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Gene Simmons is a better bassist...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Aceman, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Aceman


    May 1, 2020
    Tampa Bay
    Than I thought.

    I have been playing a lot of KISS tunes lately - Pre-80's stuff.

    As much as I think these are simple songs (And they are) I find a lot of his lines challenging. There is a lot going on there I never really knew/appreciated. I knew he was a fan of McCartney's stylings.

    Like I said - a lot more going on there than I knew. Some stuff is a bit of a workout!
    BamaBird, JimmyM, Atshen and 28 others like this.
  2. His work on the first studio albums was definitely McCartney influenced, and his best.

    As he got richer he got lazier, IMO.
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I particularly like the the bass line on “Rock Bottom” From Dressed to Kill
    Very cool, unusual movement in that line.
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    He's a good bass player by every reasonable metric. It's everything else about him that's the problem.
  5. This video made me realize that he and the whole band were actually a very good live band with good vocals and good musicianship: Besides the fact that looking at piles of SVT's and Marshall's is always a pretty sight:laugh:. Incidentally Peter Criss took lessons from the New York Doll's drummer Jerry Nolan who was very good and I think this video shows that Peter could play and actually sing great. I am not a huge Kiss fan by the way although my appreciation of them has grown greatly in my old age but let's give them their due.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  6. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    I've always said the first 3 albums, had great playing. I also challenge anybody to sing while playing some of those early lines. See the song "Watchin You" for for a great example. Also, the live version of "100,000 Years" has a phenomenal triplet groove. I don't see how he plays it so smoothly with a pick...I can nail it with my fingers, just not a pick.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I think there is more jealousy than substance to the hate for KISS.
    danesdad, Atshen, Altitude and 22 others like this.

  8. Pick playing is a whole other world, I started playing with a pick but soon switched to fingers, I'm way better with my fingers now than with a pick and wish I hadn't have had such a bad attitude towards the pick when I was a kid starting out, a picked P bass with flatwounds is one of the prettiest bass sounds going.
  9. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    I always thought the he was a really good bass player
    Over shadowed by the glam and show
    Also by critics that didn't like the glam and show
    Only someone learning what any one of them did in Kiss can really appreciate their songs
    How they wrote them and how they are uniquely their own sound
    He is one of the bass players that got me to pick up a bass as a kid and for that I thank him
  10. wmhill


    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I'm sure this eventually turns into a slam Gene thing as it goes, but I really appreciate his playing. He always had a nice balance of groove and melody. And to keep that going while singing, the costume, boots, and in full make-up is a pretty serious feat. I've learned a lot of his lines, and still use some of them in other songs. Nobody can question his (and the bands) longevity.

  11. Ross Raedeke

    Ross Raedeke Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2017
    Detroit Rock City is one of my favorite bass lines! Great stuff
  12. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    He was adequate as a bassist. But the whole package was phenomenal.
  13. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    If I wanted to be a rock star and tried and failed, then maybe there'd be some jealousy there, but not for me. I think their music and their schtick suck. Everything I've seen about Gene Simmons leads me to dislike him greatly. It's not that deep.
    esa372, mrcbass, Spirit of Ox and 8 others like this.
  14. I could never get past the makeup enough to become a KISS fan.o_O
    mrcbass, Roxbororob and Mike Marshall like this.
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Yep. Agree 100%
    Gorn and SDC1-ClickClack like this.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Solid pick rock player. And perfect in every way for that band at that time in history.

    Zillions of albums and tickets sold (and merch sales that would make the capitalist hippies in the Greatful Dead blush) can't all be wrong.
    danesdad, Atshen, OogieWaWa and 13 others like this.
  17. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    No matter what anyone may think of KISS or of Gene in particular, the fact is, they played the game and they won. :thumbsup:

    And I happen to like their pre-80's material. I remember playing some of it in a band back in the 70's. It was fun! :)
  18. non


    Aug 4, 2015
    yes very impressive.o_O

    jchrisk1 and Eli_Kyiv like this.
  19. FerK


    Dec 11, 2011
    I appreciate Kiss as much as any other decent rock band that I don't mind leaving on the "radio". I never owned any album, and probably never will now, but I don't dislike them. Some Gene lines I REALLY like (e.g. Detroit Rock City).

    Having said that, I don't hear or see what you guys mentioned a the top of the thread, i.e. that he was McCartney influenced, or that his lines can be particularly challenging. As Gorn said, I find his bass playing "adequate" (no jealousy here, I never pursued a career in music). By the way, the wrong note he plays at 3:54 in the Black Diamond video, as they do that weird quasi-head banging move, made me cringe quite badly (I think he plays the root on the A, as in the studio recording, instead of dropped a half-stepped as they were playing it live).
  20. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Absolutely. There are tremendously successful entertainers across every genre that I think suck professionally and personally. That doesn't take their millions of dollars or fans away.

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