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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  • Mike A on

    R&R HoF finally agreeing with Eddie- I love it! I can’t wait to see what really happens now!

  • Mark on

    The original KISS band showed be the only inductees into the BS RRHOF. The other guy are just session players in make up.

    • Van on

      Ace and Peter would agree with you and the HoF made the right call.

    • Bill on

      Pointing at Tommy Thayer is cheap and easy. Make the same argument with Eric Carr, Bruce Kulick, Vinnie Vincent and Eric Singer and it’s a lot harder. Saying Bruce is “a session musician” is a terrible disrespect to an extremely talented and worthy musician. Same with the Eric’s.

  • Tom on

    Don’t worry. I am sure Tommy Thayer will get in when Black N’ Blue is inducted.

    • TNT on

      LOL…and a great point.

  • Salty on

    I think the rock hall is right. I mean, KISS stopped being KISS after Peter left as far as I am concerned. I still like some of the music after Peter mind you. The thing is after Peter left or around Dynasty they began doing whatever was popular, they stopped being leaders and became followers. The 70’s version of KISS was so amazing and so powerful that I think everything they have done and continue to do is based completely off of that. KISS made history in the 70’s, they probably could of broke up completely in 1979 and still reunited in 1996 and been huge.

    This current version of KISS is a joke in my opinion and I would rather see a good KISS cover band at a bar instead of the “real” KISS.

    • DR on

      Holy Shit does Peter Criss ever get a lot of credit nowadays. This is the best thing that ever happened to him.

  • Kenny Baxter on

    Had the band actually retired in 2002, they would have been inducted in ’04. This is working to the favor of both. People are talking nonstop about the Hall, and people actually give a shit about KISS touring with Def Leppard. Bottom line, the Hall is wrong in not inducting Carr, Kulick, St John, and Vincent. KISS is wrong for bitching and crying about the FANS forcing the Hall to accept them. This is has been such a clusterfuck that I don’t care anymore if any of them show up. At least all of this has made us forget about the mess that was the Van Halen induction.

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