Entertainment Music

‘This is my bucket list’: Gene Simmons planning to hand-deliver The Vault to fans

By Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

Gene Simmons is unlocking The Vault.

The KISS singer-bassist, 68, says he’s just trying to say thanks to his fans – albeit in a rather extravagant way – with Gene Simmons: The Vault Experience, a limited edition, 10-CD, 167-song set of previously unreleased songs that he’s written and recorded over the last 50 years.

There’s also a large booklet, figurine, and medallion.

It’s all enclosed in the aforementioned vault on wheels – hand made of non-flammable hardwood and weighing an impressive 38 pounds – and most importantly included in the $2,000 price tag, he’ll personally deliver it.

“I’m going to go around the world at my cost whether it’s in Moncton or New Zealand or Perth or anywhere. I’m going to pay for my flights, the hotels, the security, the insurance, I’ll take care of all that and anyone who orders the vault, I’ll hand deliver to you wherever you are,” said Simmons in Toronto on Tuesday.

“That’s never been done. And I want to do that because I can afford to do it, and in point of fact, if it wasn’t for the fans who bought all those 100 million albums, I wouldn’t be here in the first place. I mean if you’re in Nome, Alaska, I’m not going there. If you’re in the North Pole and there’s one of you, I can’t do that.”

Only 5,000 units of The Vault are being produced and Simmons says he’ll start travelling and delivering them for the next year beginning in January before KISS goes back on tour for another two years after that.

“This is – for me – my bucket list,” said Simmons. “‘Cause when I was a kid Elvis didn’t come to my house and say, ‘Gene, check this out!’ And that’s what I’m going to do. Maybe do a reality show. But I want the fans to be up there and get their moment in the spotlight because, again, without you I’d be asking the next person at Timmy’s whether they’d like some fries with that.”

Included in The Vault recordings are three songs with Bob Dylan, a version of Christine Sixteen with Eddie and Alex Van Halen – who Simmons discovered – a song with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, and many others with ex KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley.

Simmons is actually reuniting with Frehley on Wednesday night on stage for the first time in two decades for a Houston hurricane benefit in Saint Paul, Minn., that includes Cheap Trick, Don Felder and Jayhawks.

“Ace literally called me and said, ‘Can I come and lend my support?’ ‘Sure.’ So he’s going to jump up on stage and we’re doing to see what happens. (The last time that happened was) 18, 20 years ago – a long time. But I’ve seen him since. He called me to write some songs on his next record so we co-wrote two songs.”

Simmons has also made peace with his thwarted plan to trademark the “devil horns” hand sign that caused some rock fans to cry foul.

“People got very upset – unqualified, no experience, no resume – those are the people in the peanut gallery,” he said. “And so people get upset about something when they don’t know the facts. Actually, you can trademark anything. And if nobody objects, I can own every breath of air you take.”

For information on how to order The Vault, visit www.genesimmonsvault.com.

SHANNON TWEED ‘AN ANGEL’

Gene Simmons said his Canadian-born wife, Newfoundland-born, Saskatoon-raised Shannon Tweed, 60, will accompany him on some of The Vault personal delivery service he’s undertaking next year but she wasn’t in Toronto with him on Tuesday.

“I’ll tell you what an angel she is,” he said. “She is right now caring for a cancer victim, sleeping on a hospital floor and going through the hard times with her friend because her friend’s family is not even there to support her and Shannon is. No blood relationship. No family ties. Look, all mothers are the highest life form there is on planet Earth – I’m not saying this for any brownie points – it just is.”

Twitter: @JaneCStevenson

JStevenson@postmedia.com