On September 18th, I went to Chili Paul Wegmans around noon to stand in line to meet Gene Simmons, of KISS. Gene Simmons was in Rochester, NY to promote the sales of his new product, Moneybag Soda, produced right in Niagara Falls, NY. The four-pack of soda was for sale for the price of twenty-five dollars. This included a photo with Gene and Genes signature on the soda box. The proceeds were to benefit the Hillside Work Scholarship Connection, which is an organization out of Rochester. The soda was recently picked up by Wegmans. The event started at 1:30 and was to go until 3:00 pm. Gene started a bit early at 1:20 pm. I was about fiftieth in line for the event. Chili Paul Wegmans gave out free tickets to this event from the service desk, I picked up my tickets on the September 14th. Many individuals tagged me in posts on Facebook regarding the event, and it was during the time of two of my classes. I felt that this event was important enough to miss class for, so I decided to go.
After waiting in line for an hour and forty-five minutes, it was my turn to take a photo with Gene Simmons. I started off by saying “Hello there,” and showed him my lock screen of my phone, which featured five photos of Gene and me together. He asked, “What are these from?” to which I replied with “All of the KISS Kruises!” I was able to give him my Business card as well, which features my photos with celebrities on the back, and my caricature of myself with Gene Simmons KISS makeup, slightly altered with pink instead of black.
After getting my photo with Gene, I was interviewed by three media outlets. First, I was interviewed by News 8 (WROC). I was waiting in line, and I was asked about my past experiences with KISS if I was excited to be at the event and more. I replied happily that I have been fortunate enough to see KISS many times before and that it was cool that Gene Simmons came to a local store. I was then interviewed by Democrat and Chronicle, they chased me down to ask me questions like News 8 had asked, and lastly, I sat down with an individual from 13 WHAM to answer a few of their questions. Specifically, I remember the man asking me about how I felt about Gene Simmons being at Wegmans, I replied with something along the lines of “I think that it is really cool to have a celebrity in our area at a supermarket that is branded out of Rochester NY. I think that it is cool to have that to ourselves.” That was very exciting for me. I am featured on Democrat and Chronicle and News 8 (WROC)’s websites.
The event was exciting. Even though I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Gene briefly prior to this event on The KISS Kruise. The attendees were for the most part respectful, not overcrowding Gene too much, and mostly respectful of the fact that Gene was only signing the Moneybag Soda and no other KISS merchandise. I was surprised to see a line of 300 or more individuals get through a line of photo taking and Soda signing in the allotted timeframe of 1:30-3pm. Gene has always been very punctual without being rude. The event was great, and I hope Gene continues to do local events like this for those that can’t travel far or afford a meet and greet.
Photo courtesy of Democrat and Chronicle.