KISS frontman Paul Stanley has once again said that it's still possible that original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss will make guest appearances during the band's "End Of The Road" tour.
In the two and a half years after KISS announced its farewell tour, fans have wondered openly if Frehley and Criss would be involved in the trek, especially considering the apparent recent goodwill between Stanley and Gene Simmons and Frehley. Ace's latest collection of original material, "Spaceman" — a title suggested by Simmons himself — features two songs the pair wrote together, and the duo completed a joint summer 2018 tour of Australia, after which Frehley fired his solo backing band and hired Simmons's.
Asked in a recent interview with Brazil's "Inside With Paulo Baron" if there is a chance Frehley and Criss will take part in any of the shows on "End Of The Road", Stanley said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Anything is possible. I don't rule anything out. I have to say that we wouldn't be here today if not for our past. If Peter and Ace hadn't been there at the beginning, we wouldn't be here today. But I will also say that if Peter and Ace had stayed with the band, we also wouldn't be here today. So you have to put it into some sort of balance and perspective."
Paul continued: "If there is a way to include them in celebrating the final tour, yeah, I'm open to it. It has to make sense and it has to feel right, because the band has existed far, far, far too long without them to let anybody spoil this or make it less than it should be. If there's no joy in it, I'm not interested."
In April 2020, Ace said that he was up for a reunion of the original KISS lineup, but only if the price was right. "Everything's cool," he told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk" about his relationship with Stanley and Simmons. "What's gonna happen is gonna happen. But everything is delayed at this juncture, so who knows? … I'm doing my own thing. Unless they come forward and the price is right, you're not gonna see me anywhere close by."
Three years ago, Frehley told VintageRock.com that "the only way" he would "seriously consider" taking part in "End Of The Road" is "if I took back my make-up and costume and my character — which I designed." He added that current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer "is not a bad guitar player, but he basically just mimics everything I wrote, and tries to imitate my persona. He's been doing it for 15 years," he said. "But the reality is I'm the original guy. And nobody can really copy the way I play guitar."
Asked if he would still consider participating in the tour if Criss was not involved, Ace said: "I think it would be great if Peter was involved. Obviously, at this point in his life, he wouldn’t be able to do a two-hour show. But I can see if we worked out a situation where Peter came out at the end and did three or four songs — sang 'Beth', did 'Black Diamond' and a couple of others, I think that would be fun."
"End Of The Road" was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but is now expected to last well into 2022.
KISS's current lineup consists of original members Simmons and Stanley, alongside later band additions, Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, Criss and Frehley, KISS staged its first "farewell" tour in 2000, the last to feature the group's original lineup.