Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rock Hall defends decision to induct founding KISS lineup only

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman has defended the Hall's decision to induct only KISS' founding lineup, despite the group’s request to include other band members at next month’s ceremony in New York.

Peresman tells Billboard that the decision about who to induct from any band is made by the Rock Hall's nominating committee as well as an adjunct group of "scholars and historians" familiar with specific inductees and genres.

"This isn't chemistry or physics; it's not an exact science," acknowledges Peresman. "Sometimes there's an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it's a specific period of time that established the band as who they are. With Kiss there wasn't one person here who didn't agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the 70s with Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul (Stanley) and Gene (Simmons). That's what put them on that map."

Peresman adds that Kiss "is a unique situation where you have artists who wear makeup as part of what the band's about," but the Rock Hall felt that the later members -- including current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who are wearing Frehley and Criss' makeup, respectively -- "are fine musicians who...basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It's not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter."

Peresman notes that last year Heart was in a similar position, where the Rock Hall chose to induct the original 70s sextet and not later musicians that played in the band.

Stanley and Simmons’ request to induct KISS members beyond the original lineup fell on deaf ears with the Rock Hall’s executive.

“They're only going to induct the original four (members), and bringing up the idea of inducting members other than the original four...was shut down as a non-starter,” Stanley told Billboard recently. “It's a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multi-platinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band. And clearly when you've got a busload of Grateful Dead (members) who have been inducted and guys in the Chili Peppers who nobody knows who they are because they played on the very earliest albums are inducted, and when the original drummer of Rush, John Rutsey, who played on a classic album, isn't inducted. The list goes on and on of the inconsistencies. Now, I'm not pointing fingers at any of those people, but I'm certainly pointing a finger at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only consistencies are inconsistencies and the rules clearly are there are no rules because the criteria for how and who gets in is purely based upon a personal like or dislike. And when I feel we're being treated unfairly, I have issues with that.”

Read more of what Stanley had to say here.

On April 10, KISS will be inducted into the Rock Hall along with Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt; the ceremony will be held at New York’s Barclays Center and HBO will record the event for broadcast in May.

See also:

VIDEO: Complete KISS and Def Leppard summer tour press conference
KISS and Def Leppard announce summer tour
Controversy over Eddie Van Halen asking to join KISS continues
KISS: Original 1973 Peter Criss drum set going up for auction
Search KISS at hennemusic