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Paul Stanley explains the truth about Eddie Van Halen almost joining KISS

Posted on June 05, 2017
81 out of 100 based on 944 user ratings

KISS vocalist Paul Stanley has set the record straight about a long-standing rumour that Eddie Van Halen almost joined KISS.

It’s common knowledge amongst rock fans that without KISS, Van Halen might not have existed. The famous story goes that KISS’ Gene Simmons saw Van Halen performing an early show, and was so impressed that he produced their first demo, though he didn’t quite manage to get them signed to a record label.

However, a common rumour has persisted claiming that guitarist Eddie Van Halen almost joined KISS during the tumultuous period of the early ’80s.

Around this time, KISS had waved goodbye to founding members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, while Eddie Van Halen was considering disbanding Van Halen due to tensions with David Lee Roth.

As Gene Simmons explained to Rolling Stone back in 2014, the story was true, though he eventually convinced Eddie Van Halen that KISS wouldn’t be the right fit.

“That is true. And he was very serious,” Simmons explained. “He was so unhappy about how he and Roth were — or weren’t — getting along. He couldn’t stand him. And drugs were rampant.”

“And so he took me to lunch, to a diner right across the street from the Record Plant. Vinnie Vincent, who was not yet in KISS, tagged along, too. Sneaky guy. And Eddie said, ‘I want to join KISS. I don’t want to fight anymore with Roth. I’m sick and tired of it.'”

“But I told him, ‘Eddie, there’s not enough room. You need to be in a band where you can direct the music. You’re not going to be happy in KISS.’ I talked him out of it. It didn’t fit.”

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Now, on the recent KISS Kruise, vocalist Paul Stanley addressed this famous story, setting the record straight once and for all.

“Eddie Van Halen did not almost join KISS,” he explained. “Eddie was down in the studio. I think there was some strife within the band at that point, for him, and Eddie came down just to see what was going on.”

“I remember he was really blown away by the solo in ‘Creatures [Of The Night]’. He said, ‘Get that guy.’ That guy who played the solo in ‘Creatures’ was a guy named Steve Farris, who was in a band called Mister Mister, who had a bunch of hits. But the guitar player was great.”

“And at that point, Eddie was getting into keyboards,” Stanley recalled. “And I remember he brought some tapes of some of the songs he was working on.”

“And it was, like, this guy is this unbelievable guitar player. I said, ‘Eddie, what are you doing on keyboards?’ But that was the start of ‘Jump’ and all that other stuff that came afterwards.”

“But Eddie was never going to join KISS and was never almost in KISS.”

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In more recent KISS news, the band have just announced a series of Australian dates as part of their ‘End Of The Road’ tour. Planned as a way for the band to wave goodbye to their legions of fans after 45 years, these are ostensibly the final shows that the band will ever perform.

“This is gonna be our last tour,” said Paul Stanley of these final dates. “It will be the most explosive, biggest show we’ve ever done. People who love us, come see us. If you’ve never seen us, this is the time. This will be the show.”

Check out KISS’ ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You’:

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KISS End Of The Road Australian Tour 2019

Saturday, November 16th
RAC Arena, Perth, WA
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Tuesday, November 19th
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide, SA
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Thursday, November 21st
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Friday, November 22nd
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Saturday, November 23rd
Supercars Newcastle 500, NSW*
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Tuesday, November 26th
QUDOS Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Thursday, November 28th
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD
Tickets: Ticketek & 132 849

Tickets on sale 10am local time, Monday, November 12th

* Supercars Newcastle 500 tickets on sale from 9am, Monday, November 26th
Pre-sale begins November 23rd. Check out the Supercars website for more info.