A few episodes back I spoke about the GENE SIMMONS VAULT EXPERIENCE and what a great idea this was; giving fans a one on one experience and a huge box set (a vault) of Simmon's music and other cool stuff. I was blown away when my friend Bryan G. reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be his 'plus 1' for the event because he was given the Vault as a birthday gift! Before he even finished I blurted out "YES"!!!
Happening at the City Winery Boston, fans were treated to 40 plus minute talk with Gene as he talked about songwriting, the Beatles, life philosophies and joked around with the audience. This was followed with a Q&A where I was fortunate enough to tell Gene the impact he and KISS had on my life. He genuinely was touched by what I said as were many of those in attendance who told me later they all had similar stories about KISS having a positive effect on their lives. The audio of my question and genes reply will be in the next episode of Power Chords...plug plug!!!
Following the gathering Gene went into another room where he would meet each fan and present them with their VAULT. In the two plus hours we waited, we were treated to a listening party (amazing and historic stuff) of the music from the VAULT and got to share stories and live experiences with those in attendance. KISS fans are all the same... no matter where we were from, ages or where we were currently in our lives.
As we waited, we were treated to endless cheese and meat platters and free non-alcoholic drinks from the bar. This was an amazing touch that really made the entire event (waiting) feel like a party, because it was!
Then, when the moment finally arrived, Bryan and I were brought into meet 'the man' and wow, Gene Simmons is a presence, and a very approachable guy. There is a confidence and a swagger to his every move, motion and word he uses but this is what I expected. After all, he is the Demon... and so #$@% cool! For Bryan, I got to video the presentation of the VAULT, the chat the two had and an impromptu singing session that broke out. With my time I presented him with an autographed copy of UFO - YOUR FAVORITE BAND'S FAVORITE BAND, had some pictures taken, got some pictures signed and had the time of my life!
This was an incredible afternoon that made me even more of a fan of Gene Simmons. Is he polarizing? Yes! Is he outspoken? Absolutely. He is also the embodiment of the American Dream and a self made man, so don't fault him for that.
Gene's staff and everyone involved made every step of the way and every station so fun and memorable! They knew people made a large investment in this and i honestly saw no one leave disappointed, except that it had to end!
The venue, City Winery Boston is a beautiful venue located at 80 Beverly Street in Boston that seemed way to classy for me. The place is so clean, well lit complete with a friendly and helpful staff gave everyone there a solid reason to come back. While we were there, Bryan and I saw the main concert stage and got to hear how clean and clear the sound is as we watched that nights performer, Marc Cohen practice. For more info and shows you can go to www.citywinery.com.
For more information on a chance to get the VAULT experience, go to the official site at www.genesimmonsvault.com
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.