KISS400 Gary Graff of Billboard reports:

With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony looming closer, neither KISS nor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation seem ready to relax the entrenched positions that led to the group’s decision not to perform April 10th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

KISS, according to frontman Paul Stanley, is upset that the Rock Hall plans to induct only the group’s founding lineup and tells Billboard that discussions about subsequent members “was shut down as a non-starter.”

Nevertheless, Stanley says KISS feels that honoring the other six musicians who have played in the band is “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…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.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman says that the decision about who to induct from any band is made by the Rock Hall’s nominating committee as well as an adjunct group of “scholars and historians” familiar with specific inductees and genres. “This isn’t chemistry or physics; it’s not an exact science,” Peresman acknowledges. “Sometimes there’s an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it’s a specific period of time that established the band as who they are. With KISS there wasn’t one person here who didn’t agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the ’70s with Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul and Gene (Simmons). That’s what put them on that map.”

Peresman adds that KISS “is a unique situation where you have artists who wear makeup as part of what the band’s about,” but the Rock Hall felt that the later members — including current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who are wearing Frehley and Criss’ makeup, respectively — “are fine musicians who…basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It’s not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter.” Persman notes that last year Heart was in a similar position, where the Rock Hall chose to induct the original ’70s sextet and not later musicians that played in the band.

But Stanley feels the situation with KISS is a bit more personal. “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,” he says. “It’s like them swallowing a teaspoon of medicine they don’t want. It’s a bitter pill for them to swallow, so they’re making it as small as possible.”

Stanley says that the Rock Hall asked KISS to perform as the original quartet, in make-up, but he and Simmons — who have been playing with three-time KISS member Singer again since 2002 and Thayer since 2004 — were not confident the performance would be up to standard. “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,” he explains. “I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed.” Peresman, meanwhile, says the Rock Hall has no plans for a performance stand-in for Kiss at the ceremony. “We have other artists, other inductees showing up and performing when they can,” Peresman says. “We’re very hopeful that Ace and Peter and Paul and Gene come and accept their award. We’re obviously honored to have them inducted.”

Read more at Billboard.


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  • Ray on

    Your all idiots,if they’re gonna put kiss in the hall it should be all members not just the original four.By saying anything else your saying screw eric carr,vinnie vincent,mark st. john,bruce kulick,tommy and eric singer kiss has been an awesome band for forty years.also back in the day ace didn’t play most of his own misic in the studio anyway bob kulick did.another thing is all you people yaking about originals in bands sabbath changed singers and you still bought metallica new bass player and no dave and you still happally bought how many other bands changed lineups and no one said a word .

  • Tom on

    It’s so sad that Paul and Gene have turned KISS into a running joke. They do the same nonsense on stage and it has become so phony. I’d rather go see a good KISS cover band play live. That’s what KISS is: a bad cover band.

  • Jim on

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but the Rock n Roll Hall of fame is 100% right regarding their position on Eric and Tommy essentially being clones. However, I do agree that at a minimum Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick should also be in. The band still had significant success in the non-makeup years and those two were a big part of it. The original lineup is by far my favorite, but I will listen to and support anything through the “Farewell” tour in 2000. Paul has apparently become a world class hypersensitive prima donna and I can’t listen to a word that comes out of his mouth. It’s too bad Def Leppard has to tour with this karaoke/tribute act; I always enjoy seeing them live in the summer in Saratoga Springs, but not with what was, ironically, my favorite band of all time.

    • TNT on

      I’m so disappointed I missed Kiss’s “Farewell Tour” when they played at SPAC. I was living in California at the time and saw them out there, but I really would have loved to see them playing in the city I grew up in (Saratoga Springs) at the venue I worked for many years (SPAC).

  • Ray on

    cont. but kiss changes and oh my god paul and gene should be killed,ace and peter QUIT for the second time and they deserve all the credit pretty sure kiss made better albums without ace and peter i love me some kiss unlike most of you though i love all the lineups

  • Dalevis on

    I think the argument has nothing to do with the Grateful Dead and everything to do with Metallica. Robert Trujillo was inducted and played on, what, one album. Not trying to bash Trujillo, but did he have any impact on what we know as Metallica? They clearly are in for what they did up to the Black Album. It is completely inconsistent. Paul is defending his life’s work. His career didn’t end in 1980. KISS was very relevant through the 80s. Every album from Lick It Up to Revenge is either gold or platinum and they have continued to headline large arenas around the world. Would the KISS makeup era be as relevant today had the band not been soldiering on for the the last few decades? KISS should be recognized for staying relevant. How many bands have defined an era and then thrived successfully through another? Singer, Carr, and Kulick, should be in for sure.

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