Gene Simmons on His 'Family Jewels'

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 4, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Big news in entertainment. You can be on "American Idol," even if you can't sing. I'm not talking about Sanjaya.

The world's most popular talent show is adding a new contest to its franchise — a songwriting competition. Whoever wins will have their songs sung by the final two singers, and will also become the new idol's first single.

We are now down to nine. And after tonight there will only be eight left. All eyes, of course, are going to be on Sanjaya, to see if America boots him off the show.

Another legendary rock idol is taking his shot at reality TV in the second season of the hit show, "The Gene Simmons Family Jewels" program. The famous front man for the band Kiss is proving to all America that even a wild rocker can make a good family man. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God! You look Asian.

GENE SIMMONS, ROCK STAR: I am Asian. I'm your father.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your face is huge.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look like the Sensei in Three Ninjas. Oh, my God.

SIMMONS: There's nothing wrong. I'm fine.


SIMMONS: I don't feel anything.


GIBSON: Gene and his happily unmarried wife of 23 years, Shannon Tweed, both underwent plastic surgery together. The TV cameras caught the whole thing on tape.

Here now is the very young-looking star of A&E "Family Jewels," Gene Simmons.

Well, Gene, you always look great.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

GIBSON: Why did you go for it?

SIMMONS: I must — I must interrupt you just for a second.

You slipped. It was a slip of the tongue. That's usually my job, because my tongue's much bigger than yours. I know you're jealous.

You said happily - what did you say? Unhappily unmarried?

GIBSON: Unmarried?

SIMMONS: No, no, no. That's correct. For 23 years. I thought you said unhappily married for 23 years.

GIBSON: No, no. Happily unmarried.

SIMMONS: It sounds the same, but they're totally different.


SIMMONS: Not familiar with the term marriage, myself. But I've been together with the lovely Shannon Tweed for 23 years.

GIBSON: We have lots of pictures from your show of this facelift. Why did you do it?

It looks like it hurt, Gene.

SIMMONS: No, it didn't hurt at all. But I tell you what. Life is short and the world should have beautiful things to look at.

Everybody should enjoy this. And I figured I've contributed a little bit.

GIBSON: Well, what is it that — I mean, you did this for the show. And the show is the hit show. They took you through this whole thing.

We saw with your — it looked your kids came in the room and were kind of shocked at what they saw.

What did you think when you saw the tape of how you looked?

SIMMONS: I must tell you, it looked much more like my biology class, when I opened up a frog and I found the liver over here and the stuff over there. I actually saw the entire operation, because we're going to show as much as television will allow us of the entire operation — the snipping, the cutting, the lifting, the separating, the pointing in your general direction — all of it.

My life is an open book. You know, I consider life a privilege, not a birthright. And I'm thrilled that people even give me the time of day, much less allow me to photograph my life and stick it on TV.

By the way, the reason you out there never see me in those tabloids is, there's nothing to report. I refuse to hide anything — in the closet or out. My life is an open book.

I love all women. All women of all ages and all sizes are attractive to me. And if that's news to somebody, I'm sorry, you guys.

GIBSON: Gene, what — this reality show puts you in front of the cameras virtually 24-7.

I mean, those of us who make our living in front of the camera know what it's like for an hour.

What's it like all around the clock for days and days on end?

SIMMONS: Well, you know, life is a menu. And it depends on who you are. I'm an only child and I like attention, as you can tell. I love the sound of my own voice.

I like attention. It's one of the reasons why I get up on the stage and why most people are afraid to get up there and would much rather throw up than be looked at from head to toe by people.

Judgment by other people means nothing to me, as long as you pay attention to me. That sounds arrogant and sort of self-absorbed, but you're correct. All of it's true.

I enjoy - listen. I have a great time. We have a lovely family. Nick and Sophie are the finest human beings I know. They also happen to be our kids.

And Shannon Tweed, as far as I'm concerned, should be teaching all the rest of the women out there how to be and treat with their man.

GIBSON: Before I run out of time, what about Sanjaya? Should he stay or go?

SIMMONS: He should stay, because life should be about choices. And Sanjaya has clearly chosen to be outrageous. And life should be about choices.

And Sanjaya belongs on TV, because at the end of the day, "American Idol" is a television show.

GIBSON: Gene Simmons, love your show, "Family Jewels." Gene, thanks very much.

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