KISS Bash 'Elitist, Arrogant' RN'R Hall of Fame: 'It's Not an Honor to Be Nominated'

"Their system is tainted, corrupted and distorted," Paul Stanley adds.

Ultimate Guitar

The fact that KISS received a long-overdue induction to the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wasn't enough for the iconic rockers to change their mind about the institution, as singer/guitarist Paul Stanley recently gave it a full-on bashing.

Chatting with Classic Rock, Stanley said that he doesn't feel honored about being inducted. "No, it was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don't realize that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board," he explained.

"It's a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts."

Asked on whether he felt honored about being nominated, Paul replied: "No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it's validation for them. So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf. My feelings and my ambivalence about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hasn't changed any. Their attitude is elitist and it doesn't reflect the public. It reflects a small group who dictate who meets the criteria that they set up as 'rock and roll.'

"I've always felt the spirit of rock and roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way," the frontman continued. "I think we've done that pretty much with few exceptions for forty years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in. I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group. Nonetheless I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and the Who and the Beatles and the Stones is company I don't mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them, it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted."

Stanley then focused on his expectations regarding the Hall of Fame performance. "Honestly, I have no plans at the moment to do anything, and that includes playing with Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss] or anyone else. My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award. Anything else, we'll see how it unfolds or unravels. It was interesting to me, or offensive to me, that when the question was broached with the hierarchy about inducting additional members it was shut down immediately as 'a non starter,' which to me is arrogant.

"People who sit behind desks need to respect the people who are actually either inductees or possible inductees into this so-called hallowed organization. So the fact that there are 30 or 40 or 50 or some absurd number of Grateful Dead members all inducted, the fact that all of the Chili Peppers, including people who played on early albums that never amounted to very much are inducted, the fact that John Rutsey, the drummer on the first Rush album is not inducted, the fact that Rob Trujillo, who's a great guy but didn't play on any of the classic Metallica albums, was inducted after being in the band six years makes me wonder exactly what are the rules? If the rules don’t apply to everybody then they're not rules," Paul concluded.

This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled to take place on April 10 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Entire band "It's not an honor" Gene "It's an honor! but where is the money? can I make a reality show out of this? can we merch it all? can we sue?"
    You know what's definitely not an honor. Just the original 4 being nominated. Where the hell is Eric Carr? If anybody he should be posthumously inducted because without him. KISS would have died after Unmasked. The thundering drums by The Fox is a main factor of KISS's survival. Even The Elder was a great album even though people b!tched about it. The Oath is possibly my favorite song by KISS. The drums are a reason, even though Gene turned down the bass drums too much. Eric even gave the original Peter songs (Black Diamond, Beth) justice live. They even sounded better with Eric singing them. Seriously, if I were Paul, I would not accept the honor until at least Eric Carr's name is honored with them. That's like if John Bonham wasn't honored with Led Zeppelin when they were inducted.
    Damn right. Eric (Carr) was probably the best drummer KISS has had in their musical career. I'm not bashing Peter or Eric (Singer), but Eric (Carr) was a better drummer as a whole, by the way, R.I.P Eric Carr. I agree with you, @codyjt5150. I think that Paul shouldn't have even acknowledged the Rock Hall if he thinks that its not an honor. Eric Carr should be inducted. It would be a stretch of opinions to say that Tommy and Eric (Singer) would go in, too. But F**k Vinnie Vincent. Granted that the guy was talented, he just behaved like a total a$$hole
    come April 10th - 'It's an honor to be nominated!'
    Damn right Paul It'd been an honor had they [The Rock Hall] pulled their elitist heads out of their arrogant asses 15 years ago when KISS was eligible to be nominated. They were one of the (if not THE) biggest bands of the mid-70s to the late-80s era. Instead they had to put it off until this year because the nominators didn't like 'em enough to put them on the nominations ballot To this day, just about everybody knows who KISS is
    everybody knowing who KISS is, means that KISS' marketing director should be inducted. the "bigness" of KISS has to do with their fireworks and stage pyro techs...possibly also their outfits. As for the band and their music ..... BAHAHAHAHAHA what a joke!!
    Deep Purple and Yes still should have made it in before em. Both have been eligible longer than even Rush was!
    Yet they bitch and cry when they don't get nominated and when they "deserve to be there."
    I love Nirvana and I honestly couldn't care less about their nomination. Being in this Hall of Fame doesn't prove they're one of the most outstanding bands that ever existed, the grunge revolution they helped kickstart is obvious enough
    Mr.Stanley seems like a very intelligent man. I see what he's saying but then it sort of goes against Gene's "everything for monetary gain" mentality. Of course band members don't have to think alike but it's just an interesting dynamic.
    The RNR Hall of Fame is a corrupt business, they always induct and nominate those completely non-rock artists.
    next thing you know they'll probably induct lil wayne for his excruciatingly painful to the ears rock album(if you can even call it rock) it was just him f***ing around with a guitar making "music" Not like he has any talent anyways
    I agree and am somehow glad that Deep Purple wasn't inducted. Ian Gillan said he's happy that he's managed not to be institutionalized for over 40 years and doesn't give a shit about RnR Hall of Shame. So, great words from Paul Stanley.
    This'll sound dumb but you don't need to be in a hall to be famous. It's a bogus, self-appointed institution.
    Jacques Nel
    I get what he is going on about. Music shouldn't involve all the senseless media campaigns and stupid awards that are in most cases anyway just given to the suckups at the end of the day. The media decides what music should trend and shove it down our throats.
    I hear the whambulance coming! They are only ignorant elitist because they didn't want your stupid play makeup band in the hall. The company you will be in is far superior and you should be honoured to me among them. How do they want the RRHOF organized and operated? By a public forum? It is a private organization and they deem who gets in and who doesn't. How is this elitist? Isn't that the point of private clubs?
    Four original members: yes Eric Carr: yes Vincent St. John: yes Bruce Kullick: yes Eric Singer: maybe Tommy Thayer: no
    Bit rude to only induct some members. I reckon for any band it should be either the 'classic' line up, or absolutely everyone!