Kiss recently became the latest in a very long list of rock acts to announce a farewell tour this year. Many fans were probably a little skeptical when they heard the news since, well, Kiss already went on a farewell tour. It happened back in 2000 and kept them on the road for well over a year. They played 142 concerts to fans that all believed they were seeing Kiss for the final time. Here’s video of the group launching the tour with “Detroit Rock City” at the Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 11th, 2000.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, Paul Stanley explained why fans should believe them this time. “The farewell tour 19 years ago was at the end of the time that we had brought back the two original members,” he said. “It was such drudgery and so difficult and so unhappy that it just seemed like, ‘Let’s put the horse down.’ It seemed appropriate. After the tour was over it didn’t take me very long to realize I didn’t want to say goodbye to the band. I wanted to say goodbye to two members. It’s easy for Scrooge and the naysayers to say, ‘They’ve done a farewell tour,’ but you’ve never walked in my shoes, let alone my boots. I”m here to tell you that this will be the greatest, biggest show we’ve ever done and the fans will love it.”
Stanley refused to rule out the possibility of former members of the group joining them at some point on the tour. Gene Simmons has played with all of them these past few months while out on the road promoting his Vault box set, including reclusive 1980s-era guitarist Vinnie Vincent. He even toured Australia with Ace Frehley, who will also be on the upcoming Kiss Kruise. That’ll put him in a very unusual position of being on the same boat as current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer, who wears his makeup every night onstage while playing his guitar parts.
The best way for Kiss to please all their fans would be to invite Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick to participate in the tour in some capacity. That obviously means revisiting some difficult chapters from their past and overcoming many ancient grudges, but there’s no better way for the band to finally end than with Simmons, Stanley, Frehley and Criss playing together one last time.