Lydia Criss: The KissFAQ Interview
By Tim McPhate
Continued from Part 1
KF: Lydia, I have to ask the obligatory "Beth" question. "Beth" is a song that generates much debate among KISS fans. Before its release, "Destroyer" was hovering around the million mark but seemed to have stalled. If "Beth" was never released as a single, what would have happened?
LC: They had already gone gold on "Alive!" I'm not really sure ... but I know Gene and Paul [didn't] want the song on the album. I think it was Bill Aucoin who really pushed for it.
When we were going to Japan, we were at the airport. We had a long wait at Kennedy [International Airport] before we got on the flight. And I looked over to Gene and I was thanking everyone in the band for making it possible for me to go to Japan. And I said to Gene, "I really want to thank you for making it possible for me to go to Japan." And he said, "Don't thank me. Thank 'Beth' -- it made it possible for all of us to go to Japan."
KF: I'm not sure if you're aware but KISS have been playing "Beth" in concert with Eric Singer singing. What do you think of that?
LC: I've seen them do it on YouTube. I think it's kind of strange because he's standing instead of sitting and the guys are playing guitars in the background?
KF: Yes, acoustic guitars.
LC: I'm not that crazy about it. I guess I'm so used to the way Peter sang it.
KF: Of course, Eric Carr recorded it.
LC: Eric Carr did a good job.
KF: So you liked Eric Carr's version?
LC: I was shocked when I first heard it. When I saw him at the Hot In The Shade party, I was talking to one of my girlfriends. He walked by, and I said, "Eric come here." And I asked, "When you sang Beth, did you think of me?" And he said, "Of course, I did!" And I said, "That's a great answer." He was such a sweetheart. And I really did like the way he sang it.
KF: Can you name your favorite song sung by each original KISS member? For Peter, I would hazard a guess it'd be "Beth" or "Hard Luck Woman"?
LC: Yeah, it's "Hard Luck Woman." But I also really like "I Can't Stop The Rain."
KF: That's a great song, written by Sean Delaney.
LC: Yep. As far as Ace, I don't know. My favorite Paul song is one that's on his solo album, I can't think of the name of it, but Richie [Fontana], my boyfriend, played on it. He sang it [during his club tour] and got a standing ovation...
KF: "Tonight You Belong To Me"?
LC: That's it.
And as far as Gene, he has a slow song ... "Mr. Make Believe."
KF: That's on his solo album.
LC: I guess I like the songs from the solo albums (laughs).
KF: Those are all great tunes.
LC: And "New York Groove" is my favorite from Ace.
I also like "100,000 Years."
KF: Do you listen to KISS much at all these days?
LC: Not really. I had a boyfriend in the '90s who was a big KISS fanatic. I probably listened to them at that time. But [now] I don't really listen to KISS songs. Believe or not, [I listen] mostly on YouTube. I have them on my iTunes, I have every single album on my iTunes. I listen to a song once in a while.
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