Gene Simmons Thinks Hip Hop, Non-Guitarists And Karaoke Kiss Should Be Banished From The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame
YOU may remember Gene Simmons as the frontman of Kiss and a deeply upsetting sex tape. Mainly though, you’ll think of him as an opinionated gobshite who looks weird when he’s not in his makeup.
Well, Gene’s at it again, saying that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is “diluting” itself with hip-hop, pop and disco artists.
Now, Kiss are joining the Hall next month, and Simmons blasted “back room politics” for the inclusion of bands like Run DMC and Donna Summer.
“They can run their organisation any way they’d like, but it ain’t rock!” said Simmons said in an interview with Radio.com. “You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-DMC in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me! Doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But … they sample and they talk. Not even sing! … If you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there.”
Don’t write your own songs. Hands up if you know who wrote God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You? Clue: It wasn’t Kiss. It was Russ Ballard who was in Argent with Rod Argent from The Zombies, if you’re interested.
And of course, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame has included R&B and soul acts from the very start. Surely, in the case of this honour, rock is an attitude, rather than a genre of music?
Even if you disagree with that, then you’re getting into the pedantry of genres. If it is a rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame and you’re going to be a purist, then it should be filled only with people like Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Little Walter, not the bands that came after the golden period of rock ‘n’ roll and misappropriated the term when they were in fact, rock bands, metal bands, glam bands, folk singers or what have you.
Either way, Gene’s not having it.
“Donna was my next door neighbour for many years. I knew and liked her, she was on my  solo record. But if you asked Donna, ‘What kind of artist are you?’ do you think she would say ‘rock?’ If you asked Madonna, ‘What kind of artist are you?’ do you think she would say, ‘Oh, rock!’ … [Soon they will] get the Boston Pops Orchestra to be inducted!”
Kiss there, who made the disco record I Was Made For Lovin’ You, with Paul Stanley who made the disco record Back In The New York Groove.