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KISS Inducted Into Hall Of Fame—Is Jann Wenner In A Coma?

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 19, 2013 7:20PM

Photo credit: Peter Cade, Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Can someone give Jann Wenner a well-being check because we're not exactly sure how he let his guard down long enough to allow KISS to be inducted into his mausoleum to the spirit of Woodstock aka the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The announcement came from up high this week that KISS is part of the class of 2014 inductees—along with Nirvana, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Peter Gabriel, Beatles producer Brian Epstein, The E Street Band and Andrew Loog Oldham, the legendary producer and manager of the Rolling Stones' early career. But for KISS to actually make it past the gate keepers at the Hall was kind of surprising, given Wenner's apparent distaste for anything that sniffs of hard rock or heavy metal.

KISS has been eligible for induction since 1999 but for some reason this is the first year the band was even nominated but has only been nominated—and not inducted—once before, in 2009. Whether you love them or hate them, when you look at the criteria for induction it's hard to say that KISS doesn't meet the requirements laid out by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

How many bands have been influenced by KISS, either musically or in terms of putting together a killer live show? We're not even going to try to count. The significance of KISS's contributions to rock and roll certainly can be debated. Let's face it, KISS is a cheap thrills act. However, people love cheap thrills and if cheap thrills have no place in popular music then maybe we should scrap it as a whole and try to start all over.

The band's worldwide fan base certainly cannot be denied, either. The fans came out in droves to cast their votes in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's fan ballot. KISS ran away and hid with the competition collecting 239,417 votes or 17.22 percent. That topped second-place finisher, Nirvana, by 21,262 votes. That's right, KISS topped Nirvana in the fan polling.

However, all those votes KISS collected amounted to just a single ballot when it came to the official ballot count for induction. Each of the top five finishers in the fan vote gets one ballot toward induction, while more than 700 artists, music historians and industry insiders each cast a ballot. This just shows the contempt the taste-setters at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have for actual fans of rock music.

What do the fans know about rock? Why should their votes carry any significant weight? Do they think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is for them?

It really is disgusting if you think about it.

Whether we need a hall of fame to commemorate the accomplishments of rock musicians is another debate altogether, as well as what it means for an artist to be inducted. But for crying out loud, if we must have one then KISS damn well should be a part of it.