An estimated 200 Kiss fans, sporting black T-shirts and painted faces, gathered outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Saturday, insisting that the flamboyantly costumed arena rockers be inducted into the hall.
The Kiss devoted — who traveled from as far away as California, The Associated Press reports — assembled bearing signs reading, "Thou Shalt Not Delay the Induction of Kiss," waving Kiss flags and chanting, "We want Kiss." A spokesperson for the museum told the wire service that Saturday's rally marked the first demonstration by fans demanding an artist's induction.
Participants in the half-hour protest said they were upset that Kiss — which formed more than three decades ago — had been consistently snubbed despite that fact the they've been eligible for nearly 10 years, a situation that also plagued both Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols until this year (see "So How Do You Get Into The Rock Hall Of Fame?"). Performers become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first album.
"Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll," according to the guidelines on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Web site. The New York-based Hall of Fame Foundation will congregate next month to nominate potential inductees.
Saturday's demonstration followed years of e-mails, letters and petitions by fans asking the foundation to give Kiss its due. The rally's organizers started planning the protest last year.
"We love it," Hall spokesperson Todd Mesek told Cleveland's The Plain Dealer newspaper. "It shows they're involved and they care. These fans are passionate enough to come to the Mecca and to stand up for their band."
Last year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted artists including Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Miles Davis and Lynyrd Skynyrd in a ceremony which took place March 13 in New York (see "Black Sabbath Finally Make Rock Hall Of Fame — Whether Ozzy Likes It Or Not").