GENE SIMMONS: 'KISS Will Continue In Ways That Even I Haven't Thought Of'
August 14, 2022
KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has once again said that he doesn't know exactly when and where the final concert of the band's "End Of The Road" tour will take place.
KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"End Of The Road" was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but has since been extended to at least early 2023. The trek was announced in September 2018 following a KISS performance of the band's classic song "Detroit Rock City" on "America's Got Talent".
Gene discussed KISS's last-ever performance during an appearance on the latest installment of Dean Delray's "Let There Be Talk" podcast. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We don't know if it's [going to be in] New York. I have good reasons why it should be, but the important thing is when it's the last show, it'll be the last show. KISS the touring band will stop. But the touring band. KISS will continue in other ways. I have no problems with four deserving 20-year-olds sticking the makeup back on and hiding their identity.
"KISS will continue in ways that even I haven't thought of," Gene predicted. "But I can conceive of… You know, the 'Blue Man Group' and 'Phantom Of The Opera' tours around the world with different personnel. There could and should be a KISS show, kind of live on stage with effects and everything else, but also semiautobiographical thing about four knuckleheads off the streets of New York that ends with the last third as a full-blown celebration, a full-on performance. Not with us. Although not a problem stepping in every once in a while."
KISS's current lineup consists of original members Simmons and Paul Stanley (guitar, vocals),alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup.
In early 2019, Stanley told Australia's "Sunday Night" that "Rock And Roll All Nite" "has to be" the song that KISS performs as the last encore at the final concert of the "End Of The Road" tour. "That is the rock anthem that connects the world," he explained. "It was the start of other people coming up with anthems. They really didn't exist, per se. So, 'Rock And Roll All Nite And Party Every Day', that's a song that just connects with people on all different levels."
Simmons concurred, telling BUILD Series: "How do you not end with 'Rock And Roll All Nite'? We will have played that song, probably without exception, more than any other song we've ever been involved with. You might say, 'Aren't you sick and tired of hearing that?' But I will tell you the roar of the crowd, the smell of the grease paint, there ain't nothing like it. When you hear everybody getting jazzed about that and you get off the stage... [it's] like the fire in the belly. You're dog-tired; you've just done a big show; and you get up on that stage, when you see the joy in everybody's face... We've seen it all. We've been around for generations, but when you see a little 5-year-old kid in KISS makeup on his dad's shoulders who's wearing KISS makeup, next to his father... we're badass kind of guys — nothing affects us much — but that stuff will put a lump in your throat. You have to turn around for a second. It gets me. Yes, it's music, but it's generational, and it brings families together instead of separates [sic] them."