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

 

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes following provincial reopening announcement

Recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read