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Paul Stanley Calls Rock Hall ‘Tainted, Corrupted and Distorted’

Paul Stanley
Jo Hale, Getty Images

With Kiss finally set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, one might think Paul Stanley‘s attitude toward it might have softened somewhat, but that isn’t the case: In a new interview, Stanley made it clear that he still feels the whole thing is “tainted, corrupted and distorted.”

Explaining to Classic Rock Magazine that he doesn’t feel honored by the induction because “it was done begrudgingly and because it had become absolutely ludicrous that they were choosing to ignore us,” Stanley reiterated his reasons for refusing to grant the Rock Hall legitimacy. “At the end of the day most people don’t realize that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was a privately created establishment and that it has a self-appointed board,” he pointed out. “It’s a perfect case of perception becoming reality. People heard ‘Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’ and gave it credibility. So whether it deserves the title has to be weighed against who it inducts. So was it an honor to be nominated? No. It means a lot to the fans and I understand it because it’s validation for them. So for that reason I accept graciously and accept on their behalf.”

Like a lot of rock stars who started out as anti-establishment kids, Stanley still feels a little funny about the idea of an institution surrounding music that’s supposed to be about breaking them down. “I’ve always felt the spirit of rock and roll meant not only ignoring your critics, but ignoring your peers and going your own way,” he argued. “I think we’ve done that pretty much with few exceptions for 40 years. So that same criteria that kept us out has not gotten us in. I scratch my head a little and I also take issue with a certain arrogance within that group. Nonetheless I look at some of the inductees and any club that has Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and the Who and the Beatles and the Stones is company I don’t mind being in and my feelings have nothing to do with any of them, it purely has to do with a system which I think is tainted, corrupted and distorted.”

As for the all-important question of whether all the surviving former members of Kiss will be invited to jam on that Rock Hall stage, Stanley demurred. “I have no plans at the moment to do anything, and that includes playing with Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss] or anyone else,” he insisted. “My plan at the moment is to go and accept the award.”

Next: Top 10 Paul Stanley Kiss Songs

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