It could have been so simple. It could have been a wonderful celebration of past, present, and future. It could have been the greatest moment in KISStory. Instead, it will now be a footnote to the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction/performance ceremony. Instead of performing in front of a hometown, New York City fan base, KISS will not be performing at all.
The band announced their decision on their official website (www.kissonline.com) after separate comments were made by founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Ace fired the first shot on Eddie Trunk’s radio show, by saying that he and Peter had been denied the opportunity to perform at the Hall of Fame ceremony. Ace stated that Gene and Paul wanted their current lineup with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer to perform instead. Peter Criss released his own statement stating: “… I want to make sure that fans understand that no original performance, in or out of makeup, has been offered to us…”
Gene and Paul immediately responded via the Kiss website, stating that they wanted to celebrate “the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members including present long time members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.” They went on to further state that they had never refused to play with Ace and Peter. Since the moment the band was announced as inductees, Gene Simmons has been in support of playing with Ace and Peter, at least for one or two songs.
It was speculated that Ace and Peter would play with Tommy and Eric either all together onstage, or that Ace and Peter would play a couple of songs as just the original lineup. Ace had stated that he didn’t want to perform alongside someone wearing his makeup, only fueling the fire that it may be Ace and Peter blocking the fans chances to see the original lineup one last time. And make no mistake about it— this would be the last time that the four of them would perform together.
Whether it’s Ace and Peter refusing to get onstage with Eric and Tommy, or if it is Gene and Paul trying to dictate what the band does, it is only the fans who get hurt in the end. This rock and roll induction performance had the potential to be the biggest moment in the history of KISS. It would have blown away the MTV unplugged performance where 6 members of the band (including Ace and Peter) all took the stage together. And if Gene and Paul were being true to their word and were going to celebrate the entire history of Kiss, then they should have asked Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick to join in and paid tribute to Mark St. John and Eric Carr. Heck, Tommy could have been the Egyptian Ankh for one night and Eric Singer could have been the Fox. That would have been incredible! And the band could have then taken off the makeup and performed a set with Bruce and Eric featuring the 90s material (and maybe even perform a track from Carnival Of Souls).
This ceremony could have been a lifelong Kiss fan’s dream. It would have been absolutely amazing. Instead, it will be nothing. And I don’t know if there is anyone specifically to blame. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ace and/or Peter said that if anyone other than the original four performed they won’t do it. It wouldn’t surprise me if Gene said “It’s my way, or the highway.” When it comes to the original four members, there is nothing that can shock me anymore. Yet, it is a disappointment. It could have been one magical night, and now Ace and Peter aren’t even sure if they will attend the ceremony. And that is the largest disappointment of all.
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