It’s taken 14 years, but pyro-glam rockers Kiss are finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After being passed over for so long, it was already a major story that the New York quartet (born of equal parts ambition, determination and desperation) had finally made the cut.
But since the four original members — singer-guitarist Paul Stanley, singer-bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss — haven’t been shy about expressing how they think the induction and celebratory performance should be handled, Kiss’ Hall of Fame entrance has become one of the most talked-about rock stories this spring.
Stanley, who co-founded the band 40 years ago with Simmons, sat down with Billboard to discuss the buzz surrounding the induction, which he believes is the Rock Hall’s “worst nightmare.”
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not the hall of fame of the people, or of other bands,” he said. “It’s a small group of people who decide who they want in their little club and who they don’t. The fact that they would only induct the four original members — and when I asked about that it they said it was a non-starter — is interesting. Because they’re pencil pushers and I play a guitar. So for them to tell me what is a non-starter is arrogance.”
He added, “I don’t know if I was inducted or indicted. But I really don’t care. I’m going because there are fans who it means something to.”
He also opened up about his new autobiography, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed,” where he discusses the history of Kiss and his own formative years. Born deaf in his right ear, which was deformed, the resulting social ostracism he experienced as a child burdened him with feelings of inadequacy for decades before he finally faced his demons. The book about Stanley’s life is just as candid as his interview here.