In a brand new interview with Noisey, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was asked if he agrees with KISS frontman Paul Stanley's assessment that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has basically been shamed into inducting KISS: they don't really want to do it, but the demand from fans has been overwhelming for the past 15 years.
"There's been a lot of pressure on them to induct us over the years, and they resisted," Frehley said. "We could've been inducted 15 years ago. You're eligible after 25 years as a band, but they waited 40. Sooner or later, it doesn't matter to me. As far as I'm concerned, it's a big honor and I plan to have a good time."
He continued: "Paul's been getting involved with the politics of who's being inducted — who should be, who shouldn't be, as far as the people who joined the band after me and Peter Criss [drums] left — but I try to stay away from all that stuff because it's politics. I've always tried to keep music and politics separate."
Asked if he thinks the guys who came after him and Peter Criss — Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer, Bruce Kulick — deserve to be inducted as well, Frehley said: "I don't know what the rules are. Supposedly there are certain guidelines that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has, and obviously they didn't meet those criteria. I know for a fact — the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame told me — that the reason they refused to induct Tommy and Eric [Singer] is because they're not contributing anything original to the band. They're just copying stuff that Peter and me did during the first ten years of the group. So they're just actors, basically."
Frehley also spoke about the controversy over which members of KISS should play at the ceremony. The Hall Of Fame wanted Ace and Peter to play, but Paul and Gene said they also wanted Tommy and Eric to play, because they're the current members.
"I don't have a problem with Tommy and Eric playing," Ace said. "The problem I have is that Paul and Gene shot down the idea of playing with Peter and me and wanted to perform with just Tommy and Eric — in makeup, too. That's makeup I designed. I'm supposed to sit there while I'm being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and I gotta watch some other guy playing in my costume and makeup? That didn't sit very well with me because the Hall Of Fame requested that just the four original guys perform."
Ace added: "[Paul and Gene are] afraid of history repeating itself. When we did 'Unplugged' in 1995, Peter and me came out and did two songs and the place went crazy. Paul and Gene had to buckle to public opinion, and the fans wanted a reunion. They had just done an album with Bruce and Eric that they had to put on the back burner. But it was the most successful tour that year. We grossed over 250 million dollars. It was insane. So they don't wanna open a can of worms. Outside looking in, as an unbiased person, I don't blame them. But it's been 40 years. I was in the band, I left the band; I rejoined in '96 for five years, left in 2001 and the fans have always been there for me. They really want the reunion. Ever since the announcement that we were being inducted, that's all I hear from fans. All they want is for me and Peter to perform two or three songs and that'd be the end of it. But Paul and Gene shot it down. They can't give the fans ten minutes for supporting us for 40 goddamn years?"