- The Big Interview with Dan Rather 4/23/19: Paul Stanley opens up to host Dan Rather about his long partnership with band mate Gene Simmons, and what motivated them to seek rock stardom in the first place. Stanley discusses why his professional relationship with Simmons has endured, despite differences in their personalities. “A great partnership is based on understanding its limitations,” Paul notes. “So, does [Gene] do things that I question? Does he say things that I don’t want to align myself with? Does he behave in certain ways? Yeah, but that’s not here or there. The core of what we have is a work ethic, and a bond that’s built on time.”Stanley adds, “When you meet someone, there may be potential, but nothing comes of it without experience, and seeing how each one of you respond to crises, to victories, to defeats. And that’s what Gene and I have been through together.” Stanley also admits that he wasn’t initially impressed by Simmons when he was first introduced to him by a mutual musician friend, who wanted to start a band with them.“I said to my friend, ‘Well, you can play with Simmons or you can play with me, but you’re not gonna play with us,’” recalls Paul. “Well, here we are 50-some-odd years later and I’m very fortunate to have been on that path with Gene.”Stanley also chats with Rather about his passion for painting, KISS’ preparations for their current End of the Road farewell tour, and how he was motivated to succeed as a rock musician partly out of insecurity over being born with a deformed ear.
2. The Big Interview with Dan Rather 9/30/14: Rather pulls no punches during the hour-long episode as he takes viewers on a journey into the unprecedented life and career of the outspoken musician and business man, from his life and loves, to his views on the music industry and his passion for America. In an emotional account of his childhood, Simmons reflects on his youth in Israel, surrounded by war and poverty, with no electricity and lacking amenities like toothpaste. Opening up about his mother’s time in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, Simmons reveals the profound impact that she had on his life, and the powerful experience of watching her be sworn in as an American citizen when he was eight-and-a-half years old.
Simmons is in rare form throughout, allowing Rather to get surprisingly personal, and eliciting a side of the superstar that isn’t often seen on stage or television. From his father abandoning the family when Simmons was just seven years old, inspiring his decades-long fear of commitment and reluctance to have children; to his high-profile liaisons with Cher and Diana Ross; as well as his marriage to Shannon Tweed, the issues they’ve overcome, and the decision to open up his life, home, and children to the world on the hit reality show GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS.
While Simmons may have finally settled down as a family man, his career, both as an entrepreneur and a founding member of KISS, has, arguably, never been hotter. With the band’s blockbuster 40th anniversary tour well underway, Simmons delves into the origins of KISS, their refusal to play the pop music game, and their commitment to being completely authentic and original as they smashed through the ’70s folk scene and changed the face of the industry forever. For him, the rock is his religion, the stage is his church, and the show is two hours of pure magic fueled by sweat, fire, and fake blood.
It’s this same drive, what Simmons describes as “the working man’s ethic,” that has helped him build a multi-million dollar empire that includes a record company, restaurant chain, race horse operations and an Arena Football team, and earned him a lifetime achievement award from Forbes Magazine in 2012. The best-selling author’s newest book, ME, INC., designed to help people unleash their inner rock god in both life and business, is due out later this fall.