As a fan of professional wrestling, I am saddened by the tragic news of the passing of the Ultimate Warrior. I was woken up by my beagle in the middle of the night last night, and after I took care of him, I came online to find out that Warrior had suddenly died. I thought it was a sick joke. However, WWE had it on its website, so knew it was true. I couldn’t get back to bed for a long time. I just saw Warrior on television. I just saw the man make a wonderful speech at the Hall of Fame. How did this happen? I could see on Monday Night Raw, Warrior looked tired and sickly, but I thought it was due to old age, and all the excitement of the weekend. Boy, was I wrong. My heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to his family.
Now, what does this have to do with the 70s glam-metal band KISS? Well, I will tell you. The band has been a thorn in the side of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for years. The Rock Hall, which is run by snobbish elitists, such as Rolling Stone Magazine Editor Jann Wanner, Board Member Dave Marsh, and others, who look down their noses at KISS because KISS doesn’t sing about rabbits and puppies. Dave Marsh also called QUEEN a “fascist” band, due to their hit, “We Will Rock You.” Obviously, these people who run the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be clueless.
On April 10th, KISS will be FINALLY inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That is the good news. The bad news is that the Hall inducted the original, iconic lineup, which consists of Gene Simmons (bass, lead vocals) , Peter Criss (drums, vocals) , Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, lead vocals) , and Ace Frehley (lead guitar, vocals). Why is this “bad news?” Well, currently, KISS still has Simmons and Stanley, but lead guitarist Tommy Thayer wears Ace Frehley’s makeup, and drummer Eric Singer wears Peter Criss’ makeup, and the band tours as KISS(Sometime before the 1996 Reunion Tour or thereabouts, Frehley, who quit in 1982, and Criss, who was fired in 1980, sold their rights to the makeup to Simmons and Stanley.), and that caused a conflict between Simmons and Stanley, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
To make a quick summary, the Hall of Fame wanted to have the four original members play a few songs in costume and makeup. Simmons and Stanley wanted to have the current lineup in makeup and costume, and then have Ace and Peter come out for the finale. The Hall balked on this. Ace and Peter certainly were not happy with the idea either, so KISS announced that no one from KISS will play at the ceremony. Ever since, all four guys have been spewing hate at each other.
As a KISS fan for 37 years, I am no stranger to the deep division between the original members. I am not surprised that this has happened. I must point out that the band members, especially Gene and Paul, have much disdain for the Rock Hall. Not only are Ace and Peter the target of Gene and Paul’s wrath, so is the Hall, all because the Hall won’t induct all 10 members of KISS like they did for many other bands. Personally, the Hall should have inducted KISS in the band’s first year of eligibility (1999) on the first ballot, then there wouldn’t have been a lot of this petty backbiting.
My point is that the lesson that the KISS members can learn is that there comes a time when you have to get past old grudges. There comes a time to forgive others. What is the point of holding on to slights that were done 40 years ago? Gene said,”Ace and Peter don’t deserve to wear the makeup.” Really, Gene? We are not talking about a full blown tour. We are talking about 2 songs at a Hall of Fame ceremony.
I am just discouraged by Paul Stanley slamming both Ace and Peter in the press, and in his new book, “Face the Music: A Life Exposed.” Ace Frehley also went on radio personality, Eddie Trunk show, and did some complaining about not being able to play. Both Ace and Peter were slamming Paul about what Paul said about them in his book.
In my sadness over the death of Warrior, the consolation I have is that he and Vince McMahon reconciled, and he was happy to be going into the WWE Hall of Fame. It is somewhat comforting to know that he got to thank the business, WWE, and the fans. I hope that the members of KISS , in the midst of their fighting, they realize that when one of them dies, it will be too late to reconcile, and apologize. I hope the guys find a way to do that before it’s too late.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan