Interview: Ace Frehley Talks Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
As reported earlier, even though KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, the band will not perform at the ceremony in any form. Recently, Revolver‘s Jon Wiederhorn spoke to former KISS guitarist-vocalist Ace Frehley about the nomination and controversy behind it.
REVOLVER What happened, from your perspective, in regards to a possible KISS reunion performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction?
ACE FREHLEY Originally, the Hall of Fame asked all four of us to do a reunion and that was presented to each original member who is being inducted. Then some time went by, and I heard a couple weeks back that Paul and Gene decided to perform with Tommy [Thayer] and Eric [Singer]. And I had gone on the Eddie Trunk show earlier, about a month prior to the last time I went on, and I was saying, “Yeah, it would be great if we did a reunion.” It was shot down, but I think I led the fans to believe there was going to be a reunion. With tickets going on sale the following Monday, I decided to go on Ed Trunk’s show a couple weeks back when I was in Las Vegas recording. I just wanted to let the fans know that last I heard, Paul and Gene decided not to perform with me and Peter [Criss] and opted to perform with Tommy and Eric. It got a lot of people pissed off, but I had to lay it out because I didn’t want fans buying tickets for an event they weren’t going to see. Last I heard, there’s going to be no performance. There has been a lot of negotiating behind closed doors and I’m sworn to secrecy. But last I heard, there’s just going to be no performance. I don’t know what the reason is. And at this point, I don’t care because it was renting so much space in my head, it was affecting my creativity and finishing up my record.
You got onstage with Peter at Eddie Trunk’s birthday party. That was the first time you had played with him in 13 years. Did you see that as a litmus test for future performances together?
Since me and Peter have gone our own ways, we haven’t made any plans to tour together in the future. But it was just a special event for Ed, and both myself and Peter are good friends with Eddie Trunk. He has always supported our careers with KISS and without KISS. So it was something I wanted to do for Ed and it was a lot of fun. I’ve been reading stuff on the Internet and Paul and Gene have been insinuating that maybe Peter and myself don’t have it anymore, which is a load of crap. We proved otherwise at Eddie’s party, but aside from that, it’s very misleading. I think somehow they wanted to validate the current lineup. I don’t have a problem with the current lineup. It is what it is–it’s half a KISS cover band.
But the event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is about the four original members. Nobody else is being inducted except the four. If Tommy and Eric were being inducted as well, along with Bruce [Kulick] and Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent–yeah, why not.
Why didn’t the Hall of Fame nominate everyone who has been in the band? Paul had some complaints about that earlier, saying everyone who has ever played on a Red Hot Chili Peppers record has been nominated, why not everyone who has ever played with KISS?
I don’t want to take any potshots at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s a cool organization. But it is what it is. Obviously, Paul brought out the inconsistencies. They bend their own rules. I don’t want to get political though because I hate politics. I’ve always said to keep politics and music separate.
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