KISS frontman Paul Stanley has once again said that he is open to the idea of original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss making guest appearances during the band's "End Of The Road" tour.
In the three 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 Germany's Rock Antenne if he has any new information about the possibility of Frehley and Criss taking part in any of the shows on "End Of The Road", Stanley said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I have none. This really is a celebration of KISS, not any lineup of the band. And while I will say that KISS wouldn't have existed without Ace and Peter in the beginning, I can also say that KISS wouldn't exist with Ace and Peter in the band today. So, that being said, look, it's a celebration of the band, and whatever happens will happen. I have no feelings of wanting to omit them or not have them be a part of it. But I'm not losing sleep over it. And if it's meant to be, it will happen."
Elsewhere in the chat, Stanley was asked how he thinks he will feel when it's time for him to take the stage with KISS for the very last time. He responded: "I think it'll be overwhelming. I think it'll be very emotional. There were times even in the past decade that we've done shows where I choke up or get teary-eyed because what we've accomplished and the way we've affected people is so far beyond anything I could have imagined. When you see parents bring their children to experience what they experienced, that goes beyond being a rock band. That's being a phenomenon. Rock bands make music; phenomenons impact society. That's not lost on me. So the idea of a final show is monumental. I'm sure it's going to affect us more than we know."
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.