Gene Simmons said Kiss would welcome the prospect of an original lineup reunion during their farewell tour, but only in a guesting capacity.

He insisted it wouldn’t be the band’s fault if it didn’t happen, while also discussing the chances of other former members returning.

The End of the Road tour begins on Jan. 31, and is expected to continue for several years. In a new interview with Guitar World, Simmons reported that appearance by Ace Frehley, Peter Criss and others hasn’t been ruled out.

“Ace and Peter have gotten three chances,” he said. “They were in and out of the band – fired – three times. For drugs, alcohol, bad behavior, being unprofessional … they weren’t carrying their load. ... So the short answer to your question is we’d love to have Ace and Peter join us here and there. And if they don’t, it’s not going to be because of us. But they’re never going to be in Kiss again.”

Replying to the suggestion that his words were “pretty definitive,” Simmons said, “Three times is the charm; ‘I promise I’ll pull out’ doesn’t work. It’s the boy who cried wolf: ‘Oh, I’ve been straight for a million years.’ Terrific! Have a good life! ... Would we welcome Ace or Peter to jump up onstage for a song or two? Of course. Could we depend on either Ace of Peter to do a full set night after night? Not on your fucking life.”

Update: Ace Frehley has responded - very forcefully - to Simmons' comments.

On the subject of any potential reunion, frontman Paul Stanley said "it’s really not up to me. But I’ll say that this is a celebration of this band and its accomplishments and its history. So anybody who was shortsighted enough to think this should be a reunion is missing the point. That being said, I would love to see everybody at one point or another be onstage. And if that doesn’t happen, it’s their choice, not mine.”

Simmons and Stanley spoke favorably about the idea of Bruce Kulick making guest appearances. “We love Bruce,” Simmons said. “He was always professional and showed up on time. … So I can never say anything bad about Bruce.” “Bruce is somebody who shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated as far as his role in the band,"  Stanley added.

However, both agreed Vinnie Vincent wouldn’t be invited to return. “Now Vinnie, that’s one exception, and for so many reasons,” Stanley said. “I would say that’s not someone who I want to celebrate.”

Simmons went into more detail: “It’s worth stating that Vinnie has sued the band and lost 14 times. I’m not here to cast any aspersions. He’s a talented guy. That’s why he was in the band. But would I depend on him to get up onstage and do anything? Never. … Can he come to the shows? Of course! Anybody can. But onstage? Never.”

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