Just back from another crazy run of travel and rock insanity over the last few days. It started Thursday night with the HOF ceremony in Brooklyn. If you followed on Twitter you saw a ton of great photos and coverage I sent out as it happened from the very first row of the arena. I also have the complete Kiss induction speeches on my Iphone from the first row. I will post when I can. It was a great night and I am grateful Ace and Peter included me among a very very small amount of people they had sit with them at their tables. The HOF only gives every inductee a plus one for free. Everyone else they bring as guests must pay an extreme amount of money per seat. Ace and Peter’s tables were at opposite ends of the very first row. Nothing in front but the stage. Just an awesome view. I mostly hung with Ace and sat with him since that was where my seat was. But I did walk over and sit with Peter for a bit as well. The Kiss table with the current band and Bruce was slightly behind Peter’s. I did say hi to Bruce briefly but there was no interaction with any of the other guys which honestly I did not expect or seek out. I was there as a guest of Ace and Peter’s to celebrate this historic and long overdue moment. There was no real interaction I was aware of between Ace and Peter and Gene and Paul until they went up on stage. From my view it seemed at times awkward while they were all up there and at times okay. Obviously there was a ton of drama leading up to this with all kinds of things said from all corners, but in the end it was fairly uneventful as far as them all standing there and accepting. I thought they all looked good, said good stuff, and did the best they could under a fairly stressful build up to the induction. A few observations:
*Kiss was pretty much the only band who played by the rules and kept their speeches to the 2-3 minute time limit. They were up there maybe a total of 10 minutes. Most artists took a TON of time, especially the E Street Band.
*Tom Morello did a GREAT induction speech. Really fired up the Kiss fans and captured the moment perfectly!
*Paul Stanley’s speech was last and very very good. Loved how he called out the HOF
*Because Kiss choose not to perform they really ended up being somewhat of a footnote in a very long night. All the other acts had much longer inductions and played 3 songs or so. Kiss’s moment was all of 15 minutes total with a simple video package, Morello and the speeches. Could only think if Gene and Paul would have allowed just one song with the original four they could have blown the place up! Sucks to think what could have been.
*As a result of no performance from Kiss the Kiss fans in the building were much less than I expected. Maybe third biggest reaction from the crowd after E Street band and Nirvana to be honest. I also know some tickets were given away to help fill the building at the last minute. No way that happens if original four did even one song.
*The original four did pose for photos in the press room after their speeches but did not take questions. I tweeted out some of these shots which likely will be the last time the original four are photographed together.
*I was stunned in Gene’s speech when speaking about Ace how many guitarists try to imitate him but none come close. I’m sure Tommy Thayer sitting right there loved that!
*Ace stayed until the end of the very long night. He was asked to jam with Nirvana and Tom Morello to close the night on a cover of “Highway To Hell” but at the last second the jam was called off by the HOF because the event ran way too long. Ace was ready to go and even had his guitar with him! He would have been the only member of Kiss to play on stage if it had happened and was clearly bummed when it was cancelled.
*Bill Aucoin’s sister and partner were also at our table along with a photo of Bill. Ace said he was really thinking of Bill all night.
*Tommy, Eric, Vinnie, Mark, Bruce and Eric Carr were all mentioned during the induction to minimal reaction from the crowd. A few cheers, a few boos, and many cries of “Ace” and “Peter” from the stands.
*All four members of Kiss wore sunglasses on stage. Weird but I guess they thought it looked cool?
For me it was a weird night in the sense that I had been screaming so hard for so long like many fans to see this finally happen, but then we only got an abbreviated section for Kiss since they wouldn’t play. But there were also times I went back to being that kid in high school made fun of for liking this band and relished the moment and let out a cheer when they all stood on stage. It was sweet vindication for Kiss fans to see this happen right in front of the critics who tried to keep them out. But you can’t help but to think how much more special this night would have been if Kiss would have taken the stage to play. They were the only band to not have some music represented on the stage. As Kiss continues to inch closer to being a full time sanctioned tribute band (and that is what is in the works soon) I have to think this may have been the last great moment for fans of the original band to see them at least standing there one final time. So much more to discuss but that’s how I saw it. I’ll take your calls on all of this live Monday 6-10P ET on SiriusXM 39 TRUNKNation. Joe Elliot and Chris Von Rohr of Krokus will also be guests.
As of the rest of the night all the performances sounded good from the other artists inducted. I thought Joan Jett with Nirvana sounded really good and was a cool surprise.
My thanks also to Matt Swanson for his hospitality at the HOF event and the many fans I met that night who thanked me for pushing to help get Kiss and other hard rock bands in. The HOF still has so much wrong with it but progress being made with Alice, Rush and Kiss now in. Purple MUST go next!
Thanks to all in Mexico City and Puebla! Just returned home from live shows there this weekend with Don & Jim. Was a blast and the Mexican TMS fans were amazing and sold out both of our appearances. Thanks also to Christian Beristain and his entire team for having us and treating us well. We will be back Mexico, thank you!
See you live on the radio tomorrow night!