I don’t know if it’s possible to quantify the impact KISS has had on my life. After sitting and thinking about it for a bit, my best one-word guess would be immense. The hours of listening & singing alone… crazy!
I can’t even begin to imagine the total number of hours I dedicated to listening. Add in the various (and many) KISS items collected, countless mixed tapes made, and multiple KISS shows attended, there is no doubt that I’m KISS army through and through.
Paul Stanley has long been my “favorite” member of KISS. Definitely the member I’ve admired the most. When I heard earlier in 2014 that he was releasing an autobiography my intrigue level went up.
A friend of mine let me borrow Ace Frehley: No Regrets in June. And after finishing it, I knew right then and there I needed to pick up Paul’s new book – Face The Music: A Life Exposed.
Ace’s book came across to me as a diary of drug induced adventures and close calls with the law. Nothing REALLY seemed to impact him. He just kept doing whatever the hell he wanted when he wanted – living the rock star life. Toward the end, I felt as though some things rubbed him the wrong way, a few things shaped him now that he’s done with the drugs, but overall his growth once he joined KISS (as a human and as a musician) is almost nonexistent.
Paul Stanley’s book was the polar opposite.
Throughout the entire book he touches on being driven. Even when he didn’t know what he was striving for. At first, he thought we wanted to become a rock star. To be famous. To get the girls. Only years later to realize that those achievements were nice, but they didn’t give him peace of mind. He endured through hard times like anyone else. Paul was a loner. Always scared to reach out and connect with others. Happenings in his life changed and shaped him in the early stages of his life. Being born with a stump for a right ear and being deaf on his right side was a major obstacle. A hurdle he hid, and wouldn’t jump over until much later in his life.
I knew a bunch of KISStory even before I read Paul’s book. Hell, I own KISSTORY! (See right, lol) But a book like KISSTORY is not gonna admit exactly how bad and strenuous the relationships within the band actually were by 1979. Face The Music contains a bunch of KISS info, but it’s a Paul Stanley book. He’s telling about his life in and out of KISS. So he could detail the depression that trapped him whenever he wasn’t onstage. And how outside forces temped & lured Gene away from KISS in the post make-up years.
Personally, I wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth that the KISS albums after Creatures of the Night (the non make-up years in the 80’s) weren’t that great. Even though Paul didn’t come across and literally say that, he did tell about the troubles that were going on in and around KISS at the time. How Gene was putting much more effort into producing other bands and giving very little energy, if any, towards KISS.
I also thought it was funny how Paul recalls how little Michael Bolton actually contributed in the writing of KISS’ song “Forever”. Which was released on Hot In The Shade in 1989. Paul says in the book about Bolton contacting KISS’ management after the song was released asking for the lyrics, because he was completely unfamiliar with the song, so he could then perform it too.
The part I enjoyed the most though was Paul’s discovery of what he desired in a companion once he met his future (2nd) wife. And how that led to his happiness. How being open and honest with your emotions in your relationship is being free. I wholeheartedly believe that too! It’s something I can grasp and appreciate now. Something I didn’t understand even as recent as 3 or 4 years ago. In my book, anger, secrets, and fear lead to a life led in shackles. I choose to be free.
And then – marrying that one true life partner/building a life together. As an expecting first-time parent myself. I regard Paul’s recollections about becoming a father and how it made him feel as special. Mainly because it is exactly how I envision and dream of feeling when Christina and I’s child is born this coming November. He raves about his wife and children, his relationship with each of them, and how they make him whole.
Face The Music: A Life Exposed is something I would recommend to anyone, KISS fan or not. And if you are a KISS fan I’d say this – get it and read it! Because it’s a fantastic read and it ain’t a crime to be good to yourself!