kiss-return Classic Rock Magazine interviewed KISS frontman Paul Stanley about the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Read the interview below.

Classic Rock: Did you feel honored at being inducted in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

Paul Stanley: No, it was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don’t realize that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It’s a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard “Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame” and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts. So was it an honor to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it’s validation for them. So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf.

My feelings and my ambivalence about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame hasn’t changed any. Their attitude is elitist and it doesn’t reflect the public. It reflects a small group who dictate who meets the criteria that they set up as “rock and roll”. I’ve always felt the spirit of rock and roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way. I think we’ve done that pretty much with few exceptions for forty years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in. I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group.

Nonetheless I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and The Who and the Beatles and the Stones is company I don’t mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them, it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted.

Classic Rock: Are you looking forward to playing it?

Paul Stanley: Honestly, I have no plans at the moment to do anything, and that includes playing with Ace and Peter or anyone else. My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award. Anything else, we’ll see how it unfolds or unravels. It was interesting to me, or offensive to me, that when the question was broached with the hierarchy about inducting additional members it was shut down immediately as “a non starter,” which to me is arrogant. People who sit behind desks need to respect the people who are actually either inductees or possible inductees into this so-called hallowed organization. So the fact that there are 30 or 40 or 50 or some absurd number of Grateful Dead members all inducted, the fact that all of the Chili Peppers, including people who played on early albums that never amounted to very much are not inducted, the fact that John Rutsey, the drummer on the first Rush album is not inducted, the fact that Rob Trujillo, who’s a great guy but didn’t play on any of the classic Metallica albums, was inducted after being in the band six years makes me wonder exactly what are the rules? If the rules don’t apply to everybody then they’re not rules.

Classic Rock: Do you plan to bring Ace and Peter up on stage with you?

Paul Stanley: Of course it goes without saying that Ace and Peter deserve this moment in the spotlight. We wouldn’t be here without them. We couldn’t have built what we did without them at the foundation. That being said, we couldn’t have built what we built without a lot of people who followed them. We couldn’t have been here without them and we couldn’t be here today with them. So absolutely, of course they deserve and belong up there.

Classic Rock: Ace and Peter jammed together at recent party for That Metal Show presenter [and radio DJ] Eddie Trunk. How did you feel about that?

Paul Stanley: I didn’t feel one way or the other. I don’t own those songs, I only wrote ‘em. There’s nothing to guard or lock away. Those songs are public domain and they played on those songs so why wouldn’t they play them? For that matter, why wouldn’t anybody play them?


115 Responses

  1. First of all… Only inducting the “founding members” is absurd. That’s even more of an insult because it means that they should have been inducted that much sooner. You can’t discount the presence of Carr, V.V., Singer, (both) Kulick’s, etc…
    Fact is, KISS is , right now, as much of a joke as the hof itself. Did they start the band to play music or become merchandising moguls? Nobody knows but gene and paul. The day they decided to insert studio musicians on albums and not let the “real” band play proves the latter. By putting guys like Anton Fig, Bob Kulick, etc… , on albums and not telling the people buying the record, makes you a liar. And that’s just a few that we know of. There could be dozens more studio guys not credited on KISS albums through the years. Once a liar…
    Frankly, I hope Ace, Peter, gene, and paul, come out, no make-up, make their 90 second speech, or whatever their given, and thank all the great acts that paved the way for them to get into the hof. Like abba, run dmc, public enemy, blondie etc…HaHa. Alex Lifesons speech last year was perfect.
    Then when time comes to perform, none of them play. No tommy, no eric, no gene, nobody. Instead, ‘Little KISS’ should come out and play. I’d rather see that anyway. I can’t imagine them making their speeches in make-up. So they would probably not have enough time to go backstage and put on their wigs and costumes with enough time to play anyway.
    With all that being said, it probably won’t matter anyway. The hof won’t let anything ruin their nirvana night. We talk all about KISS, but they’re not even thinking about KISS. You know it’s going to be all about ” the great Kurt Cobain” that night and about how much he “did” for music. Whatever. Garbage.
    Rant over.

    1. Oh stop. If you had the opportunity to merchandise yourself or something you created, you would do it. As would all the rest of you whiney ass so-called fans. Such a bunch of hypocrites. Just be thankful there is still some form of Kiss still around.

  2. I agree with him 100%. The RnR hall of fame is a self created joke in the first place. He says it perfect…. perception becoming reality. Who cares one way or the other.

  3. I don’t believe it is ” absurd” at all. The foundation & the concrete of “KISS” was the original 4. That was when KISS ruled the world of music. The Reunion Tour only confirmed that the core 4 original members once again ruled the world of music. To deny that anything in between those 2 era’s of KISS ( Gene Peter Paul & Ace ) are deserving to be inducted with them are “absurd”
    Joe in The Cuse. Go Orange

  4. I agree KISS has become a characature of itself. But let’s be honest, if not for the four ORIGINAL members, Thayer, Singer and all the rest of the replacements mean nothing. Don’t get me wrong, Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, and the Kulicks are amazing musicians and were the driving musical force that kept the band relevant during the 80’s and 90’s. But no one would care if not for Ace and Peter. See the make-up that the Impostors are wearing. If they can’t come to an agreement on the performance, I agree with Anthony, say thanks and walk away! I hope they end it with some dignity and class and put aside the petty whinning! And truly put the FANS ahead of themselves for a change! Hopefully, Paul would only sing one song, can’t take anymore of his screeching, broken voice! I would like to give Gene and Paul some advice, end it NOW before you guys destroy what little credibility you have left! Thanks a million to Eddie for all you do for the metal community! You ROCK brother! We now need to start a hard push for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Slayer, and all the REAL R&R, hard rock and metal bands who deserve to be recognized the RIGHT way for their contributions to Rock & Roll! \m/. Up the irons metal heads!

  5. Kiss fan since 1975. Glad they got in. Should have happened ten years ago. Does it really matter what happens on induction night? It will do nothing but give Kiss fans something else to bitch about. Good Lord, listen and enjoy their music and leave the drama alone.

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