Face the Music: A Life Exposed

( 10 )

Overview

"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."

Well known for his onstage persona, the "Starchild," Paul Stanley has written a memoir with a gripping blend of personal revelations and gritty war stories about the highs and lows both inside and outside of KISS. Born with a condition ...

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Face the Music: A Life Exposed

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Overview

"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."

Well known for his onstage persona, the "Starchild," Paul Stanley has written a memoir with a gripping blend of personal revelations and gritty war stories about the highs and lows both inside and outside of KISS. Born with a condition called microtia (an ear deformity rendering him deaf on the right side), Stanley's traumatic childhood experiences produced an inner drive to succeed in the most unlikely of places: music. Taking readers through the series of events that led to the founding of KISS, the personal relationships that helped shape his life, and the turbulent dynamics among his bandmates over the past forty years, this book leaves no one unscathed—including Stanley himself.

With never-before-seen photos and images throughout, Face the Music is a colorful portrait of a man and the band he helped create, define, and sustain—made larger than life in artfully told stories that are shocking, funny, inspirational, and honest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
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.” (Apr.)
Guitar World Magazine
“For years the members hid their true identities behind cartoon personas and hard rock anthems... After years of carefully maintaining his Starchild superhero identity, Stanley lets down his guard and unleashes a torrent of pent-up feelings that erupt and flow over 400 pages like molten lava.”
Booklist
“Most people will probably not associate sensitivity with the flamboyant heavy-metal rock band KISS, and yet in his memoir, front man, rhythm guitarist, and cofounder Paul Stanley succeeds in making a connection with the reader, KISS fan or not.”
No SourceJimmy Page
“Paul Stanley proves himself as an artist in music and on canvas and now with a great book.”
Sir Elton John
“Both honest and inspirational. Amazing tales from one of rock’s great frontmen.”
Jimmy Page
“Paul Stanley proves himself as an artist in music and on canvas and now with a great book.”
Dave Grohl
“Paul is a great man who has achieved great things. From the Popcorn Club all the way to the Hall of Fame, his story is inspiring and motivating for anyone who dreams big.”
Mitch Albom
“An entertaining yet piercingly honest journey from self–conscious child to the world’s most visually famous rock band, to, finally—with the makeup wiped away—a place of peace as a father and a man. Paul Stanley’s story is both ordinary and extraordinary, which makes it inspiring.”
Library Journal
04/01/2014
Before Stanley cofounded the rock band KISS, he was Stanley Harvey Eisen, a boy born partially deaf with a stump for an ear. Kids were unkind, and he had an unhappy childhood and unsatisfying family life. College wasn't for him, but he found his calling in writing and performing music, not letting his birth defect stop him. After working hard and hanging out with the right people, KISS became larger than life for a time, but drugs and egos interfered. Stanley never gave up, though, and managed to keep the band alive as musicians came, went, or lost focus and as the music scene changed. This year marks the 40th anniversary of KISS's first album, and Stanley has seemingly found happiness and stability with the current lineup of members, his children, and his second wife. The author is the last of the founding KISS members to tell his story in a book, and the result, while entertaining and revealing, is bloated with analogies and euphemisms. Apparently, very few people in his life failed to disappoint him in some way, and he incessantly makes his disdain for former bandmate Peter Criss abundantly clear. Despite all the negativity, though, Stanley wishes to inspire readers to improve their lives and be happy. VERDICT Essential for the KISS Army and for fans of rock and roll tell-alls.—Samantha Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062114044
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 181
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley is the frontman and rhythm guitarist for KISS, which he cofounded in New York City in 1973. He is the designer of numerous KISS album covers, costumes, and concert stages, in addition to writing many of KISS's most successful songs. With sales of more than one hundred million records worldwide, KISS sits atop the list of American bands, with the most gold-certified albums earned in history. Along with his bandmates, Stanley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. A painter, with art sales reaching two million dollars; a solo musician; a musical stage performer; founding partner in Rock & Brews restaurants; and co-owner of the Arena Football League's L.A. KISS, Stanley is a committed and active supporter of various Wounded Warrior Project organizations. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Erin, and four children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I knew this book would bring out the KISS haters and according t

    I knew this book would bring out the KISS haters and according to one of the Anonymous reviews it did. I'm sure this book is better than any of the "drivel" he/she can write.  BTW, have you ever heard of Van Halen, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Garth Brooks, Metallica, Lenny Kravitz, Poison and Motley Crew?  Just a few of many influenced by KISS.  It would be nice if people did their research before making ignorant comments.  Great book, great man, great band.  Highly recommended.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Awesome read

    Absolutely loved this book!!!! Definately was worth the wait. Paul was very honest from the beginning,from his childhood where he had to overcome such a stigma of his deformality to the crazy way Kiss began and all the ups and downs of the 80's ..finding love and children..dealing with certain band members addictions and egos if you're a fan of Kiss this is the book to read...

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    I couldn't put it down... I have met Paul personally and he was

    I couldn't put it down... I have met Paul personally and he was nothing but kind and cordial. Amazing story of how he overcame the youth adversity and abuse he suffered to live in his own skin comfortably and happy! BRAVO!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Once upon a time I had a crush on him. Now after reading his art

    Once upon a time I had a crush on him. Now after reading his articulate honest biography, I adore him.
    We are all broken. We can all be fixed. Well written.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Joke band... Stilted memoire.

    A mediocre memoire of a medium talent gimmick. At least I got paid to read this drivel. No such luck foor the rest of you. Save yourself a portion of your life and read a book about a real band that actually contributed to Rock & Roll, not just makeup and parlor tricks.

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Get the facts

    If you had your facts straight you would know that Kiss is one of the greatest rock bands of all times and they still are going strong!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Haven't bought

    I haven't bought book but love KISS

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Trolololololololololololololo

    Says the troll.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews

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