Posted by Dana Category: LATEST NEWS

KISS400 Steve Appleford of the L.A. Times reports:

The sideshow at Dodger Stadium is about to begin as Paul Stanley emerges from his backstage trailer, shirtless and in full kabuki drag: bright red lips, his face painted harlequin white, a black star over his right eye. The singer-guitarist is here to perform with his band KISS but hears his name and walks over to a crowd gathered at the fence.

“Arriba!” yells one fan, and Stanley reaches over to shake hands, as dozens of cellphones take snapshots. “Let me see your shoes!” shouts another, and Stanley half-climbs the fence to swing a tasseled silver-and-black platform boot over the top. “Thanks, Paul!”

In less than an hour, Stanley and his musical partner of four decades, Gene Simmons, will lead KISS through two short sets of hooks and hard rock riffs as halftime entertainment for an ice hockey game between the Kings and the Ducks. It’s another strange gig in the ongoing saga of KISS, which long ago evolved from band to lucrative brand, ready for high-profile special events, reality TV and cradle-to-grave business ventures in the form of KISS Hello Kitty Dolls, KISS comics, books, T-shirts, action figures and restaurants as well as KISS caskets and KISS urns.

In one more way, 2014 could be the band’s most surprising year since its initial 1970s pop culture explosion, beginning with KISS’ induction April 10th into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It welcomes the hard-rock quartet into the critical pantheon that has at times violently rejected KISS and acknowledges the band’s huge impact on rock spectacle.

“I still believe the heart and soul of this is a band. The music is imperative,” says Stanley, who has produced the last two KISS albums and next month releases an autobiography, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed.” “Maybe our horizons are broader because we have an opportunity to go other places. Why not? Whether it’s a football team or restaurants, people say that’s not rock ‘n’ roll. Let me tell you what’s rock ‘n’ roll: Winning is rock ‘n’ roll.”

Being voted into the Hall of Fame is a victory that comes 15 years after the band’s initial eligibility and annual outrage from fans. But next month’s ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn also means dealing with old wounds and complications that began with the final exit of founding guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss more than a dozen years ago. In their place ever since are lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, 53, and drummer Eric Singer, 55, who both wear the makeup designs of their predecessors (designs owned by Simmons and Stanley).

“The naysayers, and some of them are loud, talk about Tommy or Eric being impostors. I think an impostor is a guy up there doing it for a paycheck,” says Stanley, back in his trailer and now dressed in his full stage regalia, with black feathers on his shoulders and medallions over his chest of a guitar pick, a feather, a star. “We’ve never been happier.”

Any hopes for a reunion in makeup of the four founding members at the Hall of Fame ceremony ended last week with a band decision to not perform in any capacity. A statement on the KISS website read: “This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone.”

Negotiations with the Hall of Fame stalled, say Simmons and Stanley, who wanted to include Singer and Thayer, while the Rock Hall wanted a reunion of the original quartet in makeup.

“Imagine getting onstage and playing with a lineup that does not exist,” says Simmons, 64, comparing the situation to a forced reunion with an ex-spouse. Both have bad memories of years of substance abuse by their former partners but say they are happy and proud to accept the award with the former members. Putting the original quartet in makeup was “a nonstarter,” says Stanley.

Simmons and Stanley questioned whether the former members were up to performing. Reached via email, both Criss and Frehley are working on solo albums and say their problems with drinks and drugs are behind them. Frehley has been sober for seven years.

“We should of been able to work it out as grown men; it’s a shame we couldn’t,” writes Criss, who also survived a 2007 breast cancer scare.

“My guitar playing, singing, writing, performing and producing skills are as good or better than the past,” Frehley writes. “For years, Gene and Paul have been trying to minimize my contributions to the band, even though I designed the famous KISS logo … and designed the trademarked makeup for the Spaceman character.”

All four said they were open to joining the night’s traditional jam session at the end of the night. “That’s what the celebration is all about,” Frehley writes.

Long before being voted into the Rock Hall as a band, Simmons and Stanley were outspoken critics of the rock institution and its rules. “We had issues before this happened. It doesn’t turn into a love fest now,” says Stanley, but acknowledged, “There are some people who are angry or hurt by this, and I don’t want to see that.”

The controversies over the Hall of Fame and newer members wearing classic makeup are issues mainly for older fans with an emotional attachment to the original band. [Bassist Gene] Simmons calls up a photo on his computer from a stadium show in Stockholm, then another from Lima, Peru. Both show ecstatic young fans in the front rows.

“Can you see the faces? That’s about 90,000,” he says of the crowd. “You see a bald head in there? You think they … about Ace and Peter? They’re going, ‘Who?’ We’ve been around 40 years, and only two members stayed there the whole time, never quit, no drugs, no booze. KISS is bigger than anybody in the band.”

Read more at the L.A. Times.


  1. Another Animalixe? What another album hardly played on ny Gene,written and played with outside writers and musicians? No thank you. I love all the angry comments ripping the work of the current lineup. Eric and Tommy only wear the makeup and while initially Tommy was playing Ace like the current album Monster Tommy plays in his OWN style and I have never once mistaken Eric playing which imo is the blending of Carr and Criss yet his own style. The guy is a great drummer and if you actually watch his love performing mannerisms are his and compare exactly to how he BEHAVED on revenge tour and MTV unplugged. He is NOT an impersonator but a great Kiss drummer. Performing almost 17 yrs with Kiss and involved for more like 23 yrs! 23 yrs of kicking ass in our favorite band and hid most used description is one of impersonator?? Tommy co writes Kiss songs going back to Hot in the Shade,designs Kiss videos,creatively inputs and cowrote 9 songs on New album(which features his own style) yet he is only an impersonator??

  2. this could backfire on gene / paul. if ace puts out a good strong new product quickly and promotes it with going on the road more people will support him now more than ever after all this bad publicly . Ace strike now while the iron is hot.

    1. I really didnt think anamoly was all that great and he did next to nothing to promote it. Hardly any dates. Ace got lucky on his first solo record, 30 something years ago. He’s not gonna “show” kiss anything. Besides, he WANTED to be outta kiss. Let it go guys

  3. What I hate also is being spoken for by some fans as it is blanket statement truth that the two newest Kiss albums aren’t great. Whole it is true MANY fans do not like or prefer these albums and I respect that opinion, it is ALSO true however that MANY fans consider them outside of the original 6 studio albums tobe 2 of the best efforts. I myself rank them behind the original six albums. They worked hard on these records and I appreciate that ot was the band only that wrote and played on it only. Something that can’t be said about most kiss releases. I love hearing Gene’s bass lines, and Paul’s rhythm guitar,Tommy’s leads and having Eric be the only drummer on the albums . Imo this is refreshing and harks back to the way the first records were made. Even the “holy” Destroyer album wasn’t all performed by the band and personally I feel cheated learning later that other musicians were originally passed off as being played by the original band. So please realize you have all the right not to like the last two records but I like the dedication to New music and I for one totally dig the albums

    1. Nice post man. Standing on their own, I agree both Monster and Sonic Boom were good, heavy rock albums. I believe they were focused and did an excellent job. They werent over produced and yes, featured those four members.

  4. Soupy Sales type of pie action at the book signings “Dis is from Ace pal” (Thick Brooklyn accent). Man arrested for throwing a pie at Kiss’ Paul Stanley book signing at Barnes & Noble, details at 10 on Fox News. 300 pound guy dressed in an Eddie Trunk TMS shirt with a vintage Frehley’s Comet hat on. I’m sure Singer has tales of “all I wanted was 200 more a week”. I’d see Kiss double billed with a 1989 White Lion line-up. Vito rules.

  5. Ace and Peter who? Seriously Gene? Thayer and Singer are doing it for a paycheck. Singer definitely. Thayer was their coffee boy, so he is probably thrilled to be an Ace imposter. That said, anyone who says KISS is a gimmick band, etc, needs to go and watch the Unplugged show. That show was a true indication of their talents. Paul was at his finest that night. Carnival of Souls? Another highly underrated record. How they went from that to this joke of a band now? Unreal. And Sonic Boom and Monster are awful.

    1. How exactly do you know what is going on in Eric and Tommy’s brain? As for the “opinion” on what is awful or not is irrelevant; I personally thing Monster is a classic Kiss record from top to bottom, and may be in my top Five Kiss albums of all time (and easily better than half of the “classic” lineup’s output). If you want to talk about “doing it for the cash”? As good as CoS is, it was as pandering an album (to the grunge movement) as any album by any band ever. Kiss’s lyrics have been universally positive and about sex and rock’n’roll; then you get CoS with songs about death, hate, and angst. There’s twelve songs on that album; there aren’t twelve songs in the entire rest of the catalogue that are that dark.

    2. You’d better do your homework on Tommy. He basically created Kisstory, the Second Coming and ALL of the Kissology’s he was wayyyy more than their coffee boy and was considered a 5th member for over a decade. Ace was f×cked up on their last tour including heroin and quit the band. So get your facts straight and act like a mature adult.

          1. Yes, that was them. Their singer, Jamie St. James, was also in Warrant for a short period of time.

            Dana from 🙂

  6. KISS ended up winning the online poll that the HOF posted, which means that the fans are responsible for putting them in and not the Hall. Let’s face facts… those taint-ticklers in charge would probably never put a band like KISS in if the choice were solely theirs to make. Since KISS admit that they wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for the fans’ steadfast and undying support, they should put the petty bs aside and do the diehards a solid for one f’n night. I’m not necessarily laying blame on one side or the other because I think they’re both guily of not being able to figure out a way to make this happen. They should just take the make-up off (it’s long overdue) so that there are no more squabbles over who the hell is in whoevers ‘persona’, and just play some damn music… after all, isn’t that what it’s about at the end of the day anyway??

  7. Eddie, has Bruce Kulick commented at all about this whole situation? Would like to hear his take on all of this. Revenge is a great Kiss record. Him and his brother played a big role in the 80’s/90’s era. I’m sure he has an opinion on this matter. Also, thank you for carrying the flag for hard rock and heavy metal. Being married and pushing 40,TMS is the highlight of my weekend!!

  8. What’s sad is how Gene and Paul still harp on the drug and alcohol abuse with Ace and Peter. Its a well documented fact but music aside and the hall of fame situation aside, people can conquer demons (no pun intended). They can “fix” themselves to the extent their bodies will allow and they should be commended for it. The commentary that G and P continue to deliver goes beyond their musical differences. It’s unfair on a human level. Addiction is tough and to continually be put down isn’t right. I guess you can never live some things down with some people. I actually understand G and P’s position and don’t blame them for wanting the potential avalanche that could come if they did a few songs but enough of the put downs. Let people focus on the positives of their sobriety not the negativity of how they may have been…

    1. I understand the post. Paul is trying to say that Tommy & Eric aren’t ‘doing it for a paycheck’.

      Yes, they are. They ha√e as much musical input and say so in things as Peter and Ace did.

      They are paid minions.

  9. So why wasn’t Unmasked a big seller? Everybody thought it was still the original 4. How about The Elder and Creatures where Ace was still credited as being in the band? Too much stupidity irrational comments from too many people about a band they think they know. Get facts before posting jibberish.

  10. Unmasked still sold more then monster & sonic shit together look guys Ace & Peter Are not in the band today all because Gene & Paul Don’t want to PAY Them what they want , It has nothing to do with ACE doing drugs thats all just gene & paul covering up the fact they don’t want to PAY them anymore or deal with them thats fact , so ” you” the so called “fan” can go Fuck Ace for not wanting to be in” Kiss” really ? is that what you think that help kiss get on the map and was there doing it , If Gene & paul Never Got ACE & PETER BACK in 1995 Kiss would only be playing casinos right now they use Peter & Ace when they need more cash and fame or to even get a tour going no one wanted to book Kiss for show’s no ticket sale Before ACE & PETER came Back its true and gone with them after that it”s called CHEAPER LABOR & Yes Men …now on to kiss being a cover band now which so many so called real kiss fans can’t get a grip on is Yes it’s a cover band now anytime you have someone playing apart of something they had nothing to do with or there was someone from the start doing it first before you did it and they ask you to do it after them just like them … It’s called covering it ……got it look it up in the DICTIONARY now the test if it’s not original doing it.. it’s what ??? I Know It hurts a lot of real KISS fans to say it ..But Gene & Paul do it for the Fans not the Cash or the brand “

    1. Chris, you are brutally wrong. Unmasked, though one of my favorites was a commercial bomb. Monster debuted at number 2 on Billboard. To say Unmasked outsold Monster and Sonic Boom put together is just…bizarre. Also, Ace was paid quite well for his touring. He wasnt just tired of the politics, he was tired of the road and concerned about hhis own addictions. He wasnt forced out. Read his book. You do read?

      1. Unmasked sold 700,000 in 1980 when people, if they wanted to listen to an artist, paid for their record. Sonic Boom and Monster have probably sold around 250,000 between them (and the extra disc in SB means it gets counted twice), chart positions are completely irrelevant now.

  11. I understand how some fans feel about the last two albums. Sonic Boom was good but Tommy basically tried to play like Ace. Monster however might be the worst Kiss cd ever (yes I am aware of Unmasked and The Elder[they both have their own charm in their weakness]) There is nothing remotely good about any of the songs on Monster. Also did anyone see the tour with the Crue? Wanna talk about going through the motions. Kiss does not draw in North America any more. That is why they will package the 40th anniversary tour. So they can draw a croud. It backfired in 2012 as the Crue destroyed them. It is a shame but it is the reality. The last Kiss Record to sell why Pyscho Circus because (even through 3 of them didnt play on it, yes Gene didnt play bass, Bruce Kulick did.) It featured the original lineup. Facts not fiction people!

    1. Haha. “Facts not fiction”? Monster is in my top five favorite Kiss albums of all time. I think it is a classic Kiss CD. Everything you said in there is opinion only, with the exception of the sales figures (and even that is subject to; releasing CDs in 2012 is very different than releasing CDs in 1998 in terms of sales).

  12. Bill I agree with you 100% about Monster being completely awesome and I loved Sonic Boom too but Monster is truly a beast of a rock album. One their bests in my OPINION and we are not alone Bill. Many many fans love Monster and Sonic Boom and are proud of all the new music released from our favorite band when so many bands have stopped recording all together. Ironic isn’t that a band blamed all the time for not being about music has created and released more albums in the last few yrs than almost all their peers. Kiss has sold respectively in today’s music buying climate. Certainly sold more than most hard rock and metal acts minus the few exceptions that outsell them. Anyways I love all lineups of Kiss and the drumming and guitar work on MONSTER is awesome and Tommy of you all would give it a few fair spins would know Tommy plays in his Own style. Love that my favorite band that has gotten me tbru so much traumatic things is still around to pick me up and tell me I can do most anything. Kiss now is doing that for my young cousins and my friends’ children. I’m proud of being a Kiss fan and am not letting the hall of Shame event ruin what 40 yrs has given me. Respect each other for our likes and dislikes but my friends there is room in this world to be fans of old Kiss and current Kiss, of Ace and Peter’s releases and Kiss with Gene,Paul,Tommy,and Eric. I support and continue to be moved positively by both.

    1. Monster one of their best? Yikes.
      I’ll take The Elder & Unmasked over Sonic Boom & Monster ANY day of the week. I’ve listened to Monster over and over……..there’s not one tune on it better than either Under The Rose or Naked City. While the era in which The Elder and Umasked were released, yeah at the time big let downs, still there’s at least 5 killa tunes on each which is more than I can say for Monster, SB isn’t all bad, but it’s painfully obvious that Paul was trying to recreate a formula that the original four used in the beginning. While Thayer is quite talented, his tunes don’t even compare to Ace’s best Kiss tunes over the years or his solo work. Obviously just an opinion battle here though.

  13. Just think if we put all our anger and energy that go’s this whole kiss issue and put it towards the important issue of the world like hunger. Remember music is a venue that allow us to escape our daily struggles that we face. We all need to just listen, take in and learn. That’s all! Anger, discontent and all those other non sense emotion really do not matter in the end, Gene and Paul will do as they please know matter how pissed off we do get, in reality we are just wasting our time because they will do as they please just like our Government our voices are never heard. What we call in justice Gene and Paul call it a pay check. So the more we argue on this forum and any other the more money go’s into there pocket so the less we talk about this the less money Gene and Paul make. Our silence speaks much louder than our voices

  14. I have listened to more interviews and people’s opinion on the Kiss RNR HOF and although I understand why people want Peter and Ace I am not one of them. I used to want it but the more of the backstory I hear and see and of course I have seen all players live and although I have great childhood memroys Ace and Peter are not very good. If you follow the history of Kiss you will all know that Ace did not play every track on every album for numerous reasons. However he got the credit for it! Eric Singer is a much better player than Criss and has been in the band longer than Criss was. I wish they could pull something off like the current line up plays and criss and ace join in. I don’t think 1 should be excluded and from a player standpoint I have no desire to see criss and ace back in the fold. I saw their reunion show and although it was a great show it seemed like criss in particular was barely keeping up.

  15. EVERYBODY!! Tommy Thayer was huge for Kiss for over a decade. He created most of Kisstory, picked out the photos, design etc. He also was the creative force behind all of the Kissology’s as well as the Second Coming. He was HUGE with the reunion tour. He’s personally a loving man who does lots of charity work and donates a lot of his time to wounded warriors. Ace treated him like shit on the farewell tour. Ace treated everyone that way. Grumpy, mean and hungover. Shame on Ace. And shame on all of you cry babies.

  16. As a fan since the late 70’s, this whole sh*tstorm makes me sick. There is only ONE KISS & that’s the original 4!
    Anything/anyone else is just Kiss. I bought all the albums & admit a lot of the 80’s & beyond stuff is quite good too. However, I never bought a ticket to see those versions or wore their shirts. I wear the reunion era shirts with pride & am grateful for the memories they represent. I just wish they could play one final time & close the book on it. Gene & Paul’s line of “doing what the fans want ect.” has been exposed for the B.S. it truly is. I hope Ace & Peter show up & give them a piece of their minds (and the true fan’s as well).

    As for Monster, it’s sad that it’s the first Kiss album I refused to buy simply because it sounds horrible! There’s no dynamics in the mix at all & the life is crushed out of some otherwise decent songs just to make the damn thing as loud as possible.

  17. Vinny wants that Taylor Swift album to say Vincent on it and catch 500K. Nashville crap shootin’, can’t blame him. Thayer & Monster are great. Bruce would give the Gene & Paul line, he’s probably signed things to join Kiss if Thayer gets sick etc.. The show goes on with a millions at stake. Paul has his book signings, I’m sure he’s gonna hear it.

  18. Eddie do you think this might hurt Paul’s book sales? I was excited to get it know it seems like we the fans get stiffed, I’m not really interested in supporting anymore. They couldn’t put aside differences just for one single night?

  19. this current lineup just sucks plain and simple..last two wanna be kiss albums are NOT in my kiss collection i promise you that ….we want ace and peter

  20. Hey Gene I’m 53 and support Ace and Peter 100% not you and your tribute band,and btw I have my hair, BUT you’ll never see me at a fake KISS concert with your clones !!

  21. HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE—–Ace Frehley & Peter Criss are finally HALL OF FAMERS. they are Rock Royalty. And Gene & Paul CAN’T take that away from them……..ever. For years & years Gene & Paul have TRIED to destroy Ace & Peter with their bitterness but let’s be honest, “Beth” song & written by Peter was their biggest hit, & Ace not only was the most influential band member to most musicians today but also had the best solo album of all of KISS and made the Les Paul guitar a GOD. I could go on but their contribution to KISS was just as important as to Gene & Paul. So Gene & Paul don’t want to play with Ace & Peter, ok fine, but unfortunately for Gene & Paul …. Ace & Peter will shine at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & they should both make sure they show up next to Gene & Paul. We, their fans want them to!! Joe in The Cuse. Go Orange!

  22. Reading Gene and Paul’s comments, I have to say, as their fan for 37 years, it’s like they just tossed me aside along with Ace and Peter! That was brutal. Real bad PR when you just tell your fans that the guys that you grew up with suck and if you don’t like it, take a hike, oh and by the way, here are two other guys in their outfits. I mean, how the hell are their fans, the ones who aren’t complete suck-ups, supposed to react? Then they have the nerve to shift the burden on us like there’s something wrong with us for not getting it? Guys there was a better, much more, uh…DIPLOMATIC way of handling this transition. Yeah, sorry I actually, you know, cared about your band.

  23. Only the four ORIGINAL members are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Gene, Paul, Peter, and Ace should put aside their petty differences and play a couple songs one last time. Tommy, Eric, and Bruce should join the original four and play a couple songs too. Eric Carr should be playing on a screen behind the band to honor him as well. To keep everyone happy makeup shouldn’t be worn on anyone. This would be the classy thing to do and make it memorable night for all members of the KISS ARMY


    The more Paul Stanley talks, the more he comes across as an asshole.

    According to this article, there was NEVER any intent for Peter and Ace to play.
    ‘Stanley tells the LA Times: “Imagine getting on stage and playing with a line-up that does not exist.” He compares the situation to being forced to reunite with a former spouse.’

    Why does he and Gene like to compare Ace and Peter to ex wives?? Surely they could reunite with an ex spouse for an hour to watch their child graduate school? This is the same principle, why couldn’t they reunite with former bandmates to make legions of fans happy and because the RRHOF said they should? Are Gene and Paul that jaded that they can’t spend a few minutes with two men they’ve known forty years and they owe just as much of their success to??

    And Stanley says ‘they’re still welcome to attend the ceremony’. Is Paul Stanley a moron??? Peter and Ace are being inducted and BELONG there. It becomes more than ‘they’re still welcome’. Like Paul has the authority to say who can and can’t attend.

    Paul Stanley has confirmed he is a first class douchebag.

    Proof positive that wealth can’t buy you class.

  25. Gene & Paul’s bread and buttah are Thayer & Singer. They know mayhem would occur if Ace kicked in Detroit Rock City and Peter detonated his drums. After 4 tunes of that ’78 madness the summer tour looks like imposters. They know it. Hey Gene, where do you put the latest polaroids in the crib jerk off?

  26. That ex-wife analogy is goofy in my opinion. It’s pretty weird to make your new wife dress, wear the same makeup, and act like your former wife just because she’s subservient. Having Tommy play guitar solos in the style of Ace is also like telling your new wife to talk like your old one. I personally like Bruce’s take on Ace on Revenge. You’d hear little “Ace-ism” quotes in his licks but they came off more like a little wink-wink, easter egg, tribute to Ace. I think it’s great especially since it still sounds like Bruce. The lame, weak version is to have no self expression and kinda do this shallow Ace-by-numbers thing which is what I hear in too many of Tommy’s “original” solos.

  27. Uhh a lil FYI Stuart, Ace & Peter have put their differences aside, unfortuantly Gene & Paul can’t & will never let it go……kinda of petty on their part, eh?? Joe in The Cuse. Go Orange

  28. Shannon dead on!
    Stuart you said it, the original 4 ONLY are being inducted.
    So ONLY the original 4 should play. If in the future the HoF want to induct a different version or cover act of the band KISS then the others can play at that time.

    The whole thing is pretty basic.

    1. That’s becuase the RNRHOF is a JOKE. Kiss has had several members over the years.
      Kiss the band is going in. Any past member who was a part of Kiss should be on stage for that moment. I side with Gene & Paul on that. But I side with Ace & Peter that they don’t want to see Tommy and Eric in THEIR make-up. Eric Carr got a new character, Vinnie got a new character, when Gene and Paul chose to move forward in make-up again. Tommy and Eric Singer should of gotten new characters, it probably would of made even more money for Gene. Hell that’s why NASCAR changes paint schemes on their cars all the time, generates more merch sales. At the end of the day this is more a pissing contest than anything and Gene and Paul while trying to brush off the blame are definately more to blame here.

  29. @Pete Lytel. You talk about having facts straight and spew out trash talk about Ace using heroin. Any evidance on this? Did you see any of this? Please enlighten us.

  30. Since KISS is an entity that will always be bigger than one person, bigger than life if you will, this induction ceremony requires all 4 LIVING original members get up, with or without make-up, and do 2-3 classic hits.Period. Everything else is secondary. Eddie?

  31. Ace and Pete won the lottery, more than once, but couldn’t handle it. All they had to do was show up for work everyday. I love the guys, but that’s the truth.

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