My thoughts on KISS getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and album reviews coming

If you follow the world of rock/metal online, you’d be hard pressed not to know that KISS is finally getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. You’d also have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the controversy surrounding which members are (and are not) getting inducted. It’s become quite a mess. Gene & Paul are having it out in the press with Ace & Peter, Gene & Paul are having it out with the HOF’s induction process, the fans are having it out with Gene & Paul, etc. It goes on and on.

Here’s what we know: the Hall of Fame is inducting only Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. The original four members of KISS and that’s it. They aren’t inducting anyone else and they don’t want anyone else (such as Tommy Thayer & Eric Singer) performing at the induction ceremony. Frankly, that’s silly, but look — KISS has been eligible for induction for a long time and for the Hall of Fame execs to put this restriction on the band is just their way to make the induction as painful as possible for KISS. It’s like they couldn’t put off leaving KISS out of the Hall any longer because the public was becoming too vocal about their exclusion but at the same time the Hall of Fame didn’t want to make it a fun/easy process for the band.

No one is arguing the founders shouldn’t be in but I think all members should be inducted and that they should be allowed to perform with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer (which the Hall does not want). My dream scenario is that everyone who has ever been in KISS gets inducted and then the classic line-up plays and then the modern line-up plays and/or they have all six of those guys (plus Bruce Kulick) jam together.

It’s not a big deal to induct every single member of KISS, so I don’t see why the Hall is resisting it:

  • No question, Eric Carr definitely deserves to be in. Great drummer and he contributed to the band for 11 years on many successful albums.
  • Bruce Kulick — same situation. He was there for 8 years and played on a number of KISS albums that went gold/platinum.
  • Vinnie Vincent. Not sure if anyone could even find this guy and he didn’t have the best relationship with Gene & Paul but even they would admit his guitar work and songwriting skills played a big hand in freshening up the band’s sound and giving them some of the best albums they’ve ever produced.
  • Eric Singer first joined KISS in 1991 after Eric Carr’s death, had a short stint in the early 2000s filling in for Peter Criss and has been their drummer since 2004 when Peter Criss once again left and has sung lead vocals on a handful of KISS tracks.
  • Tommy Thayer is a big force in the modern band. Great guitar player and he’s been playing with them since 2002 and has songwriting credits/vocal duties on the last two KISS albums. I could see someone maybe arguing against Tommy though given the time frame he joined, but I think he’s contributed enough to warrant the induction.
  • Given his very short tenure, Mark St. John is probably the only KISS member you could question for HOF status and say that he didn’t contribute much to the band… provided you consider playing on a platinum-selling album as not contributing much.

It’s nice that the band is getting inducted into something called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when you consider the people who run the Hall and the list of people who have already been inducted, it’s anything but a legit rock hall. No one in their right mind would argue that if there is such a hall that KISS deserves to be there, but it’s sad that the RNR Hall of Fame is refusing to acknowledge the entire career of the band and wants to focus only on the 1970s.

It’s a tough pill to swallow for some KISS fans but I actually applaud Gene & Paul for refusing to give in and play strictly with Ace & Peter. They want all eras of KISS to be recognized and they think Eric & Tommy deserve to stand on stage. I agree. I know there is the whole Gene & Paul vs. Ace & Peter thing, and that’s sad, but I don’t have a problem with Gene & Paul’s “all or nothing” stance.

Now, I recently noticed there’s a surprising amount of KISS albums I haven’t yet reviewed. I could’ve sworn I reviewed them all! Well, with all the buzz regarding KISS these days thanks to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the fact that this year is the band’s 40th anniversary, there’s no better time than now to finish reviewing the band’s catalog! Be on the look out for those reviews in the coming weeks.

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Posted on March 23, 2014, in Ace Frehley, Bruce Kulick, Eric Carr, Gene Simmons, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I totally agree – as far as I’m concerned, KISS is not limited to just the original foursome and I get really tired of people trying to limit them to that. Heretical as it may be, I actually prefer 1980s KISS myself…But Gene and Paul are totally right, the entire history of the band needs to be recognized. Furthermore, I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a flaming tower of beaver droppings anyway. I don’t need some board of executive music snobs telling me who rocks and who doesn’t.

    • I agree. It’s good press for whatever bands that get inducted, but given who they induct and the people running it — the Hall of Fame doesn’t mean much. All the rock fans KNOW who are hall of fame bands, regardless of what a bunch of old dudes in Cleveland say.

  2. Bare minimum, Eric Carr should be in there. I’m willing to accept not inducting Bruce or anyone else, but Eric MUST be in there…just another insult thrown at Carr’s way via the mainsteam. He couldn’t even get a decent death announcement in Rolling Stone, then RS edited down Kiss’ letter complaining about that, and now this.

  3. Have to agree with you and Mike, Carr definitely deserves to be in there. Nor would I debate your call to include Bruce Kullick. This just sounds to me like a bunch of jumped up execs only letting them in because of public pressure, shoot them all I say.

  4. Darren Griffin

    I won’t sit here and act as though I don’t have a certain bias in this. Not to sound too nerdy, but KISS is a little like Doctor Who in that every generation needs their own Doctor and I apply that to KISS as well. That said I’d like to touch on an observation that I have made. Namely, the suspicious actions of the HOF in this situation. First, KISS being passed over in favor of ABBA the last time their induction was considered. Not since Jethro Tull beat out Metallica years back, has something been such a blatant slap in the face. But here’s the rub; Given the ABBA-snub in the past. It is such a grinding gear-switch to say, “Okay, now you’re in” which raises more than a few eyebrows. Why? The HOF doesn’t like to be “strong armed”, i.e. a ground swell of support from both the KISS Army and people like Eddie Trunk (That Metal Show) on the matter any more than KISS. The powers that be over at the hall are well aware of the bad blood within the original line-up and the extent to which it has fractured the over-all fan base. To me it seems like the induction looks like a thinly veiled attempt to satisfy its own detractors, all the while instigating even more hostility within the band and the fan ranks. That’s just my opinion. Does anyone think it has merit.

  5. Darren Griffin

    If Simmons and Stanley had connected the dots early on, all this would be moot. They have eluded for years that polite Rock’N’Roll society have had a grudge against them. Hear the HOF, one of the culprits, handed them the means to rub it in the hall’s face, and they chose petty, vengeful in-fighting instead. They could have spent the time and energy that has been put forth in sniping in a more productive way. Maybe stating early on that though they would accept the award, as offered, Criss and Frehley would in no way be participates in the current incarnation of the band; either on tour or in the studio. Make-up aside, because who can get the straight on how all that came about in the first place. And as far as Tommy and Eric go; They may be in KISS…but they are not IN KISS..they are employees of KISS Inc. and not members in the sense that Criss and Frehley were. This has been a long standing policy since way back when Peter left. And there has been animosity regarding the replacements as well. Now they’re cool with them accepting accolades along side them ?…this is is a fiasco. Which probably delights the HOF no end.

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