paulstanley400 Gary Graff of Billboard spoke with KISS frontman Paul Stanley about his forthcoming autobiography and the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction. Excerpts of the interview appear below.

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.

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  • Det Pak on

    I know exactly what’s going on, my point is Gene and Paul are refusing to play without ANY lineup? ok they’ve made their point,I agree with Paul on his view of NOT letting the other past members in.
    I 100% agree with him, as I said in another comment once, IF? Deep Purple make it will the HOF deny Ian Gillan,Roger Glover,David Coverdale,Glenn Hughes,Tommy Bolin,Joe Lynn Turner,Don Airey and Steve Morse as well,because they aren’t original members of the band!! and what about Steve Perry if/when Journey are admitted?
    My point is,this.I’ve supported KISS since 1974,I joined the KISS army in 76 when I was 15.Went and saw the Love Gun tour,bought albums,cassettes the DVDs etc.Sure Gene and Paul are making a point,but NOT at least getting on stage with ACE and Peter for that night at least is gaining them nothing as well,when the night is over and done only the 4 of them will have been admitted,the real KISS fans are left with a bitter Taste of defeat,Gene and Paul.. WAKE UP this isn’t going to happen to YOUR band EVER again,this is a once in your lifetime chance.. Hey Gene go listen to your own song “You Wanted the Best” from Psycho Circus to quote you in lyrics.. “The fans wanted us to play we hear and we obey”

  • Hector on

    I am a fan of the music, not the musicians. I buy all the records. Musically speaking, I believe Ace Frehley’s Anomaly is far better than Sonic Boom or Monster. Anomaly takes a step forward — you can tell it’s Ace playing but it’s not blatantly recycled riffs like Boom or Monster. Plus it sounds better. I’m looking forward to Ace’s next solo release later this year.

    All other aspects of this debate are dumber than geeks complaining about who gets to play the next Batman.

    • Bob Esssrin on

      And you purchased the 14th copy of a grand total of 16 sold. Next you’ll be saying that All For One was a masterpiece.

  • Lee on

    Gene needs to flip his wig and Paul pull his Beverly Hills extensions out when the chorus of boo sounds ring out at the hall introducing Thayer & Singer. “We want Ace” Brooklyn cheers.

    • Bob Esssrin on

      And they’ll still be more rich and famous than you’ll ever be.

  • JB on

    Honestly people…raise your hand if you want to see Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace…get up in makeup and play 2 or 3 songs tops in front of the HOF crowd. I honestly could not think of a worse environment for that to take place. As Trunk has stated…just to do 2 – 3 songs, these guys would have to rehears for damn near a month just so the thing wouldn’t be a complete and utter train wreck. Not to mention…has anybody bothered to look at Ace lately. Over weight and bald…hell it’s bad enough see Paul’s chest get looser and looser each year and his knee’s get any more knobby, Gene’s costume barely contains his girth and now you want to add the other two guys, who aren’t in nearly as good of shape to the mix for 2 – 3 songs? Yes folks…a massive fail for all to see and guess who gets the last laugh. Jann Wenner, Dave Marsh and all those elitists nut jobs that have controlled the RRHOF from it’s inception. Kiss served up on a silver platter for all to laugh at…so they could say, told you so. Sorry Gene and Paul haters, sorry Ace and Peter haters…the originals not playing in makeup is a good thing. Now…withouth the makeup. street clothes, get up and jam a few tunes….that would have been fun but I’m sure that is not what the RRHOF wanted.

  • AH on

    I see Paul’s point about other bands who have had lineup changes and they are all inducted. Not sure what the criteria or lack of has been. If you separate out the line-ups that Kiss has had and look at them as stand alone bands, none of the incarnations after the originals would warrant induction into the hall of fame. The reason Kiss is finally being inducted is because of the original line-up. Other line-ups have sounded great, made great music but on their own are not RRHOF worth (for whatever that means). I don;t have anything against Thayer or Singer or anyone who has been in Kiss. They helped keep it alive when it could have just died. Not sure of the ages of all the posters here, but growing up in the middle of their amazing run in the 70’s, that is why I LOVE Kiss. I like the other incarnations but I LOVE the original line-up.

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