Casper of Silver Tiger Media recently conducted an interview with original KISS drummer Peter Criss. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
Asked if there is a “most memorable moment” in his long career that was “of tremendous, overwhelming significance and importance” for him, Criss said: “Absolutely. And I’ve been asked this a lot a long time in my career. And it’s gotta be the night I played at Madison Square Garden [in New York City with] my mom and my dad [in attendance]. Because when I was 13 years old and I was in New York, my mother and I passed the Madison Square Garden, and I said, ‘Hey, ma, I’m gonna play there someday for you and dad. Mark my words.’ And sure enough, 1977, there we were, and I remember sitting when the curtain came down, and I looked over and there was my parents crying like children. And so was I, but you didn’t see it with the makeup. For me, that was the most amazing, and still is till today, moment of my life — that I got to see my mom and dad see me in one of the biggest arenas in the world. I was, like, ‘Holy shit!’ I’ll always hold that near and dear.”
Criss is set to say farewell later this year with a pair of convention appearances that are being billed as his final live performances.
The drummer first left KISS in 1980. Since then he’s worked with other bands and released solo albums. He teamed up with KISS again for a reunion tour in the 1990s and most recently in 2004. He was replaced by Eric Singer.
Criss, who was known as “Catman,” released his last solo CD, titled “One for All”, in 2007. Peter produced the album himself for the first time, and was joined by guest musicians that included keyboardist Paul Shaffer and bassist Will Lee of “Late Night with David Letterman”. The album featured a range of styles, from rock and jazz to blues and Broadway, and included covers of “What a Difference a Day Makes” and “Send in the Clowns”.
The four original members of KISS were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2014 by RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello.
KISS did not perform — the Hall Of Fame wanted the original quartet only to play, while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley insisted on the current lineup — which also includes guitarist Tommy Thayer — performing as well. In the end nobody won that battle.