Steven Hill Contributing writer
A special few in Whistler got a completely different kind of New Year's “Kiss” this year.
Rock ‘n' roll icon Gene Simmons stunned patrons of Black's Pub as he helped them ring in the New Year with an impromptu jam session with his daughter Sophie and some local Whistler talent.
“It was the best New Year's Eve ever,” said Whistler singer/songwriter Rachel Thom, who shared the Dec. 31 stage with the Kiss frontman and bass player. “It was really exciting.”
Thom was playing another New Year's party when she found out Simmons was at Black's Pub.
“Sean Rose (Whistler's Gnar Boots) asked Gene Simmons' daughter Sophie to come to Black's and she said she would ‘bring the family,'” said Thom. “Sean wanted me to come over and sing something for Gene.”
At Black's, patrons were aware of Simmons, actress/model partner Shannon Tweed and daughter Sophie in a booth, but were being respectful, she said.
“I did see Gene sign one girl's bra,” she said. “But Shannon was helping, and other than that nobody bothered them. I think that's why celebrities like places in Canada like Whistler because we're maybe more respectful of their privacy.”
That changed, however after Simmons took to the stage following songs by Thom and then Sophie.
“The whole bar went crazy,” she said. “I think as soon as he went on stage he was fair game and all the cameras came out. “ The Kiss bassist riffed on the classic Mustang Sally, a little blues and more during the brief set.
For more on this story and additional photos, check out Thursday's edition of The Question.