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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  • Marty Prudenti on

    My point is this, Kiss was dead in the 90’s. The only way they could play arenas was as an opening act or by going to South America. Ace and Peter reuniting with them brought them back in the spotlight. Genes home in the Hollywood hills and that fake scripted tv show would not be possibly without the reunion. Tommy and Eric are cheap labor. Ace and Peter are Kiss, not Tommy and Eric. They are touring with Def Leppard cause they have no choice. Who wants to keep seeing the same shit over and over. Bottom line, they needed Ace and Peter but they won’t admit it. Pompous, arrogant, idiots. Coming tonight. See you later Ed.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on


  • Deb on

    OK, so what about Eric and Bruce?? They toured with KISS without the makeup. Were they “Taking on” Peter and Ace’s personas???? Not hardly!!

    • Andy on

      Good point!!!

    • George on

      Great valid point…

  • don on

    I agree with Paul. They don’t want Kiss in the hall. They just caved because the pressure was mounting.
    Although I agree Ace and Peter created those characters but how many people have played Batman or Superman? They are still Batman or Superman.
    How about Eric Carr? He had his own character but no mention of that.
    I want to see Kiss perform but I am fine with the current members performing. I don’t think the Hall of Fame should tell them that they have to play with two EX-members that were kicked out of the band. If they could agree to play with all of them like on “Unplugged”, that would be cool but I think that is Gene and Paul’s decision to make. Not the Hall of Fame.

    • Troy on

      @ Don, you said, Although I agree Ace and Peter created those characters but how many people have played Batman or Superman? They are still Batman or Superman.

      Ace and Peter were and are real life superheros, Batman/Superman are totally made up fictional charactors. Even in the comic books Ace and Peter played themselves. You cannot replace a real life original superhero with someone in a Halloween outfit.

    • TNT on

      Ace and Peter created their characters based on who they were as individuals. Thayer and Singer are impersonating them. The Batman/Superman thing is irrelevant because none of the actors who’ve played those roles invented those characters.

      Basically what it comes down to is if you agree with Gene and Paul’s decision to turn Kiss into a “brand” and use copycat’s to impersonate the original member’s characters, then why not add Thayer and Singer to the list of those who get in? But if you’re like me, a kid who grew up in the 70’s and developed an emotional attachment to the original four…AND you’re unhappy with Kiss using copycat’s and milking the fans for every last penny they can…then you’ll probably agree that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame made the right decision.

  • Eric on

    KISS Is Dead to Me after this BS ! They are a JOKE live Paul’s voice has been shot since 2006 solo tour, Paul & Gene are 60+ & are ghosts of what they used to be on stage

  • kingofsting on

    This hall induction really is making me loose the respect and some of the interest I had in Kiss, Paul and Gene acting like Ace and Peter never existed is really shameful and disheartening. I still have tons of respect for Singer he’s one of hard rocks best drummers. Thayer not so much, he’s a wannabe Ace always has been always will.

    I’ll stick with supporting Ace and Peter, Paul and Gene can kiss it, and I hope Paul’s book don’t sell well, I was going to buy it but now I refuse to give money to that A-hole.

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