While former KISS drummer Peter Criss's new book 'Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of KISS' promises to reveal the inner turmoil behind the early success of KISS, an excerpt of the book reveals the turbulent childhood that proceeded his rock 'n' roll glory days. The Catman shares that he was a sickly baby born backwards into an immigrant family troubled by drinking and infidelity.
The full excerpt is available at Amazon, where fans can also pre-order the book, scheduled for a Rocktober 23 release. As a boy, the 67-year-old was struck by seemingly every possible illness one is vaccinated for today, and often injured in bizarre ways, like when he was trying to befriend a dog and it ripped his face off. Being poor and uninsured, his mother took him to the emergency room where a well-known plastic surgeon from Germany happened to be visiting.
"He saw me in the hallway bleeding to death and he immediately said, 'Bring this kid in,'" Criss writes. "They didn't even put me out. They just strapped my legs and my hands down and went to work on my face. It felt like a million bees stinging me in the face. I was hallucinating, the pain was so intense." After the bandages were removed, Criss was good as new.
Other characters that appear in the short excerpt include his father — an illiterate who floated in and out of his life — and his grand parents, described as a friendly 'Godfather' type and a senile old woman who beat him regularly. Another grandfather was an even more infrequent visitor, but later in life he got know him, and learned why he was able to marry so many successful women without holding down a steady job.
"We took a shower together in the trailer park facility and when he turned around, the guy was hung like a horse," Criss shares. "My grandfather saw the surprise on my face and he said, 'This is why I do so well in life. I'm a c***sman.'" The book preview also sheds some light Criss's troubled life, which includes drug abuse, near-suicides, broken marriages and the often stressful relationship with Gene Simmons and company.