Gene Simmons: Legit or Pantomime Hack?

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Rotorhead, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Rotorhead

    Rotorhead Senior Member

    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    823
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Gene Simmons has had easily one of the most recognizable roles in rock and roll over the past 45 years or so. Many of the songs he's written or co-written have stood the test of time as rock solid hits. Love him or hate him, his persona is locked into rock history forever.

    However, this isn't about his persona, it's about his ability and standing as a legit bass player and his place amongst his peers. He's never really been placed up there with many of the classic greats on any list, and rightfully so when compared to such names as Squire, Jones, Entwhistle or Bruce. But, is it fair to even make those comparisons?

    To me, he's hugely underrated in terms of being a solid foundational rock and roll bassist, especially in the context of their first 8 albums (including the two live releases). His riffs and songs, while certainly simple, were the basis of many solid rock songs.

    But, who to compare him to? Is he any less of a player than, say, Pete Way? Geezer Butler? Maybe even in terms of the bass riffs of a Tom Hamilton or Phil Lynott?

    It's kind of hard to compare his playing to many others, simply because his role was often overshadowed by the circus act that was their show.

    Just where would you place his playing within the context of rock and roll history?
     

    Attached Files:

    Jer, bulletproof and Howard2k like this.
  2. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

    Messages:
    27,092
    Likes Received:
    43,782
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Gene wrote some fun songs. Virtuoso doesn't come to mind. Asshole does.

     
    Gtarzan81, Gmal, Heppe and 13 others like this.
  3. scott 351 wins

    scott 351 wins Senior Member

    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    I think he was a solid player in his prime.
     
  4. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Silver Supporter Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,547
    Likes Received:
    16,489
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    The biggest ass clown of all of the makeup wannabe musicians. LOL. Hope that answers your question.
     
  5. Rotorhead

    Rotorhead Senior Member

    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    823
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Not really. But I can see that lol
     
    bulletproof and freebyrd 69 like this.
  6. Howard2k

    Howard2k Premium Member

    Messages:
    17,947
    Likes Received:
    24,601
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    I think of Gene as a competent bass player.
    To be honest though, I can't really think of any "stand out" bass players off hand. A good bass player in my book holds the groove and timing, it doesn't need to be flashy and ballsy.

    Flea, for example, might be a great bass player, technically, but I just don't get a lot of enjoyment from it. I think he's over done.

    Two bass instances that really stick out to me and make me consider picking up bass:

    (2:30)
    and

    (1:30)
     
  7. MikeyTheCat

    MikeyTheCat Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    10,960
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Like my Dead Dive I went through the entire KISS catalog just to see why some are rabid about them, and I have to say I was surprised by Gene’s playing on the early albums. He was a very competent rock bassist, not Jaco, but competent and even at times interesting.
     
  8. LPMarshall Hack

    LPMarshall Hack Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,371
    Likes Received:
    4,067
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    I've always thought those little descending bass runs in the verses of Detroit Rock City were hard.
     
    truckermde and bulletproof like this.
  9. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

    Messages:
    27,092
    Likes Received:
    43,782
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    No great bassists?
    -Geddy Lee
    -Phil Lynott
    -Chris Squire
    -John Paul Jones
    -Geezer Butler
    -Cliff Burton
    -Les Claypool
    -LEMMY

    I could be here all day.
     
  10. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,146
    Likes Received:
    28,897
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Does this mean you're going to go through every member of KISS?
     
  11. Howard2k

    Howard2k Premium Member

    Messages:
    17,947
    Likes Received:
    24,601
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    I’m not saying they’re no good, I’m just saying they don’t jump out to me the same way that good lead or rhythm players do. :laugh2:

    Except Geddy. Jury is still out on him, but more his voice and writing than his playing.
     
  12. scott 351 wins

    scott 351 wins Senior Member

    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Steve Harris
     
    El Pablo, Gtarzan81, 5F6-A and 8 others like this.
  13. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,936
    Likes Received:
    23,872
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    They're all a big fat joke. Serious music folk never took them seriously, and were never up for discussion.
    Alice Cooper on the other hand was popular and in real life a prince of a guy. Just weird..
     
    Gtarzan81, bulletproof and Zungle like this.
  14. Rotorhead

    Rotorhead Senior Member

    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    823
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Ha! No. I'm trying to keep is as close to a Gibson product-related theme as possible.

    Ace, though, might appear eventually...
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  15. fry

    fry Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    2,443
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    The whole group is a joke, I give them six months at the most. They will never be able to fool people longer than that.
     
    CaptainT, drriff, rinaldi-san and 7 others like this.
  16. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

    Messages:
    74,298
    Likes Received:
    179,191
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Competent on his instrument, occasionally wrote cool stuff ("Watchin' You"). Great businessman, pedestrian musician.
     
  17. DeeCee

    DeeCee Senior Member

    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    116
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Pantomime Hack? Not sure. Defo a Pantomime Dame. Indeed, one of the best in the history of entertainment. He'd have no problem fitting into the cast of Jack and the Beanstock next Chrimbo.
     
    northernguitarguy likes this.
  18. Tim Fezziwig

    Tim Fezziwig Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,349
    Likes Received:
    50,882
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    LEGIT! He taught me about SEX. You guys are tough, you want "legit?" C'mon....Alex Lifeson was a Jimmy Page wannabe---yes, even bought a Gibby double-neck! You "slobber" over RUSH,

    "Oh Rush, so talented, Geddy plays 8 instruments at a time!"

    When I went into "head shops" in the 70's. I saw KISS, ZEP, WHO, SAB, RUSH posters on the wall- ALL are silly, that is why I love them. You must "capture imaginations" if you want BIG $. If not, be Roy Buchanan=a cult act..........yeah, cult money don't pay the bills.....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    1969 weatherman, if6was9, Jer and 4 others like this.
  19. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

    Messages:
    20,146
    Likes Received:
    28,897
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    And a search through the archives would probably get you the answers.
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  20. ramaglia375

    ramaglia375 Premium Member

    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    This statement deserves to be quoted, well said
     
    purplerider, Geronimo, DADGAD and 3 others like this.

Share This Page