Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman has defened the Hall‘s plans to induct only KISS‘ founding lineup, saying that the decision about whom 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 told Billboard.com. “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 [original memebrs] Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul (Stanley) and Gene (Simmons). That’s what put them on that map.”
Peresman added that the Rock Hall felt that current KISS members — guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, both of whom dress as Criss and Frehley‘s respective alter egos, “The Spaceman” and “The Catman” — “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.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Stanley told the Associated Press that he’s upset that only KISS‘ co-founders and not current and other key members of KISS will be getting the nod on April 10, explaining, “In the GRATEFUL DEAD‘s case, (they) also inducted a writer who never played an instrument. Or they’ve inducted rap artists, or they’ve inducted people who have been in the band for seven years as opposed to. . . 25 years or 20 years — whatever their criteria of this week is.”
Frehley left KISS after the band’s 2002 “Farewell Tour” dates, saying afterwards that he took the word “farewell” seriously. Peter Criss has claimed that his contract with KISS wasn’t renewed in March 2004. Both charges have been disputed by Stanley and Simmons.
Paul Stanley said that the powers that be at the Rock Hall “tried to strong-arm us into playing in original lineup… Their craving of nostalgia or for wanting to have us play by their rules in many ways jeopardizes what we have spent 40 years building.
“I’ve been there since the beginning, and when I put on my KISS gear, I do it with great pride, and anything that may jeopardize that by going out with a lineup that I might question is a nonstarter for me.”
Stanley went on to explain why Thayer and Singer should be inducted, saying that they “have been in the band for decades and played on multi-platinum albums and toured the world.”
Stanley admitted to The Pulse Of Radio that his contempt for the Rock Hall — which is based on the Rock Hall‘s apparent contempt for KISS — has been brewing for quite some time now. “It starts decades ago, it starts years ago that it’s 14 years on 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,” he said. “And it clearly reached a point where it was so absurd and ludicrous that they caved. The part is, as I’ve said before that I’m most proud of, is the same criteria that kept us out is now getting us in — we didn’t change. But, when I feel that we’re being treated unfairly and that the rules, clearly, are no rules, ’cause they don’t apply to everybody, and the criteria for how and who gets in based entirely on a personal like or dislike, I have issues with that.”