Longtime KISS manager Doc McGhee has long expressed confidence that the band's original lineup will reunite at some point on the 'End of the Road' tour — perhaps for the band's final concert — but now he's not so sure.
In a recent conversation with VW Music, McGhee was asked if there's any chance that the original Kiss lineup of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would take another bow together.
"Honestly, I don’t know. You can invite them, but they may not come. They may come, they may not come, and we might not invite them," McGhee said. "We’ve talked to them, and we’ve talked about it. Well, we don’t talk to Peter, but we do talk to Ace. We haven’t talked to Peter in a long time. But you know something? They were part of it, they aided in starting this band, and they should be part of the end of this. They started this, so in some way, they should be able to share that spotlight on the way out. Now, regardless of if it happens or not, you’re not going to get six guys up there in makeup. That’s not going to happen."
Continuing Kiss cofounders Simmons and Stanley have maintained since the 'End of the Road' tour launched that they envisioned the tour as a celebration of the band's history. They've repeated that Frehley, Criss and other former band members are welcome to join them in guest spots.
Frehley has lobbied the band repeatedly in recent years to bring him back, but has refused to share a stage with current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer or perform again with Kiss as anything less than a full member.
Criss came out of retirement last month to perform again with Frehley, but has not publicly addressed the Kiss reunion chatter. He's believed to be a long-shot for a reunion due to lingering bad blood between him and Stanley, among other factors.
Things might change once Kiss sets a date for its final concert. The band is continuing to make its final rounds and, after losing two years due to the pandemic, has been understandably noncommittal about when the last show will be.