People usually write books about themselves in order to put themselves in a good light, and tear down other around them. Paul's band mates Ace and Pet...morePeople usually write books about themselves in order to put themselves in a good light, and tear down other around them. Paul's band mates Ace and Peter did that (more so in Peter's case). So I expected that from Paul's side here. Well, there is a little of it, but not near as much as I expected.
When I read the Peter Criss biography, at times I felt sorry for him and the way he was treated by Gene and Paul (at least from his perception of things), but for the bulk of his book I just shook my head thinking what a total loser he was to continue time and time again to screw things up in his self-destructive life. He was an addict and abused drugs, and let it screw up his career. Understanding how his self-destructive lifestyle was in his own words, it has to make you wonder just how much of his "stories" about band abuse are remembered clear enough to be accurate.
Similarly, Ace Frehley's book showed us just how much of disturbed person he was, and quite self-destructive too. Though his book contained much less dirt on the other band, and focused more on himself. One has to wonder how well he remembers those years anyway, and if his perception of any abuse is likewise blurred.
Now we have Paul's version of things, and so we have to weigh that in to the conversation. Like Ace's book, Paul spends less time dealing with the dirt talk of Peter and Ace, and more time dealing with his own demons. Since he is the one member of the band that less seems known about, we find out why as he explains his struggle with himself since childhood. The one thing that holds a lot of water (with me at least) in the dirt hashing of the band, is that Paul has maintained a life of sobriety and clarity through it all, and therefore we have to expect his story to be less blurred than the others. With that as my perception, I tend to take the little pieces of dirt and thrashing as being more accurately presented. But mainly his comments are centered on how their addictions slowly made them unreliable and jeopardized the band's future, bother in the early days and then again during the reunion. I thought Peter came off as a jerk even in his own book, and Paul adds to that perception with the ludicrous stories here.
All of this to say, Paul takes a few stabs at Ace and peter, and they feel like accurate portrayal's here, but for the bulk of this, we really get to know more about Paul himself, making this book more of what it should be, and less of the trash talking some might expect (especially in light of the fact that Paul is writing his book AFTER Ace and Peter have had their saying in the matter). Paul easily could have spent a great deal of time simply responding to the mass amount of accusations and stories that the other band member put out there, but instead, he simply reveals the way things went at times in his own perception, and adds it to the story of his life experiences.
Peter and Ace were not alone in the dirt slinging though, Paul also has quite a few choice words and criticisms about Gene throughout. I felt as I read it that Gene would be upset and the band would now break up for sure, but we find later on that he and Gene came to terms with most of this, and Paul’s outlook has become more understanding on the issue.
In the end, I feel that Paul's journey was one of learning - and you can see him maturing through the events he portrays, and in the end we see how his priorities and worldview have changed for him now. In the end I have a much better respect of the man and the decisions made along the way with the band.
I was on the fence of the whole debate over the current line-up having other people wearing the Spaceman and Cat makeup – but reading the back story of how that came about, I am much less inclined to feel sorry for Ace or Peter on this anymore. They both totally screwed themselves over in the 70’s – and likewise again in the 90’s during their second chance. So they get no sympathy from me on this matter any longer. That being said – do not misunderstand me to say I disrespect either of them. I look forward to new music from them, and enjoy their solo work – I just think they got what they deserved when it came to how they acted in the KISS world, and people need to stop harping about it and drop the drama and enjoy instead. That is Paul philosophy now – no drama, just enjoy.(less)