The influential and iconic Rock Star was born in 1952
The KISS Starchild Paul Stanley turns 66 today
Much has been written about Paul Stanley, he’s the Starchild, one of the most iconic alter-egos and characters in Rock music. With KISS, Paul Stanley has led a career that has earned him millions of followers around the globe. The pinnacle of his success was back in the 1970’s but today, Stanley remains one of the biggest Rock Stars in the world. He was born Stanley Bert Eisen on January 20th, 1952 in Manhattan, New York City. He co-founded KISS in 1973 and sung, wrote or co-wrote many of the band’s highest-charting hits. A curious personal fact about Stanley is that his mother came from a family that fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and then to New York City. His father’s parents were from Poland. Stanley was raised Jewish, although he did not consider his family very observant and did not celebrate his bar mitzvah. His right ear was misshaped from a birth defect called microtia and since he was a child that he was unable to hear on that side, thus he found it difficult to determine the direction of a sound, and he could not understand speech in a noisy environment, but despite his hearing problem, Stanley enjoyed listening to music and was greatly moved by Beethoven’s works. He watched American Bandstand on television and during that period he developed a taste for Rock music. His favorite artists included Eddie Cochran, Dion and the Belmonts, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Stanley learned to sing harmony with his family, and he was given a child’s guitar at age seven. A talented artist, Stanley attended the High School of Music & Art in New York City and graduated in 1970, but despite his skill as a graphic artist, he abandoned that as a career, and instead played in bands. KISS’s debut album was “KISS”, released in 1974 that included the songs “Strutter”, “Deuce” and “Black Diamond”, it was followed by the 1975 “Hotter Than Hell” and “Dressed To Kill”, that included “Rock And Roll All Nite”, but their rose to worldwide prominence was their live album “Alive!”, a milestone on modern Rock live albums. “Alive” had two more volumes, “Alive II” in 1977 and “Alive III” in 1993. “Destroyer” from 1977 it’s one of KISS’s best selling albums, the album starts with Stanley’s “Detroit Rock City” and features some of his greatest vocal and playing moments in songs such as “Shout It Loud”, “King of the Night Time World” and “Do You Love Me”. In 1979 with the release of “Dynasty” KISS gained a new audience but lost some of their core fans that were disappointed by the trendy use of the Disco beat on the song “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”, one of the band’s biggest hits worldwide but that resulted in failure to their American audiences. Throughout the years Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have been the only constant members of KISS and were never replaced. KISS still owns much of the Rock music scene nowadays and keep releasing new music. The band are currently touring and for some years now have returned to their classic theatrical Rock show formula, which makes them still selling out stadiums and venues around the world. Stanley has very rarely recorded or performed outside of Kiss. He wrote and recorded material for a solo album in 1987–88, which was shelved in favor of the Kiss compilation, “Smashes, Thrashes & Hits”. The Starchild turns 66 today.
Watch KISS performing one of Paul Stanley’s top songs “Detroit Rock City” live in 2006
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