Kiss frontman Paul Stanley says his only regret about their early-80s era was that he had to split their income with Gene Simmons while the bassist wasn’t earning his share.
The band are currently embroiled in a war of words after Stanley and Simmons stated that no version of Kiss would perform at the band’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in April. The move was a reaction to pressure from organisers, former colleagues and some fans for the original line-up to regroup for the night.
But the frontman has taken time out from the argument to look back at the era leading up to Kiss abandoning their make-up in 1983, when they’d replaced guitarist Ace Frehley with Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr played drums in place of Peter Criss; Simmons remained with the band but appeared more interested in pursuing other interests including a film career.
Asked if he felt like he was on his own, Stanley tells Guitar World: “I didn’t feel it – I was. There wouldn’t have been a band without me. Because when your partner is off doing all kinds of questionable side projects and not only taking time but also involvement away from the band, sure.
“For me it ultimately came down to, I love what I do, I don’t want this to end. So I decided to bail water, for my own survival. It certainly was more lonely and more stressful to know that the only person who was going to get us through the icebergs was me. But I didn’t mind that.
“I only minded the fact that I was still splitting the income and royalties as though I had a partner. That bothered me. The fact that I was running things? Honestly, that’s probably what got us through that decade.”
Stanley also believes that Frehley “threw away” his talent by allowing drink and drunks to derail his career. “What we had at the beginning was magical,” he recalls. Ace and I played great together.
“But in my mind it’s a crime what Ace did. The Ace I played with when the band first started out was a comet – and not Frehley’s Comet. He was burning bright and really had the ability to be a real contender.
“But he stopped practising. He got involved with a whole lot of things that really diluted and diminished his craft. I saw that comet grow dim.”