Reality Check: Reader’s Responses

Editor’s Note: Never in the 13-year history of this column has there been a response to a piece like WHY THE FUCK ISN’T KISS IN THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME? Apparently proving that rock and roll is far more a hot button issue than war, politics, economic crisis or any pressing social issue of our times. Here’s but a small sample:
Amen, brother. Rock Hall is quickly becoming a symbol of PC and mediocrity. When Donna Summer and the Beastie Boys are nominated before Kiss and Rush there is something distasteful and lacking in the nomination process. Ok, so a bunch of hippie stoners didn’t like Kiss or Rush, you cannot deny their deep and undeniable influence on rock n roll. I defy you to find a kid who started drumming between 1975 and 1985 who didn’t want to be Neil Peart.

As for Kiss, gimmie a freaking break. When you have a major motion picture made about your persona rather than your band’s music… my friend, you have crossed over into pop culture. “Kiss Meets The Phantom of The Park” was absolute must see TV when it aired. In my Middle School, it was the talk of the town for a week before and non-stop thereafter. Was it cheesy and hokey looking back on it? Yeah, it was but it was cool, it was different and it wasn’t a bunch of hipsters whining, “Dig my art.”

In the end, the only Rock Hall that matters is the one in your own record collection.


Bill Roberts

Hall of Fame my ass. Hall of Shame is more like it. The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is yet another example of how big business continues to rape rock.

Peter Saveskie

WHAT’S NEXT? Neil Diamond, that’s what’s next. I just vomited typing that. OK enough fooling around. Let’s burn down Cleveland. Seriously. I’ll bring the beer.

Doctor Slater

The hall of fame is irrelevant. We hold Kiss and Alice Cooper dear in our hearts. “We got no class, and we got no principles”…but we got Alice.


AMEN BROTHER!! The ultimate Rock and Roll rebellion would be when they finally do get inducted; they give the “committee” a big “thanks, but FUCK YOU!!

Rob Monte
Monte Entertainment

I hear what you’re saying, but does the fact that KISS absolutely sucks have anything to do with it? Maybe not, because so does Van Halen.

My first concert at age 14 was KISS in Tokyo and quite frankly I was embarrassed to be there.

Elizabeth Vengen esq.

Kiss is Rock without any Roll. Blah.

Paul Moshay

Kiss is not in the hall of fame because Gene Simmons would probably want royalties for having a Kiss exhibit displayed in the R&R Hall of Fame! His greed is probably the biggest deterrent which is keeping the committee from adding them.

I do feel that Kiss DEFINITELY deserves to be there, but if that’s the reason you haven’t visited the R&R Hall of Fame, you’re a fool! Gene Simmons would probably want to be paid just to read one of your articles, or might even try to sue you for writing about him without having paid royalties!

Joe Ventoso

Change the name to “the Pop Hall of Fame” and problem solved.

Otherwise the likes of LL Cool J should not even makes a top 1,000 and groups like The Dead Kennedys would be getting nominated instead.

I’m not a Kiss fan myself, so I find it appropriate that Alice Cooper gets inducted first as the first to make it big with the theatrical hard rock.

I foresee tons of missteps by the time they get around to inducting great metal bands in the year 2079.

Art Franklin

Totally agree with you, Mr. Campion. Alice and his glorious original eponymous band should have been first in. Their early ‘70s albums and singles are totally overlooked and underrated. Hard rockin’ and melodic and catchy too… and brilliant lyrics.

Alice is an American institution. Period. And he’s also just about the nicest and most affable and funny guys in the biz. Everyone says so.

You say KISS have never been nominated… but they were, for the first time last year, 2009. And they didn’t get in (surprise, surprise!!!) … and guess who’s been on their most successful-ever tour in 2009/2010… yep, KISS. And last year they achieved their highest-ever chart placing … #2 on the Billboard Hot 200. As Gene Simmons once said, “The people have spoken!”

The R’N’R Hall Of Fame still suffers from the same snobbery that plagued rock “journalism” in the ‘70s. The bottom line is that writers never trusted bands that entertained audiences and involved themselves in theatrics & multimedia & humor.

Now we’re living in a totally visual & interactive age, it shows just how far-sighted Alice & KISS were.

Former Lee Wormer

It is about time Alice has been nominated. Hell, Kiss got their idea from The Coop figuring that if one Alice is a hit than 5 Alices would be 5 times bigger. They were close. Nobody has merchandised more than Kiss. But Alice started it all. No one runs a stage show like Alice Cooper. While blasting out hit after hit. Long Live Alice!

By the way leave Bob Seger alone. He’s been rocking since the sixties. Bog Seger System, Bob Seger and the Last Herd, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Good Stuff


While for the most part I have to agree with you on most of your points—I take exception with your Seger/Petty comments. Seger was around since the early ‘60s and long before he was singing “We’ve Got Tonight” he had a ton of amazing hard rocking songs. Check out “2+2=?” or “Lucifer” on YouTube. Also hard to deny 55 million albums sold. Why there are artists like Brenda Lee or Nat King Cole in the RRHOF is anyone’s guess while bands like Kiss or Rush are not. The whole thing is a joke—period. That we agree on.


The problem is that you have a different definition of Rock and Roll than the members of the HOF committee do. Yeah, there are obvious omissions from the ballot every year, many of whom you mentioned, but you also mentioned a couple of bands that deserved to be inducted. You may not like every band that’s in there, but if you go through every band that has been inducted, I’m sure you’ll find their detractors, along with an accompanying list of bands they feel are more deserving of the honor. They’re not just honoring artists who play “rock and roll”, but also those who laid the foundation for its creation and development.

And by the way, the very fact that you object to Johnny Cash’s inclusion undermines any and all credibility to your argument. His influence on artists, musicians and songwriters spans many genres of music. The fact is that he didn’t follow trends, but set them, and even into his final days created music on his own terms, by his own rules, and not falling under the spells of the music industry (such as it is today) defines what rock and roll was, and more importantly, what it should be.


Ok… But leave Brenda Lee out this.


James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus, and Midnight For Cinderella.