By Sarah Rodman
It should’ve felt like a triumph: Kiss finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Instead, says Paul Stanley, founding Kiss singer-guitarist, it felt, at times, like an insult.
“If it takes somebody 14 years to invite you to a party, they obviously don’t want you at it,” says Stanley, on the phone from his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., not long after the induction ceremony in Brooklyn last month. “We were treated absolutely horribly, as unwanted guests.”
Stanley had nothing but praise, however, for former Rage Against the Machine guitarist and current E Street Band touring member Tom Morello, who inducted Kiss with a fiery speech defending the band’s legacy. (The ceremony will air in edited form on HBO on May 31.)
“Tom was great and really championed this whole movement” of getting the madcap, makeup adorned, multiplatinum original quartet inducted, says Stanley.
Backstage at the Barclays Center that night Morello said of Kiss, “They were our generation’s Beatles, our generation’s Elvis, our generation’s Rolling Stones. They made everyone who loved that band want to pick up an instrument. Also, it was a conscious act of rebellion to be a fan of Kiss. You immediately put yourself not only in opposition to authority figures, to parents, but to other kids in your school who wanted to beat your ass when you wore a Kiss T-shirt to school. So you had to stand up for yourself and what you believed in at a very young age and that made an impression on me later in my career.”