Is Gene Simmons the man to give our economy the kiss of life?
Business leaders of the future are tuning into Kiss frontman's billion-dollar brand lecture
His lecture to Britain's next generation of business leaders will reveal how to build a $1bn brand, selling everything from condoms to caskets, while still finding time to sleep with 4,800 groupies.
But are the London Business School's MBA students ready for the gospel according to Gene Simmons, the fire-breathing, blood-spitting frontman with shock rockers Kiss?
Under Simmons' ruthless leadership, the 1970s US group, famed for their face paint and spectacular live shows, pioneered the notion of the band as a "brand", flooding the marketplace with Kiss merchandise, from comic books to branded coffins. When the 61-year-old isn't flicking his seven-inch tongue at stadium crowds, he provides financial planning for individuals with a net worth of $20m and pursues deals which will expand the Kiss empire even after his death.
The musician will reveal the secrets of the Kiss phenomenon at the London Business School tomorrow. "Music, marriage and religion, it's all a business. Even God passes the hat around," he told The Independent. "It is your fiduciary duty not just to understand how to play a minor chord but how to maximise your pay."
The music is just a sideline for the bassist and singer: "If someone offered me a billion dollars for the Kiss brand I wouldn't sell. We now have 3,000 licensed products," said Simmons. "There's no limit to what Kiss can do. We have everything from condoms to caskets – we'll get you coming and we'll get you going."
Tonight, Simmons will present the Classic Rock magazine awards in London. His lecture will use the Liverpool "Mersey Beat" explosion, which spawned the Beatles, as an example of how global business propositions can emerge from the unlikeliest places.
His advice to MBA students is "Always use other people's money for investments. Banks and institutions are dying to give you money for creative projects they don't understand."
Illegal downloaders should be prosecuted, not indulged: "During the riots, when people broke into stores, do you just let them have their way? Even after your store has been broken into, you continue to fight and hold on to what's yours. Don't believe bands who say it's all about the fans and they want to give their music away for free. The result is they will continue to live in their mother's basement."
Simmons, who advocates the abolition of the welfare state in favour of compulsory workfare, said: "I would urge all bands that say they only care about credibility and don't care about money to send Gene Simmons every dollar that they don't want. I'd be happy to take it off them. Everybody lies, don't believe it for a second."
He criticises U2 and Coldplay for using "enhanced" musical backing when they play live. "Some bands use a lot of tapes...U2? I'm sorry, it's a fucking tape. The great bands like Metallica, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin – what you see and what you hear is what these people are actually playing."
Confirming he indeed slept with 4,800 women during his groupie-ravishing past, Simmons breaks off to read a text from wife Shannon, advising him to turn off his data roaming to save money. Every cent counts for the Kiss cash machine.
Kiss: Band on the make
* Kiss Monster mini-golf course opens in Las Vegas next year
* Kiss Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
* Worldwide deal with Hello Kitty
* Kiss Angry Birds smartphone app
* Charges $100,000 (including first-class flight) for business lectures – more if his Playboy playmate wife Shannon Tweed comes along
* The Kiss Kasket, a coffin
* The Kremation ashes urn, for humans and pets.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 4 BBC’s new Game of Thrones slayer 'The Last Kingdom' relies on Saxon appeal, creators say
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Israel's deadliest Gaza air strikes yet kill five children from same family as Palestinian rocket barrage continues
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...
£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...