kiss-return Forty years after the release of their debut album, KISS have finally made the cover of Rolling Stone. Marking the band’s upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the cover image is a classic 1975 photo of the band’s original lineup: Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, plus Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

The cover story, by Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt, tells the sad, hilarious and triumphant story of one of the biggest rock bands ever, taking an in-depth look at the founding members’ lives and careers. Hiatt hung out with all four original members in their homes (in San Diego, Beverly Hills and Monmouth County, New Jersey) where they shared fond memories and, inevitably, some intense backbiting. “I keep thinking about Ace and Peter,” Simmons admits. “”What are they doing now? Where are they?’ It’s gotta be close to the end. How do you make any money? How do you pay your bills?”

Even Stanley and Simmons have had their differences. “We’ve always seen each other as brothers,” says Stanley. “What we seem to be at odds at is how you treat your brother. Gene’s priority, by far, has always been himself. And he’s not one to let anyone else’s feelings or contributions get in the way.”

They also explain precisely why they won’t be reuniting for a performance at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Stanley and Simmons offered to allow the former members to jam with KISS’ current lineup, featuring guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, but Ace and Peter found that proposition deeply insulting. “I won’t be disrespected,” Criss says. “How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to go sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That’s an injustice. To the fans, too.”

Simmons counters that Frehley and Criss “no longer deserve to wear the paint.” “The makeup is earned,” he adds.”Just being there at the beginning is not enough… And if you blow it for yourself, it’s your fault. You can’t blame your band members. ‘Oh, look what happened to me. Oh, poor me.’ Look at my little violin. I have no sympathy.”

Frehley suggests another reason for the current members’ reluctance: “The reason they don’t want to perform with me and Peter is because the last time they did, they had to do a reunion tour. We play three songs, the fans go crazy. They don’t want to open up a can of worms.” Frehley, meanwhile, says he licensed – rather than sold ­– the rights to his Spaceman makeup to the band, and suggests that he’s due to get the rights back sometime soon.

Also in the story, Simmons says his touring days are almost done. “I’m 64 now,” he says. “Three more tours. Two, if I have a life change of some kind.”

KISS’ Rolling Stone cover story goes on sale Friday, March 28th and online tomorrow, March 26th.



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  • Nic on

    It would serve Gene right if he could be the victim of identity theft, resulting in lost millions. It’s the only thing that might get this SOB’s attention – getting a good old helping of humble pie served to his oversized a**. Being he’s apparently the world’s greatest advocate of identity theft with Ace and Peter’s personas. My only question for Gene is with as many times as he’s dropped the ball with Kiss (The Elder, absence of focus from the band throughout the 80’s, and ridiculous brand decisions that has only cheapened the band), not to mention his own personal shortcomings and failures (attempted movie and tv career, dead-end record label, proving just how bad he is on his own with those two horrid solo albums, the legendary sex and money addictions, and last but certainly not least, being the gold standard of rock’s biggest a**hole and proud of it title). Based on Gene’s rationale of Ace and Peter not being worthy of the character, persona, and makeup they created in Kiss due to their shortcomings or dropping the ball, then there should be 100 other people out there trying to legitimize themselves as Gene – the demon. Then again, I think there already are that many out there with the plethora of other Kiss cover bands having people portraying the demon character – better than Gene has for years I might add. I’m sure they all have more of a redeeming personality too and couldn’t be any worse as for as being the screw up that he’s proven himself to be. The only difference between them and Gene is they don’t have Paul Stanley covering their shortcomings. Though Paul seems to be more and more influenced by him, as the years go by. Maybe the starchild should be replaced too and we could just have a 100% glorified Kiss cover band, which it is now, only with the added benefit of hearing more than just a dozen songs per show. Who knows, maybe we’d even finally get to see someone with a more convincing wig, if not real hair.

  • Steven on

    Gene and Paul seem to be the only two people badmouthing people. Peter and Ace haven’t said one negative thing about them about this whole situation

  • Andrew15 on

    Another reason why one’s fasciniation with KISS should begin and end at the age of 10.

  • Chris on

    O my God Gene is such a fucking asshole.” Really Gene” ACE & Peter Have to EARN the make up they made up and created you are really fucked in the head if you think you have the right just because you paid your lawyers the cash to get the make up rights that make’s you god of every thing right ! the last 15 years of kiss have been a flat out joke and theres no one to blame but Gene & paul …they do not do kiss for the fans they do it for Cash and Brand only …I really wanted a kiss football team right or a kiss hello kitty doll right or some one playing Ace & peter in kiss thats what i really wanted right Gene you dick we all know the truth why Ace & peter are not in kiss today so stop lying in every interview you get about the drugs they cant play its all about the cash they wanted get for being in kiss today . I bet if tommy ask for 25% of the cash he would be out as fast
    as 123 but he knows he’s place as a Fake ACE he did in one cover band cold gin now he’s got two of the guys in he’s new cover band called Kiss

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