Looks like the audience vote winner was a harbinger of things to come for KISS, as they’ve been named among the inductees of the 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The New York band will be inducted 15 years after they first became eligible, and will join Nirvana, Hall and Oates, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens, which should make for one hell of an odd jam session.
It’s easy to see why KISS finally made the cut. To anyone that grew up in the ’70s, the New York quartet of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were larger than life. Spawning not just tons of record and concert sales, but merchandise, the band’s theatrical stage show and larger than life personas as the Star Child, the Demon, the Spaceman and the Cat triggered the imagination of many. The band’s anthemic songs like “Rock and Roll All Night” and “Detroit Rock City” got rock airplay, but Criss’ ballad “Beth” and their disco track “I Was Made for Loving You” crossed over to top 40.
On the other hand, it’s equally easy to figure out why it took so long for KISS to finally get respect from the Hall of Fame. For all their commercial success, KISS have always been hated by critics. Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner also founded the Hall of Fame, and the band probably have as many stars in the magazine as they have albums. And while KISS have always come off as hedonistic pretentious rock stars that cravenly want to sell out, the Hall has tended to nominate artists that give off the impression that it’s about the craft and the music, not the accolades that come from it. The fan vote, which Rush won the previous year, seems to be a way of letting the critics and founders shrug their shoulders and let in fan favorites they can’t stand without admitting any guilt or responsibility for letting them in.
Once again, Deep Purple has been shafted by the Hall of Fame. They’ve been eligible for the past 2o years, and were among the nominees. And with Jon Lord dying last year, you’d think they would have gotten in on the sympathy vote alone. Then again, the fact that board members get together to decide what 25 year (at least) body of work “rocks” pretty much sums how we feel about the awards. Yes and The Replacements also failed to make the cut.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on April 1o at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Tickets will be available to the public in January via www.rockhall.com, and the ceremony will air in May on HBO.
[via USA Today]