Friday, December 14, 2012

The memoir of Kiss drummer Peter Criss is endearingly needy and sleazy

by Nathan Rabin/The AV Club

Over the years, I’ve delved deep into the world of Kiss without liking the band or its music. For this column, I’ve written about two books that prominently involve Kiss: C.K. Lendt’s Kiss And Sell, a fascinating tome about the business side of the Kiss empire, and Larry Harris’ And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records, which explored the rise and fall of the iconic label that gave the world Village People, Donna Summer, various disco demigods, and Kiss. Gene Simmons was, and probably always will be the, single most obnoxious interview subject I’ve ever had, and I covered Kiss’ gloriously misguided concept album Music From The Elder for My World Of Flops. Yet, early in the gloriously sordid memoir of former Kiss drummer Peter Criss, Makeup To Breakup, I began to realize that I’ve come to genuinely like these grease-painted knuckleheads. Blame it on Stockholm Syndrome or softening with age, but I have an awful lot of affection for Kiss and the tacky gothic universe the band created.

It feels safe to say that at this point, I like Kiss more than Criss does.

Makeup To Breakup positively vibrates with rage toward Criss’ former bandmates, Kiss’ management, and everything Kiss represents. Criss claims that extensive therapy helped him work through some of his anger toward Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Ace Frehley, the book’s unholy trinity of backstabbing hard-rock Judases, though I suspect that if Criss had written this book before working through his rage, it would have consisted of nothing but elaborate drawings of Simmons, Stanley, and Frehley being brutally murdered with a series of Saw-style torture devices.

Read the rest HERE

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