Skip to main content

Kiss' Gene Simmons on meeting AC/DC's Angus Young for the first time: "He didn't have front teeth"

Gene Simmons of Kiss and AC/DC's Angus Young
(Image credit: Neil Lupin/Redferns via Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In a new interview on Triple M, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons looks back on the first time he met AC/DC guitarist and rock legend Angus Young.

Simmons recalls meeting Young in the 70s, and explains how the Australian rockers became the support act for Kiss in 1977 through to 1978. 

“I saw them playing this really small club in L.A. I happened to be there, and all I remember is being so close to the stage" Simmons says.

“So I’m in the front. And even after the blackouts between songs, there’s Angus just running around on stage – not posing, just kind of feeling it, like somebody in a trance or something. I said, ‘That guy is rock‘n’roll. That guy is real.’”

Simmons then describes meeting Young face to face backstage, recalling how he’d “never forget” how “he didn’t have front teeth.” He continues:  “I guess at that point they couldn’t afford it.”

The pair later went on to a restaurant, where Simmons claims Young’s lack of front chompers became all the more beguiling. “We went to a place called Mel’s Diner, which is in some parts of the world really famous," he says. "I’ll never forget it, Angus asked for a frankfurter – instead of a hot dog – and beets.

“And I’ll never forget, Angus picked up the hot dog without the bun and started biting into it on the sides of his mouth because the two front teeth were missing.

“And I said to him – I can still remember most of the conversation – ‘You guys are great. I’m gonna make some calls. You’re going out on tour with us.'”

In other Kiss-related news, frontman Paul Stanley opened up in the latest issue of Classic Rock about the band soon to be calling it quits, stating: “We just can’t continue to do this for much longer. Though once it wasn’t, age is now a factor. Once upon a time it was about will, but now we are running around on stage wearing fifty pounds of gear.”  However, Stanley promises that Kiss will be signing off with a "mind-boggling" show for UK fans at Download 2020.

For the full interview, you can grab a copy of Classic Rock magazine, which is on sale now.