The truth behind Gene Simmons' arrest for allegedly 'mooning' a Kiss audience: "I went offstage to adjust my jockstrap..."

Gene Simmons
(Image credit: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

He may rejoice in the very rock 'n' roll nickname The Demon, but in many ways, Kiss bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons is a model citizen: the 73-year-old musician doesn't drink, has never got high, pays his taxes, and was arrested only once in his life... and this, he says, was a misunderstanding.

Simmons explained what happened in a 1997 interview with US magazine Details.

"I spent three hours in jail in Birmingham, Alabama in 1986," he revealed. "I went offstage to adjust my jockstrap, pulling my pants down, and apparently there’s an ordinance in Birmingham that says the south lost, the north won, we’re still mad. The cops were apologizing the whole way in.

"The headline in the paper the next day said 'Gene Simmons Moons Audience', You should be so lucky to take a look at my beautiful ass!"

Simmons gave a little more detail on the incident on his personal website in 2008, in response to a fan query about the arrest, saying that he had merely "adjusted the fruit" in his trousers... the 'fruit' here being a euphemism.

"I wore Spandex/or something like that. And, I 'felt discomfort', so I ambled off to the right hand side of the stage, and I reached into my pants and 'adjusted' the fruit," he wrote. "I was arrested for an hour and then released. It's a law of some kind in Alabama. The cops couldn't have been nicer (respect the law!!! and those who risk their lives to protect you!!!), I must add."

The only confusion here - apart from the discrepancy in the duration of said arrest -- is that Kiss don't appear to have played in Birmingham in 1986: they did, however, play the city's Boutwell Memorial Auditorium on January 18, 1985 on the Animalize World Tour, so perhaps that may have been the fateful night in question.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the louder-than-life New York quartet 's legacy is to be preserved in Shout It Out Loud, a biopic coming to Netflix in 2024.

In a new episode of The Rock Experience with Mike Brunn, Kiss' long-term manager Doc McGhee confirmed that the biopic is on its way.

"It’s a biopic about the first four years of Kiss," McGhee reveals, as reported by "We’re just starting it now. We’ve already sold it, it’s already done, we have a director, McGhee [Entertainment]. That’s moving along and that’ll come in ’24."

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.