Sunday, July 24, 2011

KISS Fans Await Family Jewels / STEPHANIE IP, 24 HOURS

I wanna rock and roll all night and party … for almost six hours.

That’s how long one diehard waited Sunday before Kiss bassist Gene Simmons and his family arrived for a meet-and-greet at show ‘n’ shine at a Coquitlam casino.

“I love the music, the image,” exclaimed Graham Young, a Kiss fan for more than three decades. The 45-year-old was first in line when Simmons arrived 90 minutes late. He didn’t mind, however, saying it was “worth the wait” after lining up at 8:30 a.m.

Simmons, partner Shannon Tweed, and their son Nick and daughter Sophie star on A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels, a reality show following the rock star’s life and family.

Tweed, a former Playboy Playmate-of-the-Year, hails from Newfoundland and Labrador, meaning the family is no stranger to Canada.

“I spend as much time in Whistler as possible,” Sophie said.

“She’s like the mayor of Whistler,” joked Nick.
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Tweed said the kids were gradually brought into the spotlight, leading up to Family Jewels’ 2006 premiere.

“Although (Gene) was famous, I kept them in school … until their early teens,” said the model, B-movie queen and former Miss Ottawa. “It was more of a natural transition.”

“Everybody loves their own family, but it’s really heart warming to see the people love them as much as we do,” said proud dad Simmons, known to Kiss fans as the Demon. “It happens to be a TV show but it’s also our lives.”

And what’s a rock star and a former Playmate think of old age?

“There’s no good thing about getting old,” said Tweed, shooting down quips from Nick about “dignity, wisdom” and “fine wines.”

“The wines are not fine,” Tweed said.

“I just work here,” said Simmons with a smile.