KISS Fan Donates Gene Simmons Axe Bass To Smithsonian
A Charleston, South Carolina KISS fan has donated a signed Gene Simmons bass from his collection to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
The Post And Courier reports KISS fan John Downs was inspired to make the gesture after learning that Eddie Van Halen had donated one of his signature guitars to the Smithsonian in 2011.
Downs, who has purchased 15 of his idol’s instruments over the years, contacted Eric W. Jentsch, deputy curator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum Of American History to inquire about a donation.
“We don’t just want to collect the highest-end guitar. We want to show the American experience with the guitar,” said Jentsch. “We like to tell broad stories, and Gene Simmons is a story unto himself.”
After getting Simmons to sign a dedication note to the Smithsonian on the bass, Downs sent it off to Washington. He received a letter in return, lauding Simmons’ use of “creative vision and entrepreneurial acumen to make a significant impact for our nation’s popular culture, becoming an iconic figure in American music and entertainment.”
Downs presented a framed version of the Smithsonian letter to Simmons during the band’s recent Kiss Kruise III before a crowd of 1,500 fans.
KISS are among the nominees for the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
The New York band are nominated along with Deep Purple, Yes, Nirvana, Hall & Oates, The Replacements, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, N.W.A., Link Wray, the Meters, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, and the Zombies.
The inductees are expected to be revealed in December.
Article courtesy of Henne Music