with Jimi LaLumia

Living With WarOf Simmons & Electric Chairs
Our last Rhythm Tracking column, dealing with Gene Simmons taking the name “Electric Chairs” to use for his son Nick’s band, has been used, quoted, and reprinted throughout the world and all over the ‘Net after Punk Globe got a hold of it. The band name has been in use by punk legend Jayne (formerly Wayne) County since 1977, and punk fans crawled out of the woodwork to support County and browbeat Simmons into a corner.

After a flood of e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and other missives, Gene Simmons left an explanation on his message board that there was no intention to use the name, no harm intended to County, and that, after all, it’s just a TV show. Nonetheless, TV is still the most powerful medium in the world, and every time that the offending episode is rerun (which has already happened), it further associates the band name with Nick Simmons, and further distances the name from Jayne County.

The episode’s inclusion on the forthcoming DVD release will be damaging, harmful, and unacceptable if there is no mention or tip of the hat to the already existing, worldwide touring, worldwide recording entity known as Jayne County & The Electric Chairs. It remains to be seen if A&E and Simmons intend to just go on, business as usual, after he made his statement on the board. The damage is done, and is being perpetuated by the reruns, so something else needs to be done to balance the scales. Otherwise, this “campaign” is hardly over!


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