KISS, which has greatly impacted rock music, is ending its 50-year career in 2023 with its “End of The Road” tour. KISS started its first-ever farewell show in 2019 and has been touring many countries and saying goodbye to its fans gradually, on the other hand, the final show continues to leave a question mark in the fans’ minds.
Many fans want Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, who was also involved in the band’s forming and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with KISS, to appear on the band’s final stage to finish what they started.
Anyway, in a brand new interview with VW Music, Doc McGhee, the band’s longtime manager reveals the backstage of the situation. And while McGhee admits that the two legendary artists should to finish what they started, he says that they haven’t been in touch with Peter for a long time.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” the manager said. “You can invite them, but they may not come. They may come, they may not come, and we might not invite them. We’ve talked to them, and we’ve talked about it. Well, we don’t talk to Peter, but we do talk to Ace. We haven’t talked to Peter in a long time.
“But you know something? They were part of it, they aided in starting this band, and they should be part of the end of this. They started this, so in some way they should be able to share that spotlight on the way out. Now, regardless of if it happens or not, you’re not going to get six guys up there in makeup. That’s not going to happen.”
McGhee Says ‘There’s No Way KISS Would Be Here Today Without Ace Frehley And Peter Criss’
While every member of the KISS has a comic book-style character, it’s not the same for Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Eric and Thayer, who replaced Frehley and Criss, also took on their characters The Spaceman and The Catman. Thus, the “fake version” claim that arose about Thayer and Eric, McGhee explains as follows.
“Listen, I think Paul said it best, ‘There’s no way that KISS could have got to where they were going without Ace and Peter, but there’s no way KISS would be here today without Eric and Tommy.’ I have all the respect in the world for Ace and Peter, especially Ace. I think he really changed the way of listening to and playing the guitar… I can name fifty off the top of my head, so many accomplished musicians who were influenced by Ace.
“So yeah, when people say, ‘Oh, that’s fake Ace,’ Okay, in some respects, it is. But guess what? He’s so good at it. Tommy is so good at it, and with Eric playing the way he does, they both drive Gene and Paul to do what they do so well…”
McGhee adds, how Thayer and Eric took KISS to a new level musically and served as the backbone for the band, making things easier for Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.
“You can say, ‘Well, I would rather have this person up there,’ well that’s your opinion. The fact of the matter is that Tommy and Eric have stepped up, and brought KISS to a new level musically, and that makes Gene and Paul’s lives so much easier. It makes it so that they can just walk out there and do their thing. They wouldn’t be able to do that with the backbone of the band, which is Tommy and Eric.”
Back in 2021, during a Question&Answer session on KISS Kruise, founding KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons once again discussed the band’s original members Peter and Ace. When the interviewer mentioned the KISS A&E documentary that is not featuring Ace and Peter, Gene Simmons said it upsets him that Ace and Peter haven’t been with the band during the band’s farewell tour.
“Well, clearly, Paul Stanley has lost all memory,” Gene says. “My memory of things says he thinks he wrote ‘Strutter.’ I know I did.
“I want to say something on behalf of Ace and Peter, and this is important – through the years there have been some bad decisions made.
“My heart breaks that they can’t be here and see your beautiful faces. They started with us, they were equally as important as Paul and myself in starting the band.
“We wouldn’t be here with them, it’s so tragic because of bad life decisions that they can’t be here to enjoy all of this.”
After Gene Simmons, the guitarist Paul Stanley chimed in and revealed his thoughts about the issue. Saying that KISS couldn’t have made it without Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the guitarist addressed the positive sides of their departure from the band.
“But good things come from things that sometimes seem bad, and the good things that came from their departure from the band are sitting up here with us,” Stanley says.
“Not to dwell on that, we couldn’t have made it without Peter and Ace, and we couldn’t continue to this day with them. So they are strong parts of our foundation but this is what’s building the monument today.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Paul Stanley had mentioned KISS’ new album possibility. Explaining why would KISS need a new album, Stanley had said that there is no possibility of that.
“Why would we need a new KISS album?” Stanley asks. “Any big classic band with a history, you go, ‘Oh, put out a new album.’
“You know, if The Rolling Stones put out a new album, you go, ‘Oh, that’s great. Play ‘Brown Sugar’.’ … Yeah, maybe not now…”
“But the same is true for us. You can have great songs on the more recent albums, but people then go, ‘Great. Play ‘Love Gun’.’
“The reality is you really love the old songs, and nobody is going to embrace new material, no matter how good it is, like you do the past, because those songs are part — those are like snapshots from your past, and you’re connected to them in a way new material never could be.
“We’re happy going out and playing. That’s where we live; that’s our turf, is the stage.”