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KISS Bassist Gene Simmons: Ace Frehley + Peter Criss ‘No Longer Deserve to Wear the Paint’

Gene Simmons
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

How much uglier could it get between current and former members of KISS? The iconic act will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, choosing not to perform at the ceremony after various conflicts. However, Gene Simmons just launched perhaps the most insulting comment to date in the direction of classic members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame found themselves on the wrong side of KISS, opting to induct only Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, snubbing longtime members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, though cumulatively, the two have dedicated over 25 years to KISS.

Somehow, it’s gotten even worse, as evidenced in a new Rolling Stone interview with various KISS members. “We’ve always seen each other as brothers,” Stanley says about Simmons. “What we seem to be at odds at is how you treat your brother. Gene’s priority, by far, has always been himself. And he’s not one to let anyone else’s feelings or contributions get in the way.”

Peter Criss adds to the interview, revealing that Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons’ offer to jam with Thayer and Singer at the Rock Hall induction was disrespectful. “How can you put me in the Hall of Fame and then tell me to go sit over there in the corner while another guy puts on my makeup and plays?” asks Criss. “That’s an injustice. To the fans, too.”

Simmons’ barb towards his former bandmates, however, is arguably the most insulting comment unleashed during this whole Rock Hall debacle. “[Frehley and Criss] no longer deserve to wear the paint,” says Simmons. “Just being there at the beginning is not enough… And if you blow it for yourself, it’s your fault. You can’t blame your band members. ‘Oh, look what happened to me. Oh, poor me.’ Look at my little violin. I have no sympathy.”

For the rest of the Rolling Stone exclusive, visit their official website. Nirvana, KISS + many others will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10.

Rock Hall CEO on Why KISS' Thayer and Singer Are Not Being Inducted

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