KISS Frontman On 'Destructive' Childhood, New Book and Why the Rock Hall Is Like a 'Distorted Bar Mitzvah'
By Gary Graff, Detroit
In April, Stanley embarks on a book tour for his memoir "Face the Music: A Life Exposed"… The rocker talks why he finally put his life on paper, the inaccuracies of Gene Simmons' own book, and what actually went down with the Rock Hall of Fame
Few bands know how to celebrate better than Kiss; it coined the concept "rock and roll all night and party every day," after all. And this is a time of celebration for the group, with this year marking the 40th anniversary of its first two albums, the launch of the Arena Football League's L.A. Kiss and its upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (though not without drama; read on) on April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Best of all for frontman Paul Stanley is the April 8 publication of his autobiography "Face the Music: A Life Exposed," a revealing memoir in which he writes frankly about the travails of his youth and the triumphs and tribulations of both Kiss and his personal life.
Stanley lights out on a six-city book tour that begins April 7 at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble in New York with subsequent stops at the Barnes & Noble in Staten Island (April 8); Bookends in Ridgewood, N.J. (April 9); Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles (April 16); Warwick's in La Jolla, Calif. (April 17); and the San Francisco Jewish Community Center on April 25.
With all that going on, it's not surprising our conversation with the Starman was wide-ranging and characteristically forthright.
You're the last of the original Kiss members with a book of your own. Just a slacker?
It really had nothing to do with the band as far as being first, last, middle. It wasn't with any of that in mind. The truth of the matter is I had sworn for, literally, decades not to write an autobiography. I always go back to George Orwell, who said the autobiography is the most outrageous form of fiction. And I would say 90-plus, 95 percent of the autobiographies by any of my contemporaries would be better suited on a roll of soft paper, so at least you could use it for something, 'cause they're nothing more than self-serving fantasies or delusions or love letters to themselves. They serve no purpose. What I finally came to grips with was the idea that my life could be inspiring to other people... and almost more importantly I wanted something that my children could read when they got older to understand what it took for me to succeed and a better understanding of who I am and perhaps what they need in their lives to move forward. So there was a real purpose to this as opposed to just some sort of bragging rights.