This NY Post article about Terry Gross' interview with Gene Simmons is really misleading. I heard this interview over the air live as it was taking place, and these quotes were taken totally out of context, not to mention out of order.
The article also misrepresents the facts surrounding why recordings and transcripts of the interview are not available, saying "The interview was apparently so controversial that NPR has declined to make it available on its Website where it posts at least portions of nearly all other interviews that appear on "Fresh Air," one of its most popular daily shows."
A quick search on the NPR website
reveals that "Simmons declined to give permission for this Web site to offer audio of his interview, or sell tapes or transcripts of it.
Now that we've got the facts straight, I will agree that Simmons' behavior was rather surprising. I remember running into the next room to tell my friend when it happened -- but that was due to my disbelief in what Simmons' was saying, not my shock at Terry Gross' reaction to it, which was completely professional.
Gross didn't so much as raise her voice throughout the entire exchange. She conducted herself in her usual polite manner. Towards the end, she stopped speaking entirely, and just let Simmons babble away until the time ran out.
Simmons was a hostile guest to the nth degree. He was making personal attacks about NPR and Terry Gross within the first five minutes he was on the air.
Perhaps Gross' first question was a little pointed -- something about 'does he ever feel like he's
hiding behind his makeup?' But this could also been seen as a fair question, considering the title of his new book is "KISS and Makeup". He was actually giving a great answer to that question for a little while. He was talking about the history behind Paul's makeup, and then Ace's makeup, and then he got to his own makeup and it was like he remembered who he was and that he had to be rude or something.
Most of the interview wasn't really about rock and roll, or women, or even the band at all. It was all about money. Simmons just could not stop talking about money: How it was the most important thing in the world. How he feels that if he has money, he can basically buy everything else -- love, sex, respect, whatever. Gross finally said a single sentence like: "you think money is the most important thing there is, huh?", and Simmons took it from there, for about 10 minutes straight. Why yes, he does feel that way, and Gross and the other bumpkins on NPR are idiots for not realizing that money is the most important thing in life. Etc. etc.
In conclusion, no one will ever know why Gene Simmons chose to insult NPR, its staff, and its entire listening audience instead of selling them all a couple hundred thousand books. Whatever the reason, the incident has left me a litle sad inside. I think, in part because I used to always have a more than a little respect for Gene Simmons -- ever since I put my first "Rock and Roll Over" sticker on my binder in the fourth grade.
Now I wish he would just grow up little.