Why Paul Stanley Didn’t Hire Slash For KISS

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KISS gained significant recognition in the mid-’70s with its unique style, which made them distinctive from other bands. Their comic book-inspired personas and thrilling stage performances, including smoking guitars and fire breathing, opened a new gate in the rock scene. Each member has made lasting contributions to the band and the music scene by reflecting their creativity.

Ace Frehley shaped the band’s style, especially with his guitar solos throughout his tenure. He extended KISS’ music with his techniques, inspired by successful guitarists like Jimi Hendrix. However, the guitarist made his initial departure from the band in 1982 following the album titled ‘Creatures of the Night.’ While the band was looking for a new guitarist, Paul Stanley talked to Slash, but they could not end up hiring him.

Slash Couldn’t Join KISS Due To Legal Issues

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In the ’80s, Slash formed a garage band Road Crew with his childhood friend Steven Adler. After Duff McKagan’s participation, they started to look for a singer. However, they could not find someone and ended the band. During this period, Paul Stanley called Slash and discussed his possibility of joining KISS as the guitarist replacing Ace Frehley.

In a previous interview with VWMusic, Slash’s childhood friend and Guns N’ Roses historian Marc Canter revealed that Stanley interviewed Slash without knowing anything about him, except he was a kid. Canter stated that Slash was recommended to Stanley by the owner of the guitarist’s workplace, who realized his talent.

Marc Canter said the following about Paul Stanley’s calling Slash:

“Slash barely remembered this. I saw him a couple of weeks ago, and first, he said he didn’t remember, then he said, ‘You know, I vaguely do remember that.’ Paul Stanley called Slash when he was 17 and interviewed him to join KISS when Ace Frehley left. But Paul doesn’t even know this because all Paul knows is that he called some kid; he had no idea the kid was Saul Hudson.

And how did he get that number? Because Slash was working at a Hollywood music store, and the owner saw that in between no customers, Slash would plug into something and noodle around. So, the owner saw that Slash was extraordinary, and when he found out that KISS was looking for a guitar player, he recommended Slash.”

Canter pointed out that the band could face some legal issues because Slash was 17 years old when Stanley talked to him. As he mentioned, some bands got away with underage musicians, but it was a hard decision for a worldwide-known band like KISS. The GN’R historian noted that the band did not invite Slash to an audition and their conversation with him was only a phone call. According to him, Guns N’ Roses might not have been established if Slash had joined the band.

Then, Canter continued:

“So, Paul Stanley called him, but Paul knew he was only 17, and that could be a problem legally. I’m not saying there aren’t musicians that are underage. There are, but touring with KISS can be a liability. You don’t know what could happen with a 17-year-old kid. So, Slash made it through the phone interview, but they never took a look at him. They never had him come down, learn a few songs, and see what he had.

Had they done that, Slash would have probably been in Kiss, and Guns N’ Roses may have never happened. That’s the joke of it. So, it worked out. Paul Stanley was asking, ‘Would you be able to tour? Are your parents cool with that? Could you record?’ He was asking him the right questions, but he just never got to the next level, and Vinnie Vincent was hired, and that was the end of that.”

As GN’R historian Marc Canter opened up in the interview, Paul Stanley had concerns about Slash’s participation because he was underage. If he was of full age, he might have continued his career as the guitarist of KISS. On the other hand, there wouldn’t be a Guns N’ Roses with Slash in that case. As a result, Slash’s not becoming a KISS member yielded both GN’R to find its place in the rock scene and KISS to continue with Vinnie Vincent.