Eddie Van Halen Wanted to Join KISS, Gene Simmons Explains

Gene had to talk him out of leaving Van Halen.

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Gene Simmons has been talking with Guitar World about rumors that Eddie Van Halen wanted to leave his namesake band to join KISS in the early 1980s.

As Simmons states, not only is it true, but he also had to talk the legendary guitarist out of it:

"That is true. And he was very serious. He was so unhappy about how he and [David Lee] Roth were - or weren't - getting along. He couldn't stand him. And drugs were rampant. And so he took me to lunch, to a diner right across the street from the Record Plant. Vinnie Vincent, who was not yet in Kiss, tagged along, too. Sneaky guy. And Eddie said, 'I want to join KISS. I don't want to fight anymore with Roth. I'm sick and tired of it.' But I told him, 'Eddie, there's not enough room. You need to be in a band where you can direct the music. You're not going to be happy in Kiss.' I talked him out of it. It didn't fit."

The bassist also responded to Paul Stanley's recent suggestion that Gene left him on his own in KISS around that time to pursue his solo career:

"They [Paul and Ace Frehley] thought, as usual, that Gene Simmons wanted to have his cake and eat it, too. And I like cake. But maybe I just wanted to be appreciated outside of Kiss. My life in KISS is like being a girl with huge tits. All anyone talks about is the makeup, or 'Let me see your tongue.' Sometimes you want to say, 'Can't you just focus your eyes up here so that we can have a conversation?'"

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    I could throw a snarky insult at Gene like everyone else here, but instead, I'm gonna say that it's great that Gene recognised the fact that Eddie Van Halen would have been wasted in KISS. It takes a lot of balls to just tell one of the best guitarists in the world that he shouldn't join your band.
    ...and the next day Gene Simmons created the devil horns. I don't find Gene to be the most credible. I'd certainly like to hear Eddie's version of the story.
    All I can picture is Eddie Van Halen playing Eruption on stage whilst covered in makeup. Surreal!
    Gene Simmons wanting credibility beyond his gimmick and theatrics? Haha, he would have to actually play good music for that to happen. Nobody is gonna pity the girl with huge tits, Gene.