Don't come for KISS! Gene Simmons is still hung up on a bad review from 44 years ago

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KISS got a really bad review in 1974, and Gene Simmons is still not over it.

The outspoken singer and bass player, 68, from the iconic heavy metal — and heavily made up — glam rock band has once again shared a terrible review the group got more than four decades ago. Clearly still irked — but also inspired — by it, he wrote, “44 Years Ago!!!”

The review is from the Seattle Daily Times and is pretty brutal: “I hope the four guys who make up the group, whose names don’t matter, are putting money away for the future. The near future, because KISS won’t be around long.”


You can’t see the author’s name or any other unkind remarks from the story, but according to the website Ultimate Classic Rock, it was written by Patrick MacDonald about the group’s May 25, 1974, stop at the Paramount Northwest, a Seattle venue. It also called KISS “a very flashy glitter band that tries to make up in theatrics what it lacks musically” and said the songs are “strictly on the moron level … made up of a series of simple chords any child could learn and lyrics that are there because they rhyme.” Ouch.

Gene Simmons, left, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer of KISS at the 23rd Annual Race to Erase MS Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 15, 2016. (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Race To Erase MS)
Gene Simmons, left, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer of KISS at the 23rd Annual Race to Erase MS Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 15, 2016. (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Race To Erase MS)

Clearly this review stuck with the star, who has shared it at least once before.


Ultimate Classic Rock also reported that KISS actually put the “putting money away” quote on some of their fan merchandise from their 2000 farewell tour. So not only are they getting the last laugh, but also they’re making money off of the bad review. In fact, a tee cost $30, and they’re still available.

The quote later appeared on merchandise that the band sold during their farewell tour. (Image: kissaddiction.com)
The quote later appeared on merchandise that the band sold during their farewell tour. (Image: kissaddiction.com)

So whatever became of MacDonald? While we like to think that he rocks a T-shirt with his review on it now and then, we do know that he retired in 2008 after 35 years as the Seattle Times music critic and 46 years of covering music in Seattle. In his parting column, he signed off with a KISS quote, of all things: “What am I going to do now? Well, of course, I’m going to rock ’n’ roll all night and party every day!”

Simmons’s 44-year obsession with this bad review serves as a reminder, though, that the brash rocker holds a grudge, which comes as no surprise to many in (and out of) the biz.

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