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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  • Eric Heaton on

    I for one am glad kiss isnt performing….anyone thats seen kiss the last few years knows paul’s voice is long as youtbe is around, its always gona be 1976 for

  • Joe on

    wouldn’t it be funny if Vinnie Vincent was the only one to show up at the ceremony?

  • Joe on

    I’m just waiting to see the 4 of them standing next to each other….Gene & Paul on one side looking all moody/buisness like and boasting about, “this is for…..THE FANS” & on the other Ace & Peter with huge smiles on their faces loving the moment etc: For years Gene & Paul have bitched about not being in the Hall of Fame, now they are in and are PISSED OFF more than before. Like the saying goes… careful what you wish for. Joe in The Cuse. P.S. Don’t mess with DANA

    • Dana on

      Thanks Joe!

      Dana 🙂

    • Rich on

      Actually, Joe, they haven’t been ticked off. They have dismissed their snub from the HOF for so long by saying it doesn’t matter and that its no big deal, etc. Now, that they are in, they all of a sudden care about all aspects of it. You knew that they cared even when they said they didn’t.

    • DR on

      Go Orange…

  • CurleyQLink on

    I’ll probably get pilloried for this but, as a diehard metal fan who is also a huge fan of the Grateful Dead (and Richard Wagner, Miles Davis, George Strait, etc.) Paul was way off base when he said “In the Grateful Dead’s case, (they) also inducted a writer who never played an instrument,” said Stanley, referring to Robert Hunter’s inclusion when the band was inducted in 1994. ”

    The inductees from the Dead are listed below. Robert Hunter, while never playing an instrument, is the key lyricist for the band for the vast majority of their songs including Truckin’, Playin in the Band, Terrapin Station, Dark Star, Terrapin Station and Touch of Grey. While Garcia, Weir, Lesh et al created the amazing music that accompanies these lyrics, without Hunter there is no Grateful Dead. All of the other inductees that non-Deadheads may find unfamiliar still contributed significantly the band’s canon at one time or another.

    The same cannot be said for Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Both are talented musicians but they have made no contributions to the songs that made KISS the legends that they are other than to perform them in a live setting. As others have said above, the whole point would be moot if Eric and Tommy had developed their own characters rather than impersonate Peter and Ace.

    Grateful Dead Inductees: Tom Constanten (keyboards; born March 19, 1944), Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals; born August 1, 1942, died August 9, 1995), Donna Godchaux (vocals; born August 22, 1945), Keith Godchaux (keyboards; born July 14, 1948, died July 21, 1980), Mickey Hart (drums, percussion; born September 11, 1943), Robert Hunter (lyricist; born June 23, 1941), Bill Kreutzmann (drums; born April 7, 1946), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals; born March 15, 1940), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals; born September 8, 1945, died March 8, 1973), Brent Mydland (keyboards, vocals; born October 21, 1952, died July 26, 1990), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals; born October 16, 1947), Vince Welnick (keyboards; born February 22, 1951, died June 2, 2006). – See more at:

  • Grin on

    The R & R H o F argument makes total sense. The only lineup to matter and have an impact on the world of music is the original lineup. After that, when the makeup came off, they became an average joe band not unlike many other decent but not necessarily great hair bands. None of those bands will ever be in the H o F, and neither should any of the latter lineups of KISS…

    • Dave Esselburn on

      Half the bands Eddie likes are “hair bands”. LOL Sorry, but some of them, like Bon Jovi will probably get in. Bon Jovi’s part of the music establishment anyways, so it’s inevitable.

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