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Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss Hardcover – October 23, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 474 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“[A]n entertaining autobiography….[Criss] 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.” (Publishers Weekly)

"A must read for all past andpresent KISS fans and fans of no-holds-barred rock ‘n’ roll tell-alls.” (Library Journal)

“KISS fans will love every word.” (Rolling Stone)

“Makeup To Breakup” is the best KISS book to come from a band member and much of that is due to the emotional undercurrent omnipresent in Peter’s story. You feel his excitement, you feel his pain and it’s so easy to read it’s almost cinematic….As it stands, it’s easily a four star effort. Well done, Catman. (legendaryrockstarinterviews.com)

About the Author

Peter Criss co-founded KISS in 1973 along with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Ace Frehley. He left the band in 1979, embarking on a solo career. In 1995, he reunited with KISS, resulting in a phenomenally successful world tour before he left the band again in 2004. Criss appeared in the HBO series Oz in 2002, and he continues to write and record music. His most recent solo album, 2007’s One for All, reached #36 on the Billboard Top Independent Album list. Larry “Ratso” Sloman is best known as Howard Stern’s collaborator on what were then the two fastest selling books in publishing history, Private Parts and Miss America. Sloman’s recent collaborations include Mysterious Stranger, with magician David Blaine, and Scar Tissue, the memoir of Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis—both books were New York Times bestsellers.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Printing edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451620829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451620825
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Want to know how much Peter was being paid per show on the Reunion Tour? Want to know about Ace's big lie to Peter that permanently damaged their friendship? Or maybe you want to play a game and count how many times Peter mentions "Gene" and "herpes" in the same sentence throughout the book. Surprisingly, this is a pretty raw and honest account of Peter's life and career, and is definitely the best KISS bio to date. Peter spares no one, including himself. If you're a long-time KISS fan, you'll find that the venom he has for Paul and Gene runs pretty deep, but you can also definitely see why they referred to Peter as the "complainer." But Peter also holds himself over the fire - you learn how he blew through all of his KISS money (then AND now), destroyed his marriages, got lost in drug and alcohol abuse in and out of KISS, was suicidal many times, etc. And even post-KISS, you learn how much the failure of his solo album a few years ago almost did him in.

Peter really sticks it to Gene, Paul, Doc McGee, Tommy, Ace, his ex-wives, etc., but he backs it up with interesting, never-before-heard (for the most part) stories. As a longtime fan, I often found myself reading passages and thinking, "I can't believe he put that in print." The only people that really seem to be spared are Gigi (and you learn that that relationship hasn't always been smooth sailing either), Chris Lendt (I don't think I've ever read a bad word about Lendt from anyone), his daughter and a few close friends and family. And it was interesting to read how Peter's own parents got pissed at him about his marriage to Deb, how he treated them at times, etc.

The one thing you'll appreciate about this book is its honesty.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let's face it, we all edit our own pasts in one way or another. We might believe we're being utterly truthful, we might even work very hard to "tell it like it was." But memories are selective critters. Spend a single afternoon listening to "eye witness" testimony at a trial and you will immediately see that even after a relatively short time each person's account of what happened will be unique and different. Many years ago I saw a tv movie (maybe a pilot for a show called, "The Rookies?) that showed the classroom and field training at a police academy. During one lecture, a man burst through the classroom door, fired several shots at the teacher, and then ran out. As the cadets jumped up to react, the professor popped up from behind his desk and told everyone to relax. It had all been pre-planned and staged. He then started asking questions about what color shirt the man had on, what color hair he had, how much he weighed, etc. No two police cadets gave the same description although the event had occured just moments before. Is Peter Criss telling the truth in this book? Yes, as far as he knows. But there are so many inconsistencies and just plain impossibilities as it all unfolds that it quickly becomes clear that some things are jaded, others are amalgams of several events blended together, and so forth. That isn't meant to imply dishonesty or duplicity on Peter's part. As I said, each and every one of us edits his or her own past to some extent. It's human nature. So what we have here is the most honest accounting according to Peter Criss, eyewitness to the (pardon the pun) lion's share of the life of the band Kiss. I was a witness to a very small part of it... a view from the cheaps, if you will.

I first saw the band at their very first concert outside of the NY/NJ metro area.
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Let me start by saying that I was a huge Kiss and Peter Criss fan as a kid in the seventies. And my loyalty always was to Peter above the other three band members - although I liked them all. I am not a Kiss fanatic today nor have I been a member of the Kiss Army since I was ten. lol So when I saw this book, at first I was skeptical, thinking it may be a money grab for Peter. But after debating, I went ahead and bought the Kindle version and dove in. To my surprise, this is actually a good book that fills in some of the holes surrounding facts that have been out there for years. I started in chapter one about Peter's upbringing, but quickly skipped to chapter 4 that begins to narrate the Kiss years. It is enlightening to hear how much input and influence that Bill Aucoin, his partner Sean, and Neil Bogart had in shaping the band leading to its success. A lot of the ideas that have been attributed to the members of the band really came from outside sources as you'll see as you read through. Sadly, Peter is his own worst enemy and he clearly has some undealt with anger towards the other band members. And most of his bad luck is his own doing. He comes across as honest and sincere, yet entitled and ungrateful so it is really hard to feel sorry for him - particularly due to his malicious statements towards just about everybody but his current wife and his daughter. If you are on the fence concerning this book, it is well organized and worth a read for sure. I found the book hard to put down as I knew little of his life after Kiss. It has a happy ending as he seems to have a good relationship with his current wife and is a cancer survivor. I always wondered exactly why he left and this book certainly answers that question.
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