I’m not angered by the fact that when Kiss shows up to accept their long-overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame it will not include a performance with co-founders Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, I swear. I’ve been paying attention to the inner workings of the band as much as — and in some cases more than — their music for the better part of three-plus decades, after all, so their decision to piss all over the wishes of the very fans they purport to serve comes as something less than a shock.

I knew that the odds of Frehley and Criss joining Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on stage one last time was a long shot at best. So when Frehley broke the news on Eddie Trunk’s radio show over the weekend that he and Criss had been denied that very chance, I can’t say I was surprised at all. But even I was taken aback a bit by yesterday’s statement from Kiss, posted on their website. I’m going to break it down for you, Lefschmutz style.

Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members including long time 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.

Yes, I’m sure we were all looking forward to your touching tributes to Vinnie Vincent and the late Mark St. John, two guys you constantly go out of your way to either ignore or shit on at every opportunity. Or Eric Carr, the guy you fired while he was dying of cancer so you could get to work on your next album.

Or to cite a more recent example, please tell us how much you value the contributions of Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer, as I’m sure they still have platform boot prints in their faces from the time you shit-canned an album you had already recorded with them so you could hop on the reunion money train.

Yup, if there’s one thing Gene and Paul are all about it’s honoring the contributions of other members.

Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter 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.

Gene and Paul are typically smart enough to acknowledge the role Ace and Peter played in the early days of the band, but they usually neglect to mention that without them coming back for the reunion in 1996 Kiss would be billed right under Puppet Show on the state fair circuit these days. I can guarantee you that it irks Gene and Paul to no end that they had to depend on two people Gene recently compared to cancer to save their dying band.

(Yes, I’m aware that Frehley and Criss weren’t exactly setting the world on fire with their solo careers.)

It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in make-up and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced. Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter.

Except for the time Gene publicly refused just last October, that is.

We have spent 40 years dedicated to building KISS without quitting or wavering as the band has moved forward with huge tours and platinum albums through different important lineups for forty years, to this day.

Nope, never any wavering at all. Well, except for the decade or so when Kiss was on autopilot so Gene could try to make it big in Hollywood.

KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands.

Kiss was started for two things and two things only — to make money and to get laid. And those are noble goals, to be sure. But that hardly makes you any different than most other bands.

This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone.

Ah, but Gene and Paul have always said that they do what they want when they want, because they’re trailblazers and such. They don’t bow to public opinion or the demands of the masses. But now, all of a sudden, they’re concerned with popular consensus?

To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

An institution that Paul Stanley referred to as “tainted, corrupted and distorted” just a few days ago, incidentally. But yeah, otherwise I’m sure they’re totally focused on making the most of their induction.

Look guys, just stop the bullshit for once. Admit that as much as you’d like to believe otherwise, you’re being inducted into the Hall because of the albums you released 30-plus years ago with Frehley and Criss, and that you’re cock-blocking them from performing because it’s the last chance you’ll have to stick it to them. Admit that as much as you’ve tried to rewrite history, you can’t escape the fact that a drunken lout and a cokehead are partly responsible for your continued ability to milk every last dime from the Kiss Army.

Or you can keep trying to pretend that people will show up to the next Kiss Kruise to hear Tommy Thayer play a deep cut from Sonic Boom. Yeah, that sounds about right.

About the Author

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes joined the Popdose writing staff only after enduring a humiliating series of hazing rituals. One day he'll write a tell-all book, and then they'll all pay. Until then, you can also catch him at his regular home, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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