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KISS’ Gene Simmons regrets not being harder on former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss


ABC/Michael Desmond

KISS’ Gene Simmons reveals in a new interview that he wishes he had handled things differently with his former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss so they could still be with them celebrating the band’s long career. 

During an interview with Backstage Pass, Simmons was asked if there was anything about the band that he would have done differently, and he expressed regret about how he dealt with Ace and Peter and their substance issues.

“I’m sad in retrospect. You know, hindsight’s 20/20,” he said. “I’m sad that I wasn’t more hard on Ace and Peter, the two original guys who played guitar and drums in the band,” noting that he has never gotten high and never drank.

“I’ve always been an outcast in that way,” he said. “The rest of the world seemed to be drug-fueled.”

Simmons acknowledged that Ace and Peter deserve as much credit for the band’s initial success as he and Paul Stanley.

“There’s no question it was that chemistry. And they both had unique voices, unique personalities and all that,” he said. “And they should have been here with us 50 or 55 years later and enjoying the fruits of their labor. But sadly, they’re not.”

Regarding their departures, Simmons shared, “It’s their own doing. They were in and out of the band three different times. They were let go three different times because of the same old thing.” 

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