Out today (April 30th) is Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley's second memoir, titled Backstage Pass. The book follows Stanley's 2014 autobiography, Face The Music: A Life Exposed, which debuted at Number Two on The New York Times' list for Best Sellers – Print Hardcover Non-Fiction. In Face The Music, Stanley talked frankly about his early struggles with hearing — he was born with Level 3 Microtia and is deaf in his right ear. Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.
Ultimate Classic Rock posted excerpts from Backstage Pass, in which Stanley talks about reconnecting with original guitarist Ace Frehley and having him “back in a larger capacity in my life” due to the “shared magic” of Kiss' history and accomplishments. The same however cannot be said for co-founding drummer Peter Criss, with Stanley writing, “Peter unfortunately is a different story. I don't think Peter has any life. He seems consumed by some kind of reality that his wife tells him. He's always been negative and always maintained an us-against-them mentality. I don't want that in my life.”
Stanley went on to write, “(It isn't) about having differences, because I'm sure Ace and I have differences. It's Peter's overall sense of anger and resentment and feeling like a victim. He needs to acknowledge his participation and then change things. I think Peter's life is probably very one-dimensional, uninteresting, un-stimulating — which is a result of seeing the world negatively and seeing everyone from the band members to the hotel service people as disrespectful. That's not a world anyone should live in, and I don't want to be a part of it.”
Paul Stanley explained to us that if his autobiography was going to follow the pattern of some of the other rock memoirs he's read, he would've passed on writing it all together: “I think I took a tact different than a lot of these books. Y'know, rock n' roll autobiographies tend to be a love letter — to the author. And they tend to be about how smart and creative and how this person was responsible for the creation of the world. And if that were the tact for the book, I never would've written the book.”
Kiss' “End Of The Road” world tour is currently on hiatus, with the band launching a 25-date European leg on May 27th in Leipzig, Germany. When we last caught up with Paul Stanley, he explained that if a fan shells out their hard earned cash to see Kiss in concert, they're getting a massive show by seasoned vets who know exactly what it takes to deliver the goods — be it in an open air stadium or a smoke-filled, hole in the wall club: “There’s absolutely no substitute for working your way up. Bands today that are starting out — they don’t have a clue. Most of these bands go from obscurity to selling a million albums, two million albums — they couldn’t entertain a phone booth and that’s why (laughter) they don’t sell tickets. You learn the craft by doing it. You start in the clubs, you work your way up to being third on a bill in an auditorium, then you get to headlining there, then you get to work your way into arenas. By the time you’re in arenas, you damn well know how to do it.”