The bassist and singer Chaim Witz, later known by his artistic name Gene Simmons helped to form the American Hard Rock band Kiss in 1973 and was a crucial part of the band alongside the singer and guitarist Paul Stanley, with whom he kept the band going for more than five decades.
Although he achieved fame as a Hard Rock musician, Simmons was inpired by many different kinds of music and admires many different artists. One of them is the late legendary British singer and songwriter David Bowie. Simmons praised him many times and even revealed which is his favorite song written by Bowie, that according to him is the best the musician wrote.
The best David Bowie song according to Gene Simmons
When Kiss released their first record in 1973, David Bowie already was a famous artist and had 7 albums on his discography. Just like Kiss, Bowie had already embraced a stage persona as Ziggy Stardust during those first years of the 70s and his live shows were a huge influence to many artists of that time.
Simmons has always been a huge fan of his work and praised him many times over the years. But curiously revealed that his favorite song written by Bowie wasn’t originally recorded by him. In an interview Planet Rock in 2022 he talked about some of his favorite songs of all time and one of them was “All The Young Dudes” that was originally written by Bowie but first recorded by Mott The Hoople.
“Bowie’s best song in my estimation it has always been ‘All The Young Dudes’. He wrote and got Mott The Hoople to do. I have the original Bowie demo of him singing.”
“Against that original track is you know, goosebumps. I didn’t even quite know what all of the words meant but I didn’t care. Look, America gave the world Jazz, Blues, Hip-Hop, Rock, Country, Rockabilly. But it’s the English, the Irish, the Welsh and all the (United Kingdom countries) that made it glamourous. (Adding style to it),” Gene Simmons said.
Bowie wrote “All The Young Dudes in the early 70s. But fter meeting Mott The Hoople decided to give them the track that he wouldn’t use on his next record. It was released by the band in 1972 and became an instant hit, being until nowadys their signature song. Curiously, Bowie first offered them the also famous song “Suffragette City”.
He had the chance to meet Bowie and said that he will never forget how polite he was
Besides being an incredible artist, Bowie is often recalled by other musicians as a very nice person to be around. It’s the same thing that Simmons said in an interview with CNN back in 2016 not long after the musician’s passing. Bowie died at the age of 69 in 2016 just two days after his birthday, after years battling cancer.
“(Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) In 1975 in New York City both David and Kiss were in the same recording studio. We had yet to sort of ascend and play stadiums and all that. We were still a new band. Some people knew about us and some not. David Bowie, I don’t know why, made it a point of inviting us into his recording session.”
“We were all nervous and stuff. I remember walking in. Even though we didn’t know each other, he smiled and looked me right in the eye and stuck his hand out. (He) said: ‘Hello, wonderful to meet you’.”
“I was taken aback. I was awestruck by what a giant, this guy who changed the face of music refuse to stand still and look over his shoulder while he was running his own race. He just continued to move as fast as he could foward. (He was) marching to the beat of his own drums.”
“Ziggy, especially, the ‘Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust’, especially that record is deeply engrained in my DNA. He passed three days after his birthday at 69, he just released a brand new record called ‘Blackstar’. I think it’s worth noting that the first lyric in the first song says ‘Look up here, I’m in Heaven’.”
“I mean, what a giant. Bowie always understood that when people go to concerts they’re not just listening to music. They are listening with their eyes and you’ve got to give more. Heaven knows, Bowie gave everybody and his fans much more. I think it’s worth noting that unlinke us and unlinke all the rest of the famous people out there, he refused to stand still. Which why it’s astonishing,” Gene Simmons said.
In the same conversation, the bassist and singer noted that although Bowie had a very prolific career, no one can pin point who he really was. Because he was constantly taking risks and changing his look and music. So according to Simmons that’s really what makes Bowie a unique artist, because no one can label him as just one kind of muscian.