Well it has finally happened and Kiss is in the R&R Hall Of Fame. In recent years we have seen Alice Cooper, Rush, Heart finally go in. Hell if this keeps up I may not have much more to scream about. Not to worry though, still TONS of bands snubbed, including the inexplicable continued snubbing of Deep Purple, which sadly continued for this year. But for 15 years Kiss was ignored, and finally they couldn’t ignore them anymore. Make no mistake, there are many in the Hall voting panel miserable this is happening. But it HAD to happen. Not for the right reasons of music, influence, ground breaking performance etc, but for the economics. The Hall needs fans of major bands finally in Cleveland selling tickets to that museum. So the elitists who tried to keep Kiss out all these years had to fold because they need bands like Kiss and Rush because they need the fan interest those bands bring! The president of the Hall was on my radio show a couple years ago and agreed that is a concern. Laura Nyro isn’t moving tickets in Cleveland!
I’ve heard many people say “I hope Gene and Paul let Ace and Peter come”. That is not the way this works. They don’t control this, the Hall does. The Hall is inducting the original four members only. So they will all be invited and able to speak that night. Where the questions come in is who plays? Of course the hope for any Kiss fan is the original band does at least a song or two. Ace and Peter patched up their own issues at my radio party just a couple months ago and also played together. So nobody can say they are incapable of a couple songs as the original four. The question is will Gene and Paul agree to play with the original band? They have spent more than the last 10 years pushing the current band and slinging barbs at times at Ace and Peter. Can they bury these issues and make it work at least for a night? The problem is the enormity of the four of them on stage together will once again completely undo all the work they have done selling the current version of the band to some degree. Make no mistake, I was at the MTV unplugged, when these guys appear together it will be an avalanche from the fans in terms of reaction. So the question comes into play in the performance area. Do they all play together? Do Gene and Paul try and crowbar in the current band to play? Do Ace and Peter not play if that’s the case? Do they wear makeup? In the past many scenarios have played out with the performance portion. From more than one lineup playing, to no performance by the band at all. So anything can happen in this area and this is where the negotiation comes in and things can get dicey. They could also opt to not play and have a tribute of some sorts perform. But the original four guys will be there and be inducted. The playing is all still TBD. Back in 2006 at a VH1 show I worked on Gene and Paul refused to let Ace and Peter play with them at Rock Honors. It resulted in Peter not attending and Ace in a strange scenario playing with the tribute to Kiss while Tommy performed with Kiss dressed as Ace! But this is the Hall and much bigger and HAS to be done right and respectfully for all four members and most importantly US the FANS! So let’s see what ends up unfolding as the discussions will begin between the various camps very soon.
Another thing, the decision to only include the original 4. I understand the decision. I loved Eric Carr, and I am fully aware of the major contribution in KISStory by many key members. But if you don’t cut it at the original guys only then you have to put everyone that was ever in the band in. So in my view it’s the originals (which it is) or everyone (which it is not). If you extend beyond the original 4 how can you then not also include Eric Singer, who has been in the band a long time, or Bruce Kulick, or even Vinnie who had a huge role in writing key comeback albums? So it’s either all of them or just the founding members, and the Hall is only inducting Ace, Peter, Gene & Paul. Hopefully there will at least be a verbal acknowledgement of what the other guys have contributed. To me they should all four accept together, do a couple songs with the original four (after all, this honor is all about them) and then maybe jam a song with some of the Kiss super fans from other bands. I am NOT lobbying for any reunion full time here. As a matter of fact I think this would be a good time for Kiss to finally retire. Go in the Hall with the guys that started it, and everyone go on to solo stuff and other things. To me it would be a great way to end and put a button on a remarkable career ending in the Hall with the same four that started it. But that’s just my take. I’m sure Gene sees way too many business deals still left to keep dragging some version of Kiss through the mill. But Gene and Paul own the entity known as Kiss, kept it alive, and are within their right to do what they want regardless if I like it or not. I just think it would be a great way to go out. Like a football player winning the Super Bowl and then retiring.
So much more to come on this, but at least, FINALLY, Kiss is in! I’ve had many tweets and emails from fans thanking me for being so vocal about this for so many years on radio and TV. Not saying for a minute I played a role in Kiss, Rush or Alice going in, but I appreciate those that have sent those notes of thanks for bringing awareness to this insane injustice. I assure you many in the mainstream woke up today saying “Kiss, you mean they weren’t in that already?” Kiss was my gateway band into rock music. Regardless of my feelings about what they have done in recent years I have and always will be a Kiss fan. I think being a fan is about debating and liking different eras more than others and being able to voice those opinions. I was the guy made fun of in high school by so many for liking Kiss. I was in high school from ’79-’82, trust me, NO band was more uncool than Kiss then! Many fellow fans know of that struggle haha! So no matter what era of Kiss you were into let’s all celebrate this great overdue moment! I spoke to Ace last night and also Peter’s wife Gigi (Peter was sleeping when the news broke) and Peter himself just a couple minutes ago. Obviously all are excited and still learning how this will all go down. My annual KISSmas Special, which I have been doing since 1990, will take place live this Friday night from 11P-2A ET on Q104.3 NYC. My 23rd year celebrating all Kiss around Christmas and this year will be extra special no doubt. Ace will call in live to discuss the Hall. Also how fitting is this that this year the event is happening in Brooklyn open to the public? Especially for Peter! All respect to the other honorees but this thing is going to be all about Kiss as it should be, and I suspect the fans will let certain parties know how they feel about waiting 15 years that night. Congratulations to Ace, Peter, Gene & Paul, and to the fellow Kiss fans out there our day has finally come, so congrats to you as well. See you on the radio Friday night to celebrate KISSmas and see you in Brooklyn in April!
This just in, Rolling Stone story with Gene. They mention me and TMS. Gene clearly caught off guard because it is a ridiculous excuse for not doing TMS!