Gene Simmons revealed that both Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have passed on making cameos with Kiss on their ongoing farewell tour. Simmons spoke to Classic Rock about the two co-founders in relation to the band’s “End Of The Road Tour” and explained, “I was hoping that Ace and Peter, at least for that, would be with us. It would be the saddest thing of all if they chose not to be there. But such is life. I hope and wish they’ll get over the victim, ‘look what happened to me.’ No, nothing happened to you. These were all decisions you made. They were in and out of the band three different times. Can you believe that? How many chances in life do you want? That’s the saddest thing.”
Simmons went on to say, “There are fans that are still angry with us about Ace and Peter. They just don’t understand. I personally have asked Ace and Peter a number of times: ‘Hey, this is the last time around. We’ve still got another hundred cities or so to go. Why don’t you jump on stage with us?’ And they said no. . . More than once.”
Paul Stanley added, “It would be great to have Ace and/or Peter participate at some point if they were interested, and if their requests or demands were realistic and not disruptive to the overall spirit of this tour.”
When pressed as to whether this is truly Kiss’ final go-’round — especially in view of 2000’s already billed “farewell” tour, Stanley was quick to explain: “Circumstances are very different. When we did that farewell tour, we in essence drank our own Kool-Aid. The idea that the band couldn’t continue without the four original members was absurd. Frankly, we were miserable as a foursome. It was horrible. It turned into years of drudgery and uncertainty whether everybody was going to make it to the lobby, let alone the stage. And so what we were basically doing was putting down the horse. Gene and I just felt: ‘Okay, we need to stop.’ And then it dawned on me that people didn’t want us gone, and we didn’t actually want to be gone. We didn’t want to say farewell to the band, we wanted to say farewell to two members.”
Paul Stanley told that as excited as he is to perform with Kiss, wrapping up the band’s life on the road is far from being a heartbreaking event for him: “There’s nothing bittersweet about this tour — it’s all sweet. What I’ve been given and what we’ve accomplished, and how we’ve been rewarded is indescribable. And look, I’m not Yoda — I’m gonna say the end of something is the beginning of something else. I’m not going to change who I am and I’m not going to change my trajectory, and everything will go on.”
Kiss performs tonight (June 7th) in Paris at Accor Arena.
Their next U.S. show is set for September 21st at West Palm Beach’s IThink Financial Amphitheatre.