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Customer Review

43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cat tale told by none other than "The Brooklyn Moaner" himself..., November 4, 2012
This review is from: Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss (Kindle Edition)
Just finished reading the book and I have to say Peter is one tortured soul. The book, sad to say, is rather dogmatically laced with a "woe is me" victim mentality throughout. To be fair, Peter is equally disparaging with himself at times, but the vitriol and venom he throws towards his ex-bandmates, ex-wives and business partners is appalling and embarrassing at times because it comes off like a 9 year old emotional child. I mean, you'd think for a guy who is 66 years old - who has been through cancer, two divorces, near suicide, a second chance at fame and fortune would be a changed man for the better. But no, Peter is the victim of bad fortune time and again. It's everyone else's fault he chose to take drugs, cheat on both wives or pay little attention - much less understand how to manage his music career or personal finances. He's down right delusional half of the time! LOL He does say that he's grateful for everything he's got in life, but then turns right around and starts with the tortured "poor me" routine again and again. It does get rather tiresome after 300+ pages.

In a nutshell, I think "Beth" is both the single greatest and worst thing to happen to Peter Criss. On the one hand, the song became a huge hit for Kiss, while on the other hand, that same success gave Peter a false sense of reality of himself and his abilities; one that he got swallowed up in. In the end, that destroyed him personally, spiritually and financially. One things for certain, his ex-wives and bandmates are certainly going to hate him after reading this book. At a boy Petey! When you burn the bridge, man, you burn it all the way down to the pulp! LOL

Don't get me wrong here, I am a fan of the original KISS, and when it all comes down to it, I DO think each of the original four members brought something very unique to the table. I mean, there was definitely a time when Peter could actually play his instrument well. Kiss Alive! is a perfect example of Peter at his best, before fame, drugs and womanizing and crashing cars took over!

If I could ask Peter anything after reading his book, it would be...
Well man, how 'bout it? Is it everyone else's fault you screwed up your life? Or is it your own inablility to face reality and take responsibility for your poor choices?

A decent read, but I could've done without some of the very personal stories regarding his ex-wives and their performances in the bedroom! TOO MUCH INFO at times! lol I applaud PETER for his honesty, but damn, he opened his entire brain for the world to pick apart here! He made need a frontal labotomy after this is all finished. LOL
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012, 5:09:56 AM PST
"In a nutshell, I think "Beth" is both the single greatest and worst thing to happen to Peter Criss."

I think you are absolutely correct. Peter Criss really should be a guy who works in a tire shop and plays weddings on weekends with his buddies. Instead he hooked up with a couple of somewhat talented egomaniacal sociopaths and a couple of world class promoters and became one of the most famous people on earth for a time.

Like many of you, I grew up thinking these guys were awesome. If you had told me when I was 10 what they were really like based on this book, I would have cried and called you a liar. I think they are a washed up Vegas act these days, but they were a huge part of growing up in the late seventies. Peter Criss was instrumental to the band as a kid, because when people accused them of being Satanists you could point to him and say, "What?! Look at that guy. He has crosses all over him."

Peter Criss never really understood a few things (IMHO):
- The people who liked "Beth" by-and-large didn't like KISS. They were Billy Joel fans and parents. When I bought the 8-track of Destroyer, I told my mom it was the band that did "Beth" and she had me put in on in the kitchen. That lasted about a minute into Detroit Rock City. Although she did come to appreciate "Do You Love Me".
- Girls in grade school liked Peter Criss because "he looked like a kitty". Guys liked him because drums are cool. Mostly we suffered through his songs on albums. (Most kids liked Ace or Gene. No one liked Paul best. When someone did, we said, "You're crazy. He looks and acts like a woman.")
- For hundreds of thousands of kids, Criss's solo album was like opening a Christmas present and finding a dead puppy inside. I feel I had pretty broad musical tastes as a kid. In fact, I liked some doo-wop and Sinatra. But even I couldn't swallow this album. Gene's was challenging. This was impossible. If you want to see a truly sad display, find a video of KISS in their ridiculous Dynasty outfits singing "Tossing and Turning". Even as a 12 year old at the show in Cleveland, that one had me asking my Dad to go to the restroom.

For about one year after he left the band, I honestly think he could have hooked up with a producer and a songwriter and had a top 40 album. He had money, he had contacts, he was still famous, he had a couple of hit singles he sang with KISS under his belt (between "Beth" and "Hard Luck Woman", a lot of non-Kiss fans knew the guy's voice) and he was the first one out of the gate with no makeup. Maybe he really was sabotaged. I have no idea. But I've heard his post-KISS solo albums and they did not exactly blow my mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 3:31:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012, 3:32:44 AM PST
Great addition to the review. I loved the book and Peter's indeed very honest and (too) open about his life. Although all his solo albums have been failures he seems to be thinking that had many reasons except for the fact that people just don't need his albums... I loved his Kiss solo album, Out of control and let me rock you were nice nostalgia albums to have in my collection and Cat #1 really stands out in a positive way for me. His latest, 'All for one' was made with lots of love and passion but I guess the Kiss fans are no longer his audience... This book however does deserve to be a 'best seller' and probably will sell better than all his solo albums combined. I still -and always will- love the Catman !

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012, 8:34:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012, 8:35:08 AM PST
EcHo10 says:
"Peter Criss really should be a guy who works in a tire shop and plays weddings on weekends with his buddies"

You quote is most excellent and so true! LOL

Regarding Peter and his so-called solo career....

Peter might have been able to do something semi-successful post Kiss, IF he had a great production team and songwriters behind him. IMO though, Peter was, and still is, delusional about his song-writing abilities. He blatantly skipped over that fact in his book, nor did he address the fact that his solo album sold the worst out of the four in 1978. He continues to believe that his (post Kiss) solo albums, Out of Control & Let Me Rock You were sandbagged due to all of the band/record company politics involved. There may have been some politics involved in the lack of promotion and visibility, but nonetheless, the main reason why they failed is because they were downright terrible, then and now.

It was all over for Kiss after Love Gun. The solo albums, the movie, the over-exposure, the egos. It ruined the band and they've never been the same band since 1977.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012, 6:08:55 AM PST
abbatude says:
Excellent post - couldn't agree more!! Peter is likable because Gene and Paul are so hatable but the guy's delusion comes through on every page. By far the least talented member of KISS ever. He's a wedding drummer at best who hit the lottery (twice!). That's about it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012, 7:09:54 PM PST
Wow thanks for turning me onto Tossin and Turnin. Love it. Peter has a great voice.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2013, 2:37:22 AM PST
R. Boswell says:
I agree with you 100 percent! Criss is whiny little crybaby! I mean c'mon, you earned (and lost) $12 million dollars? Give me a freaking break! "poor me, poor me", I liked the book overall, but please give me a break on the constant bitching & moaning. I like Ace Frehley's much better,it was amusing! Oh well....

Posted on Jan 12, 2013, 1:06:57 PM PST
Bruce Barker says:
I purchased and read the book before coming and checking out the reviews. Why? I had to. I'm going to pen my own review explaining why (please look for it and give it a read) but I HAD to comment on your review.
Man, you hit the nail right on the head. Upon reading your review (and clicking the "yes" the review was helpful button) I just wanted to say that yours is the absolute best, honest, and most accurate description I've read to date. If anyone actually reads the "comments" of your review I want them to read this one in the hope that it helps them realize that yours gives potential readers of Peter's book everything they need to make their decision one way or the other. Yours was so "dead on" that I almost decided not to write a review of my own. Great job!

Posted on Jan 22, 2013, 3:53:09 PM PST
Man! You nailed it!:)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2013, 8:25:55 AM PDT
M. Andersen says:
You, sir, are a genius. I was laughing hysterically reading this review. I remember the old days of putting on "KISS" concerts in our backyard and having two Gene's because no one wanted to play Peter.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2013, 11:34:18 AM PDT
L. Dawson says:
Holy crap I amost died laughing at your comment about Peter's solo album being like getting a Christmas present and finding a dead puppy inside. So funny and true! One of the most shocking and disappointing listens a young KISS fan in 78 could ever have.
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