KISS star Gene Simmons has revealed that he and Paul Stanley turned their backs on the chance to perform at the upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony after learning museum bosses only wanted to honor the original members of the group.
The bass player tells Entertainment Weekly Radio that he and Stanley spoke to former bandmates Ace Frehley and Peter Criss after learning they had been inducted at last, and the foursome had agreed that they would all accept the honor, but the current KISS line-up, featuring Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, would perform at the Barclays Center ceremony in New York on April 10.
But then Hall of Fame officials made it clear they only wanted the original line-up onstage.
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Simmons says, “Paul and I got on the phone and called Ace and Peter: ‘Hey, congratulations. It was an honor to stand alongside you then and we’ll be proud to stand alongside of you at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to accept the award’. And they were gracious and happy… and we went off our separate ways (sic).
“And then we found out the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will only be honoring the original line-up, with Ace, Peter, Paul and myself, and we said, ‘Oh, OK then, we won’t be playing there. We’ll just accept the award. Thank you very much’. And they go, ‘What are you talking about?’ and I said, ‘Well, you have a group like the Eagles, who continue to be our contemporaries… and every member that has even been in the Eagles has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but you’re only gonna honor the first line-up that was together for seven years? We’ve been around 40 years!’
“Tommy and Eric have been in the band 20 years – two and a half times longer than Ace and Peter. You’re going to slap them in the face and we’re supposed to get… get up onstage and do it? No, that’s not going to happen.”
He adds, “Imagine you’re being invited to be inducted at an award ceremony and you get to bring only the first person you ever went out with in your life. The one, your beloved right now? She can’t come, or he can’t come. They get to stay home, they don’t get honored’… That’s not going to fly.”
KISS will be inducted alongside Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt and Hall & Oates, among the Class of 2014.