Life lessons from handsome rock stars!

Sting and Bon Jovi give free tips for better living; Gene Simmons sells a coffin; trouble in current Madonna marriage; and sex for Material Girl tickets!

By Amy Reiter

Published June 19, 2001 4:15PM (EDT)

I have a confession to make. Twice in the last week, I have found myself more than moderately moved by the inspirational words of aging rock stars.

First, there was Jon Bon Jovi telling students at Oxford University last week that "passion, perseverance and possibility" will take them far in life.

"Nothing is more important than passion," the persistent rocker told 60,000 screaming coeds. "Whatever you decide to do in life, just be passionate about it. Don't be intimidated by competition as success is sweeter and failure less bitter when you have given everything."

What's more, Bon Jovi reckons, "You have to be true to yourself -- it's your life. You are the masters of your destiny and passion not pedigree will win the end."

I know, I know. Big talk from the man who brought the world "You Give Love a Bad Name," but rather touching nonetheless.

But then Monday, just as I'd recovered my rightful sense of snark, Sting picked up where Bon Jovi left off, extolling the myriad merits of risk in the U.K. Daily Telegraph. A willingness to risk it all for the sake of a well-nourished soul, says Sting, is what got him here today.

"There seems to be very little cognitive process associated with risks," he writes, describing how he left a safe teaching job to try to make a go of it as a musician. "But it was also strangely joyous -- like when you're about to dive into some very cold water and the minute before you hit the water you think, 'There's no turning back now. I've done this.' And there's a great freedom in knowing that there aren't any safety nets."

In fact, he says, if something doesnt "make your stomach heave" or "scare the daylights out of you, it's not a real risk."

OK, so that stomach-heaving part might be going just a bit too far, but I guess that's why he'll always be King of Pain.

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A cautionary note from the king of risks

"I never robbed the treasurer's office in the courthouse."

-- Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, on false accusations, before admitting that he did once burglarize a sports shop and try to break into a bank.

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Extra long for platform-boot wearers?

You can accuse Kiss frontman Gene Simmons of a lot of things, but you can't say he's afraid to take a risk.

His latest? Peddling a full-size, logo-emblazoned "Kiss Forever" coffin, also known as the "Kasket." It's the perfect way to capitalize on that aging fan base!

But Simmons says the casket, which retails for $4,000, isn't just for diehard fans who've gone to that great makeup chair in the sky. Throw in some ice and some cold brews and -- voilà! -- you've got yourself a nice, roomy cooler.

"We figured, why not use it while you're alive?" Simmons tells Variety. "For a guy that's home watching the game in his living room, he could just reach over and grab a cold one."

A cold one maybe, but I wouldn't be caught dead in it.

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Material witness

"It is still too early to say how my wife will influence my life. But I do already know that it's sometimes hard work living with her."

-- Guy Ritchie, griping about "the missus," Madonna, in Germany's Stern magazine.

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Back in vogue

And speaking of stomach-heave-inducing risks ...

Therma1, a German Web site, has offered tickets to a sold-out Madonna concert in Berlin to the most appealing person to agree to have sex with one of its editors. The response? 120 rock-solid offers and a whole lot of casual interest.

"The worldwide interest has been overwhelming," Therma1 publisher Bernd Heusinger told Reuters. "The demand was so great that our computers crashed. We've got people sending in applications from everywhere: Canada, Mexico, Singapore, the United States, Belgium, Italy. It's unbelievable."

Unbelievable, he says, in a good way. "It shows that we are not trapped in the morals of the 1950s anymore."

No, apparently we're trapped in the music of the '80s instead.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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