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Rock Hall of Fame CEO on Why KISS’ Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer Are Not Being Inducted

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Ever since KISS were announced as 2014 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there has been a tremendous amount of controversy. From tension between classic band members, to quarrels with the Hall of Fame itself, KISS’ induction has been a topic of discussion, in many cases, for all the wrong reasons. Adding to the tension is Rock Hall CEO Joel Peresman, who has explained why current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer aren’t being inducted with the founding KISS members, saying they merely “took the persona of characters that were created by Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss].”

In February, Paul Stanley revealed that he doesn’t view it as an honor to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Shortly after, it was announced that KISS would not perform at the induction ceremony in any capacity.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s decision only to induct Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss doesn’t sit well with Stanley, who believes the other six musicians that have thrown on the face paint deserve recognition, as well. Stanley tells Billboard there is “a very valid argument considering that there are people who played on multiplatinum albums and played for millions of people and were very important for the continuation of the band.”

Billboard also recently interviewed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman, who spoke about the induction process. “This isn’t chemistry or physics; it’s not an exact science,” Peresman says. “Sometimes there’s an entire body of work up until (the artists) are inducted, other times it’s a specific period of time that established the band as who they are. With Kiss there wasn’t one person here who didn’t agree that the reason Kiss was nominated and is being inducted was because of what was established in the 70s with Ace (Frehley), with Peter (Criss), with Paul and Gene (Simmons). That’s what put them on that map.”

Peresman continues, “(Thayer and Singer) are fine musicians who … basically have the same makeup and are the same characters that Ace and Peter started. It’s not like they created these other characters with different makeup and playing different songs. They took the persona of characters that were created by Ace and Peter.”

KISS will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10 during a ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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