Gene Simmons - An Allycat's Perspective!

Written by Alyson Wallace

I could have written anything when asked to contribute a piece to this issue. I have mulled it over for weeks, thinking about KISS. Thinking about what they are, they were, what they have done and not done, what others think of them; most of which has been written already! What else can be said about the fab four? A chance remark by some work colleagues (a clinical psychologist no less!) about my liking for Gene Simmons - and there it was.

Why Gene? Why The Demon? What is it about this 50 year old man, with mediocre looks and a big ego which sets the pulses of this 38 yr old woman on fire?

It is quite something to look inwards and open the psyche to the world at large in an attempt to understand why the macabre, the dark side of life, appeals without sounding twisted and weird - cos twisted and weird I aint! Although my family, friends and work colleagues do wonder how this sane, straight, clever person hides a darker side, which revels in the likes of Alice Cooper, KISS, etc.

But that is just like Gene too! He is a sane, straight, clever man. Totally in control of himself and his life. He had a dream and the determination to reach for it. He is a man who believes in himself and everything he can be and will not be deflected and dumbed down by those who cannot or will not accept such confidence in a person. Gene has said 'I want it all!' and, so far, he is certainly getting it. From humble beginnings, Gene has been true to himself and his dreams. He truly believes in what he does and loves doing it. There is no empty hype with him. What you see is what you get! And in Gene's self confessed 'delusional' state of mind - you are getting the best! He can be very upfront and in your face - and that is what I admire!

He makes no apologies for himself. His legendary appetite for women is no rock-n-roll hype, invented to bolster a fading image. Gene loves Women. Women of all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds. As a woman I feel no resentment with this. Here is no misogynist posturing, no putting down of women and portrayal of them as mere objects of lust and sex, to be tossed away when finished with. Gene genuinely loves women! And I defy any woman to stand there and tell me that flattery and outright appreciation leaves them cold. I know it pleases me to think that I could stand there in front of Gene and know my womanly curves and attributes will elicit such an appreciative response from the Demon!! Now there is my ego on a trip! Something else I have in common with the man.

Gene describes himself as delusional! He describes himself as having more confidence than he has a right to! It is refreshing to meet this kind of attitude in these angst-ridden days. Who else is going to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself first. Gene has taught me a lot about confidence and belief in yourself. Nowadays, I am my own number 1 fan! If that is being delusional - then I am in good company.

What about money? Gene has been accused of being 'too fond' of money and that everything he does is geared around making more! So what! Whatever is wrong with wanting to be 'filthy, stinking, rich'? What I like is that Gene doesn't pretend to be otherwise. Everybody in this world works for money, the plumber, the lawyer, the bartender, so why should Rock Stars be different? Gene loves what he does, lives for it and gives everything to a show and the fans, but, he is happy to get paid for it. If I could do what I love doing and be paid millions for doing it then I would happily do so - why pretend otherwise? We can all do good with our earnings, give to charity, help others, but why should we 'shout it out loud'? Gene does his own part and gives generously - but rarely crows about it, it is not his style.

Gene's philosophy is 'I want more'! I have no problem with this. No-one forces me to put money in his pockets. I buy the music and merchandise I want and leave behind that I don't want. No-one is pressurising me to part with my earnings to fill the Gene coffer's - it's up to me.

...................................and what about the dark side and the Demon persona?

We all possess a dark side, an inner place where twisted thoughts and images are given reign. It is normal and healthy! This is the stuff of fantasy and, when handled properly, we are able to give into these primitive urges in a safe and harmless manner. That's why horror films and books delight us, why images of the bizarre interest and titillate us and why vampires, devils and demons intrigue us. Perhaps it is because these things verge on the dangerous, are looked upon as degenerate and disgusting by polite society and verge on the forbidden - which any child knows just makes it all the more exciting.

Gene delights in the macabre. He portrays the demon in all of us. The devil sitting on our shoulders, whispering seductive thoughts in our ears. His costume and make-up are designed to shock and his stage presence, with his imposing height and predatory style, can send a delightful shiver along many a spine -including mine.

Gene appeals to my darker side. The side of me which remains hidden from people on an every day basis, the side of me which refuses to conform to society's artificial norms, the side of me which wickedly delights in the bizarre. Why it works is because it is not to be taken seriously. It is not for real. There is no harm in play acting and the healthy expression of passions in a harmless, controlled and fun context is ok. Unfortunately, there are many in this world who fail to see this harmless fun for what it is. Who accuse us of corrupting young minds and leading innocent youngsters astray. Likewise, there are those in this world who take all this expression of the dark side seriously and cannot draw a line between enjoying fantasy and acting it out for real, hurting people in the process and causing those such as Alice Cooper, KISS, etc, much hassle, having to fight continued accusations of satanic worship and destroying society!

All in all, it is just a game. It is all just great fun and I, for one, will continue to enjoy the music of KISS and my delight in the man - Gene Simmons. He has given me much to be grateful for and I thank God there are such straight forward, confident, delightfully wicked, entertaining people around in my world.

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