By Lee Hawkins
With the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2012 induction ceremony coming up in April, one of the stars of the rock band Kiss says he continues to be perplexed by the fact that his band has yet to be voted in.
Kiss lead singer and guitarist Paul Stanley said he considers the fact that Kiss hasn’t made it, despite the fact that the band has been eligible since 1999, a slight to the band’s fans. “I know that it’s important to a lot of the fans. Certainly if we were to get inducted, I would accept it on behalf of the fans, because it matters to them,” Stanley said. “But I don’t need validation from an organization where I don’t even know who is doing the voting.”
Stanley’s comments follow an on-camera interview he gave the WSJ earlier this year in which he spoke candidly about the group’s entrepreneurial success. Kiss and Motley Crue members recently announced a joint summer tour at a press conference. Kiss bassist Gene Simmons told Rolling Stone at the conference that Kiss’ absence from the Hall of Fame has “become a joke.”
Stanley told the WSJ that he believes the Hall of Fame judges have intentionally excluded Kiss.
“I know people who know that for fact. There are board members who have said, ‘Kiss won’t get in as long as I’m alive,’” Stanley said. “The funny thing about that is really that to have such vehement feeling about it is something that perhaps they should work out on a psychiatrists couch.”
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame media representatives did not respond to e-mail requests for comment.
Stanley believes the organization, like some of the band’s critics, has unfairly stigmatized Kiss for its marketing-savvy. Kiss has built a multimillion-dollar business that has led to nearly 100 million album sales and the Kiss brand has been licensed more than 3,000 times.
“Somehow in some of these people’s warped perspective, being commercially successful or being adept at marketing yourself somehow is contradictory to art and music,” Stanley said. “They would much more want to welcome the starving artist who winds up on a VH1 program having spent all their money, with everyone wondering, ‘What ever happened to so and so?’”