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GENE SIMMONS Says KISS Made A ‘Big Mistake’ Not Working With VAN HALEN; PAUL STANLEY Disagrees

Gene Simmons reflects on almost working with Van Halen. As does Paul Stanley.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley recently reflected on almost working with VAN HALEN back in 1976 during the question-and-answer panel on this year’s Kiss Kruise.

While reflecting on the band’s five-decade career, Simmons said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We made one big mistake — one. There was a band called VAN HALEN. They were signed to Man Of A Thousand Faces Inc. There was a 24-track demo. They were owned lock, stock and barrel and signed and happy and wanted to sign with us, and we said no.”

Stanley chimed in: “Thank goodness. The reason we said no was because part of Gene’s joie de vivre, which means love of life, is he likes to look and do all different things. And sometimes that means reining him in, especially early on in the band’s career where getting involved in other projects was really going to hurt the band. You couldn’t listen to VAN HALEN and not think they were great. Bill knew it. I was with Gene when he first saw VAN HALEN at the Starwood. But the idea of managing or producing bands when we really were still at the beginning of our career was something that was… The move is called self-preservation.”

As the story goes, while KISS were in Los Angeles to tape an appearance on “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special”, Paul and Gene were invited out by radio personality Rodney Bingenheimer to watch two unsigned local bands, THE BOYZ and VAN HALEN, at the Starwood club. After the show, Simmons expressed an interest in working with VAN HALEN, offering to sign them to his management label, ‘Man Of A Thousand Faces’, and to produce a demo for them. Simmons flew VAN HALEN out to New York to record a demo at Electric Lady Studios, with Gene producing the effort. However, after Paul Stanley and Bill  Aucoin expressed little interest in the band, Gene passed on working further with the Pasadena rockers. .

Things turned out ok for them though.  No worries there. You can watch the footage from the latest Kiss Kruise below.