Geddy Lee Confirms Being Attacked By Gene Simmons: ‘He Pushed Me Against The Wall’

Geddy Lee recalled an unpleasant encounter with Gene Simmons in his memoir ‘My Effin’ Life,’ released in November, detailing a moment of tension during Rush’s early days on tour with KISS.

In the memoir, Lee shares an anecdote from the time when Rush performed as the opening act for KISS. He describes a light-hearted moment gone wrong when two drunk women interrupted a jest, causing a serious altercation with Simmons.

A Joke Gone Wrong

According to the bassist, the incident began with Rush’s guitarist, Alex Lifeson, amusing Ace Frehley of KISS by wearing a bag over his head. When the women removed the bag, Lee decided to remove them from the room to dampen the mood. This act led to an aggressive response from Gene, as he revealed:

“After escorting them out into the hallway, Gene followed, grabbed me, and pushed me against the wall, demanding to know why I’d given them the boot. ‘Hey man,’ I said, ‘they were bumming everyone out!’ He said, ‘Yeah, but…’ and he angrily shared with me a few words that could only be described as a lesson in female anatomy. I’ll leave it at that. So effin’ uncool.”

Contrasting After-Show Philosophies

Geddy also reflected on Rush’s experiences touring with KISS in a December 2023 conversation with Q104.3. The bassist discussed observing Simmons and Paul Stanley’s strategies for appealing to their female audience. Despite KISS’s notorious after-show activities, Lee explained that Rush had a more subdued approach to post-concert entertainment, often retreating to their hotel room for marijuana and episodes of ‘The Twilight Zone.’ Lee humorously noted the contrast between the bands, saying:

“And you know, there was no competing with the KISS after-show thing. You can’t compete with that. We were like newborns. We were babes. We didn’t know anything about the industry – we didn’t know anything about the touring world.”

Despite a past altercation with Simmons, Lee recognized the beneficial influence KISS had on Rush during their early years. In a 2023 interview, the musician shared his appreciation for the support and insights they gained from KISS. He admired KISS for their dedication and careful orchestration of their shows, highlighting that while KISS’s music didn’t directly shape Rush’s sound, the experience taught them valuable lessons about the music business.