With the death of music-legend David Bowie on Sunday, stories and tributes abound of the affect the superstar’s work had on many artists over his decades-long career.
For rock-icon Gene Simmons, front-man of the band KISS, meeting Bowie in 1975 left an impression that he never forgot – and it had nothing to do with the music.
Simmons, speaking with TMZ Monday, related the story of his first meeting with Bowie in a recording studio: Bowie smiled, extended a hand, and genuinely introduced himself saying, “Hello, wonderful to meet you.” It was a lesson Simmons took to heart. He also noted that Bowie had “no rock star panderings, no ego,” and that he was a “kind man.”
Simmons called Bowie a “giant” in a world filled with artists. “Fame is one thing,” he said, “David Bowie was an icon” and “marched to the beat of his own drums.”
Bowie, who died Sunday of cancer at age 69, was a musical chameleon, changing his style and persona multiple times in a prolific career that spanned over 50 years. As a singer, songwriter, actor, producer and performer, the British legend often led the way with his visionary work.
Simmons noted that Bowie “supported everybody else, didn’t look over his shoulder to find out what anybody else was doing.”
That trait, in Simmons’ opinion, is what set Bowie apart.
“Maybe that’s a pretty good lesson for all the rappers who come in a mold, and all the country artists who come in a mold, they’re interchangeable,” said Simmons. “Let’s face it,” he said simply, there will only be “one David Bowie.”
Watch Simmons commemorate Bowie in the video below.
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