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Face the Music: A Life Exposed Hardcover – April 8, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the biography I've waited for. Chris Lendt's reads like a boring financial report. Gene's, although interesting, just smelled of the self-serving rhetoric we already expected from him. And Ace's and Peter's? Well, we original fans love them, but we've also been lied to by those two who can't even remember their own history. Why would we think their bios would reflect difficult-to-face, introspective honesty?
I know someone who worked with Kiss in their earlier days. Years ago, I asked her what Paul Stanley was like in person. Without hesitating a second, she answered, "Incredibly insecure."
I was shocked. How could Paul Stanley, the living, breathing personification of the perfect rock star be insecure? The sex symbol and desire of countless women? Insecure?
This book goes deep into Paul's fears and insecurities. I have never read an autobiography so unflinchingly honest and self-aware - especially from a rock star. Comparing this book to any of the other Kiss bios is an interesting study of contrasts and group dynamics.
Above all, the book is inspiring. Though my rock star dreams are 20 years behind me, this book serves as inspiration to pursue the realistic dreams in front of me, involving family and friends. His vulnerability and sheer will are excellent testaments and I find him a role model miles ahead of the one I admired through the 70's and 80's.
In much the same way each solo lp back then reflected their musical personalities within the confines of Kiss, each of their literary works also offers a different spin of their lives in Kiss.
Gene was the first to put pen to paper and much like his solo lp was wrought with a self-important, self-absorbed, "me-first" reflections and pontifications.
Ace was the next to drop the pick for the pen and while his solo lp portended and reinforced his guitar skills, his prose rambled from serial memories of how it all began, sprinkled with unrelated -in the scheme of things- stories of debauchery and drug use which to his credit he fully acknowledged, but not his role in how it brought down the band. After reading his book I was reminded of a quote from Twisted Sister's Dee Snider from VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" regarding rock star bios, (paraphrasing)" I know a lot of musicians who were drug addicts and I know they had a hard enough time finding their dicks let alone a pen."
Peter's followed and was the most disturbing of the lot (for a Kiss fan). The accusations and revelations were one part revealing (if correct) and one part victim speak and lashing out. It was hard to ferret out if his book was an axe grind or truly a tearing down of the Kiss façade.
All of this brings us to Paul's book and like his solo lp the most representative of Kiss both sonically and literary.
Since his book was the last to arrive you couldn't blame him if he used the platform to point out the discrepancies of the others, but his prose suggest it was more about his journey and his struggles rather setting anything straight.
If you want to know all the in-depth machinations of the early days you would be better off reading the book "Nothing to Lose." Paul's rather loose chronology allows him to give us the vibe of every lp and tour without bogging us down in the minutiae. I was happy to see the "Unmasked" era finally acknowledged along with nods to Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr's contributions.
Unlike the other's books, Paul takes us through the year-to-year struggle of keeping not only his band alive during the ensuing successes and failures the band faced, but also his personal ups and downs which were intertwined.
While the Ace/Peter vs. Paul/Gene friction is well known to Kiss fans, what was not was the long term resentment (in varying forms) Paul held towards Gene and how Kiss morphed, not out of want, into Paul's band ultimately.
Paul revelations of both his physical and mental struggles to keep his band together makes this book read more like a journal, rather than a collection of groupie and drug stories. Paul's book ends with a series of self-reflections and found realizations that while are his alone can also be an inspiration to others.
This was the Kiss you were waiting for.