KISS is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock Hall on April 10 in New York City. But Stanley said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press that he doesn’t think the Rock Hall is being fair and that the organization has altered their rules for other acts.
“We have continuing issues with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, starting with the fact that they chose to only induct the original lineup when that’s hardly the case with other bands,” he said from Los Angeles.
“In the Grateful Dead’s case, (they) also inducted a writer who never played an instrument,” said Stanley, referring to Robert Hunter’s inclusion when the band was inducted in 1994. “Or they’ve inducted rap artists, or they’ve inducted people who have been in the band for seven years as opposed to … 25 years or 20 years – whatever their criteria of this week is.”
A representative for the Rock Hall didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment. Acts become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record.
KISS wrote on its website last month that it would not perform at the Rock Hall induction.
The original members from 1973 – Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley – are scheduled for induction. Criss left the band in 1980 and Frehley left in 1982. Other members joined during the 1980s, but the current lineup includes Singer, who joined in 1992, and Thayer, who came on board in 2003.
Stanley, 62, said the Rock Hall “tried to strong-arm us into playing in original lineup,” but the band would not do so.
“Their craving of nostalgia or for wanting to have us play by their rules in many ways jeopardizes what we have spent 40 years building,” he said. “I’ve been there since the beginning, and when I put on my KISS gear, I do it with great pride, and anything that may jeopardize that by going out with a lineup that I might question is a nonstarter for me.”
Thayer and Singer should be inducted, he said, because they “have been in the band for decades and played on multiplatinum albums and toured the world.”
He ended with this: “So, in this case, very clearly the tail doesn’t wag the dog, and Kiss is a big dog, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a small tail.”
Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens will also be inducted at the 29th-annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclays Center. Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and the late Beatles manager Brian Epstein will receive Ahmet Ertegun awards, a nonperforming honor. And Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band will get an award for musical excellence.
The event will air in May on HBO.