Gene SimmonsRock | 2006
Gene Simmons—“The Demon” of supergroup KISS—was born in Israel and raised in Brooklyn. Along with Paul Stanley (“Starchild”), Peter Criss (“Catman”), and Paul “Ace” Frehley (“The Spaceman”), he formed KISS after his earlier band, Wicked Lester, called it quits in the early 1970s. KISS, the self-proclaimed “hottest band in the land,” had its humble beginnings playing Long Island and New York clubs. Simmons’ group found a sound that united British glam with New York rock and roll sensibility, and their stage personas gave them a unique identity. After releasing three studio albums that developed a cult following, the group scored a major chart hit in 1975 with a live version of their anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite.” KISS quickly became known worldwide for its elaborate stage shows, driving music, and extravagant costumes. The members would also become rock’s most mysterious figures, managing to prevent the press from getting photos of them without their trademark stage make-up for nearly ten years.
KISS’ original four members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.