Yahoo Leisure is spending Veterans Day with rock veteran Gene Simmons on the El Segundo location of Rock & Brews, the restaurant chain he co-founded with KISS bandmate Paul Stanley. He is right here to honor veterans, who obtain free meals in appreciation for his or her service…however you by no means know the place a dialog with Simmons will finish.

On this case, the dialog finally results in drag queens and Simmons’ misplaced cult movie. By no means too younger to die, for which he donned because the villainous Velvet Von Ragnar. However in Simmons trend, the dialogue returns to the momentous event we’re all celebrating this afternoon: the concept of ​​free speech in America, one thing our veterans have all the time fought for.

Yahoo Leisure has stepped up for a metal-themed episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race for years now, and to date, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider have been on board. Even Stanley is open to the concept. (“That may be bizarre… good and bizarre,” Stanley advised Yahoo in 2021.) That dream acquired just a little nearer to realization this yr, when drag race Season 14 runner-up Daya Betty shook the runway in Ace Frehley magnificence that hardly broke the mark.

So, after all, we ask Simmons — who to this present day nonetheless does his personal Demon facepaint, as a result of make-up artists ‘do not know your face, do not know your vibe, do not know your tone’ — if he would signal a day to be a drag race visitor choose.

“Positive!” Simmons stated with out hesitation. “I am an enormous fan of anybody who desires to face up and say, ‘I am distinctive, I am not like everybody else, and you’ll’t choose me. ‘Trigger the true query is, who the f*** are you?’ … I assist LGBTXYZBTA – put all of the letters. I completely assist anybody who desires to be distinctive.

Simmons definitely had a singular profession, with one in all his most unusual and surprising – if not forgotten – moments in 1986 By no means too younger to diea film that just about made KISS meets the ghost of the park look calm. The futuristic spy hug starred John Stamos, Prince Self-importance’s protege, Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund and even former James Bond actor George Lazenby. However the star of the present was undoubtedly Simmons, who sunk his tooth into the surroundings rocky horror-esque, style position of Velvet Von Ragnar – the chief of a road gang from madmax-esque “little balls of shit” whose evil plan is to poison Southern California’s water provide with radioactive waste and render it undrinkable for the subsequent 10,000 years.

The standout scene from the movie, which was finally launched on DVD and Blu-ray by Shout! Manufacturing unit in 2017, is Velvet’s snarling cabaret efficiency of “It Takes a Man Like Me to Be a Girl Like Me”. This unique tune was by no means launched (though a few of its lyrics ended up on KISS in 1992 Revenge observe “Spit”), however Gene reveals it was a nod to actual life Hedwig and the Indignant Thumb inspiration “the unique Wayne County, which [later] grew to become [transgender punk star] Jayne County. We opened for them in a loft in New York, and he actually ate one thing that was in the bathroom bowl that was on stage with him.”

Velvet’s display tune was truly based mostly on “It Takes a Man Like Me to Discover a Girl Like Me”, which County carried out stay with the band Queen Elizabeth in 1972, however Simmons cites one other reference: “Wayne additionally had one other tune referred to as ‘(If You Do not Wanna Fuck Me, Child) F** Off.’ … In order that’s the place it got here from. And once more, it could possibly’t be simple to be distinctive. It is easy while you mix in, as a result of everyone seems to be defending you. Once you stand out, persons are going to have one thing to say about it.

Simmons was truly supplied the selection of two components in By no means too younger to die: both a Navy commander or a task that was not thought-about politically incorrect in 1986, an “evil hermaphrodite”. He selected the latter, which was clearly probably the most enjoyable alternative, and he definitely gave the impression to be having fun with himself on display. However in the long run, entering into character was lots harder than entering into his KISS stage gear. “I needed to reduce my chest hair, and it was simply torture. They took my eyebrows out, and it was simply terrible – the ache. Magnificence is ache,” he says. “I confirmed up on set they usually stated, ‘We want somebody to get all of your hair off your chest. Thank god they left it on my head.’

Simmons would not bear in mind precisely how lengthy it took for her hair to completely develop again, however says, “I bear in mind months spent scratching my chest.”

Gene Simmons as Velvet Von Ragnar in 1986’s ‘By no means Too Younger to Die’ and Lynda Carter masking KISS in her 1980 TV particular ‘Encore’. (Images: YouTube)

Whereas some might have assumed Velvet Von Ragnar’s feathered, bedazzled “It Takes a Man Like Me to Be a Girl Like Me” outfit was a tribute to Simmons’ ex-girlfriend Cher, superfans of KISS speculated that it was truly impressed by the Bob Mackie-designed go well with that surprise girl star Lynda Carter wore for her 1980 tv selection particular, Bis, throughout which she sang KISS’ “I Was Made for Loving You” whereas flanked by a dance troupe of lithe and energetic KISS clones. by Simmons By no means too younger to die the outfit is an virtually actual duplicate of Carter’s pure phantasm Bis bodysuit, however Simmons claims he was unaware of costume designer Fred Lengthy’s meta reference on the time.

“I did not design it, however on reflection it was clearly impressed by Lynda’s KISS stuff,” Simmons laughs.

Gene Simmons is amused to debate that corny footnote on his resume, however extra critically, he is proper now targeted on what he is doing for veterans — the women and men who helped make it attainable. such freedom of expression.

“We’re right here at Rock & Brews and everybody’s having a good time, nevertheless it’s not about me…it is actually in regards to the vets,” Simmons factors out. “A few of them are literally making the last word sacrifice, forsaking their youngsters, their households and every thing, for an thought. At the same time as I say this, I am conscious that there are individuals who will say, ‘Oh, that is so corny!’ … However folks overlook that there are a few of us who threat our lives, and a few make the last word sacrifice. I do know it is cornball to speak about it right here in sunny California, nevertheless it’s I’ve mates of their 20s and 30s whose fathers will not be right here as a result of they’ve been abroad for a number of life threatening occasions and a few haven’t returned.

“So so far as I am involved, day-after-day is Veterans Day.”

Watch Simmons’ Rock & Brews interview above.

Be taught extra about Yahoo Leisure:

Paul Stanley on Soul Station, masculinity and the significance of carrying masks: “Not having the ability to voice my opinion truly feels un-American”

KISS’s Gene Simmons talks about COVID vaccinations: ‘I strongly consider it ought to be legislation’

KISS Revisits “Phantom of the Park”, 40 Years Later — “Wow, That Was Bizarre” KISS Revisits “Phantom of the Park”, 40 Years Later — “Wow, That Was Bizarre”

John Cameron Mitchell talks in regards to the upcoming ‘Jesus-inspired’ musical, 20 years of ‘Hedwig’ and his ‘New American Dream’

#NoMakeupSunday: When KISS confirmed off their faces on MTV

Dee Snider talks X-rated wardrobe malfunctions, declaring ‘open season’ on Twitter trolls and why he’d be an excellent ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ choose

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