Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley recently spoke to VH1 about how his fascination with sci-fi and astronomy formed his alter ego, Spaceman; having something to prove when creating his 1978 solo album; and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame controversy. You can watch the chat in three parts below.
After weeks of bad-mouthing each other in the press, the four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello, with all four — Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss — delivering warm, nostalgic and even sweet-natured speeches that put aside the simmering tensions for at least 12 minutes.
KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Simmons and Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.
“The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a great experience for me,” Frehley told VH1. “We could have been inducted fifteen years earlier, but we finally got inducted this year, in April. I know there was a little controversy going on preceding the event. Originally we were asked to perform, and at the last minute Paul and Gene decided that they didn’t wanna perform with me and Peter. Me and Peter were up for it. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was insisting that only the four original members perform. Paul and Gene opted not to do it. After forty years, they couldn’t give the fans fifteen minutes. Go figure. I think they’re gonna regret that decision.”
During a recent interview with KNPR News, Stanley was asked why he declined to perform with Criss and Frehley at the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. “It’s a tough question to answer, but there’s so much involved in it,” he replied. “Firstly, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame wanted nothing to do with us; they begrudgingly let us in. And my sense was that we were going to be a dog-and-pony show. They wanted to have the original guys play in the band, and all of us in makeup, and, quite honestly, I think it would have done the band a disservice. That lineup has not been together for 14 years, and physically, perhaps, wouldn’t have looked that great, and musically, undoubtedly, probably, would have sounded a bit suspect. So, to have people watch it on television and identify that as KISS because there’s four guys in makeup would not send a great signal to the people who are not following the band in its current permutation, or what it is today.”