Gene Simmons recently called out late Motorhead singer Lemmy Kilmister, his friend of many years, for collecting Nazi paraphernalia. The KISS bassist sat down with the Daily Mail to discuss his involvement with a new Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance and used the opportunity to spotlight other rockers who seemed to have a fascination with the Nazi symbolism. "I believe in my heart these bands just aren't educated," he told the outlet.
"There was a holocaust, but we just don't confront these things. Especially guys in bands, let's face it, if it wasn't for the guitar around their neck they'd be asking you if you want more fries with that. They're not the sharpest tools in the shed," Simmons continued, going on to name Kilmister specifically. "I knew Lemmy Kilmister for many years, I went to his funeral. He was a sweetheart. He loved everybody, we were friends. But Lenny was attracted to Nazi paraphernalia. He used to collect that stuff."
Gene Simmons says racists should be publicly shamed and fired from their jobs | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/FvaZXWLzrt— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) February 11, 2021
The "Rock and Roll All Nite" singer noted that while he does not support this interest, he believes it is more important to focus more on dangerous threats. "But you need to pick your targets. The subtle uses of hate, if it becomes fashionable, yes attack that. But the bigger issues are outright hate, neo-Nazi groups."
Lenny Kilmister, who died in 2015, was never secretive about his collection of Nazi memorabilia, and once defended himself when asked about it during an Independent interview. "Look, as I've always said, it's not my fault the bad guys had the best s—," he said. "But by collecting Nazi memorabilia, it doesn't mean I'm a fascist, or a skinhead. I'm not. I just liked the clobber."
The "Ace of Spades" singer went on to say, "And let me tell you, the kind of people who do collect this stuff, they aren't yobbos either. They are people with Master's [degrees], they are doctors, professors. I've always liked a good uniform, and throughout history, it's always been the bad guy who dressed the best: Napoleon, the Confederates, the Nazis. If we had a good uniform, I'd collect ours as well, but what does the British Army have? Khaki. Makes them look like like a f—ing swamp frog."
In 2020, Consequence of Sound put together a list of the "coolest" things that Kilmister did throughout his life, and noted that "collecting Nazi memorabilia" was decidedly not "cool." However, the outlet did share a video clip of Kilmister denouncing racism and discrimination definitively. "The one thing I am prejudiced against," Lemmy says in the clip, "is a—holes."