Now that Kiss are on the ballot for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, fans have started daydreaming about what it might be like to see the band enshrined alongside some of their fellow rock legends. But if your dream includes seeing the original lineup play at the induction ceremony, Gene Simmons has some bad news for you.
Asked during a recent interview if he’d be interested in welcoming original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss back into the fold for the night, Simmons reportedly responded in typically blunt fashion. “No! How many chances in life do you get? Both of those guys had three chances to be in the band. Three times they [expletive] it up,” he scoffed.
While conceding that Frehley and Criss “were every bit as important as we were at the formation of the band,” he insisted that he and his longtime foil Paul Stanley are better off without them in the lineup — and what’s more, he thinks his former bandmates are better off too. “When you have a cancer in your system, it’s best to cut it out as fast as you can,” he explained. “It used to be part of your body, it turned into cancer. You gotta cut it out. I believe that both Ace and Peter are happier now. They belong home and doing autograph shows in clubs. They’re happier.”
As any Guns N’ Roses or Creedence Clearwater Revival fan will tell you, Kiss aren’t the first band to let bad blood between members overshadow their Hall of Fame triumph. But that doesn’t make these conflicts seem any less petty or unfortunate when they’re held up against the kind of amazing success that affords an artist this type of honor. Here’s hoping cooler heads prevail.
* Update: On Oct. 24, Simmons stated via Twitter that he was “clearly misquoted,” and that the only thing he said was that the original lineup “will not tour together.” Here is his post in full: