Paul Stanley Reveals the Nightmare of Kiss’ Farewell Tour
Who’s truly to blame for the personality conflicts that tore apart the classic Kiss lineup? We’ll never really know, but Paul Stanley‘s upcoming memoir definitely paints an unflattering picture of former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Rolling Stone has posted an exclusive excerpt from Stanley’s book, ‘Face The Music: A Life Exposed,’ focusing on the misery he felt during the band’s 2000 ‘Farewell Tour’ — negativity he directs squarely at Frehley and Criss, and their alleged inability during those dates to play up to Kiss’ usual high standards.
Saying he and fellow founding and remaining Kiss member Gene Simmons “spent all of our energy trying to coax Peter and Ace out of their hotel rooms,” Stanley laments, “I was angry at Peter and Ace for being disrespectful toward everything we had accomplished and everything the fans were giving us. I bought into the idea that this really was it. The end of Kiss. There was no place to go. it was unbearable…We were stuck in a rut musically as well — basically playing the same 17 songs we’d taught them for the initial reunion. This was the third tour with the same set list.”
Stanley goes on to accuse Frehley of using Lyme disease as an excuse for skipping rehearsals (and mocks Criss for allegedly responding, “That’s bulls—! He was never bitten by a deer!”), and says the whole thing came to a head before an August 2000 gig in Irvine, which took place after a free week on the band’s calendar. Frehley had spent his time off in New York, and despite a band policy stating members needed to be in town the day before a show if they were taking a commercial cross-country flight to get there, Stanley claims he missed every available flight — forcing the group to use its emergency Plan B.
“We traveled with a Spaceman outfit custom-fitted to (current Kiss guitarist) Tommy [Thayer] — as an insurance policy,” explains the book. “A brand new outfit, boots and all, tailored to Tommy always came along in one of the wardrobe crates. We knew Tommy could do it, but he had never actually done it…Tommy got made up and dressed…Ace walked into the dressing room about 20 minutes before the show was scheduled to start. He looked at Tommy — fully dressed and made up, with his guitar on, ready to go — and just said, ‘Oh, hey Tommy, how you doin’?'”
Although Stanley alleges that Frehley “continued to think and act like he was irreplaceable” following that incident (which ended with a one-hour delay), the writing was on the wall — and the law was eventually laid down by the band’s manager, Doc McGhee, who Stanley says told he and Simmons, “This will not do. These guys are just terrible. I run a management company, not the Red Cross. They don’t send me into destroyed countries to rebuild things. I don’t save people. You have to make changes.”