Gene Simmons On How KISS Inspired Paul McCartney

KISS bassist Gene Simmons spoke to Planet Rock about the band’s unforgettable live performances on the rock stage over the decades. The musician highlighted that they even influenced The Beatles icon Paul McCartney by giving the details about how they did it.

New York City-based rock band, Wicked Lester was founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and it was a part of KISS’ origin story. Even though they worked on an album for Epic Records, they didn’t want to release it officially back then. The two musicians weren’t satisfied with the band’s musical style and direction, so they parted the ways with Wicked Lester and focused on their next project.

Stanley and Simmons formed their brand new group, KISS, in 1973, along with guitarists Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. The band hit the stage with their iconic look, makeups, stage personas, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, and pyrotechnics. These props and shows made the live concerts an unbelievable experience for their audience, and they wanted to come over and over.

As a band member that took The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page as an example while creating their unique style, Simmons proudly said that they inspired countless bands and musicians with the stage shows they started making years ago. According to the KISS bassist, Paul McCartney, one of his musical heroes, was among them, considering his live performances occasionally included similar props.

In Simmons’ words, he said:

“We raised the level of a fan can expect on that stage for their hard-earned money, no question about that. So if you see wrestling, pyro, or Paul McCartney, one of my heroes, and anybody putting their stuff on the shows, where do you think they got that from?

You can check out the interview below.