Criss Leaves Kiss

Founding drummer off Kiss's Japan and Australia tours

February 1, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Kiss's last hurrah may not feature the original fearsome foursome, because Peter Criss has left the band. He will not be with the band for their tours of Japan and Australia, which begin March 13th and March 29th, respectively.

Eric Singer, who was a member of Kiss from 1991 to 1996 (before the return of Criss, guitarist Ace Frehley and the band's trademark makeup) and currently a member of Alice Cooper's band, will replace Criss, cat makeup and all.

"We've taken the point of view, always, that the team's more important than any of its members," Gene Simmons said when asked to explain Criss's departure. "Imagine you have kids and there's more than one mom or more than one dad, and unfortunately you get shuttled between the families. Somehow it's all one big family. It's not always a happy family."

Alice Cooper's management was surprised by the news of Singer's return to Kiss, because Cooper's own Australian tour begins in Newcastle on April 13, the same date as Kiss's Australian finale. "We have not heard from Eric, who is on vacation in Bangkok this week," said a representative of Cooper's management. "We have no reason to believe he will not be drumming with Alice on tour in April and May, but he obviously cannot do both."

As for Criss, Simmons suggests that he might be behind the drum kit when the band plays its final U.S. dates on their farewell tour. "We hope that Peter won't let the legal guys, and we won't let our legal guys, stop us from ending the show together, the very last of our shows in America, [when] we will be hanging up our hats -- our platform heels, actually."

Criss's last show (for now anyway) was on Oct. 7 at South Carolina's North Charleston Coliseum. Simmons would not say where Kiss's final shows will be, but insiders speculate that they will take place in their hometown of New York later this year.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »