Gene in Australia

November 6, 2002

Gene Simmons Speaking in Tongues Tour

By: Jenny

We arrived around 7:30pm at the Palais Theatre in St. Kilda and went inside a bit before 8:00. Here some lovely looking ladies in slinky black dresses and the Gene make up greeted us and to hand out the Inner Sanctum ticket holders their VIP passes. My seat was only 3 rows from the front and the podium was so close it was unreal.

According to the advertisements Gene was to start at 8:00 pm sharp, but he didn’t come out until quite sometime after that…maybe around 8:30 I think. So in the interim there were KISS tunes playing to the likes of Garth Brooks and a few others. There was some guys with cameras and videos taking shots for a DVD (I think) and a few guys were quite happy to show off their tattoos all in the name of KISS. There was some introductory footage re: KISS merchandise and products that KISS endorse….Then out came the man.

It was absolutely amazing to see him so close up. He began with a basic introduction about himself, his birth place, a little about his childhood and his mother and if you have read his book KISS and Make Up I think most of that is portrayed in there. There was quite a bit of humor thrown in and a few funny antics on stage. Earlier in the night before coming out he met with a guy (Brad I think his name was). Anyway Gene got him on stage with him…Brad dropped his pants and showed this awesome tatt on his thigh ….Gene then dropped to one knee and humbly kissed his leg.

There was some footage from MTV's Cribs that took us inside his home with Shannon and his children. And some footage from concerts with some rather well endowed women flaunting their stuff. He went on to talk about how he got to where is today i.e. his philosophy, his way of thinking, and his motivation...and that basically involved 'CASH, AND MORE OF IT’. Well at this point there were a few people that were ticked off by this whole 'put yourself first above all others' theory that he holds and others that thought it was great ...but I think some of those others may have cut their legs off for Gene Simmons too.

Gene then did a question answer session with the part about this was that he actually walked through the crowds. This was excellent, he tried really hard to speak to as many as he could and it brought him right up close and personal with those that weren't sitting in the front...his Gene girls had their mic’s too to take questions. Some of the questions were good….some of them…..well. And then there were the obvious ones too...will Ace and Peter be coming to Australia with you and Paul in February next year. Gene's response was yes Peter is definitely in and happy and healthy as far as he knows. As for Ace he has no idea - same line - I phone him once a week and leave messages assume) and it is still all up in the air.

A few folk asked the question 'Lets hear some more about KISS and your time in the band' and Gene didn’t really fob them off but he never really answered them either.... But the whole point of the Speaking in Tongues tour was more as a motivational talk rather than a review of KISS in general and I think if we were going to get Gene talking about KISS alone then he would have come as the Demon persona.....not as himself.

I went with an open mind and no expectations and was definitely not disappointed by any means. I didn’t necessarily agree with everything that he said and some of what he did say I already do…I was just happy to be there and to have had the experience. He was very honest, gracious and giving of his time to the fans so much so that he promised to meet and autograph when he had finished. So the masses headed for the foyer to wait.

Merchandise was a bit light on...they only had the new CD, Tongue Mag and his book there for sale, that was disappointing......BUT The autographs after were just the best...those of us who had the passes got to stay in the theatre and we all lined up and filed across the stage like little sheep...with strict instructions that we were only to have one thing signed and a photo and then to leave as there were lots of people waiting

I've got my camera in my hands and my mags, the palms were sweaty but I was ready for this turn comes and he speaks....In that ever so gorgeous voice of his. "Hi how are you" .....well that was the end of me, I couldn’t speak ..I went to absolute mush...put my hand to my chest and all that would come out was "My god I am so nervous". He put his arm around me and said .... "There is nothing to be nervous about”.....I hugged him, thanked him for the night and for all the years of R&R and kissed him his cheek....He turned and said “No, I should thank you.”

Quickly he signed my mags and had our pics taken, and best bit of all...he signed the ass of my jeans. WHOOO HOOOO! ! ! ; )

It was an absolute thrill to meet Gene Simmons.