“I’m fucking Godzilla and I’m going to destroy all those boats.”

Thus did Ace Frehley, having recently entered what Peter Criss calls the “Forget It Zone,” vow to and verily did jump in, splash about, and slap at sundry toy vessels making their way across an indoor artificial pond in a restaurant in Sweden. This, upon the occasion of the first KISS European tour, 1976.

Mr. Criss did not see the climax of this endeavor: “…the next thing I knew, boom, I passed out face-first right in my salad.”

Peter Criss did remain conscious for a good deal of the KISS experience, so don’t worry, you’ll get stories about the women (blindfolds, bananas), Gene Simmons (God complex, herpes, aversion to soap and water), Paul Stanley (the rumors just might be true), cocaine, Playboy Playmates (Criss married one), money, and betrayal.

Insights? A few. A band legendary for its chest-thumping macho, was actually masterminded by two gay men (neither one of them Paul Stanley). Criss, like others, wondered how they could sell lunchboxes and action figures to kids when the vast majority of their songs were about fucking anything that moved. (Bob Ezrin, producer of Destroyer, tried in vain to get them writing about not fucking anything that moved.) And the answer, of course: Shitloads of money. For shitloads of money, he says, Paul and Gene will jump through just about any hoop.

Does Criss live up to his nickname, “The Moaner.” In places. I’m repelled by his easy-come-easy-go attitude towards women, with spatters of guilt landing here and there. A young lady approached him once after the show and said she was getting married soon, but she wanted to have a rock star before tying the knot, so the Catman gave her the deluxe treatment, but wondered if he’d violated the sanctity of marriage anyway. A touching — because human, because vulnerable — moment. More moments like that might have lifted this book spiritually. Oh well. As the twelve-steppers say, we claim progress, not perfection. Here’s hoping he isn’t concrete- (platinum?) set in his feline ways.

And even if he is, we still have Ace, Godzilla, and those boats.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster (Book can be ordered here)

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