Rock gods Kiss have fans in both high and low places but who would have thought the blue-blooded brigade would be willing to pay millions just to hear Gene Simmons make a speech?
Simmons, or “the Demon” as he’s known to the worshipful hordes of the Kiss army, is used to commanding huge fees for public appearances, but usually, the “God of Thunder” is pounding the bass and growling out some rock classics to earn his dollar. Yet, apparently, there are those who will happily pay millions of pounds just to hear the rocking heavyweight speak.
In a recent interview with This Is Money, Simmons, who so poor as a child he couldn’t even afford toilet paper, was asked if he’d even been paid “silly money” to attend an event?
As it turns out, the multimillionaire, who owns a comic book collection worth nearly $4 million, was once paid a ridiculous sum of money to speak at a royal family event for an hour or so.
Ever the gent, Simmons won’t reveal what he talked about or which royal family it was, but one can’t help joining the dots and playing detective.
Simmons explained, “Yes. There was a royal event I had to speak at for an hour and they paid me millions of pounds. It is not proper to say which royal family it was, but they just wanted me there. God knows why. I did not even perform, I just spoke.”
Simmons, who is something of an expert on making and keeping money, was also asked if he ever struggled to make ends meet, to which he had this surprising response.
“No. I have never lived above my means. I washed dishes and picked up garbage, but I never struggled to make ends meet.
“If I was down and out, I never knew it at the time. I always had a job and could pay my way.”
Simmons has come a long way from his poverty-stricken childhood in Israel, but he credits his mother for installing in him a good work ethic and reminding him that money should never be taken for granted.
“If my mother did not work hard enough we did not eat. When living in Israel we had little, lived in one room and the toilet was a hole outside. I never knew about toilet paper and could only dream at the thought of blowing your nose on a piece of paper and throwing it away after using it only once.
“I have never forgotten that money is hard to come by. I now have a big house but I could have one in many countries. I could own a fleet of jets, but I do not want any of that. I live comfortably.”