Friday, October 5, 2012

KISS (Again) Snubbed by Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

KISS once again have been snubbed by the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the Class of 2013. Why would I think this year would be different than any other? I thought, possibly, on the 40th Anniversary, Kiss would finally see their nomination and induction.

The fact Rock Hall continues ignore Kiss baffles me and bothers me at the same time. Why? Because they deserve to be there. They ignited a generation of rock and roll with their street wise rock, unique persona's and electric theatrics. The most disappointing part of the snub is that  Kiss has continued to inspire bands and musicians for over 30 years. It does not make sense to me as does the rest of the Kiss Army.

Put aside the merchandising, Kiss has managed to perform and record for the past 40 years, despite critics and personnel changes, surviving the 80's- those lean years, returning with the biggest tour of 1996-97 with the reunion of the original four and yet again, personnel changes.

Kiss are survivors. Against the odds, Kiss has managed to stay true to themselves as much as they want to be, through lean years and the beefy years. They are one of the first and few bands to achieve success more than just a few times in the band's incredible career.

The 1970's saw Kiss rise to fame as the #1 band in America according to a Gallup poll, selling millions in records, a break-up of the original band, regrouping and carrying on with the removal of the makeup with Lick It Up and a return with a million seller 1984's Animalize and successful tour, Kiss again were selling out arenas and enjoying a new found generation of fans in the 1980's.

The 1990's saw Kiss regrouping with Revenge, the arrival of grunge rock and remaining as a group to be reckoned with. A Reunion tour in 1996 saw the generations meet together to hear and see the spectacle that is Kiss in all it's glory. Kiss were back on top.

The 2000's saw a Farewell tour of the original four and a new version of the band emerging while maintaining their spotlight in the land of rock and roll with a new found energy and commitment to their fans.

So, here we are, going into the Kiss' 40th year with a highly successful summer tour 2012 under their belts with Motley Crue and their 20th album, Monster, poised for release, just days away, on October 9.

It's a travesty that Kiss is ignored, again and again. It's no secret that Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone and Rock Hall committee member despises Kiss. You can nominate disco band Chic, but not Kiss? Or Bon Jovi? Or Judas Priest? It's clearly become everything but rock and roll and a disgrace in fairness.

Having inspired musicians who have publicly announced if it weren't for Kiss, they may not have ended up playing music. Maybe all the Rock Hall sees is makeup and showmanship? But it can not be denied the band's 40 years of music, millions and millions of albums sold- Look, you can put on the most outrageous show on earth, but if the music isn't there, it's still going to suck and people won't buy the albums. People buy Kiss albums, the music is there along with the showmanship, the bombastic show, so why aren't THEY THERE?

Among the nominees, Deep Purple, Heart, Rush and Donna Summer. Donna Summer? Yes. There is no denying Donna Summer sparked the disco generation and one of the great singers of her genre, but rock and roll? I don't think so.

The deep mystery remains leaving many rock fans as well as the Kiss Army scratching their heads as to why Kiss is omitted every time the Rock Hall reveals it's nominations. The Rock Hall, over the years, have become more of silly joke than a legititimate organzination. Perhaps that's the way it's supposed to be- a joke.

---Frank Hagan

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