Peter Criss
American musician
Peter Criss
George Peter John Criscuola, better known as Peter Criss, is an American drummer and singer, best known as the original drummer for the rock band Kiss. Criss established the "Catman" character for his Kiss persona.
Peter Criss's personal information overview.
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Peter Criss
February 27, 2010
Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley of KISS Celebrities on German ZDF TV show 'Wetten, Dass...' at Messe Erfurt
July 24, 2007
Peter Criss of Kiss Makes Appearance and Signs His New Solo Album "One For All" at Virgin Megastore Virgin Megastore-union Square,new York City 07-24-2007 Photo by Mitchell Levy-rangefinder-Globe Photos, Inc.
October 14, 2006
Peter Criss Inaugural Induction Ceremony for the 2006 Long Island Music Hall of Fame held at The Patchogue Theater
September 28, 2004
Stockshop - Archival Pictures - PHOTOlink - 110476
July 23, 2003
Sd0723 Super Group 'Kiss' at Best Buy to Promote Thier New Cd, 'Symphony Alive Iv'. 86th Street, New York City. (Members Include: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and New Member Tommy Thayer)
May 13, 2001
: 8/9/99 Peter Criss of "Kiss" Film Premiere of "Detroit Rock City" in Westwood, CA. Photo by Lisa Rose/Globe Photos, Inc.
January 01, 1977
Shown: (clockwise from top) Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss KISS circa 1977 This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor
January 01, 1974
Shown from left: Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss KISS, circa 1970s This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor are they
View family, career and love interests for Peter Criss
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News abour Peter Criss from around the web
Celebrity birthdays for the week of Dec. 20-26
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Dec. 20: Actor John Hillerman ("Magnum P.I.") is 83. Actor Tommy Cole ("The Mickey Mouse Club") is 74. Drummer Bobby Colomby of Blood, Sweat and Tears is 71. Former Kiss drummer Peter Criss is 70. Musician Alan Parsons is 67. Actress Jenny Agutter is 63. Actor Michael Badalucco ("The Practice") is 61. Singer Billy Bragg is 58. Singer-bassist Mike Watt (The Minutemen, fIREHOSE) is 58. Actor Joel Gretsch ("V'') is 52. Country singer Kris Tyler is 51. Singer Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes is 49. Singer David Cook ("American Idol") is 33. Actor Jonah Hill is 32. Singer JoJo is 25.
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Yahoo News article
Exclusive Book Excerpt: Peter Criss, 'Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of KISS'
Rolling Stone - over 4 years
Rock & roll excess has always been a rather large part of the Kiss package but never before have we heard the details quite to this extent These exclusive excerpts from Peter Criss' autobiography begin with the drummer shoving the barrel of a 357 Magnum down his own...
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Rolling Stone article
A fight to the finish
Asbury Park Press - over 4 years
It took time for drummer Peter Criss to tell the world that he had breast cancer. 'I fought with it for the first year or two when I had it,' said Criss, the former drummer for Kiss, who lives in Monmouth County.
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Asbury Park Press article
Kiss: monsters of rock
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
Warpaint, concept albums, 'misdeeds' and being embraced by middle America: Kiss tell their rock'n'roll tale in their own words You have to wash your hands before touching Kiss's new book. Given that only 1,000 have been printed, one would imagine the copy being shown to journalists in a hotel basement in London will be given a wipedown and sold along with the other 999. It would be a very Kiss thing to do. On the one hand, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons – long the only two members of Kiss who matter, and around whom drummers and lead guitarists rotate and revolve – want to make a statement about their legacy. On the other, their chosen instrument is an extraordinary collection of photos, almost as large as life – Kiss Monster Book is 3ft high and opens to 5ft wide – that won't fit on your bookshelf and will cost you $4,299. Kiss at their peak permeated American popular culture. Even now, after 39 years, they are still loved around the world, and still working – a new album, Monster, ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Interview: Keith Morris (of OFF!)
Misformusic - almost 5 years
OFF! is a hardcore supergroup with members from Black Flag and the Circle Jerks (Keith Morris, vox), Redd Kross (Steven Shane McDonald, bass), Burning Brides (Dimitri Coats, guitar), and Rocket From the Crypt and Hot Snakes (Mario Rubalcaba, drums). After four EPs, the band finally released its first full-length, OFF!, on May 8th. Recently, Consequence of Sound spoke with Morris about the band, its formation, and how they don’t have the time for songs filled with pomp and circumstance. We also chatted about riding the party train that was the Circle Jerks, checking egos at the studio door, what it means to sell out, and how much he loves the Dream Syndicate’s Days of Wine and Roses. I used to believe that if a punk band was around long enough, they simply became a rock band. You seemed to have proven me wrong. We could just as easily be a rock band, because the guys in this band, they love… two of them, I think maybe three of them, were members of the KISS Army. Nice! So I ...
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Misformusic article
Monday: Seth Greenberg fired - almost 5 years
(UPDATE 5:34 P.M.) Slow news day: I’m in the Salem Red Sox press box with about a dozen Japanese reporters, writing a column on Seth Greenberg’s firing as we await Dice-K’s rehab start. — No one else need bother entering after that incredible spring game blog. HELLOOO, PULITZER: Wow, Saturday’s live spring game blog was something else, wasn’t it? Hey, I’m just glad a few people dropped by to keep me company during the delay. Anybody have any good stories from out in the parking lots the other day? MAKING A DENT WITH BUCKY: While the spring game got cancelled, the Hokies reeled in a nice recruiting haul Saturday led by dual-threat quarterback Bucky Hodges. Andy has nice bios on each of those future Hokies here. HOW MANY? if you missed my column on the perils of estimating spring game attendance — and what that says about the Tech-UVa rivalry — here ya go. STRONG BOND: Salem Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw is off to a scorching start this season, and owes a lot of his develo ...
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Labor Day Weekend Tunes -
Google News - over 5 years
He has played with Lou Gramm, Peter Criss and Steve Winwood. 2.Hamby's Clocktower Tavern hosts an Open Jam Night and Bike Night on Wednesdays. On Friday, Davis Daniel, an American Country Music Artist, with three studio albums and three songs making
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Google News article
Kiss Plushies to Be Released on Sept. 7 - Ultimate Classic Rock
Google News - over 5 years
Ace Frehley's spaceman look is spot on, while Peter Criss' green cat-eye stare is effectively captured. The Plushies will look totally cool on a collector's shelf or on your kids' beds. We recommend 'em for Kiss fans that would like to introduce their
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Google News article
KISS Plushies Are Coming - Pollstar (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Portraying the band's initial lineup of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, the seven-inch dolls can be pre-ordered now via and will begin shipping Sept. 11, the same day the dolls arrive at local FYE stores
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Google News article
KISS Finally Will Have A Line Of Plushies - The Gauntlet
Google News - over 5 years
The line consists of four dolls: Gene Simmons 'The Demon', Paul Stanley 'The Starchild', Ace Frehley 'The Spaceman', and Peter Criss 'The Catman'. I am just glad they did the dolls to scale and captured Gene Simmons' to a tee
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Google News article
Original KISS Drummer PETER CRISS Talks Horror Movies (Video) - Aug. 10, 2011 -
Google News - over 5 years
In the video clip below, writer/director and "Detroit Rock City" movie producer Tim Sullivan chats with former KISS drummer Peter Criss about their mutual love of the horror genre that inspired four guys from Brooklyn to put on greasepaint and change
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Google News article
Tim Sullivan Chats with Peter Criss about Horror - FANGORIA
Google News - over 5 years
"It should not be a secret, but apparently is, that as an officially despised and generally low-budget phenomenon, the horror film is free to be politically subversive, psychologically daring, and artistically outrageous." - Bruce Kawin "Everyone has
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Google News article
Original KISS Members All Penning Memoirs (A Top Story) -
Google News - over 5 years
Guitarist Ace Frehley's No Regrets will hit stores on November 1, drummer Peter Criss has a book planned for 2012 and bassist-singer Gene Simmons and singer-guitarist Paul Stanley are working on a chronicle of the band's early years, according to
Article Link:
Google News article
New KISS Biography is Ace - Rock AAA (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
For Ace, it all started in January of 1973, when the self-taught musician and Bronx native spotted an advertisement in the Village Voice posted by Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Gene Simmons: “Guitarist wanted with flash and balls
Article Link:
Google News article
Simmons steals the show - Toronto Sun
Google News - over 5 years
Simmons brought original singer-guitarist Paul Stanley, current lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (Ace Frehley left in 2002) and current drummer Eric Singer (Peter Criss left in 2003) along with him. Slightly later in the evening, the marriage-phobic Simmons
Article Link:
Google News article
KISS to rock out Turning Stone Resort and Casino Event Center in Verona, NY - (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
“Though Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are long gone from the band, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley hold down the original KISS lineup, while lead guitarist (Frehley fill-in) Tommy Thayer and drummer (Criss fill-in) Eric Singer have handled their respective
Article Link:
Google News article
KISS army ready to invade Rama - The Barrie Examiner
Google News - over 5 years
The band also reunited with the two other iconic original members, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss. Thayer was working behind the scenes, basically working with Frehley to help him re-learn his guitar parts on many of the classic songs
Article Link:
Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Criss
  • 2014
    Age 68
    He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 as a member of Kiss.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to playing himself in 1978's Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park and 1999's Detroit Rock City, Criss has appeared on two television programs in minor roles. In 1998 he appeared as "Nice Cop" on the " Thirteen Years Later" episode of Millennium and in 2002 Criss appeared in two episodes of the HBO prison drama Oz as inmate Martin Montgomery. He also plays the role of Mike in the motion picture about the JFK assassination, Frame of Mind. Criss has played Slingerland, Ludwig, Pearl, and Drum Workshop drums, Zildjian and Sabian cymbals, Pro-Mark & Ahead sticks and gloves, ddrum electronics, LP percussion and Remo drumheads.
  • 2012
    Age 66
    Criss released his autobiography, Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss, co-written with author Larry Sloman, on October 23, 2012.
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  • 2008
    Age 62
    Criss was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details While working out, he noticed a lump on his chest that prompted him to visit a doctor. He was successfully treated with a lumpectomy.
    As of November 2008, Criss has been married three times: Lydia Di Leonardo (from 1970 to 1979), former Playboy Playmate and coppertone model Debra Jensen (from 1979 to 1994) and Gigi Criss (from May 1998 to present).
    More Details Hide Details Criss is the father of one daughter named Jenilee, born in 1981.
  • 2007
    Age 61
    He released a solo album, titled One for All July 23, 2007, on Silvercat Records.
    More Details Hide Details Criss is a gun enthusiast, and has stated that he has a large collection of firearms with which he target-shoots, but does not hunt with, as he told host Tom Snyder during the October 31, 1979 interview of Kiss on The Tomorrow Show. This segment of the infamous interview features Criss referencing his gun collection.
  • 2002
    Age 56
    He rejoined the band in late 2002 and appeared on the Kiss Symphony: Alive IV DVD and CD before departing from Kiss again in March 2004.
    More Details Hide Details The band had opted not to renew his contract following the Rocksimus Maximus Tour. He was once again replaced by Singer, who assumed the "Catman" persona. Criss said of Kiss performing with replacements for Ace Frehley and himself: Since 2004, Criss has kept his public appearances to a minimum. Criss now resides in Wall Township, New Jersey.
  • 2001
    Age 55
    It was his last show on the tour, as he left over a contract dispute and was replaced by Eric Singer in 2001.
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  • 2000
    Age 54
    Tensions arose once again between Criss and Kiss. On October 7, 2000, at the end of the band's show in North Charleston, South Carolina, Criss destroyed his drum kit on stage.
    More Details Hide Details Though fans thought it was part of the act, it was in reality an act of frustration on Criss' part.
  • 1995
    Age 49
    In 1995, Criss appeared at the official Kiss Konvention in Los Angeles that led to the Kiss live performance that was recorded for MTV Unplugged.
    More Details Hide Details In April 1996, Kiss held a press conference to announce a reunion tour with all four original members. The 1996–97 Alive/Worldwide Tour was an enormous success, and the reunited Kiss released a studio album, 1998's Psycho Circus. However, controversy arose when it was discovered that Criss only played drums on one track ("Into the Void," Ace Frehley's one lead vocal track). Many sources claim that Kevin Valentine performed on the rest of the drum tracks for the album. Criss did have one lead vocal, a track called "I Finally Found My Way," written by guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley and Bob Ezrin, and a co-vocal taking turns in the verses with the rest of the band for the song "You Wanted the Best".
  • 1993
    Age 47
    This band released the Criss EP in December 1993 and the Cat #1 album in August 1994.
    More Details Hide Details The group also supported Frehley's band on the 1995 "Bad Boys Of KISS Tour."
  • 1989
    Age 43
    Criss briefly reunited with former Kiss bandmate Ace Frehley on Frehley's 1989 album Trouble Walkin' (singing and playing percussion on one track).
    More Details Hide Details In the early '90s, Criss assembled a band named "Criss," which would feature future Queensrÿche guitarist Mike Stone.
  • 1986
    Age 40
    Criss also played with Balls of Fire from the spring of 1986 to December 1986, with Jane Booke on lead vocals, Bob Raylove on bass and JP (John Pakalenka) on guitar, who currently plays for Buckner Funken Jazz in Denver, Colorado.
    More Details Hide Details Balls of Fire played only 7 shows before Criss left the band to enjoy his daughter Jenilee growing up. Another was the Criss Penridge Alliance, essentially Peter Criss and Stan Penridge with the 1970s jazz rock fusion band Montage (Mike Hutchens - guitar, Allen Woody - bass (Govt Mule, Allman Brothers Band), John Moss - drums and Tony Crow - keyboards) who rehearsed 39 songs including from the first 3 Peter Criss solo albums, and played around 10 shows in total. While Kiss was promoting their upcoming release Crazy Nights, Criss appeared on the syndicated radio program Metal Shop and discussed his time in Kiss from a more positive perspective than before; he also promoted the book he was writing at the time, an autobiography to be titled A Face without a Kiss. He also mentioned his dream of one day opening up his own recording studio and starting his own record label, to be called Catman Records.
  • 1980
    Age 34
    Criss officially left Kiss on May 18, 1980.
    More Details Hide Details As a result, Kiss postponed the European tour until the end of August, thus giving the band enough time to find a replacement drummer, whom they found in Brooklyn-born Eric Carr.
    In March 1980, Criss began recording his second solo album, Out of Control.
    More Details Hide Details Released later in the year, the album was a commercial failure, despite remaining a favorite with Criss fans. The follow-up album, 1982's Let Me Rock You, which contained one song written by Gene Simmons, was a similar failure. The album cover featured Criss without his Kiss makeup, but was not released in the U.S. at the time. For the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s, Criss was involved with a number of bands, each usually lasting less than a year. One of them was The Keep, which featured ex-Kiss guitarist Mark St. John.
  • 1979
    Age 33
    On the 1979 release Dynasty, he only played on his own composition, "Dirty Livin'," and did not play at all on Unmasked (1980).
    More Details Hide Details Anton Fig, who also played on Ace Frehley's 1978 solo album, was hired as session drummer for Dynasty and Unmasked. Gene Simmons has made it clear that Criss was fired; Paul Stanley too has discussed Criss' departure in several interviews, including the commentary on Kissology 2. Ace Frehley in his 2011 book, No Regrets, also stated that Criss was fired during a band meeting in which Frehley was outvoted by Simmons and Stanley. A spoken word CD released in 1999 titled 13 Classic Kiss Stories, features Bill Aucoin (Kiss' first manager) where he also discusses Criss being 'let go'. Criss, however, has maintained that he quit the band. The video for "Shandi" was shot in one day, and Peter was out of the band at that time; Stanley said of the shoot, "We shot a video for the song "Shandi" after the decision to let Peter go had been confirmed. He came to the video shoot knowing it was the last time he would appear with KISS. At the end of the day, he took his makeup case with him and left. It wasn't tearful, but it was a big moment. Peter was leaving. We had fired him, and this was the last time we were going to see him in the band".
  • 1978
    Age 32
    In 1978, Criss was injured in a serious car crash.
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  • 1976
    Age 30
    Criss was given co-writing credit for the ballad "Beth", a Top 10 hit for Kiss on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #7 in 1976.
    More Details Hide Details The song remains the highest-charting song for Kiss in the United States and it earned them a People's Choice Award for "Young People's Favorite New Song" in 1977, tied with "Disco Duck". The song was written before Criss had joined Kiss, while he was still a member of Chelsea. Criss came up with the melody for the song while on a train to New York City from New Jersey where the band practiced. He and Penridge wrote the song together. A demo exists of the song from 1971, but the song's title was "Beck", after fellow band member Mike Brand's wife, Becky, who would call often during practices to ask Mike when he was coming home. Years later, while in Kiss, both Bob Ezrin and Gene Simmons are credited for changing the song's title to "Beth". The song was said to be a tribute to Criss' wife Lydia Di Leonardo; according to interviews with Criss, he changed some of the lyrics to reflect Lydia's lamenting that she missed him while on tour, but the song actually originated years earlier.
  • 1974
    Age 28
    Kiss released their self-titled debut in February 1974.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout his Kiss career, Criss was lead vocalist on several notable songs including "Black Diamond", "Hard Luck Woman", and their breakthrough hit "Beth". Many of Criss' contributions to Kiss were written with the help of Stan Penridge, who was a bandmate of Criss' in Chelsea and Lips.
  • 1973
    Age 27
    In 1973, Pete Shepley & Mike Brand recorded an unreleased album which included post-Chelsea Michael Benvenga, and pre-Kiss Peter Criss and Gene Simmons as session musicians.
    More Details Hide Details It was titled Captain Sanity. After the demise of his band Lips, Criss placed an advertisement in the East Coast edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, which read: Contrary to the story that has been recited by fans and the band for years, there was never an ad placed that said "Drummer willing to do anything to make it." The advertisement was answered by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, who were looking for new members for their band. Ace Frehley was added to the lineup in December 1972, and the band was named Kiss later that month. However, Simmons describes first meeting Criss in his book Kiss And Make-Up thus: Simmons later in the chapter describes going to a small Italian Club in Brooklyn to meet the drummer "The drummer started to sing, and this Wilson Pickett-style voice came out of him. Paul and I said 'That's it, that's our drummer.' His name was Peter Criscuola." Criss also decided on the "Catman" makeup he would go on to make famous as a member of Kiss, stating on more than one occasion that he felt he had nine lives to survive his rough street upbringing in Brooklyn.
  • 1972
    Age 26
    By the spring of 1972, Lips was just the duo of Criss and Penridge.
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  • 1971
    Age 25
    They never recorded a second album, and in August 1971 became Lips (a trio consisting of Criss and his Chelsea bandmates Michael Benvenga and Stan Penridge).
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  • 1970
    Age 24
    It was during this time that Criss joined Chelsea, who had a two-album deal with Decca Records; the group released a self-titled album in 1970.
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  • 1945
    Born on December 20, 1945.
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