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Rock and roll firebrand Gene Simmons is no stranger to speaking his mind. From his thoughts on drug addicts, the current state of rock and roll and who should (and shouldn’t) be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we can always count on Gene to be a straight shooter and tell it like it is, so his latest comments shouldn’t surprise you in the slightest. During an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Gene actually took a shot at guitar players, marveling at how one could “ever think anyone who plays electric guitar is an artist” based on the fact that they “can’t even read or write music”.
To be fair, Gene doesn’t consider himself an artist – but his reasoning is leaving rock fans more than a little ticked off.
“An artist is somebody who went to school, who learned music theory, can read and write music, like classical musicians or jazz musicians,” says Simmons.
“None of us — Madonna, I don’t care who you’re talking about — none of us learned to read and write music, we just sort of did it. It’s pretty much on the same level as cavemen who came out of the caves and started to beat on the drums, and howl at the moon.”
Sure, formal training is a great benefit to those who have the means to take that route, but there’s something to be said for guitarists and musicians whose feeling, imagination, creative skill and refusal to be bound by one person’s opinion as to how they should pursue their craft guide them towards greatness, and a perceived lack of knowledge as to how to “read or write music” should never be allowed to discount that.
Three words, Gene… Sir Paul McCartney.
— Zaph Camden (@ZaphCamden) August 30, 2017