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Gene Simmons Calls Peter Criss and Ace Frehley ‘Drunks’ and ‘Losers’

Kiss
Brenda Chase, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

It may not be pretty, but if you ask Kiss‘ Gene Simmons a question, you can pretty much always count on a direct answer.

Simmons’ recent chat with Rolling Stone — supposedly scheduled to promote the new Kiss book ‘Nothin’ to Lose‘ — was full of brutally forthright responses to a wide (and occasionally fairly inane) variety of questions, including the matter of whether or not he agrees with being portrayed as “the bad guy” in the dismissals of original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley.

“I am the bad guy,” responded Simmons. “I won’t stand for drunks and alcoholics who get up on stage and consider it their birthright. I consider it a privilege to get up there and arrive on time and be sober, and I’ll be an a–hole to anybody who thinks otherwise. You know who else is an a–hole? Your teacher was an a–hole. Your parents are a–holes. Your drill sergeant was an a–hole. Because they wouldn’t let you get away with s—. Ace and Peter have had a lifetime of being losers. And not just with drugs and alcohol. They’re losers because of wrong decisions. You sleep in the bed you make. How many chances in life do you get? They were in and out of the band three different times. Why should they get another chance?”

While it’s never fun to be branded a loser, Criss and Frehley can at least take comfort in knowing that, in Simmons’ mind, they’re only two of many. “Anybody who gets angry at us are just small people with small dreams who never achieved anything and will always be angry,” argued Simmons later in the interview. “But they’re mostly angry with themselves for being losers.”

None of Simmons’ comments could possibly come as any surprise to anyone who’s ever read or listened to any of his previous interviews, but in this particular instance, Rolling Stone’s reporter seemed a little incredulous about the idea that Simmons could honestly not care whether people think he’s a bad person — to which the distinctively tongued bassist finally shrugged, “It’s like screaming up at Godzilla who’s 50 stories tall. I don’t think it will care. ‘What’s that you say? You think I’m arrogant? Sorry, don’t have time to discuss it, I’m busy destroying Tokyo. See ya!’”

Next: Top 10 Kiss Songs of the 1970s

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