NPR's Terry Gross grossed out by on-air interview with KISS's Gene Simmons : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

NY Post, Feb 6, 2002



THE quiet and high-minded National Public Radio airwaves were shattered earlier this week by a name-calling confrontation between - of all people - tongue-waggling KISS frontman Gene Simmons and soft-spoken interviewer Terry Gross.

Simmons, a guest on Gross's show, "Fresh Air," called her "boring." And Gross called Simmons "obnoxious."

No one could remember the kind of dust-up that reminded fans more of the Howard Stern show

"The notion is if you're going to welcome me with open arms you also have to welcome me with open legs," said Simmons, was on the show to promote his new book, "KISS and Make-Up."

"That's a really obnoxious thing to say," Gross fired back.

"No, it's not. Why should I say something behind your back that I can't tell you to your face?" said Simmons.

The interview was apparently so controversial that NPR has declined to make it available on its Website where it posts at least portions of nearly all other interviews that appear on "Fresh Air," one of its most popular daily shows.

At one point, Gross asked Simmons about his "studded codpiece."

"It holds my manhood, otherwise it would be too much for you to take," Simmons said. "You'd have to put the book down and confront life."

The conversation continued:

Gross: Has it come to this? Is this the only way you can talk to a woman, with that shtick?

Simmons: Let me ask you something - why is it shtick when all women have ever wanted since we crawled out of caves is, ‘Why can't a man just tell me the truth and speak to me plainly?' So if I do that, you can't have it both ways.

Gross: So you really have no sense of humor about this, do you?

Simmons: I was going to suggest you get outside of the musty place where you can count the dust particles falling around you and get out into the world and see what everybody else is doing.

Gross: Having sex with you?

Simmons: Well, if you choose but you'd have to stand in line.

Gross: OK, well we since you keep bringing this up . . . You write that you've had 4,600 sexual liasions."

Simmons: You're supposed to say ‘so far.'

Gross: "So far. To you this will be asking the obvious, but why have you wanted so many encounters?"

Simmons: "M-A-N, the notion is plain."

Gross: "I'd like to think the personality you presented on our show today is a persona that you've affected as a member of KISS, but that you're not nearly as obnoxious when you're at home or with friends."

Simmons: "Fair enough, and I'd like to think that the boring lady who's talking to me now is a lot sexier and more interesting than the one's who's doing NPR, studious and reserved."

Gross could not be reached yesterday for comment.

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-- (, February 06, 2002


I always thought Simmon's tongue was fake. Yes, it must be fake.

-- (, February 06, 2002.

Thanks fer the chuckle, I do wish they would play it, I bet it's a riot. Here's a link to check the chick out.

Terry Gross

-- capnfun (, February 06, 2002.

According to the Fresh Air website, the decision to withhold recordings of the interview was not its own: "Simmons declined to give permission for Web site use, and declined permission for tape and transcript sales as well." I find kind of odd that a guest would opt to appear on a program while precluding those who did not hear the interview "live," from hearing it at all.

That's unfortunate. The interview sounds fairly compelling, with Ms. Gross seeming to hold her own.

-- David L (, February 06, 2002.

Looks like a typical Frisco feminist lesbian. I bet she was really peeved when he treated her like a sex object! LOL!

-- (good@job.Gene), February 06, 2002.

Sorry, Gross is a Jewish, married, heterosexual from Brooklyn who graduated from SUNY Buffalo and who works out of Philadelphia.

For my money, she has the best voice in radio. IRL, her looks don't measure up to her voice.

-- (, February 07, 2002.

Yeah I read the bio too, but it doesn't say "Gross is a Jewish, married, heterosexual". My money still says she's a feminist lesbian.

-- (she@likes.ellen), February 07, 2002.

Simmons (real name Gene Klein) is a total pig living in the rarified air of "RockStarLand". Completely out of touch with the world we live in, this guy, in his mid fifties, is still trying to get a blowjob from a different woman every night. This may seem like a good idea when you're 25 - but at his age?

With Simmon's money and influence he could make a difference in the world we live in, instead, he acts like a maroon. His book is a self- promoting disgrace, portraying a guy who has spent the better part of his life looking in the mirror. And I used to be a huge Kiss fan...

-- Dennis Molson (, February 07, 2002.

I would have asked him if he's tested positive for HIV. What kinds of chicks could possibly be waiting in line for him? Coke-whores and speed-freaks? Nasty!

-- (cin@cin.cin), February 07, 2002.

I had no idea he was in his mid 50s. As one can tell, I don't follow rock at all. Boy, that is truly pathetic.

-- Peter Errington (, February 07, 2002.

Hey Fat Molson, why don't you tell us what you REALLY think?!!

ROTFL!! Your jealousy is obvious!

I don't know any men who would complain about getting blow jobs when they're in their 50's, you're just pissed cuz it ain't gunna happen to you!!

-- LOL (hee hee @ what a. wuss), February 07, 2002.

Actually Molson, Simmons ‘real’ name is Chaim Witz, and he was born in Israel 53 years ago. He has been a high profile rock star since KISS was formed in 1973. I know he has done some movie and TV work, for which he received very good reviews. His reputation as a pipe layer is well known and he ‘carries a big stick’, if you know what I mean. Can also part his hair with his tongue.

What kind of behavior are you expecting from someone like him?

What was Terry Gross hoping to accomplish with this interview?

He’s rich, famous, smart, and beyond caring what so-called ‘normal’ folks might think of him.

Rock On Gene!!!

-- So (, February 07, 2002.

Man, I bet he has some WILD stories to tell! He's been lucky enough to live a life that most men only dream of, more power to him. It's probably a pretty good book.

-- (KISS fan @ since. way back), February 07, 2002.

"Actually Molson, Simmons ‘real’ name is Chaim Witz,"

That was his original name which was changed to Gene Klein when he came to America, and then of course to Simmons. One of the great stories about Kiss was when some Jewish group in the seventies claimed they were anti-Semites because of the backward, "Nazi- like" "S" in Kiss. It was at that point that Gene Klein, the son of a concentration camp survivor and guitarist Stanley Eisen (Paul Stanley) publicly said "I don't think so, my real name is..."

-- Dennis Molson (, February 07, 2002.

Happening yesterday to catch the last half of the interview, in which some of the quoted exchanges occurred, I think the above article overstates their weight. The exchanges didn't seem heated or tense, or any different in tone from the rest of the interview, and they occupied a very small portion of airtime. And at the end, when Ms. Gross said "Thank you so much," she sounded sincere, as if pleased to have had a guest who has plenty to say without having to be pried open.

Mr. Simmons has rather high commercial ambitions, saying that rather than the "number one band," he wants to have the "number one brand." I'm guessing that the reason that Mr. Simmons declined NPR's request to make copies of the show available, was that such copies may in principle dilute the band's copious efforts to license itself.

-- David L (, February 10, 2002.

Oh David, you're no fun.

-- (, February 10, 2002.

"I'm guessing that the reason that Mr. Simmons declined NPR's request to make copies of the show available, was that such copies may in principle dilute the band's copious efforts to license itself."

That's an awful lot of "guessing" there Bumpkin. Having trouble reading today? Simmons would be happy to get more publicity, but Gross was too grossed out and embarrased to let NPR post it.

-- ("NPR has declined @ to. make it available"), February 10, 2002.

Perhaps you missed my first reply in which I noted NPR's stating on its website that the decision to withhold the interview came from Mr. Simmons. If you feel that NPR would lie about that, you mustn't have very high regard for their legal department.

-- David L (, February 11, 2002.

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