NEW YORK (Billboard) - They’ve sold millions of records, and influenced several generations of fans and musicians. So why isn’t Kiss in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
That’s what Gene Simmons would like to know.
“There are disco bands, rap bands, Yiddish folk song bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but not Kiss,” the band’s outspoken frontman said during a speech at the Billboard Touring Conference on Thursday. “I believe we have more gold records in America than any other group, but it’s OK.”
Having released their first album in 1974, Kiss easily fulfill the requirement that an eligible act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.
But the band is not among the nine acts on this year’s shortlist, which includes metal icons Metallica, rock guitarist Jeff Beck, and soul singer Bobby Womack. The final five, determined by a ballot of more than 500 industry voters, will be announced in January, ahead of the 24th annual induction ceremony in Cleveland on April 4.
Simmons also took a dig at the top officials at the hall of fame’s foundation, which is chaired by Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner.
“A lot of those guys on the board can go and get my sandwich when I want, and I mean that in the nicest way,” he said.
The speech was filmed for an episode of his reality show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” currently in its third season on the A&E cable channel.