Rock music became an iconic cultural movement in the latter half of the 20th century in part because it created a mythology, centered around hard-partying rock stars devoting their lives to sex, drugs, and of course, rock ‘n’ roll. It’s no surprise that a genre founded upon such a mythos spawned plenty of urban legends, but you might be surprised by how outlandish, yet enduring these legends are. Let’s take a trip through rock history and dispel some of those crazy myths believed by so many people.
1. Gene Simmons’ cow tongue
Gene Simmons is the most outlandish member of a band founded upon outsized spectacle. The KISS bass guitarist is known to brandish his unusually long tongue in concert. His tongue is so long, in fact, many speculated no human’s tongue could naturally be so long. Rumors declared that Simmons had a cow’s tongue grafted onto his own to complement his demonic persona in KISS.
There’s plenty wrong with this theory, beginning with the fact that a cow’s tongue looks entirely different from a human tongue and that medical technology in the ’70s was nowhere near equipped to handle an interspecies tongue-grafting procedure. Gene Simmons’ tongue is the genuine article.
On a related note, the members of KISS did shed their own blood to be mixed with the red ink used to produce Marvel’s first KISS comic book. And that is no myth.