You wanted the best, but you won't be getting it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as hard rock icons Kiss have announced they've opted out of a performance at the spring event over lineup issues.
While it was announced last year that the band had been included in the 2014 list of inductees, a disagreement as to which lineup of the band — the original quartet of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss or with longtime guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer replacing the latter two co-founders — would perform has left the act deciding to skip playing the April 10 event in Cleveland altogether.
In light of recent remarks from Frehley and Criss, which implied that they had not been asked to perform with their old band buddies in Cleveland, the current incarnation of Kiss issued a statement on their website today (February 24) claiming the contrary.
In the statement, Kiss note that this is "an emotional situation where there is no way to please everyone," while also adding, "Contrary to claims made through the media we have never refused to play with Ace and Peter."
It reads: "Our intention was to celebrate the entire history of Kiss and give credit to all members, including longtime present members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, and additionally Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr all who have made this band what it is, regardless of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's point of view."
While not mentioned specifically, Kiss have also included guitarist Vinnie Vincent between 1982 and 1984, and the late Mark St. John on guitar briefly in 1984.
Despite the well-documented problems the original quartet have endured over the years, principal songwriters Simmons and Stanley spoke highly of Frehley and Criss, writing, "Although Kiss has moved forward far longer without them, Ace and Peter are at the very foundation of what we have built and this would all be impossible had they not been a part of it in the beginning."
They added, however: "It is over 13 years since the original lineup has played together in makeup and we believe the memory of those times would not be enhanced."
The new statement comment comes into conflict with what Frehley told New York radio show host Eddie Trunk last week regarding the possibility of performing together. Frehley maintains that Simmons and Stanley refused to get back together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"They just shot down any type of reunion with us," Space Ace said. "It's very frustrating. It's what the fans wanted, it's what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wanted, and it's not gonna happen. You don't want to do something for the fans after 40 years of them supporting you?"
Drummer Criss also issued a statement, saying that it's "disgraceful" that the original quartet won't be playing together.