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Kiss’ Gene Simmons on “Ladies of the Night”

July 11, 2008

simmons.jpgIt’s probably hard to believe — and is also pretty funny – that Gene Simmons, the front man for rock band Kiss (the one with the long tongue who spits blood and fire) has become an author. But it’s easier to fathom when you hear what the book is about: the history of prostitution. 

 Simmons, 58, talked up his “coffee table” book, titled “Ladies of the Night,” on Thursday on the U.S. chat program “The Early Show” on CBS, calling the world’s oldest profession a delicious subject that should not be taboo. But he was quick to note that he was not one to hire the ladies of the night — or day, for that matter. 

“My problem with that is they expect me to pay them. They’re supposed to pay me,” Simmons joked, in response to a question from “Early Show” co-anchor Harry Smith.

simmons21.jpgKiss, of course, is a top-selling rock band that dates back to the 1970s. They dressed in stacked boots, tight costumes and makeup of various characters. They were huge stars in their heyday with the typical female groupies. Simmons wrote the 1977 Kiss song “Plaster Caster,” which basically talks about a guy and his girlfriend, who is making a plaster mold shaped like her boyfriend’s penis. His longtime companion is former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed. They have a U.S. reality TV show with their kids called “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.”

Simmons said his gold-trimmed book, which traces prostitution from the Bible’s Old Testament to the geishas of Japan, is a perfect conversation starter.

“You put it on your coffee table and let the guests in your house find the delicious subject by which to spend the evening talking about,” he said.

In the opening chapter of Simmons’ book — which was released on Monday by Phoenix Books –  he advises simmons5.jpgreaders that his work is not about prostitution’s dark side, which he acknowledged exists. Simmons had another point to make.

“I want people to engage in the dialogue, because this is something everybody knows exists, but in this Puritanical culture that we live in — the remnants of which we are today — we have terrific family values and that’s great, other subject matters are sort of under the rug,” Simmons said.   

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