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Paul Stanley is the last member of the original Kiss lineup to pen a memoir, but his upcoming book Face The Music: A Life Exposed is still an. For this column, I've written about two books that prominently involve Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Ace Frehley, the book's unholy trinity of. Kiss (Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Peter Criss) in It's also why I want my four kids to read this book someday, despite.
Read an excerpt below.
I sit down and look in the mirror, staring for a moment into the eyes peering out at me. The mirror is surrounded by high-watt theater-style bulbs, and on the table in front of the brightly lit mirror is a small black makeup case. First, I wipe my face with an astringent, to close the pores.
I dip my fingers into the tub of white goo and start applying it all over my face, leaving some space open around my right eye, where the rough outline of the star will be.
There was a time when this makeup was a mask—hiding the face of a kid whose life up to then had been lonely and miserable. But they knew me: When I was out among people I felt naked. I was painfully aware of being constantly scrutinized. And when I came home, my family was too dysfunctional to provide any kind of support.
It leaves a line through the white makeup. Then with a Q-tip I clean up the inside of the star. I also clean up the shape of my lips.
The character taking shape on my face originally came about as a defense mechanism to cover up who I really was. For many years when I first put this makeup on, I had a sense of another person coming out.
The insecure, incomplete kid with all the doubts and all the internal conflicts suddenly got painted away, and that other guy came out, the guy I had created to show everybody that they should have been nicer to me, that they should have been my friend, that I was someone special. I created a guy who would get the girl. And I understand why. They never knew what was going on inside me. They never knew why I was the way I was, what my aspirations were.
They never knew any of that.
Or a monster. The more I came to terms with myself, the more I was able to give to others. And the more I gave of myself to others, the more I found I had to give.
It was a quest, an unending push for what I thought I should have—not only materially, but in terms of who I should be—that enabled me to reach that point.
It was a quest that began with the aim of becoming a rock star, but that ended with something else entirely. I want them to understand what my life was like, warts and all. I want them to understand that it really is up to each one of us, that anyone can make a wonderful life for himself or herself.
It may not be easy. It may take longer than you think. But it is possible. For anyone. I collect my thoughts and look into the mirror again. There, staring back at me, is the familiar white face and black star.
And put on the red lipstick, of course. I find myself beaming from ear to ear, content to celebrate together with the Starchild, who has now become a dear old friend rather than an alter ego to cower behind. Outside, forty-five thousand people wait. I picture taking the stage. He stopped playing in the middle of a song and just held his sticks up and looked at me like a deer in the headlights.
That happened on more than one occasion. The drama offstage and the hostility and resentment and backstabbing was taking a heavy musical toll. And then there were the drugs. When Ace had an off night and made a lot of mistakes, we would joke that his mixture was off. It would have been great to go out in a blaze of musical glory; instead, we were dragging our asses.
At one point we put aside a few days to brush up on songs and tighten things up. He was never bitten by a deer!
On August 11, , we had a show in Irvine, California, after a week off. Ace had spent the week in New York. We had a rule that if anyone was going to fly cross-country on a commercial flight to get to a gig, he had to get there a day in advance — just to be safe, in case there was a storm or a mechanical issue or whatever. The day before the Irvine show, Tommy had arranged for a limo to pick Ace up and take him to his flight.
He always had the limo show up hours early because it was the same chore to get Ace out of his house as it was to get him out of a hotel. At P. Tommy called the limo. Frehley needs to get going. Tommy and Doc tried to get Ace on the phone, calling his house. No answer. After calling his house five more times, they finally got him on the line. They kept rescheduling Ace on later and later flights.
The limo went back each time. Tommy managed to get Ace on the phone again. The next day was the show. Ace started the day on the other side of the country. By some minor miracle, however, he made it to the airport in the morning, was met by the on-site rep, and was escorted onto his plane. Traffic from LAX airport to the venue was going to present a serious problem.
So we arranged for a helicopter to sit at Terminal 4, where Ace was arriving, and shuttle him to the venue by air. That way he could probably make it in time for the concert. Then we got a call.
The bad news is that the plane has a mechanical problem and is delayed. He was going to have to play the show. We traveled with a Spaceman outfit custom-fitted to Tommy — as an insurance policy. A brand new outfit, boots and all, tailored to Tommy always came along in one of the wardrobe crates. We knew Tommy could do it, but he had never actually done it.