SEX MONEY KISS - book review

Sex Money Kiss
Book by Gene Simmons
Review by Ronnie

"Now, rock-and-roll or, more specifically, being in a rock band is proof positive that God exists. Because in that arena, the women's rules don't apply."

Look out Dr. Phil, there's a new 'head' guru in town. When I first picked up SEX MONEY KISS, I was not expecting a book that resembled one of those late night motivational info-mercials on how to obtain 'wealth and happiness'. The book basically has two subjects: relationships (why you should never get married) and money (how to obtain more). Now, I don't share Mr. Simmons's views of relationships, but it was a very entertaining read on the subject! And every time he said something that might be construed as controversial to the fem-gals, he uses an oft-repeated disclaimer: 'don't blame me, blame God'. Pretty hilarious stuff!

But it is the flip side of Gene's philosophical coin that I found fascinating. He tells why MORE is good and there lies your true happiness: "Many people say money is the root of all evil. That's actually not true. Lack of money is the root of all evil."

I found Mr. Simmons's work ethic simply amazing. He shows through example that dogged determination and a good work ethic is really all you need for success. Gene is pretty much the Thomas Edison of rock marketing. He seems to want to try everything, whether it be acting, magazine publishing, Broadway shows and of course more marketing ideas. But, he insists, "Originality is highly overrated. I don't have an original bone in my body. All I do is take stuff that everybody knows and put it together." And while Simmons really likes to pat himself on the back for his accomplishments, there are a few 'misses' (an example being Simmons Records in general). Like having Van Halen in the palm of your management hand and letting them go.

I also found Gene's observations on rock and roll to be right on the mark: "People think the prerequisite to being in a rock band is a thorough musical education. Here's a shocker: almost all the popular musicians and singers whose CDs you love and buy on a regular basis are probably not only completely oblivious to the notions of music theory, but they most likely can't read or write musical notations either." I also got a chuckle out of his reasoning that, "The appeal of becoming a rock star wasn't simply the access to the female population of the world. It was also the chance to earn more money than God."

Simmons Records logo
There was surprising piece of power-pop musical trivia in the book as well. Those power-pop aficionadoss no doubt are aware of the group TEENAGE FANCLUB's excellent 1991 BANDWAGONESQUE album. Well, it seems that Mr. Simmons had trademarked a bag of money with a dollar sign on it as the logo for SIMMONS RECORDS. When he was made aware of the album, he sent a 'cease and desist' letter to Geffen Records - who in turn cowed down and sent Mr. Simmons a nice chunk-o-change in the form of a check.
Bandwagonesque album

Although Gene's first book, KISS AND MAKE-UP was a New York Times bestseller, SEX MONEY KISS probably won't do as well. A large part of his first book was the stories of KISS and that really appealed to KISS fans (and I'm sure helped it sell). However, while his second book has a few KISS stories, it is probably largely above the head of your average KISS fan (Probably why he thought fit to use the 'autographed limited edition' ploy to try and increase sales). But…I think SEX MONEY KISS has more universal appeal than he first book and shows Gene's.

Would I recommend this book? Yes to read, but no to buy (unless you are a KISS fan that wants the pre-autographed copy). Do you really wanna plunk down your hard earned cash for something you will read just once? Do what I did; check it out at the library. And get ready for a Gene Simmons Dr. Phil-like tour or TV show. Mark my words…

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