Tag Archives: gene simmons


Stellar L.A. bands Dina Dover and The Band Called Sex are proving Gene Simmons wrong.

Music icon Gene Simmons caused a stir with rock and rollers in the recent past when he proclaimed that rock and roll is dead.

The outspoken Demon was referring to the fact that modern rock radio simply doesn’t have any decent new rock bands that seem like they will stand the test of time like KISS did, and Van Halen, Motley Crue, and other legendary bands from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s (and a few from the ’90s) who we all still listen to today.

LOCALS ONLY: Whisky welcomes back original rock from L.A.’s best new bands.

While we’d never refute the legendary Demon’s opinion on such an important topic, there is a good sign that rock and roll may not necessarily be dead. Proof of life is found at the Whisky A Go-Go, where we recently took in a set by the totally awesome L.A. ’80s tribute band Fast Times.

On a random Monday night, as we were checking out the two local bands opening the show, Dina Dover and The Band Called Sex, we were stoked by the rock and roll authenticity of both bands, whose original songs were memorable, catchy, and rocked hard without any bit of pretentiousness or gimmickry.

Plus, you could see and hear obvious influences of the likes of The Go-Go’s, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath in the performances by these new young bands that played straightforward melodic original rock and roll that the crowd seemed to really appreciate.

I WANT YOUR SEX: The Band Called Sex rocks the Whisky.

The two bands that supported Fast Times, Dina Dover and The Band Called Sex, had the 40 or 50 people in attendance riveted to their music as they banged their heads, bopped to the beat, and cheered on the bands as if they were watching Aerosmith. It was a sight to behold, especially after post-pandemic L.A. nightlife had been stagnant for so long.

The Band Called Sex delivered some badass, unpretentious original rock and roll that echoed of the bluesy grooves of Led Zeppelin and the powerhouse pipes of Ronnie James Dio but delivered with a straightforward musicality all its own.

ROCK N’ ROLL THRILLER: Dina Dover’s fun, edgy tunes had the house transfixed.

Dina Dover followed TBCS and the excellent band may look like a misfit group of high schoolers who just stepped out of The Breakfast Club, but when they jam together, it’s magic–a marvelous cohesive rock and roll sound that is slick, edgy, and instantly catchy. If The Go-Go’s ever got together with Blink 182, this could be their love child.

Plus, any rock band that opens their set with a fantastic cover of Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller,” automatically gets a gold star in our book. It’s not easy to make an MJ song your own, but they did it effortlessly.

HEY, I KNOW THAT DUDE! Fast Times brings the awesome ’80s to Sunset.

The memorable evening at the Whisky A Go-Go was an authentic music moment that was goosebump inducing because it seemed to be a noticeable, pivotal moment where music fans were in the mood to get their faces rocked off and they were certainly getting exactly that on this random Monday night on the Sunset Strip.

This musical experience was all about being moved by the entire enormity and majesty of this rockin’ showcase of original music that was followed by Fast Times’ incredible spot-on covers of the best rock songs of the ’80s by bands like Def Leppard and Van Halen.

So, with all due respect to the mighty Demon, rock may be on its last breath, but it is being resuscitated nightly at the corner of Sunset and Clark, where you could still rock and roll all night and party everyday. And for that we’ll forever be grateful.


Gene Simmons- Main

Book Soup offers KISS fans chance to snag Gene Simmons’ autograph.

Multi-talented KISS legend Gene Simmons‘ new Harper Collins book, On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power, is set to hit bookshelves on Nov. 14.

The prolific author’s self-help/business guide is a follow up to Simmons’ best-selling 2014 tome, Me, Inc. and will set you back about $16.

Fans pre-ordering On Power through West Hollywood’s Book Soup, however, will get an added bonus for the same price. Select copies pre-ordered from the Sunset Strip book shop will be autographed by the Demon himself and are set to land in the store on Nov. 14. Book Soup is one of only two booksellers worldwide offering the limited-edition signed bookplates.

To pre-order On Power, visit or contact Book Soup, at 8818 Sunset Blvd.



By David Ciminelli

There’s a growing roster of superstar rockers who are sounding off, sometimes onstage and sometimes off, about their preferred choice for the next President of the United States. Still on the fence? Check out what some of your favorite rockers are proclaiming about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton‘s race for the White House.


Infamously outspoken KISS frontman Gene Simmons is never one to mince his words. During a KISS concert earlier this year in Eugene, Oregon, while handling vocals on the killer KISS classic “I Love It Loud,” Simmons improvised a request to the capacity crowd: “Vote Trump!”

Earlier this year, Simmons told Rolling Stone: “Trump is not a politician. He does not need your money, and he will speak his mind, God damn it, whether you like it or not. And he has no problem saying ‘F*ck off.’

“I like that, even if I disagree,” said Simmons.


rutgers-clinton-joviBON JOVI’S JON BON JOVI

He’s with her.

“I pray that [Hillary Clinton]’s going to win,” Jon Bon Jovi told the U.K. site I News in a recent interview. And the Bon Jovi frontman has been trying to make that prayer come through by showing his support loud and clear and rocking the stages of recent Clinton campaign stops in New York, Florida and North Carolina. JBJ, who famously played at Barack Obama‘s inauguration, was joined at a recent Clinton event by fellow rock legend Paul McCartney.



Thrash metal legend Dave Mustaine has been vocal in the press about his decision to remain mum on exactly who he will be voting for on November 8. The Megadeth frontman, however, has made it very clear who he won’t be voting for.

“Am I a Donald Trump fan? Well, he’s a very successful businessman, Am I gonna vote for him? That’s none of your business,” Mustaine said in response to a fan inquiry during an interview on Periscope last summer. “And if I did, I wouldn’t tell you,” he added. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t tell you. I can tell you one thing: I am not voting for Hillary.”



Judging by his prolific tweets, metal legend Nikki Sixx isn’t exactly pleased with either Presidential candidate, asking fans on Twitter: “So, which devil are you voting for?” And not too long ago, the Sixx A.M. bassist pontificated online during the last Presidential debate: “Why don’t we have random drug testing for the Presidential debates?”

The hit-making Motley Crue founder also vigorously dumped on Trump many times. In September, Sixx tweeted: “If Trump becomes president your children will die because he will cause a world war that will hit American soil.”


ted nugent.jpgTED NUGENT

Motor City Madman Ted Nugent took to Facebook last summer to offer up a 14-item list of reasons to vote for “The Donald.” Primarily, the list reasoned that Trump is top choice after considering those who are opposed to the Presidential hopeful, like “the Pope” and “hateful, racist, violent Liberals.”


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Hard-rockin’ hip-hopper and self-proclaimed “Bullgod” Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie is raisin’ his fists in support of one particular candidate, telling Rolling Stone: “I’m digging Trump…I fell like a lot of people…if you get Hillary…there’s going to be the same sh-t [as Obama]…My feeling: Let the motherf–king business guy run it like a f–king business. And his campaign been entertaining as sh-t.”


Sunset and Clark


KISS AliveEver since the first time I heard the incredible, amp-shaking, adrenalin-pumping sounds of heavy metal–courtesy of a neighbor introducing me to KISS Alive in fifth grade–I have relied on metal music as a mood adjuster.

I crank up good ol’ hard rock to try to block out the world at times when it’s just not making sense, like when the daily headlines are over-crowded with news about riots, the recession, natural disasters and Miley Cyrus.

Miley CyrusOver the years I have maintained a mental list of deeply therapeutic heavy metal mood setters that have always helped to make things feel a whole lot better when they just weren’t feeling right with the state of the  modern world.

Here’s a list of Sunset & Clark’s five all-time greatest hard and heavy classics for dealing with any challenging situation.

“When the world keeps trying to drag me down,
I’ve gotta raise my hands, gonna stand my ground.”

When it comes to perfectly crafted feel-good anthems, Jon Bon Jovi is the grand messiah of mainstream metal. And while kick-ass classics like “It’s My Life,” “Everyday” and “Keep the Faith” are stellar and inspiring tracks that always provide an intrinsic kick, Bon Jovi‘s title track to 2005’s Have a Nice Day is hands down one of the best and most bad ass songs in the band’s expansive catalog.

Make this track the ringer for your cell’s alarm clock app and you’re virtually guaranteed to wake up empowered and ready to face the day.


“Never cared for what they say.
Never cared for games they play.
Never cared for what they do.
Never cared for what they know.
And I know.”

In HBO’s Paradise Lost doc on the West Memphis Three, the mom of Jessie Misskelley, Jr., one of the accused teens, was asked how she held on to her sanity when her innocent son was being held in jail for three child murders. She revealed that she and Jessie sang Metallica‘s “Nothing Else Matters” to one another during jail visits.

Metallica’s 1991 track from The Black Album also works well in buffering bad moods during those times when you’re forced to deal with your own less dramatic drama.


“Express yourself in the face of change.
Repress yourself, you surely seal your fate.
You got to look inside; the answer lies in wait.
Resurrect before it’s too late.”

Like Bon Jovi, the guys in Poison are also metal masters at crafting empowering anthems that inspire equal parts self-reflection and some serious fist pumping, like “Something to Believe In” and “Cry Tough.”

Should you ever find your personal integrity challenged, however, it’s the Sunset Strip-launched band’s timeless track “Stand,” from 1993’s Native Tongue, that will super-charge your confidence and make you wanna unskinny bop all night long!


“Don’t need to wait for an invitation;
You gotta live like you’re on vacation.”

Ever have a bad day that seemed to last a week? Overwhelmed by the daily grind? Fortunately, when times get tough there’s always KISS to remind us all that “it ain’t a crime to be good to yourself” in the killer KISS classic “Lick It Up.”

Vinnie Vincent‘s scorching guitar attack, Eric Carr‘s full-throttle percussion and KISS’ early ’80s harder edged sound effortlessly power up a universal ode about learning to appreciate and enjoy the here and now.

The 1983 track from KISS’ eleventh album of the same name is not only one of the most powerful feel-good gems in the band’s catalog, it’s also one of the greatest classics in the history of heavy metal.


“There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today.
The light bulb’s gettin dim.
There’s meltdown in the sky…”

Rock legend Steven Tyler penned 1993’s “Living on the Edge” in response to the ’92 L.A. Riots, and over 20 years later, the Aerosmith classic still holds up as a reliable and rockin’ reminder that you’re not the only who sometimes feels like you just can’t stop yourself from falling. And through it all, Tyler stands tough and declares: “We can tell ’em no or we could let it go, but I would rather be a hanging on.” Guess there’s still reason to dream on.



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vince-neilMotley Crue singer Vince Neil didn’t need any acting classes before stepping into the role of heavy metal singer Bobby Black, ill-fated frontman of Black Plague, in Andrew Dice Clay‘s big-screen comedy The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. The Dice Man, an avowed rock ‘n’ roll junkie, also invited a few of his other famous rock star friends to appear in the 1990 flick, including Sunset Strip refugees like legendary Brit bassist Phil Soussan and drummer Randy Castillo, who have both played on some of Ozzy’s greatest albums, and Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazzo. Neil tapped his real-life band to punch up the film’s soundtrack with the Crue classic “Rock ‘N’ Roll Junkie.”




carrey-dead-poolSeemingly possessed by Ozzy, Axl, Mick Jagger and Michael JacksonJim Carrey is brilliantly bad but entertaining to watch as a faux Axl Rose covering “Welcome to the Jungle” in the 1988 Clint Eastwood flick The Dead Pool. Fortunately, it’s the original Guns N’ Roses band that steps in to add some credibility to the flick and steal the spotlight with a brief bit in the cop drama. Axl, Duff McKagan, Slash, Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin are featured in a funeral scene mourning the murder of Carrey’s Axl character.




OzzyThe only thing scary about the 1986 horror flick Trick or Treat, about a vengeful rock star zombie, is that the film was ever made. Saving the low-budget, bizarrely directed 1986 movie from being a total waste of film are guest appearances by rock legends Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons.

Ozzy’s appearance in Trick or Treat is not as memorable as his stint in the 1997 blockbuster Private Parts, featuring the P.O.F.D. famously calling Howard Stern a “f**king jerk,” but it is worth a watch. Ozzy is in fine comedic form again in a tongue-in-cheek cameo that sees the sometimes Black Sabbath frontman taming his famous locks and adopting a clean-cut persona to play an evangelist ranting about dirty lyrics in heavy metal music. Talk about art imitating life!

Gene Simmons has been moonlighting in Hollywood for awhile, including co-starring alongside Tom Selleck in the 1984 feature film Runaway. However, if you ever thought that Simmons could never make a film worse than the 1978 TV movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, think again. The rock bassist and “God of Thunder” singer puts his famous deep vocals to work in another capacity in Trick or Treat , playing a creepy-cool rock radio DJ. Looking like the bastard offspring of Ted Nugent and Merle Haggard, Simmons sports a leather cowboy hat and Wolfman Jack-like growl as a disc jockey enlisted to help battle a troublesome zombie musician. Where’s the KISS Army when you need it?

Continue reading ROCK N’ ROLE




Gene SimmonsOne of the world’s most famous American immigrants, legendary rocker Gene Simmons is sounding off on a controversial political topic that is dividing the nation: immigration reform.

In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, the famously quotable rock superstar bizarrely goes off topic while answering a fan’s question about the band’s longevity. Simmons brings up his immigrant past before seguing into a speech on immigration, and he doesn’t hold back while giving advice to illegal immigrants seeking success in America: “Learn to speak goddamn English…and get legal.”

“I’m actually saying the thing that needs to be said because the politically-correct climate is bullshit,” Simmons says unapologetically in the Huff Post Live video interview before kicking into a near-10-minute dissertation on his views on immigration reform and the current influx of illegals into U.S. border states, including the New Yorker’s adopted home state of California.

‘As an immigrant, I’m telling you: Learn to speak goddamn English…If you make the effort then all the possibilities of this culture will open up for you & give you all the rewards that I’ve gotten.’



“[Immigrants] have an inferred fiduciary duty to learn English, like I did, be a legal immigrant, like I am…make the effort to learn the culture, assimilate…agree to one culture that we can all communicate with and then go off and [speak] however you wanna talk,” Simmons advises.

“You don’t want to upset anybody by saying, ‘Learn to speak goddamn English,'” he adds. “So, as an immigrant, I’m telling you: Learn to speak goddamn English. It is the key that will unlock the keys to the Kingdom. If you make the effort then all the possibilities of this [American] culture will open up for you and give you all the rewards that I’ve gotten.”

gene-simmons-la-kiss-footballSimmons, who emigrated from Israel to Queens in 1949 at age 8, has done more than most moguls in helping to stimulate the American economy, especially in California, with his seemingly unstoppable KISS empire. In addition to the arena-selling band and countless related merchandise, the KISS enterprise also includes coffee houses, rock-themed restaurants, books, reality shows and, most recently, the launch of the Los Angeles-based LA KISS arena football team and its related reality show, 4th & Loud.

gene-simmons-me-incThe self-made mega-mogul and New York Times best-selling author, who has a new advice book out this fall titled Me, Inc., has never shied away from addressing political and social issues in the media, usually with unrestrained candor and brilliant sarcasm and regardless of any concerns over ruffling a “politically-correct climate.” And now, it’s great to see this unwavering American hero tackling tough topical issues while also graciously offering fellow immigrants sound advice on how to secure the “American Dream.”

Check out the full Huff Post Live interview here.





kiss-sunset400-1Rock legends Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley tower over the Sunset Strip’s Rock Row in a hot new billboard hyping the founding KISS members’ latest project: the premiere of the AMC reality TV show 4th and Loud, which goes behind the scenes of the L.A. KISS arena football team.

kiss-billboard-original-400The billboard, which features Simmons and Stanley sans their iconic makeup, sits above Aahs! at Sunset and San Vicente and overlooks the Whisky A Go-Go.

It’s great to see KISS in the WeHo ‘hood again following the unveiling of the band’s billboard for John Varvatos that lit up La Cienega earlier this year.

High Notes

“KISS crack? Not such a good idea. Even if you spell the crack with a ‘K.'”

Gene Simmons, deciding that there is at least one thing he won’t market to the KISS Army! (Billboard)