Gene Simmons of KISS has become as well known recently for his outrageous and often offensive public statements as his abilities as a rock and roll showman. However, when he weighed in on the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal, he may have found a large segment of the general public on his side.
Rice, the former NFL star running back, was cut from his contract with the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from playing for any NFL team after shocking video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer Rice into unconsciousness in a hotel elevator.
The 65-year-old Simmons, never shy about expressing his opinion in a seemingly endless series of colorful interviews, came up with a novel method by which Rice could be educated about the effects of domestic abuse, in a radio interview last Friday.
“That guy needs, well my opinion is, if he was in jail for a day and became somebody’s girlfriend maybe he’d knew what abuse is like,” Simmons told the Philadelphia-based Mike and Ike radio show. “But that’s another story.”
Simmons was quick to add, “I’m against physical violence of anybody. You raise your hand to somebody you should he held accountable, not just in the legal system. It’s unsportsmanlike.”
Also in the interview, Simmons said that he felt “sad” that Janay Rice, the victim of Ray Rice’s devastating knockout blow, “isn’t copping to the fact that she was abused. More than abused, knocked out, the physical stuff.”
As much a business entrepreneur as a rock star at this point in his career, Gene Simmons, along with KISS bandmate and co-founder Paul Stanley, own the Los Angeles franchise in the Arena Football League the LA KISS.
But asked if he would ever consider ownership of an NFL franchise, Simmons backed off.
“It’s not appealing and I’ll tell you why, because the politics there are so much and mired in nonsense,” Simmons said.
The former star of his own reality TV show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, the KISS bassist and vocalist announced Monday that he will produce and star in a new reality show, this one another entry in the music competition genre.
The proposed show, Coliseum, will feature Simmons himself mentoring aspiring rock stars as they form bands and develop their musical and onstage chops, leading up their debut live performance.
Unlike on other music competition shows such as American Idol, which feature a panel of judges, Gene Simmons himself will serve as sole arbiter of which bands make the cut and which get the axe.