It's in bad taste to speak ill of the dead, but KISS bassist Gene Simmons is not one for tact. This is the same guy making idiotic statements about N.W.A. not belonging in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But his latest comments, on the tragic passing of beloved icon Prince seemed to go over the line. While many other rock stars were paying tribute to the Purple One, Simmons was not as kind with his words. Speaking to Newsweek, he said:
“Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness. All the other ones were a choice.” Even Prince? “His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?”
Prince was found dead with prescription painkillers on his person, and it is believed that he was dealing with addiction for a long time, although Prince's lawyer has denied such claims. Simmons continued:
“I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you… but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
Gene qualifies this by saying he's never drank or taken drugs, so everybody should follow his lead:
I’ve never been high or drunk in my life. I have to validate that: Except in a dentist’s chair where they knock you out. I’ve never been high or drunk. I don’t care if anybody believes it or not. It’s just a personal life choice. I can almost understand drinking or getting high if it made my schmeckel bigger, or made me smarter, but nothing happens.
Simmons made the first reference to "schmeckel" (a Yiddish euphemism for penis) I've heard since my grandma passed away. Simmons, here, is sounding like a 15-year-old who just decided that he's straight edge, he's sounding like an elitist jerk. It was so bad, his bandmate and fellow KISS co-founded immediately apologized on Gene's behalf:
Embarrassed by cold clueless statements re Prince's death. Without all the facts better to say nothing. My apologies https://t.co/Arb5XQ4o7l
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) May 10, 2016
Clearly Paul understands what most of us do… drug addiction is a disease that can bring down the strongest of us.
Clearly, somebody else in the Simmons household had the common sense to sit Gene down and let him know what a gigantic asshole he is being, because earlier today, he tweeted a proper apology.
I enjoy the PS noting not to believe clickbait headlines, when there is no possible way to take his idiotic quote out of context.
Gene Simmons, class act.