Face the Music: A Life Exposed Info

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NEW YORK TIMES and INTERNATIONAL
BESTSELLER

In Face the Music, Paul
Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” frontman
of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and
equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band.
Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational
story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped
create, define, and immortalize.

Stanley mixes compelling
personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise
even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to
his childhood in the 1950s and ’60s, a traumatic time made more
painful thanks to a physical deformity. Born with a condition called
microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this
instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of
pursuits: music.

With never-before-seen photos and images
throughout, Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching
portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous
anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and
pyrotechnics on and off the stage. Raw and confessional, Stanley offers
candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent
dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes
out unscathed—including Stanley
himself.

People say I was brave to write such a
revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on
my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this
book, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing
it.” —Paul Stanley


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Face the Music: A Life Exposed:

4

Oct 30, 2019

Loved it!



Mel Loved it!



Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 ...more
5

May 25, 2014

This is by far the greatest KISS Book. And there are a lot of KISS Books. I have read every single one there is.
The reason that this is the best KISS book is because of the mystery of Paul Stanley. Rock 'n roll has lost its mystery. Everything every rock star does is known on the Internet and TMZ etc. KISS was the most mysterious band the land, as well as being quite hot. I thought I knew all there was to know about KISS. as it turns out, after reading this revelatory book, I didn't know the This is by far the greatest KISS Book. And there are a lot of KISS Books. I have read every single one there is.
The reason that this is the best KISS book is because of the mystery of Paul Stanley. Rock 'n roll has lost its mystery. Everything every rock star does is known on the Internet and TMZ etc. KISS was the most mysterious band the land, as well as being quite hot. I thought I knew all there was to know about KISS. as it turns out, after reading this revelatory book, I didn't know the half of it.
Paul Stanley understands the magic of mystery in rock n' roll. Every page of this book was something that I, a longtime diehard KISS freak, did not know. Like about Paul's childhood. Paul's relationship w his family. How he felt behind the makeup & majesty of KISS. And oh yeah, guess what? Paul parties. After all this time, Paul Stanley is cool.
This book even had more than a few tear jerking moments. For me, it was quite touching to read about Bill Aucoin passing away. When Paul says " Goodbye" it is a sign of class and respect that even though he hadn't worked with Aucoin in years, Paul felt it appropriate to remember Bill in such a way befitting his contribution to the empire that is KISS.
This extends to the original KISS members too. Whereas some rock bios on the predictable booze & drugs & sour grapes story arc, Paul's book retains a sense of FUN which is sadly lacking in some rock bios. As much bad love is between the original band members, Paul makes sure to highlight the good times as well as the bad. He goes out of his way to detail the camaraderie evident in the original lineup, and explains how important that was to the success of KISS.
This is one of the best books I've ever read. KISS fan or not, this is a well written book with a great story. It is a pleasure to read. ...more
4

Nov 27, 2016

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud a few times. Paul Stanley's view on family, life, his career was admirable.
4

Feb 19, 2016

Face the Music – A Life Exposed by Paul Stanley is a 2014 HarperOne publication.


I have always liked KISS because they are larger than life, fun, and highly entertaining. However, I’m not one of those die hard, “KISS Army” types. I’d say I was more of a casual fan, but of the four original members, Paul Stanley was always my favorite. Despite his face being hidden by all that makeup, there was something about him that I found sexy, way back in the day.

But, I have to confess, I really don’t much Face the Music – A Life Exposed by Paul Stanley is a 2014 HarperOne publication.


I have always liked KISS because they are larger than life, fun, and highly entertaining. However, I’m not one of those die hard, “KISS Army” types. I’d say I was more of a casual fan, but of the four original members, Paul Stanley was always my favorite. Despite his face being hidden by all that makeup, there was something about him that I found sexy, way back in the day.

But, I have to confess, I really don’t much about the personal lives of the KISS members, so when I saw this book in my library, I decided to check it out. Audiobooks are not my first choice, but recently I have begun to use them a little here and there, so when I saw that Paul Stanley wrote the book himself, without a co-author, and also narrated the audio version personally, I decided to try the audio version.

The chance one takes, as a fan, hardcore or casual, when reading a rock biography, is that you may come away from it wishing you had stayed ignorant about this person’s life or attitude. I almost had that feeling with this one a time or two, but am able to keep it in perspective enough that it won’t have any bearing on how I feel about KISS as a unit or their music.

I’m not usually impressed with all the egos and infighting in rock groups, but, it doesn’t surprise me, or faze me. All the big bands especially those from the 70’s and 80’s, have over- inflated egos and have lived this life so long, they have no real concept of reality as most of us know it. So, it wasn’t just the big ego that left me with a bad taste in my mouth, it was that the author seemed incapable of saying anything nice about anyone, and at times still appears to carry around a big chip on his shoulder, when there doesn’t seem to be a reason to.

Mr. Stanley’s first victims are his parents, who did not buy him an expensive electric guitar, and didn’t baby or coddle him. Most families are dysfunctional to some extent, and I would hope no child of mine will ever write a book that throws all my parenting mistakes back in my face. He wasn’t beaten or abused, but was neglected, mainly due to his sister’s very troubled life.

He went on to suggest that Gene Simmons was selfish due to his being an only child, and since I’m an only child, I think that is a stereotype.

While, he bashed Gene repeatedly, his disdain literally oozed when it came to Peter and Ace. He never passed on an opportunity to give those two grief over their musical abilities or anything else he could think of to berate them with. I expected this to some extent, but it grew old after a while.

He bragged about his sexual conquest, while blaming his promiscuity on his insecurities, openly admitting he didn’t care about these women, only wanting to be seen with them in public because of how they looked. Again, that’s no big surprise, and these women were only with him because he was a rock star. But, while many think they would like to live that way, to me it seemed like a hollow and empty lifestyle.

Having said all that, he was quite honest about mistakes the band made career wise, such as making a ‘concept album’ and the disastrous made for TV movie, and the poor choices they made moneywise by trusting people who turned around and betrayed them, admitting they were not hands on enough with the business end of things. He was forthcoming about the music business as a whole, the changing tides in music and the band going through some pretty hard times before getting back to the basics and doing what it is they do best.

Paul did have more savvy than most when it came to marketing the band and seemed to understand early on that just playing music and waiting for someone to notice them was not good enough. He took smart steps and was a leader for the band, more so than Gene, who often gets credit for those moves.

I was happy to see that Paul finally began to mature later in life, did find his soulmate, and settled into a more normal life, as normal as can be expected when you are famous rock star, at least.

As far as the writing goes, this one is well organized, hits on the points most people will want read about, was in many ways brutally honest, and he didn’t always paint himself in the most positive light, although I think that was probably unintentional. Paul’s narration was very impressive, and he did a great job of telling his story with well- timed inflections and just the right amount of emotion. He is clear and concise and I think hearing the story told in his own voice made the experience more personal. The one drawback to choosing audio is that you miss out on all the pictures the author includes in the print version.

Overall, I found Paul Stanley’s life to be pretty typical of a rock star, with all the trite pettiness, and egotism, women, and life in the fast lane. But, in other ways it was atypical since Paul never fell prey to drug or alcohol addiction, was never arrested or exhibited signs of violence, or general recklessness. Although he had some hard times, he’s pretty much lived large, has the money, the fame, and all the fringe benefits that go along with that. No real surprises or startling revelations here, other than for one who preaches rock as a type of religion and swears by their positive messages, he was more negative than I would have thought and could be incredibly judgmental, and very hard on people, takes offense easily, and can hold a grudge for a long time. Of course, this is one side of the story, but I think the author told the truth without skimming over difficult subjects and honestly believes what he is saying here is the truth as he remembers it.

While staunch fans will love this book and will not find fault in Mr. Stanley, those with the ability to step back and see the big picture will perhaps come away with a different perspective on the man and his life. Either way, the book is interesting and very personal, obviously written with great care and is a quality read.

Overall 4 stars

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5

Mar 21, 2014

First, let me be upfront about the fact that I was a KISS freak growing up. At age 15, they were the first rock concert I had gone to. It was their 1977 tour and absolutely spectacular.
But KISS was much more than pyrotechnics and blood spitting and smoking guitars. They frigging ROCKED.
To this day I am still a fan and will frequently use the Alive! album to get me through a workout. Meat & potatoes rock and roll, as Paul and Gene like to put it, but damn it sure gets my blood going.

I follow First, let me be upfront about the fact that I was a KISS freak growing up. At age 15, they were the first rock concert I had gone to. It was their 1977 tour and absolutely spectacular.
But KISS was much more than pyrotechnics and blood spitting and smoking guitars. They frigging ROCKED.
To this day I am still a fan and will frequently use the Alive! album to get me through a workout. Meat & potatoes rock and roll, as Paul and Gene like to put it, but damn it sure gets my blood going.

I follow Paul Stanley on twitter because he's a very positive guy. It was via his tweets that I realized he had a brand new autobiography coming out, and this was one I was going to get in hardcover.
Well, I must say that this is the best autobiography I've read. Paul pretty much bares his soul here. I know all about the passion of music, but KISS meant something very special to him. KISS was the vehicle he used to break out of a shy and lonely life due to a birth defect and the teasing he had endured as a child.
Coming from a dysfunctional family, Paul got absolutely no support. The millions that he is now worth came from his own drive and determination to overcome his psychological and physical hurdles. KISS became his family and finally he found social comfort within his Starchild stage persona.
Unfortunately, dysfunctionality followed the band, as well. Understanding why KISS went through the turmoil it did because of Peter Criss and Ace Frehley (one of my guitar idols) is only one of the fascinating aspects of this book.

Okay, so I'm biased. There's probably no way this would rate a 5 star read if you aren't a KISS fan, but it's still worth reading this inspiring memoir to realize a rocker can be grounded with such gratitude and emotion.
For those who have ever dug the band, you must read this.
...more
5

Apr 10, 2014

Coming from a guy who's well-known for spitting out cliched answers to interview questions, I had really low expectations from this autobiography. The three preceding books by the original members of KISS had been variable forums for self-serving name-dropping (Gene Simmons),whiny accounts of how everyone else is wrong (Peter Criss), or just plain detached recollections of odd behavior (Ace Frehley.)

What a surprise to find that Paul Stanley's book is the most revealing account of what it's like Coming from a guy who's well-known for spitting out cliched answers to interview questions, I had really low expectations from this autobiography. The three preceding books by the original members of KISS had been variable forums for self-serving name-dropping (Gene Simmons),whiny accounts of how everyone else is wrong (Peter Criss), or just plain detached recollections of odd behavior (Ace Frehley.)

What a surprise to find that Paul Stanley's book is the most revealing account of what it's like to be a member of one of the biggest bands in the world. For Paul Stanley, that meant finding out that fame and fortune is not enough to be truly happy. Stanley's book is a quest of sorts. Having been born with a deformity of his right ear and being partially deaf, he learns from an early age that life is all about how you accept and deal with your limitations.

Stanley details the early days of the band up through the recording of "Monster" in 2011. KISS fans will no doubt find his stories about dealing with the quirks of Ace, Peter, and, surprisingly, Gene to be entertaining but, also, eye-opening. None of the other KISS biographies detail the dysfunction as well as Stanley's.

But "Face the Music" is less about the actual issues and more about how they are handled. Stanley is extremely candid about his shortcomings as well as acknowledging others' perceptions of his reality. That is what I liked most about the book.

...more
2

May 06, 2014

I am quite honestly shocked at the reviews this book is receiving. I WILL say that Paul has worked harder than all the original 4 put together. I found it very disappointing that Paul felt the need to put Peter and Ace down throughout the entire book, not to mention Gene. The odd comment would suffice however I felt it made Paul look bad when he would not quit with the harsh insults, literally every few pages! Paul was very honest about his insecurities surrounding his ear deformity, clearly his I am quite honestly shocked at the reviews this book is receiving. I WILL say that Paul has worked harder than all the original 4 put together. I found it very disappointing that Paul felt the need to put Peter and Ace down throughout the entire book, not to mention Gene. The odd comment would suffice however I felt it made Paul look bad when he would not quit with the harsh insults, literally every few pages! Paul was very honest about his insecurities surrounding his ear deformity, clearly his work later on in his life working with kids with facial deformities was commendable and his family life and children clearly made him into a better man. In the end Paul Stanley comes across as arrogant, self centred and completely insecure which is interesting because in the last chapter he prides himself on not judging others?? Hummmm, this after nailing others to the cross for 456 pages! Disappointed. (I am still glad I used to skip school to play the Kiss pin ball machine). ...more
3

Jun 22, 2015

Caution: lotsa F and even C words.

Stuff I liked, better yet, what got my attention and interest:

1. The bits about the actual music-making and how some of the records were made. What they did in the studio, what the producer came up with, why that certain album was an absolute disgrace and bombed hard;
2. Sex, drugs, alcohol, antics, debauchery, etc.;
3. Ace was a pain in the ass because he was lazy and constantly off his face, he was funny at first, and blahblahblah, oh well, fuck you, you fucking Caution: lotsa F and even C words.

Stuff I liked, better yet, what got my attention and interest:

1. The bits about the actual music-making and how some of the records were made. What they did in the studio, what the producer came up with, why that certain album was an absolute disgrace and bombed hard;
2. Sex, drugs, alcohol, antics, debauchery, etc.;
3. Ace was a pain in the ass because he was lazy and constantly off his face, he was funny at first, and blahblahblah, oh well, fuck you, you fucking fuck!;
4. Peter was a pain in the ass because he was constantly intoxicated, bitter, bitching and moaning, also blahblahblah, oh well, you can't play, you suck at drums, we had to call Anton Fig to record Dynasty and Unmasked, well, fuck you, you fucking fuck!;
5. Vinnie Vincent was a pain in the ass and a full on wacko, he also played a 20 minute guitar solo which was fucking boring as shite;
6. Mark St. John played 20000 notes a minute because that was the fashion back in the eighties, he got a serious tendonitis and couldn't play for shite so we let him go, fuck him.

What I didn't give a flying squirrel's chuff about:

1. I was a poor jewish kid, everybody would take the piss out of me because I was born without an ear;
2. I got married but she was in love with some frog-eating twat in France, the bastard would ring her all the time and when I told her to stop talking to him she basically told me to get fucked and mind my own business. I got a divorce in the end and she got a fuckload of money. My money.;
3. Met another girl, the right one, we got married and have three kids; we're family. Family rocks!;
4. I was depressed so someone suggested I should paint. I painted. My paintings sell, I'm a talented artist, hey!;
5. I was in Phantom of the Opera. I loved it. People loved me. Gene couldn't care less;
6. Gene is a fucking cunt. I hate his guts but I've known him for over 40 years so we're friends, he didn't come to my wedding because I didn't invite the bastard as he'd tell me weddings are for twats, and that annoyed me no end. He got married too eventually, in 2011, ha!;
7. Charity.

Three stars. ...more
4

Apr 19, 2014

After reading Paul Stanley's autobiography "Face the Music" I have now read books by all four of the members of my favorite childhood band. Growing up, my favorite member of KISS was Gene Simmons. I loved the demon persona and what 12 year old boy isn't drawn to spitting fire and blood? But after reading all of these books, I have to admit Paul Stanley comes across as the sanest and I liked his book more than all the others.

Stanley not only tells his story with a refreshing (and at times After reading Paul Stanley's autobiography "Face the Music" I have now read books by all four of the members of my favorite childhood band. Growing up, my favorite member of KISS was Gene Simmons. I loved the demon persona and what 12 year old boy isn't drawn to spitting fire and blood? But after reading all of these books, I have to admit Paul Stanley comes across as the sanest and I liked his book more than all the others.

Stanley not only tells his story with a refreshing (and at times brutal) honesty but along the way he offers what I considered some great life advice - and since I'm a DJ for a living, some great entertaining advice as well. In fact I'm sure my next article for The Disc Jockey News will be a synopsis of some of the great wisdom Stanley imparts (example when Stanley talks about performing in a large, packed arena he says "I wasn't playing to a mass but to each and every one of those people").

Stanley is unforgiving as he rips Peter Criss and Ace Frehley for "wasting" their talents with drugs, alcohol and overall neglect. I loved when he wrote of them, "being inept,unreliable and marginally capable didn't make you rock and roll. It made you inept, unreliable and marginally capable." Yet even with all the underlying anger I still felt Stanley wished things had worked out differently. As he explains, the band was all he had for many many years (I'll let you read the book to discover why) so seeing these two take it for granted, or even seeing Simmons persue other avenues in entertainment like movies or producing other bands was tough for Stanley to handle. And during the reunion tours, you can tell Stanley hoped that Criss and Frehley had changed, only to be disappointed once again.

"Face the Music" was an enjoyable read and I'd highly recommend it for anyone who went through a "KISS phase" as a kid.

...more
5

Apr 08, 2014

I am now in total awe of this man. I grew up listening to KISS. My brother was and is the biggest fan ever so I really had no choice in the exposure I had to them. I saw that this book was coming out and for some reason, just knew I had to read/listen to it. I am so glad I did. This man was dealt the suck ass card as far as a family life went. But he was bigger than that. I highly recommend this book. You don't even have to be a KISS fan. This book is about life and how to live it to the fullest I am now in total awe of this man. I grew up listening to KISS. My brother was and is the biggest fan ever so I really had no choice in the exposure I had to them. I saw that this book was coming out and for some reason, just knew I had to read/listen to it. I am so glad I did. This man was dealt the suck ass card as far as a family life went. But he was bigger than that. I highly recommend this book. You don't even have to be a KISS fan. This book is about life and how to live it to the fullest no matter which route you choose. ...more
4

Apr 14, 2014

I'm generally not into reading memoirs/autobiographies. As a longtime KISS fan, I was actually resistant to reading this one, having read Ace's (love ya man, but how much do you really remember?) and Gene's (seriously, dude, get over yourself) I was a bit leery, as well as being tired of the original members taking constant potshots at each other. But this was an enjoyable, revealing, self-effacing, sometimes heart breaking, and most importantly, human, read. Well done, Starchild, well done.
4

Apr 07, 2014

There are a multitude of ways to look at each autobiography written by the original memebers of Kiss. If these were the solo albums from '78 Ace would be the better of all four releases and Gene would be the worst simply because he's a boring asshole. I have yet to read Peter's and if Paul is to be believed I should skip it because Peter can barely read or write.

Paul's book is entertaining and revealing. He overcame a disability and became a rock God. At times he does come off as bitter and a There are a multitude of ways to look at each autobiography written by the original memebers of Kiss. If these were the solo albums from '78 Ace would be the better of all four releases and Gene would be the worst simply because he's a boring asshole. I have yet to read Peter's and if Paul is to be believed I should skip it because Peter can barely read or write.

Paul's book is entertaining and revealing. He overcame a disability and became a rock God. At times he does come off as bitter and a bit of a dick but this is Paul Stanley the frontman of Kiss so you should expect a great deal of ego to shine through. The problem is that If you're a Kiss fan you know the Kisstory, you know that while Gene was off making movies Paul was the unhappy housewife making Kiss records.

While the book doesn't offer much new insight into Kisstory it does give you a Paul Stanley that no one knew existed. While onstage he's able to entertain an arena full of people but the Paul off stage is insecure and appears to have low self esteem due in part to a birth defect and parents that won't win any parent of the year awards.

Of course you get a ton of dirt and smack talking. This is Kiss and at times it feels less like a band and more like a bunch of kids with massive egos and too much money. Ace and Peter are made to appear as if they're talentless hacks that allowed drugs and alcohol to ruin their creativity and Gene is a self absorbed man who for wasn't truly invested in Kiss for a few years. For awhile it was just Paul Stanley being 100% involved in the band.

Paul's biography is readable and you get a lot of honesty even if it's mean spirited. Kiss fans will read it and complain that Paul was quite mean to Ace and Peter but we weren't there so we can't verify any of it. Non Kiss fans will probably not like it as much because this is a book about Kiss but it's well written and gives some insight into the man behind the face paint. ...more
5

Apr 10, 2014

By far the best book from a rock star so far. Paul Stanley comes across as a human being with real feelings. Absolutely no rock star, blowhard bullshit in this book. He empathizes with his audience and puts a real life story out there that most of us can empathize with as well.

He not only bares his soul but he also shows you that he is a human being with the same feelings, struggles and pain that we all face. He's a really down to earth person that knows he's no better than the rest of us. He By far the best book from a rock star so far. Paul Stanley comes across as a human being with real feelings. Absolutely no rock star, blowhard bullshit in this book. He empathizes with his audience and puts a real life story out there that most of us can empathize with as well.

He not only bares his soul but he also shows you that he is a human being with the same feelings, struggles and pain that we all face. He's a really down to earth person that knows he's no better than the rest of us. He wasn't born a millionaire rock star. He was just another kid with a really tough life that saw what he wanted and worked hard to get it.

Great book Paul. Thanks for the honesty. I've been a KISS fan since I saw the "In Concert" performance late night on an old black & white TV back in 1975. KISS will always be number one in my book. ...more
5

Apr 15, 2014

Get your hands on a print copy so you can check out the pictures but listen to this on audio! If it had not been read by Paul Stanley, I wouldn't have bothered with the audio but his narration made this so much more personal. This feels genuine and sincere. It is fascinating both as a KISS fan and as a music fan in general. It's almost a text book of making it in the music business as well as a tell-all. While telling his version of KISS's history he is not mean-spirited or bitter or even Get your hands on a print copy so you can check out the pictures but listen to this on audio! If it had not been read by Paul Stanley, I wouldn't have bothered with the audio but his narration made this so much more personal. This feels genuine and sincere. It is fascinating both as a KISS fan and as a music fan in general. It's almost a text book of making it in the music business as well as a tell-all. While telling his version of KISS's history he is not mean-spirited or bitter or even particularly negative when talking about past members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. I have read autobiographies by the other three original members of KISS but this is by far the most balanced and enjoyable. ...more
5

Apr 26, 2015

One of the best autobiographies I've ever read.

Not only does Paul Stanley regale us with stories from KISS-tory, he also provides a truly inspirational account about dealing with his birth defect and deafness. He's honest and doesn't hold back with regard to his former and current KISS band mates, but there's no underlying malice toward anyone as he tells his story. He owns his own mistakes, too, and I always appreciate that when reading autobiographies.

Oh, and I tried his brussel sprout recipe One of the best autobiographies I've ever read.

Not only does Paul Stanley regale us with stories from KISS-tory, he also provides a truly inspirational account about dealing with his birth defect and deafness. He's honest and doesn't hold back with regard to his former and current KISS band mates, but there's no underlying malice toward anyone as he tells his story. He owns his own mistakes, too, and I always appreciate that when reading autobiographies.

Oh, and I tried his brussel sprout recipe - highly recommend.

You don't have to be a KISS fan to enjoy this one.

Beth
www.myelegantmusings.blogspot.com ...more
4

Mar 07, 2019

Was pleasantly surprised by this one. Not only was it well written and entertaining throughout but Paul Stanley did a great job with the narration. If you're a fan of Kiss or even just mildly interested I'd suggest giving this book a chance, it's an interesting look at Kiss and the music industry in general.
5

May 10, 2014

But in truth, I would be the Wizard of Oz: the awkward little man behind the curtain operating the huge persona.

So, here it is. The autobiography from my favourite member of KISS. I got sucked into Gene Simmons' Kiss And Make Up (the less said about Sex, Money, Kiss the better), and had never gotten around to reading Peter and Ace's accounts, mainly because I figured it'd be whiny or filler for periods of time they'd blacked out (apparently I was right).

Paul, to me, was the most private, and But in truth, I would be the Wizard of Oz: the awkward little man behind the curtain operating the huge persona.

So, here it is. The autobiography from my favourite member of KISS. I got sucked into Gene Simmons' Kiss And Make Up (the less said about Sex, Money, Kiss the better), and had never gotten around to reading Peter and Ace's accounts, mainly because I figured it'd be whiny or filler for periods of time they'd blacked out (apparently I was right).

Paul, to me, was the most private, and the one who was diplomatic in interviews compared to the others. I thought he often said the right things, not necessarily the wholly true things when I read back. And here, I really liked him speaking out. He called out Ace's behaviour, Peter's attitude, and - most surprisingly, to me - Gene's ego, need to promote himself above the band, and taking credit for pretty much everything.

The latter is something I credited Gene for in his own book. I thought he had an astute business mind - and yes, he does - but I'm starting to realise that I'd been sucked into his bravado more than I'd realised.

The backstory of KISS hasn't changed - the ups and downs are as thoroughly documented as ever, and his book is more about how to deal with them and move on, rather than bitch about it. But what I enjoyed about it was putting some real stories to the Starchild.

He felt neglected as a child and came from a dysfunctional home, he was born with one ear, half deaf, and was bullied. He thought fame would bring acceptance, that wealth would bring him security - what he realised is they were just paths that led him to to solving it all, ending with quite a nice snippet of his family life. From anxiety to his drive to succeed, Paul's book was really interesting, as someone who literally used a mask to create a new person, to shield himself behind it.

Sure, many of the career points were well-trodden before, he even skipped over much of the debauchery in a matter-of-fact way so it was more of an acknowledgement it happened rather than a part of the tale. It felt like the Starchild was finally opening up, without breaking his private leanings.

I mean, as private as KISS can be.

The one thing - one thing - I disagree with is his notion that anyone in KISS can be replaced. KISS is just bigger than the band, yes, it is a brand, and 50% have been replaced thus far, but I think he underestimates the smack both he and Gene have on the b(r)and.

He talks of knowing his limits and looking forward to when he's replaced as a final proof that what he created was something bigger than himself. With that in mind, I think it's time to save up for that elusive meet and greet, because I'm now worried that next time - if there is a next time - may be my last chance. ...more
5

Apr 22, 2014

I have read some folks criticizing Paul for his "I was so unhappy even though I had a different woman every night and all the money I could spend" approach to the story. [Incidentally, I looked up photos of Donna Dixon. . .yowza!] But I found it fascinating and painfully honest. If you start off as an unhappy person, getting more "stuff" isn't going to make you happy. I liked his journey to fulfillment, especially the way singing in Phantom played a role.

A few other random things that stand I have read some folks criticizing Paul for his "I was so unhappy even though I had a different woman every night and all the money I could spend" approach to the story. [Incidentally, I looked up photos of Donna Dixon. . .yowza!] But I found it fascinating and painfully honest. If you start off as an unhappy person, getting more "stuff" isn't going to make you happy. I liked his journey to fulfillment, especially the way singing in Phantom played a role.

A few other random things that stand out:

So in Paul's opinion, Gene is not necessarily the business genius we all think he is? (instead he's the supreme opportunist) I know I have always bought into the myth of Gene as the business guy and Paul as the creative guy. (Lots of accepted wisdom is challenged in the book, including Ace as Guitar God.)

Ace may be a self-destructive fool, but Peter is literally stupid? Wow.

The band have always sold Eric Carr as being everyone's little buddy. Paul kind of shatters that story.

I saw KISS in 1996 and in 2000 or 2001. Despite what Paul said, they didn't play the same setlist in both tours. I wonder if Ace and Peter were even at the latter show? I don't recall.

"Psycho Circus" is 16 years old!

Finally, this is a great story about living your dreams and not giving up when things get tough. Whatever happened over the decades, Paul seems to have kept his eye on the prize. And when he and the band did some dumb stuff, such as the "Let's Put the X in Sex" song and video, he's not afraid to admit it. He feels very honest and very real. It's a terrific read. ...more
5

May 04, 2014

There have been a few great rock star books over the years: Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries, Motley Crue The Dirt, and I also liked Gene Simmons' Kiss and Makeup quite a bit. But where Gene's book lacked some of the "behind the scenes" events within Kiss, especially during the '80s, this is one of the places where Paul's book shines. And once you read that part, the reason why Gene's glosses over this period becomes very clear.

I've been a Kiss fan since I was 14 and I've always found Paul as the There have been a few great rock star books over the years: Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries, Motley Crue The Dirt, and I also liked Gene Simmons' Kiss and Makeup quite a bit. But where Gene's book lacked some of the "behind the scenes" events within Kiss, especially during the '80s, this is one of the places where Paul's book shines. And once you read that part, the reason why Gene's glosses over this period becomes very clear.

I've been a Kiss fan since I was 14 and I've always found Paul as the mysterious frontman, and his story explains why. Which is exactly one of the reasons I was so drawn to this story in the first place. It's a story about Paul's life journey.

Paul Stanley is - maybe unsurprisingly - much deeper than fans may realize. There are many lessons and experiences in his story for readers to glean wisdom from, and hopefully when you read it, you'll be in an emotional and mental place to take advantage of them.

I love this book and I highly recommend it, even for non-Kiss fans. ...more
4

Apr 15, 2014

The best of the KISS autobiographies. Part memoir, part self-help/motivational book, Stanley delves deep into a lifetime of chasing what could/would make him happy, from youth to adult. You would think that 40 years of fame/success would be enough to make anyone happy, but that's not the case. Rather, a physical deformity (no right ear/deafness) and a tough home life set the stage for a lot of emotional, as well as physical challenges that took him years to overcome.

No book on KISS would be The best of the KISS autobiographies. Part memoir, part self-help/motivational book, Stanley delves deep into a lifetime of chasing what could/would make him happy, from youth to adult. You would think that 40 years of fame/success would be enough to make anyone happy, but that's not the case. Rather, a physical deformity (no right ear/deafness) and a tough home life set the stage for a lot of emotional, as well as physical challenges that took him years to overcome.

No book on KISS would be complete without fingerpointing and some backbiting, and this book has plenty of that! However, that's not the focus of the book, nor is it any attempt to deflect blame for problems and issues the band had.

Like I usually do with these books, I would have loved more details on various albums and tours. That said, its a great history of one of the greatest bands in rock n'roll, as well as their founding member and frontman.

...more
5

May 05, 2019

I'm not a big Paul Stanley guy. For over 40 years he's been my least favorite in the band. But this book was great to read. It really opened up my eyes to why he is the way he is....and also gave me a real-life perspective on why there have been so many issues over the years amongst band members.

These guys really aren't that much different than you and I are, working a job and trying to get along with people. Some co-workers are lazy, some are whiners, some are determined, some are in love with I'm not a big Paul Stanley guy. For over 40 years he's been my least favorite in the band. But this book was great to read. It really opened up my eyes to why he is the way he is....and also gave me a real-life perspective on why there have been so many issues over the years amongst band members.

These guys really aren't that much different than you and I are, working a job and trying to get along with people. Some co-workers are lazy, some are whiners, some are determined, some are in love with themselves. This is life.

...more
5

Apr 18, 2014

Having just read Gene Simmons autobiography I was interested to see how their accounts would differ. Kiss have always been my favourite band & have always had a soft spot for Paul and nothing I read in this book has changed that. He is obviously a much more emotional person than Gene and reading how he has now overcome his own feelings of inadequacy after being bullied as a child was very moving. In my mind Kiss are still 'the hottest band in the world'!
5

Mar 27, 2014

I placed a pre-order for a copy of Face the Music months ago, so I have been highly anticipating this Kiss memoir. Stanley's memoir is an inspiring read, and a great book for any Kiss fans. I believe the strongest element of Face the Music is Stanley's discussion of overcoming tremendous childhood adversity. I think Face the Music is an excellent memoir.
5

May 25, 2014

I gave this book 5 stars because of the last 40 pages or so. Not the most well written book, but a book that really is about relationships with PEOPLE, love, marriage, divorce and life lessons. I really loved it, even though normally I would never choose this genre!
4

Apr 16, 2014

My favourite of the four books. Enjoyed this so much more than Gene, Ace and Peter's books. I like the fact that he got to the interesting part, namely the beginning of Kiss onwards, and didn't dwell most of his book on his childhood. And I never knew he was deaf!

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