KISS400 Gary Graff of Billboard reports:

With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony looming closer, neither KISS nor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation seem ready to relax the entrenched positions that led to the group’s decision not to perform April 10th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

KISS, according to frontman Paul Stanley, is upset that the Rock Hall plans to induct only the group’s founding lineup and tells Billboard that discussions about subsequent members “was shut down as a non-starter.”

Nevertheless, Stanley says KISS feels that honoring the other six musicians who have played in the band is “a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band. And clearly when you’ve got a busload of Grateful Dead (members) who have been inducted and guys in the Chili Peppers who nobody knows who they are because they played on the very earliest albums are inducted…The list goes on and on of the inconsistencies. Now, I’m not pointing fingers at any of those people, but I’m certainly pointing a finger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we’re being treated unfairly, I have issues with that.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman says that the decision about who to induct from any band is made by the Rock Hall’s nominating committee as well as an adjunct group of “scholars and historians” familiar with specific inductees and genres. “This isn’t chemistry or physics; it’s not an exact science,” Peresman acknowledges. “Sometimes there’s an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it’s a specific period of time that established the band as who they are. With KISS there wasn’t one person here who didn’t agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the ’70s with Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul and Gene (Simmons). That’s what put them on that map.”

Peresman adds that KISS “is a unique situation where you have artists who wear makeup as part of what the band’s about,” but the Rock Hall felt that the later members — including current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who are wearing Frehley and Criss’ makeup, respectively — “are fine musicians who…basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It’s not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter.” Persman notes that last year Heart was in a similar position, where the Rock Hall chose to induct the original ’70s sextet and not later musicians that played in the band.

But Stanley feels the situation with KISS is a bit more personal. “That it’s 14 years on (of eligibility) and we’re getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a clear indication that the people who hide behind that moniker don’t like us, but it reached a point where it was so absurd and ludicrous (to exclude Kiss) that they caved,” he says. “It’s like them swallowing a teaspoon of medicine they don’t want. It’s a bitter pill for them to swallow, so they’re making it as small as possible.”

Stanley says that the Rock Hall asked KISS to perform as the original quartet, in make-up, but he and Simmons — who have been playing with three-time KISS member Singer again since 2002 and Thayer since 2004 — were not confident the performance would be up to standard. “Honestly, I don’t want to roll the dice and possibly negatively impact on what I personally have been involved in building for 40 years,” he explains. “I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed.” Peresman, meanwhile, says the Rock Hall has no plans for a performance stand-in for Kiss at the ceremony. “We have other artists, other inductees showing up and performing when they can,” Peresman says. “We’re very hopeful that Ace and Peter and Paul and Gene come and accept their award. We’re obviously honored to have them inducted.”

Read more at Billboard.


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208 Responses

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  • DR on

    Oh ya, we can hit 250 comments with this can of gasoline. Come on everyone, start piling on!

    • Ronnie Borchert on

      KISS is a business and it is not even the band they used to be..
      Studio musician’s and songwriters and this guy and that guy…It basically
      ended with “Lick It Up” they should have quit then..the music has gone so
      down hill. It bothers me so much because I was so loyal to them and I am
      one of those kids who made them rich..KISS 73-83 it is a joke.
      They lost that love and feelin!!! Hahahaha.. Sad for real KISS fans. We sit back
      and watch them market and market everything and anything they can…but give
      us average music and members..ACE and PETER made the KISS sound.. as a KISS
      fan I will say “Gene,Paul…stop hurting me..and stop hurting real KISS fans with crap.

  • jaybirdy on

    why dont they just all play with no makeup on

    • Jimi on

      Amen to that.

  • Tom hanson on

    This is what I’ve been saying for years and I can’t believe Gene and Paul haven’t taken advantage of this monumental marketing ploy. Why not create two new characters for the babd and have a whole slew of new merchandise?

  • Andrew15 on

    “Stanley says that the Rock Hall asked KISS to perform as the original quartet, in make-up, but he and Simmons — who have been playing with three-time KISS member Singer again since 2002 and Thayer since 2004 — were not confident the performance would be up to standard.”

    Did anyone hear the current lineup play at the NHL Stadium Series in LA? Stanley sounded TERRIBLE. Hard to believe Criss and Frehley would make them sound any worse.

    • Mark on


    • Josh on

      I have said that repeatedly as well. Watched a small bit of a recent performance on one of the TV channels (palladium or one of them) and it was atrocious! I have seen them 5 times as the original 4 during the “farewell” tour, and for the first time ever in my 39 years at Psycho Circus Oct 31 (store I’d never see them without make-up as a true fan) and they were awesome every time. From giant 2003 plus stadiums to 13k small Mandalay Bay, every one awesome. This new line is horrible! I can’t imagine them thinking this would help. Pathetic. Go mess with your lame arena junk football and hang up the spandex, cuz you guys are done as far as a solid sounding act.

    • Josh on

      Damn auto correct. Supposed to be “swore” not store, and, “200k” plus not 2003

  • T on

    Just let Winger play on their behalf.

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