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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  • Jeff D on

    Paul is spot on.Why let other bands include everyone and not KISS.
    I think if HOF let all members in KISS would play a few songs without make-up.

  • John C. Harrison on

    I’m really wondering about this year’s induction ceremony. KISS has opted to NOT perform. Linda Ronstadt can’t sing because of Parkinson’s, and Kurt Cobain is dead. Who knows what Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam will do? Aside from Hall & Oates and Peter Gabriel, who’s actually going to be performing at the ceremony?

    • Stu on

      this was my post on the trunk report a few weeks ago, you took my lines John C Harrison, come up with your on stuff. I’ve been a fan of Kiss since i bought my first record in 75 but i can’t stand to see Eric and Tommy playing in the makeup. Paul just wants the current line up to play and if it doesn’t, then he is like LUcy, takes his football and goes home.

  • Lee on

    Ace isn’t going to show up.

  • 777 on

    Gene and Paul always say KISS is about and for the fans. Well I and all the fans I know want to see the original line play! We all know they (most likely $$$) will never reunite to form the band again, but give this night to the fans! Nothing against Singer, he’s a lord. Thayer might be talented but is a puke!

  • JM on

    That argument from the Hall doesn’t make any sense. Eric Carr & Vinny Vincent had their own personas & yet they’re not being inducted. So, how can they say that Eric Singer & Tommy Thayer stood a better chance if they had created their own characters? Total crap from the Hall! Their rules are so arbitrary. If Robert Trujillo could be inducted after only 1 cd w/Metallica then there’s no reason for any KISS member, past or present, to be excluded ’cause they’ve all appeared on at least 1 cd.

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