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Simmons, Gene
Sex, Money, Kiss (Book Review)
November 2012
Released: 2003, New Millennium Press
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Kiss Feature

“You can’t talk about American Metal without talking about Kiss” Sam Dunn, Producer, Metal Evolution. 2011. (Episode Two-Early Metal US)

“Anyone who says Kiss were never Metal doesn´t know what they´re talking about!” Quorthon (Bathory) in a June 1994 interview with Malcolm Dome.

Some people may question the validity of doing a feature on Kiss in the hallowed pages of Many critics of Kiss who suggest that they are ‘not metal’, tend to focus their arguments on non-musical traits. For example some people complain about Gene’s reality show and his various extra-curricular (ie. non-Kiss) activities. Some people complain about the line-up changes, some people complain about the nature and style of the tours, and many people complain about the commercial nature of the Kiss identity and brand. However, many of those critics, deep down when push comes to shove will admit, however grudgingly, based purely on the music, that Kiss is Metal. Therefore we are proud to present our Kiss feature at This month in reflection and in celebration of the October 9th release of MONSTER, the 20th studio album by Kiss, our specialty book section, The Library Of Loudness is reviewing seven books about Kiss and by members of Kiss, past and present. This month we review… (listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name)

Criss, Peter – Makeup To Breakup

Floren, Ingo – The Official Price Guide to Kiss Collectibles.

Harris, Larry – Casablanca: The Inside Story of Casablanca Records

Leaf, David & Sharp, Ken – Kiss: Behind The Mask

Simmons, Gene – Sex, Money, Kiss

Sherman, Dale – Black Diamond: The Unauthorized Biography of Kiss

Sherman, Dale – Kiss FAQ

As a bonus here other books about Kiss we have previously reviewed. Feel free to enjoy the reviews of these Kiss related titles as well.

Frehley, Ace-No Regrets

Kiss-Kiss Kompendium

Moore, Wendy-Into The Void

Prato, Greg-The Eric Carr Story

Simmons, Gene-Kiss And Make Up


Of the seven books in this feature, this was likely the most fun and entertaining. Gene to me has always been the heart of Kiss. Some people may point to Paul who keeps the good ship Kiss afloat for years while Gene chases his flights of fancy, but Gene is the face, the showman, the voice, the tongue, edging out Paul (in my mind) but by just a hair. Peter has a book, Ace has a book, Gene has several but Paul has yet to tell his story and of all those books SEX, MONEY, KISS ranks way up there as one of, if not, my favourite Kiss book.

First published in 2003, the hard cover has an eye-catching silver dust-jacket with a close-up of Gene’s infamous appendage, no, not that one, the other one. At 236 pages it’s a quick read, with a good layout and design with tons and tons of photos and graphics. It’s almost like Gene’s own scrap book with newspaper articles, hand-written notes, doodles (who knew Gene had such a talent for drawing?! I’m impressed!) magazine covers, and of course tons of rare photos. There are a couple dozen glossy, full colour plates in the middle with again, more rare photos. SEX, MONEY, KISS is much more of Gene’s life philosophy and random musings, than his excellent autobiography, KISS AND MAKE UP which was published in 2001. The latter was a far more formal autobiography, while this book acts as a brilliant mix of comedy, financial advice, self-help, insider tips, common sense and an accounting of what worked for Gene for find success; namely fame, power, women and money. Essentially, in my mind, these two books are Part one and Part two of Gene’s life.

There are many highlights especially the section called two perfect days (p. 122 and 123) which lays out ‘the perfect day’ one from a female perspective and one from a male perspective. Truer words were never spoke. Gene talks about his various hobbies, career movies and love or hate the guy he has tried and succeeded at many, ventures. He is an author, actor, musician, publisher, artist, manager, public speaker and more. Gene talks about his movies, books, magazines, and of course Kiss.

I found SEX, MONEY, KISS to be inspirational and entertaining. Despite all the bravado and attitude Gene has some very realistic and at times, subtle advice. If you dig down he has some really good core values, that I feel may get overshadowed by the sizzle he constantly sells. Gene talks about respect for elders, the liberation of women, hard-work, honesty, loyalty, more hard work, avoiding substance abuse, avoiding bad debt, getting educated, saving your money, still more hard work, and other admirable virtues that have helped him become a success. This book is highly recommended for any Kiss fan or even for those who want to know what makes the man behind the tongue tick.
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