Gene Simmons: “Delusional Demon” Or “Genius Gene”?
When I first saw the headline I figured Gene Simmons had completely lost his mind. Now I'm starting to wonder- Is this a Delusional Demon or Genius Gene?
In mid-September Gene Simmons announced he was selling a giant box set called "Vault" for a price of $2,000 through his website genesimmonsvault.com. That's right, $2,000. Simmons compiled 50 years-worth of his recordings and packed them into 10 CDs with 150-plus unreleased songs going back to his pre-KISS days. Along with the music he includes an exclusive action figure, an "In Gene We Trust" medallion, a photo book and a "very special surprise item." The materials come in a 38-pound safe.
But, wait, there's more. For $25,000 you can get the Producer Experience. That gets you an executive producer credit on "The Vault." You will also get to bring along someone to spend an hour with Simmons in the studio.
But, wait, there's even more! Fans willing to spend $50,000 for the Home Experience can invite 25 people to their homes and have Simmons come over with "The Vault" to hang out for two hours.
Now let's think about this. How many people do you think will put up the $2,000 let alone $25,000 or even $50,000? I'm sure there are a few people who have that kind of money to burn but how many? Trust me, I'm a huge KISS fan; they're in my "top five" hands down but I can't afford something like this. Trust me, I'd love to get it especially now that I know Gene is including what we Van Halen fans consider "The Holy Grail" - The lost "Love Gun" tracks that Edward and Alex Van Halen played on back in '76. Those tracks have never been heard. Still, two thousand dollars? C'mon Gene...Gimme a break!
Having said that I do think there's a method to Gene's madness. Just hear me out on this. Something occurred to me after about a month of hearing and reading about this box set price. Could Gene Simmons be charging an insanely high price just to get publicity? The first article I went to for this story was one from CBS News. Yes, CBS news covered this! And guess what the headline centers around? The price: "Gene Simmons announces $2,000 box set, 'The Vault'". The insanely high price has definitely garnered media attention and that is just what Gene wants.
Could Gene be planning on eventually reducing the price after the media buzz on the price dies down? Maybe he's not even going to bother. Maybe he already knows these songs will end up leaking onto the internet for free anyway so he figures he'll just jack up the price get some attention and along the way he'll pick up some buyers who have that kind of money to put up. Ultimately it's a win-win. I guess we'd have to know how much money Gene had to put into this project to fully come to that conclusion. If he owns the rights to the music he doesn't have to put up money for those. As for the rest of the package? Not sure.
It sure will be interesting to find out what becomes of this project from Gene. I will say this - If you are the one who ends up putting up $50,000 to have Gene come to your house can I stop by? Just for a few minutes. No? Can I at least get the "In Gene We Trust" medallion? How much do you want for it? I might be able to afford it.