Gene Simmons has never been a master of the understatement, but the Kiss bassist was in tip-top form during a recent interview with BBC News when he declared that when it comes to generating cash he’s like a “great white shark,” and that it isn’t money, but the lack of money that is the root of all evil.
With a net worth of $300 million, you might be forgiven in thinking that as Simmons enters his twilight years, the withered old cock rocker may not be so obsessed with chasing the dollar and hounding the buck. Well you’d be wrong, Simmons has confessed that just like before he still wants more, more, more.
“I’ll never stop hunting more money, I’ll never have enough. Life is business, and I approach life the way sharks approach life – they must keep moving or else they will drown.”
If any band were to best exemplify the capitalist spirit, it would be Kiss. Simmons and the boys have sold 100 million records worldwide, but it’s the 5,000 different types of licensed products where the real income is made. And Simmons is proud to boast that it was always his idea to sell everything from Kiss dolls, condoms, and jewelry, to credit cards, ashtrays, comic books, and coffins in a never-ending bid to boost his bank balance.
More than a rock star, Simmons is a true prince of industry and captain of an empire that just keeps on growing.
The naked avarice of Gene and the comedy value and commercial nature of Kiss has made them an easy target for righteous rockers and high and mighty musicians who couldn’t sell out a toilet, but Gene insists he buried such losers a long time ago.
“All our lives Kiss has been hounded by people who haven’t achieved anything. And we buried them long ago. I call selling merchandise ‘the Kiss business’, and every band sells T-shirts, every band sells merchandise. They just don’t do as good a job of it as us.”
Coming from a “dirt poor” background, Simmons appreciates what it is to be poor, and explains that a lack of money is the cause of the world’s real problems.
“I’m like billionaire investorWarren Buffett – he gets up every day and goes to work even though he doesn’t need the money. I live to make more money. People who say that money is the root of all evil are morons, a lack of money is the root of all evil.”