2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 52 (91% non-fiction)

Paul-Stanley-close-upFace the Music: A Life Exposed by Paul Stanley was one of those books I really can’t tell you why I picked up.  KISS wasn’t ever one of my favorite bands.  Sure, I liked the gimmick – but the only real song I liked of theirs at the time was Beth.

I guess I was never really a fan.  I know I was never as big of KISS fan as my brother, Tim, although I did a talent show in junior high wearing full makeup as Paul Stanley.  As the lead man – Paul Stanley’s Starchild character, I sang Flaming Youth while my friends (Roger Keith, Tim Harp and I think Donald Hoffer – can’t remember the last one) accompanied or pretended to play instruments painted up as Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

We received the top score from the judges and it sure seemed like superstardom to me at the time.  We were even called back for an encore.  We then performed “Do You Love Me?” which we hadn’t practiced to a chorus of students responding, “No!!!” after each refrain.  So much for being a rock star.

I really enjoyed this book despite not having more of a connection to Stanley or the band.  Sure, it had its share of petty bickering, backstabbing and typical rock star behavior you would expect.  But, it had more.  Stanley really opened himself up in this book chronicling his debilitating childhood insecurities, his troubled relationships and even the fact that the long hair was grown to hide his being born without one ear.

I was surprised at his recollection of bandmates Peter Criss and Ace Frehley.  The stuff about Gene Simmons I sorta expected to hear.  I lost touch with the band long before they started playing musical chairs with replacements for Criss and Frehley.  Crazy stuff.

If you are a big KISS fan, you will probably like this book.  If they didn’t change your life, you’ll still probably like the cautionary tale of taking things for granted and dealing with those consequences.

by Chris Doelle