Paul Stanley says that he is open to having former KISS members join the band on stage for guest appearances during the "End Of The Road" tour but insists that "the idea of bringing back former members as present members is ridiculous."
KISS fans have persistently called for a reunion of the original quartet that became one of rock's biggest attractions in the 1970s, including guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss. Those calls got even louder after Frehley, who quit in 2002, had seemingly reconciled with Stanley and Gene Simmons, both of whom have guested on some of Ace's recent solo albums. Frehley even publicly lobbied to return as a full member, saying that he would only consider coming back if his replacement, Tommy Thayer, was not involved.
But in a new interview with the Chicago Tribune, Stanley says a full-fledged reunion or KISS's original lineup was never in the cards.
"This was never going to be a reunion tour of any members," he said. "This is a celebration of the history of this band and the success of this band. The lineup is as it is has been seventeen years. [Guitarist Tommy Thayer] has been with us that long, and [drummer Eric Singer] has been with us 25 years, so the idea of bringing back former members as present members is ridiculous. Certainly, I've always been open to the idea of former members being part of an evening in a one-off form, but it has nothing to do with KISS as entity. I celebrate the past, but I don't want to live in it. When I was watching the Super Bowl, at the end I saw Joe Namath carrying the trophy up to the stand. It was great to see him, but I don't think anybody wanted him to suit up and get on the field."
KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour launched in late January in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The first leg of the global trek, which could last three years, will wrap April 13 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Stanley recently said that KISS's iconic "Spaceman" and "Catman" characters created by Frehley and drummer Peter Criss were actually sold back to him and Simmons. Over the years, since Thayer and Singer took to donning the legendary costumes, fans have been split feeling that the show must go on, or that it's sacrilege for anyone other than Frehley or Criss to wear the iconic greasepaint.