Gene Simmons talks daughter Sophie’s engagement, KISS farewell tour

Tears will be definitely be falling at Sophie Simmons’ wedding to James Henderson.

Page Six exclusively caught up with Gene Simmons at his Rock & Brews restaurant in El Segundo, Calif., over the weekend, where he shared details about his daughter’s upcoming nuptials – and how he reacted to the recent engagement news.

“We were in Zürich [Switzerland] and Sophie and James, her potential husband, were there,” the KISS rocker, 73, joked, stating that nothing’s official until they “cross the finish line.”

“But in Zürich, Sophie literally said, ‘Can we go out, onto the nice sunset and everything? Let’s take a family photo,’” he recalled.

“I said, ‘Sure.’ And as I was posing, James dropped to his knees and I [gasped].”

A photo of Gene Simmons and daughter Sophie Simmons
Gene Simmons exclusively spoke with Page Six about daughter Sophie Simmons’ upcoming nuptials to James Henderson.
Mike Pont

Gene revealed that Sophie will say “I do” early next year at one of the family’s properties in Malibu, Calif., with a reception to follow.

“February, she’s getting married,” the “Gene Simmons: Family Jewels” alum – who also shares son Nick Simmons with wife Shannon Tweed – told us.

“I’m not ready. One second she’s just a pair of cheeks with little legs walking around. Next second, she’s a grown woman,” he gushed. “I’m not ready. But it’s happening. She’s getting married and he’s a great guy.”

Gene further joked that Sophie and Henderson have “been living together for eight years… in sin!” and that his daughter’s fiancé has his work cut out for him.

“She’s going to make an honest man out of him,” he said. “He doesn’t know what he’s in for because Sophie wears the pants there. He’ll find out, yeah.”

Sophie announced she was engaged to Henderson one day ahead of her 30th birthday on July 7 via a series of posts shared to Instagram.

“No birthday can top this,” she wrote on her Stories at the time, later posting a black-and-white pic of her massive sparkler to her feed. “‘this is the time’ 💍.”

A photo of Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed, Sophie Simmons and Nick Simmons
The musician and his wife, Shannon Tweed, are also parents to son Nick Simmons.
Corbis via Getty Images

In addition to wedding planning with his family, Gene has also been busy with KISS’ “End of the Road World Tour,” described as the legendary rock band’s “final tour ever.”

“We love the fans, and we don’t want to stay on stage too long, but we’re having the time of our lives,” explained the “Rock and Roll All Nite” singer, who is touring with Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.

“We added another 100 cities, but at the end of that, no more touring.”

Some fans on social media have jokingly referred to it as the “never ending world tour” – seeing as it’s been ongoing since Jan. 31, 2019 – but Gene assured us it has an end date.

“I know where and when, but I’m not [revealing yet],” he teased. “I do know the last day and date. But you don’t want to find out what you’re getting for Christmas as a present in July, right?”

Gene co-founded KISS with Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in the early 1970s. The original group members previously embarked on a “Farewell Tour” from March 2000 to April 2001.

“We were honest about it. It wasn’t a trickery or anything,” he told Page Six of he and Stanley’s decision to continue performing after that tour wrapped. “We had the original guys, Ace and Peter, who were not performing up to snuff. It had to do with drugs and alcohol. I don’t want to sugarcoat it.

“We decided, at that point, we should probably end it. I don’t want to be up on stage and do a lackluster show,” he added. “And then as we were about to stop, the fans were saying, ‘Why don’t you just replace them, like a football team?’ We thought about it for a while and we said, ‘Yeah!’ We originally thought we can’t exist without those guys, but you can. You know, a divorce is heartbreaking, but you’ll get over it.”

A photo of KISS in May 1976
The original members of KISS included Gene, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss.
Getty Images

Gene spoke to Page Six in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The bassist greeted veterans – as well as members of the army, military and first responders – at his Rock & Brews restaurant on Friday, treating them to free meals as a thank you for their service.

“What we’re doing here is doing what every American should be doing, and that’s honoring the vets. That’s what it’s all about,” explained Gene, who was born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish immigrants from Hungary. “Today is Veterans Day, but as far as I’m concerned, every day should be Veterans Day, because you don’t risk your life in your job, I don’t risk my life at my job, what I do. But vets literally less risk their lives every single day.

“We honor those who have served. We honor the vets who will serve and are currently serving. And you got to remember, all of them gave some. Some of them sadly gave all, the ultimate sacrifice,” he continued.

“America’s got to wake up. And don’t shy away from the word patriotism. Patriotism doesn’t confine itself to a political point of view. It’s literally human beings who, in some cases, give the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – so that you can complain about a bad hair day or the traffic jam. Patriotism is a good word. Honor it.”

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