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

    This is a “cover your ass” statement by the RRHOF. They were set to induct former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing who played on the first record, Bleach and some of the demos for Nevermind. Channing was all excited and went on radio about this too. The RRHOF have since backpedaled and now say it was only an “invitation”. This has Nirvana fans furious. And it’s a direct result of this situation. They look bad putting in a guy who played on just one album, whereas everyone in KISS’ history has played on multiple albums, except for Mark St. John. Face it. They never wanted KISS and are only putting them in because people bitched and moaned. And Paul’s right, they want to continue to thumb their noses at KISS by putting in the bare minimum. Jan Wenner is laughing his ass off right now at the KISS “fans” argue which lineups are “better”.

    • Dave Esselburn on

      And here’s a link to Chad Channing’s situation. The RRHOF…get this…TEXTED him in a ridiculously impersonal way to say, “SorryNotSorry.” I don’t even like Nirvana and this infuriates me. I’d be shocked though if Dave Grohl brings up the hypocrisy of the RRHOF about this because he’s become such a part of the music establishment. I only hope that KISS put them on blast during their speeches.

  • scumalf on

    GWAR has been performing for 25 plus years with multiple members playing the same characters, I’m sure that if they were inducted all former members would be invited to the ceremony (except for Hunter Jackson and the late great Cory Smoot R.I.P.)

    • DR on

      What???!!!! You mean GWAR isn’t in the RRHOF? That’s more criminal than Maiden or Purple.

  • Scrape on

    Ace and Pete sold their persona’s and haven’t done much since. Obviously the persona’s were more important to KISS fans than Ace and Pete.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      Can you think of the possibility that they sold the personas to G & P because they were offered a whole lot of money and knew they could need it because they practically ended their careers in terms of being able to make much money in the years to come when maybe on tour through small venues with their own bands? While P & G, on the other hand, gladly paid because they knew they too would need these personas to make fans buy tickets in the future. So both parties had their fair share. What would you have done?? Declined a million dollar offer?

    • DR on

      That is an incredibly invalid argument Klaus. Now you’re crediting P+G for being fortune tellers? Too much emotion in these posts, little sense.

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      You are so illogical. Not only in this post. Trying to be seem cool when actually you are only trying to make fun of others for being (yes, also emotionally) interested in the fate of their favourite band. What does what I said have to do with fortune telling? G & P knew that they could go on making money by keeping up the image of the original lineup, keeping the songlist, keeping the overall appearence. They knew because of the huge success of the reunion. Well, and so they DID and still do even though they are on the decline. Do you think A & P sold their trademark look for a nicke and a dime? the offer must have been considerably high otherwise no one would give away such a thing. You are not making sense to me, I should say. You keep on mocking people posting here, but if that is your hobby, go on and be happy with it.

    • George on

      I wouldn’t have been so fucked up that I was even in that position….and certainly would not give up my portion of the band royalties either…

    • Klaus Baumgarten on

      I am amazed that so many peole here know what they would have done had they been a rock star just like them – staying away from whatever temptation that might come across (often enough for free). After the three reunion tours A & P each had earned several million dollars most probably from the rumours of about being given 40k Dollars per gig, does that make you “fucked up”? And let us just assume for a second that Ace really wanted to move on after the Farewell Tour, why would he not accept even more money and sell the makeup copyright when he wasn’t planning on ever putting it on again?!

  • BeagleDawg007 on

    You know, I heard Gene and Paul saying they wanted to celebrate the “entirety of KISS” and that is why they refuse to play with Ace and Peter. I find this interesting as their current set list contains songs of which about 95% are pre-1982. In addition, they are playing these songs in original make-up. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, guys. Don’t feed your fans garbage about wanting to recognize all the members of KISS when what you are doing live, right now, is almost exclusively representative of original KISS and original KISS only.

    • John G on

      Heart pulled the same BS. They never credit the original guys yet most of the material they do now is from that era. They went back to their old logo – even their old hairstyles for awhile. If the original guys had nothing to do with your success, where are the new rock classics? Same goes for KISS – if Ace wasn’t that important, where are the new classics?

  • martymankins on

    Since there will be no performances, us KISS fans can only hope that all 4 original members will put aside their differences to at least stand at the podium to accept the honors of being inducted.

    • Eddie on

      Think that is what will happen

    • Van on

      I’ve predicted from the very beginning that if KISS were to be inducted into the HoF, the original lineup will not reunite to perform but rather accept the induction at best. It looks like it will come true.

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