At Kiss’ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction, This Star Said He Was Bullied for Liking Them

Kiss were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by a rock star who made music very different from Kiss’ classic rock tracks. During his induction speech, this star revealed he was once relentlessly bullied for liking Kiss. Here’s how he reacted to this bullying.

Kiss in leather
Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley of Kiss | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A rock star reveals how he and other Kiss fans were ‘ruthlessly persecuted’

Kiss made music very different from Rage Against the Machine’s. Kiss’ music tends to be about sex, love, and partying, while Rage Against the Machine are one of the most political rock bands of all time. However, Vulture reports Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine inducted Kiss into the Hall of Fame. During his speech, he discusses how critics and some music fans really hated Kiss.

“Growing up, Kiss was my favorite band,” Morello said. “And it was not always easy being a Kiss fan. Just as Kiss were being 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 recall as a 15-year-old telling one bully, ‘You can kiss my Kiss-loving a**!’ Because Kiss was never a critic’s band. Kiss was a people’s band!”

Tom Morello | Erika Goldring/Getty Images

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Tom Morello paid tribute to the ‘fifth member’ of Kiss at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Subsequently, Morello paid tribute to the original members of the band: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss. Each of those musicians was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Then, he acknowledged members of the band who came later and were not inducted into the Hall of Fame. Afterward, he acknowledged a “fifth member of the band.”

“Tonight, we also honor the fifth member of the band, without whom this night would never have happened — tonight we honor the Kiss Army!” Morello said. For context, Kiss’ fans are called 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.”

Tommy Thayer, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Paul Stanley of Kiss with fans in makeup
Tommy Thayer, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Paul Stanley of Kiss with fans | Jim Spellman/WireImage

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Tom Morello once covered one of Kiss’ classic tracks

Interestingly, Morello’s connection to Kiss extends beyond that one night. According to Rolling Stone, he teamed up with Tool’s Maynard James Keenan, Audioslave’s Brad Wilk and Faith No More’s Billy Gould to cover “Calling Dr. Love,” one of Kiss’ most famous tracks, for the compilation album Kiss My A**: Classic Kiss Regrooved. They released their cover under the name Shandi’s Addiction. The compilation reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200. Morello and other Kiss fans were bullied for their taste in music — but the Hall of Fame eventually embraced the band.

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