KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley was interviewed on a recent edition of the TRAIN frontman Pat Monahan's weekly podcast, "Patcast". You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
Asked why he was the last of the four original KISS members to write an autobiography (last year's "Face The Music: A Life Exposed"), Stanley responded: "Because I didn't write a KISS book.
"This isn't the fourth KISS book; this is the first Paul Stanley book.
"I wasn't writing the last in a series.
"I don't wanna be associated with those books, 'cause most of them are junk.
"Autobiographies, by their nature, are junk, because they tend to be love letters to yourself. You are writing what you think is you in your best light, telling stories that probably may have been enhanced, to say the least."
Asked if he has read any of the autobiographies from the other original KISS members, Stanley responded: "When Gene's [Simmons, bass, vocals] came out, I read a little bit of that. And I thought, 'Gee, I thought I did that. I thought that was me. You thought you were me.'
"And the other guys [drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley]… Look, there's a reason… And people say, 'Oh, you shouldn't take potshots.' Well, if you ask me a question, I've gotta give you the same answer. And the truth of the matter is, there's a reason why attorneys don't put drug addicts or alcoholics on the witness stand.
"Regardless of whether they are today or not, anybody who's in a 12-step program will tell you they are alcoholics, or they're drug addicts. It's not a past tense. So to have somebody write their memoirs, well, they… as far as I can remember, they couldn't remember yesterday. How are they gonna remember thirty years ago?"
Stanley also explained his reasons for writing a book, saying: "I wrote the book because my life is great, and my life wasn't always great. And if I can inspire some other people to realize that life's not always easy… And the truth of the matter is the people that you look up to and think are perfect are pretty much like you. And I think a lot of people with problems sometimes don't realize that they're not alone. So maybe by breaking down that wall a little and saying, 'We're all kind of in this together.' It's cathartic."
He continued: "[My book] was a New York Times best seller, which is a nice place to be. It was translated into Japanese, Swedish, Italian, German… It's coming out in Portuguese. I like to think of it as… it's got a worldwide sentiment to it. And I really wrote it initially for my children. 'Cause I wanted my children to know what life was like, and when it's appropriate for them to read it… My 20-eyar-old, Evan, read it, and he just had this big smile and said, 'It's you.'"
Stanley added: "The truth is great when it takes you to a place that's positive. I couldn't write a book if it didn't have a happy ending. I'd be horrible to… to be in the midst of what I was going through. And nobody should feel sorry for me — I had tons of great-looking women and money, and all kinds of stuff — but if I was still in the midst of the life I had then, there's no purpose to write a book. I only wrote a book because things turned out far beyond anything I could imagine. I just celebrated, yesterday, my ninth wedding anniversary, btu we've been together thirteen years. I've got four amazing kids. I'm in the greatest time in my life."
"Face The Music: A Life Exposed" debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times' Best Sellers list for Print Hardcover Non-Fiction. On top of that, "Face The Music" debuted on the Times' Combined Print and E-Book best seller list and E-Book best sellers list at No. 3 and No. 13, respectively.
In the "Face The Music", Stanley talks frankly about his early struggles with hearing — he was born with Level 3 Microtia and is deaf in his right ear. Microtia is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear that can affect normal hearing.
Stanley, who grew up half-deaf and scarred with a deformed right ear, eventually had reconstructive surgery in 1982 to create an ear using a piece of his rib cage. The Pulse Of Radio asked Stanley why he kept his ear a secret for so long. "Oh, it was painful," he said. "It was too painful. Y'know, you can only reveal things and you can only deal with things when you're ready to. And my experiences as a child were so debilitating and destructive that the best way for me to deal with my ear was to cover it and to — at least on the surface — ignore what was going on; although when something is invisible to others doesn't mean it's not visible and very much a part of your life."