Born Peter George Criscoula on December 20, 1945,
in Brooklyn, NY, Criss got his start drumming after
discovering legendary jazz drummer Gene Krupa 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.
Criss left Kiss in 1980
amidst rumors of a breakup swirling. Criss launched
a solo career with such releases as 1980's Out of Control
and 1982's Let Me Rock You , but fans were reluctant
to embrace Criss' new, mature soft rock sound. Criss
attempted to resurface with other bands throughout
the rest of the '80s,such as the Alliance and Balls
of Fire, but didn't release another album until 1994's
independent Criss Cat #1 . On a humorous note, Criss
appeared on an episode of Phil Donahue in the
late '80s when an imposter appeared on the show pretending
to be Criss, claiming he was penniless and homeless.
- Peter was a member of The Phantom Loards,
a Brooklyn Street Gang.
- His favorite movies include - It's a wonderful Life,
Citizen Cane, Goodfellas, Scarface, The Godfather
- Peter once auditioned for Elton John's Band.
- The 1972 "willing to do anything to make it" ad
that Gene and Paul answered of Peter's was placed in
- Peter Was Performing at "King's Lounge" when
Paul and Gene came to see him.
- In 2001, Peter dropped out of KISS again,
in a disagreement of compensation of the Australian/Japan
tours. He rejoind the band for the 2003 Tour with Aerosmith,
but was out again in 2004 when KISS went back on the
road for the "Rock The Nations" tour.
- January 2002 - Peter Criss starts a short stay in
prison, a trip he chose to make. Criss played prisoner
Martin Montgomery in the HBO prison drama Oz. He's
scheduled to be in three episodes in the 5th season.
- In November of 2004, Lydia Criss auctioned some of
her privet collection of KISS items. Click
to view the summery of that auction.