On July 8, the new book by New York Times bestselling author Gene Simmons will be released by Phoenix Books. Ladies of the Night: A Historical and Personal Perspective of the Oldest Profession in the World, is Gene's take on doing it for pay. Given that money and sex are his two fave subjects (and given that he's been talking about writing it forever), the book shouldn't be too big a surprise. The press release promises an "entirely new take on a traditionally taboo topic (which) promises to spark debate."
It's hard to really argue that it's such a taboo subject, but the book will no doubt be huge, if only because Gene will devote himself to endlessly telling the world how huge it is. And to say Gene is an expert on the subject is hardly a stretch. He's the brains behind what's easily the most merchandised band in rock history, and has never made bones about his whorishness.
In an interview with the business news site BNET, the demon said:
Sure! We're whores. I have no credibility. I don't want credibility. I want to do whatever I think works and is a lot of fun. You know, to me, a prostitute has always been much more ethical than a wife, and here's why: Before a prostitute gives you a blow job, she will tell you it's going to cost twenty-five dollars. Not your wife! Your wife-to-be is never going to say a word about money, never! Love, love, love, love, love. Once you get married, your ass is hers. 'Cause if the day ever comes you get divorced, one of your two god-given balls is going to be ripped out of your body, entrails and all.
Metaphorically, of course.
Gene's also notorious for partying about as hard as Adam Ant. There's a peculiar prudishness to the man; his songs rarely touch on anything more taboo than out-of-wedlock sex, even if Donna "Bad Girl" Summer did appear on his 1978 solo album. The first song on KISS's first album, "Strutter," is often considered to be about hookerdom, but with the line "You take her home and she says: "maybe, baby," that seems unlikely, and in any event, the lyrics are by Paul Stanley.
In KISS Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, Paul explains
Lyrically, 'Strutter' was my ongoing fascination with women in the New York glitter scene. In some ways, it was a sister song to "Black Diamond." [...] There's more of a tip of the hat to Dylan in there than anything else. The Dylan song "Just Like a Woman," which says "She makes love just like a woman, but she breaks just like a little girl." In "Strutter" you get "She gets her satins like a lady, she gets her way just like a child."
Bob Dylan, no doubt, appreciated the tribute.
The band recut the song four years later with what Paul called a "disco feel." Again from Behind the Mask:
Once in a while you do things to make your record company happy. [But] if you painted the Mona Lisa once, I don't know why you have to do it twice." More recently, the song has been licensed for use in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Guitar Hero 2, so if there is a prostitute in the song it's probably not the lady.
But through painstaking Googling, another song turned up that apparently actually is about prostitution: the aforementioned "Black Diamond," (credited to Paul but actually written, according to a Guitar World interview, by both Paul and Gene). In another interview posted at KISSfaq.com, Gene said "Essentially, the song is about a black prostitute and New York street life in general."
Which brings us back to Gene and prostitutes. Phoenix is holding a contest, and the winner will get a Gene Simmons outgoing message to use on their voice mail. Gene himself will select the winner, the best essay (200 words or less) on the subject "LADIES OF THE NIGHT - The Oldest Profession in the World: Good or bad?" Deadline is June 8.