Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of KISS

Peter Criss, Author, Larry Sloman, With
Peter Criss, with Larry “Ratso” Sloman. Scribner, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-451-62082-5
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 10/23/2012
Criss, the original drummer of Kiss and the third member of the band to pen a memoir, delivers an entertaining autobiography written with Sloman, who coauthored Scar Tissue, the memoir by Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis. But while bass player Gene Simmons (KISS and Make Up) focused on the sex and lead guitarist Ace Frehley (No Regrets) detailed the drugs, the appealing part of Criss’s account is that he keeps the focus on the rock and roll, which results in the best—and most honest—account of Kiss craziness during the band’s heyday in the 1970s. Criss recounts the various tactics used by Simmons and guitarist Paul Stanley to manipulate him and Frehley to achieve “the power that Gene and Paul always seemed to want to wield”—and which led to Criss’s 1979 departure from the band. But the book’s most interesting section explores Criss’s early life as a street punk turned hardcore jazz fan in the 1960s; this may be the first time the name Thelonious Monk has appeared in a book on Kiss. Agent: Michael Harriot. (Oct.)
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