Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday Book Blog Hop: Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss


Content warning: Suicide ideation, adult situations, profanity

Autobiography, Memoir, Music

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LEGENDARY founding KISS drummer Peter “Catman” Criss has lived an incredible life in music, from the streets of Brooklyn to the social clubs of New York City to the ultimate heights of rock ’n’ roll success and excess.

KISS formed in 1973 and broke new ground with their elaborate makeup, live theatrics, and powerful sound. The band emerged as one of the most iconic hard rock acts in music history. Peter Criss, the Catman, was the heartbeat of the group. From an elevated perch on his pyrotechnic drum riser, he had a unique vantage point on the greatest rock show of all time, with the KISS Army looking back at him night after night.

Peter Criscuola had come a long way from the homemade drum set he pounded on nonstop as a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the fifties. He endured lean years, street violence, and the rollercoaster music scene of the sixties, but he always knew he’d make it. Makeup to Breakup is Peter Criss’s eye-opening journey from the pledge to his ma that he’d one day play Madison Square Garden to doing just that. He conquered the rock world—composing and singing his band’s all-time biggest hit, “Beth” (1976)—but he also faced the perils of stardom and his own mortality, including drug abuse, treatment in 1982, near-suicides, two broken marriages, and a hard-won battle with breast cancer.

Criss opens up with a level of honesty and emotion previously unseen in any musician’s memoir. Makeup to Breakup is the definitive and heartfelt account of one of rock’s most iconic figures, and the importance of faith and family. Rock ’n’ roll has been chronicled many times, but never quite like this.

Ornery Owl's Mini Review

Rating: Five out of five stars

The book is easy to read and, oddly enough, Peter is a very down-to-earth guy. It was interesting reading about his time with Kiss, but what I really enjoyed was learning about him as a person. I'm not a fast reader, but I tore through this book in three days.

The First Line/Book Beginnings

Have you ever tasted the barrel of a .357 Magnum that’s halfway down your throat?

The Friday 56

The three of them were probably fucking each other in Jamaica.

Book Blogger Hop

10th -16th - Do you consider yourself a bookworm or a reader? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

I used to be a definite bookworm. Oddly enough, I feel like doing book reviews and being a writer myself has turned me into more of a reader. 


  1. Definitely a book worm. With a love of memoirs - though this one doesn't tempt me.

    1. Trashy musician biographies are my favorite form of poison. Not that the musicians are trashy, but a lot of the things that went on during tours and such is. These people kind of saved my life when I was younger. I was such an outcast. When I listened to the music I felt like I'd found a place where I belonged.
      The more I read about what it's like to have been famous, the more I think it probably would have killed me. I relate to Peter because he was raised Catholic like me and because of his struggles with depression. Also, his tendency to trust the wrong people. I've done that a lot.


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