THE BASICS ON GENE SIMMONS: REAL NAME: Chaim Witz (Changed to Gene Klein upon arrival to America) BIRTHDATE: August 25, 1949 BIRTHPLACE: Hafia, Isreal (Moved to Queens, NY when he was nine) KISS MEMBER STATUS: mid 1972 - present KISS PERSONA: The Demon INSTRUMENTS PLAYED: Vocals, Bass, Guitar, some Piano INFLUENCES: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, British Invasion, Motown MARITAL STATUS: Claims he's single, but has been seriously involved with actress/model Shannon Tweed for over 12 years. CHILDREN: son Nicholas (age 12), daughter Sophia (age 9)
SOME FACTS & TIDBITS YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT GENE SIMMONS: * Gene's mother Florence is a Nazi concentration camp survivor. * Gene was named after his father: Chaim Witz. * Gene's parents are divorced. * Gene is an only child. * Before moving to Queens, Gene and his mother lived in Williamsburg, a branch in Brooklyn, NY. * Gene used to publish his own comics and horror fanzines as a teenager. * Gene started out his musical career by playing guitar. He later switched to the bass after becoming a Beatles/Paul McCartney fan. * Gene has a teaching degree from Richmond College in Staten Island, NY. He taught English at a public school in Spanish Harlem, NY for 6 months. * Right before forming Wicked Lester, Gene was an editorial assistant (Man Friday) for "Vogue" and "Glamour" magazines. * Gene was taught how to fire breathe by a magician named "Amaze-o." * In the mid 70's, Gene wore braces on his bottom teeth. * In the early 80's, Gene had cosmetic surgery to reshape his nose. * Gene was responsible in discovering three major rock acts: Angel, Van Halen and Cinderella. * In the late 70's, Gene was offered a custom label through Casablanca Records. The deal never went through. * In the late 80's, Gene managed the recording career of singer/actress Liza Minelli. * Gene has done numerous album production jobs over the years. Some of the acts he's worked with include: Van Halen (a 1977 demo tape), Keel, Black 'n Blue, Wendy O' Williams, EZO and Doro Pesch. * In the early 80's, Gene worked with an acting coach for his future movie opportunities. * Gene has done quite a bit of acting since 1984. His film roles include: "Runaway," "Wanted Dead or Alive," "Never Too Young to Die," "Trick or Treat" and "Red Surf." He has also been on such television shows as "Miami Vice" and the HBO series "The Hitchiker." * Gene was offered the lead male role in the 1983 movie "Flashdance," but turned it down in fear of hurting his "demon" image. * Gene has a famous sweet tooth! His favorite food: cookies. * Gene's relationships with women are equally famous. Some celebrities he has dated include Cher, Diana Ross and of course, Shannon Tweed. * Gene was best man at Paul Stanley's wedding in 1992.