Original KISS members Ace Frehley* and Peter Criss performed together this week for the first time in 13 years at the 30th anniversary celebration for radio host and TV’s That Metal Host star Eddie Trunk.
The Spaceman and The Catman, both of whom originally left KISS in the early 80s, but returned to the group for the 1996 reunion tour and subsequent album Psycho Circus, jammed together at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, along with Anthrax members, bassist Frank Bello and guitarist Scott Ian; former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.
With Frehley on lead guitar and Criss on drums, along with a combination of the aforementioned musicians, the former bandmates rocked out on KISS tunes “Parasite,” “Got To Choose,” “Hooligan,” “Love Her All I Can,” and “Rock And Roll All Night” — the latter three performances can be seen here below in a fan video that was taken.
The event also brought out many other rock heavies, like Lita Ford, Billy Sheehan, Geoff Tate, Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister, members of Overkill, TNT, Stryper, and Accept for a 17-song jam of KISS, UFO (Trunk’s favorite band of all time), MSG, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Deep Purple, and Judas Priest favorites. (See the full list of songs and band line-ups over at Blabbermouth.)
[Ace Frehley, Lita Ford, and Peter Criss at the Eddie Trunk 30th Anniversary Show at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, October 23, 2013; Photo via Lita Ford Facebook.]
KISS recently made headlines when it was announced that the band had been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame’s class of 2014. Fans of KISS (including me!) feel that the long-time influential band should have already been inducted into the Rock Hall.
If the band does get selected for 2014 induction, it means current members bassist Gene Simmons and guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley will have control over who gets to perform at the induction ceremony. In a recent interview with Radio.com, Simmons stated that he had no intention of reuniting with his old bandmates for the ceremony.
â€œNo! How many chances in life to do you get? Both of those guys had three chances to be in the band. Three times they f***ed it up. They were every bit as important as we were at the formation of the band,â€ he says, though he later adds that they have the right to attend the ceremony.
Simmons then referred to Frehley and Criss as “a cancer,” belittling them by saying they belong doing autograph shows.
â€œWhen you have a cancer in your system, its best to cut it out as fast as you can,â€ he explains. â€œIt used to be part of your body, it turned into cancer. You gotta cut it out. I believe that both Ace and Peter are happier now. They belong home, and doing autograph shows in clubs. Theyâ€™re happier.â€
Seems a bit harsh, especially considering it’s not a full-on reunion, but rather just a one-off for what’s considered a historic and prestigious (to some) moment. But, it would require the original foursome to get together to practice, and obviously, that’s more than Simmons is willing to do.
KISS is a subject I can go on and on and on about, so I’ll end it here with some speculation: I’m curious whether Simmons and Stanley will allow former guitarist Vinnie Vincent, who played on Creatures Of The Night (although Frehley was originally credited on the album) and the first “unmasked” effort Lick It Up, be inducted, or let the late Mark St. John (guitarist on 1984’s Animalize, whose brief stint ended after complications from Reiter’s Syndrome) posthumously get the award. I would think it a no-brainer for guitarist Bruce Kulick, who was in KISS from 1984 to 1996, to be inducted, as well as the late drummer Eric Carr, who took over for Criss on 1981’s Music from The Elder and continued with the band until his death in 1991 after battling heart cancer. I’d also think it’s likely that current members, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer (both of whom perform on stage in the famous Spaceman and Catman make-up and attire, respectively), will also make the cut and be the ones to perform with Simmons and Stanley at the ceremony. That is, of course, if KISS makes the cut this round. The Rock Hall does love to snub.