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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  • Richman on

    I hope HALL N’ OATES does OUT OF TOUCH. That is one of my favorites. Maybe the rapping mice from that ugly car’s commercial could stand in and do: AND THEN SHE KISSED ME, BABY DRIVER and Gene’s version of FIRESTARTER.

    • DR on

      How about Method of Modern Love, or Maneater? I hope Oats goes old school and brings the mustache back if not for just one magical night.

    • DR on

      Damn, I spelled ‘Oates’ wrong. My credibility is ruined.

    • Bob C. on

      To think that Rocket Ride had to take a back seat to “Then she kissed me” and “Tomorrow and Tonight” really? it’s called I want all the money for myself.

  • vin on

    Edward, from what I have been reading they want ALL members actually inducted. Thayer and Singer are just getting more attention in the stories because the hall of fame wants KISS to perform with the original members instead of them. To which Gene and Paul are responding no they will not perform without them. All in all an admirable position I think.

  • John C. Harrison on

    I’m very disappointed by the turn of events in the upcoming KISS Hall induction. OK, like it or not, KISS is not planning a performance at the ceremony. I am curious about one thing, though. The Hall rep made it sound like they aren’t planning on booking someone else to perform on behalf of KISS. It sounds like they want it to be KISS or nothing at all. Hmm, seems odd to me. When Black Sabbath was inducted, the band sat in the audience as Mettalica played for them. Phish played for Genesis, even though all the members (minus Peter Gabriel) were in attendance. Lastly, Iggy Pop performed at Madonna’s induction. Really HOF!?! If KISS won’t perform, let some other artist or band honor them with a short tribute. Perhaps get a band that was heavily influenced by KISS. A KISS induction with no music of any kind would be a real shame. It’s quite apparent that the Hall is struggling with a KISS induction. It’s taken 14 years for it to happen, and it’s still doing the bare minimum. Pathetic! I have loved rock and roll my whole life, and have supported the Hall for years. That said, your mistreatment of bands such as KISS, Rush, Neil Diamond and Hall & Oates (long overdue inductions) illustrates just how out of touch the Hall really is. I respect what Jann Wenner did with the founding of Rolling Stone, but as the head of the Hall, he’s been a HUGE disappointment. Rock and roll is for the masses, not an elite group for some fortunate few to play with, inducting their favorites and ignoring those they don’t like, no matter how successful and influential that band or person may be.

  • Van on

    Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame going to be live or taped?

  • David G. on

    All I know is that DEF LEPPARD is longgggg overdue to be inducted in The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, just like KISS was. Hoping you start promoting DL a little bit more Eddie in terms of them being inducted. By the way, this Watchung, NJ native now at in So.Cal, appreciates all u do.

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