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Cool new interview w/ Gene Simmons about his early influences and early days

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by hrgiger, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    Excerpt (read the whole thing @ Roadrunner & Artist News

    >>RR UK: So when you’re talking about going back and playing over records that you liked, trying to play those, what kind of artists were you trying to mimic back then and learn the parts to?
    Gene: Gee there was a lot of stuff, a lot of R n’ B records you know- Otis Redding, Stax Vault, Sam and Dave records, things like that. Turned out to be a guy named Steve Cropper mostly, in the Mar-Keys and the House Band, Booker T and The MGs, was all Steve Cropper. Steve Cropper and Otis Redding actually co-wrote ‘Respect’ and first recorded it, and then it was recorded by Aretha Franklin. And when you hear ‘Soul Man’ [hums tune] that’s all Steve Cropper- before your time [laughs]. And so those were the original guys that I learnt from, and then of course from listening to the British groups, to hear a major A chord from Pete Townsend or somebody like that teaches you the basics of guitar, and learning to play guitar early on was actually a help in writing songs; of course you can be a bass player and write songs but by knowing guitar a little bit you can actually write the parts.

    RR UK: So how old were you, say, when you first picked up a guitar?
    Gene: I was 14, and I remember immediately write my own songs. [sings] ‘My uncle is a raft, and he al-ways keeps me floating, he is so good to me, he treats me tenderly, it doesn’t matter who you are, My uncle is a raft'. I was just throwing words up and writing everything, and originally it was it sort of Bonzo Doo Dah band. You should look this band up, it’s an English band in the early sixties but eclectic initially. I listened to everything, R’n’B, Beatles and stuff, and then really started to hone in on the early great sixties anglo bands, I’m a big anglophile. One listen to 21st century Schizoid man, by… you don’t know what I mean, right?

    RR UK: 21st Century Schizoid man- rings a bell but I couldn’t tell you who it’s by off the top of my head
    Gene: Look it up. [We did- King Crimson, Ed.] Just great stuff. So much great stuff. Thunderclap Newman produced and written by Pete Townsend. There were so many... there must have been thousands of British bands, yes The Beatles, yes the ‘Stones, Kinks, Zombies, Hollies, ah Searchers, Fortunes, Tremalos, Sounds Incorporated, a million of them, Jerry and The Pacemakers, and on and on, thousands and thousands of bands, and I devoured all of them. And there’s some new English groups that are really interesting- Keane write good songs, Arctic Monkeys write good pop songs. The problem is they’re not stars. You don’t have a clue what their names are, and you don’t care what they ate for breakfast or who they’re shagging. And a star is what Elvis Presley is, yes you like the songs but you either want to **** him or you want to find out who or what he’s doing. That’s the sign of a star. And if you’re in Kasabian or anything else, and you can’t tell me who’s in the band, and people on the street don’t know you’re in a band, you’re not a star. A star is bigger than what he does. Even the people who hate you are curious about you as a personality, that’s a star. <<
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    lol at rock reporter who doesn't know King Crimson.
    Why do I read Gene Simmons's words with Nigel Tufnel's voice in my head?
  3. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    Here a couple of pics of Gene and his first bass ($35) that he speaks about in the interview:


  4. Noseferatu


    Feb 12, 2010
    Hermitage, PA
    Cool pics!

    Young Gene was quite the Macca fan.

    Still is.
  5. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    Anyway I thought it was a cool interview since Gene finally lets his guard down and acts like himself and not his jerk-stage-persona or his jerk-business-persona. He finally just answers questions about starting out in music in his early teens just like most of us here probably did...

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