KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons recently told TCPalm.com that fans shouldn't expect to see original guitarist Ace Frehley back in the greasepaint anytime soon. "Three strikes, you're out," Simmons said. "He was out of the band for 15 years, then he came back, then he left ... no more."
Frehley, he added, "was being self-destructive and blah blah blah, and the last thing I want to do, or the fans want to do, is to have Ace hurt himself. We love him, God bless him, and maybe not being in the band can save his health."
Drummer Peter Criss, who's had his own problems with substance abuse, was sacked in 2001, midway through the so-called Farewell Tour. He has since cleaned up his act. "One night you're drunk, and a complete moron, and the next day you wake up and say 'Gee, what was I thinking?'" Gene said.
Simmons, a notorious teetotaler who says he's never been drunk or high in his life, has fired both Frehley and Criss on numerous occasions. He and Stanley hold the copyrights to all four makeup and costume designs, and they can fill the guitarist and drummer slots with whomever they choose to hire.
"KISS is like the Olympics," Simmons explains. "If anything is in your bloodstream, you're out of the band. You're gone. Because it's too important to be up there.
"The fans give us too much of their time and their heart, and their money. You know, last time I checked, KISS wasn't a charity. And this is a privilege. To get up there, you have to be proud of what you do." Read more.