Celebrating all things Hard Rock & Heavy Metal since 1983!
We “never knew” that Eddie had a beef with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Really? And that’s number one??
I love UFO too. But I’ll never understand how they went on tour in 1982 as an opening band and didn’t play “Doctor Doctor” OR “Rock Bottom!” Big mistake in my opinion. Yes – I realize that as an opening band the sets are shorter. And I know they tour to promote the new LP, but c’mon boys! If that wasn’t a Spinal Tap type of move, I don’t know what is. I had to get that off my chest. But I saw UFO open for OZZY in 1982 and they were great.
Regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was a big KISS fan from around 1976 to 1978. I was also about 12 years old back then, like Eddie. I can argue either way on KISS getting in or not. Yes – if you put in Rap bands and some lame punk bands and Madonna, you have to put KISS in. But in hindsight with KISS I see a very contrived band. They weren’t particularly original – basically taking Alice Cooper’s act and multiplying it by four. A lot of Humble Pie influence and Sabbath/Zeppelin too – which is cool. None of them were outstanding “Hall of Fame caliber” musicians, though they were certainly competent. They relied on pyrotechnics, likely to hide their lack of musicianship. Their main audience by 1977/78 were kids. A lot of their records don’t hold up very well today. Even as a concert draw, they probably weren’t the biggest in 1976/1977. I’d bet Peter Frampton and/or Zeppelin eclipsed them in attendance.
To put them in a league with Led Zeppelin is laughable. Led Zeppelin remained a top draw throughout their career. Their musicianship was superb. Their improvisations were superb. Each LP was different from the previous one and they were all great. Not a stinker in the bunch. Each show was different. They showed growth. They remain the most influential band in rock since the Beatles. I could go on….
But I give KISS credit for hanging in there. They’re on their 4th decade as a band and still draw. Ace Frehley came up with some great guitar riffs, and the others did some good stuff as well. They were the definition of a BAND with each member being a part of a whole, and the whole greater than the sum of their parts. They had some great hits and rock staples. They also introduced a lot of kids into rock and roll.
John G –
I think what you are missing with regards to KISS being HOF worthy is how many musicians were influenced by KISS. The HOF (the sham that it is) is not a Hall of Excellent Musicians. It is the Hall of Fame and there wasn’t many bigger bands in KISS’ heyday than KISS.
I totally disagree with your idea that their stuff really doesn’t stand up today. I would argue that “Strutter” and “Detroit Rock City” are two examples of early cuts that definitely stand up well today.
Hard rock and simplistic.
They definitely deserve to be there before many current members and their time to get in is long past due.
Just because their audience was made up of mostly kids on their tours doesn’t automatically keep them from that honor of getting into the HOF. Beastie Boys concerts were nothing but teen romps with inflatable dicks and that got them in.
I think the last decade or so people are down on KISS because of the overbranding of merchandise and line up changes but it doesn’t by any means erase a pretty extensive body of work – and their latest album is pretty damn good too.
While I would agree that they aren’t in Zepp’s league, it’s a moot point. They are definitely in the HOF league and while they may not belong in the same wing with Zepp, they are definitely worthy of being in the same building. Some of the current members don’t even belong in the same zip code.
I’d argue the opposite, I think KISS, for all its popularity is one of the LEAST influential bands out there. Eddie and a bunch of KISS fans throw around the line about how influential KISS was and no one questions it. I don’t buy it. Yes, a lot of guys first got inspired to pick up an instrument when they got into KISS, but that’s no different than people watching the Monkees TV show and picking up an instrument.
Listen to 1980s hard rock and heavy metal. I’d argue that the most influential bands were Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Queen and Deep Purple. Then for the 1980s clearly Van Halen and Aerosmith. Not a lot of 80s bands sound much like KISS, but a lot of them sound like VH and Aerosmith. More 1980s guitarists sound like EVH or Michael Schenker (if they were European Bands,) not Ace or Paul. People talk about “Beth” being one of the first hard rock band ballads, but “Dream On” came before it. How about the make up? I don’t see a lot of bands wearing the KISS make up influence. And who cares anyways? That ain’t music. Motley Crue came out looking like KISS, but they sounded like Van Halen – and the sound is what people care about and what sells tickets. RATT sounded like Aerosmith. Who’s the big KISS sounding band? Where’s the band with 4 lead vocalists? And BTW – Humble Pie and the Beatles did that way before KISS.
Kiss not in the Rnr hall of fame- albums a don’t hold up well? Destroyer to this day holds up great and the first KISS album is practically entirely still in the live show!
Typical critics yet they were good enough for Garth brooks –
Lenny kravitz- Pantera. Geeze – KISS is a mainstay in American hard rock legend like it or not!
BTW – The biggest late 1980s/90s band, Guns and Roses – sounds more like Rocks Era Aerosmith. No real KISS sound there. Even the heavy bands like Metallica, don’t sound like KISS. List the big KISS influenced bands – not ones that say KISS influenced them, but the ones that sound like KISS. There aren’t many.
KISS has sold over 40 million albums. Their reach is there, their body of work is there. You might not agree with it and want to compare them to everyone who has ever plugged in a guitar but no matter how you slant it, you cannot tell the story of Rock and Roll and NOT mention KISS. You can do all the take aways you want “They didn’t influence this sound or that band or this singer/guitarist” but KISS is more influential than makeup and pyros.
It doesn’t matter who did it first, who did it better, who were harder or who was louder because if it did -you could go back and eliminate 98% of everyone in the hall currently.
KISS’s body of work isn’t there. It’s very spotty. They’ve put out a lot of very mediocre stuff. Songs like “Lick It Up” – c’mon, that’s a joke. “I Love It Loud” – really? A lot of their songs are a joke. I think some of the early LPs are decent and they certainly have some good songs – a couple bona fide rock classics for sure. But most 1970s era bands that were any good also have a few great songs. Might as well put in Foghat, Pat Travers, Blue Oyster Cult, The Outlaws and everyone else with that argument.
Poison, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Anthrax, Guns N Roses, Pantera, Rob Zombie….all will say they were influenced by KISS. Not that they sound exactly like them, but were influenced by them. The whole “hair band ” era came from KISS and Aerosmith. They should absolutely be in the HOF.
All you guys are doing is making my point. Bands SAY they were influenced by KISS – but when you actually listen to them, you don’t hear it. Talk means nothing. The proof is in the sound, and KISS’s sound was not influential.
Joe Satriani always mentions Hendrix as a big influence. I love Jimi, but when I hear Joe I hear Eddie Van Halen way more so than Hendrix. All I’m saying is the actions speak louder than words. I’d like to see Eddie Trunk’s take on this one.
The only part of the “hair band era” that came from KISS was the hair! Maybe add in some leather and studs. And maybe the power ballad – but again, Aerosmith was there first. KISS had great record sales. When I was 12 years old in 1976 I bought nearly every one of their albums. So did half of the kids in my junior high school. Boys II Men sold a lot of records too – nobody wants to put them in the HOF.
You have a very strange idea of what “influence” means. Influence means to inspire, not simply copy. Eddie Van Halen always says his biggest influence was Eric Clapton, and Eddie sounds nothing at all like Clapton. Do you really think Eddie’s lying? Kiss’s influence is undeniable, and your thinking that their catalog doesn’t hold up is just a matter of taste. I happen to think that the first Alive and Destroyer are two of the greatest, most timeless albums in rock history. If you don’t agree, that’s just your opinion (and your loss). I feel sorry for you that you feel you’ve “outgrown” such great music. And for the record, I’m not just some mindless fanboy incapable of objectivity – I happen to think the current karaoke version of the band with the Ace and Peter impersonators is a joke, but I’ll always love the majority of their work from the past.
Unfortunately, Boys II Men will get in before KISS !!!
KISS is and will always be the number ONE band in the world!!!
BIG UFO fan here !!
I first saw them in 1979 in Buffalio. AC/DC opened and AC/DC played a LONG time. After a long time in between bands they announced that UFO was not allowed ih the USA that night. So a couple weeks later UFO retuned to to Buffalo to play. A local band TALAS (Billy Sheehan) opened.
The next time I saw UFO was in 2011 in Vegas. Eddie Trunk was the MC and UFO was rocking.
As far as Kiss goes…they belong in the Hall of Fame. I visited the Hall of Fame and asked a worker there.. where are the Kiss items ?? Woman said we don’t have any because KISS wanted money for their items !! Typical Gene Simmons !!!
We get it Aerosmith is the greatest band after zeppelin . Rock n roll isn’t about musicianship – it’s about a feeling . Listen to Pearl Jam And you will hear ace frehley all over the solos! We are not building an atom bomb, we are simply discussing a bands place in American rock history. They sold over 120 million records – the music must have been decent. You make fun of I love it loud but live its great! Kiss is and always will be about the live show . I guess it comes down to ice cream … They are different flavors for everyone. I wanted to learn how to play a guitar because of ace frehley and I did just that.
The Hall Of Fame is dictated by internal politics, a lot from the head of Rolling Stone Magazine. He hates Kiss. Linda Ronstadt was/is the finest female rock singer the past 50+ years but, again, that guy has issues with her. Moody Blues not in but LL Cool J is….the laughter is massive. UFO was spotty depending on the alcohol intake by Way & Schenker. I saw Pete so wasted he couldn’t stand once. Opening for Ozzy at Madison Square Garden in ’82 was amazing….they sound better in the big arenas.
Kiss has a great presentation, a great gimmick, cool album covers, even the band name is cool. And then there’s music…..that’s where things go downhill. The original band were average musicians at best, which is kind of a shame because their music had the right attitude. Unfortunately, most of their songs get old fast due to the lack of musical skill. I like a handful of their songs, but as a whole, their catalog doesn’t impress me. Kiss is to music what the Ultimate Warrior was to wrestling, great look, so-so to lousy talent. Yeah, they ripped off Alice Cooper’s make-up gimmick, but luckily for Alice, he is a talented (albeit underrated) songwriter and didn’t rely as heavily on ‘look’. Coop, wisely would act out a song on stage, intertwining the music and performance.
Kiss relies heavily on ‘look’ whatever it takes to distract from the music. At this point, Kiss isn’t about putting out quality music (I don’t think they ever were), but it’s about making money off an established name. It’s everything rock and roll shouldn’t be.
Look doesn’t matter when you are at home listening to a CD…..
I think John G is missing the point in regard to influence and HOF merit. Any great musician isn’t going to just “sound like” their influence or mentors, but rather take from that and create something original and their own. So many great bands and members of their respective bands don’t directly sound like who it was that really influenced or inspired them. Quite possibly the best argument for this is Dimebag. Here you have a guy that is generally regarded as the greatest and most influential guitarist of the modern metal era that sounds nothing like Ace Frehley, yet there was a reason Dime was buried in a Kiss casket. The bottom line is the HOF is a joke just in its namesake alone since it covers all genres of music, not just the rock genres. Another thing is to be a sort of HOF level performer, even in a legitimate hall of fame, one can’t look at just musicianship and not really much else. It’s a multi-faceted thing that requires greatness in a number of areas such as the influence thing we spoke of, impact, creativity, innovation, body of work, longevity, album sales, and achievements along the way. Clearly Zeppelin is the gold standard for this criteria and what exemplifies what a hall of fame level band is, but let’s face it, Zeppelin are also in a class by themself. There are certainly a number of other bands that have had their share of the criteria standards I mentioned, but if the HOF adhered to those principles, even if it were exclusively “rock ‘n’ roll” based acts, the HOF would be slim in numbers compared to who they currently have in there. I agree there should be more influence on the musicianship aspect than what’s given; however, it shouldn’t be all that’s really considered either. If so, it would be criminal for Yngwie Malmsteen to not already be in there. In fact, Yngwie fits most of the other criteria and should probably be inducted. Back to the Kiss thing and their music, Kiss has always been one of the most underrated bands for their catalog. The problem is the vast majority of people only know a handful of their songs that have regularly gotten airplay on the radio, but haven’t heard the bulk of their work and have no idea what The Elder is. The Elder showed Kiss’ musicianship and creativity in putting out a concept album with producer Bob Ezrin who had just finished recording The Wall with Pink Floyd. It’s true a lot of Kiss’ albums are hit and miss, but anyone that truly knows their catalog knows there is more there than they’re ever given credit for. I don’t support Gene Simmon’s branding and merchandising frenzy, but I’m educated enough on Kiss to look past all of that and know they are without a doubt HOF worthy. As a side note, it makes me wonder when someone puts up such a fight to discredit something as John did with Kiss, if he wasn’t one of those kids who got a butt whipping for carrying their Kiss lunchbox to school during the Dynasty era when the fair weather fans deemed it uncool to like Kiss and somehow John’s had a problem with the band ever since. Just a thought.
Ha ha. Very funny. No butt whipping over here for being a KISS fan. Most of the kids I knew were KISS fans in 1976. I never cared about the merchadise. Like Eddie said, try being a KISS fan in 1983! They played the Rochester War Memorial back then. The place held 10,000 people and they had to use a huge curtain to split the place in 1/2, since only a few thousand people showed up. I didn’t care for them by then, so wasn’t there, but like Eddie says, KISS was the most uncool band in the world in the early 1980s.
I still crank up some of their stuff when it comes on. My favorite stuff is the Ace stuff, like “Rocket Ride” and “Shock Me.” Those tunes hold up very well. I think they have some great party anthems like “Shout it out Loud” and “Rock n’ Roll All Nite.” I think everyone here would agree on that. And I like Strutter, Love Gun, Firehouse and a bunch of their early songs. When I was young I also like ELO a lot. When I put on “New World Record” or “Face the Music” now, they still sound great. A lot of the KISS stuff doesn’t sound as good to me.
Influence to me for the RRHOF has to go beyond attitude. and inspiring someone to pick up an instrument. I just don’t see a big difference in music before KISS and after KISS. Bowie and T-Rex got the glam thing going. KISS just jumped on board with it. Judas Priest had been more musically influential. So was Queen.
FWIW – Van Halen sounds more influenced by Allan Holdsworth and Ritchie Blackmore than Eric Clapton. He mentions Clapton, but sounds more like the other two guys. My same point with KISS – everyone mentions them, but in reality not many bands sound like them. I won’t beat this one to death any longer.
Yngwie is very influential and might be the most technically accomplished guitarist around. But I don’t think the body of work is there. It’s deep but very narrow. I think he has wasted a lot of his talent by wanting complete control of everything he does. He could’ve been much bigger had he gotten the right people around him to balance him out. The average rock and roll fan couldn’t name a single Yngwie tune. Only hard rock/metal fans (mainly guitarists) know him. That won’t get him into the HOF.
It is funny that most of these folks that want to talk about musicianship have never picked up a guitar! Just to clarify I said most!
I like ESPN’s Colin Cowherd’s HOF criteria for athletes – you should be able to sum up why they belong in with one sentence. Like Michael Jordan: Greatest Basketball player of all time. Led Zep: Stairway top rock song/most influential band since Beatles. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon. Done deal. Hendrix: Reinvented rock guitar. He would get in on his Vietnam era “Star Spangled Banner” alone. Total piece of art. Heart: First R ‘n R band led by women/best female rock vocalist ever. What do you say with KISS? Most contrived band. Most 12 year old kids in audience. Did the most with the least. Best merchadisers. With a lot of rock bands in the Hall already it isn’t hard to do.
Rush to me was a compiler. Never the biggest seller, never the most popular. Didn’t really get past their influences much till 1981 – before that they just copied the styles that were popular starting with Zep/Sabbath, then Yes/Mahavishnu/Genesis, then the Police, but Geddy’s voice was so distinctive it gave them an original sound. Plus the great drumming. But I’d put them in for combining progressive music with hard rock and being one of the most adaptable bands ever. Also maybe the best drummer in rock.
Deep Purple: Successfully Fused Classical Music with Heavy Rock. Smoke on the Water. Gotta put ‘em in.
And BTW – is it just me, or is Steve Morse the A-Rod of rock? Great individual player but not great on a team. Once he’s in a band they basically jump the shark. I’ve listened to the Dregs and his solo LPs and nothing seems to stick. Didn’t do much with Kansas and Deep Purple has been disappointing with him. Still waiting for Eddie’s review of the DP record. It speaks volumes that he hasn’t reviewed it. I’ll bet he doesn’t have much nice to say about it. The one tune I’ve heard on the radio has been forgettable.
I was watching the rerun episode today with my idol Michael Schenker and was again blown away by that whole show. With the appreciation and props to both Ronnie Montrose and Mark Reale two of my all time favorite artists not to mention Dave Meniketti of Y&T. What I love about TMS is Eddie,Don,Jim always say what we are thinking there is no other show like TMS Period. I have always thought my brain is the same as Eddie’s my favorite album of all time is Strangers in the night hands down then Fire Down Under By Riot these guys are right on when they reference the best of the best. I love this show and these guys for spreading the word!! If anyone reads this and hasnt heard these two legendary recordings do what these guys say go and rock your brains out you wont be sorry!! I am surprised about the top 5 on this particular episode though only Don mentioned UFO’S Force It cd. In my opinion their sophmore offering was a little better pound for pound then Phenonmen. Force it Rocks I think Schenker really kicked ass on this cd. UFO & RIOT = Supreme:)
Click here to see Trunk Report archives
For more upcoming shows, click HERE