The veteran rockers are bringing their stage career to an end with the finale of their “End of the Road Tour” at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Dec. 2, but Gene is open to the “Detroit Rock City” group handing over the “baton” and having younger talent continue under the band’s name.
Gene, 74, told Rolling Stone, “You want to go out while you’re on top. And remember, we introduce ourselves with, ‘You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest mofo band on the planet, KISS.’ At some point, those words are not going to mean very much, when I’m in my rocket-propelled wheelchair with a hot nurse pushing me around.”
Asked if he would allow other musicians to keep the band going, he replied, “I’m totally open to that idea. Why not pass the baton, pass the crown to four new, young people who are deserving?”
Beyond their final show, a KISS biopic is said to be heading to Netflix in 2024. The band’s manager, Doc McGhee, revealed the film, which was first talked about in 2021, will follow the first four years of the glam metal legends.
The “Rock and Roll All Nite” rockers formed in New York City in 1973, with a lineup comprising Paul Stanley (vocals, rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals, bass), Ace Frehley (lead guitar, vocals), and Peter Criss (drums, vocals).
Speaking on The Rock Experience with Mike Brunn, Doc said: “It’s a biopic about the first four years of KISS. 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 .”
The confirmation comes after it was reported that Netflix had all but signed a deal for a biopic called Shout It Out Loud.
Deadline reported at the time that the movie will focus on the story of Gene and Paul meeting in Queens in New York and forming the band with Ace and Peter.
Joachim Rønning was said to be on to direct with a script from Ole Sanders, who was working from an earlier draft penned by William Blake Herron.
However, it’s not known if that’s still the case.
The biopic won’t be short of material, Gene grew up as a Hasidic Orthodox Jew and attended the Jewish religious school, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, before transferring to a public school and attending colleges in the Big Apple.
The 73-year-old rocker once recalled: “I remember walking out onto the street, seeing this Spanish girl jumping rope across the street, and staring at her long black hair slapping against this great butt. It occurred to me this was better than religion. How could I get near that?”
He’d later choose the stage name Gene Simmons in homage to the rockabilly star Jumpin’ Gene Simmons.
While they both have their differences, the pair shared the desire to join a band to attract attention from the ladies.
Paul, 71, previously recalled, “I was deaf in one ear and had a slight deformity that made me look different. I was this short, fat kid, and music became my salvation, a place to hide and dream. And when I played music, there were always girls around.”
Since forming, the “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” rockers have sold more than 75 million records worldwide. The four original members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
KISS now comprises Gene, Paul, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
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Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner