Gene Simmons ….. Right … But, Wrong Too


So, I’m reading this at Breitbart, of all places ….. bear with it, it’s a good read.


Gene Simmons told his son during a candid interview for Esquirethat rock music has been “murdered” by file-sharing and that rich, white, and entitled native-born Americans are partially to blame.

“My sense is that file-sharing started in predominantly white, middle and upper-middle-class young people who were native-born, who felt they were entitled to have something free, because that’s what they were used to,” he said.

Immigrants are more patriotic, according to the KISS legend.

“If you’re a native-born American, my contention is that you take a lot of things for granted. All the freedoms and opportunities you have here are expected, and you feel entitled. I think this has taken over the American psyche. I find that many of the more patriotic people are immigrants,” he explained.

Ahh….. you see what Gene did there?  To him, file sharing is unpatriotic!  And it’s them damned white kids!!!! 

Of course, rock isn’t dead.  Though, listening to today’s music, you’d swear it is, as well. 

But, music, like everything, changes.  If you want to listen to some good hard guitar licks, listen to some modern country.  It’s bizarre, and like Gene, it pisses me off, as well.  Modern country is not country music … it’s like pop in the 70s.  But, some of it is harder. 

Gene’s problem is that the typical well from where the musicians drew there money from is going away.  But, we’ve always shared music.  I can remember taping radio stations for songs I really wanted to have.  And, so did many others.  And, we shared the music.  At the time, Beth would have been the only song of KISS I would have recorded or shared. 

Sure, today, people will share all sorts of music, and many other things.  It isn’t a sense of entitlement, it’s thrift.  Why pay an outrageous amount of money for a good song when you can download it?  Would that stop me from buying a CD from an artist I like?  Nope.  I’ve got Bob Segar’s last album (as far as I know), which no one other than me and him has listened to (as far as I know) and I’ve got Merle’s 4 CD package of all of his hits!  And, countless others. 

I still listen to the radio for good music ….. which is terribly difficult considering all the crap which is played today.

But, that’s the problem with Gene.  He bitches about people feeling entitled, but, it’s Gene who feels entitled. 

Consider what Gene has done.  Sure, he’s an entertainer, and he was a fantastic entertainer.  But, as far as I know, he’s never built a car, or a jet, or anything.  AFAIK, he’s never made anything of substance.  Wasn’t he the guy with the tongue?  Congrats Gene, you have a tongue and can play the guitar.  You and everyone else who does and can should be gazzillionaires!  Because your contribution to society is so much of more value than people who actually build things and make things work. 

Gene, I don’t know how to break this to you any other way.  I’d like to be gentle, but, the facts are what they are.  You’re an entertainer!!!!  You’re a court jester!!!  You worked in a minstrel troupe!!!! 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m most appreciative of the work Gene had to put in.  He’s done well, and I’m glad he has.  But, who’s entitled to what?

The article continues ……

Upcoming artists are set up for failure and would be better off trying out for a reality show.

“It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible. You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor,”said Simmons.

But, Gene, it’s always been that way.  A song at the end of this point to punctuate.  You don’t pick up the guitar because you think this may be a trade in which one can make a living, much less the level of success Gene did!  One picks up the guitar because one likes to play music.  I’ll never be mistaken for a good guitar player, but I like doing it.  But, I’ve known many good guitar players, and most of them never got paid much more than a dime for the music they played. 

Many of today’s musical frontrunners are forgettable and have destroyed the craft of creating iconic music, as they are incomparable to the groups that were formed in the 60s and 70s, such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, or The Stones.

Gene, that’s so true, but, it has nothing to do with entitlement or file sharing.  It has to do with the crap people call music today. 

‘Where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them,” he said.

But, Gene, I don’t know why you don’t take some credit for this?  Today, people have to suffer through garbage like what Miley puts out.  Mostly because she’s does some outrageous stuff on stage, kinda like Beyonce.  Weren’t you a pioneer in such madness?  Oh sure, later in life you guys decided it was about the music instead of the shtick.  Too late, look at what you spawned!!! 

Simmons discussed how Psy’s anti-American track “Gangnam Style” set the standard for new age music artistry, as it had incredible rankings worldwide. 

“Look up the numbers to that song. He blows everyone else out of the water,” he urged.

Psy once performed before President Obama around Christmas time in Washington.

“I firmly believe that there’s something missing in America, and it used to exist, and it’s now corny. Patriotism is corny, and that’s a sad state of affairs,” Simmons concluded. “I think every day, we forget about the — and here’s the corny part — glory of America. And thats too f*cking bad.”

Gene, I’m 100% behind you on this.  It’s okay to hate some things which are going on in America, today, but, if you’re an American, it isn’t okay to hate America, the place of refuge and opportunity. 

But, Gene, the music will come around.  All the people need is to hear the good stuff, just once, and they’ll yearn for it every day. 

The old system is crumbling, to be sure.  But, music won’t die.

For KISS, here’s this one.


And to illustrate my point, here’s this…..


Play me song Curtis!!!!  Play me a song!!!

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20 Responses to Gene Simmons ….. Right … But, Wrong Too

  1. DirkH says:

    Of all people, Gene Simmons? He invented the Lady Gaga type spectacle of crazy costumes; KISS was never interesting for their music, only through their life act. And that has always been the typical way musicians build a fan base.

    Also: When you paid 20 Deutsche Mark for an album in 1980 that was a lot of PVC somebody had to make and process and ship. Fabrication and distribution cost of the record itself was quite high. The share of the musician rather low. Today, when a musician sells a song via iTunes or the likes for 90 cent none of it is for a material carrier. Way easier to self-publish, way higher profit margin.

    And: I can’t remember any time where simply writing a song and playing a guitar would have been more than a lottery ticket at a chance of living off your music. Better chances if you’re busking. Again, a live act.

  2. DirkH says:

    “Simmons discussed how Psy’s anti-American track “Gangnam Style” ”

    Oh and Breitbart mixed that one up. The anti american song was long before Psy made Gangnam Style. Gangnam Style is mocking the upper crust of Seoul.

    • kim2ooo says:


      “English Translation:

      Oppa is Gangnam style
      Gangnam style

      A girl who is warm and humanle during the day
      A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
      A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
      A girl with that kind of twist

      I’m a guy
      A guy who is as warm as you during the day
      A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
      A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
      That kind of guy

      Beautiful, loveable
      Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
      Beautiful, loveable
      Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
      Now let’s go until the end

      Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
      Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
      Oppa is Gangnam style

      Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
      Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

      A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
      A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
      A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
      A sensable girl like that

      I’m a guy
      A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
      A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
      A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
      That kind of guy

      Beautiful, loveable
      Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
      Beautiful, loveable
      Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
      Now let’s go until the end

      Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
      Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
      Oppa is Gangnam style

      Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
      Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

      On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
      I’m a man who knows a thing or two
      On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
      I’m a man who knows a thing or two

      You know what I’m saying
      Oppa is Gangnam style

      Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
      Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

      I guess, I’d be called un-American… or something, if I protested…ohhh wait I DO PROTEST such as the militarization of our police.

      • DirkH says:

        His anti American song was pretty gross; kill all Americans, that kind of stuff. Not sensible in any way. But; well, he changed his ways. Discovered his comedic talent.

  3. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    “I find that many of the more patriotic people are immigrants,” he explained.

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  4. leftinflagstaff says:

    Immigrants don’f file-share…Who knew? Now does that include before they were immigrants? And that they immediately stop after immigrating? And some of them could be from wealthy families, too. Do they file-share due to entitlement? Or is it just the whites?

    More specific please, Gene. Please tell us exactly the characteristics of this group of people. Oh, and also, the exact characteristics of my group.

  5. Mark Luhman says:

    Funny most people who share files also buy the most music. Nothing like trying to throw you best customers into jail. Now that a business model that will succeed.

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      My impression is the opposite holds for books. I don’t listen to music except free on radio (internet mostly) so I don’t know about that market. But books seem to be different. Maybe its that a novel is hours worth of engagement whereas a 3 minute pop song is over in a very short time, so paying a buck for it seems too much. I can buy a good novel off Amazon for three bucks and have hours of enjoyment, even without re-reading.

  6. philjourdan says:

    Excellent analysis. I mostly agree. One thing you missed, is that music has not died, but it has evolved. At least the way we purchase it. iTunes and others are going gang busters! But that does kill some artists as you no longer have to buy 10 songs to get the one or two you like (kind of like listening to radio for the occasional good song).

    100 years ago, the LP was in its infancy, and music survived. 200 years ago, there was no recordings. 100 years from now, iTunes will be dead and something else will replace it. time waits for no one, least of all simmons.

    • leftinflagstaff says:

      I think Gene probably just saw the royalties coming in on iTunes for The Beatles, Stones and Floyd. And how far down the list KISS was.

      • philjourdan says:

        Could be! I was never a Kiss fan (all theater and no quality). Part of it (since i deal with them daily) is the lies spread by RIAA. They “pretend” and report that every pirated song is a lost sale. When in actual fact, it is nowhere near that. People who pirate would not buy if pirating was not available (pre-tape cassette days). And those that listen to pirated songs often go out and buy the ones they like in any event (kind of like when record stores let you listen before you bought). So it is actually close to a wash.

        But then greedy Luddites buy the bilge water and feel they have been cheated, so they make asinine statements like Simmons.

  7. DirkH says:

    How to get into the UK: stowaway in a Fiat Panda. Must have been a contortionist.
    ” A woman told of her shock when an illegal immigrant jumped out of her car boot on Thursday morning after she returned home from Spain having travelled through the Channel Tunnel.

    Sue Taber spotted the young man hiding in her Fiat Panda when she opened her boot to let her two dogs out after parking outside her home in Shepherdswell, Kent.

    The young man, aged 18 to 20, fled but was later arrested by police who handed him to the immigration authorities.

    She said: “I can’t believe I was in there all that time and I managed to get through passport control and everything else with a stowaway on board.

    “I’m still shaking. You just can’t believe it could happen to you. I’ve got a Fiat Panda for goodness sake, with two dogs in the back.” “

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