After years of petitions, angry letters and actual protests outside the museum in Cleveland, KISS are finally entering the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next year. The instant the news hit, many in the KISS Army wondered whether Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would perform with estranged bandmates ACE FREHLEY and PETER CRISS on the big night.
RollingStone.com's Andy Green spoke to a surprisingly gracious Gene Simmons about the big honor, and the possibility of him burying the hatchet with Peter and Ace. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Q: People are very curious about what lineup of the band is going to play that night.
A: "Well, KISS is Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. It's like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, 'Wait, where are all the other wives?' It's like, 'Yeah, I was married to them and now I'm here.' You can argue that point and we'll figure everything out as time goes on. This one is for the fans. If the fans didn't care, we wouldn't be here. If it meant nothing to them, we wouldn't be here."
Q: Bands often play with old members at the Hall of Fame. Are you open to the idea of playing with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley that night?
A: "Sure, why not?"
Q: I've heard you say in the past you never wanted to play with them again.
A: "That was for a tour. But they were equally important in the formation of the band. When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn't delete or minimize the important. Hey, 'You have gave birth to this thing, KISS, with Ace, Peter, Paul and Gene'."
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“The day started off well,” Paul Stanley said, with uncharacteristic understatement.
He was, of course, referring to the fact that he woke up to the news that KISS, at long last, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Stanley called into Los Angeles’ K-EARTH (a Radio.com station) this morning, originally to discuss L.A. KISS, the Arena Football League team that he and bandmate GENE SIMMONS co-own, but naturally the conversation was dominated by the news of the Rock Hall induction.
Speaking with morning show hosts Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley, the KISS guitarist was clearly excited about the honor, despite the fact that he and Simmons have been critical of the Rock Hall in recent years. To be fair, they have been passed over for induction for over a decade, eligible for induction since 2000.
“As much as we might have questioned the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the years,” Stanley said, “they’ve come to see things our way.”
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Joining KISS in the 2014 class of inductees are NIRVANA, PETER GABRIEL, HALL AND OATES, CAT STEVENS, LINDA RONSTADT, ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM, BRIAN EPSTEIN, and THE E STREET BAND.
Paul Stanley commented: "The spirit of rock and roll for me has always meant following the paths I choose regardless of what my critics or my peers think. For 40 years KISS has built an army that apologizes to no one and I'm honored to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame knowing we have remained true to ourselves and our fans."
Said Gene Simmons: "To the KISS Army, Ace, Peter, Eric Carr, Vinnie, Mark, Bruce, Tommy and Eric Singer, Bill Aucoin, Doc McGhee and to my partner of 40 years, the ever youthful Paul Stanley... and all the members of the KISS Family. This honor is for you. 40 years of Rockin' and still going strong."
Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick states: "I woke up today with the amazing news that KISS has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame! Well it's about time! I know the fans spoke, and they listened. When you think of how influential this band has been, and how KISS is so strongly loved by fans all around the world, those who run the R n R Hall of Fame finally got it right! Fans of KISS, this award is about you as much as the band. You could no longer be ignored! Now go crank up your favorite KISS album right now!"
The artists' induction ceremony into the Hall Of Fame will take place April 10th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
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. Check out a video report from Artisan News below: