Kiss vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley has strong opinions about other rock stars’ memoirs: “95 percent of the autobiographies by any of my contemporaries would be better suited on a roll of soft paper, so at least you could use it for something.”
In an interview with Billboard about his own upcoming autobiography Face the Music: A Life Exposed, Stanley goes on to describe others’ works as “nothing more than self-serving fantasies or delusions or love letters to themselves.” He did not spare his current and former bandmates from his scorn.
“I read parts of Gene [Simmons’] book and I thought it was told from his point of view, but Gene puts himself in the epicenter of everything, and that might be because he’s an only child,” Stanley said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s accurate. . . . After reading some of it and having been present at much of what went on in that book, it just wasn’t accurate so I didn’t read it. In the case of [former drummer] Peter [Criss] or [former guitarist] Ace [Frehley], there is a reason that defense attorneys don’t put alcoholics or drug addicts on the witness stand.”
He also commented again on his disinterest in playing with Criss and Frehley when the band gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month. “I don’t want to roll the dice and possibly negatively impact on what I personally have been involved in building for 40 years,” he said. “I have too much invested at this point. It really is a can of worms that I feel is better off left closed. So there’s been a lot of issues, and perhaps the best way to deal with them is to celebrate the four original guys and go there and get our award and to look past the differences that will always be there. It doesn’t change the big picture; we have differences and we will continue to have differences.”
Simmons acknowledged those sorts of “differences” in an interview with Rolling Stone last December. At the time, though, he was still open to the idea of performing with all of the group’s founding members. “It’s like, if you introduced me to your wife and I go, ‘Wait, where are all the other wives?’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, I was married to them and now I’m here,'” he said. “They were equally important in the formation of the band. When you have kids with your first wife, you give kudos. The fact you got remarried doesn’t delete or minimize the importance. Hey, ‘You gave birth to this thing, Kiss, with Ace, Peter, Paul and Gene.'”
Face the Music: A Life Exposed is out April 8th.