After forty years as one of the greatest stage bands of all time, KISS is finally being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It’s an honor long overdue in the eyes of fans, but not an honor at all to KISS front-man Paul Stanley.

In a new interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Paul Stanley openly criticized the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, slamming its credibility and self-appointed board when asked if finally being inducted after 15 years of eligibility was an honor,

No, it was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us. At the end of the day most people don’t realise that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board. It’s a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard ‘Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’ and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts. So was it an honour to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it’s validation for them. So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf.

My feelings and my ambivalence about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame hasn’t changed any. Their attitude is elitist and it doesn’t reflect the public. It reflects a small group who dictate who meets the criteria that they set up as ‘rock and roll’. I’ve always felt the spirit of rock and roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way. I think we’ve done that pretty much with few exceptions for forty years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in. I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group.

Nonetheless I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and The Who and the Beatles and the Stones is company I don’t mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them, it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted.

It has been a long held belief that KISS hasn’t been inducted during their 15 years of eligibility due to the Hall of Fame’s distaste for their lack of musical ability and focus on theatrics.  And though no one would ever call KISS the most musically adept band around, it is hard to argue the impact and influence they’ve had over the past four decades, a run that very few bands can match.  One of the reasons they are finally being inducted is the influence they’ve had on other bands, bands that were inducted before KISS and now have a vote in who is inducted.

Stanley would go on in the interview to say that as of now he only plans to accept their award and not perform, though the possibility remains open.  Tension surrounding their induction came up rather quickly when the Hall of Fame made it clear they only intended to induct the original four members of KISS (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss), and none of the members that followed (Eric Carr, Eric Singer, Bruce Kulick, Vinnie Vincent, or Mark St. John).  Paul Stanley noted that this is contrary to what the Hall of Fame has done in the past with bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica, inducting all previous members of the group including current members who have only been with the band a short time in comparison to the founding members.

The fact that Rob Trujillo, who’s a great guy but didn’t play on any of the classic Metallica albums, was inducted after being in the band six years makes me wonder exactly what are the rules? If the rules don’t apply to everybody then they’re not rules.

Stanley also mentioned that he has every intention to share this honor with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, with whom he and Simmons have a strained relationship with, but Stanely is firm in his belief that KISS wouldn’t be what they are without not only Frehley and Criss, but also the band members who followed.

Taking of look at the different line-ups of KISS...

Stanley, Simmons, Criss, and Frehley

Stanley, Simmons, Carr, and Frehley

Stanley, Simmons, Carr, and Vincent

Stanley, Simmons, Carr, and St. John

Stanley, Simmons, Carr, and Kulick

Stanley, Simmons, Singer, and Kulick

Stanley, Simmons, Criss, and Frehley (Reunion)

Stanley, Simmons, Singer, and Thayer