Gene Simmons Blames ‘Big Mouth’ for Calling Prince’s Death ‘Pathetic’

By Jon Wiederhorn

After receiving flak from his family and band mate Paul Stanley, KISS co-founder Gene Simmons has apologized for comments he made about Prince’s death. In a recent interview with Newsweek he said, “How pathetic that he killed himself,” and added, “Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you… but that’s what he did. Slowly, Ill grant you… but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.” 

Related: Paul Stanley Apologizes for Gene Simmons’ Prince Comments

“I just got such s— from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize,” he tweeted. “I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all. If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.”

Simmons wrote, “I didn’t express myself properly,” and added that watching musicians destroy their lives with drugs and alcohol caused him to react without thinking. “I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they’ve made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult.”

However, Simmons also blamed the media for allowing his comments to cause such a commotion. “Be wary of click bait,” he wrote. “The uglier they can make it seem, the more views they will get.”

Yesterday, KISS vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley apologized for Simmons’ remarks about Prince, calling them “cold” and “clueless.”

Here is Gene Simmons’ complete apology statement:

“I just got such s— from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize—I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they’ve made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult. I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times. Needless to say, I didn’t express myself properly here – I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all. If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.

“PS: What I will say is that there is part of this that is journalists quote-mining things I’ve said in the past and applying it to new situations. This, too, happens often, and not just to me. So, quote mining, too, is wrong. It doesn’t make my past quotes any more tactful, but still—be wary of click bait. The uglier they can make it seem, the more views they will get.”

 

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