Frank Girardot of the Pasadena Star-News reports:
I can’t think of a more plain way to say this, so I just will: KISS does not belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Period. End of Story.
I will argue my case, but the facts speak for themselves: KISS does not belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Over Commericalized Garbage Hall of Fame? Sure.
One-hit Wonder Hall of Fame? Right up there with the best of ‘em.
Don’t tell me that Rock and Roll All Nite is the Rock and Roll national anthem. It isn’t. That’s like saying We’re the Monkees is one of the ‘60s enduring classics.
In short, there is nothing that qualifies KISS for entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
And yet, on Thursday, KISS along with the E Street Band, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens — aka Yusef Islam — and Daryl Hall and John Oates, will be inducted into the Cleveland shrine glorifying Rock and Roll.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m attacking KISS here, but I’m not sure Hall and Oates belong in it either. Unless a nomination is akin to a popularity contest.
Explain to me though how KISS beats out Deep Purple? You want an anthem? What the heck is Smoke on the Water?
Machine Head with Highway Star, Smoke on the Water, Lazy and Space Truckin is better than the entire KISS catalog.
For that matter how does KISS get into the winner’s circle ahead of Paul Butterfield? I mean the Butterfield Blues Band played at Monterey with Hendrix and at Woodstock with Hendrix and The Who. I think a better argument can be made for Butterfield as he opened the doors for Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and played alongside Muddy Waters and Albert King.
Name one artist even slightly influenced by KISS or a style of musicianship influenced by the high-heeled poseurs. You can’t.
So what other bands and artists should be honored before KISS?
I would definitely put The Cure, Chicago, Journey, Bon Jovi, The Cars, Barry White, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jethro Tull, Los Lobos and Willie Nelson in ahead of the make-up boys. How do we really know who is up there playing anyway?
Even Devo and Soundgarden deserve spots in the Cleveland waterfront museum.
To make matters worse, KISS’ guitarist isn’t happy with the induction. But that’s because the HOF has some — albeit limited — standards. CEO Joel Peresman said Thursday’s ceremony will only honor the band’s original members: cat guy, dude with the long tongue, starface and silver eye make-up freak with shoulder pads.
“I don’t need the Hall Of Fame,” Starface told Rolling Stone Magazine. “And if there’s not reciprocity, I’m not interested. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, practically every member was inducted, and virtually all 175 members of the Grateful Dead. Rules need to apply to everybody.”
Probably embarrassed, Peresman nonetheless defended the limited selection.
“…There are certain acts that are nominated and brought in on their entire body of work, up until the day before the nominating committee meets,” Peresman told the Rolling Stone. “They are still evolving bands that are breaking new ground. With KISS, there wasn’t a single person we spoke to that didn’t feel the reason these guys were being inducted was because of the four original members.”
Sadly, even that’s a stretch. But as my friend Dion Lefler points out, “It ain’t the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Quality.”