Why The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ Confused Kiss’ Gene Simmons

TL;DR:

  • Kiss’ Gene Simmons recalled hearing The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” for the first time.
  • He contrasted it with “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
  • The Beatles and Kiss went head-to-head in a Gallup poll to determine America’s favorite band.
"Love Me Do" era Beatles in black-and-white
The Beatles | CBS Photo Archive / Contributor

Kiss Gene Simmons heard The Beatles‘ “Love Me Do” for the first time as a child. The song confused him. Subsequently, he felt “Love Me Do” was an homage to one of America’s great bands.

Kiss’ Gene Simmons said seeing The Beatles on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ was a harbinger of his future life

In his 2006 book Sex Money Kiss, Simmons discussed seeing The Beatles for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show. “Even though I’ve often talked about how greatly that single event affected me, in retrospect it takes on more and more meaning in my life,” he said. “It showed me, and perhaps I can show you, that certain events in your lifetime are ‘signposts’ of a sort.”

After seeing the performance, Simmons wanted to become a rock star too. He thought becoming a rock star would make women scream for him. Simmons wanted to make music as well, but he said any rock star who says he’s just in it for the music is lying. While he didn’t understand The Beatles were making lots of money as a kid, it was clear being a member of the band was an amazing job.

Gene Simmons didn’t think The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ was as important as ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’

During a 2022 interview with The Guardian, Simmons discussed “Love Me Do.” “When my 13-year-old ears heard ‘Love Me Do,’ I didn’t know what to make of it,” he said. “The instrumentation was sparse: harmonica, two guitars, bass, drums. American pop hits were produced with lots of background singers, horns, violins, and percussion, and yet, the song had a familiar ring to it. 

“Years later, I recognized the homage to The Everly Brothers’ approach to harmonies,” he said. “‘Love Me Do’ wasn’t earth-shattering in the way ‘She Loves You‘ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand‘ would be. The lyrics were simple rhymes of ‘do,’ ‘you,’ and ‘true,’ but this odd little song grabbed me.”

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Beatles: Why Mick Jagger Nearly Felt ‘Sick’ When He Heard ‘Love Me Do’

What happened when Kiss and the Fab Four went head-to-head in a poll

This wasn’t the last time The Beatles indirectly played a role in Simmons’ career. In Sex Money Kiss, Simmons says he drew inspiration from the band for one of his earliest songs: “Leeta.” “Leeta” later appeared in one of Kiss’ box sets, The Box Set (2001). That compilation earned a Gold certification.

In addition, The Beatles and Kiss went head-to-head in a 1977 Gallup poll to determine America’s favorite band. Kiss won. This marked the first of three years Kiss won that poll. Simmons said Kiss seemed like an unstoppable financial gravy train at the time.

“Love Me Do” confused Simmons but that didn’t stop him from drawing inspiration from The Beatles.