By ALAN K. STOUT / MUSIC ON THE MENU
There’s a perception that a “biography” can be more revealing than an “autobiography.” A biography, some say, will offer more insight because the subject of the book will be more highly scrutinized, while with an autobiography, the reader will only get what the subject wants you to know. With an autobiography, the author - writing in the first person about their own life - will naturally try to paint themselves in the most positive light. And really, if you were going to write a book about your time on this earth, who wouldn’t want to do that?
But as a reader, I’ll still take an autobiography over a biography any day. The best source to tell your story is you, and with “Face The Music: A Life Exposed,” KISS frontman Paul Stanley truly unmasks for the very first time. It’s a remarkable and inspiring story, and offers much more than simply further projecting the bold mage of “The Starchild,” who can still have 20,000 people in a sold-out arena responding to the snap of his fingers. Sure, we’ve all known what Paul Stanley looks like since 1983, when KISS officially unmasked from its trademark makeup. But the perceived image of Paul Stanley as the gallivant rock star and the true life of the man himself were, for most of his life, about as different as KISS “Alive!” and “Music From The Elder.”
Perception was not reality.
Stanley, his text reveals, was born with a condition known as microtia, which left him with only one ear and deaf on one side. And though, by the late ‘60s, as he grew older and it was fashionably acceptable, he was able to hide the deformity by growing his hair, that was not the case when he was a child. And that made life very difficult. There was relentless teasing from other children, which shockingly, was met with little support from his parents, who were bogged down in a cold marriage and also had a mentally ill daughter to deal with. This left him feeling isolated - a feeling that would stay with him until much later in life.