- Birth name:
- Peter George John Crisscuola
- Date of Birth:
- 20 December 1945 Brooklyn, New York, USA
- 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Former drummer for hard rock super-group "KISS", best known for his "cat" character and thumping drum solo's. Criss was born Peter George John Crisscoula on December 20th, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York City. Criss was influenced by the 1940s big band sound, and was quite keen on Gene Krupa's unique drumming style.In early 1973, Criss placed an ad in the "Village Voice" stating "drummer willing to do anything to make it". The ad was noticed by two other aspiring musicians and Criss successfully auditioned in front of bassist Gene Simmons, rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley and lead guitarist Ace Frehley. After mediocre success from their first three albums, Kiss Alive (a double live album) was released in 1974, and the roller coaster ride had begun! KISS were the most successful US group from 1975 to 1980 with platinum selling albums and sold out stadium tours. However, cracks appeared in the band and Peter Criss left the group in 1980, and released two solo albums "Out of Control" and "Let Me Rock You", however they were commercial failures. Criss's close friend, Ace Frehley similarly left KISS in 1983, and met with only slightly better success than Criss with his own group ("Frehleys Comet") and several hard rock albums.Interestingly, Criss was the subject of a tabloid scandal in 1991, when a national tabloid claimed Criss was penniless and living under a pier at Santa Monica. The drama unfolded on the "Phil Donahue Show" with Criss, the impostor and other concerned parties involved in a verbal slanging match! However, after several years of icy relations between ex-members Frehley / Criss and band founders Simmons / Stanley, all four original members reunited for a 1995 MTV Unplugged Special that was met with huge interest, prompting a full blown reunion tour (KISS - ALIVE WORLDWIDE) that was the biggest grossing tour of 1996/97. Met with such keen enthusiasm, the band toured relentlessly into the new century, however Peter Criss was experiencing inflammation of his forearms. Additionally, relations with Simmons / Stanley had fallen on untenable terms and he was replaced by another former KISS drummer, Eric Singer, in 2001. Criss issued at statement on his website in April 2004, declaring he was permanently finished as the drummer with KISS.