Should Kiss’ Original Lineup Reunite at the Hall of Fame Ceremony? – Great Rock Debates
Kiss made big news this weekend when they revealed they would not be reuniting with founding former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, or performing in any form, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this coming April.
Frehley, Criss and other members of the rock world -- including their original manager's partner -- quickly issued statements attacking this decision. But it is possible Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons -- the only two people who never left the group -- are actually doing the right thing? We assigned two writers to take on each side of this great rock debate, and here’s what they said. As always, they speak for themselves only, and we leave the final vote up to you!
Kiss SHOULD Reunite at the Hall of Fame Ceremony
By Eduardo Rivadavia
In the world of Kiss, few things are ever what they seem. So established is this fact that most fans of the band -- casual or super-committed -- have learned to accept it for what it is. But, after so many years of their fans complaining and campaigning for Kiss to gain entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you'd think Gene and Paul would have the decency to perform at the star-studded gala, like most other honorees have seen fit to.
But instead, now comes news that this won't be taking place -- neither courtesy of the present-day touring and recording quartet of Simmons, Stanley, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer; nor the original, beloved foursome of Simmons, Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss; never mind a history-spanning jam session matching all six with other key surviving contributors like Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick.
Now, to be fair, the Hall has been no stranger to disappointing reunion fails in the past. AC/DC infamously left original bassist Mark Evans off the invite list, half of Van Halen declined to even turn up, and the list of hastily reassembled pick-up bands (and resulting shoddy performances) are too long to list here. Still, all this doesn't make each incident less painful to behold for fans, and if they can put their differing loyalties and opinions to rest long enough to celebrate their heroes -- then why can't the band do the same?
That way the Kiss Army will get some recognition for their years of patience and devoted service -- a reminder of what they enlisted for in the first place, the reason they bought all those concert tickets, albums, t-shirts and Kiss Kaskets.
Unfortunately, as it stands they'll be going into those Kaskets never having witnessed Peter, Paul, Ace and Gene sharing a stage together again, and that's just wrong, wrong, wrong. In other words, make it work gentleman! Your legacy depends on it, and your fans deserve it!
Kiss Should NOT Reunite at the Hall of Fame Ceremony
By Matthew Wilkening
It's hard to understand why even the most fervent fan of Kiss would feel betrayed by the band choosing not to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. After all, the only thing we're missing out on here was probably a loosely-rehearsed fifteen-minute performance which you could only have seen live if you were one of at-most 18,000 people who bought a ticket to the show, or on TV a month later -- if you pay for HBO.
There was never any reason to expect that this would lead to a bigger reunion tour by the group's original '70s lineup. There's nothing to to indicate that the essentially retired Criss and the very lightly touring Frehley would be up for that, or that the duo would be able to get along better with Simmons and Stanley than they did at the end of their first two stints together.
Besides, it's not like the band was turning down an audience with the President of the United States at the Kennedy Center Honors, or a chance to become part of the Library of Congress. "The" Rock and Roll Hall of Fame could more accurately be called "a" Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- it is simply a private organization whom people have chosen to bestow with an air of absolute authority in matters of rock and roll history. Most would agree that the organization's mission is a worthy one. But Kiss has every right to question the manner in which the Hall of Fame inducts bands and artists, and to choose not to participate by performing live if they aren't happy with the level of input they are granted regarding their own induction.
So to sum up -- what's the big deal? While it would be nice if Kiss, their former members and the Rock Hall all agreed on who should be inducted and managed to get everybody to perform together, nothing that could or would have happened during that one brief moment should affect how you rank the group in your own personal Hall of Fame.