Gene Simmons Says The Beatles Was KISS’ Reference Point
During his latest interview with Louder Sound, KISS bassist Gene Simmons recalled their shows in South America during the ’80s. The musician also mentioned one of their New Orleans concerts and how the band members defined themselves as The Beatles with their unusual style.
The band’s longtime fans know that The British Invasion inspired the founding members Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss at the beginning of their careers. Simmons once revealed that the British bands and musicians from the ’60s and ’70s, such as The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, had a significant influence. He added that there was a magical situation in Liverpool, considering the band’s becoming a national phenomenon along with many of them from there.
Thus, it’s not surprising that KISS wanted to be ‘The Beatles on steroids,’ and the bassist detailed their mindset, saying that they played at The Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, where 100,000 people could watch them. However, only 3000 people joined them, which differed from their South America shows at the stadium in the ’80s. They saw themselves as The Beatles that filled the stadiums worldwide.
In addition, Simmons admitted that they were delusional about acting like the new Beatles, that had completely different looks and music. This situation probably didn’t surprise their fans because they got used to the band’s bold decisions, which brought them great commercial success and international fame. Even though they couldn’t get the attention of the rock music lovers as if they were the new Beatles, KISS became a milestone group in the rock music scene.
Simmons said in his interview that:
“We were playing stadiums in South America, but when KISS played the Superdome in New Orleans, which holds 100,000 people or something, there may have been 3,000 people there. You get on a roller coaster and hold on. Our reference point was The Beatles because we were delusional. We wanted to think of ourselves as The Beatles on steroids.“
Even though disappointed after their New Orleans concerts, KISS reached more audiences in a short time through their unmatchable live shows. The band filled countless stadiums worldwide and created their legacy, far different from The Beatles with their stage looks and extravagant live shows in the following years.