United States Executive summary: Once in the States his name was changed to the more American-sounding Gene Klein, and he struggled to advance his understanding of English through watching television and reading comics. During his school years, he developed an interest in horror and science fiction, for a while even publishing his own comics fanzine; but the Beatles phenomenon inspired a stronger urge to become a musician, and in he secured a second hand guitar from his mother to realize his ambitions.
After high school Simmons enrolled in college and began working towards a degree in education, performing at night as a member of Bullfrog Bheer and later in the folk duo Coffee.
A period was spent as a teacher in Spanish Harlem and then as a personal assistant for the editor of Vogue, but by this time he had met Paul Stanley and, after a series of unsuccessful attempts, the two founded Kiss in It was at this point that he adopted the name Gene Simmons. Kiss landed a contract with the fledgling Casablanca label that same year and released their self-titled debut in Two more albums quickly followed, each receiving an increasingly favorable response.
A rigorous touring schedule gradually established a nation-wide following, and by the release of the live set Alive! Simmons' band persona and the band's presentation in general was a clear continuation of his interest in horror and comic books: Bursts of flame and generous amounts of fake blood regularly featured in his performance.
In addition to his duties with Kiss, Simmons began to branch out into other aspects of the entertainment business in the late 70s and early 80s. Ventures into management for singer and former girlfriend Liza Minnelli and producing for Wendy O. Williams were also undertaken. Inevitably, an effort was made to establish himself as an actor; the made-for-TV band movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park effectively opened the door to this new field, and roles for both feature films Runaway, ; Never Too Young To Die, and television Miami Vice occasionally surfaced over the following decade.
With regular changes to the drummer and lead guitarist positions, Kiss remained active for most of the 80s and 90s, armed with a simple formula to restore attention to themselves whenever public attention began to drift: When another slump arrived in the mids, they made a publicity stunt out of putting their make-up back on, resulting in another boost for the album and accompanying tour Psycho Circus A long 'farewell' tour was initiated in , but it remains to be seen whether the band will actually put their cash cow out to pasture for good.
Simmons kept himself very busy outside of Kiss in the 00s: First and foremost, however, he has devoted himself to being as much of an asshole in public as is humanly possible, using both radio and television talk shows as his primary venue.
This fact was celebrated with the release of his second solo album Asshole in Yechiel Witz "Feri", carpenter Mother: