KISS Bassist Gene Simmons Recalls His First Meeting With AC/DC’s Angus Young
KISS bassist Gene Simmons recently told the story of when he met AC/DC guitarist Angus Young in a small club in L.A. While mentioning their first interaction with each other, Simmons went on to explain what they did after the show. He also touched on the peculiarity of Young’s two front teeth, which were absent at the time. It apparently posed some problems for the guitarist, including some strange food orders while out to eat. Here’s what KISS bassist Gene Simmons said during his appearance on Triple M, as transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar.
Gene Simmons on how he met Angus Young
The interviewer asked Simmons to tell the story of how Angus Young got to be a part of KISS’ tours in 1977 and 1978. He started by telling the story of how they first met.
“I saw them playing this really small club in L.A. – I happened to be there. And all I remember is being close to the stage ’cause I love that, I wanna feel it, I wanna feel the chest kind of cave in when the bass and the kick drum hits it. I don’t wanna be at a safe distance. If it’s too loud, you’re too old. So I’m in the front. And even after the blackouts between songs, there’s Angus just running around on stage – not posing, just kind of feeling it, like somebody in a trance or something.”
After describing the environment he was in, Simmons expressed his praise for Angus Young.
“I said, ‘That guy is rock ‘n’ roll. That guy is real.’ So after the show, I went backstage. And went, ‘Oh, Gene Simmons.’ I’m doing a bad Aussie accent. ‘Oh, Gene Simmons. Yeah. Alright.’ And I go, ‘You’re the guy. What’s your name?’ ‘Angus.’ And then he smiled. And I’ll never forget it, he didn’t have front teeth. I guess at that point they couldn’t afford it.”
KISS bassist to Angus Young: “Let me take you a few blocks away”
Being somewhat more popular than Young at that time, Gene Simmons offered his fellow musician to go get dinner.
“So I said, ‘Let me take you a few blocks away. I wanna sit down and talk with you.’ So, he did. I’ll never forget it – we went to a place called Mel’s Diner, which is in some parts of the world really famous. And there we are at 1 AM. To some people, I’m kind of a big deal, so all the waitresses and everybody gathered around the table. And at that point, they had yet to know who Angus and the boys were, but it was just Angus and myself. ‘What would you like, Mr. Simmons?’ All that kind of stuff.
Gene Simmons wanted the staff to take care of Angus, though.
“I said, ‘Ask my friend first.’ I’ll never forget it, Angus asked for a frankfurter – instead of a hot dog – and beets. And they looked at each other, and I said, ‘Get the man what he wants.’ So, they did. They brought it back. And I’ll never forget, Angus picked up the hot dog without the bun and started biting into it on the sides of his mouth because the two front teeth were missing.”
Then, KISS bassist Gene Simmons offered Angus Young to go on a tour with him.
“And I said to him – I can still remember most of the conversation – ‘You guys are great. I’m gonna make some calls. You’re going out on tour with us.”