John 5 was too nervous to ask for Gene Simmons’ autograph

Years before John 5 went on tour and collaborated with the various members of Kiss, the guitar virtuoso met his childhood hero, Gene Simmons – and was so stunned that he ended up leaving without an autograph. .

The guitarist, born John Lowery, told UCR he “met the guys from Kiss for the first time, probably at the end of ’83.” “I was probably 13 years old and I sneaked out of school,” he says. “I was from a really beautiful town called Grosse Pointe, Michigan. We had a butler, a really good education. And I snuck in, I went to the worst part of downtown Detroit you can imagine, I waited at the hotel to meet my heroes, whom I had loved since I was 7, and waited there all day. “

With his vinyl print of Kiss’ The originals box in hand, John 5 has finally found his man. “This is Gene Simmons. I was like, oh my God,” he recalls. “He walked right past me and didn’t stop, and I was like, I’m not gonna let that [pass]. I risked my life staying here. So I got on the elevator with him. “

When the moment of truth came, however, the future rocker choked out. “He was standing there with his arms crossed, and I had a pen and my Originals, and I’m just standing there, “John 5 continues.” And then he came up to his floor, and [the door] open. And he said, ‘Do you want me to sign this?’ And I said, ‘No, it’s okay.’ I swear to God it happened. And then I just went down. “

“I was so shocked that he just didn’t sign it when he walked past me,” admits the guitarist. “I was a kid! A lonely little kid. No one else there.”

John 5 then opened for Kiss in the ’90s while playing guitar in Lita Ford’s band, and he’s since collaborated with Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss – all of the original members of Kiss except Simmons, who he now calls a friend despite their unsuccessful first meeting.

John 5 – whose last solo album, Sinner, released in October – is used to his heroes becoming his peers, having collaborated with David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Nikki Sixx, Lynyrd Skynyrd and dozens of other rock icons. About his star-studded moment with Simmons, he jokes, “All the guys I’ve played for, I’m giving them a hard time.”

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