When Paul Stanley, frontman and rhythm guitarist for the band KISS, married in November 2005, he shared his joy with friends and family, including bandmates Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.
Notably absent from the ceremony: Stanley’s longtime musical partner, KISS bassist Gene Simmons. He wasn’t invited.
“Your views on marriage are your own,” Stanley told Simmons, who publicly denounced the concept of marriage until his own nups in 2011. “But when you insult and demean people who get married and ridicule or dismiss the idea of marriage, you have no place at a wedding.”
The incident is replayed in Stanley’s memoir, Face the Music: A Life Exposed, written with journalist Tim Mohr and out Tuesday.
As success came [to the band], Stanley noticed in interviews that Simmons “sure used the word ‘I’ a lot.” Stanley accuses him of abandoning the band in the early ’80s, distracted by attempts to become an actor, but then taking credit for Stanley’s work; and also of using the KISS logo and persona for personal projects without contractual permission.
During this time, Stanley writes, Simmons’ duplicity left him feeling there was “a traitor in the midst.”
As harsh as Stanley is with Simmons, he saves his real venom for former band mates Frehley and Criss. After it was announced back in December that KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Barclays Center on Thursday, a public war erupted over which band members would play at the upcoming ceremony.
Frehley, Criss and the Hall wanted a reunion of the original lineup in full makeup; Simmons and Stanley refused, since KISS now has two other long-standing members in drummer, singer and guitarist Thayer. As of now, all four original members will attend the ceremony, but there will be no performance of the band’s music.
Stanley’s book sheds greater light on why he wouldn’t want a full-on reunion, recalling countless past times that Frehley and Criss, who have both had substance-abuse issues, were belligerent and even unable to play.
Stanley also accuses Frehley of stashing drugs “in the bags or pockets of crew members — without their knowledge — so he wasn’t on the hook if they were found.”
Even more shocking are his accusations of anti-Semitism against the pair. Noting that Frehley owned a collection of Nazi memorabilia, and that some of his earliest experiences with Criss involved the drummer racially mocking waiters at Chinese restaurants, Stanley writes that Frehley and Criss resented him and Simmons for controlling the band’s creative output — which Stanley says occurred because Frehley and Criss’ songwriting contributions “just didn’t amount to much.”
Stanley reiterated to The Post that yes, he does believe that Frehley and Criss are anti-Semitic.
“Yes, I do,” he says. “It’s based on years and years of interactions. It’s not pulled out of thin air.” Frehley and Criss did not respond to requests for comment.
Read more at the New York.