Wednesday, March 5, 2014

KISS and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Who should give the induction speech?

March 5, 2014

Last week, I blogged some of my thoughts on KISS and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The commentary was reposted on KISS’ official website and was also shared on KISS’ official Facebook page, which has more than 11 million followers. Obviously, the feedback has been amazing. Thank you, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. If you missed that blog, you can read it here:

Now that I’ve covered that, I’ve also enjoyed having some conversations with some friends about who should be the person at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony to give the speech prior to KISS' induction and officially introduce them as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. If you’ve watched any of these ceremonies in the past, this is usually a pretty cool moment. Bono introducing Bruce Springsteen, to me, is one that really stands out. His speech was tremendous. And I also enjoyed Springsteen’s speech when he introduced Creedence.

So, who should introduce KISS?

Here are a few ideas:

First, we’ll start with those that are already members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Clearly, those that are peers of KISS, or someone that was one of their musical influences, would bring a nice touch of prestige to the induction.
1. Jimmy Page – Page seems to be a KISS fan. Paul Stanley has never hid his love for all-things-Zeppelin, and Page was photographed a few years ago hanging out backstage at a KISS show. There certainly seems to be some mutual admiration on both sides, and Page actually has a blurb on the back cover of Stanley’s forthcoming autobiography. And let’s face it: having Jimmy Page standing there saying great things about KISS would be very cool.

2. Joe Perry – Perry likes KISS. He played on Gene Simmons’ 1978 solo album and has never had anything but great things to say about the band. His appreciation for the group has been well-documented in several KISS books and he even got on stage and jammed with the band back in 2003 when KISS and Aerosmith toured together.

3. Alice Cooper – Alice has also always had great things to say about KISS. He knows that they took his ideas of combining rock with theatrics to the next level, but rather than resent it, he appreciates it. There seems to be a lot of mutual respect there and a nice friendship. This would be a case of the teacher proudly acknowledging the accomplishments of the students.

4. Geddy Lee – Rush and KISS toured together quite a bit in the early ‘70s and remain great friends. There’s practically a whole chapter about the friendship in the KISS book, “Nothin’ To Lose.” The two bands genuinely like each other as both performers and people, and Gene Simmons even appeared in the excellent Rush documentary, "Beyond The Lighted Stage,” and had some nice things to say about the band.

Next, we’ll throw out a few of KISS’ more accomplished disciples. These are artists that grew up as KISS fans, cite them as a major influence, and went on to have successful careers in music:

5. Nikki Sixx – The KISS influence on Motley Crue, both musically and visually, is obvious. Both bands toured together in 1983 and again, 30 years later, in 2013. Sixx is an excellent speaker and would do a great job with the induction speech. He recently posted on Facebook about how much he's enjoying Paul's new book and he would speak eloquently at the ceremony.  

      6. Sebastian Bach – Sebastian is a huge KISS fan and has talked about it on many occasions. He is actually a KISS collector and did a great job on Skid Row’s cover of the KISS classic, ‘C’mon and Love Me.” His speech  would be passionate and energetic, though probably not as polished as Sixx’s. He would also be the one that would most likely tell the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to f-off for taking 15 years to induct KISS. That could make for an awkward moment, but also one KISS fans would enjoy.
7. Brett Michaels – Like Sixx, Michaels would speak well. He’s another member of the many ‘80s rock bands that have cited KISS as a major influence. Poison once recorded a fun cover of “Rock and Roll All Nite” and often play it in concert. They have also toured with KISS.

8. Dave Grohl – Many members of bands from the ‘90s have also made it clear that KISS had a huge impact on their lives. They were just kids back in the ‘70s when KISS first burst onto the scene, and for many, it was their first exposure to rock and roll. Grohl, now with The Foo Fighters, has been photographed wearing KISS t-shirts and his former band, Nirvana, recorded a few KISS covers. He’s also great at speaking about other bands that have had an influence on him, as was evident at the recent CBS special noting the 50th anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America. Plus, he'll already be at the event, as Nirvana is being inducted the same night.

9. Mike McCready – The founding member of Pearl Jam says KISS is the reason he picked up a guitar and pursued a career in music. He sports KISS tattoos and, while appearing on VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” last year, he was outspoken about his feelings on KISS not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

10. Tom Morello – Morello, of Rage Against The Machine fame, has been making waves of late due to his collaborations with Bruce Springsteen. He is a huge KISS fan who names them as a major influence. He also appeared on the 1994 KISS tribute album, “KISS My Ass.” And since the E Street Band is being inducted the same night, and he's worked so much with them in recent months, he'll probably be in the house. 

So there you have it. Ten guys that all would be a nice fit to help induct KISS into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

If you could pick one, who would it be? Or, do you have any other ideas? Elton John? He also seems to be a fan of the group. One of the guys from Metallica? Lenny Kravitz? They're all big fans ...
Who should give THE speech?

Alan K. Stout has covered rock and pop music in Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1992. He currently contributes stories to The Weekender, the region's #1 arts and entertainment newspaper, and his weekly radio show, "Music On The Menu," can be heard every Sunday from 9-10 p.m. on 105 The River (104.9-FM) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. To view all of his articles on KISS, visit

Follow Alan K. Stout's thoughts on music on Facebook at

No comments:

Post a Comment