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'Bucket list': KISS frontman Gene Simmons meets fans, promotes vodka in Edmonton


Fans of legendary American band KISS threw on their concert t-shirts, painted their faces and lined up in the snow hundreds deep Friday to meet Gene Simmons.

The 73-year-old, bass-playing, "fire-breathing demon" was in town to take photos and sign bottles of his new vodka called MoneyBag.

"If you aspire to greatness and reaching for the clouds, you can't say I'm just a musician or I'm just an actor," he told CTV News Edmonton. "No no, it's a business."

"If you're not paying attention to the business, you'll be asking the next person in like if you'd line some fries with that."

He's not a vodka drinker himself but has tasted the product.

"Of course, but it’s not up to me. I just work here. It's up to the people. For the people, by the people. So ignore what you or I say, try it for yourself. Give Grandma one of these beautiful bottles," Simmons said to his fans.

KISS played its first paying gig in Edmonton back in the early seventies and Simmons said they'll be back as part of a world tour soon, although he couldn't give a date.

MoneyBag Vodka is a partnership with Calgary's Minhas Brewery. He met with the family in Calgary just 11 months ago.

"He was looking for a distillery, preferably a family distillery, to make his dream product. And we were looking for a rockstar. A match made in heaven," said Manjit Minhas, also known from Dragons' Den on CBC.

"He definitely knows what people want and we know how to make really good vodka."

KISS fan Dave Seanor has been listening to the band since 1975. He said the tunes never get old and he was thrilled to briefly meet Gene.

"I'm over the moon," Senor said. "I'm excited. Wow, this is cool. I'm the first one to buy this vodka [in Edmonton] so another thing off my bucket list. I thanked him for the soundtrack to my life."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk Top Stories

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