Paul Stanley From KISS On What You Really Need To Stay Successful
By Ruth Blatt Contributor
“It’s a pretty safe statement to say that most entertainers have self worth issues and image issues, inferiority issues.” That’s KISS’s Paul Stanley, talking to me about his new memoir, Face the Music: A Life Exposed. “ Let’s face it, getting up on a stage or getting up in front of people is not a normal thing to do ,” he continued. “You do it because you’re seeking approval on a mass scale when you don’t get it on a small scale. So if you’re not going to address that as you become successful then the clock is ticking because of all the possible poisons that will enter into your life. Unless you can look elsewhere to remedy whatever the problems are, you’re a fatality waiting to happen, if not in terms of your life then certainly in terms of your career.”
The statement isn’t too surprising given that KISS is increasingly known for their internal strife. The conflict over KISS’s legacy – and the people who go down in history as the architects of its success – has come to head over KISS’s recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Stanley’s refusal, along with co-founder Gene Simmons, to perform at the ceremony with the band’s original lineup.
The details of their beefs are available elsewhere. My conversation with Stanley focused on how he avoided the career suicide that led to the ousting of original drummer Peter Criss and the ungraceful exit of original lead guitarist Ace Frehley.
First was the realization that the flip side of success is the inevitable precipice you reach. Here is how Stanley describes it in his book: “I was being pulled up the big hill, knowing we were going to reach the top at any moment and then plunge down the other side, falling, screaming, with no control whatsoever. I could feel the momentum, the process of being pulled up the hill. I could tell we had reached a point of no return. All I could do was hold on real tight.”