The original KISS drummer co-wrote and sung several of the band’s hits
“The Catman” Peter Criss turns 74 today
Peter Criss was born George Peter John Criscuola in Brooklyn, New York on December 20th, 1945, he was involved with a number of bands throughout the mid-to-late 1960’s before co-founding KISS in 1973. Kiss released their self-titled debut in February 1974. Throughout his Kiss career, Criss was the lead singer on several notable songs including “Black Diamond”, “Hard Luck Woman”, and their breakthrough hit “Beth” which he co-wrote. After four years of success with KISS, in 1978, he was injured in a serious car crash and On the 1979 album “Dynasty”, he only played on his own composition, “Dirty Livin”. Peter Criss was fired from KISS by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, he officially left on May 18, 1980. Active throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s as a musician, Criss returns to KISS in 1995 as a member and the band records a new album together “Psycho Circus” released in 1998, but in 2000 tensions among the members of KISS and Criss rise again and he leaves a second time; he returns in 2002 and in 2004 leaves again, this time for good. He later stated about KISS performing with replacements for Ace Frehley and himself: “No matter who they get to put stuff on their face, it ain’t us. You can take the mask off the Lone Ranger and put it on someone else, but it ain’t the Lone Ranger.” Since 2004, Criss has kept his public appearances to a minimum, he released a solo album, titled One for All July 23, 2007 and also his autobiography, “Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss”, co-written with author Larry Sloman, on October 23, 2012. Peter Criss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 as a member of KISS. Today, “The Catman” turns 74.
Watch KISS performing “Black Diamond” live in 1975 featuring Peter Criss on vocals and drums
Listen to the some of the best KISS songs from their 1974-1979 period compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify
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