Current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer aren’t going to be inducted with the band at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, and they won’t perform, either – but they’re showing up, nevertheless.
Gene Simmons confirmed to Rolling Stone via e-mail that he and Paul Stanley have invited Singer and Thayer to sit at their table during the April 10th ceremony, along with guitarist Bruce Kulick, who played in Kiss during its make-up-free period, from 1984 to 1996. “The fact that they want me at their table means the world,” says Kulick.
With founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss also on hand, that means all surviving Kiss members will be at Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center, except for hard-to-track-down guitarist Vinnie Vincent. “He’s kind of the Howard Hughes of Kiss,” says Kulick.
Simmons and Stanley are upset with the Hall of Fame’s decision to induct only the four original members. “Tommy has been in the band 10 years,” Stanley told Rolling Stone in interviews for our current Kiss cover story. “Eric’s been in the band 20 years.” (Minus a five-year interlude when the original band reunited.) “The idea of no one being even a candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame other than the four original guys is hogwash.”
Not surprisingly, Kulick, Thayer and Singer all endorse that sentiment. “Even if I was an outsider,” says Thayer, “I would say that all of the guys that have been in Kiss over 40 years, all of the members, should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
As of last month, Singer was somewhat reluctant to attend. “If the choice is up to me, do I want to attend or not, then I don’t wanna go,” he told Rolling Stone before Simmons and Stanley invited him. “I personally don’t care about attending, but if Gene and Paul say, ‘No, we want you there,’ no problem. I’m there for you guys. I’m there for Gene and Paul and Tommy. For Kiss, the way it stands now, no problem. Or if they just want me to be there to celebrate Kiss in general, and that means everybody, fine, great, because I’m part of the whole story.”
There is no Kiss performance slated for the ceremony. As reported in our cover story, Stanley and Simmons offered to allow the former members to jam with Kiss’ current lineup, featuring Thayer and Singer, who wear Frehley and Criss’ makeup, respectively. Frehley and Criss found that proposition deeply insulting. “I won’t be disrespected,” Criss says. “How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to go sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays? That’s an injustice. To the fans, too.”