Following a series of public jabs at Rock Hall on KISS behalf, the institution's CEO Joel Peresman shared a defensive stance regarding the decision to induct only the band's classic lineup.
Chatting with Billboard, Peresman stressed that the band's new members basically took over the characters created by Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, noting that the reason why KISS is being inducted in the first place is the material released in the '70s by the classic four-piece.
"This isn't chemistry or physics; it's not an exact science," the CEO said. "Sometimes there's an entire body of work up until [the artists] are inducted, other times it's a specific period of time that established the band as who they are.
"With KISS there wasn't one person here who didn't agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the '70s with Ace, with Peter, with Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons]. That's what put them on that map."
Confessing that KISS brought the Rock Hall committee into a "unique situation," Joel added that the group's current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer "are fine musicians who ... basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It's not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter."
Responding to the Billboard article, Paul Stanley stated via official website, "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to attempt to restore its questionable credibility and glimpses behind the facade with nonsense and half truths.
"The truth is Joel Peresman and the rest of the decision makers refused to consider the induction of ANY former KISS members and specifically the late Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick who were both in the band through multi platinum albums and worldwide tours and DIDN'T wear makeup.
"There is no getting around the reality that the Hall of Fame's favoritism and preferential treatment towards artists they like goes as far as ASKING the Grateful Dead how many members THEY wanted the hall to induct and following their directive while also including a songwriter who was never in the actual band. Let's just accept the truth as it is and move on," Stanley concluded.
In related news, KISS have revealed details of their 40th anniversary celebrations, which include the release of a limited-edition vinyl collection and a US tour with Def Leppard. The band will hit the road with Leppard on June 23 and remain out until August 31. Both bands will pay tribute to US military servicemen by offering discounted tickets to personnel and partnering with support foundations.
Meanwhile, Kiss have also unveiled "Kissteria: the Ultimate Vinyl Road Box," which comes packaged in a custom road case and contains 34 albums alongside posters, dominoes, photos, cleaning cloth and turntable mat, certificate of authenticity and more. Only 1,000 will be made available – find out more.
It's accompanied by a set of vinyl re-releases commencing at the end of this month and ending in June, plus a two-CD Kiss 40.
Kissteria: the Ultimate Vinyl Road Box
Vinyl: KISS, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed to Kill, Alive!, Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over, Love Gun, Alive II, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Paul Stanley, Dynasty, Unmasked, Music From the Elder, Creatures of the Night, Lick It Up, Animalize, Asylum, Crazy Nights, Hot in the Shade, Revenge, Alive III, MTV Unplugged, Carnival of Souls: the Final Sessions, Psycho Circus, Alive: the Millennium Collection, Monster
Exclusive vinyl: Double Platinum, Greatest KISS, Killers, You Wanted the Best You Got the Best, Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, Kiss Symphony: Alive IV
Collectables: 11 posters, vinyl cleaning cloth, turntable mat, dominoes, photos, certificate of authenticity with exclusive box number
Vinyl release schedule
March 31: Alive!, Animalize, Destroyer, Dressed to Kill, Dynasty, Hotter Than Hell, KISS, Lick It Up, Revenge, Unmasked
May 5: Asylum, Creatures of the Night, Love Gun, MTV Unplugged, Psycho Circus
May 26: Rock and Roll Over, Alive III, Music From the Elder, Crazy Nights, Hot in the Shade, Alive: the Millennium Concert, Carnival of Souls: the Final Sessions
June 23: Alive II, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Cris, Paul Stanley