Few bands short of the Beatles inspired more kids to play the guitar and drums than KISS. The entire notion of rock stardom owes an enormous debt to the group's signature makeup, explosive stage shows and anthems including "Rock and Roll All Nite" and "Detroit Rock City." "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 KISS enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," proclaimed Tom Morello, inducting KISS to some of the loudest crowd cheers of the induction ceremony. Morello cited three important considerations for induction: "Impact, influence and awesomeness." In their decades of rock and roll bombast, KISS checked all those boxes, and the sparks continued when the original members of the band took the stage to accept their Hall of Fame awards.
We are humbled that the fans 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 who, 40 years ago, got together and decided to put together the band that you see on stage -- critics be damned.
To Ace Frehley: his iconic guitar playing has been imitated, but never duplicated, by generations of guitar players around the world. To Peter Criss, whose drumming and singing ... Well, there's not a guy out there who beats the sticks who sounds just like Peter. Nobody's got that swing and that style.
Something happened 40 years ago: I met the partner and the brother I never knew I had: Paul Stanley. You couldn't ask for someone 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 St. John, Rest in Peace. Vinnie Vincent, the great Bruce Kulick, and of course, here we are 40 years later with the great Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, and we continue on.
However, we wouldn't be here today without the initial Fantastic Four. God bless you all.
I'd like to thank the Hall of Fame for this honor: I never thought this could happen in my life. Thank you. I'd like to thank everybody that had to do something with my career and the band's career. For 50 years, I've been doing it; 40 years, we've been doing it.
I got my first lesson from my best friend, Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls. And boy, that's what started it all off.
I want to say that, even out of makeup, I'll always be the Catman. God bless each and every one of you -- I will remember this the rest of my life. Thank you so much.
When I was 13 years old, I picked up my first guitar, and I always sensed that I was going to be in for something big. Little did I know, a few years later, there it was. I experienced the Summer of Love. That was before I met these clowns. Several years later, we got together -- you know the story, it's all KISS-tory. If I named everyone who helped us through our career, I'd be here for another half an hour. It's great to be here. Life's been good to me. Hopefully, I've got 10 or 20 more years to go. Thank you very much.
For us, this is a special night, but it's really a special night for all of our fans -- this is vindication. We couldn't have done this without you.
To Peter, Ace, Gene -- we are the original four, so we could not have done this if we didn't start this together. Everything we've done is built on the past. We've got a great, great legacy.
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; Jimi Hendrix; Sly and 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 40 years.
So, I look out here and I see all these people. I see faces that over the years inspired me. People who made me what I am. So I am here tonight because of the people who inspired me, but I'm also here because of the people I inspired. So God bless you all. It's been a wonderful night.
This blog post is part of a series produced by Huffington Post and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum celebrating the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the new Inductee exhibit opening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 31, 2014. Tune in to HBO on Saturday, May 31, 2014 to watch the 2014 Induction Ceremony.