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November 12, 2021 22 mins

“Impact, influence, and awesomeness” – according to Tom Morello, these are the reasons KISS earned their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. With heavy emotion and impeccable precision, he delivers a bombastic tribute perfect for the band he calls the “fearsome foursome." 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M h Welcome to Induction Vault, a production of I
Heart Radio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
m hmm, Impact, influence, and awesomeness. According to Tom Morello,

these are the reasons Kiss earned their induction into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in two thousand fourteen.
In his lively and impassioned speech, Tom proves that he
is perhaps rock and Roll's greatest orator, delivering one of
the most memorable Hall of Fame induction speeches of all time.
With heavy emotion and impeccable precision, he delivers a bombastic

tribute perfect for the band he calls fears some four
or some. As a lifelong fan, Tom speaks for the
misunderstood Kiss fans out there, eloquently, making the case for
his favorite band getting their long overdue induction. As the
four original members of Kiss graciously accept their awards, Paul
Stanley concludes with a moving speech about the spirit of

rock and roll, emphasizing how it's the fans who make
it all possible. Good evening. I'm Tom Morella. They are

four of the most recognizable faces on the planet and
one of the most iconic and badass bands of all time.
Tonight is the night that Chiss enters the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame. Growing up, Kiss was my favorite band,

and it was not always easy being a Kiss fan.
Just as Kiss were relentlessly persecuted by critics, their fans
were relentlessly persecuted by the self appointed arbiters of taste.
In middle schools and high schools across America, arguments and
even fist fights were not uncommon. I recalls a fifteen
year old telling one bully, you can kiss my Kiss

loving ass. Because Kiss was never a critics band. Kiss
was a people's band. And so I waited in a
long line on a bitter cold Chicago morning to buy
a ticket for my first concert, a Kiss concert. I
was especially thrilled because imprinted on the ticket were words

that hinted that it was going to be a special event.
The ticket said a partial view of Kiss. I was
certain this meant the band We're going to reveal some
new secret corner of their artistic souls. In reality, it
meant that my seat is behind a poem. Still, that
concert was the most exciting, cathartic, loudest, and most thrilling

two hours of live music I've seen to this day,
and while there is often debates about who should and
shouldn't be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
I think the criteria are actually quite simple. Impact, influence,
and awesomeness, and kiss have all three in spades. Impact.

Kiss have sold over a hundred million albums worldwide. They
have twenty eight gold twenty eight gold albums in the
United States alone. That's more than any other American rock
band in history. Their theatrics, their theatrics were indisputably groundbreaking,
but it was Kisses music that had an impact on me.

All four guys wrote great songs. All four guys were
great lead singers. They practically, that's correct. They practically invented
the live of them with Kiss Alive. Then came Destroyer
Rock and Roll, over Love, Gun Alive to Dynasty, all
exploding with killery riffs, anthemic choruses, and screaming solos that

for forty years have been filling arenas and stadiums around
the world. Influence, simply put, Kisses the band that made
me and millions of others love rock and roll. What
Elvis and the That's and apparently a few people in
the room tonight, what what Elvis and the Beatles were

to previous generations, Kiss were to us. They propelled millions
of young people to pick up instruments. Their influence is everywhere,
from Metallica to Lady Gaga. Kiss have inspired thousands of
artists of diverse genres, some of whom maybe on a
Hall of Fame trajectory themselves. They've been a formative influence
on members of Tool Pearl, jam Alison, Chains, Slip Knot,

Garth Brooks, Pantera, Foo Fighters, Motley Crue, Lenny Kravitt, White Zombie,
Sound Garden, Nine Inch Nails, and Rage Against the Machine.
To name just a fear okay, okay, impact check, influence check,
and the final criteria, awesomeness. There's a simple test for that.

What if you had never seen or heard Kissed before.
What if you've never heard a note of their music,
never viewed a YouTube clip, never seen a reality show
featuring any of the members, And what if you wandered
into a divy club in your hometown and saw Kiss
in all their glory, thrashing the place to the ground,
one guy belching fire and spraying blood past his gargantuan tongue,

a drum rise or bursting through the roof, a guitar
player so incredible his axe billowed smoke and shot rockets.
A front man flying back and forth across the joint
like a superhero Tarzan. All of them in frightening horror
movie comic books, superstar sexifying kaboo key makeup, all of
them in black and silver warrior bondage gear, in seven

inch platform heels, the place blowing up with explosions, screeching
with sirens, braining comfetti, all to the pounding soundtrack of
bare knuckle, Badass, heavy duty, liberating rock and roll. What
would you say if you saw that? You'd say that
band's fucking awesome and deserve to be in the rock
and roll Hall of Fame. That's what you'd think. Eric Carr,

Vinny Vincent, Mark st John, Bruce Culick, Eric Singer and
Tommy Thair have all been important and extending and expanding
Kisses impressive legacy, and they deserve a round of applaud

But tonight we honor the fearsome forsome, the four original
founding members of Kiss. The demon Gene Simmons, He's the
god of Thunder, He's dr Love, He's beatles like based
on the bottom, and a bat lizard Bella Lagosia on
the top. The star Child Paul Stanley, the heart throb

ringmaster of Kisses Psycho Circus. His vision, talent and dedication
over four decades have made Kiss the bandit is today.
The Spaceman Ace Freelan m M my first guitar hero.
He designed the band's iconic logo and blazed unforgettable, timeless

licks across their greatest records, and the Cat Peter Cris
Jungle Rhythms, jazz Phills, and the writer and singer of
the band's biggest hit, the world's first power ballad, bet
But Tonight Tonight, we also honor the fifth member of

the band, without whom this night could never have happened. Tonight,
we are honored the Kiss Army, generations of fiercely loyal
fans who are celebrating this long overdue induction all over
the planet. Tonight. Tonight proves beyond any shadow of a

doubt that the high school bullies and the critics were mistaken.
We Kiss fans were right, So let's celebrate. I misspoke
earlier when I said that tonight Kiss enters the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame. That's almost right, because tonight
it's not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tonight

it's the rock and Roll all night and already everyday
Hall of Fame. And so wouldut further Ado Jean Simmons,
Paul Stanley, Ace Freeley, Peter Chris. You wanted the best,
and you got the best, the hottest band in the
world after the great we'll hear from Ace, Jeen, Peter,

and Paul on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Induction ball. Let me hear you Tom, Tom MORRELLO. I'm

Tom MORRELLO. We are humbled, all of us who stand
up on this stage and do what we love doing.
This is a profound moment for all all of us.
We are humbled that the fans ever gave us the
chance to do what we love doing. And so I'm
here just to say a few kind words about the

four knuckleheads forty years ago who got together and decided
to put together the band we never saw on stage
critics be damned. To Ace Frehley, whose iconic guitar playing

has been imitated but never equalled by generations of guitar
players around the world. To Peter Chris who's drumming, who's
drumming and singing? Well, there's not a guy out who
beats the sticks who sounds just like Peter. Nobody's got

that swinging. That's stal something happened. Forty years ago. I
met the partner and the brother. I never knew I
had Paul Stanley. You couldn't ask for somebody. You couldn't
ask for somebody more awesome to be on the same team.

I am humbled. I was going to say a few
kind words about Eric Carr Rest in peace, Mark, Saint John,
rest in peace, Vinny Vincent, the great Bruce Culick, And
of course here we are forty years later with the

great Eric Singer and Tommy. There we continue on. However
nothing and I do too. We wouldn't be here today
without the original Fantastic Four. God bless you all. May
I introduce the power of an attractive Peter Chris mm hmm.

It's very heavy. I want to say, it's great to
be home in Brooklyn. This is my home. So I
have to add that I like to thank the Hall
of Fame for this honor. I never thought this could

happen in my life. Thank you. I like to thank
everybody that had something to do with my career, in
the band's career, in the fifty years i've been doing it,
the forty years we've been doing it, Um Jesus, from
the grips to the truck drivers, to the great producers,
to the great managers, to the great people that just
were all there for us through all the years of

the hard times and good times. God bless you and
thank you so much. There's so many names. I'd be
here all right, Uh. I want a deaf ly thank
our first manager, Bill A Coin. Uh. But we would
not be here if not for Bill and Sean Delaney,
the great Joyce Bogart and the great Neal Bogart, who

would Cassablanca records? Who I Those are the great days,
and I thank them all. Uh. I like to congratulate
the band, of course Mr Stanley, Mr Simmons, and one
and only Spaceman is fairly. I'd like to also congratulate
the other inductees, how legendary they are. I'm a big
fan of all of them. I recently seen uh Darryl

Holt show and I fell in love with the show man,
so uh all I to also say, I am now
seven years male breast cancer free and uh, thank you,
and I'm very proud of that. I have organizations here,
my Beauty Ball girls in my Cancer Supports Center, and

my doctor Alex Switzer who saved my life from Presbyterian.
Thank you so much. Uh, I would not be here.
I like to thank my family, my sister Donna, Donna
who I know is out there, all my friends who
have come, and god, there's so many of them. I kid,
I'd be here all night again, Celia. I'd like to
thank my lovely wife g G who makes my life

really really good and a lot easy. And let me
tell you, walking through life with her is a blessing.
I love you, baby, I love you to death. Uh.
I'm pretty much down. My idol was Jane Cooper. It's
why I wanted to play drums. I got my first
lesson from my best friend Jerry Nolan of the New
York Dolls. Uh, and boy was at that just started

it all off. Uh. I want to say that in
around of makeup, I'll always be the cat man, so
it really doesn't matter. I want to also say, uh,
you gotta to give to live. It's really important. And
remember early detection will save your life and God bless
each and every one of you. I will remember this

to the rest of my life. Thank you so much.
M Yeah, yes, oh, I have a speech ship, but

these are on prescription so I can't read. Uh. It's
so great to be here with all these other celebrities
and great musicians, you know. And uh, okay, I want
to thank Paul, Gene and Peter. Thank you so much,

Tom for that beautiful introduction. I want to thank the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for inducting us. Thank
you very much. And uh, here I am. You know,
when I was thirteen years old and I picked up
my first guitar, I always sensed that I was going
to be in for something big, and little did I
know a few years later, there it was. I experienced

the summer of love. Okay, all right, that was before
I met these clowns. And uh, several years later we
got together and you know the story. It's all history. Um.

A few quick names. Bill o' coyne, Joyce, Firewits who
used to manage us in conjunction with Bill and end
up marrying Neil Bogart. We wouldn't be here without Neil
Bogart and Casablanca Records, everyone at Casablanca Records, everyone at
a t I, Jeff and Wally, people at the press office.

Can I read it? Maybe I can, Carol and Al
ross Um, Karl Kay, just to name a few that
if I named everybody that helped us through our career,
I'd be here for another half an hour. So it's
great to be here. I wanted to touch on the

fact that, you know, I've been sobering out seven and
a half years, thank God. And we still need to
educate the people in this country about sobriety because some
people think that it has to do with willpower, but
you know, unfortunately most addicts are born that way, and uh,

people need to be educated about that. You know. My
sponsor used to he had a good he had a
good saying, you know, to try to explain what it's
like to be an attic. You know, when people say
use willpower, he'd say, try using willpower when you have diarrhea.
You know, So only by the grace of God, I'm here.
I want to thank my first wife, Jeanette, my daughter,

my current fiance Rachel Gordon. Uh, life's been good to me,
you know, hopefully I got out of the tenants, one
of years to go. Thank you very much. I can
make this short. I can make this short and sweet

because everybody said everything and been much funnier than I'll
ever be. So I gotta thank tom who's championed us
shamelessly and unapologetically. It took a lot of balls and
God bless you m HM for us. This is a

special night, but it's really a special night for our fans.
This has ndication. We couldn't have done this without you, Peter,
Ace Jean. We are the original Foursome. We couldn't have
done this and we not started it together. Everything we've

done is built on the past. We've got a great,
great legacy. We've got Bruce here, We've got Tommy, We've
got Eric h. When I first started listening to music,
I was lucky. I saw a lot of people I

loved when I was a kid. I saw Solomon Burke,
I saw Otis Redding. I got to see the Yardbirds,
I got to see led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix, sly In
the family Stone. The list goes on and on. What
I loved about all these musicians is that they had
the spirit of rock and roll. I believe that the
spirit of rock and roll means you follow your own path,

regardless of critics and regardless of your peers. I think
we've done that for forty years. Here we are tonight
basically inducted for the same things that we were kept
out for. The people, I believe are speaking to the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and what they're saying

is they want more. They deserve more. They want to
be a part of the induction. They want to be
a part of the nomination. They don't want to be
spoon fed by a handful of people choices. The people
paid for tickets, the people by albums, the people who

nominate do not. Let's not forget that these are the
people who make it all possible. We just benefit from it.

So I look out here and I see all these people.
I see faces that over the years inspired me, people
that made me what I am. So I am here
tonight because of the people who inspired me. And I'm
also here because of the people I inspired. So God
bless you all. It's a wonderful night. Thanks for joining

us on this week's episode of Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame Induction Vault. For more on your favorite inductees.
To shop inductee merch or to plan your trip to
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, visit rock Hall
dot com plus Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction
Special on demand on HBO Max. Our executive producers are
Noel Brown, Shelby Morrison, and Esa Gurkey. Supervising producer is

Taylor Shakogne. Research and archival assistants from Isabelle Keeper and
Shannon herb Us Again for joining us on this week's
episode of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault.
Induction VALL is a production of I Heart Radio in
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ye. For more

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