A line-up dispute has forced costumed rockers KISS to cancel a scheduled performance at their upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this April. The 40-year-old group are due to be inducted into the prestigious hall alongside Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt at a ceremony held at New York’s Barclays Center.
The dispute concerns whether original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would join Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in a live performance during the April 10 ceremony, or whether the current lineup of Stanley, Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer would play instead. In a message on its website, KISS said it won’t perform with any lineup, calling it “an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone.”
“Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of Kiss and give credit to all members,” wrote the band. “Although KISS has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning.”
“It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in makeup and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced,” KISS continued in their statement. “To bring this to a quick end, we have decided not to play in any line-up, and we will focus our attention on celebrating our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.”
The trouble was brought to public attention just last Friday when Frehley called into a New York radio show to say that Simmons and Stanley had rejected a reunion with the original four members for the induction. “They just shot down any type of reunion with us,” Frehley said during the broadcast. “It’s very frustrating. It’s what the fans wanted, it’s what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wanted, and it’s not gonna happen.”
Criss also released a statement making the same claims, saying he wanted to make clear to fans before they forked out money for tickets, that their would be no original lineup reunion performance at the ceremony. “I wanted to make sure that fans understood that no original performance, in or out of makeup, has been offered to us before they purchased their tickets,” wrote Criss. “This is disgraceful, and I feel bad for the fans who were looking forward to the four of us being inducted together.”
KISS’ statement said it has never refused to play with Frehley and Criss. “KISS has always been a band unlike any other. That is why we started KISS. That is why we continue KISS. Being unlike other bands also means making choices and decisions unlike other bands,” wrote the band before announcing the cancellation of their performance.
KISS began in 1973, and the original lineup played together until 1980. They reunited from 1996 to 2000, but the band has continued with replacement members wearing the Frehley and Criss makeup and costumes. The 2014 Rock & Roll Hall OF Fame induction ceremony will take place on April 10 in New York.
The induction ceremony will be the first to be held in an arena, making it the biggest ceremony in the institution’s history, as well as the first time the event is open to the general public. It will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on 10th April, to be aired on HBO in May. Criss did not indicate whether he would attend the induction while Frehley said he is unsure whether he’ll be there.