During an appearance on yesterday's episode of SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show", KISS frontman Paul Stanley once again expressed his dissatisfaction over the fact that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame did not induct current KISS members Eric Singer (drums) and Tommy Thayer (guitar) along with the original lineup when the band was welcomed into the institution back in 2014.
"The hypocrisy is that we're not a band they like," Paul said. "They purposely kept us out for 15 years. And other bands that they embrace, they induct people's moms and songwriters and all these people. And with us, it truly was unfair."
Asked by host Howard Stern why KISS didn't perform at the Rock Hall induction, Stanley said: "Because we had too much pride in this lineup, which is KISS, and has been KISS for 20 years. It's not newcomers. This is the band. We'll be back in the stadiums of South America next month. We were there five months ago. We were in Japan. This is the band that has carried the flag and taken it, really, to another level. This is the band I always dreamed it would be, and for us to go onstage… They were demanding, quite honestly, that we play with the two original guys, Peter [Criss] and Ace [Frehley], and at this point, that would be demeaning to the band, and also would give some people confusion. 'Cause if you saw people on stage who looked like KISS but sounded like that, maybe we should be called PISS."
KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons concurred, saying: "We've been all over the world, through decades, with this present lineup. It bears noting I've never seen a single banner or sign that mentions any other lineup. When Tommy takes a solo, 'Tommy! Tommy!' That's me backstage going, 'Tommy!' When Eric takes a solo, 'Eric! Eric!' They're pumping their fists. It's legitimate. Nobody is in KISS and doing it by the numbers."
A few days after KISS was inducted into the Rock Hall, Stanley slammed Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame co-founder and Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner as a "spineless weasel," claiming that the guitarist/vocalist and the rest of the band were treated like "uninvited guests" the induction ceremony.
"Our treatment at the [Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame] confirmed my worst suspicions," Stanley fumed via Twitter. "Wenner and the rest are spineless weasels." He went on to say that the people behind the Rock Hall gave the members of KISS "no passes" or "schedule" for the evening, but didn't elaborate on what exactly he was referring to. He concluded: "We were great and [Wenner] remains a small man."
Simmons also took a couple of shots at Rolling Stone on Twitter, mocking the magazine's original critical review of LED ZEPPELIN's first album, writing "Rolling Stone. Idiots then. Idiots now." He then posted a link to a video from the early 1970s band CHRISTOPHER MILK, which featured John Mendelsohn, the writer who penned the negative reviews that appeared in Rolling Stone of each of the first two LED ZEPPELIN LPs.
Stanley ended his Hall Of Fame speech at the ceremony by calling the evening "vindication" for the fans. He also took a dig at the Hall Of Fame by saying, "The people, I believe, are speaking to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and what they're saying is, 'We want more.' They deserve more. They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don't want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people. Choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not. Let's not forget that these are the people that make it all possible. We just benefit from it."
In March 2014, just weeks before KISS's Rock Hall induction, Stanley told the Associated Press that he didn't think the organization was being fair and that the Rock Hall had altered its rules for other acts.
"We have continuing issues with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, starting with the fact that they chose to only induct the original lineup when that's hardly the case with other bands," he said. "In THE GRATEFUL DEAD's case, [they) also inducted a writer who never played an instrument. Or they've inducted rap artists, or they've inducted people who have been in the band for seven years as opposed to ... 25 years or 20 years — whatever their criteria of this week is."
Paul also addressed KISS's unwillingness to perform with the original lineup at the ceremony, saying: "[Rock Hall's] craving of nostalgia or for wanting to have us play by their rules in many ways jeopardizes what we have spent 40 years building. I've been there since the beginning, and when I put on my KISS gear, I do it with great pride, and anything that may jeopardize that by going out with a lineup that I might question is a nonstarter for me."
KISS used "The Howard Stern Show" appearance to announce the final shows of its last tour — two back-to-back shows at Madison Square Garden in New York at the end of 2023.
The last leg of KISS's 19-date North American tour will kick off in October in Texas and culminate in the MSG concerts on December 1 and December 2.
Tickets will be available starting Monday, March 6, with a KISS Army presale at 10 a.m. local time. Additional presales will be available throughout the week before the general on sale starting on Friday, March 10 at 10 a.m. local time at livenation.com.