KISS bassist Gene Simmons is the first to admit that he's a loud mouth and often doesn't think before he speaks to the press.
Simmons' latest comment that has us scratching our heads is one in which he impugned the musical impact of the State of California during an interview with U.K. publication The Northern Echo.
The God of Thunder was attempting to highlight the incredible musical legacy of the United Kingdom, but as is his habit, did so while also taking a swipe at something else.
"America created rock 'n' roll, blues, jazz and rap and all of the various types of popular music, but what you [the U.K.] have been able to do is to make it royal and all from a small area with not that many people," Simmons said, before contrasting the U.K. with the Golden State.
"California has more people than your island and has the fifth biggest economy on the Earth and yet other than The Beach Boys, California doesn't have much. You have The Beatles, The [Rolling] Stones, U2 and Queen, and the list goes on and on."
So before we get to the thesis of this article, which is that California has a rich and essential music history, we should also point out two other factual errors in Simmons' statement.
While California is indeed one of the world's largest economies, its population is estimated to be a little under 40 million, while the population of the U.K. is about 66 million. Also, while U2 sure is great, that band is from Dublin, Ireland, and thus not part of the U.K.
Now, Simmons' point about the U.K. alone is well-taken. Artists from the nation are an important part of music culture worldwide. So rather than act like Californian artists are better than their British counterparts, let's just say that they are influential in their own right ... and that there's a ton of examples beyond The Beach Boys.
We identified 42 other musical acts from several different genres that were either born in California or based there in the beginning of their career. Each act is widely influential in their respective genre. Take a look below and let us know what we missed!
Great Musical Artists From California
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