GENE SIMMONS Talks About Rockers Who Have Been Inspired By KISS

June 6, 2023

In a new interview with "The Daily Distraction" host Chris Killian on, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons was asked if it's true that late PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was buried in a KISS casket. He responded: "That is true. Dimebag had [original KISS guitarist] Ace [Frehley] tattooed on his chest. Tragically he was killed onstage by a lunatic who shot him in the head. Dime's family reached out. And I had a few KISS caskets, different kinds. And I actually sent one from my collection, and he was indeed buried in a KISS casket, yeah."

Simmons also talked about the countless artists that have been influenced by KISS over the last five decades. He said: "Kirk Hammett cut his teeth on KISS records, and that's METALLICA. And Dime was in PANTERA. But it runs the gamut… You know, at a certain point, when you're 13 or whatever and you're a guy in the middle of nowhere… Tom Morello [RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE] did our acceptance speech, or the introduction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and his story, actually, was very inspiring about being a kid in the middle of America, not having enough things to inspire him or get him thinking about other possibilities and stuff. And he started talking about KISS and about how getting those records wasn't just how to play guitar and get up on stage, but opening up the ideas of imagination, the visual sense of things. And I've met all sorts of people, not just rockers and so on, but people from different walks of life who say, 'This was important to me in my childhood.' And listen, that's the biggest… It's not so much that they're celebrities, but it's a good piece in my heart. But I will tell you, nothing — and I mean nothing — competes with a five-year-old kid who lives, breathes and eats KISS. When you see a five-year-old kid in KISS makeup sitting on the shoulders of his father, who's got his own makeup on, next to his father, who's 50 or 60 years old, and they're all rocking out at the show, and when the kid finally [flashes the 'devil's horns' hand gesture], it doesn't get better."

KISS will end its career with two back-to-back shows at Madison Square Garden in New York in early December.

KISS's final runs of shows will kick off this September and now include stops in Crandon, Wisconsin; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Cleveland, Ohio before wrapping up with a massive concert in the city where it all began for KISS. New York City has been a part of the band's ethos and storyline for more than four decades, so they felt it fitting to culminate an iconic Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame-worthy career on stage at New York's famed Madison Square Garden.

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 late 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".

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