My Favorite Israeli — Great

My Favorite Israeli — Great little interview with Gene Simmons at the NYT. He has a number of sound insights about the relation of art and commerce. Responding to the point that KISS never won great ciritical acclaim, Gene says:

But that’s the great notion of America that appeals to me — of the people, for the people, by the people. People vote for Kiss with money! Try to argue with that. When we come off tour $158 million later and someone tells me it stinks, I’m going, ”Well, why did I make all this money?”

Indeed. And then a questionable aesthetic judgment followed by an historically accurate observation:

Art is highly overrated. Michelangelo, Mozart, Rembrandt — they were all on commission.

Gene, what’s KISS’s “larger legacy”?

You know, in America, if people like what we do, that’s enough. I don’t think it has to mean anything. I don’t know what a hamburger means, but it makes life worth living. I’m about to embark on a Broadway show. And there’s going to be a Kiss superhero show. The vistas are endless.

Beautiful. KISS: Reason # 303,223,4905 why America is so great.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center