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. 1-I’d love to see Ace & Peter perform with Paul & Gene, unless:
    -Paul and Gene genuinely do not want to do it, period. Who wants to see a bunch of fake smiles?

    2-As Paul’s said: Kiss wouldn’t be here without them in the beginning, nor woiuld they be here now with them…that’s dead on the money, don’t you think?

    3-The Hall is a private business entity…note the BUSINESS part of it. If they weren’t making money from it THEY wouldn’t be doing this, either. They obviously don’t care about the band.

    4-I think that Eddie deserves SOME credit for them getting invited, but he’s hardly the head of the pack that’s asked for years about it. Plus, he’s made a couple comments throughout the years about Paul/Gene/Kiss without the other two, so why should they “thank him” above any others? I’d love to see him interview them in the show, and get some details on our questions throughout the years. I see that they’ve done an interview with Vince Neil in Vegas-perhaps they can budget the show to go to Gene/Paul at their convenience? Fingers crossed…

    5-I hope that Kiss performs (with the ALL the members from their career-I’d love to see Vinnie play!).

    6-Go KISS!

  2. So, do I understand correctly … there is a delay in the ticket sales for the ceremony?
    I guess the lineup needs to be confirmed before tickets are sold. I’m guessing that “our band” might be at the root of this, huh? Oh well, based on Paul’s most recent comments I have to believe that the band (all of them) would pretty much have a similar opinion? His points are valid. Maybe they all opt out?

    1. Hey Ed,
      This thing really seems to be dragging on. Any word on whether the band has met on this or not?
      And by asking that … I guess I mean either the 4 or the 6 meeting to figure it out? Man, is no news good news or bad news? I know you have Ace and Peter slated for appearances this season on TMS. Do you plan to have them on together? And are you waiting this thing out before having them on?

    2. Everything TBD. I know much of what is going on but until it is all resolved and it comes from the band members I am laying low. Let it play out and come from them first before any comment from me.

    3. Hm, trying to read between the lines that does not totally rule out the four originals in make-up … OK, I admit I am just trying to make you tell more.

  3. 4 on the floor ’77 line-up or Kiss Army will revolt. To say Kiss Army will rip him a new one if the ’77 line-up isn’t running in 5th gear onstage in full attire at book signings is expected if it is a 10 person line of leather clad Kiss members through the years doin tunes or the ’14 line-up alone. Peter in a Hawaiian shirt with a tambourine and Ace plugged in with his Chiller Convention outfit on makes me want hide. This should be interesting. No, Gene & Paul will not come on Eddie’s show…they like softball questions by the usual suspects. Deep Purple not in, Flava Flav is.

  4. Two things ;
    What struck me the most about the Paul interview is his comment :

    Stanley : ” 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 nonstarter,’ which, to me, is arrogant. “.

    If it wasn’t for the makeup and stage show Kiss very well could have fizzled out by 76 or so.
    It wasn’t till Alive I ,that captured the live show, that Kiss took off . The 1st three releases weren’t selling even though they had all the popular songs . And by the 80′s ( although I love all era’s except the current one) Kiss’ music was getting …..Well …..80′s worse . Lets Put the X in Sex and Tears are Falling are hardly what influenced so many musicians
    And what is Paul & Gene doing today ? Copying 70′s Kiss
    I get the Hall wants to honor “Makeup Kiss” . And all the other members are not Makeup Kiss . Not even Eric really. I would have considered Eric as Makeup Kiss if they would have continued on with the makeup….
    Paul said back in 2002 when dressing up Eric and Tommy ” we dont want to have a chickenman or dogboy character up on stage . Obviously he was trying to downplay what they decided to do with Eric and Tommy.
    So why would the Hall that’s honoring the uniqueness and impact of 70′s Kiss want to induct 6 more members and have 10 people up on stage . Wouldn’t that kind of look as silly as dogboy and chickenman ?
    The hall is honoring 70′s Kiss . The version that influenced so many musicians . That’s it .
    I wish Paul would be as honest as he is about his opinions of the Hall , with his views of playing w/ Peter and Ace . His comments change from month to month as he learns what the Hall wants and that Paul can’t call all the shots…… I give him less than a year before he starts slamming Ace and Peter again.

    2nd ) I still say it would be very uncomfortable , as a fan , to have Gene and Paul on your show unless Ace and Peter were there. You know exactly what they would say about all of yours,mine and , so many other’s thought’s on what they are doing . It’s all about the money and selling more concert tickets . Its disgusting ! I really hope they dont ever come on TMS. Sorry Eddie !

    3 ) You guys commenting last week on TMS about retiring when the singer can’t sing as well or lip sync.. Obviously when the singer sounds really bad its time to retire . But , ( going off topic) i’ve noticed with todays younger fans it seems like it’s not a bad thing, to them, to replace the vocalist when the band has inner turmoil.
    Foreigner , Journey , Ratt, Crue, Warrant ,Priest and ,Queensryche come to mind . Then , the backlash by fans seems to be that the singer who has gotten the boot cant sing as good anyway .
    As a older metal fan , the music and magic that the original created ( that rarely gets recreated w/ new singers) is something that should be retired/ change name…… Should we start replacing guitarist’s , drummer’s too when they cant play as well or move around as much ( Angus)

    So I think it should be live , no lip syncing/etc. or
    live show should be tuned down ( like Zepplin did in 07 to accommodate Plants loss of range )

  5. I stopped reading after about the 15th comment. I think any article posted on this site with “KISS”, “Gene Simmons”, or “Paul Stanley” in the title would automatically whip up 100+ comments. I’ve never really been much of a fan, but I admire all of your passion for them. I don’t “have a horse in this race”, so I don’t really care how the RRHOF ceremony works out, but I will say it’s an unenviable predicament for all parties involved. Who goes in, who doesn’t go in, who should play, who really wants to play, who the fans want, whose contributions are worthy of being inducted, etc. What a mess. Seems like no matter how it goes down a lot of people will be unhappy with it. I like how it was done with Metallica – everybody who was part of the band (on an album) goes in.

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