Gene Simmons Boycotts Pearl Jam As Band Leaves Epic.
Simmons feels that Pearl Jam’s recent anti-Bush antics on stage would cost the band in the end. A few fans walked out of a recent concert in Denver following an anti-bush tirade from the stage from Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. Simmons warns, "I don't think everybody that booed will stop buying PEARL JAM records or going to PEARL JAM concerts, but I do know that a segment of the audience will stop. I'm one. I've bought PEARL JAM records. I'm out. He crossed the line."
"America is made up of people who have the right to buy or not buy your stuff for any reason they choose, and if what you stand for and who you are incenses them, they have a right to not put money in your pocket," Simmons said. "For example, I have female fans. If I get up there and say something very sexist, the female fans have a right, because their sense of who I am was insulted, to not put money in my pocket. ... Nobody is curtailing Tim Robbins' rights. However, if a Tim Robbins movie came out today - and I've seen some of his other movies and I've enjoyed them — would I go see it? No."
Simmons also told the magazine that he has pulled a planned feature on the Dixie Chicks from his magazine, Gene Simmons Tongue. "In time of war, to aid and give comfort to the enemy on foreign soil, on stage and in a public forum is perfect fodder for anybody's press overseas that has a slightly different agenda, and I think it's reprehensible. And just because you're cute and have D-cups doesn't mean it's any less reprehensible."
Despite Simmons’ feelings about these celebrities, President Bush should count on his vote come November 2004, "I often don't agree with the Republican Party's stance on air, water, big business, Roe v. Wade, ad infinitum," Simmons explains. "But in time of war, it's time to cut it out, or we're not here. We can't wait for Saddam Hussein He is not a threat to the United States in the conventional sense. But in a very real way, if this son of a b***** gives one suitcase filled with dirty materials —whether it's a nuclear dirty bomb or anything else - to an Al-Qaeda guy who's out of his mind. ... Do I have to wait for what will happen in order to say now he's a threat?"
Simmons explained that his stance comes from a very personal place, "My memory is not short. I'm alive because my mother is alive, and my mother is alive because America liberated her from the Nazi German concentration camps. I'm living proof that there's a country out there that really cared enough to risk its lives, and yet after it beat the country that was spreading this disease, it didn't occupy it, for the first time in history."
In related news, it looks like when Simmons declines to buy the next Pearl Jam record, it won’t hurt Epic Records. The band confirmed in their online newsletter that they have left Epic Records.
The band is reportedly in talks with other labels.