Kiss rocker Gene Simmons spends sleepy night in Battle Ground

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

Published:

Updated: June 23, 2011, 7:45 PM

 

Battle Ground members of the Kiss Army received a welcome surprise this week: rocker Gene Simmons made an overnight stop in the city.

“The Demon” arrived in Battle Ground on Wednesday and stayed the night at Best Western Battle Ground Inn & Suites. By Thursday afternoon, Simmons and his crew were on the road again, heading to a Kiss show that night in Everett.

When hotel worker Garrett Harrison arrived at work Wednesday evening, he somehow missed the giant Gene Simmons tour bus, complete with a picture of Simmons’ painted face plastered on the side, in the parking lot.

When the hotel manager told him the founder of Kiss was staying the night in Battle Ground, Harrison was beside himself.

“My jaw dropped,” he said Thursday. “It was Gene Simmons at my hotel in Battle Ground, Washington. It was more than I was expecting when I came to work.”

“It was like, ‘No way, man, I’m gonna get to talk to Gene Simmons,’” Harrison added.

Harrison said he kept his eye on the door the entire evening, hoping to catch a glimpse of the rocker.

“I saw his roadies,” said Harrison, adding that one was wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt. “He (Simmons) didn’t come out of his room the whole time I was here.”

By the time Harrison arrived at work Thursday, Simmons was gone.

Even though Simmons stayed in his room, his roadies did take the bus out for a spin in Battle Ground on Wednesday night. They headed down Main Street and had dinner at Galeotti’s Restaurant.

Several people sent Battle Ground Mayor Mike Ciraulo text messages after spotting the Kiss bus cruise through town.

Like Harrison, Ciraulo didn’t get a chance to meet the rocker.

“I’m a big Kiss fan from way back when,” Ciraulo said. “That would have been cool.”

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546 or marissa.harshman@columbian.com.