In the latest issue of Goldmine print magazine (Oct-Nov 2022), KISS bassist Gene Simmons admits he has a hoarding problem.
"Did you ever see the TV show Hoarders, where these sad people just find it impossible to throw away anything," Simmons tells Goldmine's Ken Sharp, "so, literally their homes are filled from floor to ceiling with God knows what? If they go to McDonald’s to eat, they leave the sandwich with the wrapper and everything else is left in the living room and it piles up.
"So I’m sort of a Gene Simmons hoarder," Simmons continues. "I’m surprised I’ve thrown away the toilet paper I wiped my ass with because I kept everything. And over time, like many things, the value of things you thought were unimportant goes up."
But Simmons has given much of his private collection to a new KISS museum venture called KISS World (at The Rio in Las Vegas). Co-owner of KISS World (and KISS by Monster Mini Golf), Christina Vitagliano, explains: "I think when Gene sold his house in Beverly Hills and moved to a different home, by the time he bought another home with his wife, Shannon, it occurred to him that his amazing KISS collection should be seen by the public."
Vitagliano continues: "It blew me away when I started looking at all this stuff because this is somebody who had the foresight 50 years ago to say to himself, 'I am going to keep and collect every single thing that has anything to do with KISS.' He started collecting stuff from day one. Who has ever done that? So I got to the end of the day and I called Gene and I said, 'I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think anybody has ever done what you did here. I don’t even know if you realize how amazing this is,' and I continue to keep unboxing things from his collection."
So, unlike the unlucky hoarders you see on television, Simmons' obsession paid off in the end.
And surely Simmons' wife Shannon is happy to see all the KISS 'clutter' gone from the Simmons household?
"Yes," laughs Simmons. "That goes for any Star Wars fan or action-figure fan or (fan of) anything else. Your beloved, the girl you share the space with, isn’t happy. She likes furniture and clothing; of course, if you go into her closet, there are hundreds of pairs of shoes, some of which she won’t wear ever but, well, that’s a different story."
Simmons continues: "Sad to see it go from my place, but happy that the fans are actually going to be able to see it because what’s anything you do if you can’t share it with people and let them see it and enjoy it. It’s like painters: I guess if you paint a painting, I guess you could do it just for yourself, and you’re hanging in your living room. But of course, you get more pleasure when somebody comes and visits you and says, 'Oh, that’s a nice painting.' 'Oh, you really like it? I did it.'”
For more on KISS World, go HERE