Gene Simmons Says Ace Frehley & Peter Criss Denied Appearing At Last KISS Shows

30 June 2023 | 11:16 am | Mary Varvaris

"The older fans wonder about Ace and Peter..."

Gene Simmons on stage

Gene Simmons on stage (Credit: Hab Haddad)


Gene Simmons has put the pin in any rumours about original KISS members guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss playing at the band’s final shows, disappointing old-school fans who might have held out hope.

In an interview on Linea Rock with Barbara Caserta, Simmons said that Frehley and Criss had declined invitations to play at KISS’ last shows.

Understanding the disillusionment many of their older fans would feel, Simmons began, “For the fans — the older, older fans — the ones who’ve been around for 50 years, they’re old, and some of them wanna see Ace and Peter.” As transcribed by Blabbermouth, he added, “The newer fans never saw them, and they don’t know. But the older fans wonder about Ace and Peter.

“Well, I asked both Ace and Peter a few times: ‘Do you wanna come out for the encores? Do you wanna do some shows?’ And they both said ‘no.’ So, I don’t know what to say about that… But it’s always welcome.” You can watch the interview below.

Frehley and Criss’ decision to deny the invitation makes sense, considering that singer Paul Stanley recently said the band would be better off called “Piss” if the original line-up reformed.

While on The Howard Stern Show, Stanley was asked about the band’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and why they didn’t perform. 

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Confirming that the Rock Hall wanted to induct KISS with the other two original members, Stanley fired back, “At this point, that would be demeaning to the band, and also would give some people confusion. 'Cause if you saw people onstage who looked like KISS but sounded like that, maybe we should be called Piss.” 

As Consequence Of Sound reports, that comment drew the ire of Frehley, with the Detroit Rock City guitarist demanding an apology from Stanley. 

Appearing on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk in late March, Frehley threatened to share “dirt” on his estranged former bandmates, Gene and Paul, and said, “Paul, if you’re not listening, I’m sure one of your associates in the KISS group are.

“And I’m telling you that I want my formal apology for what you said and a retraction and an apology within seven days. And if I don’t get that within seven days, I’m coming back on Ed Trunk’s show, and I’m gonna tell some dirt that nobody knows about Paul and Gene that I’ve always kept to myself because I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t talk about this. I like to talk about the positive stuff.”

Seven days passed, and Frehley didn’t share said dirt. He added, “I have a 120-page manuscript that I wrote after I finished my book. My attorney has it in a safety deposit box. God forbid anything happens to me. My attorney is instructed to release it … So they can’t intimidate me with trying to hurt me or say, ‘You’d better not say anything about me live on the radio.’ Because then they’re totally screwed. Their careers will be ruined.” Ouch.

KISS – Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) will return to Sydney in October for their final Australian show, with indie-rock heroes Weezer joining them as special guests. You can find more details here.