Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Paul Stanley of KISS responds to racism accusation by Rock Hall CEO

KISS frontman Paul Stanley has responded to accusations of “borderline racism” made by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame CEO Joel Peresman last week over the rocker’s ongoing criticism of the institution.

Commenting on Gene Simmons’ speech during the band’s Rock Hall induction on April 10 in New York, Pereseman told Radio.com last week, “It was a lovely speech, it was actually kind of classy, as opposed to Paul’s. That speech was the best advertisement for [pointing out that] what we did was right. He’s been almost borderline racist, not in that speech, but in other interviews talking about how hip-hop artists shouldn’t be inducted because they don’t play instruments. It’s like, ‘What are you, kidding?’”

Stanley was asked to respond to Peresman’s comments in a new interview with Radio.com on Monday.

“I was smiling,” said Stanley. “Because look, the guy is clearly reeling from my exposing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for what it is. He’s doing damage control. But he’s obviously never had an adversary who could articulate a point of view like I could. And, in desperation, he’s attributing Gene’s quotes to me.”

“I never said anything that could be accused of racism,” he continued. “If [Peresman] wants to point a finger, those quotes were all Gene’s. It doesn’t change the basic truth of what I said. It’s interesting: instead of looking at my credentials, I would think, why not look at Joel Peresman’s credentials? What has he done to qualify him to run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What did he do? He worked at Madison Square Garden as a Vice President. Well, as far as I’m concerned, delivering newspapers doesn’t qualify you as an expert on literature.”

As for the accusation of racism, Stanley says “It’s ridiculous. It’s an act of desperation and I understand it. And Joel Peresman is, quite honestly, a pencil pusher, and he’s in a position of being able to voice the point of view of an organization which is questionable at best.”

During KISS’ induction speeches, Stanley said music fans deserve more from Rock Hall organizers.

"The people, I believe, are speaking to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and what they're saying is, 'We want more.',” he said that night. “They deserve more. They want to be a part of the induction. They want to be a part of the nomination. They don't want to be spoon-fed by a handful of people. Choices. The people pay for tickets. The people buy albums. The people who nominate do not. Let's not forget that these are the people that make it all possible. We just benefit from it."

Stanley went on further to explain the motives behind his speech.

“I wasn’t there to denigrate, I was there to give constructive criticism and to make use of a platform, to really voice the opinion of the masses, of the general population,” he revealed. “Look: I’ve spoken first hand with other inductees, and former inductees, and the process leading up to their induction was filled with really appropriate courtesies that were not afforded to us. The rules that [the Rock Hall] hold to only seem to apply to people they don’t like. As far as the issue of what members and former members get in, it’s just nonsense. I don’t think anybody’s ever called Peresman on it with any articulate argument. Clearly, the guy is trying to punch his way off of the ropes. He’s stuck!”

“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame went to the Grateful Dead and other bands and asked them [which members] they wanted to have inducted,” he added. “They didn’t ask us! Hence, you get, what is it, fourteen members of the Grateful Dead, including their lyricist [Robert Hunter], inducted? Because the Grateful Dead’s people said, “It’s all or nothing.” Well, that’s a courtesy that wasn’t extended to us. And it’s easy to hide behind some alibi and rationale, like ‘It isn’t a science.’ Well, being biased isn’t a science either. But it’s blatant and consistent. It had nothing to do with whether or not we wanted [current guitarist] Tommy Thayer or [current drummer] Eric [Singer], necessarily, inducted. But certainly this thin argument of ‘They’re wearing someone else’s makeup’ can’t be used for [their late drummer] Eric Carr, or [former guitarist] Bruce Kulick, who played on multi-platinum albums, and played
to millions of people over a decade. Let’s call this for what it is. It’s clear to most people and obviously Peresman wants to use his platform to take some of the steam out of my argument. But I don’t go away.”

KISS have just released a new compilation, “KISS 40”, in honor of the band’s 40-year career.

The 2-CD package features one track from every major album release, live selections and “Reputation”, an unreleased demo from 1977.

KISS and Def Leppard will launch a co-headlining summer tour of North America on June 23rd in West Valley City, Utah.

See also:

Rock Hall CEO accuses Paul Stanley of KISS of racism
Ace Frehley releases new single Gimme A Feelin’
Paul Stanley of KISS continues to slam Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
VIDEO: KISS performs with American Idol winner Caleb Johnson
Search KISS at hennemusic