KISS‘ Gene Simmons was recently interviewed by This Is Money. Few excerpts from interview follow:
What did your parents teach you about money?
“My father left me and my mother when I was six. My mother was Hungarian and at age 14 was transported to a concentration camp in Germany.
“She provided for us by the sweat of her brow and taught me to have a good work ethic.
“We moved to America when I was eight and she worked in a factory making coats. It was not unionized so they paid her whatever they wanted – half a cent for every button sewn on a winter coat.”
Was money tight in your family?
“Yes. If my mother did not work hard enough we did not eat. When living in Israel we had little, lived in one room and the toilet was a hole outside.
“I never knew about toilet paper and could only dream at the thought of blowing your nose on a piece of paper and throwing it away after using it only once.
“I have never forgotten that money is hard to come by. I now have a big house but I could have one in many countries. I could own a fleet of jets, but I do not want any of that. I live comfortably.”
What was the first paid work you ever did?
“Working for a butcher after school when aged 12. They would chop off the chickens’ heads on a block and the fat would build up.
“It was my job to wash off the blood and guts. I got paid $9.25 a week which was a lot of money in those days.”
Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?
“No. I have never lived above my means. I washed dishes and picked up garbage, but I never struggled to make ends meet. If I was down and out, I never knew it at the time. I always had a job and could pay my way.”
Have you ever been paid silly money?
“Yes. There was a royal event I had to speak at for an hour and they paid me millions of pounds.
“It is not proper to say which royal family it was, but they just wanted me there. God knows why. I did not even perform, I just spoke.”
If you were Chancellor, what is the first thing you would do?
“I would keep the U.K. in the European Union. I understand Europe is a mess, but remaining in the E.U. would be better for the British economy.”
What is your number one financial priority?
“Me. It sounds selfish and arrogant, but I have to put myself first because if I cannot support myself, then I cannot help anyone else.”
Read entire interview at this location.