Kiss' Simmons Details His 4,600 One-Night Stands, Frehley's Flake Problem In Book

Gene Simmons' autobiography, 'Kiss and Make-Up,' arrives in stores December 11.

The first line of Gene Simmons' autobiography, "Kiss and Make-Up," which

comes out December 11, seems to confirm the rumor that his band's farewell

U.S. performance will be at Shea Stadium in New York. But considering the

abuse he flings at original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter

Criss throughout the rest of the book, it wouldn't be surprising if half of

his bandmates chose not to join him that evening.

The two are portrayed as ignorant and irresponsible parodies of rock and

roll whose dependence on drugs and alcohol has repeatedly jeopardized the

band's existence. This alone shouldn't come as a surprise to the faithful

fans who have followed the group over the years, but the personal nature of

the attacks are unflinching.

Simmons says that both Frehley and Criss were sometimes left off studio

recordings because they either didn't show up to the sessions or were too

out-of-practice or inebriated to play. He claims there were numerous occasions when

they have crashed cars, and describes how the photographer of the cover of

Hotter Than Hell had to superimpose the left side of Frehley's made-up face

over the right side because the guitarist had badly scarred his mug in an

auto accident. Toward the end of the band's last reunion tour, Simmons

alleges that Frehley and Criss were so out of it they were unable even to

play the songs.

"People were crying in the audience, but maybe it wasn't because they were

never going to see us again — maybe it was because Ace and Peter were

playing so badly," he writes. "As the tour went on, it became clear to me

that the decision to make this tour the last one was not only smart but

maybe inevitable."

At one point in the book there's a photo of Frehley

intimately kissing a gray-haired Australian man, and the adjacent text

reads, "After he got enough alcohol into his system, all bets were off. He

would lose all inhibitions and think nothing of kissing and making out with

men."

Simmons recounts tales of the guitarist shooting paintball guns in a deluxe

hotel suite and reveals that at one point Frehley had an interest in Nazi

memorabilia and he and a friend used to get drunk and make videotapes of

themselves dressed up as Nazis.

Elsewhere, he criticizes Frehley for being scatterbrained and not living up

to his potential. "He could play guitar, write songs and do any number of

things, but he's never applied himself," wrote Simmons. "He's admitted to

being chronically lazy and a flake."

Simmons is equally harsh on Criss, whom he labels a hot-tempered whiner. He

mentions that while promoting Dynasty, the drummer got so frustrated during

an elongated commercial shoot that he punched a glass case. "A shard went

through his hand. He had to be taken to the hospital and stitched up ... Can

you imagine being so upset at anything that you'd [do that?] The whole James

Dean lifestyle had never appealed to me. Because after that guy dies in a

car crash, I'm going to sleep with his girlfriend."

In 1980, after a lengthy bender, Criss tried to convince his bandmates that

he was clean and sober by returning to the studio with a music stand and

attempting to trick everyone into believing that he had spent the last six

months learning to read music. Of course, he hadn't, and when he started

playing he was "worse than ever."

At the end of "Kiss and Make-Up," Simmons reveals the real reason why Criss

left the band earlier this year. For the farewell tour, both he and Frehley

were being treated as employees, and given a flat-rate salary for performing

instead of getting a percentage cut of the profits. But as the band prepared

to embark on the Japanese and Australian leg of the farewell tour, Criss

wanted to renegotiate his contract.

"We had a contract with him and weren't willing to meet these new terms,"

Simmons writes. "Peter held his ground and told us that we could take it or

leave it. We left it. At the end of the day, Peter Criss is still the very

same guy who, even before our first show at the Diplomat Hotel in 1973 — a

show where we scratched and clawed to get people there — was ready to quit

the band."

Of course, there's more to "Kiss and Make-Up" than bandmate bashing. The

biography begins with Simmons' earliest days as a poor boy in Israel and

follows his immigration to the U.S. and his discovery of women, rock and roll

and big business. The book also details many of his "4,600" one-night stands

with ladies whose photos he still keeps in his collection of memorabilia. It

also reveals some intimate details of his relationships with Cher, Diana

Ross and Shannon Tweed, the mother of his two children.

Some of the most interesting passages in the tome touch on Simmons' various

money-making schemes over the years. As a youth he would buy stacks of

comic books from his neighbors and then resell the valuable ones. In school

he typed other people's term papers for a fee. And when Kiss were up and

running, he began to launch the band's merchandising empire by including

mail-order forms in the sleeves of every record sold.

"We did things other bands wouldn't have had the balls to do," he boasts.

"From the start, we didn't care that it invalidated what we did. We were

not concerned with credibility."

Over the course of "Kiss and Make-Up," Simmons makes various claims regarding

aspects of rock and roll that he allegedly pioneered. These include the

coveted heavy metal "sign of the horns," which he says he inadvertently

developed because of the way he holds his bass pick. Simmons also says that

Kiss were the first band to use elevator lifts that brought the members out

from under the stage, and that he convinced Casablanca record company president

Neil Bogart not to name his label Emerald City.

In true Gene Simmons fashion, "Kiss and Make-Up" ends with the entrepreneur

taking an opportunity to plug his latest products. He assures us there will

be a Kiss Cartoon and Kiss theme parks, amongst other things.

"To America, sweet America," he concludes, "Thank you for making a poor

little immigrant boy's dreams come true."