Peter Criss Says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Was Right to Honor Only Original Kiss Members
"We're the guys who started it, we're the guys who got [together] back in '72 playing in the loft," Criss told Loud, an Australian magazine. "We're the guys who put on the make-up; we're the guys who made it with the make-up. [Laughs.] We're the guys who came out with all the earlier – all the first five big albums. Definitely the four of us should only be inducted."
Fellow co-founder Gene Simmons argued ahead of the 2014 ceremony for next-generation contributors like Eric Carr, Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Instead, only Criss, Ace Frehley, Simmons and Paul Stanley were on hand to accept the honor, but they did not perform.
As for why the band had to wait 15 long years to be inducted, Criss says the reasons have been outlined in a series of explosive tell-all memoirs by the often-battling band members.
"All you've gotta do, I guess, is read our books," he said. "It's not a secret, there was just not good blood amongst us the first time around. … And we should have went in way back when and we didn't. That's all I got to say about it. I don't really get into the thing about it, 'cause we'd be here for hours discussing it."
The original foursome was together from 1973 through 1980, then reunited from 1996 to 2000. Simmons and Stanley now tour with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. Thayer joined in 2002, while Singer is in his third stint with the group, dating back to 1991.
Meanwhile, Criss is preparing for his final round of shows, having announced his retirement from the road. He's taking part in the Kiss Konvention Australia from May 12-14, then the New York Kiss Expo from June 9-11. His last concert performance in the U.S. is set for June 16, at a VIP event.
After that? Don't expect Peter Criss to head to the nearest rocking chair.
"I've been working on a couple of books that I really want to finish," he said. "I've been back to my art, so I've been painting again. ... I have an album I've been sitting on for nine years now, a rock thing that I started before my cancer. I didn't really finish it, but all the music's done. And I feel I'm going to come home after my last show and I'm gonna finish it. Hopefully, it'll come out next year."
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