from music news

Gene Simmons says his band Kiss is more famous than Mickey Mouse.

The long-tongued bassist with the glam rockers Ė famous for their black and white painted faces Ė claims the bandís image and merchandising are more successful than any other group in history and instantly recognisable.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: 'You donít know how big the image is. By some experts, it is believed to be the most recognised pop culture image on Earth Ė even above Mickey Mouse.

'You know, thereís no U2 comic book, thereís no Mick Jagger action figure. We have our own Visa card. You can go into Wal-Mart and get sweets with our faces on. We have a Dr Pepper soft drink campaign now. Itís unbelievable!'

Gene, who does not drink alcohol, and his bandmate Paul Stanley put the success of the 'Love Guní group Ė which, in its present incarnation, also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer - down to their hard work ethic and anti-drug stance.

Paul said: 'When everyone started talking about sex, drugs and rock and roll, I was saying, 'You keep the drugs, and Iíll take the sex and the rock and roll.í '