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Gene Simmons Has To Choose Who To KISS

Simmons will have to decide whether to include the band’s original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley when the band is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2014.



800px-KISS_in_concert_Boston_2004 Gene Simmons

(L-R) Gene Simmons (left)  and Paul Stanley  (right) with Frehley’s replacement Tommy Thayer in the center and Peter Criss ‘s replacement Eric Singer  on drums

Gene Simmons, founder of the glam rock pop group KISS is facing a dilemma.  KISS,   who sprang to fame during the Seventies, as much for their dramatic stage presence, including donning face paint, pyrotechnics and wearing  weird uniforms as their musical ability, finds himself with a dilemma with the news that the band have been chosen for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2014.

Now Simmons and his fellow founder member  Paul Stanley will allow Peter Criss and Ace Frehley , who were also original members of the band, to appear in the band’s line up at the induction ceremony, after they left the band not once but twice during its most successful spells, both times under a cloud of their own making.

Criss, better known as Catman, was the group’s drummer at the height of the success in the Seventies but was sent packing by Simmons and Stanley at the start of the Eighties due to his erratic, often substance induced, behavior. Ace Frehley left  KISS a few months later, apparently due to his inability to get along with Simmons and Stanley, mostly on musical matters.

In 1996, both  Criss and Frehley  joined up with  KISS as part of a  reunion tour which proved to be an outstanding commercial success,  and with all wounds apparently and disputes settled, in 1998  the original KISS  lineup set off on  successful world tour, during which some of the cracks that had been plastered over began to reappear and became increasingly apparent,   meaning that Frehley and Criss were once again were given a final KISS goodbye and the group were never to perform again, at least in their original and most commercially successful line up.

Motley Crue And KISS Announce Their Co-Headlining Tour  -Gene Simmons

 Musicians Gene Simmons (L) and Paul Stanley / Getty

In a recent interview after it was announced that KISS would be stepping up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,  Gene Simmons  was asked whether Frehley and Cross’s contribution to the group  would be acknowledged and, even more so,  if they would be performing at the induction ceremony to take place  on the 10th of  April at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn,  Simmons replied that  Frehley and Criss  were equally important in the formation of the band as he and Paul Stanley had been .

Between the lines, most music industry pundits are predicting that the Seventies super group’s  massive fan base will refuse to accept that any of the bad blood still remaining be set aside for the performance so that they can see their heroes performing together for the first time in fifteen years, fully decked out in face paint and breathing fire just like the good old days, even though these particular ” bad boys of pop” are now well into their sixties.

Gene Simmons  was born Chaim Witz in Haifa and emigrated with his mother to the United States in 1957, when he was just eight  years old.

Simmons is generally regarded as being the creative force behind the KISS image which brought the group global recognition, and help them to sell over 100 million albums worldwide in a career stretching more than forty years.

 Premiere Of "Rogue" - Arrivals   Gene Simmons

 Nick Simmons, Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed on March 26, 2013 in Hollywood / Getty



  1. liquidmuse3

    December 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Who’s Paul Caravello? You mean Eric Singer on drums?

    • RichStearns

      December 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      liquidmuse3Paul Caravello is Eric Carr’s real name.

  2. DasSpiderMonkey

    December 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Who the hell wrote this article? He did no research whatsoever. This many errors from a published article is unacceptable.  Paul Caravello: Eric Carr who died in 1991, NOT in that picture. Ace Frehley left Kiss two YEARS after Peter Criss, not after “a few months”.  Frehley and Criss were to leave the band again during the Farewell Tour in the early 2000’s, not during the 1998 Psycho Circus tour.  “Frehley and CROSS’ contribution”, really?  “Seventies super group’s  massive fan base will refuse to accept that any of the bad blood still remaining be set aside for the performance so that they can see their heroes performing together for the first time in fifteen years”: AM I the only one who sees that that made no sense whatsoever? The guy that wrote this needs to go back to journalism school or start collecting garbage for a living. He’s already writing it.

    • DavidBalzano

      December 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

      I get where you were coming from, as Ace left a full 2 years after Peter (who let’s face it hardly showed up for the Dynasty sessions and only played drums and sang on Dirty Living as far as I know), as Anton Fig played on the other tracks.  Ace lasted 2 more albums, Unmasked (3 vocals by Ace), and The Elder which he couldn’t stand at the time, as he slipped further into his addictions.  So, Ace recorded 2 more albums, after Peter left.  The last album Peter played on all cuts was probably Love Gun (1977).  As for the time factor, the writer got that wrong, as Peter played with Kiss last, probably last in 2003/4, as a second class citizen, and Ace quit after the “Farewell Tour” in 2001/2, so it hasn’t been a full 15 years since they’ve played together, though it’s more than 10, and there’s enough bad blood for anyone to think that it might not go beyond the induction ceremony.  Then again, never say never, as Kiss has reunited in the past.  Reaction to them will be overwhelming, and Gene might cave in once again to the Kiss Army’s demands.  On things’s for sure, it’ll be fun to watch…

      • DasSpiderMonkey

        January 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

        DavidBalzano I just think if someone’s going to be paid to write an article they should be able to do a better job than a 4th grader

        • DavidBalzano

          January 1, 2014 at 11:00 am

          DasSpiderMonkey DavidBalzano I agree.  I’ll admit I’m a bit of a Kiss dork, owning at one point or another everything they’ve ever put out (even Carnival of Souls, The Elder, and lesser efforts), but I agree, if someone is getting paid as a writer, the least they could do is check their facts, or have someone re-check the facts.  Even a non-fan, who did that much would have been corrected as to when Peter and Ace initially left Kiss (or were fired depending on whose side of the story you believe), why they left, and also when they left after the reunion.  Ace and Peter both played the full Psycho Circus tour of 1998, but Ace wanted out after the Farewell tour of 2001/2 I have read, and Peter was in and out, but came back, and ultimately left in around 2003/4.  Again, as I said, Gene and Paul are good businessmen, and I as a lifelong Kiss fan am very happy they are being given their due in the HOF, and hope the performance goes well.  To expect more is nice, but either way, we have their greatest moments to enjoy.  If I were Ace and Peter, and the subject or recording a new album did come up, I’d hold Gene and Paul to saying ONLY THE ORIGINAL 4 (no Tommy Thayer playing Ace’s guitar parts on record, and no Eric Singer doing same for Peter).  Granted, it’s a little late in the game, but I don’t see why that would be an unreasonable request.  The fans would deserve at least that much, and that’s why as much as I did enjoy the Psycho Circus album, I would have been happier had only all 4 original members played on all tracks.


    December 26, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Paul Caravello??? Try Eric Carr who passed 22 years ago.Too many foul ups in this article to list. Why bother reporting on a story that you have no interest in ? Too hard to do some basic research? Oh , i get it -it’s only filler.

  4. mdelmas

    December 28, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Simmons doesn’t have to decide, it’s a requirement of R&R Hall of fame

  5. guitarshpr

    December 29, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Gene us still talking about who will perform at the induction, but what about the league of KISS members that have been in the band throughout the years. There are a slew of guys who have helped this band keep going for 40 years. Is he saying anything about all the other members?
    I looked for any info on the former KISS members and all I could find was an article with more speculation: at
    Seems as though the other guys need to be given some credit for the success of KISS. Gene really needs to acknowledge “all” the other members.

  6. liquidmuse3

    December 29, 2013 at 7:16 am

    He did. In his initial reaction tweet, he listed every Kiss member, including Mark St. John, who contributed to one record and never toured. I think the Hall has a lot of sway, and all the info is they want just the original 4.

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