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Gene Simmons made his name in the world of rock as a founding member of the KISS band, and the group is finally being honored by the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. However, Simmons and another band member are upset that Hip-Hop acts Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy got in before them.

Simmons spoke with last week regarding KISS’ inclusion into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, and he didn’t hold back his disdain that acts outside the rock category have been included. Simmons also lashed out at the inclusion of disco great Donna Summer, a person he considered a close associate.


A long time ago it was diluted. It’s really back room politics, like Boss Tweed. A few people decide what’s in and what’s not. And the masses just scratch their heads. You’ve got Grandmaster Flash in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Run-D.M.C. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? You’re killing me! That doesn’t mean those aren’t good artists. But they don’t play guitar. They sample and they talk. Not even sing!

Simmons, who says that Summer was his neighbor for many years and that he was fond of her questioned the Hall’s induction of the singer. Simmons said that artist such as Summer and Madonna, if asked, probably wouldn’t consider themselves rock. In a final salvo on that point, Simmons added his disdain once more about the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame’s selection process.

“They can run their organization any way they’d like, but it ain’t rock! It just isn’t! If you don’t play guitar and you don’t write your own songs, you don’t belong there,” said Simmons.

Does Simmons have a point here, or is he undercutting Hip-Hop acts in his statement? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Brian To/WENN