Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is still angry over the way the band dealt with their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
And he wants to know why they were incapable of giving fans what he believes they wanted: an original lineup reunion.
Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Frehley and Peter Criss were inducted last month after supporters had been demanding the honour for 15 years. But despite talk of them getting back together for a one-off performance during the ceremony, relationships between the former colleague appeared to reach an all-time low.
No lineup of the band played on the night, although peace seemed to have been declared when all four men paid tribute to each other from the podium, while current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer looked on.
But Frehley, who split with Kiss for a second time in 2002, tells Guitar World: “I was like, ‘After 40 years of support you can’t give the fans 10 minutes?’ The fans wanted it. The Hall Of Fame wanted it. But Gene and Paul didn’t.
“It’s sad – they definitely lost some fans because of this decision. I think the reason was because they’re afraid of history repeating itself.”
He argues that Simmons and Stanley had been stung after the lineup’s reunion in 1995, which took on a life of its own after they recorded an episode of MTV Unplugged. “Because the fans were so excited they had to do a reunion tour.”
Frehley believes the Kiss mainmen were against the idea of a reunion from soon after their induction was confirmed. He remembers taking a call from them a week after they’d been told. “I could tell there was some hesitancy on their part,” he says. “I was asking if them if we were going to play and Gene avoided the question by saying, ‘Well, we’re just looking forward to getting the four of us up there together and celebrating.’ It was noncommittal.
“A week later I was told the Hall Of Fame absolutely wanted the original members to reunite and I said, ‘Great – I’ll do it.’ There was silence from Gene and Paul. Finally it was shot down.
“I heard Paul and Gene wanted to perform with the current Kiss lineup. I said, ‘Well, that’s kind of a slap in the face. I mean, they’re not even being inducted. I have to sit through a Kiss cover band when I’m receiving an award? I don’t think so.’”
Frehley says the concept of him performing alongside Thayer, with both of them in makeup, was also suggested – and although he didn’t want to do it, he agreed. “I said I would do it as long as I got to play the bulk of the songs and I could wear the Destroyer costume. Then a few days later: ‘No, we’re not going to play at all.’”
The axeman admits he came close to “boycotting the whole thing” after concluding: “It was almost like if I said ‘n’o to anything they would jut blame me for their being no performance.”
And he believes he’s still got what it takes to hit the road and deliver the goods. “At this point I don’t think Peter could do a two-hour show and a full tour,” he says. “But I’ve still got the chops. I definitely blow Tommy Thayer off the stage.”