Paul Stanley Responds to Rock Hall's Racism Accusation: 'They're Grasping at Straws'

Stanley also took a swipe at Patti Smith, claiming that she was only in the Hall because of Bruce Springsteen's songwriting.

Ultimate Guitar

In a new interview with, Paul Stanley has rubbished claims made by Rock Hall President Joel Peresman that the singer is racist. Peresman's claim related to comments made, not by Stanley, but by bassist Gene Simmons, that hip-hop artists should not be inducted into the Rock Hall because they don't play instruments. As Stanley retorts:

"I was smiling. Because look, the guy is clearly reeling from my exposing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for what it is. He's doing damage control. But he's obviously never had an adversary who could articulate a point of view like I could. And, in desperation, he's attributing Gene's quotes to me. I never said anything that could be accused of racism. If [Peresman] wants to point a finger, those quotes were all Gene's. It doesn't change the basic truth of what I said. It's interesting: instead of looking at my credentials, I would think, why not look at Joel Peresman's credentials? What has he done to qualify him to run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? What did he do? He worked at Madison Square Garden as a Vice President. Well, as far as I'm concerned, delivering newspapers doesn't qualify you as an expert on literature."

In the interview, Stanley also took a swipe at Patti Smith, claiming that the oft-titled godmother of punk was only in the Hall because of Bruce Springsteen's songwriting:

"The fact that the masses scratch their heads every year about the majority of inductees speaks volumes. They're clearly running out of their critics' darlings, and now, unhappily, they're having to look elsewhere. How many times can they nominate Connie Francis? The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an opportunity to celebrate everything that is rock and roll, instead of a few people's point of view, which, clearly, doesn't reflect the public. I'm the hugest Laura Nyro fan, but does Laura Nyro belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I'm not so sure. I would have to say no. Patti Smith? Give me a break! What has Patti Smith ever done besides singing a song that Bruce Springsteen wrote most of? [He's referring to her 1978 hit "Because the Night," co-written by Springsteen.]"

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Well, as far as I'm concerned, delivering newspapers doesn't qualify you as an expert on literature." Burn! Still, if he really RNR HOF isn't worth a dime, why did he bother coming to the ceremony?
    as hes stated before, the only reason he showed up at the ceremony was because it was clear to him that it meant so much to the fans
    Paul Stanley is awful, Gene Simmons is awful, KISS is awful, the guy who runs the RRHOF is awful, the RRHOF is awful... It's very hard for me to derive anything positive about any of this stuff whatsoever.
    Please, take the piss put on rock N Roll hall of fame, but not Other artists Stanley.. FFS
    Hold on, Patti Smith is a good singer and performer, and a sweet rebel soul. She's got her place in rock history alright. And for Paul Stanley: Just let it be already. You've had your glory days, by now you're touring a setlist that is made to 85% of songs from your first 6 albums. And all you do is pointing out you're a rock legend and putting down your old bandmates.
    How is saying "Hip Hop doesn't belong in the RNRHOF" racist? Maybe I'm wrong. That's like saying it's homophobia if you say that the Village People don't belong in the RNRHOF.
    Road Dog Ry
    I happy that someone finally called out the RNRHOF & Patti Smith's induction. She is horrible and she has ruined more than one closing jam. Say what you want about Stanley but not respecting that fact that he has lasted 40 years in this business makes you sound foolish.