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.


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

208 Responses

Leave us a comment

  • radiomatts on

    This has gone beyond ridiculous. One song, two songs wouldn’t and shouldn’t have been a problem. There could have been SOME scenario where playing together would have worked. IF the six active members of KISS (pre Thayer) could get together for a few songs on MTV Unplugged, why couldn’t they get along well enough for THIS? KISS is all about the fans…as long as you continue to worship. I LOVED KISS… Paul and Ace were why I picked up a guitar in the first place. I weathered the ridicule from people like those morons from Rolling Stone who made fun of me for it. Now.. THE FANS want you guys to play ONE LAST TIME, and you won’t? Fuck you, Paul Stanley.

  • Johnny on

    Meh, kinda still smell bullshit. Eric Carr & Vinnie Vincet had their own personas and are still not being inducted.

    • David Papineau on

      I agree

    • Dave Esselburn on


    • Joey Talbott on

      I agree 100%

    • Josh on

      I agrees well. I think the whole lineup should have been recognized as you have 2 of the most powerful players they ever had, not being recognized, Bruce, the most flexible (style wise), and then the fill in, all being snubbed. Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent were very very instrumental in keeping Kiss alive. If they had Thayer replace Ace then, they would have folded. Same. With Singer. He shouldn’t have been Peter’s replacement anyway, already in the band without makeup and 2 completely different styles of drumming.

  • David Papineau on

    I’m with Paul. There is no consistency and it’s obvious that if they were “honored” to have them inducted, they would have gone in 14 years ago. I like the fact that Paul is standing his ground and not conceding power over his band to the Hall. Like the current direction or not, it is Paul and Gene’s decision and to be forced to do something that basically opens a can of worms against their will is just not fair. The Hall hasn’t and doesn’t care about them, why should he care about the Hall.

    • Bob Esssrin on

      I agree David. The Hall is intentionally playing right into this debate. Total BS.

  • Rob Balsillie on

    I grew up in the 70’s a huge Kiss fan. I am also proud to say, the only times I’ve ever seen KISS, it was the original 4 members (pre-split and reunion tour). Once Gene and Paul decided to run KISS as a corporation, having Peter and Ace replaced by replicants who not only dress as them but play their chops note for note, I lost complete interest. Ask anyone who are KISS fans to name the band members and they will say Ace, Gene, Paul & Peter. It’s the same as Lynyrd Skynyrd, the new group are talented but they are a Skynyrd “cover” band. Lynyrd Skynyrd ceased to be when that plane went down… The new group should have changed their name in respect.

    • John G on

      Skynyrd originally reformed as “The Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band” – then after a couple years they dropped the tribute bit. I don’t think Ronnie Van Zandt’s wife/estate was happy about it, even if it was his brother singing lead vocals. The Johnny Van Zandt band never had much success, so his brother’s legacy is all he has.

  • LedNasty187 on

    In the beginning there was the Starchild, Space Ace, Catman, and the Demon. Later, there was the Fox and Ankh Warrior. If Carr and Vincent were good enough that they could create their own KISS personas, why couldnt Thayer and Singer? Maybe because they are not really part of the band? Perhaps because they didnt really have enough to contribute to KISS to deserve their own personas?

    • Eddie on

      Can’t blame that on them, they take their orders from above and I’m sure would have loved to be their own people

    • Mario Carpegna on

      If Eric and Tommy had to create new personas, maybe Eric could ( the hawk, lol!), but Tommy…tommy could have a different makeup, but, can he play in his own style (like Vinnie did)? No! He always immitated Ace, he always wanted to play, move, stand like Ace…he could never be a original guitar player.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      I guess he can – but this is his job, you see? Recreating Ace by G & P’s orders, we really do not know what he himself would have been capable of in a different Kiss (and will probably never know) that would not be desperately trying to mimick the reunion tour and classic vibe for money reasons. All we are allowed to see of him and his musical abilities is approved by Paul and Gene, he is probably bound by contract not to do anything else now as long as the band exists. And for Tommy this job is still much better in any respect than playing in the not-so-successful original band that he had long time ago. He can live that rock star lifestyle including private jets and all and save some money for his retirement after Kiss is finally done (which will not take that long now I am sure).

    • Bob Esssrin on

      That’s speculation.

    • Josh on

      Because today, nobody would buy into it. It worked then, it won’t now. Why try to market the unknown when they could swindle the rights from the 2 original owners and plaster it on 2 fill ins… It is a scam on fans regardless. Cover band, nothing more, nothing less.

Leave a Reply