The outspoken Kiss bassplayer admits he faced a backlash from his own family after remarking on Prince’s shock death at 57. Simmons’ interview with Newsweek made international headlines when he blamed the Purple One for ending his own life with drugs and alcohol. “But how pathetic that he killed himself,” Simmons is quoted as saying. “Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you… but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
The fallout was swift and furious, and the disappointment certainly wasn’t confined to members of the Simmons household. Even Simmons’ fellow founding Kiss member Paul Stanley apologized for the comments, calling them “cold” and “clueless.”
In a message posted on Twitter, Simmons says sorry for his latest outburst. The veteran rocker blames his “big mouth,” admits he “didn’t express myself properly here” and places some of the blame on reporters “quote-mining things l’ve said in the past and applying it to new situations.”
Read his full apology below.
“I just got such shit from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize – I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they’ve made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult. I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times. Needless to say, I didn’t express myself properly here – I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all. If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.
“PS: What I will say is that there is part of this that is journalists quote-mining things lve said in the past and applying it to new situations. This, too, happens often, and not just to me. So, quote mining, too, is wrong. It doesn’t make my past quotes any more tactful, but still – be wary of click bait. The uglier they can make it seem, the more views they will get.”
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) May 11, 2016
Prescription painkillers are being investigated as leading to Prince’s death and the powerful painkiller Percocet was reportedly present in the 57-year-old artist’s body when he was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound on April 21.