The hottest band in the world has been one of the hottest topics of late following the announcement that they would not be playing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This of course due to the initial criticism that the original KISS lineup would not be playing, so a lot of the focus has come to the thoughts of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. In an interview with Guitar World, Paul Stanley opened up more about Ace Frehley and the Hall of Fame.
On the subject of playing with Ace back in the day:
What we had at the beginning was magical. Not because we were virtuosos. Magic in rock and roll isn’t dependent on virtuosity. Ace and I played great together. But in my mind it’s a crime what Ace did. He threw away incredible potential and talent. The Ace I played with when the band first started out was a comet. And not [Frehley’s late-Eighties band] Frehley’s Comet! But he was burning bright and really had the ability—and this would rub him the wrong way—to be a real contender. But he stopped practicing. He got involved with a whole lot of things that really diluted and diminished his craft. I saw that comet grow dim.
When asked if he ever felt on his own with KISS:
Totally. Absolutely. I didn’t feel it. I was. There wouldn’t have been a band without me. Because when your partner is off doing all kinds of questionable side projects and not only taking time but also involvement away from the band, sure. For me it ultimately came down to, I love what I do; I don’t want this to end. So I decided to bail water, for my own survival.
It certainly was more lonely and more stressful to know that the only person who was going to get us through the icebergs was me. But I didn’t mind that. I only minded the fact that I was still splitting the income and royalties as though I had a partner. That bothered me. The fact that I was running things? Honestly, that’s probably what got us through that decade.
So he kind of skirts around talking about not playing with Ace and Peter at the Hall of Fame. This probably isn’t going to calm fans who are up in arms over the whole thing, but at least he gives some kind of comment on his former bandmates. And really, we’re sure it must be frustrating to have a bandmate in one of the most popular bands in the world start to diminish in terms of playing, but you would think maybe now bygones could be bygones. Guess not. But if he was able to get over Gene Simmons trying to make it as an actor in LA in the ’80s, there’s a (very!) small chance he might be able to patch things up by the time the ceremony occurs.