"Kiss is like a cockroach that will outlive you all," he says.
Kiss recorded a disco hit and a ludicrous concept album.
They stuck two new guys in weird new makeup, before finally unmasking themselves in 1983, beginning a long run as midlevel hair-metal hitmakers (Stanley looked pretty without his makeup; Simmons, not so much).
Let the debate begin: Kiss' Top 10 albums, ranked They had already started work on an inevitable grunge album when, in 1995, Stanley and Simmons reunited with Frehley and Criss for an MTV episode.
They brought them back, this time as salaried employees, for six years of wildly successful but strife-filled tours – with the makeup back on.
These days, Simmons and Stanley use two reliable hired guns instead, replacements who dress up as the old guys' characters, to Frehley's and Criss' considerable distress.
In the land of merch, though, Kiss is always just Kiss.
It's the white-faced likenesses of the band's signature characters – Simmons' Demon, Stanley's Starchild, Frehley's Spaceman and Criss' Catman – that matter, not the men behind them.
So what if the actual founders of Kiss have written wildly contradictory memoirs insulting one another? In here, as Simmons likes to say, Kiss is a brand, not a band.
ll that's missing from Gene Simmons' home office is a cash register.
He has stuffed a wing of his otherwise tasteful Beverly Hills mansion with Kiss merchandise, turning it into a shrine to his favorite guy, Gene Simmons, and the band for which he's spent 40 lucrative years playing bass, breathing fire, spitting blood and waggling a tongue so freakish he's had to deny grafting it from some unlucky cow.
There are thousands of Kiss things in his lair, overflowing from glass cases: Halloween masks; life-size busts of the band members' heads; dolls; action figures; coffee mugs; motorcycle helmets; plates; blankets; demonic Mr. A lifetime of Kiss: look back at the group's long history in photos On one wall is a plaque commemorating 100 million Kiss albums sold worldwide.