Gene Simmons Reveals The Deal He Made With His Mother To Join KISS
KISS bassist Gene Simmons opened up about the time when he first revealed his plans on being a musician to his late mother Florence Klein during a recent appearance on WGN Morning News, and apparently, the mother and son made a deal on staying clean when Simmons first told his mother about his intentions on working with the band.
As some of you might know, Gene Simmons was born with the name Chaim Witz in Israel to Jewish immigrants from Hungary as his mother Florence Klein immigrated to Israel after surviving the Holocaust. Knowing that her mother had to go through endless suffering after losing her family in Hungary where she was born, his mother played a major role in Gene Simmons’ life as her life personally affected and shaped his personality.
In addition to being the ultimate mentor in his life, the main reason why the KISS legend maintained a clean life, away from drugs, alcohol, and any kind of substance despite being a worldwide known rock star is his mother for whom he had an incredible amount of respect and didn’t want to cause further pain by spending his life with substance abuse.
During a recent interview, Gene Simmons revealed the time when he first opened up about his wish to join a band to his mother who was completely fine with her son being a rock star, however, Simmons’ mother had rules, therefore, the two made a deal which required the iconic bassist to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes as well as financially supporting himself while joining the band.
Not only Gene Simmons managed to maintain a clean life while touring all over the world and seeing countless other rock stars who were high and waisted while endlessly partying, but he also raised money in the early days of KISS by doing numerous other jobs in order to keep himself financially safe out of the respect and admiration he has to his mother.
Here is what Gene Simmons said:
“I made a deal with my dear mother who I still think about every day lived to be 93 years of age, not a day goes by where I don’t think of my mom. We made a deal, ‘Mom, I’m gonna join a band’ and she goes, ‘Okay. Do whatever you wanna do. No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes, get a good job, make sure you support yourself, and then do whatever you want. Don’t hurt anybody, do whatever you want.’
And that’s a good deal so I got a job, I was the assistant to an editor of Vogue Magazine, I was the right-hand guy to the director of the government-funded research and demonstration project. I did all kinds of stuff and I taught sixth grade, as a matter of fact, in Spanish Harlem.
All at the same time when we were doing the band, so by the time I was 23, I had amassed 23.000, 24.000 tax-free, after-tax rather. In those days, that was a lot of money so my mother was happy she didn’t quite know what the whole thing was about.”
Furthermore, the KISS legend told an incredibly hilarious and adorable story from the time when he received the first check with numerous zeros on from his work with KISS and shared it with his mother. Florence Klein couldn’t properly understand why her son was holding a check worth of multi-million dollars and asked Gene Simmons how’s his ‘orchestra’ going.
Here is what Simmon revealed:
“In fact, I tell you a funny story as I showed my mother the first big check, multi-million dollars, those days there were checks, and I showed it to my mom with lots of zeros and all that, and this was about 1975, maybe it was 1875, and she didn’t understand, my mother is from Hungary, she just couldn’t understand what all that money was about and who paid me. She, in her thick Hungarian accent, said, ‘How’s the orchestra?'”
You can watch the interview below.