KISS bass guitarist Gene Simmons revealed the relationship with his mother as well as sharing the reaction of her when he changed his birth name during a recent appearance on Talking Wax.
Gene was named ‘Chaim Witz’ as he firstborn in 1949 by his parents, but he decided to change his name when he immigrated to the United States at the age of 8, which has become as we know as ‘Gene Simmons.’
In the conversation, Gene mentioned that his mother didn’t say a single word to Gene for changing his birth name and said that she was his moral compass anywhere and anytime.
According to Gene, his mother always cared about the important things, which are mainly being sober, working hard, and having great people around you. In this way, he also showed why his mother didn’t get mad about changing his name.
Gene then pointed out how a strong woman his mother was by saying that she is one of the survivors of the Holocaust, and he also reminded that he learned lots of things about real life from his mother.
“When you changed your name, did your mom ever say anything?”
Gene Simmons said:
“No, my mother was a remarkable human being. She was my moral compass. Anything I learned about life, hard work, all the important things… Not well educated, but her perspective was actually much more important to me than anybody else…
I’m only pausing because it’s very emotional for me. She was 14 years of age when she was in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, so she had points of view about life, hard work, never giving up, and only worrying about the important things.
Whether your room is a mess or whether you have a toy for Christmas, those are not important – your health is important. All those corny things your parents told you about, yeah, they were right, especially your mom.”
“And your friends from school, they’re the fucking morons. You listen to them, ‘Hey, man, let’s go smoke cigarettes… Let’s get high… Let’s go do this.’ They’re idiots.
They’re wrapping fish in some supermarket right now, and that’s fine too, you can do that job as well.
All those high-school jocks who became football players and stuff, one out of a thousand made a career, the rest of them had nothing to fall back on and are working with their hands because they never developed their minds.”
Gene Simmons added:
“My mother always stressed the important things – don’t get high, don’t drink, don’t smoke, work hard, surround yourself with people who are more successful and smarter than you are. That’s a good piece of advice.
Get rid of your loser friends, they’re vampires, they will suck the life out of you, they want things from you.
Be around people who look better than you, go to better places, are smarter, you’ll have something to learn. You’ll learn nothing from the corner winos, nothing.”
You can check out the conversation below.