No Regrets. Apparently Kiss bandmate Peter Criss was inspired (or felt challenged) to write his own memoir, entitled Makeup to Breakup. It's going to be hard to sell either of these memoirs to you if you're not a fan of Kiss, but if you are a fan then you'll certainly be satisfied by reading either (or both). I'd say that Criss' memoir is the better of the two since he seems to remember a lot more, though at times his level of detail is a little too much.
Criss was the eldest member of Kiss and after drumming in a number of New York bands he was brought in to the band before it had recorded an album by an ad in Rolling Stone magazine. Criss is excellent at offering portraits of the band members as they changed through the years. He seems to have some affection for Gene Simmons, though he mostly portrays him as arrogant and ultimately cutthroat. Some of the details of Simmons' lack of hygiene must be read to be believed. Ace Frehley, who entered the band at around the same time as Criss, is shown to be a lazy drug addict and drunk though he was perhaps the one that was Criss' greatest friend in the band in the early days. Paul Stanley remains enigmatic (as was the case in Frehley's biography as well) and in love with his own reflection.
Criss also does a good job giving credit to Bill Aucoin who managed Kiss in its earliest days and even paid for their tours with his own American Express card before the band was able to make it to the big time. We also get stories of seemingly every girlfriend that Criss has had, including multiple ex-wives (and one current one).
It's pretty clear that Criss feels betrayed and cheated by his former bandmates and much of the second half of this book is dedicated to clearing the air about how he was treated on later reunion tours. We also learn about his drinking, his depression and his medical issues, including a late bout with breast cancer. As far as rock star biographies go, this is a pretty entertaining one with much credit going to Larry "Ratso" Sloman, who has co-authored a number of other musician biographies. Unfortunately, at times it also feels like Criss needs to fit in every single anecdote that he can remember, so it does occasionally feel wearying. But if you are the audience for this kind of book there is no reason why you won't enjoy it.
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