2/23: EDDIE’S TAKE ON KISS AND NO PERFORMANCE AT HALL.
Wanted to post earlier today but we had to actually upgrade our server because of all the activity on the site this weekend (thanks webmaster David for your help!). Now that Gene and Paul have weighed in on the HOF drama of the weekend we have a pretty clear picture on the eve of tickets going on sale that Kiss is not playing at all now in any form. Clearly they had to make some statement here after all the fallout from Ace on my radio show Friday night and Peter’s statement yesterday. So now that all sides have weighed in here is MY analysis of all of this for those interested as far as what has gone on.
Gene and Paul were never going to play with Ace and Peter at this event. Just wasn’t ever going to happen. Look no further than Paul’s official Twitter a few weeks ago when he essentially said as much. Ace, Peter, and MANY members of the HOF I spoke to over the last few weeks confirmed they wanted to play with the current band and had no intention of an originals reunion. The Kiss statement saying “we don’t believe the memory will be enhanced” in playing with Ace and Peter really translates to Gene and Paul not wanting to open a can of worms, and honestly likely not thinking they can cut it with them anymore. They know this can’t be a jump up and jam thing. They need to rehearse and prepare to do it right. That would require them reconnecting for a few days. That opens cans of worms so to speak. So they were never going to go down those roads with the original band. In their view too complicated and just like at MTV unplugged, it would make it very hard to continue to sell what they are now doing afterwards. Ace, Peter and the HOF didn’t just make it up that they didn’t want to play with them. Perhaps they would have allowed Ace and Peter to come up at the group jam at the end, but Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace alone on stage playing a song was something Gene and Paul were never going to allow or have happen. To them it’s complicated on way too many levels. So once Ace and Peter released their statements Gene & Paul’s only way out of the backlash was to check out of playing all together which they did today. And you know what? No matter how this was arrived at it is the best available scenario given they won’t play with the original band. Since the original four are being inducted out of respect no performance is better than Ace and Peter having to watch the current band. I think this also makes it likely (but far from 100%) that everyone at least shows up and speaks. So what we hopefully end up with is a photo op of the original guys, a few words from each, then some sort of all star Kiss tribute band or video package. The HOF will now have to figure that out. But I can tell you this is a victory of sorts for Ace and Peter who now may attend and will not feel dissed having to see personas they created playing at their induction. But it is clear, and I have confirmed with many over the last month involved with the HOF, that Gene and Paul would not play with only the original band at this event. The HOF wanted that, Ace and Peter were up for it (as Ace said on my show when first announced as going in) but Gene and Paul would not have it and wanted to play with the current band. Again, Paul said “very unlikely” over a month ago on Twitter when asked about a reunion and “no way” to them wearing makeup. So where this is all coming from should not be a surprise. It’s pretty clear and honestly it is Gene & Paul’s right at this point, even if you disagree strongly with it. They own Kiss like it or not. To me anything else is spin and damage control at this point. But again, to me, this is the second best scenario given only the originals are being inducted. At least it gets them all there hopefully!
A few other things; do Gene and Paul attend? They say in their statement they will “celebrate” the induction but that doesn’t always mean show up. I would assume they would, but none of the original four have clear cut said yet “we will be there”.
Clearly Gene and Paul are annoyed (and you can make the case rightfully so) that only the original four are being inducted. However their statement left out Vinnie Vincent (a HUGE contributor to Kiss comeback of the 80’s) and the late Mark St John. We all know Kiss and Vinnie had their issues, but if they truly wanted to celebrate KISStory completely Vinnie would certainly at least deserve an invite and mention? I have said all along I think it had to be only the original guys or EVERYONE who was in Kiss to do this right. Kind of hard to pick and choose. The HOF decided only originals. So when they said in their statement “the entire history”, they are still leaving out some gaps.
And that’s another issue. Kiss in their statement continue to allude to all the success they have had without Ace and Peter. Relatively speaking that is true. But you can not discount the fact that the bands biggest periods by far were with the original band. The 70’s were most iconic, then the 90’s reunion was equally huge. Who knows if Ace and Peter didn’t do the reunion tour in ’96 if there would even still be a Kiss today? Reunions happen because bands need them and they are much bigger than whatever that band is doing at the time. Nobody does a reunion tour because it means less people or interest. Current Kiss does very well in festivals and some parts of the world. But to say in America the band is as big as ever (as I have heard stated) is just false. The last full US tour was a CO HEADLINE. You don’t go 50/50 with another band unless you need the help. On the flipside it is without question true that Gene and Paul have kept this alive for 40 years and steered the ship (with good and bad decisions in my view), so without that commitment who knows what would have happened? There were several versions of Kiss. I was a fan of many. But the simple truth is nothing was or will be bigger than the original four guys. That is just fact if you really take in the history.
If the HOF had decided to induct all the members then for sure the case could be made that everyone plays. But they decided to induct the four that started it all only. It sucks for us fans that the powers that be here wouldn’t make that work for at least a song or two, but I think where we arrived at today with no performance is the second best scenario. Now let’s see if they all show, who does the induction (I know but can’t say!) and what the HOF does as a tribute. It’s been a wild weekend since Ace started this with his announcement on my radio show late this past Friday night (audio on the home page) and where we go from here should be interesting as well. I’ll be live on SiriusXM channel 39 6-10P ET tomorrow and will take your calls. That’s MY take, look forward to yours here on the site or on the radio.
Oh, one last thing. Much has been made about the impact all of this will have on sales to the event tomorrow. The timing here was key since MANY were going to come from around the world assuming a performance by the original band one last time. So clearly it’s great those people now know the deal. I think it will for sure change the dynamic of the crowd makeup in the building that night. But as long as the original four show up I’d say a good showing from Kiss fans will be there. But nothing like if it was a reunion performance. Also remember there are many other bands being honored that night. Nirvana and Springsteen also have pretty big bases. So I suspect ticket sales will be just fine when that is all factored in. I’m sure there will be much more to discuss. Never dull being a Kiss fan!
Eddie, seeing as you’re quite friendly with Ace and Peter and given the current situation, why not see if you can organize some sort of club show within the same week as the Hall Of Fame Induction, where Ace and Peter can play a set with a bunch of the musicians they’ve influenced over the years, perhaps even Bruce Kulick could be involved along with a few other former KISS people such as Jean Beauvoir, Anton Fig, Mitch Weissman, Robben Ford, Rick Derringer, Bob Kulick, etc. It could be a proper celebration of the band that formed 40 years ago, unlike the 40th anniversary tour which will really be the same “tribute band” show they’ve been pushing since 2002. Maybe Vinnie Vincent could even be convinced to make an appearance of some kind. Imagine the set list that group could put together, mostly focusing on the 70’s, with a few songs from the non make up era. It would certainly be better than any performance with Fake Ace and Fake Peter. They could even do proper tributes to Eric Carr and Mark St. John. It may not happen at the actual Induction ceremony, but it’d be the next best thing and if anyone could potentially make it happen, it’s you.
As far as this whole issue about who’s going in, I’m happy that it’s only the originals but it would have been nice to see Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer also go in. I realize that that would be everyone but Tommy Thayer, and I did leave him out intentionally because unlike Eric Singer who was in the band during the non make up era and was able to forge his own identity in the band (even though now he’s reduced to being the Fake Peter), Tommy has never been a legitimate member of the band, at least not in the same sense. He may have written a couple of filler songs over the years and done some session work, but that doesn’t make him important enough to deserve such an honour. He’s just the Fake Ace.
Petition to have all the members of KISS inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame.
Calling all members of the KISS Army. Disappointed in the recent announcement that KISS will not perform at the R&R Ceremonies? Want all members of KISS,past and present to be inducted? Want them all to perform? Want your voice to be heard? Well let’s let them know how we feel. Let’s get the R&R Hall of Fame to acknowledge all of them. Get some of the members to put there differences aside one last time, forget their egos and perform a few songs to celebrate this historic occasion. If they don’t, agree to induct all members let’s encourage the present members to invite the past members on stage to share in the acceptance…” They all deserve to be recognized, the KISS Army won’t have it any other way!!!!
In response to John yet again: All of the info I shared is publicly known via interviews and each of the member’s books, as well as CK Lendt’s KISS & Sell book. I’ve also met and/or interviewed just about every one of the members, and I had friends on the inside who slipped me some details, so yeah, I have a bit more depth of knowledge on the subject matter.
Now certainly, as I acknowledged, Ace & Peter did sign deals that weren’t equitable, but they also were being hardballed. It was pretty much take it or leave it proposition. That said, G&P could have fully lived up to their obligations, and not fudged numbers and failed to fully compensate A&P as agreed. In Peter’s book in particular, he notes that he had an auditor come in to check the books, and ended up settling for pennies on the dollar for back revenue in order to avoid a lawsuit. So, even with a deal rigged in their favor, G&P didn’t fully live up to it. So, we can argue whether the contracts were fair or not, but the net result is those contracts weren’t complied with.
Ahhhh well, if it was in Peter’s book than we know it HAS to be true.
Awesome post, Eddie. I agree that no performance makes the second best option and my heart rate is now closer to normal. Thanks for the update!
I saw KISS on the disco dynasty tour…haven’t sen them since nor do I actually keep up with their latest albums or current tours.they were on axstv the other day and it was a lame show to me, but again I’m not a huge fan of theirs’.they are one of several bands that should call it quits.peter and ace I never view them as one of the greatest in any list to me theyre average players.paul and gene average players but business minded.for those kiss army fans wanting a one-off show I can see/read your compassion,i agree it’s one show not a tour.one performace one song then play with the current band members'(HEART DID)…and they had a bad split,hard feelings between them too. congrats to kiss making it and even though they have said it means nothing to them *WINNING ANY AWARD means something…it would’ve been cool to hear *Nuthin’ To Lose one last time by the four but I always have the classic *KISS Alive Album…regardless if it’s overdubbed what band doesn’t overdub a performace via record or live…