PAUL STANLEY Names His 'Favorite Thing' About GENE SIMMONS

June 7, 2024

During an appearance on the latest episode of "The Allison Hagendorf Show", Paul Stanley was asked if he has been in contact with his fellow KISS co-founder Gene Simmons since the completion of the band's farewell tour last December. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We text almost every day. We check in with each other. 'How's the family?' And it's great. It really is family. I consider his kids like my kids, and watching what they do is really incredible. And Shannon's [Gene's wife], she's like my sister-in-law."

Asked what he thinks it is about the dynamic between him and Gene that endures after more than five decades, Paul said: "I think prioritizing. Certainly for me, the band has always been the most important thing. Look, I'm not always a picnic to be around, and he's had to put up with me at times, but the thing that's always been our priority is KISS. And I think that over the years with whatever issues we've had with each other, that was never something that was going to be ultimately compromised. And, look, family members fight, but they're family. And Gene and I have never been closer than we are now, 'cause… I've said it before, it's, like we have nothing to bicker about. We won."

Pressed to name his "favorite thing about Gene," Paul said: "Um, well, that's an interesting question. Gene will always admit when he's wrong, and that takes somebody big. And I don't know that he's like that with everybody else, but we have a relationship that's so close that I think both of us will say, 'I screwed up,' or certainly I've told him something that went against what his line of thinking was, and he goes, 'You're right.' So, that takes a big person. And, again, I think that there's no substitute for time. And I was telling one of my kids that you can have your best friend who you met a month ago, but to find out if they're really your best friend is gonna take months, years — going through hard times, good times, bad times. How somebody responds to all those kind of crises and everything determines whether that person is in your life or not. And push come to shove, Gene's always been there. And likewise. I can't think of anything that I wouldn't do for him, and I can trust him to do the same. That amount of years says volumes."

Back in October 2022, Paul was asked during a question-and-answer session with fans aboard that year's Kiss Kruise what he has learned about himself through his 50-plus-year friendship and working relationship with Gene. He responded: "[That's an] interesting question. Yeah, we're very different, but we certainly share a pride in what we do, a work ethic. Maybe because our parents came from Europe where I think that that's important stuff, is that pride in the work you do and to work hard for your money. Other than that, I think one of the things that took me a long time to learn — and I think Gene, by the way… I mean, he's family to me; he's a brother. I remember there were things about him that used to drive me crazy. Then I realized that that's not his issue; that's my issue. When people do things and it bothers you, you need to figure out why it bothers you, not expect them to change. It's not about them. And things that used to bother me about Gene, I just had to kind of figure out, 'Wait a minute. That's my issue that bothers me. And why does it bother me?' Because he can only be the best he that he can be; he's never gonna be me, and I'm never gonna be him. So it's just a matter of putting a lot of that stuff aside. We're not gonna change anybody else, so we need to figure out why it bothers us."

Four years ago, Stanley admitted to "Live From Nerdville With Joe Bonamassa" that he "didn't particularly like" Simmons the first time they met. "But there was pragmatism involved," he said. "You have to prioritize and figure what's most important to you to reach your goal. And I knew that Gene and I were much stronger together than me alone. I'm not really sure that he knew that, but that became irrelevant. It was, 'How do I get where I wanna go? How do I achieve what I want?' And Gene was essential to it. And here we are 50-plus years later. It's astounding. We've created something that seems like it will outlast us."

In 2019, Stanley told Dean Delray's "Let There Be Talk" podcast his relationship with Gene wasn't affected by the release of Stanley's 2014 memoir, "Face The Music: A Life Exposed".

"Gene's always been very accepting," Paul said. "And we've only gotten closer and closer over time, which is just terrific. I said things in the book that I felt were true, and I would stand by what I said. But it doesn't negate that in the scheme of things, he's been a terrific partner, he's a brother, and he's family. Certainly there were things that I spoke about in the book that aren't true anymore, but they were, to me, at some point. And that book was really my overview of my life. And I really didn't say anything to hurt anyone, and I didn't wanna throw anybody under the bus. There were a few people who walked under the bus — I didn't have to throw 'em. I think Gene has always respected that I have my own perspective. And, again, I couldn't be closer to him than I am now. Totally. I speak to him often.

"It would be crazy and sad to go through what we've done together and what we've accomplished and have ill will or animosity," he continued. "If anything, the two of us look at each other and go, 'Wow!' In those moments of candor, or when we're just talking to each other, or texting each other, there are those texts where it's, like, 'Wow! Look what we've done.' So, yeah, anybody who thinks otherwise is sadly mistaken. His family is my family. Shannon, I've known Shannon probably 35-plus years. [Gene's kids] Nick and Sophie, I feel like their uncle.

"Look, when [my son] Evan was born, the first person in the room to see him was Gene," Paul added. "Even when things have been tough, or there's been tensions in the past — and not in the near past — we always were family. When we had our big earthquake in the '90s, basically I wasn't talking to Gene at the time, and as soon as the ground stopped shaking, I called him. I said, 'Are you okay?' He said, 'Yeah.' And then we kept not talking to each other. But the most important thing was making sure he was okay.

"I'm very, very lucky to have him. And I don't necessarily agree with everything he does. But does anybody?"

In "Face The Music: A Life Exposed", Stanley insisted that his relationship with Simmons has slowly improved over time. But Paul also wrote: "[Gene] chose to ignore his underlying issues and instead committed himself to creating an external façade and persona that, unfortunately, he felt required to knock down anyone who threatened his singularity in the spotlight." He also dismissed the notion that Simmons is some kind of financial genius. "Gene's most successful venture in business was promoting the perception that he was a savvy businessman," Paul wrote.

A few years back, Paul admitted that he "read a little bit of" Gene Simmons's book when it first came out but that he had a different recollection of some of their shared history. While reading Gene's book, Stanley felt, "Gee, I thought I did that. I thought that was me. You thought you were me," he said.

KISS's farewell trek was launched in January 2019 and concluded nearly five years later in New York City.

Image courtesy of 60 Minutes Australia

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