Doug Brod
December 12, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Kiss and Make-Up

Current Status
In Season
Gene Simmons
Fiction, Biography, Nonfiction

We gave it a C-

”The whole James Dean lifestyle had never appealed to me. Because after that guy dies in a car crash, I’m going to sleep with his girlfriend.” So spitteth the supertongued, Demon-disguised Kiss bassist in what passes for the sole witty insight in his not exactly rollicking memoir, Kiss and Make-Up. (Full disclosure: Gene Simmons was my hero…when I was 12.)

In the wake of genital-warts-and-all autobios from Marilyn Manson and Mötley Crüe, you’d think the Cher-shagging self-made son of a Holocaust survivor would have a great book in him. What’s here instead is the detail-skimpy life of a teetotaling hard-rock bean counter with an overactive libido and a big ax to grind. Even his ”I did this, then I did this, then I did her” structure is as zipless as his efforts to name-drop. When he’s not playing Ping-Pong with Helen Reddy or pranking Bob Seger’s sax player with a piece of onion-flavored chewing gum, he’s bellyaching — constantly — about bandmates Ace Frehley’s and Peter Criss’ problems with ”chemicals” and ”substances.” And by overusing that other coy euphemism, ”chasing skirt,” he can’t even muster good groupie porn. Could this be the squarest rock tell-all ever written?

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