KISS FRONTMAN PAUL STANLEY ON WHY THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS WILL NOT BE PERFORMING AT ROCK HALL INDUCTION: “WE HAVE DIFFERENCES AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE DIFFERENCES”
Billboard: You’re the last of the original Kiss members with a book of your own. Just a slacker?
Paul Stanley: It really had nothing to do with the band as far as being first, last, middle. It wasn’t with any of that in mind. The truth of the matter is I had sworn for, literally, decades not to write an autobiography. I always go back to George Orwell, who said the autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction. And I would say 90-plus, 95 percent of the autobiographies by any of my contemporaries would be better suited on a roll of soft paper, so at least you could use it for something, ’cause they’re nothing more than self-serving fantasies or delusions or love letters to themselves. They serve no purpose. What I finally came to grips with was the idea that my life could be inspiring to other people… and almost more importantly I wanted something that my children could read when they got older to understand what it took for me to succeed and a better understanding of who I am and perhaps what they need in their lives to move forward. So there was a real purpose to this as opposed to just some sort of bragging rights.
Billboard: There is a lot more struggle in your book, especially in your youth, than many would expect — family dysfunction and especially the misshapen right ear and being deaf on that side. That’s something you kept quite for decades. Why?
Paul Stanley: It was too painful. You can only reveal things and you can only deal with things when you’re ready to. My experiences as a child were so debilitating and destructive that the best way for me to deal with my ear was to cover it and to, at least on the surface, ignore what was going on — although that really wasn’t an answer. Luckily, as an adult I found different ways to resolve some of those issues and also to find some surgical relief and modifications.
Billboard: So what actually went down with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and your decision not to play at the ceremony?
Paul Stanley: Oh, it starts decades go. 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. But they’re only going to induct the original four (members), and bringing up the idea of inducting members other than the original four…was shut down as a non-starter. It’s 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, and when the original drummer of Rush, John Rutsey, who played on a classic album, isn’t 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.
Billboard: You could just play with the original four of you, of course.
Paul Stanley: They wanted the original four guys to play, in makeup. But, 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. I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed. So there’s been a lot of issues, and perhaps the best way to deal with them is to celebrate the four original guys and go there and get our award and to look past the differences that will always be there. It doesn’t change the big picture; we have differences and we will continue to have differences. It doesn’t change who I want to play with and who represents KISS. There are a lot of people who are great inspirations to me, and still are, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for that reason and the fact that fans want us in there, I graciously and vigorously will be there to accept the award. We should salute and enjoy an evening that celebrates what the four of us started. But there’s always a lot of cloak and dagger stuff and a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes.
Read more at Billboard.
In related news, the singer also discussed his autobiography and six-date book tour here.