Rocker Gene Simmons once talked EDDIE VAN HALEN out of joining Kiss by insisting the guitar great would be miserable as Ace Frehley's replacement.

The bass player tells Guitar World magazine that Van Halen came close to leaving his namesake band and joining Kiss in the early 1980s following a series of spats with frontman David Lee Roth.

Simmons recalls, "He was so unhappy about how he and Roth were - or weren't - getting along. He couldn't stand him. And drugs were rampant."

The guitarist invited Simmons out for dinner in New York to sound him out about the possibility of him becoming a member of Kiss, but the Detroit Rock City hitmaker told Van Halen his band wasn't big enough for the both of them - and singer Paul Stanley.

Simmons says, "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."

Instead, Vinnie Vincent, who joined the rock icons for their dinner date, signed on as Kiss' new guitarist.