I don't know if he heard the expression from someone else, but one of my favorite quotes is Kalashnikov's -- from his official Soviet industrial biography (as best I can remember):
"To make something complicated is simple. To make it simple, now that's complicated."
As a child, Kalashnikov once narrowly escaped Soviet police, who had learned of his attempt to repair an old Browning pistol -- by sheer dumb luck, his family moved to another city just in time to place him, in a practical sense, beyond the reach of his local law enforcement's interest. As a young man, Kalashnikov served in a tank crew during the Great Patriotic War (WWII). Wounded in combat, he began to formulate the weapon that would become the Avtomat Kalashnikova while still in a military hospital. Heavily influenced by many great gun designs already in use, by the M43 cartridge already adopted for use in Soviet medium power rifles, and the experience of his colleagues, Kalashnikov brought his new rifle to the design compettition, and won acceptance. For a poor boy from a small town who'd never held much rank, his was a shining achievement. What others have done with this rifle was never his to choose. His intent was simply to help secure his nation and to provide Soviet soldiers a sturdy and reliable tool of war. Interestingly enough, he'd once hoped to design better agricultural implements. The war seems to have literally beaten his will to make plowshares into a determination to make weapons. And so he did -- for many decades.
Kalashnikov's most famous design, the AK-47, is poorly understood by the vast majority of those in the US popular press to this day. An NPR report on Kalashnikov's death, broadcast on the 23rd, incorrectly stated that the AK-47 is "wobbly" and inaccurate. The truth is that the AK-47 and its later variants, were always capable of accuracy considered adequate by major military powers, both in the East and West. With the right ammunition, a military standard Kalashnikov in good condition is capable of very respectable accuracy. The design was even adopted, in slightly modified forms, by South Africa, Israel, and Finland -- all of whom are absolutely unforgiving of inaccuracy in their military arms. As for being "wobbly," the Kalashnikov is one of the sturdiest pieces of military hardware you'll ever encounter.
Perceptions of the AK as inaccurate stem mainly from the fact that the earlier M43 cartridge's recoil is high enough to make any practical rifle firing it full auto a relatively close-range weapon, the fact that many of those who have used this weapon in combat have had little to no training or discipline, and the fact that the weapons themselves are so incredibly tough and reliable that they are commonly kept in use by irregular forces long after their accuracy has been compromised by poor maintenance, incredibly heavy use, and quite a lot of outright abuse. These are, after all, machines -- they are not indestructible.
Here's to Kalashnikov -- may he be remembered as the simple, dedicated, and patriotic man he truly was.