Wanted to post earlier today but we had to actually upgrade our server because of all the activity on the site this weekend (thanks webmaster David for your help!). Now that Gene and Paul have weighed in on the HOF drama of the weekend we have a pretty clear picture on the eve of tickets going on sale that Kiss is not playing at all now in any form. Clearly they had to make some statement here after all the fallout from Ace on my radio show Friday night and Peter’s statement yesterday. So now that all sides have weighed in here is MY analysis of all of this for those interested as far as what has gone on.
Gene and Paul were never going to play with Ace and Peter at this event. Just wasn’t ever going to happen. Look no further than Paul’s official Twitter a few weeks ago when he essentially said as much. Ace, Peter, and MANY members of the HOF I spoke to over the last few weeks confirmed they wanted to play with the current band and had no intention of an originals reunion. The Kiss statement saying “we don’t believe the memory will be enhanced” in playing with Ace and Peter really translates to Gene and Paul not wanting to open a can of worms, and honestly likely not thinking they can cut it with them anymore. They know this can’t be a jump up and jam thing. They need to rehearse and prepare to do it right. That would require them reconnecting for a few days. That opens cans of worms so to speak. So they were never going to go down those roads with the original band. In their view too complicated and just like at MTV unplugged, it would make it very hard to continue to sell what they are now doing afterwards. Ace, Peter and the HOF didn’t just make it up that they didn’t want to play with them. Perhaps they would have allowed Ace and Peter to come up at the group jam at the end, but Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace alone on stage playing a song was something Gene and Paul were never going to allow or have happen. To them it’s complicated on way too many levels. So once Ace and Peter released their statements Gene & Paul’s only way out of the backlash was to check out of playing all together which they did today. And you know what? No matter how this was arrived at it is the best available scenario given they won’t play with the original band. Since the original four are being inducted out of respect no performance is better than Ace and Peter having to watch the current band. I think this also makes it likely (but far from 100%) that everyone at least shows up and speaks. So what we hopefully end up with is a photo op of the original guys, a few words from each, then some sort of all star Kiss tribute band or video package. The HOF will now have to figure that out. But I can tell you this is a victory of sorts for Ace and Peter who now may attend and will not feel dissed having to see personas they created playing at their induction. But it is clear, and I have confirmed with many over the last month involved with the HOF, that Gene and Paul would not play with only the original band at this event. The HOF wanted that, Ace and Peter were up for it (as Ace said on my show when first announced as going in) but Gene and Paul would not have it and wanted to play with the current band. Again, Paul said “very unlikely” over a month ago on Twitter when asked about a reunion and “no way” to them wearing makeup. So where this is all coming from should not be a surprise. It’s pretty clear and honestly it is Gene & Paul’s right at this point, even if you disagree strongly with it. They own Kiss like it or not. To me anything else is spin and damage control at this point. But again, to me, this is the second best scenario given only the originals are being inducted. At least it gets them all there hopefully!
A few other things; do Gene and Paul attend? They say in their statement they will “celebrate” the induction but that doesn’t always mean show up. I would assume they would, but none of the original four have clear cut said yet “we will be there”.
Clearly Gene and Paul are annoyed (and you can make the case rightfully so) that only the original four are being inducted. However their statement left out Vinnie Vincent (a HUGE contributor to Kiss comeback of the 80’s) and the late Mark St John. We all know Kiss and Vinnie had their issues, but if they truly wanted to celebrate KISStory completely Vinnie would certainly at least deserve an invite and mention? I have said all along I think it had to be only the original guys or EVERYONE who was in Kiss to do this right. Kind of hard to pick and choose. The HOF decided only originals. So when they said in their statement “the entire history”, they are still leaving out some gaps.
And that’s another issue. Kiss in their statement continue to allude to all the success they have had without Ace and Peter. Relatively speaking that is true. But you can not discount the fact that the bands biggest periods by far were with the original band. The 70’s were most iconic, then the 90’s reunion was equally huge. Who knows if Ace and Peter didn’t do the reunion tour in ’96 if there would even still be a Kiss today? Reunions happen because bands need them and they are much bigger than whatever that band is doing at the time. Nobody does a reunion tour because it means less people or interest. Current Kiss does very well in festivals and some parts of the world. But to say in America the band is as big as ever (as I have heard stated) is just false. The last full US tour was a CO HEADLINE. You don’t go 50/50 with another band unless you need the help. On the flipside it is without question true that Gene and Paul have kept this alive for 40 years and steered the ship (with good and bad decisions in my view), so without that commitment who knows what would have happened? There were several versions of Kiss. I was a fan of many. But the simple truth is nothing was or will be bigger than the original four guys. That is just fact if you really take in the history.
If the HOF had decided to induct all the members then for sure the case could be made that everyone plays. But they decided to induct the four that started it all only. It sucks for us fans that the powers that be here wouldn’t make that work for at least a song or two, but I think where we arrived at today with no performance is the second best scenario. Now let’s see if they all show, who does the induction (I know but can’t say!) and what the HOF does as a tribute. It’s been a wild weekend since Ace started this with his announcement on my radio show late this past Friday night (audio on the home page) and where we go from here should be interesting as well. I’ll be live on SiriusXM channel 39 6-10P ET tomorrow and will take your calls. That’s MY take, look forward to yours here on the site or on the radio.
Oh, one last thing. Much has been made about the impact all of this will have on sales to the event tomorrow. The timing here was key since MANY were going to come from around the world assuming a performance by the original band one last time. So clearly it’s great those people now know the deal. I think it will for sure change the dynamic of the crowd makeup in the building that night. But as long as the original four show up I’d say a good showing from Kiss fans will be there. But nothing like if it was a reunion performance. Also remember there are many other bands being honored that night. Nirvana and Springsteen also have pretty big bases. So I suspect ticket sales will be just fine when that is all factored in. I’m sure there will be much more to discuss. Never dull being a Kiss fan!