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Simmons calls ex-KISS bandmates crack addicts, losers

Published July 25, 2014 12:19 pm

TV • AMC's "4th and Loud" chronicles AFL team L.A. KISS.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Beverly Hills, Calif. • Paul Stanley is kind of crude and nowhere near as funny as he thinks he is. Gene Simmons is kind of blunt.

OK, he's kind of a jerk.

The two original members of KISS appeared before the members of the Television Critics Association to promote their upcoming AMC series "4th and Loud," which premieres Aug. 4. It's about their Arena Football League team, the Los Angeles KISS. Stanley got things rolling by opening up with a crude masturbation joke.

The biggest problem — it wasn't funny.

Simmons, on the other hand, took the opportunity to be particularly blunt and cruel about the other two original members of KISS, who long ago left the band.

Asked why he and Stanley are there and Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are not, Simmons replied, "Well, why did you dump your best friend who became a crack addict and a loser?"

He said it without any hint of a smile. It may have been an attempt at humor, but no one laughed.

"Any team is only as good as the members on it," Simmons continued. "We started all for one, one for all, four knuckleheads off the streets of New York, who decided to put together a band they saw onstage. And we love and respect those guys for what they did at the outset of the band.

"And they succumbed to the cliché of clichés, which is drugs and alcohol. Are you kidding me? So if you are going to pass the ball to your teammate and they can't see where the goal is, they've got to leave."

Stanley was a little less blunt.

"There were people who were involved with this band who, along the way, have fallen by the wayside," he said. "Being in the band from the beginning is not a birthright for you to stay there. If you no longer can uphold your end or live up to really the stature that we set for ourselves in the beginning, if you are compromised by drugs or alcohol, if you've lost sight of how lucky we are to be in this position, then you no longer deserve to wear the uniform."

Nobody was questioning that. The question was actually about how Simmons and Stanley have managed to remain focused, not about what Criss' and Frehley's failings were.

Simmons, however, continued to bang away at his ex-bandmates.

"Do you have a car?" he asked. "Do you ever get a flat tire? What did you do? The whole car stopped because one flat tire decided that the car shouldn't go anywhere, or did you change the flat tire?"

The answer, of course, was that you change the flat tire.

"Wow, you are just like us," Simmons deadpanned.

Again, nobody actually asked why Criss and Frehley were dropped from KISS.

Maybe it's just Simmons' sense of humor. Maybe he didn't intend it to come off as mean-spirited as it did. Maybe he's oblivious, like when he made an attempt at humor involving Michael Vick and dog fighting.

According to Simmons, the L.A. KISS "reached out our hand to Tim Tebow. We would have loved to have had him on the team. Here's a guy that doesn't torture dogs, is religious and is a family man. Why wouldn't you want him on your team instead of some guy who is now, by the way, the darling of the media, who isn't torturing the dog today and isn't another guy who is not allegedly up for murder? Give me a break."

The "murderer" comment appeared to be a reference to Aaron Hernandez.

Wow. Interesting sense of humor.

Tebow, by the way, wasn't interested, although, according to Simmons, "The door is still open. We would love to have him here."