NEW YORK TIMES and INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
In Face the Music, Paul Stanley—the co-founder and famous “Starchild” frontman of KISS—reveals for the first time the incredible highs and equally incredible lows in his life both inside and outside the band. Face the Music is the shocking, funny, smart, inspirational story of one of rock’s most enduring icons and the group he helped create, define, and immortalize.
Stanley mixes compelling personal revelations and gripping, gritty war stories that will surprise even the most steadfast member of the KISS Army. He takes us back to his childhood in the 1950s and ’60s, a traumatic time made more painful thanks to a physical deformity. Born with a condition called microtia, he grew up partially deaf, with only one ear. But this instilled in him an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of pursuits: music.
With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Stanley’s memoir is a fully realized and unflinching portrait of a rock star, a chronicle of the stories behind the famous anthems, the many brawls and betrayals, and all the drama and pyrotechnics on and off the stage. Raw and confessional, Stanley offers candid insights into his personal relationships, and the turbulent dynamics with his bandmates over the past four decades. And no one comes out unscathed—including Stanley himself.
“People say I was brave to write such a revealing book, but I wrote it because I needed to personally reflect on my own life. I know everyone will see themselves somewhere in this book, and where my story might take them is why I’m sharing it.” —Paul Stanley
Born with an ear deformity called microtia a condition in which cartilage on the outer ear fails to from properly which left him with an ugly stump on the right side of his head, Stanley, co-founder and lead singer of KISS, faced ridicule and taunts from classmates and found little sympathy or affection from his unhappy family. By the time he was 12, the Beatles blew into his world on the Ed Sullivan Show, and he discovered rock and roll; he eventually picked up a guitar, joined a band, and music eventually became his refuge. Elegantly and thoughtfully, Stanley takes us behind the mask of Starchild, his KISS persona, and shares intimately his own insecurities about his physical appearance and his emotional life. Along the way, he chronicles the meteoric rise of KISS he and Gene Klein, who changes his last name to Simmons, just as Stanley Eisen becomes Paul Stanley, start playing in a band in high school in the 1970s, their difficulties, and their eventual fall from fame. Throughout the glory years, Stanley remains lonely and feels like an outsider off stage. In 1998, his starring role in the Phantom of the Opera dramatically prompts Stanley to face himself: "Why had I let my birth defect keep me from sharing myself with people, from embracing people from embracing the fullness of life?" He starts working with children with facial deformities in an organization called About Face, and here he movingly shares the lessons he's learned: "It's not about being perfect, being normal, or seeking approval; it's about being forgiving of imperfection, being generous to all sorts of people, and giving approval."
Customer ReviewsSee All
4 sides to every story
Before reading this book I read a few other KISS books so reading Paul's take on the history does give you a perspective from his view. His upbringing and the relationship between the band members is interesting and explains many of the decisions made in regards to band members, fashion choices and direction. Good read have fun.
Paul Stanley - Rock Icon
Having read almost every KISS book including the other three biographies, Paul's book is most in line with what us true hard KISS fans seen. Paul is and always has been the driving force behind KISS whether its song writing, vision or production. Paul kept this band going at a time most bands would have called it quits. I’m thankful for the original band and for every member who kept it going until this point. Thank you Paul for giving us die-hard fans a unbelievable ride over the past 40 years.
Face the Music - required reading for Kiss fans
I'm not an avid reader but have read the books of all the original members of Kiss. If you want the true stories, unadulterated by self-love or half-baked memories, this is the book to read.
As a Kiss fan from the beginning, I assumed I knew it all... I was mistaken. This book is a real eye opener! Extremely revealing stories from Mr. Stanley's youth were just the tip of the iceberg that is his life! Personal stories, road-life stories, stories of all members of Kiss - it's all in there!
You'll find no apologies in this book and you shouldn't! Paul did everything he did to make it to the happiest of places! Read the book, you'll understand!