GENE SIMMONS Reflects On Decision To Get Married: 'I Think It's Called Maturity'

June 15, 2024

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons married his wife Shannon in 2011 after 28 years of dating. The wedding at The Beverly Hills Hotel was attended by 400 guests, including their two children, Nick, born in 1989, and Sophie, born in 1992. At the reception, Simmons and his KISS bandmates performed.

The now-74-year-old musician proposed to his longtime girlfriend in Belize, saying, "I come with so much baggage, but you're the only friend I've got, you're the only one I've ever loved."

Shortly after getting married, Shannon and Gene gathered the evidence of his wild days — in the form of his prized photo collection of previous sexual conquests — and "burned" the pictures as a sign of their commitment to one another.

During an appearance on the latest episode of Steve-O's Wild Ride! podcast, Gene was asked if the Polaroid collection was still intact. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "What actually happened was I got serious about finally… The first 29 years of Shannon's and my relationship, we were unmarried and I was doing anything you could imagine somebody who didn't care about anybody else. [I] was completely self-absorbed [and] arrogant. 'Where are you going?' 'Where am I going? Who wants to know?' That kind of thing. Even though we had kids and everything, and Shannon, bless her, never backed away. I would have thrown my sorry ass out in a second. So, it was no secret that I was carousing. And then when I decided to come clean and get serious with Shannon — we've been together 41 years, but 29 of the first years, we were not married. And when I decided to propose to her, I said, 'I've gotta put all the cards on the table. Let me tell you exactly what happened,' and all this stuff. And it wasn't pleasant. I wouldn't trade places with her. And we did a — us, together, we did a public, and put it on our, we had a reality show, we filmed the burning of the photos. Yeah, we burned them together. And our show, the 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels', was 167 episodes in eight years."

Asked how he came to the realization that he wanted to finally get married, Gene said: "We were filming ['Gene Simmons Family Jewels'] in Belize, a Central American country that most people have never heard of. A beautiful location and palm trees and all that stuff. And they call it a singularity, scientists do, this kind of thing that comes over you, a feeling or an event where you don't plan it and it's real. And at 62 — I'm turning 75 in August; fuck, I look good — I had this epiphany. 'I'm probably gonna die alone and a miserable old fuck, and the people that I love and care about the most, our kids, especially, Shannon, who never tortured me about getting married and everything, I don't know if they're gonna be here.' If I was Shannon, I'd remarry and try to find some happiness while you're alive instead of having this arrogant, self-absorbed guy just doing whatever he wants to do and not caring about it. And I found myself — kind of never happened to me before because I'm not an emotional guy. My uncle George, who was my closest family member, died, and I remember feeling sad but I didn't cry. And I remember dropping to my knees — not even like real hard dropped instead of slowly laying yourself down, just like a knee drop — and looking up at her. And the cameras happened to be filming us 'cause I was supposed to talk about the sunset and everything. And I'm looking up at her, and she's looking at me and there's footage of it. And with a shaky voice and all that, just saying, 'I don't know what… I can't die alone. I can't live without you.' All the things I used to make fun of. And I'd be the guy that'd say, 'Get outta here. Of course we can. There are always other chicks.' But at some point in life, it becomes true. You are lucky if you find, as they say, your soulmate. You never think about those things when you're younger, when you're busy —bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, all this stuff — because it doesn't mean anything, and you're having a lot of fun. That's fine. But what does it mean? Do you miss those people? You never miss anybody. You just say, 'Well, that was good then. Tomorrow's another day. I'll have another salad, a donut, and I'll have that piece of ass over there.' It was just bang, bang, bang. But if you're lucky and you find that soulmate, you don't wanna be around anybody else. And I never thought I would ever… This sounds like a completely different guy than I ever expected to be. I think it's called maturity."

Shannon, who was named Playmate Of The Month by Playboy magazine in November 1981 and later, Playmate Of The Year in 1982, first met Gene at the Playboy Mansion through Hugh Hefner, whom she briefly dated.

A short time before his proposal, Gene and Shannon got into a nasty tiff on "The Joy Behar Show" when he joined in a joke about his past philandering ways, ticking Shannon off. She stormed off the set.

In a July 2023 interview with Sky News Australia host Piers Morgan, Gene was asked what "true love" means to him. He replied: "Shamefully, I never confronted myself about that and barely said 'I love you' to my mother. Shocking and shamefully… I was afraid of being weak and not… I never opened myself to that. You know, the 'knight in shining armor' thing — at least you have protection around you. And I never wanted to be hurt ever again… What can I say? There's no school for life and there's no school that says, 'Okay, this is what marriage is. This is what a relationship is.'"

Simmons's father left him and his Holocaust-survivor mother when he was a child. Speaking later, he commented on his refusal to contact his dad while his dad was alive: "I wanted to prove to myself and to everybody else and to my father that I didn't need him, so once I proved it and became successful, I wanted to stand stubbornly on my pride and not move."

Gene and his family were the stars of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels", which premiered on A&E in August 2006. The show ran for seven seasons.

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).