Gene Simmons: Kiss star calls for Stormont overhaul

  • By Chris Andrews
  • BBC News IS

image source, Good pictures

image caption,

Gene Simmons co-founded the rock band Kiss in 1973 in New York

According to Kiss star Jean Simmons, Stormont should be restored to address the needs of people in Northern Ireland.

The rock icon spoke to BBC News NI after being invited to Parliament as a guest of Ian Paisley on Wednesday.

He said he was „thankful” to the North Antrim MP for helping him land in England for the band’s End of the Road tour.

Simmons added that he believed that „everything will be back to normal in Northern Ireland and that people’s business should be done by their elected officials”.

Simmons told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster about how Mr Paisley’s call came about: „I think one of our team knew him or they discussed something and I think he’s a big fan.

„Of course I know about his father, the legendary Ian senior and what he did for Ireland,” he continued.

„What can I say, it’s one of those things that happened.”

’A Wonderful Day’

Simmons said the band’s private jet was struggling to find a place to land in England.

„The MP called for help and suddenly our private jet was the only one allowed to land near London, so we landed,” he continued.

“Of course I was grateful and went to the House of Commons early this morning (Wednesday) and met Ian and everyone.

image source, Good pictures

image caption,

Gene Simmons taught his former students about Parliament

Mr Paisley described Simmons as „a real knowledgeable person” about the history of Parliament.

„He has a real interest in both history and theology and he took a private tour and was able to see the Deputy Prime Minister’s Question Time,” the North Antrim MP told PA news agency.

„It’s great to have him here, it’s an honor to have guests here, it’s great when they’re interested and interested, and they can tell the world about this building and the importance of democracy and what it means to the people here.”

Mr Paisley, who mocked his guest set of Kiss hits including Rock and Roll All Night and Crazy Crazy Nights, said he would perform a private concert for the DUP fundraiser: „That’s a lie!”.

In an interview from his hotel Wednesday evening, Gene Simmons said he had previously visited the Irish Parliament and wanted to meet the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) but „didn’t get there.”

“We toured the facility,” he said, “we, yours truly, a few years ago.

„I think it’s really important for people to actually see where people’s business is taking place.”

image source, Good pictures

image caption,

The late Ian Paisley (left), founder of the DUP, pictured with his son Ian Paisley in 2007

Simmons, who was a sixth-grade teacher in New York before Kiss was created, said she remembers teaching her students about Parliament and Guy Fawkes.

„When opportunity comes, it is important, [to] Visit to Parliament I’m sure you can go there and see some of that.”

’I’ll do it for a dollar’

Wednesday’s visit marked the second time this year that a DUP MP celebrated a popular singer in Parliament.

He said the sentiment behind the song was „what it meant to many”, including Mr Shannon’s wife.

Simmons said what politicians do is „more important” than music.

„We’re a diversion,” he said. „Our job is to forget your troubles for the few hours you’re with us.”

Asked if he might aspire to enter politics, Simmons said he could joke, „They don’t pay enough.”

„I could do more than be a politician for a whole year and do a concert in one evening, which would be shocking,” he continued.

However, he added that democracy was „our only hope”.

„If I am called to serve, of course, I will do it, but I will not accept a salary, I will do it for a dollar, without tax of course.”

You can listen to Good Morning Ulster’s interview with Gene Simmons in full Here.

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