the same — we’re all in this to get a paycheck. I’m pretty sure that Terry would say “uh I don’t think so” if WHYY asked her to volunteer her time to host FreshAir.

    Until we all go back to bartering, or even hunting/gathering, money is important. To those who disagree… well, good luck in this currency-based economy.

  87. Patrick says

    A great interview. As a Gross fan I was offended and put off when I read the transcript of this interview a couple of years back. Well, time has passed and I have revisited some of Terry’s more interesting interviews. This one is great. It shows Terry off balance and unable to cope with someone who just won’t take her seriously. THe prestige and power are an illusion and Simmon’s illusions just happens to humiliate hers a little more than she would like. That painful popping noise is a bubble bursting.

  88. so what? says

    All the simmons haters/gross apologists seem to want to ignore the fact that she really presented herself as an ass at the beginning of the interview.

    She came off as assuming that he must be some sort of clown, rather a than a professional business person.

    He just gave her what she wanted. That what Gene does. He gives people what they want.

  89. candy says

    Wow, just wow.
    I stopped listening 5 minutes in because my embarrassment for Mr. Simmons overwhelmed me. I brought my sister into the room so that her presence would lessen my discomfiture, as it would lessen my terror while watching a horror movie. Only then, could I tolerate that interview.

    A few points:
    1) The people defending Mr. Simmons are undoubtedly from his circle of associates, or are “fans” from the 70’s (80s?) preserved in amber, so don’t feel disappointed by their enthusiasm for this loser.

    2) Gene Simmons is nuts (for a number of reasons) but partially because his sense of being adored my millions is not based in reality, as you and I know it. Any popular following he garnered dissipated about 30 years ago. I never heard of him ‘til I read about his, mini-me’s, and “Screech’s” sex tape in a net article

    3) He is so insecure about his intellect and education that he defensively states qualifications to repel his fantasized N.P.R listeners’ assumptions that he is stupid and argues his life is better than theirs—as they are trapped in “books”(though “he’s read as many books” as them).

    4) contrary to his promoting himself as a sex god whom “women line up to fuck,” as anyone who’s seen his sex tape (check out the gawker blog) knows, he resorts to paying woman to screw him—and these women are unhappy doing it. The look of shame and disgust on the taped prostitute’s face, her refusal to kiss him (he tried 5 times, she turned her head away) so as to limit her torment, was the saddest thing I’ve seen in a while.

    In all, though at first I pitied this guy, he is clearly such a low, terrible person, that I’m glad he made such a fool of himself

  90. bonglord says

    unbelievable!!! first of all the interview was terrible, but funny…yes Gene likes to make speeches and soundbites…so? it’s just typical jealousy and envy from all of you who are trying to degrade him…what a waste of time!!! like he cares about you…or your tired opinions…I know that I don’t care about yours…but you know what? I bet my opinion of YOU matters to you…pathetic, THAT is low self-esteem…not being confident of oneself, or seeing REALITY as it is…sorry but as a man, I used to lie to women, but now I don’t and you know what, I get laid a hell of alot more…go figure you pompous, emasculated cretins…I wish you women out there would admit that in your deepest fantasies is the alpha-male…not some castrated…whatever, it’s a waste of time trying to reach people that are just naysayers, leeches, and looters anyway

  91. Tammie says

    gene’s interview was hilarious. he is amazing. i love teh fact that he tells the truth how he sees it. He doesn’t pretend to be anythign that he’s not. Gene is an american icon. He’s smart and he knows it. I for one find him sexy and hot for that.

  92. Linda says

    Brutally honest and hilarious interview. Loved it! How many of you are able to say it the way you see it? Whether you agree or disagree with his philosophy of life, you have to admire his honesty and lack of patronization. Go Gene! Yeahh!

  93. Chris says

    telling the truth includes disrespecting women? nah…he was just obnoxious, all you ‘alpha-male’ wannabes are probably overcompensating for your small penises by overexposing you masculinity. a real alpha male is cool, calm, collected, and respectful of women.why do you think he didn’t want the interview to be aired? all of you who think he was being ‘brutally honest’ why would he hide the interview? um maybe because he was embarrassed by how much of an ass he made himself out to be….belittling NPR and calling it boring was unnecessary and irrelevant, yet you people think he was ‘being honest’. there is more to life than getting laid and making a lot of money, a lot more to life. i find simmons’ opinions and speeches to be shallow and unsophisticated. he is a washup celebrity who is trying to raise his last bit of charm.

  94. Steve says


    He is highly a educated and calculated man that knew exactly what he was doing. If I was doing the interview, I wouldn’t be as kind to Terry. He put her in her place, and she didn’t know what to do. Gene will still be earning tens of millions per year when Terry Gross is searching for a retirement home. Way to go Gene.. Put those ultra femenists in their place.

  95. Mike says

    I guess I see people’s points regarding Simmons speaking his mind and I suppose he is at a point where he doesn’t need to win fans his products for some reason continue to find an audience. But I will say that he doesn’t back his points up very well as some have said. I think he made one book reference the rest of everything he said was all opinion. It reminded me of the shock jock tactics of Howard Stern without the tact. The jokes were so hackney. Anyways, I think he has lived a long life of being a silly commodity and he is now trying to rationalize that life. He sounds really sad and for that a part of me does feel some pathos. It seems he got lured in by the money and was never able to find something he was good at so he allowed his character to get distributed around. I can’t say he is at fault though. He has free speech rights to come and do an act in a way its the same thing Stephen Colbert does when he is interviewed. I thought Gross did a good enough job of trying to keep the interview going and not giving im the reaction he wants. In the end though, its not life-changing material it’s just a man-child acting out and a reporter trying her best to treat him like an adult.

  96. rlmcadams says

    I read the transcript. I read several of the comments here first. I listen to NPR fairly often and am not generally hard rock fan of bands like KISS, but I actaully found the interview interesting. I like Terry well enough, but I think she got knocked off her stride by Gene. I think she missed his point many times and and it started when she got defensive and disgusted pretty early.

    I certainly won’t condone someone’s comments or actions simply for being honest. That would mean honesty excuses everything. Honestly is necessary, but discression is also important. Nevertheless, I truly don’t think Gene was trying to be offensive. I wasn’t offended, but he is a bit crass at times.

    Defending someone by saying, “they are just being themselves” is pretty pointless also. It has no meaning at all. A lot of heinous things were done by people who were “just being themselves.” It’s totally meaningless blanket statement that could cover any number of transgressions. Hitler was just being himself. See how ridiculous that sounds. Getting laid and making money is not a universal golden ticket to correctness either.

    I do think the direction Gene was trying to take in the interview was more interesting that Terry’s questions about his make-up products. I didn’t hear tone or inflection, but the transcript didn’t reveal anything horrible in content. Gene was also trying to display some sense of humor also. I don’t think Terry got it.

  97. says

    Many thanks for providing this! I used to have trouble believing the saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”, but this interview indicates why there’s truth to it.

    In many ways the quintessential post-Spinal Tap, I’ve-read-and-kind-of-understood-a-couple-books-no-really rock star, Gene Simmons is a dangerous thing. A dangerous thing of comedy _gold_.

    “Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I’ve known sheep that could outwit you! I’ve worn dresses with higher IQs! But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?!”
    “Apes don’t read philosophy!”
    “Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t _understand_ it.”
    –Wanda and Otto, _A Fish Called Wanda_

    From almost the beginning of the interview, Simmons’ whole attitude screams “I’m intimidated!” He stumbles back and forth between:

    a)’flirting’ with Terry Gross–who is _not_ at all Simmons’ type physically–in that really transparent, really tiresome gender-baiting way
    b)repeatedly and pejoratively stereotyping NPR as being a bunch of nerdy sheltered eggheads who just don’t get the _rawk_ (for maximum effect, imagine that in italics, perhaps with an umlaut or two)
    c)trying to explain concepts like polyamory and gender politics to the very people who’ve read, argued, written, lectured and/or interviewed on this sort of thing for ages now (and the same goes for many NPR listeners)
    d)just answering the damn questions.

    He weaves to and fro, to and fro, like a confused wino desperately maneuvering between traffic islands.

    “This is the last thing she’s ever going to write; she’s going to want to cash in on as many fifty-cent words as possible.”
    –J.D., _Heathers_

    c) is the most cringeworthy–it’s not even a matter of disparate beliefs, it’s the poor wording. Hell, _I’m_ a big believer myself in the viability of non-monogamous relationships, but I’m just embarrassed for our bunch to hear this moron trying to explain it. (Now I’m beginning to understand why all those rabbis roll their eyes whenever Madonna opens her mouth about the Kabbalah.)

    He’d have done far better if he’d just truly relaxed and not worried so much about coming off “smart”–instead, he comes off like a pompous eighth-grader trying to lecture Neil deGrasse Tyson on outer space. (The NPR folks have read all those big fancy books too, Gene; they’ve even written some of them!) Simmons’ whole attitude is sadly emblematic of American anti-intellectualism (and yes, Simmons is a big ol’ Bush and Iraq War supporter).

    As for all the “me Gene you Jane urgh agh” schtick, that’s clearly there to please the stoned-15-year-old mentality of the average KISS fan (remember, I said _average_. YMMV). “Duuuuude, he totally ragged on that radio lady with his book learnings! Rock and rooollll!”

    Terry Gross is always pretty cool under pressure, but she deserves a medal for managing to keep it together enough to make Simmons really squirm. It’s always enjoyable to watch an exercise in sexual harassment turn into egg on the face of the would-be victimizer, and this is no exception.

    Truly–for those who haven’t heard it yet, this interview is best appreciated with a handful of friends, then going over the transcript and replaying the salient bits for appropriate riffing ala Joel/Mike and the bots on MST3K. You’ll laugh yourselves sick–at least, we did. ^_^

  98. academy says

    I don’t really understand why everyone has been talking about how either Gross or Simmons “won” the interview. The purpose of an interview isn’t for the interviewer to prove that they’re right, but to get the person they’re interviewing to say something interesting. Regardless of what people thought of Simmons’ points, the fact that people are still posting on this 2 years after the posting shows that people did find the interview interesting at the very least – which is ultimately the point when you think about it.

    It may very well be that Gross was completely flustered and let herself be overly bothered by Simmons’ comments, but the interview was actually more interesting because of it. Gross did a good job with this interview – even if it was completely by accident.

  99. academy says

    I don’t really understand why everyone has been talking about how either Gross or Simmons “won” the interview. The purpose of an interview isn’t for the interviewer to prove that they’re right, but to get the person they’re interviewing to say something interesting. Regardless of what people thought of Simmons’ points, the fact that people are still posting on this 2 years after the posting shows that people did find the interview interesting at the very least – which is ultimately the point when you think about it.

    It may very well be that Gross was completely flustered and let herself be overly bothered by Simmons’ comments, but the interview was actually more interesting because of it. Gross did a good job with this interview – even if it was completely by accident

  100. Steven says

    Gene Simmons. What a clown. Always thought that band was a money grabbing joke. Good dumb riffs though.BUT, very contrived. Just stupid.
    U.S.comic book money machine with a logo that could be carved into a 1970’s students desk.
    I never carved the Kiss logo. Instead I was listening to Meet The Beatles in recess in 1978. Which made, and still makes me cooler than my classmates in 1978.

    Had a chance to meet the band through a free pass in 1995 for the Kiss Alive 75 listening party.

    Instead, drank the free VIP beer, and laughed at the old pathetic bunch of clowns.

    To hear a true rock band, buy The Who Live At Leeds.

    Steven E. Adams

  101. axel says

    That was a guilty pleasure. Guilty, since he’s obviously a terrified little boy, and we shouldn’t make fun. Ironic that he claims that the makeup is not something that he hid behind — that it didn’t make him feel less vulnerable on stage. I might’ve believed this if his painfully constructed persona didn’t become so clear during the interview. He was trying to be all “rock ‘n roll” in Terri’s face. He tried so hard. Poor guy.

  102. dan says

    Until I heard that interview, I had no idea Terry Gross was such an obnoxious jerk. It completely changed my way of hearing her – she’s smug and self-righteous to this guy. You have to ask why she invited him on her show. Simmons treated her exactly as she deserved. I’ve never listened to him but my respect for hm went way up hearing this.

  103. Frant says

    This just compounds the flaw in Gene’s character of being full of himself without any notion of distance. The interesting part in this interview is that Gene’s got a very sensitive spot regarding his intelligence. He either overestimate his own intelligence to the point of making a fool of himself, or he’s simply using his IQ as another ego booster (and he’s one of those that have overdosed on ego boosters). He’s basically what has been described before, a person with severe narcissistic personality disturbances and most likely lacks several psychological traits like empathy and some latent schizophrenic tendencies.

  104. sTEve says

    Hmmm…Ive heard ALOT about this legendary interview and finally, now, I’ve listened to it. Gene Simmons is a dick. Not an interesting, cultivated or educated dick either-just a regular dick. Oooh…he has tons of cash (supposedly). Oooh he’s been all around the world. Bla bla bla….know what? The little old lady who lives next door to me is WAY WAY more intelligent and well read than he is. There is a reason he was so defensive during this interview, and a reason he just ranted and ranted on about his profound views on women and men……….that’s all he has. Everything has to come down to that, otherwise, he has nothing to say really.
    Incidently-there is nothing wrong with having a narrow scope of achievment such as Mr. Simmons. Lots of hog farmers and accountants have had similar careers; the problem is when you turn what limited intelligence and experience you have had toward just being rude.

    That’s what defines a dick.

    I love the fact that folks are saying Ms. Gross could have been more prepared etc…..well excuse her! He was so incredibly rude from the begining that it just is mind boggling.

    If she asked shallow seeming questions-did it occur to anyone that she was drawing them from the life experiences and writings of her guest?????

    “Hi, I hear you are a dick.”

    “Why yes, let me ramble semi-incoheritantly for 10 minutes to prove it.”


    “Your Welcome.”

  105. freemasons#417 says

    Brilliant Go ahead and stamp Gene out that ‘s what ultra white establishment does
    you don’t look at why it’s differant you just stamp it out! Give the guy a break for tellingg his truths…

  106. Eddie Omens says

    How did you get this original recording? Fresh Air archive only has an edited version.
    i heard the original broadcast when it aired and couldn’t believe my ears.
    Gene has a right to his opinions and Terry let a sucessful artist have his say.

  107. Ever Green says

    as soon as he said “open you legs” to her, he totally dismissed her as just someone to fuck.

    He stuck in the 1950s sense of how women/men are. Someone needs to tell this fool that women cheat as much as men.

  108. joseph says

    Simmons is wealthy and successful. He obviously has no problem doing ridiculous things for his own personal gain, and going on interviews and being rude to the inteviewer for sport is all in a day’s work for this man, but it’s obviously a completely phony, comic book persona perpetualted for the benifit of his adolescent fans. I dont think the guy’s anywhere near the tool he behaved like in this interview, and I think that it would be childishly ridiculous to believe that, or to actually try and put some sort of Fox News type of political spin on NPR in this interview. She tried to get him to break his phony character, and he wasn’t having it. Simmons has made a carreer of this, and since no one with an actual brain bought it, (including the interviewer) there was no harm done.

  109. T says

    I am so happy to have found this interview – thanks for posting it!

    Simmons had to have realized the kind of interview he was walking into. He had Gross’ number and blew the situation up larger than life…the very formula which served him in the entertainment business. I am surprised so many people didn’t ‘get it’.

    Gross was so lit up by her own visceral reactions she was barely able to maintain her position as interviewer. I am sorry to say my respect for her ability was heavily damaged.

    Marvelous entertainment. As someone pointed out above: Exactly the point.

  110. smartgirl says

    Dumb people making dumb statements.
    Dumb Gene feeling insecure and acting like a jerk.
    Both are so sad.

  111. joeg says


    got her pussy handed to her. gene owned her, she desperately clung to her pre-formed questions, gene made sense, terr.i.y was drowning in leftie rhetoric.
    when she went off script, her hormones got the best of her as she pretended not be turned on.

  112. Viktor says

    Hi everyone. I just wanted to point out Gene’s sence of self irony. He says: “… unlike me, who likes the sound of his own voice”. He is well aware of his ego. Comon people, someone who says something like that can not be selfish and egoistic in the negative sense of these words. He understands exactly what he is and he likes what he is. This is good. You can not be happy if you dont like yourself. You gotta know what you are and like it.

    The only thing Gene was maybe wrong about was that he expressed his opinion in a very direct and even vulgar way. A younger woman would like that, but not her.

    Anyway thats what i think. Respect for all your opinions. Have fun

    • Troy says

      I get what you’re saying, and I did pick up on that line, too (BTW, greetings from four years into the future!), but just because someone is aware of a characteristic they have, and admit to ti, doesn’t cancel out that trait. I can openly admit that I am argumentative and nitpicky. My willingness to admit that doesn’t offset the fact that sometimes I should just let things go, but choose not to.

      Gene Simmons embracing his egotistical misogynistic douchebaggery (“keeping it real,” which to his credit he doesn’t say, perhaps the term hadn’t caught on yet when this interview was recorded), does not make it all okay. A self-admitted racist is still a racist. (Not saying he’s racist, just that admitting something, while “the first step to recovery”, only matters if one is wanting to recover.)

  113. BookReader says

    Well, I must admit that it surprised me how quickly Terry started becoming defensive. I suspect there was quite a bit of friction in the room during the interview. Both of them represent their views quite well, and being so different, they’re not going to be fond of that. Over half the people who’ve commented should just get over that, as did Gene and Terry, who are both intelligent, sociable people. That’s what makes the interview enjoyable to listen to, or at least void of any unnecessary hostility. It’s simply two life views clashing very hard.

  114. Lisa says

    Thank you for posting this. My curiosity got the better of me and I listened. Very interesting.

    My impression is that these two intimidated the socks off each other.

    Gene kept talking about how intellectual NPR is and you could tell he felt uncomfortable. I wish Terry had done something to alleviate that once she recognized it.

    And Terry was intimidated by (and unprepared for)Gene’s persona. I wish Gene had been able to let that go a little bit and give her something besides the demon.

    He obviously had a very difficult childhood and he had to overcome a great many obstacles in his life (including being abandoned by his father at a young age) to achieve the success that he has.

    Gene’s persona is a defense and Terry got a little too close for comfort. And it seems Gene got a little too close for comfort with Terry. The sexual innuendo, the grandstanding and the dig at her pronunciation of Hebrew words, as well as calling her a gentile when she is not, defitely hit some deep nerve with her as well.

    These two had way too much in common for this interview to fly.

  115. Douglas Reynolds says

    ” Well all things considered I would have to say that
    not all people like me , and I have met people that I
    do not like from the get go . I understand both
    view points and conclude there is some very bad
    vibes between Terry and Gene which intensified in that
    interview . Gene was much more aggressive on his
    attacks towards Terry which was quantified by which
    I believe was very bad chemistry “

  116. coocoo says

    Gross was stuck on calling him obnoxious but I think Simmons was arrogant, not obnoxious. One has to wonder how Gross got herself into this mess – Simmons has displayed similar attitude in countless interviews. I think her condescension at his sexuality led Gross to focus on inane topics which gave Simmons the opening to push her buttons.
    I’m not a fan of either of them and I enjoyed Simmons’ anti-NPR digs.

  117. NPR listener says

    I respect Terry Gross and am a frequent listener of Fresh Air. However, I thought the line of questioning in the interview was a bit antagonistic and she inadvertantly elicited some of the arrogance from GS. Of course GS is part personna and part platitudes. He’s three miles wide, but how deep is he? I think with a different line of questioning she could have penetrated beyond the whole “Money is everything” Austin Powers rap and she might have arrived a bit more insight stemming from GS’s early experiences. A discourse on facepaint application and removal seems less that what we’ve come to expect. I suspect that something happened before the interview that set the very poor tone of this exchange.

    GS is a man-child who can stay that way because he has enough money to live the way he wants within the bounds of society. Good for him, but as he said in what was perhaps one of his more revealing statements, in the grand scheme he’s not important.

    Entertaining, yes. But the real reason I took the trouble to find this is that Ms. Gross often refers to this interview and I was curious about how bad it was – now I know. I bet on retrospect she wishes it had gone differently.

  118. No one says

    I think the commenters applauding Gene Simmons for putting women “in their place” and calling Terry Gross a “dyke” kind of show what the appeal of this man is. He acts like a petulant child for much of the interview… in the “second act,” if you will, once he’s done talking about how many women he’s slept with (4,600, by the way, means at least one a day for 13 years which I think is more than a little improbable even for a rock star) and how much money he makes it was kind of interesting; the stuff about drugs and his mother was interesting even though I have no especial interest in KISS.

    Still, the awkward come ons, childish bragging about money, and resorting to the old “everyone shares my boorish way of thinking and if they say they don’t then they’re lying” trope added up to me feeling pretty embarrassed for this schmuck.

    “It’s no big trick to make a lot of money, if all you want to do is make a lot of money.” — Citizen Kane

  119. hipshotguppy says

    The reason why Gene Simmon comes off as a defensive prick is because his band really sucks. They wrote and performed crappy songs. During the interview he was at risk of being exposed as a lousy bassplayer in a crappy band. That would make anyone retreat into a persona. Only the dumb-dumbs liked (I emphasize liked) Kiss And dumb-dumbs don’t listen to Fresh Air.

    Before Kiss, band like Yes and Black Sabbath would actually tour together. Deep Purple put out amazing albums. Musicians weren’t afraid to show Jazz roots and real Rock Bands weren’t afraid to play “hard”.

    Kiss and their consummate merchandising wrecked all that by creating this big meathead sub-niche of bubble-gum metal targeted mostly at kids who hadn’t heard Led Zeppelin yet. Suddenly, good bands like Pink Floyd and Tull shied away from the hard stuff. Which sucked because they were really good at it!

    I can’t blame Kiss entirely for destroying the spirit, importance and mission of Rock. The industry did after all sign them.

  120. Pete says

    If you’ve ever listened to Terry Gross before, you’ll know she isn’t afraid to ask the awkward questions. Gene was INCREDIBLY sexist and COMPLETELY passive aggressive and when she called him on it, oh, he just wasn’t doing anything. He WAS obnoxious and a total asshole. I think Terry handled it very well considering he was a sexist pig! Thanks for posting this!

  121. P. Esh says

    If he is telling it like it is and forth right in what he says then why won’t he agree to let NPR post the audio. Seems like a hypocrite.

  122. MBkin says

    Wasn’t Gene Simmons one of those Power Rangers? I think He was the Green one and drove a robot dinosaur who’s main weapon was a prehensile tongue. I know he was on one of those shows that appealed to children at the time, I just can’t remember which one.

  123. TLM says

    How did this interview veer off into Gene Simmons’ philosophy on men and women instead of talking about a music group? Terry lost control of the interview and never got it back. Why did he do an interview on NPR if he thinks it’s so impossibly boring? He is the most boring guest I ever heard on there. He sounds like a psychotic with his little cackles to himself after he makes a speech.

    I think she should have said, “Well, if you don’t want to be on NPR, we don’t have to continue the interview. Thanks for your time!”

    I am seriously wondering whether Simmons was high during this interview. Not to mention that he contradicted himself in about 60 seconds…supposedly only women “have the option to sell their bodies for food”, yet he says his skin is prettier than Terry’s and he would be more popular in prison. Ever heard of male hustlers, Gene? Don’t worry about it. You aren’t nearly pretty enough.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard any guy who, despite having claimed to have as much sex as he has, hates women as much as Simmons does. Terry would have to “stand in line” to have sex with him? She’s going to have to “welcome him with open legs”? Doesn’t this guy have a wife and daughter? Are they actually ok with this, or are they just in on an enormous joke with him?

  124. Billy Zoom says

    HAHA! What an interesting interview. I couldn’t believe how stupid Terry Gross’s questions were: about his costume, fire blowing, acne and makeup. Yeah, he’s delusional about male machismo, but he makes a lot of sense too. She thought she was going to get the last word in, but he iced her LOL!!!

  125. Hi Gene says

    Before Terry could ask her first question, Gene criticizes her pronunciation of his hebrew name and then incorrectly condescends her as a non-jew. He continues to make insulting and often incorrect assumptions about her as well as the listening audience and the nature of all men and women throughout this interview. Eventually Terry is reduced to asking painfully vapid questions about makup application and removal in the futile hope of not pressing any more of this insecure asshole’s buttons.

    Why is Gene so offensive/defensive? I believe it is because he knows his talent is in marketing and conning the public rather than musicianship and is fearful of being exposed as a charlitan by an honest, intelligent female interviewer. That’s why he continues to boast about his money and sexploits throughout the interview- as if this somehow justifies his worth as a human being. He comes off as an insufferable self serving jerk. Thank you for posting this interview!

  126. Tom L. says

    Full disclosure, here: I am a Fresh Air devotee. I am not, nor have ever been, a Kiss fan. I found the “interview” compelling. The man can certainly hold forth! LOTS of pithy, second-order philosophy worthy of further discussion but in a different venue. Gene certainly has the intellectual “stuff” to warrant a wide audience; I’m just not sure “Fresh Air” was the best stage. Terri seemed off her game. Some of her questioning had a reckless flavor that I’ve not heard from her when she shoots from the hip. I would love to sit on the deck and solve the world’s problems with either of them. Thanks for capturing and offering this clip!

  127. says

    Mr Simmons is extraordinarily articulate,eloquent and philosophical. Terry Gross immediately is defensive and uncomfortable with him. She attempts to provoke him, yet he manages to respond calmly and equally provocative, without being phased. He ridicules the intellengentsia and even the entertainment industry. I don’t see an arrogance in this interview. He makes a great social commentary. He is truthful and deep.

  128. Michael says

    While Gene was quite arrogant, he was trying to illustrate a point to Terri Gross. Before I continue let me say I am a Fresh Air fan and listen to all of the programs. Terry Gross, however, is not the intellectual she often fancies her self to be, this does tend to happen with elitists who know more about what they read than what he world is really like. Case in point in an interview with the interpreter for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was previously a executive at Island Records she asked which was the most popular band in terms of records sold in Iran during his time at that label. He responded, “Bob Marley”. She replied, “Is ti because of the Ganja or the musical beat?” Now I am sorry but any one who has ever listened to Marly would know that ALL of his music is about revolution……. This is only one example she is not always as prepared as we are often led to believe. In terms of this interview had she taken the time to watch any thing with Simmons talking she would have known this was coming and because he does pint outside the lines it caused discomfort on her part.

  129. wowser says

    Terry fully understood the questions she posed were simple. She gave Simmons what we call “THE SHAFT!” He then continued to what we call “BOMB!” Gene Simmons may have a lot of money but that doesn’t make him intelligent. He is socially inept. Kiss is a crappy band and he completely invalidates his own music career. Gene Simmons is a teenager. He’s like a Sacha Baren Cohen charachter in this interview. He wasn’t trying though, that’s really him. SAD

  130. wicked says

    Terry got owned in this interview. Gene Simmons was being Gene Simmons – some of you are actully shocked for his behavior. Thats how the guys always been!!!!! She kept calling him obnoxious because she had no control of the interview and shes normally really good at making her guests look weak but it got flipped and you could totally tell she was over it and wanted to get out of there. My whole kick was , why the hell was she asking these questions about the make up and his band KISS, come on lady, its 2010, not 1979 – who a craps about the make up and shows and what the age group of kids were- Cant win em all Terry. Bottom line, who would be more fun to spend the weekend with???? Terry or Gene??
    Really?? Dont think too hard…

  131. Nampa Kakutouka says

    Oh my dear God, I can’t stand KISS the band, but Gene Simmons is AWESOME. He’d fit in well with me and my crew. Don’t agree with him on everything, but dude has the correct attitude about himself. Naturally, the truth he’s laying down is waaaay too much for the poor beta’s and gamma’s out there. Great stuff.

  132. Ryan says

    Naturally, the crassest, least informed and most audacious opinions automatically equal TRUTH and their particular degree of truthiness is strong in direct relation to their volume.

    So I guess I must be full of shit since I’m not typing in fucking caps locks.

  133. sc341 says

    He said that money was the “most important thing in the world”. That may be true to some extent but tell that to the people on the Titanic or the World Trade Towers after the planes crashed into them. All the money in the world couldn’t help them. Never liked their music, now I know why after hearing this interview. I really don’t think he has a soul. He certainly doesn’t care about music it’s all a show to him.

  134. Dawn Janicek says

    When I first heard this interview on the way home from work….I thought to myself, this guy is a jerk. After listening to his background, about his mother…He has a heart of gold, he just doesn’t know what to do with his p****! He sure told Terry where to go, this WASPy, tight a** eastern US woman where to go! I, too, am Jewish, but midwestern. I have total belief in his entrepreneurial skills. The guy is a millionaire and so brilliant..and I really loved the gentile remark he gave her in the pronunciation of his hebrew chutzpah! and yes, he has a soul, a Jewish soul, of which none of you gentiles could ever know about……..keep your tight a**, WASPy comments to yourself!!!! Your just jealous you don’t have the money and the brains to make it as an immigrant in this country!

  135. susan's musings says

    Comments for “wicked” and “Dawn Janicek”:

    To “wicked” – the interview was done in 2002, not 2010.

    To “Dawn” – Terry Gross is not a WASP. Listen to the beginning of the interview again. Gene Simmons may have corrected her pronunciation of his given name, but she didn’t pronounce it as a WASP.

  136. Tim Carter says

    Wow Terry Gross fails here big time ! Gene Simmons has been doing this same colossal douche routine in pretty much every interview for over 30 years and yet she’s completely blindsided and so unprepared ! Geez Terry did it ever occur to you to check out his lyrics or read an interview or two ? WTF ?! Terry Gross’ arrogance here – thinking she could just wing this interview- is embarassing. Do some friggin’ homework will ya ?!

  137. says

    The thing about Terry Gross is that her interviews are flattering to her guests 99 percent of the time. She can take any idiot who’s done something noteworthy and give them some props, make them look good. The reason she stays in control during most of her interviews is because people know ahead of time that if they just let her steer the thing, they’ll come off looking like an important contributor to our culture. Check out her interview with Alice Cooper, for instance, one of the pioneers of the kind of performance that Gene Simmons is famous for.

    But Simmons seemed to think he had been invited onto NPR to be ridiculed, and was defensive to the point of hostility before they even started. He began the interview by insulting Terry Gross. She tried to let him save face, get back to a simple, fun discussion of what it’s like to perform in make-up, but he was too freaked out to go along. It’s true she didn’t manage to maintain control, because she’s not used to talking to complete assholes. I wouldn’t have handled it well, either.

  138. Mark says

    It’s funny when very self-important people, see themselves as uber- intelligent. It’s not schtick, it’s genuine delusion.

    No matter who sticks a microphone in Gene’s face, he proves he is the ultimate moron.

    He is rich because he’s smart. When what made him a public figure (KISS), crashed and burned in ’78, he started and has not stopped, pimping his limp manhood. If this interview wasn’t enough to prove that… listen to any KISS song post-’78, read his book, or watch his hokey t.v. show.

    The joke has been over for a long time, yet, the joke still makes money.

    Gene Simmons is not a man. He is the world’s richest clown.

  139. Curt Nelson says

    Terry Gross was apparently shocked that Gene Simmons acted like a rock star instead of a gentleman.

    “Did you wear makeup on stage to make you feel less vunerable?”

    Oh, a question about the makeup, how interesting! I bet he’d never been asked about that.

    Terry Gross is the one who should be embarrassed in this interview.

  140. Carol Fellows says

    Terry has interviewed everyone I have listened to so far with kindness and encouraged them to present themselves openly. She asked questions that elicited answers she did not like. I felt that she felt she had to be agreement with him. He is who he is

  141. Jayson says

    Terry who??? Gene is classes above that moron both in real life and speaking ability…oh and money too :)

  142. Stefan says

    Gene is arrogant for sure…he’s a rock star…what do you expect? All rock stars are arrogant…but he IS rich and has managed his money and KISS wisely…this interview is freakin’ hilarious though…how did Gene wind up on NPR? I guess it was about his book…I really love the fact that he got Terry Gross so flustered…

  143. Newsduke says

    It seems to me that with his self-absorption, money obsession and complete lack of empathy, Gene Simmons has a lot in common with the titans of Wall Street. Which is why it crashed and tanked our economy. Call him “Honest” if you want, but would you want a guy like that as President, or even as a fireman or a cop? I sure wouldn’t.

  144. Bullwhip says

    LOL, he is a pistol.
    But seriously, just where exactly does Terry get off? She is talking to a living legend – in many aspects – and she wants to know about make-up, fishnets, and taking off make-up?
    I totally agree with the guy doing what he did on-air. He actually saved her ass on this one – she is boring as hell and a lousy journalist.

  145. American says

    One thing Gene’s not is a phony. He believes what he says and lives it. There are people who masquerade as compassionate but are really selfish assholes or have an agenda. Gene openly admits what his agenda is. What’s way worse is someone pretending to be altruistic and humble but having a self-centered agenda. Gene knows this and doesn’t care. There will always be people who like us and people who don’t.

    When Simmons started with the sexual stuff, Gross got defensive. Why didn’t she have fun with it? Who the hell did she think she was interviewing? She could have had fun with the interview instead of getting offended because Gene was not in her cookie-cutter mold or in her comfort zone.

    Her questions were inane, anyway? Gene was more polite than he should have been. He should have tore her a new one for her not doing her homework.

  146. Chris says

    Wow very interesting interview, another gene simmons moment for the world to sink their teeth in.

    I agree to what mr.Simmons is saying. For one he is just giving the plain truth, but at the same point using said “truth” to help backwards rationalize obnoxious comments. Only to top it off with , “I’m a man”. Just seems like cheap tricks to say rude things and get away with it.

    He is an intelligent man, and is making interesting points. His presentation is that of a rock star, 30 years worth of it.

  147. Rock n roll NPR listiner says

    I can see both sides of the comments posted. Thought the interview was very entertaining, a little shock on NPR to shake things up a bit makes it a classic. My only dissapointment is after finally seeing a picture of Terry, it just doesn’t match her incredably sexy voice.

  148. DevilsAdvocate says

    All I can say is Gene Simmons runs his household well. He cares for his kids & their mother. His kids are good, polite, smart and not psycho druggies like most kids of famous people. He invests in them with his time and keeps them on the right track. Heck, his kids are by far better than most Christians ! Despite his focus on money which I believe he simply uses to survive, he’s simply using money to live life to its fullest. He’s not a psycho by any means. He is neither a smoker or a drinker and does not use drugs. He’s an entertainer ! Doesn’t anyone understand that fact? His public views & comments are NOT his private views nor what he truly believes. He’s a showman, actor & businessman – in it all to make money to survive. What’s wrong with that? He’s not hurting anybody. He’s only making a living for his family. Methinks if you knew the real Gene, you would see a very caring and generous person.

  149. says

    I like to think of myself as a decent writer with a few ideas that may be out in left field, be that as it may I could not come up with anything profound to say about this interview so I will just say this. Terry Gross is a douche bag and Gene Simmons is an asshole, a match made in heaven! By the way, I like Gene Simmons

  150. Gemini says

    I ran across this site because I was interested in Gene simmons’ new season beginning tonight. I respect Mr. Simmons for his Honesty regarding his outlook on life based upon his personal experiences. I think he learned early in life that money really will take you far as what you need to do to be successful with what you choose that will make you happy. It takes money to do everything…period. It really is what you make of it. Now, speaking on Ms. Gross? She immediately became offended because throughout all of his “babble” he came off as speaking down to her becasue she was a “Woman” even if he had NOTHING to do with her personally…she took offense. Again, he was expressing his views based on what he has experienced and I think she should have handled the interview better and to me she failed. She let him literally take over the interview. I don’t think Mr. Simmons is obnoxious yet quite the opposite. He is older, seen more and learned that his words are his defense. He is definately a true business man and one thing for sure…time will only tell if his decisions in life that he chose will benefit him when it will be needed. At the end of the day he is just a Man.

  151. says

    I always thought that the people who listen to these guys, and bought their doll were queer. After listening to this guy, I think they must have been more lame than previously credited. I believe that the only tit that he has truly enjoyed was his mothers. I feel sorry that she was raped to give birth to this monster of human deformity, but to misrepresent any set, when you attest to the singular his contradictory.

  152. Cindi says

    I just wanted to sprout off about this interview. Everyone must understand that the man in this interview Gene Simmons is not really being himself. He shocks people with his attitude about life. In reality he is a little Genie pussycat deeply in love with Shannon, crazy mad about his two lovely children , loves his mom and most of all is an astute business man and moneymaker. Ease up on poor Genie he has a life to live and pay for, his two kids are in college now and it costs big time. He wants to make all that he can before he becomes a has been.

  153. John says

    I read a few comments before listening to this interview. I was surprised that is was the same Gene Simmons that we all see on TV. I am not sure what is so outrageous about this. It is him, just as he always is in the public eye. the fact that Gross tried to actually have a serious interview with him is the joke. She never took control of the interview, she let him ramble on and on, she let him change the subject several times and never kept him on task. Quite honestly, the interview was crappy because of that fact alone. If you are going to interview Gene, the first lesson is to keep him on task.

  154. Alter Ego Hair Products says

    I thought im the only one who can’t stand KISS Band. Anyway it’s pretty interesting interview, thanks for sharing.

  155. Dominic says

    Come on, Gene Simmons is not speaking any grand truths here, and neither is he simply “selling a brand”. Nothing he says is interesting or intellectual in its own right. What he says is interesting to listen to because it reveals a lot about his particular and narrow worldview. He believes he is succeeding in humiliating his interviewer and that this is possible because of his “honesty”, which is better described as belligerence. To many listeners he is humiliating himself. His attitude about gender is ridiculous; degrading to both men and women in its simplicity.The fact that he conjures some pseudo-theoretical and biological support for his beliefs suggests he has spent a lot of time thinking about his views in a legitimating way, not a critical one. I guess when when you’re used to throwing your weight around and experiencing rewards you are unlikely to question the legitimacy of your worldview in any universal sense. The poster-child of individualism construes success as material wealth based on narrow social and behavioral definitions of gender. A real leech promoting promoting his self-serving way of life as some kind of natural human condition.

  156. Pallas says

    Gross’s questions may seem boring at first pass, but they all had the potential to be sort of interesting had Gene been intellectually curious enough to take them seriously. I think she was trying to ask him things that he hasn’t been asked a thousand times, and that wouldn’t lead to the sort of boring, pointless, left v. right, man v. woman stuff we end up with here. The makeup thing could have started a whole discussion on masks and identity. Questions about breathing fire / vomiting blood, on magic and vaudeville and Kiss’s place in the history of theater. She seemed to be trying to give Gene a way to place Kiss in a serious context, which he should have seen as a favor.

  157. smonde says

    I’m am so sick of people equating rude, obnoxious behavior with being “honest”. You can be honest WITHOUT being a douche. There are MANY self-important rock and rollers, but they do it with charm not with spite as Simmons seems to be doing here. He seems to get off on offending her…observe his self-satisfied chuckle when he goes on and on about NPR. If he doesn’t like it then why the hell is he on the freaking station? BTW, dear gene apologists, you’re never going to be a rock star…honestly.

  158. what says

    This man clearly has no idea of how the real world works. I really hope anyone who defends him is just doing it out of love for his shitty rock band and not because they believe that he embodies anything a man is supposed to be.

  159. Haogar5 says

    I can’t see anything wrong with this man, obnoxious? kind of, so what?

    I’m not even a kiss fan I came here because of a cracked article, and I find nothing wrong with this guy, at least he is he, I guess, it’s kind of stupid to assume a celebrity is going to be a role model, positive and great example for the kids, many thing he say are actually true, and uncomfortable to say or listen, but ultimately true, i don’t think we should be like him, but neither i’m going to pretend he is a monster

  160. blablasen says

    Wow this was really weird. Thanks lol :)
    I kinda hate Terry Gross because she only interviews Jews but at least this time it came back to bite her.

  161. Mat says

    Wow, Gene Simmons is a total moron. What an ass. And no, not all men think like that. He’s just a giant asshole. All giant assholes talk like that.

  162. R says

    I don’t understand why people don’t realize how he’s being an asshole… She went into this interview being completely relaxed, just wanting to talk to him and interview him, and he immediately tries to start shit with her. It’s immature. He goes off on convoluted speeches trying to change Gross’ mind about him being a dumbass, when she wasn’t trying to prove that! He just proved it himself. And he really tries to turn everything over on Gross, like “my makeup doesn’t mess with my skin, I’m more beautiful than you.” I mean, the first thing he does is bitches about her pronouncing his name wrong, but it’s okay because it came from a “Gentile’s mouth”, when she’s not a Gentile… I like what he has to say about his mother, it’s endearing. But when he talks about anything that is regarding men, he just really shows that he’s absolutely idiotic. Also, whoever said Gross only interviews Jews, since when is Bill O’Reilly a Jew? (hint, he’s not, he’s a Roman Catholic).

  163. Mike says

    Gene Simmons is a washed up, pompous, megalomaniac from a mediocre rock band who sadly reinforces the stereotype of the greedy, self-interested jew and espouses gender stereotypes that have been outdated since 1960. This man is a disgrace.

  164. Katie F says

    Wow, nearly all the things that Gene Simmons said made me want to throw up.
    By the “open legs” comment, I was disgusted. He really does think everyone wants him and that he’s so wonderful. Also, the worst part is that he thinks he’s being “honest”. He seems unable to comprehend the difference between honesty and blathering on like a moron. Honesty is not lying, not misleading people. Blathering on like a moron is when you think EVERYTHING in your mind bears telling the world, even when no one wants to hear it and it’s just downright rude.
    Also, I don’t understand why he gets into all of this “women are this, men are that” in pretty much everything he says. Even subtle things, like when he said women have the option to sell their bodies, but he doesn’t, as if it’s impossible for a man to sell his body. He acts like all women act like the ones who jump into bed with him and all men act like him. It’s just not the case.
    I just find him morally reprehensible. His insecurity shows in everything he says, from his “I’m a manly man who only wants sex!” attitude to his totally ludicrous focus on money as if it were the only thing in the universe that meant anything. Plus his whole “I’m so smart! But I’m cool and smart, so I’m better than NPR!” shtick was silly. Sure, he’s articulate, but you can be an articulate misogynist and jackass.
    Gross did screw up a little too. Her script had really lame questions that didn’t really get to anything bigger, but she probably thought this was going to be a fun, light-hearted interview about the shenanigans of KISS, not some asshole giving his whole, disgusting philosophy of the world in a condescending tone. She needed to step up and she wasn’t truly prepared, but he definitely lost in this interview.

  165. Tony says

    Can no-one see the obvious personality clash here?

    She hates him and he aggravates her more because he’s a straight talker, but has also mastered the ability to be tongue-in-cheek.

    She wants to believe she’s smarter than him, and he wants her to know that she’s not.

    Gene Simmons is not the issue here, she is. Bad, bad interviewer. Quite arrogant.

  166. Veronica says

    Wow. It’s very sad, in a way. The man is so used to talking to women who just want to sleep with him that he has no idea how to talk to the opposite sex in any other context. Sadly, Simmons probably hasn’t met too many intelligent women and simply doesn’t know how to talk to them (aside from desperately trying to prove that he’s smarter). In the end, I just feel kind of bad for the guy. He’s so deluded, he doesn’t even realize that he sounds like a total jackass.

  167. Killer of Burritos says

    Entertaining. Thanks for the post. Simmons is a sharp guy, even if I don’t agree with all of what he said. There are other paths in life than trying to sleep with other people’s girlfriends and chasing money, but that doesn’t make it wrong. I agree completely with what his mother said and I give the man respect for being drug and alcohol free for life.

    As far as him being obnoxious, he’s a rich guy who played in a bad rock band and sells his face on underwear and coffee mugs, I would expect as much. Obnoxious with a sense of humor and intelligence is fine by me.

  168. Tony says

    We’re not important to the world. A rock star and a (radio?) interviewer are not important to the world. Farmers are important.

    He said that. How is what he’s saying in any way obnoxious? He seems pretty damn grounded to me, for a world famous rock star.

  169. Anna says

    This interview would have been so much more interesting had Gene actually been game to answer Terry’s questions. What’s with the makeup? Why blood? How has the band managed to remain marketable or popular despite the many decades they’ve been around? How much does Gene actually care about music– I’m sure he actually does, and it’s a shame that he just took another opportunity to promote his opinions on man/woman relationships. It was clear from the start he felt defensive. The way he kept characterizing NPR as smarter/more well read than him was so transparent. Inferiority complex, much?

  170. Mike G says

    Gene is proud of the money and sex he acquired but is ashamed of the means by which he acquired it. Evidence for this is his belief that entertainers like himself are not as important as farmers and he is defiantly defensive toward questions regarding his stage act that lead to his acquiring these trappings. He only seems to drop his mask of intimidation when asked about his childhood. Terry Gross and NPR is not the source of his shame. His humorless defensiveness belies the weakness of his own arguments. I do believe this is how Mr Simmons is at all times but it seems a disservice to those around him and himself to be so afraid that his accomplishments and swagger do not make up for his shame and inadequacies. Thanks for posting. I have wanted to hear this for some time.

  171. M_In_O_Town says

    I’ve read Gene’s books and I got to say nrom my OWN experience that he’
    s pretty much deas on about a lot of things I rooo am a musician AND a recovered alcoholic and drug addict that didn’t feel too good about himself so I got a makeover before it was the “hip thing to do” and almost to the second I did that, when I finished my transfomation I all of a sudden had a sex life and I didn’t need a guitar or band to do it, all I had to do was stand still and they picked ME up and I got to say that I feel THE SAME WAY ABOUT DRUNK AND DRUGGED WOMEN. If the woman in question feels like she just HAS to numb herself before she could be with me, then she her self is NOT worthy to be with me. I need to state here that the reason I lost all the booze flab got my teeth fixed and got my hair styled ect is because I wanted to join the hunman race in general, gettimg sex yes was in the equasion but it wasn’t primary I just wanted to be accepted by a society that is, I.m sorry to say is very vain and superficial because I was so physically unattracive that I was a nymphomanic’s excuse for denial I was treated as garbage by my peers and conmsidered less than worthy by “Christians” and fellow “sober” alcohoilics. I can also tell you this “God” IS Love In It’s Purest Form and the WE ALL ARE HIS/HER/IT’S CRERATIONS NO MATTER WHAT WE “LOOK LIKE” OR HOW FAR WE SEEM TO BE FROM THE SOURCE.

  172. Jordan says

    On one hand I can see that Gene Simmons is expressing what he believes and that NPR probably should have known what he would be about beforehand, however, I can also see that he should have known the material NPR presents and should have avoided it if he actually wanted an interview aired. In the end, if he is as confident as he seems to be in this interview, he would be confident enough to have it aired for all to hear. So my verdict for winner is Terry Gross 2/3, Gene Simmons 1/3.

  173. m d craig says

    What a pompous, patronizing asshole. Somebody could make a drinking game where you have to down a shot every time the man uses a malapropism. (Look it up, Gene.) Guess you don’t have to set your farts on fire to be a jackass.

  174. jahmonkey says

    The was the most outrageous, sexist, gross, tasteless interviews ever…and it was awesome. Gene was provoking Terry throughout the interview and the best comeback she had was a typical prudish ‘NPRish” comment (oh you’re so obnoxious.)
    Gee show a little emotion it’s OK to be human Terry.

  175. teacher says

    Terry Gross confirms that she is a pretentious, repressed arrogant douchebag who meets her match in this interview.

  176. yeah_so says

    simmons is a huge douchebag. WHO TALKS TO A WOMAN LIKE THIS? money and a band do not dictate tact. fuckwad won’t be remembered, so no loss I suppose.

  177. Twister Sister says

    I’m amused by all the people posting who seem to claim personal acquaintance with Mr. Simmons by attesting to his complete honesty.

  178. MW says

    As one respondent above had written, Simmons is being himself. Now more people know that he’s quite an ass. Jean Simmons is also weired pig — 4,600 sexual liasons — wow a meaningless macho pig.

    All men aren’t dogs, all men don’t have a problem with control. Simmons is retarded.

  179. pr says

    The uber liberals of NPR should be embracing Simmons attitudes as they love “anything goes”, “do what you want even if its amoral” etc. It exposes the hypocrisy in Gross and NPR.

  180. Bob says

    I’ve heard this twice on NPR, and once here, and was just elated to see it top page Googly result simply searching Terry Gross. What a treat for Hallow’s eve.

    Like a top flight tennis match, love them both, and hate them both. They should make a porn flick together! Thanks for keeping this up E.F.
    This is real radio, listen closely.

  181. Ed says

    yes, music is entertainment and yes you can attract women but that does not disregard that music and entertainment can be made for the art. Does he think Pink Floyd experiment with different sounds not to make art? Is he retarded?

  182. sasha says

    Gene only mentioned the “with your lets open comment to put Terry off, knowing he is not her intellectual equal. No one who sees and treats women the way he does actaully likes and respects them, including Shannon, who must be immensely hurt by his infidelities.
    He claims to admire and love his mother above all else, but his treatment of women would not exist if he were not deeply angry about something in his history. Any psychiatrist would recognize he has a great deal of work to do – he does not know himself at all.

  183. natasha says

    The arrogance and inflated ego he displays is a sham. I only see insecurity and a insecurity issues. His compulsion to bed thousands of women is a SYMPTOM. No one who is secure in himself as a man needs to prove something to himself over and over… and over. often this reflects fear of homosexuality. If he were not famous or rich, he would not be successful with women, and he is aware of this. His “music” is barely mediocre, and he knows it, or he wouldn’t have needed to create the costumes and make up to get attention, or his persona, which he now confuses with his actual identity.

  184. Corey says

    What an overcooked ham. Kiss was not a good band, they were a gimmick at their very best. I think this interview is evidence that Gene is beginning of one of the strangest mental declines of a celebrity ever recorded. Which will no doubt be quite a spectacle, and probably of higher entertainment value than all of the Kiss albums combined!

  185. Kaka says

    Listen, this guy is a rock star… an extremely famous rock star… he is an ENTERTAINER…. he is no dummy, he knows that no one wants to hear a 60-year old rock star talk about the stock market or AARP…. he HAS to be edgy, witty and a little obnoxious to stay relevant…

    Do you think this guy got all his money by being stupid? So you were insulted by the things he said? What did you think he was going to say? He’s Gene Simmons!…. He only has to answer to his God, his children, and probably somewhat to Shannon Tweed, although she isn’t his wife….

    I kind of respect that he didn’t marry her knowing he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be faithful to her…..

    He didn’t lie to her, he doesn’t lie about who he is, and I kind of respect that! Is he a pompous jerk? Yeah, probably….. but at least he isn’t a LYING, pompous jerk….

    If you don’t want this type of man in your life, then DON’T MARRY A ROCKSTAR….

    This interviewer was horrible…. she let him get to her, and she fell right into his trap… he flustered the hell out of her, it was funny to listen to.

  186. Mary says

    Gene is a little rude at moments but I have to say Terry set the tone for that. She made a lot of assumptions in her opening questions and after that. She sounds like she’s trying to analyze him. Terry is a little rude too. She is viewing him through the lens of her values.

  187. Travelheaven says

    Thanks for posting this. I heard a reference to this interview during a “Fresh Air” interview with Trent Rezner, I was curious to hear what Terry Gross referred to as her “somewhat infamous interview with Gene Simmons”, but when I went to the “Fresh Air” archives, I was surprised to see the following: “Audio for this segment is unavailable for legal reasons.” Wow. You can bet it is Gene Simmons taking issue legally, and not NPR. What a self-aggrandizing sexist twit he showed himself to be. No wonder he doesn’t want it aired in perpetuity.

  188. Kyra Richter says

    I, too, heard the Trent Reznor interview. What a humble, honest and interesting person Trent is! This reminded me, that though I have been a fan of Terry and known of this infamous interview, I never heard it. Until tonight.

    Simply put, he is obviously intimidated by a woman who is intelligent. To him, “gymnasium” is a big word. He makes fun of another NPR personality, and ignores the fact that he also sounds stuffy and pedantic (watch out Gene,that’s a big word!).

    I agree with Travelheaven: What a sexist twit! He sounded, IMHO, like the single, spoiled child who sees his mother as the only woman worth loving and the only intelligent woman deserving respect. I’ve met men like that before. The have believed everything their over protective loving mothers told them. I’ll give him credit though, Gene did make something of himself, even if it is a bit of a clown on his TV show.

  189. says

    Hi there – A sincere >thank ya< for preserving this Gene Simmons jack-assery for everyone to enjoy. Wow, proof positive that gene simmons is an egotistical jerk.

    The internet never forgets.

    (btw – #1 google result for "Gene Simmons fresh air interview")

  190. Jim O says

    Wow – I’ve listened to other interviews with Gene Simmons and he never came across like this; maybe an off day? Not sure – either way, he blew it. You can get your point across, tell people who you are and what you stand for – without putting the interviewer on the defensive. Terry is fast on her feet – do you think that’s why Gene was nervous?

  191. Chris says

    Thanks for posting this.

    Clearly, Terry Gross got defensive, rather early on in the interview, and it threw her off her game. She is a masterful interviewer, no doubt, but she stumbled on this one, and has said as much. He baited her on several occasions, she failed to listen on others, and then she was overly confrontational. Granted, she was justified in her assertiveness most of the time, but as the interview continued, it seemed like he had truly gotten under her skin and that she was taking things personally.

    On the other side of things, Gene Simmons comes across as having some issues with NPR in general, and what NPR apparently represents to him. He was overly confrontational too, way more so than Terry, and switched gears so fast between his persona and what seems like his genuine self, it made it difficult to follow. One minute he would say something pretty thoughtful, or interesting at least, and the next, he would say something completely confrontational and volatile, seemingly just for the sake of saying it. It was a little much, even for an over-the-top rock star.

  192. Jasper Getwaters says

    I’d like ta see tha dude’s psych eval.

    Simmons presents as a little man tryna out-do everyone. His only concept is his greatness.

    His ‘women and money’ credo I think is a superficial attempt to cover serious personality flaws. Tha dude is a fake. Plus, with this interview, he’s a proven assh*le. Git yor’Z Gene!!

  193. Gentile Ben says

    “Gentile mouth” that comment turned me against him straight away, funny how jews then complain about being the most hated race on earth.

  194. D Talada says

    I love Gene Simmons for something he doesn’t care about, which is songwriting ability (an ability that left him for good in 1983, for some reason). This man should never publicly express an opinion.

  195. tricia says

    Thank you so much for posting this. Terry Gross mentions the interview from time to time on her show and I was disappointed to find it legally withdrawn from NPR. But this was so easy to find and was definitely worth listening to! Thanks!

  196. amy says

    terry gross does know better than to believe gene simmons. the guy is a megalomaniac & has since married shannon tweed, though he’s not faithful. poor gene. he needs massive therapy.

  197. Jesus Christ says

    Stupid man gets scary-famous. This guy is normally stupid. The fame and money give him the pomposity. Not the balls. The what I said. One weird instance indicative of something universal. Warped perceptions.

  198. John says

    This guy is such an idiot, and so full of himself. No one should ever watch his “Family Jewels,” another concert, or give him another dime of your money. I feel sorry for his wife and children.

  199. Eva says

    For all you pricks: So if you belittle people for no reason you are honest?

    If you go out of your way to use big words and rub it in people’s faces, you’re smart?

    If you brag about what you have incessently you are satisfied?

    If you think other people think exactly like you and will speak for them, you’re enlightedned?

    And seriously he thinks women want every ugly jackass to come on to them? He’s sooo nasty!! what a moron.

    And I know the people commenting to defend him probably don’t spend much time in a professional environment, or they wouldn’t condemn her for acting like a professional instead of sharing her thoughts. It takes strength to keep control when you hear some pig bashing all women. Just cuz he can afford to act like a douchbag doesn’t mean he earned it.

  200. The Asses Have It says

    Wake up, folks. Simmons is a big ham. You don’t think perhaps that a guy who spent decades swathed in ridiculous cartoon getups and spitting phony theatrical blood might possibly be putting on a show here? He is very sharp and knows precisely which buttons to push in order to send those NPR weaklings running for their crucifixes and silver bullets. Much like Rush Limbaugh, Gene is a meathead strictly of his own design. (At about 28 seconds from the end Gross even speculates as much.) And while KISS is a pile of dogshit I can’t help siding with Simmons on this one. If he is, in fact, a big dumb sexist palooka, who the fuck is Terry Gross to expect that the instant he enters her hallowed NPR shrine he will suddenly metamorphose into a chardonnay-sipping, Shakespeare-quoting prince? Public radio arrogance. She should have known what she was geting into. She read his book, didn’t she? One would have to assume that one of the reasons she invited him on the show in the first place was that he was so ”obnoxious,” as she calls it. So be it! I’ll take Simmons any day over those whiny-voiced, phony intellectual shit stains NPR is so enamored with…fucking Decembrists…Andrew Bird…Fleet fucking Foxes…indie poseurs…lo-fi incompetents…endlessly stroking themselves…telling us idiots out in radioland what it all means. (Thanks, Colin.) Simmons does say – and I just about jumped out of my chair and applauded – that rock and roll (and all its spectacle) doesn’t mean anything, after all. Farmers, he says, and teachers and firefighters are much more important than anything he or Terry Gross are doing. It’s just enntertainment. Let’s see that come out of fucking Colin Melloy’s mouth. Or Terry Gross’. Or Michele Norris’. Or Ira Glass’.”Oh, no, no, no! We’re intellectuals!” Ballocks!

  201. Frederic says

    I call BS I have never cheated and would never cheat on a woman. He is crazy and 4000 woman bullshit. come on would not have time to make all that money.

  202. Joe says

    Wow, what a very odd article. Do you not think that Terry Gross actually started it? Her first question was basically, “do you wear makeup because you were afraid of being a Jew”.

    Of course, a typical NPR lover would say no, her question was legitimate. Well done Gene, made her look a right mug.

  203. Anna says

    You know, i never liked Gene Simmons, but oh my goodness this just makes him seem so incredibly ugly and hateful. He had to be ugly because she’s not a brainless bimbo who thinks he’s charming just because he’s a star. Yuck!

  204. says

    Yes Gene is a douche but I can’t stand Terry Gross either. She’s just an idiot. Her questions are terrible and every interview she does sounds like a first time reporter, nervously fumbling for solid ground. After 25 years you’d think she’d have a handle on her “ummms” and “you knows.” I just listened to her do an interview with an expert on genetic engineering for pets; her guest explained “glow-fish,” where they take a striped tiger fish, give it some DNA from self-luminous aquatic life and bang, you get a glow in the dark fish. Her first question after he explained this? “So, um, tell me, how exactly do they make the fish glow?” I couldn’t believe it. She has no spine and I honestly think she has a lower than average IQ. Why would any organization keep her on the air for so long??

    Diane Rehm too. She’s a good reporter, and I have total empathy for her affliction, but the fact is when an on-air personality sounds like a recording of someone going over a bumpy road at half speed it’s just time to take them off the air. People say “oh have a heart it’s not her fault that she has a disease” but if you go by that thinking then we should let sports figures keep playing into their 60s or even if they have a performance-crippling injury. It sucks when life hands you cards like that but ultimately there is a show to do and if the host isn’t up to it, regardless of the reason, you just have to step down, painful as it is for everyone. She should give the mic to someone else but still produce the show; with her instruction and guidance the new host would still reflect the “feel” of Diane and as long as she’s in charge – even without being on the air – she can still insure a top quality show worth of keeping the name “the Diane Rehm Show.”

  205. DG says

    I’m a porn actor (not your typical one I should add as I listen to NPR) who is very familiar with the likes of Gene Simmons. We get a lot of people like him in our business unfortunately. This guy is just shallow and insecure, listening to this interview is like listening to a new wanna be male porn star.. literally.

  206. Ronnie says

    The reason (according to some) that Gene sound arrogant and obnoxious, is because he never afraid to speak his mind – and why should he be? If Gross had been able to come up with some original and newsworthy questions for him to delve into, instead of stale ones most KISS fans from their teen have known the answers to, maybe it would have been worth his time showing up. He has known what it’s like to be poor and he wants to make as much money as he can, and who in his shoes wouldn’t want the same?
    Gene is in control of himself and his life – he has said: “I want it all!” and he has been true to his dreams, and what is wrong with wanting to be filthy, stinking rich? Shallow? NO! He teaches a lot about confidence and belief in yourself and I’m his fan – and if I’m considered delusional, I’m in good company.
    No one is pressurising me to part with my hard earned cass to fill Gene’s coffer’s – that’s up to me. I will continue to love Gene and KISS because it’s a game – a show .. and I’m thankful for this straightforward and wickedly entertaining man.

  207. Jeff says

    I know this is a notorious interview, but I really don’t think he comes off so bad here. It sounds like he’s just being honest. Or maybe Terry is right, maybe it’s all just one big, long affectation. But at least it’s entertaining.

  208. sara says

    He is very different. I think he is very full of himself and rude a lot of the time. You can’t always be truthfull without being hurtful but I felt at times as though he were attacking her personally, like he felt judged so he’d better come up with something witty so he would seem cool. By the end I was glad it was over for her sake.


  1. […] I recently listened to this interview on the BBC with Chinese ambassador Sha Xu Kang. If you were wondering what the Chinese diplomatic equivalent of the Terry Gross/Gene Simmons interview was, this is it. The first 19 minutes go by just fine, until the interviewer starts asking about Taiwan and it starts to ramp up… […]

  2. […] The weirdest thing about “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” is that the tongue-dangling KISS frontman isn’t nearly the misogynistic jerk he seems to be in interviews (like his infamous sparring with Terri Gross on “Fresh Air”: mp3 | transcript). The new series, which airs on A&E, is essentially “The Osbournes,” only a whole lot tamer, and with a different hard rock icon as patriarch. But the rest of the formula is similar, as cameras capture the home life of Simmons and his family, which include teenage kids Nick (17) and Sophie (14), and Playboy Playmate partner Shannon Tweed. […]

  3. […] Gene Simmons is a douchebag. I don’t think this is a particularly revolutionary statement, the man has proved it amply over the years. Whether he’s spouting off juvenile sexual innuendo to a public radio interviewer, or as in the latest example, explaining where the music industry went wrong to a Reuters reporter, he’s proven that he is constituted of pure, concentrated asshole. […]

  4. […] and gentlemen, I give you – unearthed direct from the fiery vaults of Hell – all 26 harrowing minutes, 54 incendiary seconds of: Terry Gross of “Fresh Air” […]

  5. Did Sandra Day O’Connor Slap NPR’s Terri Gross Wrist? | Stasia DeMarco Social Media And Communications Consulting says:

    […] Still nothing tops the the Terri Gross-Gene Simmons interview… […]

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