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On today's episode of "As the Rock Hall Turns," Gene Simmons hints that by KISS refusing to perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, they are giving the middle finger to the Hall.
He says when the Hall told him and Paul Stanley that they were only inducting the original four members, and not the other six members who have put on the make-up, they called Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. "We said, 'Hey, congratulations. The Hall of Fame is gonna induct only the first members of the band. And we'll be proud to stand up there and accept the award with you, and then we're gonna go home.' And by the way, both Ace and Peter were very gracious. [They said], 'Hey, great.' And [they said] we did a great thing. And then the media hoopla started."
Sources close to Peter and Ace tell us they dispute the accuracy of Gene's statement, and it's not known if they will attend the April 10th ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.
In Gene and Paul's defense, the Rock Hall did allow all the members of the Eagles, past and present, to be inducted, as well as the Grateful Dead, including their lyricist Robert Hunter, who is not a member of the band, and keyboardist Vince Welnick, who only joined the band four years prior to their induction and never played on any of their studio albums.
The six hired hands to pass through KISS since 1980 are the late drummer Eric Carr, guitarist Bruce Kulick, guitarist Vinnie Vincent, the late guitarist Mark St. John, and current members -- guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, who portray the personas created by founding members Ace and Peter.
And of course there are the members of the Rock Hall's nominating committee, some of who have been very outspoken about KISS being nominated, something they have been eligible for since 1999, let alone inducted. Just recently, one of the members, critic and wanna-be satellite radio host Dave Marsh wrote: "Why shouldn't KISS be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Because they have added not the slightest musical value to rock, which is why they were not especially huge record sellers. And because, so far, in one way or another, the Hall has avoided honoring the music at its most mercantile and shallow."
Note to Mr. Marsh: KISS has sold at least 25-million albums in the U.S., and, album sales are not a criteria for who gets inducted and who doesn't.