KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley spoke to The Christian Science Monitor about the band's induction into the Rock And Rolll Hall Of Fame and the controversy surrounding the group's non-performance at the event. The Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while KISS leaders Stanley and Gene Simmons insisted on the current lineup performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.
"It was everything I expected it to be," Stanley said of the Rock Hall induction ceremony. "It's a very elitist club, it dupes the public into believing that there is some credibility to it and that somehow the public has a voice in it, which they don't. It's a small group of elitist publishers and writers and record company people who reflect their own prejudices and preferences. So it was exactly as I expected and from the very beginning of their announcing our induction, they were arrogant and treated us dismissively."
He added: "I went [to the ceremony] because there are many fans who see it as validation and vindication of their championing us and I wouldn't miss it for the world because it was a celebration of them and for them."
Asked what he thought about Steve Nicks of FLEETWOOD MAC saying KISS should have performed at the induction, Stanley said: "I saw Stevie backstage, I love Stevie. Obviously, one can't know the inner workings of one band just because you're in another." He added: "All I found myself saying when I was sitting with Gene, I leaned over and said, 'Thank God we didn't play.'"
Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley recently slammed Simmons and Stanley for refusing to perform with the original lineup at Rock Hall, telling Guitar World magazine: "I was, like, Jesus Christ, after 40 years of support you can't give the fans 10 minutes? The fans wanted it, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted it. But Gene and Paul didn't. It's sad. They definitely lost some fans because of this decision.
"I think the reason they didn't want to get together with the original members was because they're afraid of history repeating itself," he continued. "When we did 'Unplugged' in 1995, you saw what happened: because the fans were so excited about me and Peter [Criss, drums] playing with those guys, they had to scrap their last record [with then-current members Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer] and do a reunion tour [with Frehley and Criss in 1996]. Although at this point I don't think Peter could do a two-hour show and a full tour. But I still got the chops. I definitely blow [current KISS guitarist] Tommy Thayer off the stage."