KISS’ Gene Simmons has revealed the effects of his father leaving him on his personality in an interview by The Independent.
Gene Simmons, also known by his stage persona The Demon, is the bassist and co-lead singer of the band KISS. He co-founded the band in the early 1970s along with Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, and is still making musical efforts with KISS.
As you might know, the rock icon didn’t have a normal childhood. Back on August 25, 1949, Simmons was born as Chaim Witz at Rambam Hospital in Israel. His mother Florence experienced the horrors of Nazi concentration camps and survived the holocaust. Additionally, his father was a carpenter and they were quite poor.
Simmons spent most of his time playing his guitar and began to pick fruits and sell them on roadsides to make money for his family when he was seven. When he was eight, he and his mother immigrated to the States and settled in NYC. However, Simmons’ father stayed in Israel and took care of his other son and three daughters.
Following these incidents, Simmons began his musical career with his first band Lynx. In January 1973, he co-founded the iconic rock band KISS and enjoyed commercial success with the band up until now. Today, the musician has a net worth of $400 million.
Speaking about his successful career in KISS and his personality traits, Simmons claimed that being abandoned by his father affected his ‘big ego.’ He said that his father left them and his mother worked six days a week due to that. The musician then described his mother as his moral compass while stating his mother always told him he is going to be great.
Gene Simmons told The Independent that:
“I understand that I have a big ego, and it has a lot to do with being abandoned by my father. We were. It’s not unique. Men have a shameful history of just picking up and walking out of their families. My mother worked all the time, six days a week. She was my moral compass. From her point of view, to think of humanity in any way positively, after being in a German concentration camp at age 14? You have to be a superior human being.
I would not think highly of humanity in that situation, the way my mother did. She used to tell me: ‘You’re going to do great things.’ You’re starting to smile because you see a joke coming, but my mother doesn’t lie to me. She said I was going to be great, and I am fucking great.”
Although Simmons didn’t have a quite happy childhood, it seems he stayed strong with the help of his mother. Today, he is playing for KISS, one of the most successful bands in the rock music scene.