The man famous around the world for his eight-inch dragon boots, elaborate costumes and makeup, blood-spitting, fire-breathing and tongue-wagging antics on stage has received the key to the City of Winnipeg.

Gene Simmons, bassist and co-founder of the rock band Kiss, is in the city for his Rich and Famous speaking tour.


Gene Simmons and longtime partner Shannon Tweed are featured in a reality TV show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels.

Coun. Gord Steeves, on behalf of Mayor Sam Katz, presented the key to the city to Simmons and his longtime partner Shannon Tweed at 3 p.m. CT. A large crowd was on hand for the event.

"I'm the luckiest son of a bitch that ever walked the planet," Simmons said. "I don't deserve any of it.  I could certainly point to many, many more people who deserve it — nicer people, more qualified people, more charming people, more eloquent people."

The honour is bestowed upon visiting dignitaries, with past recipients including former CFL star Milt Stegall, Sir Bob Geldof, Olympian Jon Montgomery and actor-director Henry Winkler.

In addition to his rock life, Simmons has a hit reality TV show, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, and runs a number of businesses including a car dealership and a record label. He is also a financial consultant and the force behind the KISS merchandising franchise — action figures, comic books, condoms, games, a coffeehouse, Visa credit cards, trading cards and even caskets.

He told CBC News in an interview that people can improve their financial lives by not spending what he calls "stupid money."

"Unfortunately for a large segment of the population, drug money and going-out-and-partying money and vacation money and all that … the truth is if you stop doing that for a long time your life wouldn't be affected. In fact, you'd be richer," he said.

"Hey listen, I'm in Moose Jaw, I'm in Abbotsford, I'm in wherever [and people say], 'how do I make the big bucks? How do I change my life? I don't want to move to L.A. I don't want to do these kinds of things, but how can I make more money?'" he said.

"I can show you."

Simmons' talk at the Concert Hall begins at 8 p.m.