You knew Kiss would not go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame quietly.
The band -- and more importantly, its army of fans -- have long complained that one of rock's biggest moneymakers has had to wait to enter the Rock Hall. So now that the band is actually being welcomed into the institution after 15 years of eligibility, did anyone really expect the bad blood among its original members and between the group and the Rock Hall to magically disappear? Yeah, right.
"All the credible bands can kiss my [expletive], with all due respect," Kiss' Gene Simmons told Rolling Stone. "The original forefathers who are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- and I don't mean the disco or the hip-hop artists, what the are they thinking? -- couldn't spell the word 'credibility' and never thought about it. . . . The most important thing is that it's validation for fans who were picked on for liking Kiss as opposed to, I don't know, Air Supply."
And the animosity will likely continue long after the Barclays Center induction. Kiss does not plan to perform at the ceremony because the band's current members, Simmons and Paul Stanley, did not want to play with former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, also set to be inducted. Simmons and Stanley wanted to perform with current members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer.
Rock Hall organizers declined to let that lineup play.
"From our standpoint, Kiss is the four original members," said the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman. "Those four guys started something that inspired a lot of people . . . The other two guys are lovely guys, but this is really a unique situation. There are not too many other bands playing characters. Those other two guys are playing the roles of Ace and Peter. They are wearing the same makeup."
Peresman said there are no plans to have other musicians pay tribute to Kiss' music at the ceremony, which is generally the case for inductees who do not perform, though there have been exceptions.
"It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in makeup, and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced," the band said in a statement. However, Frehley said Simmons and Stanley didn't want to hurt Kiss' summer tour with Def Leppard. "The reason they don't want to perform with me and Peter is because the last time they did, they had to do a reunion tour," Frehley told Rolling Stone. "We play three songs, the fans go crazy. They don't want to open up a can of worms."
Simmons said Frehley and Criss "no longer deserve to wear the paint," adding, "The makeup is earned."