Artist biography Peter George "Peter Criss" Criscoula
Peter Criss rose to fame in the 1970s as the drummer for theatrical heavy metal-ists Kiss. Born Peter George Criscoula on December 20, 1945, in Brooklyn, NY, Criss got his start drumming after discovering legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa (which he's rumored to have actually taken lessons from at one point) and such '60s rockers as the Rolling Stones.
Playing in local bands throughout the '60s and early '70s, Criss was becoming increasingly fed up when none of his bands went anywhere — especially after a tryout for Elton John's band didn't pan out and close friend Jerry Nolan landed the drum slot with trash/glam/punk pioneers the New York Dolls. But his luck was just about to change when a pair of fellow New Yorkers answered an ad Criscoula had placed in a music paper, stating "drummer with 11 years experience, willing to do anything."
The pair turned out to be none other than Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons (then known as Stanley Eisen and Gene Klein, respectively), who were in the midst of putting a new group together that would be a reaction against all the then-prevalent boring hippie bands. Criscoula got the gig, soon after changing his name to Peter Criss.
After the trio enlisted guitarist Ace Frehley, the quartet agreed on the name Kiss, and specialized in high-volume rock, but with a strong melodic edge (courtesy of Simmons and Stanley's admiration of the Beatles). It was also agreed that the bandmembers would choose a "character" and wear makeup and costumes relating to their choice; Criss selected a cat.
As Kiss starts to work on their next album, their original drummer Peter Criss is not involved in the recording due to personal problems. Anton Fig is brought in to fill in. Kiss and Peter decide to go their separate ways. Peter's final job with the band is the filming of the "Shandi" promotional video clip.
Chosen for structural replacement is drummer Eric Carr.
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Peter George "Peter Criss" Criscoula's releases (4)