Original KISS drummer Peter Criss was interviewed on the October 23 edition of "The Opie & Anthony Show" on SiriusXM satellite radio about his newly released memoir, "Makeup To Breakup: My Life In And Out Of Kiss".
On how far into his tenure with KISS he realized there were going to be problems and ego clashes with a couple of the other members:
Peter: "Three, four years… five years. I could start feeling [guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley and bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons] wanting the power. The more we were going up the ladder of future and fame, the more it was kind of swaying to Mr. Simmons and Stanley. Ace [Frehley, guitar] and I were kind of not getting our musical [ideas] in.
"It's funny — I wrote the biggest hit the band [ever had], and meanwhile, I was kind of always getting put down for this stuff.
"So it was always a battle, and eventually, I didn't get the great education that maybe the other two guys got, so they would start playing mind games. I don't like games. I like genuine guys. I like real people that tell me how it is not matter much it hurts. And I don't like to be messed with. And they would constantly battered — they called it 'battery,' if you read Gene's book — [they were] battering my brain. And let me tell you, it takes its toll. I feel today, I'm still a casualty of rock and rolls wars, because it turned out every day was a battle for one thing or another, for some kind of running the band, or being the head of the band. And eventually they got their way. And I was miserable."
On how he and his KISS bandmates were seemingly on the same page when they first started out:
Peter: "I thought we were pretty much brothers in arms. I thought we all wanted the same thing, we all wanted to do the same thing, we all wanted the same road to success. But that changed immensely. I realized even when I met [Gene and Paul], they had a deal with some band and they dumped the band because it wasn't their way. That should have given me an immediate 'lights on.' And the same thing started happening as we would roll along. And now they got their way."
On his relationship with Ace Frehley:
Peter: "Ace, I would have done anything for him. I stuck up for him through all the years. I was in his corner. Gene used to tell him, 'The best friend you've got in this band is Peter Criss. He'll always be there for you.' And it broke my heart when [Ace] broke my heart. In the book I tell the story, but towards the reunion, towards the end, I was devastated, man. I couldn't believe what went on. [Peter was reportedly hurt when he found out that Ace was making more money than he was on the "Farewell" tour. — Ed.] And it was again about the old M-O-N-E-Y. Money, money, money. Power, power, power. It never was enough for those guys."
On KISS' infamous October 1979 appearance on Tom Snyder's "The Tomorrow Show" when a visibly irritated Stanley and Simmons tried to contain the bombastic (and drunk) Ace Frehley, whose nonstop laughter and joking overshadowed the rest of the group:
Peter: "When we got to the dressing room, Ace passed out — immediately hit the couch. I still kept laughing about it, 'cause we had such a great time. We [Ace and I] finally had a great time in an interview; we finally enjoyed ourselves. I knew how pissed off they [Paul and Gene] were, and that made it even better. Because they didn't finally get to take over the interview. Gene loves to hear himself talk, so he didn't get a chance to do that. And I knew we really got them P.O.ed, 'cause we did take over. And Tom had the best time, I think, of his life. It's considered one of the best talk shows the band, in Kisstory, we ever did. And I had a ball. Tom came in and said, 'I wanna thank you, guys. I had the best time of my life. Where's Ace?' He saw him on the floor, and he said, 'When he wakes up, tell him I love him.' He sent me a great picture. And they [Paul and Gene] were furious. And I got a feeling then, we should do this more often, because we got so much feedback from the fans — 'It's about time you and Ace spoke up' — and we enjoyed it so much. We tried, but it was always a fight to get supremacy of anything in that band."