Gene Simmons Recalls Ace Frehley And Peter Criss Almost Ending KISS

Four years after KISS’ 1996 reunion with the original lineup, the band launched their initial farewell tour in 2000. Although they had been doing well with the return of guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons had to make a decision to end the band when the tensions among the members reached a point where it was no longer bearable. Recently speaking to Page Six, Simmons reflected on the behind-the-scenes of that period.

“We were honest about it. It wasn’t a trickery or anything,” the bassist said, implying that they had indeed intended to end the band with a final tour. “We had the original guys, Ace and Peter, who were not performing up to snuff. It had to do with drugs and alcohol. I don’t want to sugarcoat it.”

So, Frehley and Criss’s drug and alcohol issues caused them to decide to embark on a farewell tour. “We decided, at that point, we should probably end it. I don’t want to be up on stage and do a lackluster show,” said Simmons, sharing that they felt they couldn’t do justice to the audience that came to see them perform. Thus, there was no other option but to end the band.

The musician continued, “And then as we were about to stop, the fans were saying, ‘Why don’t you just replace them, like a football team?’ We thought about it for a while, and we said, ‘Yeah!’ We originally thought we can’t exist without those guys, but you can. You know, a divorce is heartbreaking, but you’ll get over it.”

Two years after that farewell tour ended, KISS returned to the rock scene in 2004 with the new members Tommy Thayer, replacing Frehley and Eric Singer in Criss’ place. The band still keeps the same lineup as they currently perform their final shows in the ongoing End of the Road World Tour. Simmons confirmed that it would definitely be the actual end this time.