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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  • Van on

    I can definitely see the Hall of Fame’s viewpoint because it was the original lineup and the stuff they did in the 1970’s that put them on the map than any other lineup. However, if we’re talking members who had their own personas then I’ve said from the beginning that both Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent should be inducted as well. I can see Ace and Peter agreeing with the Hall of Fame’s viewpoint, but Paul and Gene are on the other side of the fence.

  • Mike King on

    Kiss after the original line up was just another 80s hair band. They would not have made it where they are if that original line up hadn’t blown us all away.

    • Christopher Bell on

      Same could be said about The Stones after Some Girls…

  • Brad Hilton on

    The current lineup is a joke! Not that Thayer and Singer aren’t talented, but you would have thought they’d at least have a problem posing as former members (money must be good). Paul and Gene have always been the boat captains of that ship, it’s never been a democracy. I do agree that the original lineup is the right one to induct because of their huge influence. Not to say that Bruce Kulick isn’t a kick ass guitarist or that Eric Carr wasn’t a beast on drums, they both were great in their own rights. With all the sower grapes and blubbering come from the other side, it would be great to see Peter and Ace team up with various musicians and do set for the fans. I’m sure they wouldn’t have any problems finding musicians who were influenced by both of them! I can’t imagine many people picked up a bass or guitar due to Gene or Paul’s playing…

    • Van on

      Ace already tried that with the HoF and they turned him down.

  • Edward on

    Hold on – Vinnie and Eric had different personas and Bruce never wore makeup and I don’t think St. John did either – so why are they not being inducted?? Why is nobody standing up for Eric and Mark?? If Paul and Gene were decent – they would – but all they care about is the present members and the deceased members are cast off like ex wives.

    • George on

      Another idiot with zero knowledge…they are not playing because they are standing up for all of the other players, not just Tommy and Eric jackass…unbelievable the amount of morons who comment about KISS who have no clue….and that goes for the Paul and Gene following sheep too…All sides have points but there are plenty of reasons to have issue with Ace, Peter, Gene or Paul over the years that to rip any of them for stuff that just isn’t true is absurd…

    • Larry "Stone Bandit" Jackson on

      We can go forever about this situation. KISS is an institution that should be recognized. The problem also is that there have been on occasion of un-credited musicians who have put their stamp on the finished product, in which, should be honored as well! With that being said, KISS would NOT be where they are WITHOUT the fans (ie.., albums, condoms, cologne and caskets).. So for that reason…, that’s why they SHOULD play the Hall Of Fame! As a celebration of years of support between the band and the fans.

  • Neil Johnson on

    Let’s be honest. Whether the RNRHOF or KISS got their way on who is or is not allowed to perform, they’d likely perform yet another uninspired version of Rock N Roll Night which no one with ears needs to hear. I am a 30 year KISS fan. My loyalty, much like Trunk’s, has waned over the last decade or so. They’ve won me back a little with their latest albums, especially Monster, but this whole situation is absurd.

    If Paul and Gene (and possibly the RNRHOF) are sincere when they say this matters only for the fans, they’ve done a hell of a job of making the entire experience one that I wish would just go away.

    There is no denying Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are exceptional musicians. But when you march Repl”ace”ment Frehley on a stage don’t get pissed at people for not buying into it.

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