Why Gene Simmons hates alcohol – but he’ll still sell it to you

Gene Simmons
Liquid assets: Simmons co-launched Rock & Brews in 2012 (Image credit: Getty)

Kiss star Gene Simmons has outlined why he doesn’t think anyone should drink – although he’s happy to sell alcohol via his Rock & Brews bar-restaurant chain.

The bassist and vocalist says he’s never had more than a sip in his life, partly because he decided at a young age to avoid letting his Holocaust-surviving mother down.

Simmons said earlier this year: “She saw her mother walk into the gas chambers. Her whole family was destroyed. My mother was the only one left alive. And she was 14.”

Now he tells the LA Times: “I’m my mother’s only child. I was concerned that I had no right to harm my mother. Life did that enough.”

And there’s another reason: “I literally never drink, privately or publicly. I don’t like the taste or smell of alcohol. I’ve never been drunk in my life and have never taken more than a sip of anything – and I hated it every time. I’ll toast, just to be sociable, but that’s it.”

On the subject of why no one should drink he says: “Life is a race and we’re in constant competition. If you and I are lined up along with 10 other guys, do you think you’ll do better than the guy who’s a little tipsy? The alcohol is not going to help him.

“If you stand still, you’re losing. We have to be like sharks – either you move through the water or you drown.”

But despite his strongly-expressed views on substance use, which have landed him in trouble more than once, Simmons doesn’t feel justified in forcing them on others. His Rock & Brews business, which he co-founded in 2012, sells drinks every day.

“I’m not here to convince anyone of my lifestyle,” he insists. “This is what I want for me. You have to be judge and jury for yourself.”

Kiss are currently touring North America, with one date remaining at Bridgeport Webster Bank Arena, CT, on September 7.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.