August 11, 2006

THIS IS A TEST see if Tommy at Sticks of Fire will link to this barely local post.

Actually, it's an excuse to tell a story that was told to me about Gene Simmons of Kiss.


Back in March, Alan Snel of Bike Stories was still covering sports business for the Tampa Tribune.

Alan went over to St. Petersburg to cover a press conference at the Mahaffey Theatre for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The press conference was held to introduce Gene Simmons as the grand marshal.

Alan navigated his way through the myriad of walkways and pit areas to get to the door of the theatre. As he walks up, he goes to grab for the door at the same time a group is walking up. A man from the group insists on getting the door so everyone can walk through, including Al.

Then Al realizes who the doorman is. It's Gene.

Al says hello, tells Gene he's scheduled to interview him later. They exchange pleasantries.

Then Gene asks dryly, "Did you enjoy that?" referring to the scene at the door.

"Uh, yeah," Alan replies.

"Because that's the last time that will happen for you again," Simmons says.

I told that story to tell you that Gene has a show on A&E called, predictably, "Gene Simmons Family Jewels."


We caught the first show the other night. I have to say we enjoyed it immensely.

The show does all the predictable crap that reality shows do. They set up lame premises for shows. (See Gene's wife, Shannon Tweed, ambush him with a fake wedding during what he thinks is her surprise birthday party!)

But the best part of the show is how the family interacts with each other. Gene desperately wants his sonm Nick to become a rock star. Sophie is the 14-year-old daughter he likely would have slept with on tour had she not been his daughter. Shannon is his "life partner" of 23 years and a former Playmate and girlfriend of Hugh Hefner. And Gene is, well, Gene the old Jew.

His son and daughter desperately love their parents. The parents love the kids. The son has real talent and loads of his father's charisma. The mom dotes on all of them. And all of them take turns puncturing the bloated ego Simmons pulls around like a blimp above their lives.

It's nice to see a reality show where the family gets along and has a great sense of humor. Yeah, they're loaded. Yeah, there's hardly any reality to their lives. But it's a fun half hour of TV that, for once, makes you want more.

For some laughs, check out the show's MySpace page. The video snippets are pretty damn funny.

Posted by Jeff at August 11, 2006 12:08 AM | TrackBack


Posted by: tommy at August 11, 2006 09:32 AM
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