PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- If Kiss could project Gene Simmons' demon makeup onto the moon and get people to pay to look at it, they'd do so.
Yet this band, which is touring with Def Leppard this summer, still selling 40th anniversary reissued albums and slapping its name on everything from kitchen aprons to caskets and urns, steadfastly refuses to perform at its own Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Combined with the Hall's recent public embarrassment of a former Nirvana drummer, it just illustrates how useless the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been and continues to be.
The music executive sandbox by Lake Erie wants to induct Kiss, but its version of Kiss includes only founding members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. While that initial lineup was big with Generation X and is the one they tend to envision when they think of Kiss, it only lasted from 1973 through 1980. Criss' replacement, Eric Carr, was with the band for 11 years before his death in 1991. Bruce Kulick, who took over Frehley's lead guitar role in 1984 after short stints by Vinnie Vincent and Mark St. John, was with the band for 12 years. Current guitarist Tommy Thayer is on his 12th year with KISS, while drummer Eric Singer has been behind the kit off-and-on for 16 years.
Even if you count Frehley and Criss' reunion stints with the band in the late '80s and early '90s -- which lasted 6 and 7 years, respectively -- Kiss has existed longer without the two of them than with them. But that's not the point: The point is that we're having this damned ridiculous argument over the band that gave us Rock 'N' Roll All Nite, Love Gun, Calling Dr. Love, Lick It Up and Heaven's On Fire and that the suits who do the inducting at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can't wait to translate it into museum visits and induction ceremony ratings.
We're not exactly sure if the Hall solved that equation, since nobody's tuning in to see a featured act that isn't there, but forthright reasoning isn't one of the Hall of Fame induction committee's strongest attributes. When it inducted Nirvana, for instance, it failed to mention that former drummer Chad Channing wouldn't be honored along with Kurt Cobain, Krist Novocelic and Channing's replacement Dave Grohl. Channing did all of the heavy lifting on the band's debut album Bleach, so Radio.com contacted him and got his thoughts about how it felt to be enshrined. Channing was highly complimentary of his former bandmates during the interview, but checked in after it posted to relay the message that he wasn't part of Nirvana's induction. The Hall of Fame, apparently, dropped the news to Nirvana's management via a text message: