Gene Simmons on Prince’s Death & Lady Gaga’s Rock Star Status

Gene Simmons, and the rest of KISS, are truly legends in the rock scene, and have seen the coming and going of many, many musicians and stars. In a recent interview with Yahoo Music, Gene discussed many things: including the passing of Prince, and how Lady Gaga is apparently “the only rock star of the last few years”.

When he was asked about Prince, he had this to say: “I knew Prince a little bit. In the Diana Ross days I took her down to see Prince, so I very informally knew the man. He was a tremendous talent, amazing. But drugs are drugs, and we’re in a permissive culture and everything’s getting legalised every day.”

“People say it’s sad when people die and kill themselves because of drugs. I don’t think it’s sad. I think it’s a choice. When you get run over by a truck, that’s sad. Your life is taken from you. But when you engage in drugs, you play with fire and you’re gonna get burned.”

As we all know 2016 is seemingly the year of loss, where we have seen several legends in music and acting pass away, leaving their legacies behind. Some are turning to the future, and looking for next big “rock stars” to fill those big shoes, and inspire future generations with their works.

Gene gave his thoughts on who might step forward into those shoes: “I said an incendiary thing a while back that really pissed off rock fans. But I see Lady Gaga as the only rock star of the last few years.”

“What I mean by that is if she ditched the disco boys and the poles and the pop tracks, she really does have the musical goods and stage presence — outrageous kind of stuff — to be a kind of a female Elton [John].”

“In the days when he was playing stadiums, Elton would come out dressed as a duck, or whatever, and it was cool rock stuff. I’d like to see Gaga with a rock band. She’s made her fortune in the disco world. I’m not a fan of that stuff. I think it’s manufactured. It’s done well. It’s not my taste. I’d love to see he with two guitars, drums, and bass in back of her. I think she would rock it. But I’ve also been crucified for saying rock is dead.”

“Well, I ask you this. Between 1958 and 1988 — that’s 30 years — the iconic, classic, historical figures included Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix. You can go on and on and on.”

“And in the ‘70s, you had Aerosmith, Kiss, Pink Floyd. In the early ‘80s, you had U2 and even with the disco stuff you’ve got Madonna, Michael Jackson, Motown. It just goes on and on. Now, from 1988 until today, give me the new Elvis or Beatles?”

Who would you put forward for that spot? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.