On April 10, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will open its doors for nine new inductees with what should be a very special night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, the entire event already has a black cloud of makeup and glitter hanging over it, as Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have refused to play because of the Hall’s stance on which KISS members are being inducted. Basically, the HOF is only recognizing the original members of KISS – Simmons, Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley – and not the other members that have been in the band’s lineups over the last 40 years, including current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
Simmons and Stanley were totally fine with the idea of playing the ceremony with their current KISS bandmates, but when it came to playing with Criss and Frehley, they obviously took their giant spiked skull boots and went home. Simmons very colorfully called it a matter of disrespect to the current lineup, as he pointed to the Eagles as an example of a band that has had different lineups, and yet every member has been inducted into the Hall. The current lineup of KISS, Simmons argued, has been together longer than the original lineup ever was.
Now, though, Frehley is speaking out about this whole mess, and while he’s also keeping mum about why the original lineup won’t play nice, he had no problem stoking the fire in a recent brief interview with Revolver.
On why he thinks that KISS won’t be playing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction:
Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted. Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul and Gene decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer]. And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, “Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.”
Frehley claimed that by saying that he was down for a reunion, KISS fans expected the original lineup, and when he learned that Simmons and Stanley didn’t want to play with him and Criss, he went back on Trunk’s show and clarified for KISS fans that he and Criss wouldn’t be there. That apparently pissed a lot of people off. He then said he was sworn to secrecy over the behind-closed-doors negotiations, but the damage is done and no KISS lineup is playing, as we’ve already known.
As for why Simmons and Frehley won’t just suck it up and play with their old bandmates for one stupid damn show:
I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don’t have it anymore, which is a load of crap. We proved otherwise at Eddie’s party, but aside from that, it’s very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don’t have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is–it’s half a KISS cover band.
But the event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members. Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent–yeah, why not.
Shots fired? Sure, but he’s also right. Simmons and Stanley are on tour with the current lineup, so they obviously want to play with that lineup. For some reason, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants the four guys they’re inducting. Just like Simmons and Stanley, Frehley thinks that’s kind of dumb.
I don’t want to take any potshots at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a cool organization. But it is what it is. Obviously, Paul brought out the inconsistencies. They bend their own rules. I don’t want to get political though because I hate politics. I’ve always said to keep politics and music separate.
So there you have it – the strangest musical feud of 2014 still makes no sense, but it was likely caused by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley not wanting to have to rehearse with two guys they haven’t played with in forever, mainly because they don’t think Frehley and Criss have it in them anymore. Oh well, you know what that means? More Hall and Oates for the rest of us!