Many bands put their differences aside when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted them….The Eagles, Heart….
They were inducted last week and unlike just about everyone else who got in, KISS did not perform at the induction ceremony. The two original members still in the band, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, insisted on playing with current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
The HOF was only recognizing the original four members: Simmons, Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Thayer and Singer have been impersonating Ace and Peter in recent years. Throwing all six on stage in full makeup would have meant two spaceman guitarists and two cat drummers.
I caught a recent radio interview with Stanley who said he could see KISS continuing for another 20 or 30 years without him or the fire-breathing, “slept with 5,000 women,” serpent-tongued bass player.
And then it hit my why the HOF has ignored KISS all these years.
Have they been influential? Yes. Musically, and in terms of stage performance, pretty much inventing the larger than life rock spectacle.
When you’re inducted by a musician who’s regarded as a cool dude (Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine) you are the shit.
And not just shit, as many detractors have opined.
No, Gene and Paul, the problem is you see KISS as a franchise. The rock version of Batman and Spiderman. Doesn’t matter who wears the costume, the show will go on.
But it does matter.
I was a big fan of KISS’s “no makeup” phase of the early ’80s. I bought the “Lick it Up” album because I liked the songs and Stanley’s voice (Gene’s, not so much but if fits certain tunes). Paul has always been an underrated singer.
Mister Simmons and Stanley, you did yourselves, Peter and Ace a great disservice by not treating your fans to a proper celebration of the albums they bought by the millions.
By being petty, and regarding the band as little more than a highly-successful and lucrative circus act.
And on the same night that Courtney Love hugged Dave Grohl.