In a brand new interview with "Larry King Now" guest host Dennis Miller, KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons spoke about the band's tumultuous "Farewell Tour" in 2000, which Paul Stanley previous said was nothing more than an attempt by the group to "put KISS out of its misery" after years of ego clashes and disagreements over songwriting credits between the band's original members.
"What happened was that Peter Criss and Ace Frehley — who are the original founding members with Paul and myself 46 years ago... Not everybody is designed to run a marathon, it's fair to say," Gene said. "And not everybody should be in a band that lasts decades and decades. So, by the turn of the 2000s, the early 2000s, it became dysfunctional to the extreme. They were asked to leave or left on their own volition three different times because of the cliché of clichés — bad behaviour, unprofessionalism, drugs, alcohol. It's, like, it's been done — come on. Then we looked at each other and said, 'If we can't live up to the, 'You wanted the best, you've got the best, the hottest band in the world,' let's just call it quits.' You've got the cash, the fame. So we stopped — we stopped for a while and kept getting a deluge of gifts and inquiries. 'Why can't you do it? If you've got a flat tire, change the tire. Why do you wanna stop?' And Paul and I had a moment where we just said, 'You know what? We're thinking small.' I always thought of THE BEATLES, 'Nobody will ever take the place of anybody.' But Ringo [Starr] is not an original member; he took the place of Pete Best. So when you take a look at all the bands, 'Oh, there can be a different lead singer of VAN HALEN.' Actually, there can, and there has been. And I'm the guy that found them, so I know what I'm talking about."
Simmons went on to confirm that KISS's ongoing "End Of The Road" trek is indeed the band's "final tour." He said: "It's a long one. We've got another two years of staying out there. We've already done 93 cities around the world, [and we are] coming back again. But the reality is that I'm 70. By the time I'm 72, it's time to get off the stage. We've both seen bands that stayed too long on that stage… You wanna get off the stage before they're tired of you… Leave them wanting more. Don't stay on there too long."
Frehley left KISS after the band's 2002 "Farewell Tour" dates, saying afterwards that he took the word "farewell" seriously. Criss has claimed that his contract with KISS wasn't renewed in March 2004. Both charges have been disputed by Stanley and Simmons.
Simmons and Stanley have chosen to have the rest of the current KISS lineup — guitarist Tommy Thayer and longtime drummer Eric Singer — dress up as Criss's and Frehley's respective "Spaceman" and "Catman" personas.
Earlier this month, Gene underwent a successful kidney stones surgery.
Last month, KISS postponed its shows in Oakland and Los Angeles. The date at Oakland Arena, originally set for September 16, is now listed on the venue web site as March 6. The date at Staples Center in Los Angeles, originally set for September 20, now takes place March 4.
The only reason given for moving the Oakland and Los Angeles performances was "unforeseen scheduling issues."