paulstanley400 Brian Aberback from NJ’s Steppin’ Out magazine recently spoke with KISS’ Paul Stanley. An excerpt can be read below.

Steppin’ Out: What is the main message you want people to take from your book?

Paul Stanley: I wanted to be able to write a book that shows how you can go through unsettling times and turmoil and come out on top. There’s no substitute for determination and drive. My life has a happy ending. I thought my story was something people could benefit from. My 19-year-old read the book and I got the response I hoped for. He thought it was fabulous and very inspiring.

Steppin’ Out: From the very beginning you were faced with obstacles. You were born with microtia, a birth defect in which part of your right ear is missing, and you’re also deaf in that ear. How did that affect your musical ambitions?

Paul Stanley: It never affected my music. It affected my social interactions, how I was seen and sometimes ridiculed. Music became my refuge. Although I may not hear music the same way that someone who has hearing in both ears hears it, I never missed anything because I don’t know what things would have sounded like otherwise.

Steppin’ Out: You’re the last of the original members of KISS to write a book. Have you read the other guys’ books?

Paul Stanley: Gene’s book is understandably written from him being in the center of everything, because that’s what he’s like. The other two [by guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss] go from being questionable to absurd. When people’s recollections are tainted by substance abuse they’re not usually people an attorney wants to put on a witness stand. The few bits I read were so ridiculous that it was frightening to think that either of them believe it. For a lot of reasons I feel I’m more objective.

Steppin’ Out: You’re being inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, and you’re furious with the Hall. Why is that?

Paul Stanley: They are only inducting the original members. It’s disrespectful. We never could have started without [original guitarist and drummer] Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, but this band has a 40-year history that should not be ignored. The Hall of Fame people said that inducting other members who were in the band for decades and played on multi-platinum albums like [guitarist] Bruce Kulick and [late drummer] Eric Carr was a non-starter. That’s not how it has worked with other bands. There’s a commune of Grateful Dead members in there including a writer who never played an instrument and a bass player in Metallica who had only been in the band for 7 years when they were inducted. We are in the Hall of Fame not because those people want us there but because it began to look absurd not having us there. To have a band that many pop bands site as an influence and to be ignored year after year takes a lot of effort. They also wanted to strong arm us into playing with the original guys onlhy in gear and makeup and that was a nonstarter. I’ve been doing this 40 years with total pride and confidence and it would be rolling the dice.Whether it’s official or not I will be there to celebrate 40 years of this band.

The entire interview runs April 9th at

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  • Nic on

    I just read the free excerpts from chapters of Paul’s book on Harper Collins. The thing that has struck me from just reading this much are some of the inconsistencies, hypocrisy, and how Paul sees things according to his world. Throughout the years to hear Paul in countless interviews would have one believe he was never into drugs, or ever did them for that matter, yet surprisingly talks about doing drugs in his book. It makes a lot more sense now why he seemed to still be pro drugs and alcohol around the time of Kiss Alive! based on his comments to the audience. Paul talks about an incident when he and Gene were hitchhiking. Because there happened to be “black men” involved, it seemed this put him off as much as the general circumstances. Then Paul talks about how much he dreaded the idea of being drafted into Vietnam. Just in what I was able to read so far, I found all of these comments quite contradictory based on a guy that likes to point the finger at other users of substances and those that have made questionable decisions based on race. Not to mention, a guy that along with Gene preaches their pride for the free enterprise system and the wounded warrior project. Of course we really didn’t need this much of his book to see this. I totally agree other members (aside from Tommy since he never had his own identity or was his own person in Kiss) should be inducted too. If Paul had real honor and principles, he wouldn’t attend in the first place based on this if he feel’s that strongly against it. I think it’s awesome Paul talks about his ear deformity growing up, and I found it interesting how he describes how he puts on his Kiss makeup step by step. Though one would think if he’s going to reveal and talk about these things, he’d address the wig/extensions thing too. Just from the preview, I get the impression it’s like everything else we’ve seen and heard lately in what protects the stock of the current lineup, while unfairly addressing Ace and Peter. The guy admittedly reads “a few bits” of their books and dismisses their whole stories. I’ve read the other three’s books and will eventually read all of Paul’s. I just found it rather interesting Paul made this statement about Ace and Peter’s books having just read a considerable part of his book posted for preview.

    • JB on

      I read the excerpts as well and didn’t come away feeling any different or letdown by Paul. So far pretty much what I expected. The drugs…pot? So he smoked a little weed…other than Gene, who hasn’t in this world. As for the hitchhiking & black guys…sorry regardless of where you lived during that time, race relations were different. And if your implying Paul had issues with black people it evidently didn’t bother him that longtime tour manager JR Smalling was black. As for first impressions on the book…not bad. Much of the same stuff they all say. It’s evident though, early on he had a lot of admiration for Ace. Quite frankly Peter should have been kicked out before it ever got started…constantly threatening to quit or actually quitting for weeks at a time over restaurants or because he demanded to sing songs written by other members. It’s funny how fans view Peter and are sympathetic to him…when they wouldn’t tolerate the same type people in their own lives. Probably…based on the read so far…the most interesting thing coming from this book is how Paul’s ear and deafness defined who he was…and afterall, that’s pretty much the basis of the book. I don’t think we’re going to learn anything earth shattering about the inner workings of Kiss that real fans didn’t already know. Some of the Peter and Ace knuckle head fanboys won’t like it but it’s being told by someone who at least remembers things a bit more clearly. I love Ace but when you have to have other people verify what you thought happened because you can’t remember yourself it shouldn’t give anyone a lot of confidence that the stories are accurate. Afterall you can put 20 people in a room and they’ll all remember it differently.

  • Lee on

    He won’t talk about wigs & extensions or incredible women he met while married. The book won’t touch this type of stuff. Gene never touched the wig thing. Roth never touched it either. Nobody does.

  • Tim Moore on

    There seems to be one thing that Gene and Paul both neglect to mention when they speak of Ace and Peter’s drug and alcohol use. They (and their management) had the power to intervene, but did nothing. Hell, even the other three members of The Doors tried to get Jim Morrison to quit drinking. It didn’t work, but they TRIED. All Paul and Gene did was turn their heads the other way while they were counting the money.
    When they try to diminish Peter and Ace’s contributions to the band, it is not justified. Ace’s guitar playing sold way more albums and inspired more kids like me to pick up a guitar than Gene ‘singing’ songs about his dick. Gibson Les Paul production and sales took an amazing leap in 1976 through 1979. This was no accident. The only thing that slowed production in 1979 was Eddie Van Halen bursting onto the scene playing a junk Stratocaster. Facts don’t lie, but Gene and Paul sure do.

    • genesraccoonwig on

      Great points all around.

    • JB on

      How do you know they didn’t try to help…where you there?

  • HardLuckMan on

    Wait… So, according to Paul, Ace and Peter had substance abuse problems? This is the first I’m hearing of this.

  • dave cegela on

    you know for a rock and roll band ,veteran band at that you guys act like school kids,, you got money, you got fame have you forgot what its about ,the fans and the music stop running the band like a business , its about the music ,you guys should no better after 40 yrs ,look at bands like saxon, maiden, priest, which by no offense are better than you guys , cmon stop running the business get with the program you guys are great as a band stop the crap

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