Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Book Review – Makeup to Breakup by Peter Criss

Peter Criss - Makeup to BreakupIt’s no mystery that I’m a big KISS fan. I met the band 10 years ago, and I’m going to meet them again on KISS Kruise III in October. But a lot has changed in 10 years. The band has released two new studio albums and Peter Criss is once again no longer KISS’ drummer. Peter was always one of my favorite members of KISS, so I was eager to crack open his autobiography and learn about his wild adventures over the past 40+ years in the music business.

The autobiography started off with Peter Criss holding a gun in his mouth, ready to commit suicide. It was reminiscent of Hulk Hogan’s recent memoir, My Life Outside the Ring. Needless to say, this got my attention and the rest of the book held it up until the chapter about Peter’s religious beliefs, which I skimmed. It was fascinating reading about his career prior to KISS, how he joined the band and his opinion on the others members as the years progressed. Of course, this was a one-sided story, which I kept in mind while reading it.

The other members of KISS have accused Peter of being a whiner and out of control. This comes through in his autobiography. He did a massive amount of drugs, wasted a ton of money and didn’t do a great job of controlling his temper. Reading these stories made me feel bad for the guy. Thankfully, Peter saw the error of his ways and got his act together during KISS’ reunion tour. Unfortunately, all the bad blood he created during the band’s heyday caused Paul and Gene to never trust him again. Peter’s stories about this time period were especially interesting since this is when I became a fan of the band.

Overall, this is a great read for fans of KISS and/or classic rock autobiographies. It’s filled with humorous and heartbreaking stories that kept my rapt attention; and it gave me a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to part of, what I consider to be, the greatest American rock band of all time. Check it out.

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