KISS Bassist Gene Simmons Comments On Physical Condition Of Ace Frehley & Peter Criss 

KISS Bassist Gene Simmons Comments On Physical Condition Of Ace Frehley & Peter Criss 
Original Photo Credit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVMaYDBeLhQ

KISS bassist Gene Simmons is making the publicity rounds as the band continues its “End of the Road” farewell tour. He recently told Classic Rock magazine that the band had hoped original guitarist Ace Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss would join them for encores at select shows on the road, but that doesn’t look like it will come to fruition. “It would be the saddest thing of all if they chose not to be there. But such is life. I hope and wish they’ll get over the victim, ‘look what happened to me.’ No, nothing happened to you. These were all decisions you made. They were in and out of the band three different times. Can you believe that? How many chances in life do you want? That’s the saddest thing.”

In a new interview with Finland’s Chaoszine, Simmons further elaborated on the situation with the band’s former members indicating that Frehley and Criss wouldn’t physically be up to performing a full concert. “We’ve tried. I keep trying,” Simmons said in response when asked if Frehley and Criss might reconsider and join the band for guest appearances. “Paul and I met with Ace, trying to convince him to come back. He said, ‘I want this. I want that.’ Well, we can’t do that. I asked Ace and Peter to be in the documentary [‘Biography: KISStory’, which premiered on A&E in June 2021]. They said no. They might do it if they have complete control of the edit. I said, ‘We can’t do that, because even we don’t have that. But I won’t control what you say; you can say whatever you want.’ The answer is no — both of them. I asked Ace and Peter, ‘Come out on tour. We’ll get you your own room and everything. Come out on the encores.’ Ace said, ‘No. The only way I’ll come out is if I’m the Spaceman and you ask Tommy [Thayer, KISS’s current guitarist] to leave.’ I go, ‘Well, that’s not gonna happen.’ First of all, I care about Ace, but he’s not in shape — he can’t play that way and doesn’t have the physical stamina to do that…” 

Simmons continued: “Look, we care about them,” Gene added. “We started this thing together and they were equally important to the beginning of the band with Paul and I — no question. But as time went on… Not everybody is designed to run a marathon. Some people are designed to be in a band for a year or two, or a few years, and then that’s all they can do. And both of them have been in the band three different times. How many chances in life do you get? All I know is when I put my hand in fire the first time, I got burnt; I didn’t get a second or third chance.”

“So, the answer is the door’s always open,” Simmons said. “If they wanna jump on stage at any time and do the encores with us, terrific. But no, we’re not gonna get rid of Tommy or Eric [Singer, current KISS drummer]. In fact, Tommy and Eric are the best things that happened to us. They gave us new life [and] new appreciation for what we do because they were fans first. And every once in a while, Eric or Tommy will turn around and say, ‘Wow! Isn’t this great?’ And it makes us realize, ‘Yeah! Wow! Isn’t this great?'”

Simmons was also asked if he saw recent video footage of Criss, Frehley and former members Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick performing at Creatures Fest in Nashville. “Somebody showed me about 30 seconds, yeah. It was very sad. I felt sad for Peter… When I called to invite Peter to be in the documentary, his health isn’t what it should be. I don’t wanna get too specific because it’s part of his private life. But no, physically, he wouldn’t be able to do it. Neither would Ace.”

B.J. Lisko
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