BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–Walking out to a blaring KISS anthem, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley woke up Friday’s gathering of TV critics in Los Angeles.
“We’re not what you just had here,” understated Stanley. The Halloween rockers followed a rather dry presentation for the Sundance Channel drama “The Honorable Woman” starring Maggie Gyllenghaal.
Simmons and Stanley were in what passes for civies for them–in other words, sans black and white KISS makeup. They were no less loud and colourful, however, embracing their roles as Arena Football owners in real life for a Los Angeles-based KISS football team. The exploits of the fledgling sports franchise is being told on AMC’s docu-series 4th and Loud.
Simmons quickly stepped up to his role as the Jack Davis of the AFL, working his usual carny shtick and driving T-shirt and CD sales. He seemed rather defensive, however, never more so then when questioned about why KISS had become two instead of four. Founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were drummed out of the group early this century.
Simmons re-framed the question as, “Why did you dump your best friend who became a crack addict and loser?” He suggested that Frehley and Criss were both “compromised by drugs and alcohol.” Stanley added that they “no longer deserve the uniform.” Blurted Simmons: “Being in the band from the beginning is not a birthright for you to stay there.” He them compared revamping the band’s lineup to changing a flat tire.
Whoa. Okay, moving on…
Simmons said he tried to draft Tim Tebow but the scrambling Christian pivot seems to be moving his career off-field. He said he’d rather have Tebow lead his team than an athlete “who tortures dogs”–a slam at Michael Vick, who might be better suited to a team owned by, say, Ozzy Osbourne.
The duo embraced their role as the Black Sheep owners of the AFL. They say they’ve goosed attendance and bobble-head sales. The had promised to take the league by storm and win the championship in their first season. “What we do is electric church,” said Simmons.
The team is three and 12.