Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar) was part of the original line-up of KISS who rose to prominence in the 1970’s and whose make-up, costumes and live performances of their hard rock music gained them huge international popularity. KISS sold more than 100 million albums worldwide making them one of the world’s best selling bands of all time and on the 10th April this year, nearly 15 years after they became eligible they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Speaking following his visit Deputy Breen said that “I was delighted to welcome Gene to Leinster House last week. We got to know one another through our US based friend Billy Lawless, who is the leading campaigner for immigration reform for the undocumented Irish and who I meet on a regular basis through my work as Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. Gene really enjoyed the visit and he was very impressed with the paintings and sculptures which adorn the corridors of Leinster House and to hear about the History of the Building. He also enjoyed the exchanges which he witnessed in the Dail Chamber during Leader Questions and which he later described as “Democracy at work”.
Gene Simmons was born in Haifa, Israel in 1949, the only child of his mother, who survived the Nazi Concentration Camps. He came to the United States when he was eight and half years of age. He graduated from University with a Bachelor of Education Degree and taught sixth grade in Spanish Harlem in New York City. Later on he worked at Glamour and then Vogue as the assistant to the editor, Kate Lloyd before becoming a member of one of the World’s most popular rock Bands.
Pictured in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin ahead of his visit to Leinster House recently is Gene Simmons, rock Legend and Member of KISS and Pat Breen T.D., Clare Deputy and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.