KISS recently announced their final tour, which is something that they haven’t done since, well, 2000 (literally!). And with it kicking off in just two days, Gene Simmons spoke to Guitar World magazine, who are apparently not internet-savvy enough to link it on their own site (Blabbermouth is getting the glory and the clicks). Now far be it for Gene to drum up controversy a few days before their tour, but when asked if original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, you know, the stars of the band throughout their 70’s glory years, would return, Gene threw them, and Frehley guitar successor Vinnie Vincent, under the bus:
“Ace and Peter have gotten three chances,” he said. “They were in and out of the band — fired — three times. For drugs, alcohol, bad behavior, being unprofessional … they weren’t carrying their load. … So the short answer to your question is we’d love to have Ace and Peter join us here and there. And if they don’t, it’s not going to be because of us. But they’re never going to be in KISS again.”
He added: “Three times is the charm; ‘I promise I’ll pull out’ doesn’t work. It’s the boy who cried wolf: ‘Oh, I’ve been straight for a million years.’ Terrific! Have a good life! … Would we welcome Ace or Peter to jump up onstage for a song or two? Of course. Could we depend on either Ace or Peter to do a full set night after night? Not on your fucking life.”
Simmons, 69, stated that it’s up to them if they want to cameo, which could be understating how happy people might be to see the original lineup together for one more time. He also mentioned that while guitarist Bruce Kulick, who played in the band from 1984-1996, would be welcome, Vincent, who played on Creatures of the Night and Lick It Up, would not be. While Vincent hasn’t responded yet, Frehley made a Facebook post that not only addressed the interview, but seemed to deal with years of frustration and guardedness in interviews, essentially asking the KISS co-founder to bring it:
Frehley has a few points. His solo albums have been surprisingly successful, and while Simmons has gone on to talk smack about former members in interviews, they haven’t really defended themselves until recently. Or like, right now. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out, as KISS have a tour to sell tickets to. Did Gene hit on Ace’s wife (which would have happened last year)? Seems kind of on brand for the guy. Unless there’s a degree of savviness that we’re not aware of and this is just going to lead to an inevitable reunion, this seems pretty genuine, and thanks to social media, we’ve all got a front row seat.