Gene Simmons Doesn’t Drink or Do Drugs Because of His Mother
The famously alcohol- and drug-free Gene Simmons revealed the reason he's been able to avoid those particular pitfalls throughout his career.
He said he didn't want to put his mother through more pain than she had already experienced. Flora Klein, who died in December 2018 at the age of 93, was a Hungarian-born Jew who survived the Holocaust.
"I'm my mother's only child," Simmons told the Los Angeles Times in a new interview. "I was concerned I had no right to harm my mother. Life did that enough."
The Kiss bassist said he doesn't consume any alcohol, even on social occasions. "I literally never drink," he said. "Privately or publicly. I simply don't like the taste or the smell of anything with alcohol in it. I have never been drunk in my life and have never taken more than a sip of anything, and hated it every time. I will toast just to be social, but that's it."
Last October, Simmons published 27: The Legend & Mythology of the 27 Club, which looked at rockers who died at the age of 27 after years of substance abuse. The book explored the lives of Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and others "without giving credence to the romanticized idea that being in the ‘club’ is somehow a perverse privilege." Simmons believes staying straight is a major reason he's been so successful.
"Life is a race and we're in constant competition," he told the Los Angeles Times, giving the example of "you and I are lined up along with 10 other guys, do you think you'll do better than the guy who is a little tipsy? Because the alcohol is not going to help him. ... If you stand still, you're losing. We have to be like sharks. Either you move through the water or you drown."
In March 2018, Simmons accepted a position as Chief Evangelist Officer for Invictus, a Canadian cannabis company. He admitted he had been "dismissive of cannabis ... because of ignorance and arrogance. About three years ago, when I did my own research, I found out astonishing new information that doctors and researchers were talking about with regards to cannabis.”