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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  • Dave Esselburn on

    Eddie, I think you’re missing the point. You’re agreeing with the RRHOF now when they have shown repeatedly that they do not used standardized, objective criteria for inducting bands/lineups and are not open about the voting and the voters. You, rightfully, have bashed the RRHOF for that in the past. But now their subjective criteria on the makeup is fine with you? You have said many times that you were friends with Eric Carr. You’ve also had Bruce Kulick on TMS. Are their contributions not worthy of induction? They played on multiple gold and platinum selling albums. They were in the band for long periods of time. Vinnie Vincent contributed as a writer/performer at a critical time. Even Singer and Thayer have now had long tenures. So, what’s the criteria? As a fan and as an advocate for the fans and for these past/present members whom you are close with, you have a platform to make your voice heard, and you should be fighting for ALL of them because their contributions deserve it. OR, do you think those other members don’t deserve to be inducted? Were their contributions minimal? If you think they were minimal, then say so. I’m sure they would appreciate the honesty. But it seems that by agreeing with the RRHOF’s reasoning, that a subjective matter of the original makeup is the adequate criteria to judge induction. We can agree that new characters would be cool (and probably make KISS a million dollars), but something like that cannot be an objective standard on which to judge the contributions of the other lineups.

    Let’s put it another way….what criteria would YOU use if you had a vote? Would it be, if a member simply played on a studio album? Would it be if they played on a Gold Record? Or a Platinum Record? Would it be years of service in a band, regardless of album sales? Would it be total sales while a member? Would it be writing credits? It needs to be objectively based.

    Let us, all of us, push for the inclusion of the band, not based on makeup, but on actual objective reasoning and demand that standardized criteria be put in place by the RRHOF. Otherwise, it is an illegitimate institution and the induction means nothing.

    • Eddie on

      The HOF has a MILLION issues I have railed against for years! All I simply said was I can see the logic in not inducting Tommy and Eric since they did not create what they are portraying.

  • Darrall on

    Wouldn’t have mattered if they would have created a different makeup. The band hasn’t done anything worth a crap since they joined. They just go out and play all the songs Peter & Ace helped create.

  • Brad on

    Not really a good Kiss album after Lick it Up as far as I’m concered….the tune ” Hide Your Heart ” was on Hair Nation in the car the other day and my Girl says” Who is that? …that’s the worst garbage I’ve ever heard”….Hahahahaha

    • Cali on

      That is a GREAT idea!!

  • Cali on

    I sort see the point of the HOF- Ace, Peter, Gene & Paul were the springboard for KISS.

    While makeup was pertinent in them becoming who they were and are today, it would make more sense to induct the original members, since current members are merely shadow puppets of the original Ace and Peter.

    With the points brought up, it would make sense to induct Eric Carr since he was big contributor and had his own identity. Vinnie Vincent too, while he wasn’t with the band long, he brought credible song writing skills and had his own personae.

    It’s not the Mark St John, Bruce Kulick and the current members aren’t important, but makeup made KISS what they were, During the 80’s they were just another ‘hair’ band.

    It was a tough call for the Hall- but I sort of understand why they did it.

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