This weekend has been pretty busy for Kiss fans. On Friday, Ace Frehley announced that he and Peter Criss would not reunite with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley for the band's induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame- saying that Gene and Paul simply want to play with the current line-up. Today, Kiss have announced that will not be performing or attending at the Hall Induction Ceremony, citing that they wanted all of Kiss to be represented.
I stand in the middle of all this, not surprised but still disappointed. Still, part of me is happy that band will not be attending the induction ceremony. Don't get me wrong: I'm elated that Kiss are getting inducted after all these years. I feel that being a fan since 2002, I had a part in this happening. I would love to see the original line-up reunite for a one-off performance.
Now as to which side I support, I support both sides. From what Ace tells us, it does sound like typical Gene and Paul in them not wanting to reunite with the original line-up. Still, Gene and Paul seem like the kind of guys who would want a full-blown Kiss celebration in honor of this induction as well as the band's 40th anniversary.
Some could see Gene and Paul's choice as not giving the fans what they want. You know the band's slogan: "You Wanted the Best, You Got The Best!" People have accused Kiss for selling out years and years, selling out meaning times like this, the merchandising and having Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer wear the make-ups of Ace and Peter.
Let's get one thing straight: the reason why Kiss are being inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is because of their music. Critics might have not liked it but the public loved every minute of it. As we all know, Gene and Paul are the only stable members of Kiss. Aside from the original members, six other people have been in Kiss. With this being both the band's 40th anniversary and their induction into the Hall, I would think all ten members of Kiss should be inducted...but no. The Hall is picky about which members go in and which members don't. The originals might have started the band but the replacement members also had a part in this amazing band's 40 year career.
Eric Carr (1951-1991), who replace Peter Criss in 1980, was an amazing drummer. Although his first album with Kiss was a softy (The Elder), Eric poured his soul into the music and you can hear that in his drumming. With Eric, the band were able to enter heavier territory like Creatures of the Night. He did this until his death in 1991. Guitarist Vinnie Vincent might have been in the band for only two years but his co-writing credits on 1983's Lick It Up gave Kiss a much needed kick-in-the-pants that started the "non make-up era" and their comeback. Vinnie's replacement- the late Mark St. John (1956-2007)- might've been in the band for only eight months but his bumblebee-like guitar work on Animalize continued the band's 1980s comeback.
Mark's replacement, Bruce Kulick was in the band for a good 11 years- longer than any replacement member before him. That alone is worthy of an induction. As for Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, they help Gene and Paul keep the band going. Eric joined to replace the late Eric Carr then returned in the Catman make up in 2001 and then again in 2004 when Peter briefly rejoined the band. Tommy has been in the since 2002. Even before then, Tommy has been part of the Kiss family, being Gene's friend for years and helping put together the MTV Unplugged show.
I will admit that Kiss' popularity did start to decline before the 1980s, so this is most likely the reason why the original members are getting the induction and not all ten members. While I understand where Gene and Paul are coming from, two things stuck out when I read their statement. Their statement read that the band has never refused any offer to reunite with Ace and Peter. This is, of course, a lie. Behind the scenes and even in interviews, the guys have said before that they don't want to play with Ace and/or Peter again. Another thing is the members they listed off- Vinnie Vincent and Mark St. John were not mentioned. C'mon guys. Vinnie and Mark might have the two shortest tenures of any Kiss member but like I said, they both played important parts in KISStory.
So overall, I can accept Kiss' decision to not perform at the induction ceremony. I'm still happy that the band are getting inducted. From what I hear, a majority of the voting committee is not happy with the fact that Kiss are getting in. Guess what? I know how they feel. How so? Well, every time the Hall decides to induct wonderful rock bands such as Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Public Enemy instead of Deep Purple, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy, Yes, MC5, New York Dolls and many others- a part of me dies a little.
No matter what, the Kiss Army came out of this one victorious. As for any Kiss haters- no offense but you can fittingly KISS MY ASS!