kiss-return Rolling Stone has printed KISS’ acceptance speech from their Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction on April 10th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Read it below.

Gene Simmons: Lemme hear ya! Tom Morello, we are humbled—all of us—to stand up on this stage and do what we love doing. This is a profound moment for all of us. We are humbled that the fans gave us the chance to do what we love doing. And so I’m hear just to say a few kind words about the four knuckleheads who, 40 years ago, got together and decided to put together the band that you see on stage, critics be damned.

To Ace Frehley: his iconic guitar playing has been imitated, but never duplicated, by generations of guitar players around the world. To Peter Criss, whose drumming and singing…Well, there’s not a guy out there who beats the sticks who sounds just like Peter. Nobody’s got that swing and that style.

Something happened, 40 years ago: I met the partner and the brother I never knew I had—Paul Stanley. You couldn’t ask for someone more awesome to be on the same team. I am humbled.

I was going to say a few kind words about Eric Carr, Rest in Peace. Mark St. John, Rest in Peace. Vinnie Vincent, the great Bruce Kulick, and of course, here we are 40 years later with the great Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, and we continue on.

However, we wouldn’t be here today without the initial Fantastic Four. God bless you all. May I introduce the powerful and attractive—Peter Criss!

Peter Criss: Thank you. I want to say it’s great to be home in Brooklyn. I’d like to thank the Hall of Fame for this honor; I never thought this could happen in my life. Thank you. I’d like to thank everybody that had to do something with my career and the band’s career. For 50 years, I’ve been doing it; 40 years, we’ve been doing it.

Jesus—from the grips, to the truck drivers, to the great producers, to the great managers, to the great people who were just all there for us through all the years and the hard times. God bless you and thank you so much.

I definitely want to thank our first manager, Bill Aucoin. We would not be here if it wasn’t for Bill. Sean Delaney, the great Joyce Bogart, and the great Neil Bogart—who with Casablanca Records…those were the great days and I thank them all. I’d like to congratulate the band, of course—Mr. Stanley, Mr. Simmons, and the one and only Spaceman, Ace Frehley.

I’d also like to say I’m now seven years male breast cancer-free. Thank you—I’m very proud that I have… my fancy support center, and my doctor, who saved my life in the first place. Thank you so much.

I would like to thank my family—my sister Donna who I know is out there. All my friends who have come…and God, I’d be here all night. I’d like to thank my lovely wife Gigi, who makes my life really, really a lot easier. Lemme tell ya: walking through life with her is a blessing. I love you, baby.

I got my first lesson from my best friend, Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls. And boy, that’s what started it all off.

I want to say that, even out of makeup, I’ll always be the Catman. God bless each and every one of you—I will remember this the rest of my life. Thank you so much.

Ace Frehley: I have a speech here, but these [glasses] aren’t prescription, so I can’t work it out [laughs]. It’s so great to be here with all these celebrities and other musicians.

I want to thank Paul, Gene, and Peter. Thank you so much, Tom, for that beautiful introduction. I want to thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for inducting us; thank you very much.

When I was 13 years old, I picked up my first guitar, and I always sensed that I was going to be in for something big. Little did I know, a few years later, there it was. I experienced the Summer of Love. [laughs] Alright. That was before I met these clowns. Several years later, we got together—you know the story, it’s all KISS-tory.

A few quick names—Bill Aucoin, Joyce Biawitz—who used to manage us in conjunction with Bill, then ended up marrying Neil Bogart. We wouldn’t be here without Neil Bogart and Casablanca Records. Everyone at Casablanca Records, everyone at ATI, Jeff, and Wally. Everyone at the press office; Carol and Al Ross; Carol Kaye; just to name a few. If I named everyone who helped us through our career, I’d be here for another half an hour. It’s great to be here.

I wanted to touch on the fact that I’ve been sober now for seven and a half years. We still need to educate the people in this country about sobriety because some people think it has to do with willpower. But unfortunately, most addicts are born that way and people need to be educated about that. My sponsor, he used to have a good saying, to try and explain what it’s like to be an addict: when people would say to use willpower, he’d say, “Try using willpower when you’re having diarrhea.”

So, only by the grace of God I’m here. I want to thank my first wife Jeanette, my daughter, my current fiancé Rachael Gordon. Life’s been good to me; hopefully I’ve got 10 or 20 more years to go. Thank you very much.

Paul Stanley: I can make this short and sweet because everybody said everything and has been much funnier than I’ll ever be.

So, I got to thank Tom, who’s championed us shamelessly and unapologetically. Took a lot of balls, and God bless you. For us, this is a special night, but it’s really a special night for all of our fans—this is vindication. We couldn’t have done this without you.

To Peter, Ace, Gene—we are the original four, so we could not have done this if we didn’t start this together. Everything we’ve done is built on the past. We’ve got a great, great legacy. We’ve got Bruce here, we’ve got Tommy, we’ve got Eric…

When I first started listening to music, I was lucky: I saw a lot of people I loved. When I was a kid, I saw Solomon Burke, I saw Otis Redding, I got to see the Yardbirds. I got to see Led Zeppelin; Jimi Hendrix; Sly and the Family Stone; the list goes on and on. What I loved about all these musicians is that they had the spirit of Rock and Roll. I believe that the spirit of Rock and Roll means you follow your own path regardless of critics, and regardless of your peers. I think we’ve done that for forty years.

Here we are tonight, basically inducted for the same things that we were kept out for. The people, I believe we’re speaking to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and what they’re saying is, “We want more.” They deserve more. They want to be apart of the induction. They want to be apart of the nomination. They don’t want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people. Choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not. Let’s not forget that these are the people that make it all possible.

So, I look out here and I see all these people. I see faces that over the years inspired me. People who made me what I am. So I am here tonight because of the people who inspired me, but I’m also here because of the people I inspired. So God bless you all; it’s been a wonderful night.

Watch the full speech below.



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  • Bryan on

    Gene Did a great job. All the speeches were pretty good actually. Paul as I watched really tried talking to Ace and Peter. Peter looked way pissed at Paul. Ace was Ace. Hugging laughing and having a great time. Gene and Ace showed WTF. lets have fun and loosen up. Peter and Paul didn’t. Those 2 have always been the drama queens of the band. Pretty obvious to me. That Ace would be welcomed back into the band. But no way Peter. With all that’s been said and done. Don’t be surprised if at some point the original KISS do play together again. Gene and Ace would be all in. Peter and Paul have to kiss and makeup. Bank it tho. Eddie won’t agree with me here. They will perform together again. And sooner than later.

    • Mike B on

      They all stayed within the three minute limit almost perfectly too. They each did a great job. The only part I did not like was Peter saying he would always be the Catman. Obviously, he is the one who created the image of the Catman and will always be the original. It just seemed like he stooped down for that one when he could have taken the high road. I also did not like it when during Paul’s speech, the crowd booed when he mentioned Tommy and Eric–my heart went out to them at that moment. I think both are doing a KICK ASS job of filling in those shoes.
      Regardless, the originals looked great up there together and their speeches were excellent. I know from experience how difficult it is to stay within a specific time limit during a speech so I was impressed.

    • E Black on

      Mike B, of course you didn’t like Peter saying he will always be the Catman, of course you didn’t like the KISS Army’s booing of Fake Frehley and Cheater Criss, you have bought into this BS of Gene & Paul’s . Characters? The makeup and costumes were an extension of each member’s personality. How the hell can anyone who knows the history of the band and how it came to be, buy this new BS that Gene & Paul have been spewing? They HAVE to say those insane things in order for this business model to continue. Nobody should be shocked that Singer and Thayer got booed.

    • Lindy on

      Fake Frehley and Cheater Criss. Now that’s funny!

    • Joe Pensanti on

      They got booed because the fans love the Fearsome Foursome the best. It really is that simple.

    • Mike B on

      Just sharing my opinion, which is why we’re here right?

    • Truth on

      Booed, or not, Singer and Thayer are still employed and getting a paycheck. Peter Criss looks forward to his Social Securty check each month.

    • Eric Heaton on

      Riding someone elses coat tails is eventually going to get old for thayer/singer…

    • schocoman on

      Ah, get your homework done. Go to celebrity homes and take a look at Peter’s mansion that – oh wonder! – he can afford with your social security check. Then go there again and take a look at Singer’s house and make up your mind again.

    • Jimi on

      Mike B. Peter IS and always will be the REAL CATMAN. If Peter stooped some level, then what did Ace? He mentioned his sobriety and that alcoholism is a disease etc. that was a shot at Paul for sure, who has been putting Ace down for his alcohol problem, for quite sometime now.

      The only one who stooped to a level so low, that it was unbearable was Paul Stanley, he was invited to a party, and chose to piss all over another mans carpet.

      I understand why people were booing Eric and Tommy, they were sending a clear signal to Paul and Gene, and maybe they were also booing a little bit at Paul? Maybe?

    • Truth on

      Yes, poor Ace… it’s not his fault he’s an alcoholic, it’s genetic.

    • E Black on

      kinda like you being a dick?

  • Lee on

    Next Paul line for the fire: “Ace’ll probably be sellin’ his award in the next Kiss auction after having fans pose with it for $15 at horror conventions”

  • steve on

    I thought this turned out perfect. The best version of KISS was inducted and all 4 showed up to accept. No performance, no makeup. The Hall passed over them for 15 years. F ’em. Why, after all this time, should they do them a favor by providing a show. They showed up, acknowledged their induction, answered some questions, and went home. KISS hasn’t existed for me since the original farewell tour although they’ve been milking the hell out of it since then, but maybe this is proper closure for the original lineup.

    • Van on

      Even though the HoF had good reasons to only induct the original lineup, they’re not off the hook. They waited too long for 15 years. I’ve said this before that had KISS been inducted back in 1999, the original lineup would have likely performed. Now it never happened and KISS felt the HoF doesn’t deserve a performance from them.

    • Jimi on

      Van, both Peter and Ace wanted to perform, even Gene didn’t deny that he’d perform at the HOF with Ace and Peter… It’s Paul that didn’t because he couldn’t get it his way… Right or wrong.

  • Nic on

    It speaks volumes when the original lineup here looks cooler accepting their award than the current cover band does performing in makeup. If only these guys could’ve jammed one song looking like this out of makeup. In any case, I’m glad the induction when smoothly and we at least have what might be the final reunion of the real Kiss. Also couldn’t help but notice when Paul mentioned the guys at the table, how cheers start with the shout out to Bruce and then on a dime turn to boos and jeers for Tommy and Eric. It summed up everything.

  • Max Brand on

    It ws great seeing KISS in the hall Of Fame and it’s a good thing all four original members came even though they weren’t going to play that night. They certainly had a longevity of what they accomplished in rock music & they’ll forever be among the best in that genre. I never got that the chance to see them play live but they definately gave fans many memories they’ll cherish forever of the shows they attended worldwide. Coingrats KISS you done the industry very proud.

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