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Hall of Fame CEO Explains Why They Excluded Current Kiss Members

Kiss
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has explained why only four members of Kiss were chosen for induction into their organization, prompting a strong response from singer / guitarist Paul Stanley.

Remaining founders Gene Simmons and Stanley would like to see subsequent members of the group recognized, while the hall has limited the award to Kiss’s original lineup, which also included Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. When he was rebuffed, Stanley said Kiss wouldn’t appear.

“We have other artists, other inductees showing up and performing when they can,” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman tells Billboard. “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.”

Stanley confirms that he will attend the ceremony, set for April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But he likewise isn’t budging on his insistence that contributors like Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, who have performed together in the current Kiss lineup since 2002, should also be on stage.

“There are a lot of people who are great inspirations to me, and still are, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for that reason and the fact that fans want us in there, I graciously and vigorously will be there to accept the award,” Stanley says. “We should salute and enjoy an evening that celebrates what the four of us started. But just because I’m getting inducted doesn’t mean it’s turned into a love fest.”

Peresman also outlined the reasons behind the decision to limit the induction to Kiss’ initial founding members, saying Thayer and Eric Singer “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.”

This statement prompted a fast and direct rebuttal from Stanley, posted on the band’s official website and included in full below:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to attempt to restore its questionable credibility and glimpses behind the facade with nonsense and half truths.

The truth is Joel Peresman and the rest of the decision makers refused to consider the induction of ANY former KISS members and specifically the late Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick who were both in the band through multi-platinum albums and worldwide tours and DIDN’T* wear makeup.

There is no getting around the reality that the Hall of Fame’s favoritism and preferential treatment towards artists they like goes as far as ASKING the Grateful Dead how many members THEY wanted the hall to induct and following their directive while also including a songwriter who was never in the actual band.

Let’s just accept the truth as it is and move on.

- Paul Stanley

*Note: Carr wore his own unique, fox-themed makeup from the time he joined the group in 1980 until their public “unmasking” in 1983

Kiss has moved on from the controversy, announcing a co-headlining tour this with Def Leppard and a massive vinyl reissue project. Stanley will also release an autobiography called ‘Face The Music: A Life Exposed’ just two days before their induction, on April 8.

Should Kiss Reunite for the Hall of Fame? - Great Rock Debates

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