Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kids Steal The Show With Tribute KISS Bike

Kathyrn Burnham,

It was the kids that stole the show at the Gene Simmons meet and greet Saturday.

Thousands of fans left with a photograph of them with the famous family, but the Simmons’ clan walked away with a photo album of their own, documenting the six-week process of building a Chopper bicycle in their honour.

Sophia Harrington, 12, built the Jewel bike with the help of three other youth as part of the Angels Chopper Bicycle Club. The club gives youth an opportunity to keep busy, rather than taking to the streets.

“We are fans of the show,” Sophia said. But they also love bikes, including building them from scratch. “We make them and paint them,” she said.

Tony Harrington, 9, Gavin O’Driscoll, 11, and Thomas Haywood, 16, helped build the bike and design it in tribute to Kiss and the family.

The bike seat is shaped as Simmons’ famously-long tongue and has a guitar-shaped back-support.

“Go ahead dad, sit on your own tongue,” said Nick.

The white bike also has the names of Gene, Shannon, Sophie and Nick — and now their signatures, which the family added.

The youth group offered to ship the bike to the Simmons’ clan, but Shannon Tweed had another suggestion.

“Do you think it would be a good idea if we signed that bike and you auctioned it so you could make some money for your club?” she asked. “I think that would be a good idea.”

There were many children on site to see the stars of the Gene Simmons Family Jewels reality television show, and Simmons had some advice for youth looking to pursue their dreams.

“Whatever it is that you want to become, sometimes where you are from doesn’t have it all,” he said. “Be proud of who you are, but the mountain is never going to come to you.”

The ACBC group has built bikes as tribute to several famous groups, including the Ozzy bike and the Elton bike. They have also built a Canucks-themed bike.