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Gene Simmons Says David Bowie ‘Refused to Stand Still and Look Over His Shoulder’

As fans and rockers continue to reflect on the legacy left behind by the late David Bowie, KISS legend Gene Simmons made an appearance on CNN (seen above) to discuss the musician’s influence. He recalls the day he met Bowie, reflecting on the icon’s gentle and welcoming persona as well as his self-made influence.

Dialing back the clock, Simmons discussed a time when KISS were in the studio and got a special surprise from one of their biggest inspirations. He stated, “In 1975 in New York City both David and KISS were in the same recording studio — and we had yet to ascend and play the stadiums and all that; we were still a new band, some people knew about us, some not — David Bowie, I don’t know why, made it a point of inviting us into his recording session.” Still a young band as he noted, the moment filled them with excitement as Simmons added, “We were all nervous and stuff and I remember walking in, and even though we didn’t know each other, he smiled and looked me right in the eye and stuck his hand out and said, ‘Hello, wonderful to meet you.'”

Starstruck, the KISS demon continued, “I was taken aback, I was awestruck by, you know, a giant. This guy who changed the face of music, refused to stand still and look over his shoulder while he was running his own race, he continued to move as fast as he could forward, marching to the beat of his own drums.” Going on to commend Bowie’s legacy, he said, “You just can’t define exactly what he was. He was unique and its worth noting that there are a lot of famous rap stars and pop stars and all that stuff — it ain’t the same thing. The word ‘icon’ is reserved — the air up there is thin and there are very few up there who deserve to be up there and clearly David Bowie is.”

After an 18-month battle with liver cancer, the musical and cultural icon passed away two days after his 69th birthday. He released his 25th studio album, Blackstar, on his birthday. The disc contains lyrics that all point to a calculated effort of a musician who knew he was reaching the end.

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