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PAUL STANLEY LABELED A 'BORDERLINE RACIST' BY ROCK HALL CEO
by Tracy West,posted Jun 2 2014 12:06PM
With the April 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony premiering this past weekend on HBO, Joel Peresman, the CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, took some shots at Paul Stanley -- who's been quite vocal about Kiss' treatment by the Hall. Peresman spoke frankly to Radio.com about the often head-scratching induction path for many acts, admitting, "I get into debates about this all the time! I tell people what I do (for a living), and then they say, ‘Well, how come this one isn’t inducted?’ The thing is, nobody’s wrong. There’s no wrong opinion. Like, ‘Why isn’t Chicago inducted?’ Or ‘Why isn’t the Moody Blues inducted?’ Or ‘Why hasn’t Jane’s Addiction been inducted?’ People aren’t wrong. I don’t really have a good answer for them.”
With all the issues regarding Kiss' entry into the hall after being passed over for the past 15 years, Peresman touched upon both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley's speeches at the ceremony, saying of Simmons, "It was a lovely speech, it was actually kind of classy, as opposed to Paul’s. That speech was the best advertisement for (pointing out that) what we did was right. He’s been almost borderline racist, not in that speech, but in other interviews talking about how hip-hop artists shouldn’t be inducted because they don’t play instruments. It’s like, ‘What are you, kidding?’ And he talks about the nominating committee, and how those guys don’t buy records. Those guys buy records! They’re f***ing fans! Those guys are writers and critics and musicians. Those are the people who buy records and got into the business because they love music.”
Backstage at the Rock Hall inductions, Peresman told us he hopes that Kiss will feel comfortable enough with its place in the Rock Hall to be become regular contributors to the museum in Cleveland: [“With all the posturing back and forth, I still think that, y’know, it’s a great honor. Y’know, I’ve always been a Kiss fan no matter what the verb-age is going back and forth, so, y’know, I was really happy they were being inducted. I think a lot of people that are customers that go to the museum in Cleveland -- because ultimately everything that we do in the foundation is to benefit the museum in Cleveland. We want people to visit there, we want them to learn about the history of rock n’ roll; so that’s what the museum exists for. So, to have a band like Kiss is an important part of rock history and we’ll go forward, and hopefully they’ll be involved and come visit when they play. . . they’re playing there in the summer and hopefully they’ll come visit.”] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . they’ll come visit)
Paul Stanley's main issues with the Rock Hall -- besides the fact that it took one-and-a-half decades to finally induct Kiss -- has been that only the four original members were allowed to be inducted -- and not the various lineups that played as Kiss over the past three decades. Stanley particularly took exception with the fact that all members of the Grateful Dead were inducted, seemingly with no questions asked. Peresman explained that different bands bring a different set of criteria: [“As I’ve said numerous times, a lot of the artists we look under (the) complete body of work, up until the moment the nominating committee meets to talk about ‘em. Those artists that were part of the Grateful Dead and were inducted in the Grateful Dead were contributing members — that our nominating committee felt up until the time they were inducted — which is different in this situation.”
In addition to Kiss, the inductees to the Rock Hall class of 2014 were Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel, Daryl Hall & John Oates.
Ahmet Ertegun Awards went to the Beatles' late manager Brian Epstein and original Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham.
The Award for Musical Excellence -- formerly known as the Side-Men category -- was presented to the E Street Band, who were inducted by Bruce Springsteen.
Log on to HBO.com for stations and times for the 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction ceremony.
JUST OUR OPINION
First of all, if we were Kiss and didn’t get inducted into the Rock Hall until the same year as Nirvana -- a band that didn’t release its first single until 1988 -- we wouldn’t have shown up at all. Paul Stanley chose to fight this thing upon being nominated by calling the Rock Hall out for perfectly valid reasons. Kiss was played non-stop on MTV between 1983 and 1989. Every single got airtime and they scored major video hits alongside all the other hair bands of the day. If that second non-makeup chapter of Kiss hadn’t been relevant, their comeback wearing makeup never could have happened -- not at Dodger Stadium it couldn’t. So the answer is; yes, EVERYBODY in Kiss should’ve been inducted.
For the record; Vince Welnick did not deserve to be inducted alongside the founders -- or even latter-day members -- of the Grateful Dead, so Joel Peresman using that example is as dumb as it is incorrect. Kiss’ costumes and stage sets will bring TONS of people into the Rock Hall Museum -- Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics, original P.A.’s, and hats won’t. It’s good business. Kiss has a HUGE fan base. Kiss fans will bring more money to Cleveland than Rolling Stones fans EVER would.
No rap act will draw rock fans and their money to the Cleveland museum. If that’s the reason for the Rock Hall induction ceremonies and list -- which is what Peresman says -- it’s a stupid idea to alienate the Classic Rock fan, who is without question the biggest lifetime consumer of music. Once Curtis Blow gets in -- probably six years before Yes and Journey -- his fans will neither be aware of his new honor, or even care enough to see his exhibit. If the Rock Hall did the same year-long exhibit with Kiss as they’ve recently done with the Dead and the Stones, they would -- without a doubt -- earn five times the amount in the first three months.
The deal is THIS; Kiss was telling us they were great from the word “go.” The powers that be at, say, Rolling Stone, (which is HEAVILY tied to and some even say synonymous with the Rock Hall) never liked that. Rolling Stone liked it when THEY got to tell you want was hip, or new, or smart. Kiss was not on their list. Which is fine, because the proof is in the sales. REAL rock magazines today understand and DO cover Kiss (without irony) -- Classic Rock, Mojo, and Uncut. They feature ROCK N’ ROLL figures. Not movie and TV stars, comedians, and murderers like Rolling Stone -- a magazine that featured Bart Simpson on its cover just short of a quarter century before finally giving Kiss the honor.
"Do The Bartman" got on the cover before "Detroit Rock City."
Joel Peresman has a TV show to promote. It’s not a particularly great show -- a little long winded, with four of the inductees not appearing and Kiss not performing. He’s chosen to give this interview and drop that the “racist” bomb on Stanley to promote a boring awards show. Forget the fact that Paul Stanley is NOT a racist, and is absolutely right in his critiques against the Rock Hall not withstanding, Peresman ultimately will not NOT get the extra viewers he wanted by throwing this obvious and destructive sound byte quote around -- but he just might get himself served with a libel suit from Stanley. You wanna keep going head to head with Paul Stanley??? REALLY??? The ONLY thing that Joel Peresman should've said about ANY of this was "Hey -- if it was up to me EVERY great artist in rock would be in The Hall!"
In truth, it’s too late for the Rock Hall to redeem itself, because the cheese factor and the lameness of the TV special shtick is so old, and it’s been like 75 years now. After Pearl Jam, there’s TRULY no one left. Who??? Radiohead??? Coldplay??? The White Stripes??? Who even has an OPINION about that??? Doesn’t it just become the bad MTV VMA's from 2002 when you said to yourself -- “Y’know, I was too old for this 15 years ago. I'm gonna get something to eat."