KISS: A Middle Finger Salute to Their ARMY
The opinions expressed here are solely those of Sal Cirrincione, producer of The Classic Daily.
With Sunday’s announcement that KISS will not perform when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have given their fans, the KISS Army, a big middle finger salute.
Stanley once told us, “Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the fans I wouldn’t be here. I never forget and the band never forgets that it’s the fans that put us here… The whole idea that you are not doing the fans a favor by showing up at a show they’re doing you the favor…” And Gene echoed that sentiment, saying, “The most important thing to us has always been about the fans.”
Well, it is those same fans who finally got KISS inducted after being eligible for 14 years. For the second year in a row the Rock Hall opened the voting to the fans and 239,000 made their voices heard, and this time their cries could not fall on deaf ears. And, this year’s ceremony on April 10th in the band’s hometown of New York City, is open to the fans with tickets going on sale this Monday, February 24th.
In Sunday’s statement, Gene and Paul said, “Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members, including longtime present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr, all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s point of view. Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, [original members] Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning.”
The only line-up of KISS that ever mattered, and the only true line-up of KISS, is that of Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace. That was the original line-up, the only one being inducted, and the only one where all four members had an equal stake in all things KISS. After Ace and Peter left, all the other players were just hired hands. Oh, and Gene and Paul, did you forget that you also paid salaries to guitarists Vinnie Vincent and the late Mark St. John?
It’s admirable that Gene and Paul want to recognize the other members, and that still could have been done while still doing a performance with Ace and Peter. To have Ace and Peter on stage performing next to Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer in the same make-up and costumes would have been ludicrous. And, if they really wanted to perform with those other members, who are not being inducted, then perhaps open the show with them doing an acoustic set minus the make-up and costumes, and then close it out with the full-blown reunion, which is all anyone really cares about.
In December, when it was announced that KISS was finally being inducted, Simmons said he was OK with performing with Ace and Peter. Stanley wasn’t so keen, but he did tell us, “To not acknowledge and fully embrace and tip my hat to those guys would be ridiculous.” Well Paul, guess what, you are being ridiculous. How difficult would it be to do three songs with them? Is 15 minutes going to ruin your life? Are you afraid that this will lead to you being asked, ‘When is the original line-up going to reunite?’ Deal with it. By not playing at the ceremony, all that boasting from you and Gene about the fans is sounding like one big lie and your actions are completely selfish.