You can’t utter the name Gene Simmons without making mention of his signature tongue. Since the 1970s, the KISS frontman has built a reputation on his well-endowed oral organ. Simmons’ mouth muscles were such a hot topic among the KISS Army that a rumor eventually surfaced that the rock star had a cow tongue grafted into his existing tongue.
It couldn’t be ruled out. After all, KISS has always been known for their outrageous theatrics at live shows—from spitting fire to vomiting blood. Second, Simmons has always been unapologetic about his sexual prowess. Read on to get the facts on this wild theory, including Simmons’ final say on the matter.
Who Is Gene Simmons?
Gene Simmons, aka Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz) is the co-founder, co-frontman, and bassist for the rock band KISS. From the band’s inception in 1973, they reveled in their reputation as shock rockers. A KISS performance was nothing without wild makeup and costumes, pyrotechnics, and outrageous stage antics.
With a total of 14 Platinum albums, KISS is one of the best-selling bands of all time. In 2014, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Like them or not, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone unfamiliar with the tune “Rock and Roll All Nite” or “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”:
Outside of music, Simmons made a name for himself via film and television. From 2006 to 2012, he starred in seven seasons of A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels. The quasi-reality series was reminiscent of The Osbournes and documented Simmons and his family as they lived their unconventional everyday lives.
Age hasn’t mellowed the man. In 2010, Simmons proudly boasted on the Woody & The Wake-Up Call radio show that he had bedded at least 5,000 women in his lifetime—and had Polaroids of every partner to prove it. He has often credited his tongue for his sex appeal with the ladies.
Gene Simmons Has An Abnormally Large Tongue
Jennifer Lopez insured her rear end. Keith Richards insured his fingers. So it should come as no surprise that at one point, Gene Simmons insured his most valuable asset—his tongue—for $1 million.
Simmons says he didn’t realize what a gift he had until he was in his teens. In his 2001 memoir Kiss and Make-up, he writes, “I was oblivious, for the first thirteen years of my life, that I was endowed with a large oral appendage, my super long tongue. It really was longer than everyone else’s, and I was soon to find out that having a long tongue came in handy with the girls.”
Upon this revelation, Simmons wholeheartedly embraced this unusual feature. Wagging his tongue on stage became a signature flourish. He had a gag inflatable tongue produced by a toy company. And in 2012, he even launched his own men’s lifestyle magazine titled—you guessed it—Tongue.
How The Cow Tongue Rumors Started
According to writer Lynn Saxberg, rumors of Simmons’ false appendage go way back. In a 2000 Ottawa Citizen article (via Snopes), she wrote, “When I was in grade school in the mid-’70s, the cool boys at the back of the school bus listened to Kiss. They were 10-year-old bullies in black T-shirts emblazoned with the KISS logo who spent much of the ride home debating whether Gene Simmons really had a cow tongue grafted to his own tongue.”
Although this was an era before Twitter and viral memes, it’s safe to assume this was the kind of story that floated among KISS fans everywhere. And Simmons seems more than happy to be the subject of rumors. When asked by Rolling Stone how he felt Miley Cyrus’ tongue compared to his, he defensively remarked, “It was okay. But that was a girl’s version. It’s like girls’ basketball. It’s as good as girls get at basketball. But you can’t play with the guys.”
Does Gene Simmons Actually Have A Cow Tongue?
Of course, despite his freakishly long appendage, Simmons’ tongue is natural. His thoughts in his memoir are proof that he was simply born with this unusual quirk.
Even if this rock and roll urban legend has been proven false, it’s one of the more imaginative rumors we’ve come across. Those who are let down can take comfort in the fact that we’ve still found a link between Simmons and a cow. Check out the uncanny resemblance between the Demon and this baby bovine face: