Gene Simmons Once Overcame Fear of Flying for Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley recalled in his new book how Gene Simmons, his Kiss colleague of 49 years, once overcame a fear of flying to visit the frontman in the hospital.
Backstage Pass is on sale now, and includes a three-page closing section in which Stanley takes the time to record the “true love and friendship” the pair has shared, even though they continue to disagree at times.
“I would be remiss and perhaps undeserving if I weren’t to understand how deeply rooted together Gene and I are,” Stanley wrote in the addendum. “True love and true friendship are built over years of action and reaction.
“When I had my first operation to rebuilt my ear from rib cartilage, Gene flew up to see me in the hospital – despite an intense fear of flying at the time. When I was separated from my first wife and didn’t know where to go, Gene opened his home to me without hesitation, and I lived there for months. He paid for a big surprise birthday party when I turned 61 but didn’t want me to know. The depth of our relationship, too, is endless.”
He recalled how, in 1994, during a “very strained time” when the pair was “barely speaking,” Simmons was the first person he called to check on after the Los Angeles earthquake that year. He said Simmons had been the first person allowed into the delivery room after Stanley’s first child was born. He also noted that Simmons’ life as a “happily married man with a family” had previously never been something the bassist wanted. “But isn’t that what makes life so rich and exciting?” he added.
“Do Gene and I bicker?" he continued. "Sure. Do we disagree? Of course. … I don’t understand some of what Gene does. I don’t agree with some of what Gene says, but time tells, and I am blessed that he has been such a pivotal person in my life – and that I was smart enough to realize it. … I believe that if we don’t know that we are blessed, then we don’t deserve to be.”
In another section of the follow-up to his 2014 book Face the Music, Stanley said he was glad to have reconnected with former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley in recent years, but added that ex-drummer Peter Criss retained a an “us-against-them mentality” that he didn’t want in his life.