Legendary musician Gene Simmons: ‘Money absolutely buys happiness’


Think money doesn't buy happiness? Think again, says Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, 68.

In his recently released book, "On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power," the musician draws on his personal and business experiences to drive home the significance of money and power.

"Power and, yes, money will certainly increase your chances of making you, and those around you, healthier and happier," he writes in the book.

The notoriously blunt musician tells CNBC Make It that anyone who says otherwise is "so wrong."

"Money absolutely buys happiness," says Simmons. He gives this example: Imagine that your mother needs a hip replacement, he says, or that she's got cancer and has one chance of survival.

"Without money, you're f-----," he says. "If you cure your mother, or give to charity, or feed your child or protect your family — it is only money that can do that."

The outspoken musician explains that he doesn't prescribe to the notion that money is insignificant and all you need in life is love.

"That's a lie," he says, adding that money is not a "romantic idea."

"The Ethiopian woman on the sands of the Kalahari Desert in Africa gives her child all the love any child could ever want," he says. But that's not enough.

"She doesn't have any money or power," explains Simmons. "That child will be loved and will die in her arms."

The rock star adds that money is so vital because it allows you to meet your most basic physiological needs. In his book, the Kiss singer references the hierarchy of needs pyramid, which was developed by renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow.

Maslow's theory argues that there is an order in which humans worry about things they need to survive and flourish. At the very bottom of the pyramid are "physiological needs," which include food, shelter and clothing.

Higher up on the pyramid are needs like safety, love, esteem and self-actualization. However, says Simmons, you can't even begin to climb up the pyramid if you don't have money to sustain your most basic needs at the bottom rung.

Only when you have money to buy the items you need to survive can you begin to espouse love, says the musician. "First money, then love," he says, adding that "if you're going to be a miserable son of a b----, it's still better to be a rich miserable son of a b----."

Simmons reiterates the importance of acquiring money if you want to be happy and he uses lottery winners as an example.

"You ever see a person who wins the lottery and wins $100 million? How sad do they look?" he asks sarcastically.

"Money is the fuel of life," says the musician. "Without money, you're going nowhere."

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