Few fans have been more vocal about their favorite group’s long absence from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame than those in the KISS Army, but now that the long-running hard rock outfit is being inducted, members have decided to opt out of performing at this year’s ceremony.
The problem? Deciding which incarnation of KISS would perform. In a statement released Sunday, members of the current version of the band said they wanted “to celebrate the entire history of KISS and give credit to all members” who have played with the group over the years.
Founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss recently stated that they had not been invited to perform with fellow original members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, an assertion challenged by the current group.
“Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter,” the statement posted on KISS’ official website said.
“Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built, and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning.”
Consequently, the statement added, “We have decided not to play in any lineup and, we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“We have spent 40 years dedicated to building KISS without quitting or wavering as the band has moved forward with huge tours and platinum albums through different important lineups for 40 years, to this day.
“KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands. This is understandably an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone.”
In response, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s chief executive, Joel Peresman, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “We very much wanted a performance by KISS and are sorry to learn they have declined to play. We look forward to honoring them at the 2014 induction ceremony along with Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Brian Epstein, Andrew Loog Oldham and The E Street Band.”
In 2012, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose famously boycotted his band’s induction and refused to perform, and then wrote a letter of apology to disappointed fans a short time later.
Still, this year’s ceremony, to be held April 10 in Brooklyn, is a little over six weeks away. That could be enough time for all concerned in the latest flap to KISS and makeup.
Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2