Kiss frontman and reality TV star Gene Simmons chats with media at the casino in View Royal on Saturday during a public meet and greet.

Kiss frontman and reality TV star Gene Simmons chats with media at the casino in View Royal on Saturday during a public meet and greet.

Gene Simmons and clan hit View Royal

It was worth the long wait and long lines as hundreds of people came face to face with rock legend Gene Simmons and family in View Royal on Saturday.



It was worth the long wait and long lines as hundreds of people came face to face with rock legend Gene Simmons and family in View Royal on Saturday.

The famed reality TV clan — Simmons, his wife Shannon Tweed and their kids Nick and Sophie — were met with screams and cheers from more than 1,500 people packed outside the Great Canadian Casino.

Speaking about the roaring audience, the Kiss frontman shrugged: “The rest of the world says Canadians are nice. It’s true.”

In quick interviews with the Gazette and other local media, Simmons, 61, played coy on if he plans to wed his long-time partner Tweed, as alluded to on their reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Tweed was not wearing a wedding band during the event.

I’ve never been married. I desperately love Shannon Tweed. We’ve been together 28 years,” Simmons said. “We have two great kids. Tomorrow is another day. All I can deal with is today.”

After decades of success with  the rock band Kiss and the long-running reality TV show, Simmons says he has always lived the life he wanted.

When Simmons was a boy growing up in Israel and then the U.S., his parents only had one dream for him. “They wanted me to be anything (I wanted to be). Healthy and happy,” Simmons said.

His advice to kids dreaming of becoming rock stars is be prepared to go “where the fires are burning.” Waxing philosophically, he said if you have the talent and the drive often people have to find the right place at the right time for themselves.

“Whatever it is you want to become, sometimes where you are from doesn’t have it all. That’s just life,” Simmons said. “Be proud of who you are, but the mountain is never going to come to you.”

Now in its sixth season, Gene Simmons Family Jewels has cast Simmons’ partner and kids in the spotlight, and helped him gain insight into his own personality.

“I think it has made us a closer family,” Simmons said. “(The show) helps me realize my perception of myself isn’t accurate. Sometimes I can be short, arrogant, selfish. It’s good to watch.”

Despite a busy schedule with the reality show — which was filming during the View Royal stop — and touring dates with Kiss, Simmons still revels in the personal meet-and-greet events, such as in View Royal.

“Staying home and twiddling my thumbs and watching I Love Lucy reruns or coming out here, what would you chose?” Simmons asked.

Sophie Tweed-Simmons, Simmons daughter, said she loves travelling with her family and coming to places such as View Royal. “I have been travelling since I was 13,” said Sophie, 19. “I have been to 15 different countries and lived in five.”

Even with a rock-star father and model mother, Sophie said her parents are strict. “There is zero tolerance for drinking or partying. My parents do encourage us to go out, but just not to be idiots about it.”

Fans waited in the morning sun for hours and some all night for a chance to meet the rock icon and his family. Crowds waiting to get a glimpse of the Simmons family were mostly made up of families themselves.

Along with his parents, Landen Shaw, 11, brought his guitar in hopes of getting a photo with the Simmons family. When Landen met Simmons on stage, he played him a few chords of the Kiss song “I was Made For Loving You” and got some guitar pointers from the Kiss bass player himself.

“This has got to be the biggest day in View Royal history,” remarked View Royal Mayor Graham Hill. “I have been asked to welcome royalty here today.”

Rob Cuitanovic of Victoria, brought his children Sofia, 8, and Marco, 6, to meet the Simmons family. A hardcore Kiss fan, Cuitanovic brought the board game Kissopoly, “Kiss This” bottle of wine and a 1997 Kiss tour program.

He’s been collecting Kiss memorabilia for 14 years and seen Simmons perform three times. “I think it’s cool (Simmons and family are coming). As a family they are pretty grounded. Not like typical celebrities.”

“Meeting Gene would make my life,” remarked Kayla Butts, 16, who drove from Salmon Arm for a chance to meet the family. “My dad has listened to Kiss my whole life. My 95-year-old grandma loves them too.”

 

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Postmark Group, an Edmonton-based development firm, bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year, and is reaching out to the community and local groups for feedback before they begin planning the designs for the development. (Photo contributed/Postmark Group)
Waterfront village development eyed for Sooke

Postmark Group development firm bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Most Read