Gene Simmons Explains Why Rush Didn’t Become A Big Act Like Led Zeppelin

KISS icon Gene Simmons recently spoke to Classic Rock and shared his thoughts on Rush. Simmons recalled the time they toured together and stated that Rush’s music was similar to Led Zeppelin at the time which is why he initially thought they would become a big band like them.

Rush collaborated with KISS for the band’s 1974 tour for the first time. During the tour, Rush was the opening act for KISS, and after Rush’s impressive performance, KISS’ members wanted to continue touring with them in the later years. KISS and Rush members are still good friends as they spent so much time together while touring.

During the interview with Classic Rock, Gene Simmons remembered their first tour with Rush. Simmons said that although KISS didn’t have hit songs at the time, they still attracted a lot of attention. Later on, he revealed that when he heard Rush’s ‘Working Man,’ the band’s music reminded him of Led Zeppelin as their sounds were pretty similar.

Then, Gene Simmons continued sharing his opinions on Rush and said that he had expected them to become as big as Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, but they took another direction when they went progressive. Since a great majority of their fanbase consists of men, and women don’t understand progressive if you ask Simmons, Rush lost its opportunity to turn into a big act.

Simmons also expressed that he hadn’t predicted Rush would preserve their progressive sound, but they did. For Gene, being progressive made them lose some of their audience but still, he praised the band for staying in the music scene for so long.

Gene Simmons’ words on Rush:

“We took Rush out as our opening act on either our first or second tour, I can’t remember which. We were in a weird situation where we had already started headlining some 3,000 seaters even though we hadn’t had a hit record, so some of the dates were pretty big. I’d heard ‘Working Man’ somewhere or other, and to me, Rush sounded like the Canadian Zeppelin.

I thought they’d become a big act like Zeppelin or Sabbath. But when Rush went progressive I didn’t know if it would stick, because girls just don’t get prog. And there are no girls at Rush shows to this day! But congratulations and kudos to them for making it and doing it the hard way, by getting out there and working. Rush don’t hide away in their mansions. They’re out there doing it, just like we are.

Apparently, Gene Simmons appreciates Rush’s success regardless of the fact that they could’ve been much bigger than they are today if they were to continue their sound in the early days. Still, Simmons didn’t forget to applaud the Canadian band for pursuing a longtime career after making their progressive sound work the hard way.