Gene Simmons touched upon the importance of Jews in modern culture during a new chat with American Songwriter. Simmons, the son of a Nazi concentration camp survivor, whose father served on the weekends in the Israeli army, was born Chaim Witz in Tirat Carmel, Israel and only moved to the U.S. at the age of eight. Simmons spoke about the crucial role Jews played in the creation of rock n’ roll, explaining, “The real secret that’s not widely talked about is that it was Jews — y’know, originally, it was race music. Black music was not allowed to be heard on white radio. And it was really the Jews — (Jerry) Leiber and (Mike) Stoller, who wrote, ‘You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog’ and ‘Give me fever in the morning,’ all that black music. The Coasters and Ben E. King and all that, written by two Jews. Two Jews who couldn’t stand Broadway and that kind of schmaltzy music that the other Jews were doing. They loved black music and they were responsible for a lot of the black music that came out there. Elvis (Presley)Big Momma Thornton, and all that. “

He went on to say, “The truth is that if it wasn’t for Sam Phillips and a lot of the other guys, early rock ‘n’ roll, including Elvis, would have never happened. It was these Jews who owned the record companies that opened the doors to black music. Sam Phillips recorded Bo Diddley and lots of other stuff while the rest of the record companies would never touch them.”

Simmons said he learned to acclimate to the American way of life by reading comic books, adding, “By the way, it’s worth noting, that all the superheroes were created by Jews. Yes, they were. Yup — Superman, Batman, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Human Torch, Sub Mariner, Captain America — Jews created it. Jack Kirby? Not his real name. Jacob KurtzbergStan LeeStanley Lieber. And Bob Cane was actually ‘Kahn.'”

He recalled that the mixture of comics and rock helped define him: “When I heard rock, words like ‘you ain’t,’ which was considered vulgar, I heard how people actually spoke. The best teachers I had were rock n’ roll and comic books.”

Kiss / David Lee Roth North American tour dates (subject to change):
August 18 – Mansfield, MA – Great Woods
August 19 – Bangor, ME – Waterfront
August 21 – Atlantic City, NJ – Boardwalk Hall (Kiss only)
August 22 – Hartford, CT – Meadows
August 26 – Pittsburgh, PA – KeyBank
August 28 – Raleigh, NC – Walnut Creek
August 29 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood
September 1 – Dayton, OH – Nutter Center
September 2 – Clarkston, MI – Pine Knob
September 4 – Tinley Park, IL – The World
September 5 – Milwaukee, WI – Marcus
September 17 – Ridgefield, WA – Sunlight
September 18 – George, WA – The Gorge
September 21 – Boise, ID – Taco Bell
September 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA
September 25 – Chula Vista, CA – North Island
September 26 – Phoenix, AZ – Desert Sky
September 29 – Austin, TX – 360
October 1 – Ft. Worth, TX –  Dickies
October 2 – Tulsa, OK – BOK
October 5 – Biloxi, MS – Mississippi Coast
October 6 – Lafayette, LA – Cajundome

CHECK IT OUT: A January 26th, 1983 local tour report on Kiss from Providence, Rhode Island: