Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Backstage Pass by Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley has always been my favorite member of KISS. I’ve had the good fortune of doing a cover story interview with him, taking part in a backstage guitar meet and greet with the Starchild a few years back, meeting Paul numerous times during KISS meet and greets backstage, interviewing his son Evan for his first U.S. cover story, and much more. His music, personality, and sense of style are appealing and admirable. I loved his first book, Face The Music, so I was eager to check out Backstage Pass.

Face The Music was special for a variety of reasons, one of which was Paul narrated the audiobook. That made for an exceptional listening experience, as it felt like having a cup of coffee with my favorite rock and roll frontman. Unfortunately, Paul didn’t narrate this time around, which is a real bummer. Also, this book is one-third of the size of his first. Furthermore, it reads like a stream-of-consciousness book, where he meanders from topic to topic without much structure. Don’t go into this expecting a ton of KISS stories – there’s only a few – or solid, actionable advice for how to improve your life. If you do, you’ll be disappointed. I left this book satisfied because it provided me with another glimpse inside the mind of Paul Stanley. While I wish he’d given us with something more raw and emotional, that’s not who he is. Paul has always been polished and professional, and Backstage Pass is just that – a memoir fixated on mortality burnished for our enjoyment.

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